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Shipping amp cabinets

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by RyRob813, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. RyRob813


    Jun 7, 2007
    St. Paul, MN
    I'm about to sell some of my rig, in favor of a still powerful, but less bulky setup.

    I'd like to put it up on craigslist, or even here on TalkBass, but I've never had to ship something that large.

    If I were to sell it someone out of state or otherwise driving distance, how do I ship it?

    Thanks for the help!
  2. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    A few suggestions:

    1. Find an original shipping carton and packing for a similar cabinet. Sometimes you can get one from a music store.

    2. Many shipping stores will build a carton (for a price). An advantage is that the item is better-insured since they packed it.

    3. See if a moving company will handle it for you. They can pack it like furniture. No idea if anyone would handle it, but it's worth asking.
  3. rpatter

    rpatter Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2004
    Round Rock, TX
    I agree with 1 & 3, but I'd be wary of a place like the UPS Store. I've gotten many package from them where they just wrapped the item in bubblewrap and threw it in a carton with packing peanuts. Packing peanuts do nothing to keep the item from moving around in the box. For head that can mean bent faceplates or broken knobs. For a cabinet that can translate to a broken off magnet or horn driver.

    The best way to ship an amp or cabinet is to use the "box within a box method". Put the cabinet or whatever in a box that just fits it (you may have to cut it down to size). Then put that box into a larger box using styrofoam sheets (available from the insulation section of Home Depot or Lowes) on the bottom, sides and top to snug in the inner carton. That's your best bet for having your amp or carton survive the rigors of UPS or FedEx.

  4. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    Agreed. But a good place will know how to pack things properly. And, since they're insuring their packing job, they often have rules to follow.

    Any time you have a moron doing the packing, things will be damaged.
  5. rpatter

    rpatter Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2004
    Round Rock, TX
    That's what surprised me about the UPS Store. I mean they are the UPS Store right? You would think they'd know better, but from what I've seen they don't. All they know is bubblewrap and packing peanuts! I've gotten a few banged up heads that were packed by them.

    Of course my worst experience was some guy on ebay. I won a home theater receiver and when I opened it up, I found that he had taken the receiver, put it in a box and shipped it. No bubblewrap, no peanuts, no newspaper, no nothing! It was pretty banged up when I got it, but much to my surprise it worked when I turned it on!

  6. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Hillsdale, Portland
    UPS stores are franchises and it is pretty much up to the operator how much effort he/she wants to put into the packaging. I own a similar store and build a box within a box using styrofoam. Not very green but it keeps the 'throwers' from damaging the contents directly.

    Weight really is the problem. UPS/FedEx guys do this all day and if it is heavy they have a tendency of flipping them end over end over the curb and across the sidewalk.

    Try selling it locally first and offer packaging as an add-on direct expense for shipping.
  7. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006
    We use ....

    1st a thick plastic bag to protect from water etc:

    2nd heavy cardboard edge protectors

    3rd extra bubble wrap when needed

    :) ... Oh and a correct size box ...
  8. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND


    I've shipped a few cabinets now, and had good luck every time doing pretty much the same thing.

    Oh, and for the best rates, check with DHL. They have been BY FAR the most cost effective method of shipping cabinets and other large, heavy items.
  9. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place
    I scavenge packing material whenever I can. Besides the box/styrofoam/box method, I also use extra reinforcement at the corners. I snag preformed styrofoam corner pieces whenever I can (Home Depot or Lowes, some appliances come packed using them) and thick cardboard edge guards. I've STILL had things arrived damaged, even when the only thing they could have done to damage it was drop the box on its corner from a 6 foot height. You do the best you can, and say a prayer that the transit gods will be merciful.

    I stopped shipping big stuff when I realized that no matter how much time and expense I put into packing it, it's still up to the gorilla at the shipping company. They can be pretty ingeniously destructive. I've shipped huge combos across the globe with no issues, and shipped cabs 50 miles that were damaged in transit.
  10. RyRob813


    Jun 7, 2007
    St. Paul, MN
    Hey thanks for all the help guys. I'm going to try as hard as I can to sell locally first, and I'll only sell to someone that needs it shipped if I absolutely can't sell it here.

    I know how if I need to though, thanks!
  11. fireincairo


    Jul 8, 2008
    Buy some foamboard from Lowes. You can build foam corners around each corner and then use a large box to cut to fit. Wrap it like a burrito with the flat cardboard and tape that mother up. Works every time. I just shipped an Acoustic B200 1x15 combo like that.
  12. fireincairo


    Jul 8, 2008
    This is true. I'm thinking they may be taking a loss on the bigger items simply to get your business. Otherwise, Fedex is reasonable and they don't use a conveyor system like UPS.

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