Shipping a bass...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Evil Undead, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

    Oct 31, 2009
    I'm buying a bass on a different forum, and it's being shipped to me via courier.

    The thing I'm concerned about is the guy is going to ship it in a gig bag, not a box or hard case as he doesn't have either.

    You guys think it will be safe? I don't know how well couriers treat their packages...
  2. Whaaa....? Well, I suppose it depends on the value of the bass, and if you'd be OK with it showing up damaged or even destroyed.

    Assuming that neither of those scenarios will work, I would strongly suggest against having it shipped in just the gig bag.

    Even the best gigbags (this is probably not), which offer special neck support areas and straps, are still (IMO) not sufficient for shipping.

    Go to YT and do a search for videos of shipping carriers throwing and kicking boxes around warehouses, out of moving trucks, etc., and ask yourself if you think a bass would survive that, protected only by a gigbag.

    What's more, I'm willing to bet (but I could be wrong) that if damage occurred, an insurance claim would be denied on the grounds that a gigbag would be deemed insufficient packaging.

    I'd request that the seller find a packaging shop that sells different sized boxes (IME, they're usually easy to find, and they usually carry boxes specifically made for guitars/basses), or, request that they at least go down to a guitar shop and buy a cheap hard case. Even then, if it were me, I'd still put the hard case inside of another shipping box, to protect it as well.

    Good luck.

  3. skidrawk


    Jan 21, 2007
    Space City, TX
    To me a bass in a gig bag is not sufficient. :rollno: I've gigged with guitars, basses in gig bags and they still get dinged up like this. I only gig with hardcases these days. When I ship an intrument as seller I make sure to double box. I also take precautions like loosening the tension on the strings, use packing materiel, etc.
  4. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

    Oct 31, 2009
    How about asking him to remove the neck and pack it in a smaller box with bubble wrap?

    Or I could just go collect it... 7 hour round trip though...
  5. echoSE7EN


    Jul 1, 2010
    Balto., MD
    I've shipped, and received, basses that were inside gig bags (with neck on). Never an issue if the person shipping it is a considerate human being willing to take the time to properly package something.

    Ask the person to run to a big box office supply store (Staples, Office Depot, etc) and purchase some of their heavy duty bubble wrap and packaging tape. Give the bass a solid wrapping before it goes in the gig bag. Then, give the gig bag a solid wrapping.

    I always hit up the local GC before shipping a bass and ask for a box. They usually have a bunch of perfectly sized boxes that they receive hardcases, guitars, basses, etc, in from the manufacturers. They have never blinked at giving me one for free. It's trash to them. Most of the time I'll buy something small (a set of strings if I feel like being a high-roller, but picks and crap like that work too), and ask about the boxes while they are ringing you up. Side note: buying a box someplace can get expensive.


    Ask the person to have the shipping agent professionally pack the bass. Remember, it's going to be in some sort of cardboard box. It just comes down to how much padding is in the box as well.

    And, have it insured. I JUST shipped a bass a week ago, in a gig bag, wrapped, and in a GC box. I had it insured for $1000. It cost $30 to send it from Baltimore to Virginia. It arrived unscathed.
  6. nutdog

    nutdog when I'm a good dog they sometimes throw me a bone

    Feb 19, 2009
    in the dog house
    No box? No deal! From your description I wouldn't trust him to pack it right at this point. Cancel or pick it up.

    Tuners should be bubble wrapped. Bass bubble wrapped. Box needs supports (Styrofoam, extra carboard...) to keep it from crushing.

    See my poorly packed bass in gig bag:

  7. This, in my mind, leaves no question as to what the appropriate course of action is. Especially if it's a bass of value.

    Also, this would give you a chance to see and play the bass in person. I'm sure the deal has already been 'made', but in person, if you were to spot some issues, you have a much better chance of working something out with the seller.

    Seven hours? Bah! Road trips are awesome! Combine it with an excuse to get out of town and spend the night somewhere, check out a cool bar, see a live act, whatever.


  8. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

    Oct 31, 2009
    I think I'll pick it up :)

    I'll take the Mrs with me, and we can be there and back in time for dinner, with my shiny new bass!
  9. Good call.

    A single day road trip is such a small trade-off to ensure your latest addition arrives safe and sound. And, you know, ROAD TRIP!

    Naturally, we'll need pics once you get back. As well as a report on how it plays, etc.


  10. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    I suggest you call the courier service and ask them what their protocol is?

    IME, a courier service is the same as you going there to pick it up yourself. It's not a shipping company,IME. They put your item in their car/truck and take care of it as if it was there own since there is no one else to blame if it gets screwed up. Same person that picks it up delivers it to you.
  11. NortyFiner

    NortyFiner Drunken Sailor Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Portsmouth VA USA
    The one time I shipped a bass by mail (an eBay sale, sent coast to coast) I shipped it in a high quality gig bag. I took it to the UPS Store in the gig bag, and had the UPS guy pack it for me. He bubble wrapped it and boxed it with extra packing so it wouldn't move around in the box, and then double boxed it. When he was done, I insured it. It was pretty steep on the shipping costs, but the bass arrived on the other coast just fine, so I considered it a small price to pay for a fellow bass player. :)