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Cost to ship a bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by El Güero, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. El Güero

    El Güero

    Oct 5, 2015
    UPDATE 9/12
    From post #75:
    Just made a couple calculations with USPS Retail Ground:

    20 lbs; 50" x 8" x 21"; $62.25
    20 lbs; 51" x 8" x 21"; $196.61

    I was going to put a bass on ebay until I got to the shipping part.

    I checked USPS and UPS rates, and it was about $200 to ship a bass from coast to coast. That's a 25 lb package big enough to surround the case with 2" extra on all sides. The weight was a little high, but past experience has shown that what the ebay shipping calculator is ALWAYS low on figuring the shipping costs.

    Who do you guys use for shipping basses within the USA?

    A few years ago I shipped through UPS, and it was usually in the $45-$50 range BEFORE the price hike which added about $30. These new rates are insane.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019 at 6:34 AM
    MCF and EatS1stBassist like this.
  2. sleddogn


    Sep 8, 2013
    honestly, i've sold nearly 25 bass/guitars in the last couple of years via reverb. they have good shipping rates. I just shipped 3 basses for 45-54 dollars each about half way across the u.s., coast to coast is roughly 100 maybe a bit less... 200 seems high unless lots of insurance is purchased driving the price that high....
  3. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Yeah, $200 seems high. I’ve paid over $100 several times now, but never as high as $200. It’s always been less than $125, and that’s been from ND to CA, so one of the most expensive, other than ND to FL.
    El Güero likes this.
  4. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Cedar Knolls, NJ
    I just shipped a 5 string Sire VV7 bass, double boxed from NJ to IN USPS $425 insured for $60.
    Justinian and El Güero like this.
  5. fretno


    May 10, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Fedex Ground runs about 70 - $100 . use the reverb 3 pack of boxes for $35 bucks a Fedex account is free so you can do it right from home , arrange a pickup or drop it off at any Fedex store and there are many .

    3-Pack Boxes: Reverb Guitar and Keyboard Box - Fits Most Sizes

    for very high dollar instruments UPS may be a better choice as I have heard UPS is better with claims if something should happen . I will not use USPS , in my area they can't seem to even deliver a letter and the last few things I've gotten were damaged by USPS so that's out for me . I would pack it myself as well , they will tell you they won't cover it unless it's packed by them "UPS or Fedex " but the last bass that I got was packed by a Fedex store it was shipped upside down on in packing peanuts , it was a Spector , in a gig bag . Thankfully it arrived in once piece . and ime UPS and Fedex are not great at packing ..Always risky but our options are few . Best of luck
    El Güero and eJake like this.
  6. 2cooltoolz

    2cooltoolz Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Lake Conroe, TX
    I haven't shipped a bass in about a year, but several in the last 3 years. Usually around $100-120 UPS. Takes all the incentive out of selling for me.
    n1as, El Güero and CyberSnyder like this.
  7. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    one way to cut the cost in half (if it's a screwed-on neck) is have them pop it off and package accordingly.
    Pilgrim and El Güero like this.
  8. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    Yep. I walk past gear I should sell all the time, then remember shipping rates and nope. I have a few things for local sale only, but people still ask if I'll ship. Sometimes just the thought of boxing up a cab makes me need a nap.
  9. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    I live in central Ohio and I ship FedEx Ground. Shipping for a bass is never lower than $55 and farther away up to almost $100 for the far west coast and "Nowheresville, AZ, NM, CA, NV, UT, CO, etc.

    If shipping keeps going up, it just won't be worth it to sell and ship.
    El Güero likes this.
  10. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    Soon we'll all be forced to buy our basses hand-made from the local luthier in our own village!! :)
    TalHaz, sacahill42, rmayer and 8 others like this.
  11. singlemalt

    singlemalt Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    White Salmon, WA
    Around $125 cross country, insured for $2k and I do the packing. Yep, shipping costs. Plan accordingly.

    As a seller, I include shipping and do the arrangements. Protects me.

    As a buyer, I expect shipping to be included in the price. I don’t care what it costs you to ship. I already have an idea.
    TonyRo, El Güero and Element Zero like this.
  12. Bardolphus

    Bardolphus Put some stank on it... Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    I typically use FedEx for basses sold here on TB and I've shipped three basses in the last couple of months; each was in the <edit now that I’ve looked, my average cost was about $70>. I don't know that it holds true any longer, but it used to be that the rates were slightly cheaper if you had an account with them, which I do.

    While I prefer FedEx, I do normally at least check rates through UPS (I have an account with them, too) and they're normally comparable, but the last few times have been slightly more expensive.

    The last time I tried to ship a bass through the USPS at the buyer's request, my local office told me the box was too big for them to ship. Plenty have used the USPS before, heck even I had, but I guess something changed or my local PO just wasn't having it that day. The USPS used to be the cheapest option by far.

    The flip side to that, as mentioned previously, is selling/shipping through Reverb. The last couple of basses I've sold through Reverb were cheap to ship through UPS, with my current listing estimated at around $55 when I checked.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
    El Güero likes this.
  13. sleddogn


    Sep 8, 2013
    when i have a listing for sale, i generally charge 45-50 for shipping, if more, i eat it. Very rarely less. To me its up to the buyer then to decide if they're ok with paying 50 for shipping on top of bass/guitar cost. The more rare the instrument, then the shipping becomes less an issue, if you can go buy the same instrument locally, then why pay the shipping....just pretty simple IMO
    El Güero likes this.
  14. bgartist

    bgartist Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    I found the prices to go higher when you declare a high value for the bass.
    Noble_Rot and El Güero like this.
  15. BishopHastur


    Jan 20, 2014
    So. Cal.
    Cost me right around $200 to get The Mothman shipped from Virginia to California via FedEx Ground, and that includes them packing it.
    ThinCrappyTone and El Güero like this.
  16. BobKos


    Apr 13, 2007
    The dimensions you are using are the problem. If you are 2" extra all around, the length will be around 54", depth 12", and width 24". That's a REALLY oversize package. If you re-enter your dimensions at 49", 8", and 20", you should see a significant difference. If the bass is worth a zillion dollars, pad the hell out of it and pay $200. If not, use a normal box and good packaging within that box. Every new bass i ever bought except one was a standard HSC inside a cardboard box. Nothing else. So I'd say unless the bass is something special, follow the lead of every manufacturer on the planet and just ship in a normal HSC or a standard box with well designed box inserts to support the instrument. I just bought a Gibson EB4 and it was in a gig bag with (3) folded cardboard supports protecting it. Nothing else. Clever and very effective.
    porterbass, El Güero and DrMole like this.
  17. Bardolphus

    Bardolphus Put some stank on it... Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    El Güero likes this.
  18. I quit selling and shipping on EBay or Reverb because of the high shipping fees. I sell my stuff on consignment at a local music store where they charge 10% and I hang ‘em on their wall and forget about ‘em.

    I gave up on CL because of lowball offers and no shows.
    rmayer, El Güero and MRlowend like this.
  19. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    If you have a FedEx account, pack your own box and print your own label, it's a lot cheaper. I always use FedEx Ground. It's cheaper and gets there almost the same time as FedEx Express. I routinely paid in the $20's and $30's to ship but it's been years since I last shipped a bass.
    El Güero likes this.
  20. DrewinHouston

    DrewinHouston Not currently practicing Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Disclosure: I am not a great bass player
    Yes, the declared value affects the cost. But if you don't declare the actual value, then if something happens you have no recourse.
    El Güero likes this.

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