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Old 09-02-2013, 11:28 AM
Athana Athana is offline
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Default What is least costly way to ship an expensive acoustic guitar?

Hi.
Ive shipped things but costs are so high..what is least costly way to ship
a $9k guitar.
How & with who have you had best success..right now I only have Fed Ex...and no discounts.Thanks
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:30 AM
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Where are you shipping from / to, and will the person be available to receive it (i.e.: don't want it sitting on a porch...)? What shipping speed are you wanting? Next day? 3 days? Doesn't matter?
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:36 AM
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Default Shipping expensive guitars

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Old 09-02-2013, 11:36 AM
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Why is this even a question? Would you put that guitar in the cheapest possible case? To be honest, I would not want a high value instrument shipped by the cheapest possible method. If I was buying, I'd pay for the best, most secure transport I could buy -- and if I'm selling then I'd suggest the buyer do the same!

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Old 09-02-2013, 11:38 AM
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I only use FedEx, and I find their 3-day air service to be the best (for me) balance between delivery-time and cost.

If the guitar is coming to me, I usually have it send as "Hold at FedEx Location" so I can pick it up first thing in the morning, and it doesn't go out on the truck for delivery.
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:44 AM
jseth jseth is offline
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I have to echo the sentiment of the reply that spoke of going the BEST way to ship a guitar that expensive... I don't know why you'd want to risk ANYTHING by going the cheap route...?

I had to ship my Mark Angus #35 (1979) back to Mark to have some extensive work done. I planned on using Fed-Ex... UNTIL I found out that a) they will NOT insure any instrument for over $1500, and b) won't ship "vintage" stringed instruments at all!!!

I ended up using UPS; I let THEM pack it, because that act insures there will be NO DISPUTE if a problem arises... I insured the guitar for $6k, and I shipped it on a Monday so it would not spend a weekend in some warehouse or a truck somewhere...

Arrived with no problems. The cost, as I recall, was around $125; a bit of a "lump" to swallow but the guitar was totally covered, and was not damaged...
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:05 PM
celticlofts celticlofts is offline
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I shipped two of my own guitars from Illinois to Dublin Ireland via USPS and they both arrived in perfect condition. I don't remember exactly how much it cost but i think it was around $70.00 each. They were both packed well in their cases and then i put the cases in the boxes the cases originally came in, as they offered a little more protection. And because i had the receipts that showed that the guitars were over a year old, I was exempt from import duties and taxes.
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:33 PM
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Just last week I had a guitar shipped from British Columbia to my doorstep in Pretoria, South Africa. It was expensive at $1000 but the service was seamless with constant tracking alerts on my Mobile phone. It was with DHL and I certainly can vouch for them, although I certainly could pay less.
USPS don't ship guitars to my shores.
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:49 PM
specialk55 specialk55 is offline
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In the USA/Canada, my vote is for USPS. Reasonable price and never a problem.
Can't say the same for UPS/Fedex.
Best of luck on the shipping. Pack it well.
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:51 PM
creamburmese creamburmese is offline
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I have used Fedex twice in the last month and both times all was well (about 5k worth of guitars). Good tracking via mobile phone and delivered promptly (1 day using fedex ground up the East Coast, and 3 days from across the country via fedex home delivery). I would echo the suggestion to have the guitar held at a nearby fedex office if you aren't going to be in to receive it (or even if you are, and it will be out on the hot truck all day). I missed delivery and it took an extra day and a half to have it delivered to my local fedex office after it was returned to the depot. You can do all this via their website so it's comparatively painless. I haven't heard of anyone having a guitar damaged in transit with fedex, but I"m sure it has happened. Your homeowners might cover it though don't make that assumption. We have an umbrella and the guitars are covered, but the deductible is more than the individual guitars are worth, so I have to get a rider on the policy to avoid the deductible - and that requires a written valuation so I haven't actually done it yet, but I understand it would be inexpensive (less than $100).
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:57 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Within the United States, I've found that the US Postal Service is the least expensive way for me to ship instruments to and from my home in Alaska. It's also been safer and almost as fast as shipping via UPS.

If the instrument is too large to go via USPS, as has happened with the baritone guitars I've owned, I use Fed Ex.

I won't fool with UPS any longer, not after they left a very valuable Martin guitar that was supposed to be released only with a signature on my front stoop in full view of the street at twenty below zero Farenheit sometime around 10 in the morning.

I discovered it when I got home from work around 6 pm.

I left it in its box in the garage overnight before opening it, and fortunately the guitar wasn't damaged (or stolen, those morons!) But no more UPS for me.

The post office has always been far more cautious than the UPS guy who wanted to get that big box off his truck....


whm
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Old 09-02-2013, 01:36 PM
RiloKiley RiloKiley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philjs View Post
Why is this even a question? Would you put that guitar in the cheapest possible case? To be honest, I would not want a high value instrument shipped by the cheapest possible method. If I was buying, I'd pay for the best, most secure transport I could buy -- and if I'm selling then I'd suggest the buyer do the same!

Phil
+1, to put it mildly. You're investing a huge amount of money in a guitar and you want to save a couple of bucks on shipping ????

I don't want to be rude, but that makes no sense. Worry about getting the best shipping and insurance to protect your investment. If you can't afford the best shipping you shouldn't have bought a guitar that expensive.
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Old 09-02-2013, 01:59 PM
Ivan Lee Ivan Lee is offline
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Insurance is the thing - to do it right, get real musical instrument insurance (Clarion or similar) - then take the shippers insurance just as a back up.

My experiences...
USPS - horrible experience - never trust again
UPS/Fedex - no problems to date
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Old 09-02-2013, 02:27 PM
sfden1 sfden1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Athana View Post
Hi.
Ive shipped things but costs are so high..what is least costly way to ship
a $9k guitar.
How & with who have you had best success..right now I only have Fed Ex...and no discounts.Thanks
For a 9k instrument I would not be looking for the least costly way to go, but the most reliable. When I had my vintage Southern Jumbo repaired by Dennis Berck in Eugene, Oregon, he shipped it back to me via USPS overnight delivery, and when I bought a guitar from John Greven in Portland, he shipped it the same way. Both said that it was the fastest, safest way, and when I've sold expensive guitars, I've used that method too.

Not cheap, but fast, reliable, and with minimal handling.

UPS and FedEx do not offer insurance as such, but an increase in their liability in the event you can demonstrate that any damage was their fault and not due to something done by a buyer or seller. Keep in mind that they're the ones to make that decision.

USPS self-insures, but it can often be difficult to collect. Insure through Heritage or Clarion (both experienced and knowledgeable with musical instruments) before you ship
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Old 09-02-2013, 02:29 PM
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AZLiberty AZLiberty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Pattis View Post


If the guitar is coming to me, I usually have it send as "Hold at FedEx Location" so I can pick it up first thing in the morning, and it doesn't go out on the truck for delivery.
You must live closer than I do to the nearest Fed-Ex hub. In Phoenix traffic that would be an almost 2-hour round trip.

Note: not saying this is a bad idea, but if you do so make certain you know where the hub is relative to where you live.
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