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Shipping a bass from US to Australia: Help!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rockdoc11, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. rockdoc11

    rockdoc11 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2000
    I'm in the US, and in the process of selling a bass to a buyer in Melbourne Australia (postal code 3000). But in looking at the shipping costs I think that's going to kill the deal.

    The box is 44" by 18" by 7", and weighs about 15 pounds. Value is about $700. The shipping estimates I'm getting from USPS and FedEx are in the $400 and up range.

    Is this accurate? Anyone have any suggestions?

  2. Bulltrout

    Bulltrout Supporting Member

    Jun 13, 2007
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Try removing the neck and shipping in two separate packages. Should reduce costs considerably.
  3. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    Sounds about right.

    One option, if tolerable by both you and the buyer, is to disassemble the bass and ship the neck and body separately. The buyer would have to give up the case, but would probably save enough to buy a new one and have money left over.

    It's not ideal, but at least an alternative. It will still cost you around $100 or so to ship it.
  4. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    too much hassle, imo. (surely that bass deserves a home in the USA)
  5. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    Online Int'l. shipping estimates are NOT necessarily accurate, if you're looking at the post office option. Take it in, and let them give you an estimate. You can always say no, and carry the package back home.
  6. Hey, if the buyer pays shipping, why not?
  7. rockdoc11

    rockdoc11 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2000
    Thanks for the quick replies. Unfortunately it's a neck-through design. Shipping bodies and necks separately is a GREAT idea.

    I did go to the US Post Office this morning with the dimensions, but it exceeds their standard dimensions, and so bumps it up to a very expensive level. Same thing when I went by the FedEx store.

    The buyer is understandably reluctant to spend more than half as much money on shipping as the bass costs.
  8. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    If the buyer pays, it's their problem how much it costs. You just need to get an accurate idea of the actual cost so they cover the whole thing. Box, tape, bubblewrap, etc. All that crap adds up! I've actually cut up a box and made it smaller to fit their guidelines. It sucked doing it, but it worked great...

    Have you looked at DHL? They used to be very cheap...

    This is why I only ship CONUS now. You've got size & weight restrictions to meet, long delivery times, customs, etc.

    It's too much of a hassle.
  9. jasper383


    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    USPS Priority shipping.

    Take neck off, and send it either in one box, or two separate boxes. Will cost about $100 to ship to AUS.

    My post office won't even allow me to send a bass in a case/gig bag/in one piece overseas anymore, although I'm sure some still will.

    edit: just saw it's a neck through. Make a box that is really tight fitting to the bass (I assume it will be in a gig bag), otherwise it may be too big dimensionwise to send USPS.
  10. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    That sounds about right. You could always severely undervalue the instrument in the estimate so that customs charges wont be as high. Also, cutting down the box to make it as form-fitting as possible will help.

    Shipping to Australia is ungodly expensive, which is why it's almost not worth it to ship overseas. If the buyer still wants the instrument, he doesn't have many options, and will probably spend at least $300 in shipping no matter what methods you come up with.
  11. Mr Guy

    Mr Guy

    Sep 27, 2010
    Try DHL, haven't used them in a while but their overseas rates used to be really good... If you undervalue it, isn't that somewhat illegal? (not that I haven't done that a bit) Also I think it's only insured for the $ value you place on it so potential for disaster in case anything should happen on the way.
  12. rockdoc11

    rockdoc11 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2000
    I've just checked with DHL, and they were about $385 or so. So there's not much difference on the major carriers.

    I don't think the valuation of the instrument is a huge part of these costs, though I don't know much about import duties, VAT, and such.

    Thanks again for all the thoughtful responses.
  13. wimpy


    Aug 1, 2004
    Czech Republic
  14. USPS is the cheapest for international shipping i think. removing the neck from the body and shipping both in one appropriate box is the best idea. i really wish more people would sell their basses internationally here on TB
  15. There are a couple of companies who do shipping forwarding who get great rates on Fedex/DHL/UPS and pass them on. This is easily your best bet. expect it to come to around $200. This might sound like a lot but believe it or not - it still ends up being quite competitive.


    Australia is a basket case country out of the US. For some ungodly reason they have a 42"(?) length limit on USPS boxes... (even though neither USPS OR Australia Post has a problem with these sizes. ???????!!) Shipping USPS with neck off is preferable but you obviously can't in this case.

    Also FYI there are no duties on items <$1000 into Oz.
  16. ... Because nowhere else in the world is good enough? :eyebrow:
  17. Jerry Ziarko

    Jerry Ziarko Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    It sounds like the deal killer is the neck through. I shipped an amp to Australia USPS international Express Mail. The price wasn't all that bad, and it got there quickly. Oversize shipping anywhere out of the US coats a bunch!! If it was a bolt on, two pieces would make this easy.
  18. I got my G&L L2000 from USA, and postage was about $100 (USPS). However, the neck was taken off and packed with the body.

    Being neck through, about $400 sounds about right, unfortunately.

    Having said that, even with paying that much for shipping would still be cheaper than getting the same bass in Australian shops. It is up to the buyer to decide if he wants it or not.
  19. This is true, and it's part of the extra time involved to get the shipping cost correct.

    Box it up, take to the PO for an exact quote, take it home, get paid (or not), then back to the PO to ship it.

    Be sure to get compensated for the extra gas and time.
  20. Jeez . .$400usd? I've had several basses shiipped to Brisbane from the US in the past and none more than $250. Maybe the stores get better ship rates.
    I know about the length restriction but one guy still managed to send via USP from a friendly PO.
    Yes, duty over $1000 and watch out for GST at 10% too.
    Of course, only a concern for the buyer.
    UPS haven't charged me much for import costs before but $250USD shipping.
    Why has it gone up so much in a year?
    My next bass won't cost more than $270US to ship from the luthier as I paid last month in advance. I don't understand the 250-400 hike . .

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