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Shipping a bass with no proper box, any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by twangman, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. twangman


    May 8, 2010
    Ok here is the deal, I am shipping a bass to a guy I sold to online.
    It will be shipped in a hard case, the body and neck will be both wrapped in bubble wrap. Now the only problem I have is finding a proper box. I went to guitar center and their trash bins were empty. The guys inside weren't much help either.
    The good thing about this is that the guy lives 50 miles away from me, so it wont be traveling too far.
    I offered to deliver it myself but got no response.
    Anyway, any suggestions on packing the bass without an actual guitar box?
  2. bass10bfb

    bass10bfb Prophet Low End Provider Gold Supporting Member

    May 5, 2011
    Newport, TN.
    Some people don't mind using a smaller box and taking the neck apart from the body and shipping it that way. As long as you pack it real good, he might be ok with that. But I would ask first to make sure.
    Honestly, I would personally get in touch with him and do my best to deliver it right to him. Keep trying and maybe you will get a response (surely). It would just be so much safer and better if you could hand it directly to him. I ship quite often, but I would much rather deliver the goods myself. You just never know nowadays!! I know I would love to have somebody deliver to me instead of shipping, especially with a bass!!!
    Good luck either way!!!
  3. twangman


    May 8, 2010
    Thanks, I have actually taken the neck off and shipping everything in a smaller box. This has been the best method for me. Unfortunately, I included the case in the sale. In the meanwhile I will await a response and continue my box hunting.
  4. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Sounds like you've got the right idea about wrapping the bass inside the case. That'll protect it well.
    Since you're shipping it in it's case, finding a box for the case to travel in is important for the protection of the case itself. If you cant find one, you can always make one out of two or more boxes taped together. It may not look pretty, but it works. I've had to do it that way before. Be sure to wrap the case too before building a cardboard box around it. Dont be shy with the packing tape!! Mummify that precious cargo!
  5. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Actually I got a Wishbass shipped just in its case with no box. Of course the bass was well bubble-packed inside the case. Then he wrapped clear packing tape around the case to make sure it wouldn't open in transit. and then the entire case was wrapped and taped with several layers of that plastic sheet like pallets full of stuff are wrapped with. The handle was left sticking out.

    Of course this case was used to begin with so keeping it totally pristine wasn't an issue, but even so I'm pretty sure it arrived with no new mojo. The only downside of the whole operation was that the tape used to keep the case locked closed had the glue sort of melt in 100 degree heat and made goo over the case where it was. A bottle of goo-gone fixed that with a little elbow grease.

    I've also had people send me new cases (with or without basses) using a similar method but instead of wrapping the case with plastic sheet a sort of pseudo-box is made with large sheets of cardboard (like cut from huge refrigerator box). Same sort of taping around the case + cardboard to fix cardboard in place. If you get a bass from Rondo in a hard case, the case with bass in it just comes in a form-fitting box that is just one layer of ordinary cardboard. No problems.

    I swear just shipping the case as a box with maybe some plastic around it is better taken care of than some form-fitting box which the package apes just toss around. But I've had no problems either way.
  6. Why don't you just meet up half way?? Shipping a Bass in the case is expensive because of the length. Even if it isn't going very far
  7. Bengals0225


    Aug 25, 2012
    Hi there,
    I'm new here, but I work in Shipping and Receiving, so let me tell you, whatever you do, DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME SENDING SOMETHING VALUABLE VIA U.P.S.

    I know, I know, everyone has stories of good experiences with U.P.S. , but delivering to a residential address, they gouge you, and if they do damage the item (don't mark it fragile, by the way, the tossers look at those packages as particular challenges to destroy) if it does get destroyed, U.P.S. only pays 75% of the insured value of the item.

    Keep pushing the buyer to physically deliver it, for piece of mind.

    I am brand new to the bass guitar world, and drove an hour and a half to trade my XBox for the bass guitar I got.
    Better to be safe than sorry!

  8. iJazz


    Jan 9, 2012
    Sussex, WI
    You should probably pack it as securely to ship it 50 miles as you would 1000. It just seems crazy to ship it 50 miles. The time to pack it properly and then take it to the shipping location would seem about the same as just driving there to drop it off. Hell, sometimes I'll end up driving 30 miles one way to have dinner with a friend, and I'll be buying dinner!

    I'd say contact him, tell him it will be at his door between such and such an hour, left there for him if he's not there to receive it. If he doesn't respond, take a video of you dropping it off as evidence that you did and call it a day. Consider the fact that the shipper might leave it without his being home, so what's the difference?

    Or, tell him you'll take $25 off if he picks it up just to save you the headache.

  9. Jazzcat


    Jan 20, 2009
    Titusville, FL
    Go to a furniture or appliance store. Go to the rear loading dock area. They have tons of oversize boxes. They flatten them down for recycling. They often do all this in indoor spaces close to the bay doors. The boxes have zero value and most sane workers are happy to let you have whatever you want, especially if you take an assembled box and save them from having to break it down. With a roll of good packing tape and a blade, it is easy to build a custom bass case box out of these oversize boxes. Pretty much the same technique as wrapping a present.
  10. bootsox


    Apr 28, 2012
    Biloxi, MS
    I always remove the neck and wrap everything in a ******** of bubble wrap
  11. ChuckTrucks


    Jul 28, 2012

    This is what I was going to recommend.

    One time I did actually receive a guitar in a case with NO box that the guy had wrapped in newspaper. I couldnt stop laughing it was just so damn stupid. There were no damage or scuffs surprisingly.
  12. Thundar

    Thundar Living in sin at the Holiday Inn

    50 miles? Come on...I cant believe he didnt just want to meet up...Jeez!

    I did buy a bass off the Bay one time that was delivered in just the case...Dude taped the case up with duct tape and sent it..no bubble wrap or anything...nice.
    However...Nothing beats the Peavey 412TVX cabinet that I received wrapped in foam mattress pad....no box, casters still in...just foam and tape...LOL...and THAT is a testament to Peavey right there. How it survived, I will never know.
  13. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC

    I have "wrapped" a bass in a case with cardboard a few times for shipping. It works great.
  14. AMp'D.2play

    AMp'D.2play Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    I'd go with the suggestions about finding another type of store that may have a supply of empty boxes they don't need. Another good one is a bicycle shop. A frame-only box may be too short, but if they have 2, you could overlap them. Or, you could get a complete-bike box and cut it down to size, if need be.

    How soon do you need to ship it? The reason I ask is I had to ship my bass out for a refin, and I went to GC. The day I went, they told me they had nothing because they get their deliveries on certain days (Mon & Weds, iirc) and discard the boxes immediately. They said to check back late morning on one of those days before they broke them down & threw them out. That's what I did, and I got a box from them that way.

    Ideally, a 50 mile drive to deliver it yourself would be the easiest.
  15. hover


    Oct 4, 2008
    Yeah. Meet up halfway...in this case, any other option is wasted and ridiculous. It's a half hour drive for instant money.

  16. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    I'd actually be very concerned about communicating with a buyer about shipping or driving - and not getting a response.

    Most people who buy things - who aren't looking to scam - will respond very quickly.

    For 50 miles between the two of you, I would have insisted on meeting for the exchange.

    Going to a music store was a great suggestion. Another is - UHaul. They sell boxes in lots of different sizes.
  17. I bought a bass from a TBer and it arrived in just a gig bag via FedEx! No box, no tape, no bubble wrap, no nothing, It travelled from NYC to New Hampshire unscathed. I was amazed. Just an anecdote, not a suggestion. :)
  18. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I would definitely would meet up with them. You're going to spend more for packing materials and shipping, not to mention the wasted time looking for the materials.

    I had my Stingray shipped to me in it's case with no box, wit packing tape around the case to hold it shut. I was not happy when it showed up like that. It was fine though.
  19. hover


    Oct 4, 2008
    The rampant lack of even the minimum of common sense in these matters astounds me.
  20. +1

    Both of you meet half way! 25 miles!! Hell, you are going to spend MORE shipping it to him than merely meeting up and delivering!

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