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Shipping Double Basses to Others

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Johnny L, Sep 25, 2005.


  1. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    When one sells a bass through this site or Ebay or some other BBS, how does one deal with shipping?

    Is it as easy as taking it to the UPS store with a wad of cash and commanding, "Wrap 'er up, ship 'er out!"? Or must one use a specialty shipping company (if you say yes please say who)? Or worst case, you're on your own getting it from point A to point B?

    Thanks,
    Johnny
     
  2. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    You can

    1)go to a shipping store and have them build you a crate, then ship from them ($$$)

    2)go to a music store that sells uprights and maybe they will have a cardboard bass-shipping-container that you can use, then ship from them ($$). Expect to pay a small fee to the shop for getting things in order.

    3)build your own container and ship it yourself. ($?) Fedex Freight has been doing a good job lately... however, you will pay more if you ship "from" and/or "to" a residential address. Expect to pay a $60 surcharge for residential pickup, as well as delivery. Business to business is cheaper.
     
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Double basses have to be shipped by freight. UPS won't touch them. This Navis sounds like a good thing if you can get them, but otherwise you can buy special shipping boxes for double basses. I have no idea who makes them, but mine came in one so I know they exist.
     
  4. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    Hi Johnny,
    I've had good luck with FedEx Freight lately, here's why. For one, they have a ton of direct routes, meaning it's handled fewer times during the trip. Damage usually occurs at depots, not on the road, so direct routes are good.

    The second thing is we strap them standing up on a pallet. If you go without a pallet, you can agonize endlessly over how to support the neck, how to prevent a leveraging effect on the neck block when the box is "set down" (set down in trucking means "tossed"). How to pad all sides, how to keep it from moving around in there, how to keep your packaging from settling, etc. Or, you can put some padding in the bottom of the box enough to keep the endpin well off the bottom, pin the neck in place any old way you can think of, and strap it standing up to a pallet. In that instance, the only way you are likely to see damage is if the forklift driver drives thru it. It would be worth your time to find someone who can do this for you.

    Insure, insure, insure. Make no assumptions about what is covered, make sure you have it covered for its full value.

    Good luck!
    John
     
  5. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Thanks very much for the helpful replies here guys!

    I did have a shipping box with padding for my Strunal, but after keeping it in the closet for a couple of years as an emergency bass case I threw it away to make room for other things. Now that I'm making plans to sell it, my past is coming back to haunt me LOL
     
  6. basswraith

    basswraith

    Mar 10, 2003
    Boston
    Could one possibly use the same company that moves pianos? They are large heavy and fragil. Most piano movers can appreciate the value of what they are moving.....i hope.
    If you think about it , a bass in a trunk in easier to move than a piano.
    Just an idea.
    michael
     
  7. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Hi basswraith,

    That's an interesting idea that may be worth pursuing. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Johnny
     
  8. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    as john said, ship standing up on a pallet... I have sold several basses and almost always leave the shipping up to the buyer...
     
  9. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Thanks DZ for highlighting John's advice to me.

    Maybe it's just that I haven't gotten over trashing my shipping box and pads for my Strunal when I bought it several years ago...the scars, you know, sometimes they take a little while to heal LOL

    Leaving shipping entirely up to the buyer is another option I hadn't considered, but usually for these sorts of instruments it is a first-time buyer/beginner looking to get into upright...and they would likely not have a clue. I'd like to be able to offer a known, reliable option to them.

    There's likely a string shop in the Austin area who would pack it for me for some fee, and it wouldn't be too inconvenient for me to take it there...but I haven't followed up on this option yet either...still studying the music and marking fingerings and bowings before I get started I suppose to borrow an analogy
     
  10. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    Violins, Etc. in Austin, if I'm not mistaken, does alot of bass sales and ships often. Maybe they can help you out. 512-452-5617.
    Good luck!
     
  11. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    If you live within a reasonable distance, one piece of advice I would offer is to have the bass held at the shipper's hub and go pick it up there. You can unwrap it and inspect it before accepting it, it avoids a couple of additional truck changes and also removes the added residential delivery fee.

    If you are the shipper, you can deliver the crate to the hub and save part of the residential fees. Of course with gas $2.50-3.00 a gallon, it may not be that cost effective, depending on where you live.
     
  12. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Thanks John very much for the recommendations and advice I'll give them a holler and see what can be arranged
     
  13. I used Amtrak about 4 years ago. It cost less than $100 to ship from Seattle to L.A. I don't remember the insurance particulars, but check with Amtrak. I'm sure prices have gone up too. It obviously has to be in a trunk or crated. The hassles: It has to go in & out of a major Amtrak hub & someone HAS to meet the train for pickup. It can be slow. Over a week for coast to coast. But you can't beat the price. I know Amtrak freight has had lots of experience shipping basses. Probably demolished a few also. Mine arrived unscratched. Check with Amtrak to see if they still ship basses (?).
     
  14. STRONGBOW

    STRONGBOW

    Aug 26, 2005
    Nick Lloyd already suggested going to a music store that sells uprights and retrieve a cardboard double bass shipping box. They work fine, providing you take some precautions. I would recommend that, in addition to making sure the bass is supported all around by styrofoam and packing peanuts, etc, that you do this, if at all possible: get a half-size wooden pallet, place the bass box standing upright on the pallet, and secure the box to the pallet with a plastic packing strap. Then have the box shrink-wrapped tightly to the pallet. Give instructions to the trucking firm to ship the box standing upright, and by securing it in that position to a pallet, they will gladly comply. I have used Yellow Freight Systems to ship a bass across the country and they did a super job. Because I didn't have a "business" address (they charge more to deliver to a residential address), they agreed to meet me out in the country at a highway crossroads. The driver was right on time, and helped me place the bass in box on pallet upright into the back-end of my pick-up truck. I was able to secure it in the upright position and drive to my residence, and upacked it there. The whole thing went smooth and I have to compliment the people at Yellow Freight-- fragile means fragile to them. The driver was very careful and courteous (not all of these drivers give a damn).
     
  15. tww001

    tww001

    Aug 13, 2003
    Telford, PA
    This method wouldn't be safe enough for over-seas shipping, would it? I posted another thread a day or two ago asking about over-seas shipping, but no one has responded to it yet.
     
  16. STRONGBOW

    STRONGBOW

    Aug 26, 2005
    Well, all I can tell you is that the cardboard bass box that I used I got from a music shop in the Midwest and it had previously been used to deliver to that shop a brand new bass made in China. It had the "made in China" markings on it. So who knows? With the right precautions, presumably this is a safe container for overseas shipping. But if I were shipping abroad, I'd be more inclined to build a reinforced crate. As I (and someone else) point out, however, the key to safe shipping seems to be palletizing the box so the instrument is kept in an upright position for the duration of the trip, thus minimizing the stress on the neck.