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How much to ship a pedal?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by LexD, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. LexD


    Aug 17, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: D'Ambrosio Guitars
    We're so used to seeing free shipping on our non-brick and mortar purchases these days we almost expect it. Even here, on the TB classifieds most ad's are $$ paypal'd and shipped. So when I recently sold a pedal for $50 bucks it was quite a rude awakening to have to fork over ~20% of the sell price for shipping.

    I recently sold a smaller Boss type pedal and paid 12.65 to have it shipped from CA to TX via USPS Priority Mail. I'm thinking there must be a more economical way. Is this most people's experience. $10-15 sound about right? Or is my mom & pop shipping shop inflating their prices?
  2. echoSE7EN


    Jul 1, 2010
    Balto., MD
    USPS: "If it fits, it ships", for 99% of pedals will run you $12.06 (not counting bubble wrap/tape.

    UPS: Most pedals can be shipped for between $12 - 16.

    I don't use FedEX.
  3. Davidg

    Davidg Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2009
    $12.65 is too high. USPS shipping is bassed on weight first and to a lesser degree box size and distance (zone). Shipping a little pedal like that should be less than $10; even if your mom & pop local place (not the Post Office) is charging you a fee it should still in most cases be under $10.

    Figuring in shipping is always a consideration. Try shipping and insuring an expensive instrument cross country!
  4. Dark Barn

    Dark Barn

    Aug 3, 2010
    Mom & pop mail handlers will have a surcharge for their service on top of what is the going rate for USPS fees. Although $12.xx with delivery confirmation for a medium sized flat rate box is what you'd pay at the post office.

    If it's a small pedal and you provide your own box that fits the USPS criteria for a small package I think you could be paying as little as $6 with delivery confirmation, pedals won't fit in the USPS small flat rate boxes that they provide for free.
  5. LexD


    Aug 17, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: D'Ambrosio Guitars
    Yah, brother is a luthier in RI and once every two years he comes out here for the Healdsburg Guitar Festival. Spends around $1000 to ship 3 or 4 archtops + insured out here.
  6. DeltaPhoenix

    DeltaPhoenix Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2011
    Don't use the Post Office priority mail boxes, get a smaller box where you have enough room for the pedal bubble wrapped or however you are protecting the pedal. learn to use the scale in the post office, it will tell you how much to priority ship it to that zip code. Usually I save 5 dollars that way, $7-8 shipped.
  7. LexD


    Aug 17, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: D'Ambrosio Guitars
    This is what I was expecting to pay. Thanks.
  8. FedEx Ground is typically the least expensive shipper I have used. To save a bit of money take it directly to a FedEx location or a FedEx Office location. Unless it is going to some remote location it should be under $10 and includes insurance up to $100.
  9. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    I don't think I've paid over $7 to ship a pedal Priority Mail.
  10. caeman

    caeman The Root Master

    Sep 17, 2008
    I send pedals via USPS Ground. In many cases, it only meant a one-day longer wait. And it cost me less.

    For USA shipments, I count on $10 being lost to paypal fees and shipping costs, so I price my pedal sales accordingly. That is why I won't put my Behringer flanger up for sale. $15 used price...to only gain $5 in the end? No thank you.
  11. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    I get the ~60 cent 6x6x6" boxes at WalMart, wrap with bubble warp and than pad with newspaper. I usually ship USPS priority and it depends on where I ship to, but it's usually around $7 to ship a pedal on the East Coast. If I have to ship to West Coast it's significantly higher. The total can push $15 but sometimes the flat rate boxes are cheaper.

    But for me, it's really not even worth selling pedals much under $70. I just gave away four or five pedals that usually sell for $40 each or so to a guy that's starting out in the world of pedals. Less hassle, no shipping and good karma. Another reason is that people seem to be getting really picky lately. I always ship same day and never hide anything, but when you start to have people holding off on leaving feedback until they can ascertain the tonal attributes of a pedal, I'm done. I can't provide a guarantee that something is going to sound great to your ears, just that it works as built. But I digress.....
  12. I paid less than $10 using USPS shipping a pedal to Canada recently. I do use my own shipping material though. I'd also only use flat rate boxes for shipping small but dense objects, like black holes and whatnot.
  13. NKUSigEp


    Jun 6, 2006
    Bright, IN
    As frequently as I buy/sell/trade, I can say somewhere between $5-$15 is not outrageous depending on weight, size and distance. Using your own box and packing materials always saves some coin and there's generally not much difference between priority and first class - maybe a day or two - so I go with the cheaper method unless I've had previously dealings with the other party that were just above and beyond expectations. ALWAYS get delivery confirmation though. I've noticed that sales prices have started to creep up as shipping costs have increased over the last two years or so.
  14. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I consider myself extremely lucky if it costs me less than $10 to ship a pedal anywhere outside my state. Generally I expect to pay $10.50 for priority mail for an average-sized pedal.
  15. kreider204


    Nov 29, 2008
    I've shipped Boss pedals for less than $10. I simply wrap the original pedal box with brown paper and send it ground. They've always arrived in working order, not a scratch on them.

    You can always go to usps.com and use the shipping calculator - just enter the dimensions, weight, etc.
  16. MetroBass


    Mar 26, 2008
    South of LA
    Hatred obscures all distinctions.
    If you have something that's HEAVY and can fit into any one of the USPS Priority boxes than do it. Otherwise I always go with a smaller box, go with less than a lb. (for Boss type) and print my own label. From CA to NY usually $8.00-$9.00.

    Shipping costs have gone up with all the major carriers due to fuel costs. Don't be surprised to get hit with a mark-up at the UPS or FedEx Store either.
  17. G.Bisson


    Feb 26, 2009
    Usually costs me about $6-8 to ship a pedal to another person on the same coast (East coast) using USPS Priority and about $10-12 to ship to west coast.

    Best advice is to use the smallest size box as possible. I can save about $2 if the box size and weight are small enough to qualify for 1st Class shipping. Not sure what the requirements for 1st Class are, but very few pedals I've sent out have qualified. Taken a hit a couple times on shipping using a box that is too big. Not only do you pay more for the larger size, you pay more for all the weight of the extra packing it takes to secure the pedal inside. When I don't have a small box it is better to use the slightly larger box I have onhand than to pay for a new small box.

    Some more tips for saving on shipping;
    Use air filled packaging materials like bubble wrap or foam peanuts instead of paper. Paper adds more weight than you may realize.

    I have NEVER payed for a box or any packaging material. If you order anything online keep and reuse the box and packaging. Many stores throw out lots of boxes and won't mind giving you a box for free if you ask. Hint: cellphone boxes are about the same size as effects pedals. Seriously, I get excited whenever I spot a pedal sized box being discarded because they just saved me two bucks.

    UPS is always more expensive than USPS. That has always been my experience anyways, so I stopped using UPS. Some of you have said the opposite. Maybe it is a matter of your location. Haven't tried FedEX. Every experience I've had with FedEX has turned into a huge fiasco, so I refuse to give them any money for their disservices.
  18. sillyfabe

    sillyfabe keeping the low-end silly since '06 Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2009
    San Bernardino,CA
    I ship USPS and use the flat rate boxes. Maybe my P.O. is lax but I always use the small falt rate boxes with bubble wrap and tape. It bulges slightly but I can ship a Boss-sized pedal fro $5.15 via online USPS to anywhere in the CONUS. A medium flat rate is about 11.00 and I use those for multiple pedal deals or larger pedals.
  19. Road Bull

    Road Bull

    Jul 24, 2011
    Seattle, WA.
    +1 to "If it fits, it ships." I ordered a weighted vest for cross training a while back. I laughed when I saw a 60 lbs. vest neatly packed into a medium sized box. I went to pick up the package off the mail shelf for my apt. I almost fell over when I slid it off the edge. Deceptively heavy...

    I prefer USPS and FedEx to send and receive. Living in an apartment means not being around when UPS wants to deliver. USPS can access my building and FedEx often allows for redirecting to hold at a FedEx Office location that are open late. It drives me up the wall to try to play tag with UPS.

    The downside to USPS is that if you need to file a claim due to damage or loss, it is usually the slowest at coming to a resolution.

    As far as dependability, it is just a toss up. It depends on who the points of contact are between the shipper and yourself. I bought an Eden WT800 on the bay only to receive it beat to hell when I got it. It was packaged well, but not good enough to survive UPS. They dropped it on a corner. Dropped another heavy box on top of my box, as well as dropping my box on another to puncture the bottom.

    shipping pics-o-doom: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/eden-wt800-question-used-issues-804193/:hmm:
  20. aens_wife

    aens_wife Commercial User

    Jun 14, 2011
    Co-owner, Dwarfcraft Devices
    We ship stuff all over the world, every day.

    First, never use the flat rate boxes, unless you are shipping lead. They are always more expensive.

    A priority package for a medium size pedal should be about $7, sometimes less. For international, it runs us about $12 to ship a kit or something similar (about 1 lb). We don't usually use the priority intl unless we have to due to weight.

    As far as UPS goes, they charge a $5 surcharge to deliver at a residential address. If we ship to a commercial address, they are usually cheaper and always faster/more reliable.

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