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Canadians Selling and Shipping Basses to the US

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mistergoats, Apr 15, 2015.


  1. mistergoats

    mistergoats

    Jun 24, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Not sure if this is the correct place for this thread, but I have a couple of instruments I'm looking to sell, but I know that shipping a pedal costs $17 CAD to ship to the US with tracking, so a bass is going to be like what? $150 - $200 to ship?

    Do any of you Canadian players who have sold basses here have any advice on shipping costs or ways to properly pack a bass for shipping? Or whether to use Canada Post or a courier? Do I need to set the price accordingly to offset shipping?

    I feel like they might get to more eyes here than locally on craigslist, but the shipping is really prohibitive.

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    Go to L&M and get a bass box, bubble wrap the case and ship Canada Post. Insured for $1k shouldn't be much more than $100.

    For high end basses insured and packed up to $5k going far away (say Cali), UPS is the best bet and it would be $300-ish.

    Good luck!
     
    blindrabbit and mistergoats like this.
  3. mistergoats

    mistergoats

    Jun 24, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Cool, thanks for the tips. Should I pack some material around the bass inside the case or is that overkill? I was thinking more the headstock/neck area. I know you're supposed to detune the strings, too, just in case.
     
  4. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Ship it tuned to pitch, like every major manufacturer does. Be careful of your choice in packing material if the bass is finished with nitro. I am pretty sure most guys use newspaper, it is nitro safe.
     
    mistergoats and bass12 like this.
  5. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I've shipped basses to the U.S. a bunch of times. Unless the buyer requests otherwise I have usually shipped via FedEx. The cost has generally been between $150 and $200. You can factor this into your price or advertise "plus shipping" in your ad. Don't detune and do pack the bass as you would like to receive it. I'll usually pad the strap pin areas if there's room, as well as around the headstock. A bit of cardboard (or cloth) between the strings and the fretboard can be a nice touch. Good luck!
     
    mistergoats likes this.
  6. mistergoats

    mistergoats

    Jun 24, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Awesome, thanks everyone. I appreciate the help.
     
  7. I only use Canada Post for shipping. The last bass I sold to the US cost me about $80 CDN, and that was for a tracked package that look less than a week to send. As was mentioned earlier, I'm able to source boxes from my local L&M. I ship in a case or gig bag, have the bass/neck/headstock wrapped in bubble wrap inside the case, and then I extensively pad around the case inside the box, using all sorts of things depending upon what I have on hand - bubble wrap, newspaper, plastic bags, etc. The box gets taped up nice and tight with packing tape and sent on its way. I've never had a problem yet.

    I personally don't use couriers any more, due to numerous terrible experiences with them. I guess if a buyer demanded that one be used, I'd consider FedEx, and then adjust the price accordingly.

    IMO, selling on the internet (such as here on TB) does allow you to access a broader market of potential buyers, and thus makes it easier to move instruments quicker than you could otherwise, but that isn't always true with everything. I've had instruments and pedal that will languish in the classifieds here forever, but will get snapped up locally in a second when I choose to list them here, and of course there are cases where it is the opposite. Really hard to predict. All in all, I prefer dealing with the TB community - just a friendlier and more trustworthy bunch of people on here, and since I buy so much here, it's nice to be able to give back through selling as well.
     
    mistergoats likes this.
  8. VSN_Guitars

    VSN_Guitars Commercial User

    Dec 28, 2014
    Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
    Owner/Operator of VSN Guitars. www.vsnguitars.com
    Shipping a bass from Canada to US generally runs from $50 to $120. It heavily depends on destination in the US. The shorter the distance the lower the price, especially if you use UPS ground or Fedex. With Canada post distance is less of a factor and the price is impacted mostly by the actual weight of the box. I ship basses to US daily.
     
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  9. canuckshort

    canuckshort Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2011
    I shipped a Warwick from Kingston, ON to the southern US by Canada Post (by far the cheapest). It cost me approx. $80.00 with tracking and $500.00 insurance.
     
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  10. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    I would detune just based on the thread that mentions that UPS will deny a claim on a broken bass tuned to pitch. I never have, but better safe then sorry.

    I put a but of bubble wrap around the headstock. Can't be too safe again, but likely unnecessary.
     
    mistergoats likes this.
  11. VSN_Guitars

    VSN_Guitars Commercial User

    Dec 28, 2014
    Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
    Owner/Operator of VSN Guitars. www.vsnguitars.com
    Here is another point when you ship across the border. And that is about insurance. I ship new gear only so for me it is a no brainer, I insure for the value of my replacement cost, not for the actual value of the sale. Because if it comes to the damaged or lost shipment, that's what they are asking for you to prove. All carriers, including Canada post. If it comes to a lost shipment or a damage they will reimburse you (after hundreds of hours on the phone and email) only the amount you can prove you paid for it. If you can not produce legitimate invoices they will just deny your claim. Soon as you mention the word "Used" they'll close the page on you.
     
    mistergoats likes this.

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