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How do you guys ship your basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by isher1992, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. I've got a bass I'm wanting to let go, but CraigsList is failing me.

    I don't really want to pay fees for eBay, so I must peruse the Classifieds for someone wanting one.

    But I've never shipped an instrument before. I have a hardshell case, but do I have to put the case into a box to ship it? Or could I pack the case with newspaper and/or bubble wrap to keep it safe inside?

    Any help/guidance/shared experience is greatly appreciated.
  2. Epitaph04

    Epitaph04 Always overcompensating Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2010
    According to the fedex guy that shipped the last bass I sold, newspaper is a big nono as it really only flattens up and doesnt do any thpe of shock absorbing. Search up the forums (with the search function) and youll find plenty of info on shipping a bass guitar.
  3. Thanks for the info, will do.
  4. JxBass

    JxBass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    I use newspaper all the time. Crumple single sheets and they will help hold things in place while having a slight "give". Bubble wrap and other stiff materials can actually put too much stress on the instrument under pressure.

    I always double-box, whether it's a bass, amp, cabinet, etc. Even when the bass is in a hard case. If I don't have boxes that will fit inside of each other I tear up a box and stuff it along the inside walls of the outer box, acting as if a double box.
  5. There's some good videos on YouTube about packing guitars for shipping. Lots of good info.

    Hardest part is usually finding a box. Local guitar center or other music store is usually a good bet.
  6. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    I generally go to Walmart and buy a $6 roll of bubble wrap and go to my local music store and ask for a big box. They almost always have a big bass box lying around.

    I bubble wrap the bass' hard case well, put it in the shipping box, tape it up good....and I am done.
  7. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Perusing the "Want To Buy" section of the classifieds is a loser on every level. Most of those want-to-buy ads are by dealers looking to buy gear for short dough from people who don't know anything. Very rarely do you see a "want to buy" ad from a wealthy enthusiast that just HAS to have exactly what you've got.

    NEVER ship a guitar without packing it in a cardboard box. Shipping a bass unboxed is completely unacceptable. Doing something like that is a sure-fire way to piss off a buyer.
  8. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Uhhh...is it even possible to ship one un-boxed?
  9. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    The OP is thinking of stuffing bubble wrap inside the case and shipping a bass unboxed.
  10. Dluxe


    Jan 9, 2011
    Austin, TX
    You can send a bass in the case through the USPS. I had a Peavey bass shipped to me that way and it arrived intact. Peavey uses those really nice molded cases (SKB style) so they protect the instrument really well. It cost around $25 Parcel Post from TN to TX and took 4 days. Just be sure to tape the latches and tape a large paper label to the outside of the case.
  11. JxBass

    JxBass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    To the OP's question of shipping un-boxed, I get my boxes from U-Haul. The cost is usually $2-$7, a small price to pay for the extra protection.
  12. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    I ship about 3/4 of mine this way via FedEx ground.

    It was brought to my attention by an airline baggage handling trainer that boxed basses are clumsy and bulky. This person also commented that visually seeing that it's a guitar normally has management watching it closer.

    I tape the hinges and clasps .... If I want the case to avoid scuffs will shrink wrap it.

    I've made at least 800 flights with only a hard case .... Shipped at least 250 with just the case.. Out of the 60 or so I've shipped in boxes 6 or so had claims.

    Shipping case only commonly can sneak it under the <48" surcharge
  13. ScottTunes

    ScottTunes Gear-A-Holic Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2011
    So Cal
    I've seen solidbody guitars shipped both ways (with and without a box)... But it's your responsibility to package properly for the trip... If you are traveling with your own guitar/bass, airlines will be watchful for you... However, when shipping via UPS and/or FedEx, the shipping carton loaded with styrofoam peanuts or crumpled paper is the way to go. A friend of mine made a living training companies how to package their items for safe shipping. He, too, says to use a shipping carton. I've found cartons large enough for bass at the UPS store for $14... I've been shipping instruments (and amps) around the world using new boxes for nearly 15 years, and I wouldn't ship any other way.
  14. jasper383


    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    Overseas, I take the neck off and have my UPS Store box it up for me. Costs about $25 to do so, but it has served me well.

    US and Canada--one layer of bubble wrap headstock and fat part of the body, paper towel between strings and fretboard, then into the gig bag or case, then into the box. Enough bubble wrap at top and bottom of case to keep bass from moving (not moving in the box is as important IME as amount of padding), and out it goes.
  15. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    I have one in transit. FedEx.
    Hard shell case inside original box, then stuffed with foam packing I found at work.
    I detuned the strings by one step.
    $26. shipped to mid-west.
  16. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    Yes you can. A local UPS store told me I could ship the bass I recently shipped in just the gig bag and it would be tagged for special handling. Neither he nor I recommend this, he was just telling me what all my options were.

    UPS stores do have "guitar" boxes that are easily big enough for a bass, big enough to trigger the shipping surcharge in fact. I was charged a total of $29.63 for the box and packing service to ship an Ibanez SR505 in a gig bag last week. From what I read above the UPS store prices for this can vary a bit, it may depend somewhat on the local store owner so it may pay to shop around. The advantage of letting a UPS store do the packing is that if they do then any insurance claims are paid no questions asked. I hear that if you do the packing there can be a lot of questions asked. It's not the cheapest option but if bass boxes are in short supply at local music stores then a UPS store is a source for them. They will sell you just the box if you'd rather.

  17. amimbari


    May 6, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I buy my boxes from U-line. They make you buy 5 at a time but the price is right if you can't find a music store who has spare boxes to just give you. Much better than paying 25-30 bucks a box when you can get them for less than 10 if that is the route you have to take.

    Khutch is correct about letting UPS pack it for you, but much more expensive that way.
  18. NelsonNelson


    Sep 25, 2011
    UPS will take your bass out and then snap the neck then retape the box. Fedex will actually take care of your package. I jokingly say this but I had a Les Paul sent to me back in my guitar days that UPS snapped. Fedex has always treated their boxes better.
  19. Wow guys, this is all such great advice/information. Thank you for sharing.

    It seems like such a hassle, I will probably just put it on eBay for local pickup only and stick it out for another week and then decide what to do.

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