How to Ship Bass without Case

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by James Willie, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. James Willie

    James Willie Serious Business

    Jul 29, 2016
    Lake Texoma
    I wish to sell a bass on the classified here but, no case.
    Afraid it will be damaged during shipping.
    This would be bad for both seller and buyer.
    These flimsy boxes look inadequate.
    Any suggestions? Please help. Thanks.
  2. WhtMtnGrv

    WhtMtnGrv Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2015
    Crestline, CA
    Oftentimes you can snag a box for free (or for cheap- $5-$10) from a local music store. Depending on what they have, you can get two (Sire ships like that)- one smaller box with the bass wrapped real well, then that box in another one.

    Bass will get there safely, and you only spend a bit on the materials.

    Best of luck!
    whero, HCF, Reedt2000 and 2 others like this.
  3. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    Yep, either the "box within a box" method, or the "bubble-wrapped gig bag within a box" method. For a good example of the latter, check out the well-documented recent arrival of @JGbassman's Fender PB-70 from Japan here.
  4. James Willie

    James Willie Serious Business

    Jul 29, 2016
    Lake Texoma
    This is great info. Thank you so much.
  5. James Willie

    James Willie Serious Business

    Jul 29, 2016
    Lake Texoma
    This is great info. Thank you so much.
  6. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    All I can add is DONT ship it in a gig bag wrapped in wrapping paper.

    I have to say this, because someone thought this was an OK way to send me a bass

    *just a little comic relief. It is obvious from the OP you would not do this.*
  7. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Bubble wrap. A lot of bubble wrap. Wrap the bass until you would be confident throwing it down the stairs without damage. Then put it in a box. Then fill every crevasse of the box with more bubble wrap or some kind of padding till you can shake the box and nothing moves around inside. Most basses I've sold have shipped this way and I never had a problem.
    Kukulkan61, Rip Van Dan and Robert B like this.
  8. beaglesandbass

    beaglesandbass Think first, then post? Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    If I don’t ship with a hard shell case I’ll usually take apart the bass and ship it in a slightly smaller box (sometimes I may have to “make” one. I’ll bubble wrap each piece nice and good, fill half the box with packing peanuts, place the neck and body in, fill the rest with peanuts. I’ve never had any issues.
    Bob_Ross likes this.
  9. Roland GR 88

    Roland GR 88 Commercial User

    Sep 16, 2013
    Ontario Canada
    Retail store manager
    If you're going to get a box at a music store make sure you ask for a bass box that held a hard shell case like an American Fender or something. These are much bigger than the ones that hold case-less instruments and can take lots of padding or a smaller box inside.
  10. Cheaper to ship this way too, if the bass has a removable neck. Smaller box = smaller shipping fee.
  11. Just buy a $18 gig bag and pad around it in your box. DOne.
  12. James Willie

    James Willie Serious Business

    Jul 29, 2016
    Lake Texoma
    I am going to South Austin Music Today...
    Your advice is so helpful.
    Want to do my best to things the correct way.
    Sometimes I feel lost in space.
    My favorite forum is here.
    obimark likes this.
  13. Bubble wrap is your friend with this situation. Go crazy with it, especially around the neck and headstock. My acoustic bass was even shipped to me like that and there was no damage. I also recommend using the two box method and putting some filler like packing peanuts or foam in the space between the two boxes. Also clearly label it as fragile on the outside of the package.

    For future reference hardshell cases are the preferred option to ship for obvious reasons. it’s always good to hang on to hardshell cases when you buy used basses even if you don’t use them just to have one to ship a bass in if you ever decide to sell. I have cheap Yamaha case that I got with a used bass that has broken latches that I’m holding onto specifically for that reason.
  14. braud357


    Jul 1, 2010
    Gonzales, LA
    A word of caution - do not wrap the bass itself with bubble wrap (wrap the bass in a large towel, bed sheet, or similar.) Bubble wrap can chemically react with some bass finishes ( don't ask me how I know this !)
    sikamikanico likes this.
  15. I sent an Ibanez 5 string Portamento via Fedex ground, with no padded bag or hard case from Central FL to Sacramento, Ca packed like this and it made it unscathed.:thumbsup: The buyer was very pleased.:D
    Gotta love bubble wrap.:D
    IMG_0542.jpg IMG_0545.jpg IMG_0679.jpg
    twinjet and leftyjohn like this.
  16. HardNHeavy


    Apr 17, 2014
    Lots of bubble wrap!!
  17. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I recently received two basses.... one with no case and one with a cheap gig bag.

    Both were extremely well packed.

    They used immense amounts of materials. Both times I unpacked the bass in my foyer. My entire foyer rug and them some was covered in bubble wrap and newsprint. First they wrapped the body and neck with bubble wrap and taped it up. Then they put a layer of material in the bottom of the box. Then they put in the bass. Then they filled all voids with materials. It was a LOT.

    But it got the job done and gave my girls some bubble wrap to pop. Win win!
    Jimbo Edwards likes this.
  18. James Willie

    James Willie Serious Business

    Jul 29, 2016
    Lake Texoma
    Great ideas all. Neighbor suggested taking off the neck and ship two smaller boxes.
  19. Cutter8

    Cutter8 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2018
    ^^^^^^ Very valuable advice offered up by braud357 here! I don't know that it matters with poly finishes, but these pics show what bubble wrap did to the nitro finish on a bass that was shipped to me last month. This occurred in less than 48 hours. A safe, simple and cheap way to avoid this is to just put newspaper around the bass before the bubble wrap.
    DH'51 Bubble Wrap Damage 1.jpg DH'51 Bubble Wrap Damage 2.jpg DH'51 Bubble Wrap Damage 3.jpg DH'51 Bubble Wrap Damage 4.jpg DH'51 Bubble Wrap Damage 5.jpg DH'51 Bubble Wrap Damage 6.jpg
    eff-clef likes this.
  20. Thumpin6string

    Thumpin6string Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2013
    Shoals Indiana
    I've shipped over a dozen guitars and basses. This is my method and I have never had any damage.

    Get box from music store for free or small fee
    Loosen strings and wrap guitar in several layers of bubble wrap
    Place a thick layer of bubble wrap in bottom of box
    Set guitar in box and fill with packing peanuts so that the guitar is centered in the box
    Place a thick layer of bubble wrap in the top of the box and seal it up

    The peanuts keep the guitar well padded and keep it from moving in the box and the thick bubble wrap on the ends protect it from being dropped. The only way it could get damaged is if it got punctured or was bent, but that would take quite a lot. Loosening the strings is one of the most important things IMHO. Having the extra pressure on the neck is not a good thing.