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Want to ship a SVT or other heavy tube head?

Discussion in 'For Sale: Amps, Preamps, and Cabinets' started by the dude, Apr 27, 2006.

  1. the dude

    the dude Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Easy solution. Go to "The Box Shoppe" or some similar place and get a "Dish Pack." The inside dimensions are 18x18x24 (perfect, right?) and the box is double thick - made to carry heavy, fragile stuff.

    Take the box and the head to your local Kinkos or UPS Store and have them pack it for you. It's worth it to have them pack it as it makes it pretty unlikely that they will deny a claim due to improper packing. Tell them you want bubble wrap only. No peanuts.

    I recently shipped an SVT. Cost of shipping? Box $7.00, packing $23.00, shipping (via FedEx Home Delivery) and insurance (over $1,000 worth) $45.00. Total, $75.00.

    It arrived safely and the buyer was amazed at the packing.
  2. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Thanks for the tip!

    I'm curious...from Indy to where with FedEx Ground for $25 on a 90lb-ish box? Couldn't have been too far...
    Rabidhamster likes this.
  3. FedEx is dirt cheap...IF you go directly to them and not to a packmail store! I shipped my Ampeg V-4 from CT to CA for $16. Prices are similar for all the amps i've shipped. I think the most i've ever paid to ship an amp was $27. That was to ship a Vox AC-30 from CT to OH.

  4. ibz


    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    Yes I use a very similar box, from UHaul double thick for this.

    Acutally, I do all this stuff myself, as I save good packing material and make the shipping look professional, but don't have to pay.

    Oh and FedEx is the way to go especially if done online. So I've gotten away with ~$30 and one less trip to a store.
  5. the dude

    the dude Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    I hear you, though I bet if I had just gone out and bought the bubble wrap, I would have paid $20 for the amount that went in that box - and I just delivered the amp and empty box to Kinkos - then watched an expert pack. Well worth it for me.
  6. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Thanks! I know that they're about 30% less than Brown and I do ship from a FedEx customer counter... At over 70 lbs the Puppy Truck (home delivery) won't take it so you're back to regular FedEx Ground and I would have suspected that a small heavy package has some sort of surcharge, like a big light one.

    I can't ship instruments via FedEx Ground any longer because they enacted new rules back in the fall to limit insurance to $100 on "guitars".

    Perhaps I could sneek it through at FedEx Kinkos but I'd bet if they lost or broke it, they'd limit you to $100.

    I pack stuff well enough that I don't think that even UPS could break it, but if it gets "lost" the maximum coverage is $100...ain't worth the risk as far as I'm concerned, so I ship instruments via Priority Mail.
  7. the dude

    the dude Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    ...apparently that has changed. That SVT went to a residence via FedEx Home Delivery. The problem was FedEx Ground won't take it to a residence, so you had to ship to a business. But again, I shipped the SVT to a residence - and this was just 10 days ago.

    ??? I just shipped a $400 bass insured via FedEx Home - no prob - no questions. It was from a Kinkos, but I clearly put "Fender Precision Bass Guitar" in the "contents" section of the shipping form.

    Maybe your local FedEx is different??
  8. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    The lady at the FedEx customer counter handed me a FedEx Corporate document that says $100 max on guitars (and a whole bunch of other things).

    As I wrote, I might be able to get one through FedEx Kinkos, but if they lost or broke it and it truly is a corporate rule that instruments get $100 max (and I don't see why one FedEx location would have different rules than another, especially because I've told them (nicely) that they've lost a lot of my business due to the rule), I believe that the corporate folks would refuse a claim of $400. When you sign the form you agree to the current rules and regulations...to me it isn't worth the risk, so I use Priority Mail and the buyer has to pay more for shipping... I WILL NOT use UPS...
  9. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    I just visited FedEx.com and conducted a test...if I put in 24 by 20 by 20, 90 lbs and insure it for $1200 (under the home delivery page with drop off at a staffed FedEx location), I first get kicked out of the home delivery section (the trucks with the puppy on the side) since it's over 70 lbs and am directed to a screen for Ground residential delivery. The cost to go 15 miles from Chicago suburb to Chicago suburb (work to home) for a package that size is about $58. I priced it to my former hometown in MI and it was about $65.

    I know that using a FedEx account will save about 5% on Ground shipments, but I don't understand how you can ship an SVT head anywhere for $25 in freight charges...the clerk must have entered something incorrectly.

    More power to you (and the folks that you're selling to) for getting deep discounts on shipping!!!
  10. didier


    Aug 4, 2005
    Chicago traffic is tough, I guess
    bassplace likes this.
  11. takeout

    takeout Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Kansas City area
    You can't go off the website calculators. FedEx's site tells you that 70 lbs. is the home delivery weight limit. Go to a Kinko's to drop it off, and they tell you it's 125 lbs. (or 150 - I can't quite remember). This allowed me to ship an SVT to a residence rather than a pickup location. The bill was less than the calculator told me.

    UPS' online calculator, on the other hand, will give you a quote far lower than you actually end up paying. I've been jobbed by 20% on some shipments.
  12. the dude

    the dude Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    You are right - I have a *bad* memory. I looked it up - it was $45 - from Indy to Pittsburgh - with $1K insurance (SVTCL.) (I also corrected my original post.)

    Though it's really more about the box and having FedEx/Kinkos/UPS do the packing....even at $75 it was far less hassle (and cost) than I expected.
  13. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    That really wasn't why I was asking...I was wondering what I was doing wrong in purchasing shipping services...

    I know and I certainly appreciate you mentioning it. I have a real hard time hiring folks to do what I can do myself (see sig.;) ) and sometimes I need to stop and look at the big picture...

    The worry-wort in me makes me wonder whether having FedEx Kinkos pack the item is really a slam-dunk if it came to an insurance claim. I say this because a year or so ago I won an auction for a Hartke HA4000. The seller was in FL and specified local pickup only, but indicated that he'd deliver it within 30 miles. Since I live near Chicago, I asked if he'd deliver it to a FedEx Kinkos and have them pack and ship it to me. I went online and found one close to his home and he agreed. FedEx Kinkos wouldn't bill packing services to a FedEx account (I called the store and paid with plastic) so there seems to be a disconnect between the two...
  14. the dude

    the dude Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Yah, that's why I said "...pretty unlikley they will deny" - though I was thinking "...higly unlikely they can deny." You are right, no guarantees. It just seems less likely when I have a receipt that shows they packed and shipped - versus me packing. Either way, I hope I never get the chance to test the theory.
  15. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Amen to that! I shipped a pair of individually boxed PA speakers (Sonic T15 1x15 heavy cast frame Eminence woofer and horn tweeter) to a guy in CA (from Chicago). Somewhere along the way one of the boxes was body slammed snapping the magnet assembly off of the woofer.

    The buyer only noticed because one speaker didn't sound very good (the box showed little if any damage (I custom build boxes for just about everything I ship)) He removed a handle and peeked inside the cabinet seeing the magnet had shifted and that the voice coil was exposed. Wisely, he took really (really, really) good photos, including that of the packing showing where the cabient had deeply imprinted itself in the foam that I use for padding.

    FedEx Ground did settle on the claim with no questions asked (the detailed photographic evidence made it easy for the adjuster to approve the claim) but they sent the check via regular First Class mail...when it got lost along the way, I ended up waiting a month for a second check to arrive. I was blessed with having a very reasonable and patient buyer...

    The part that really bothered me was that I shipped the speakers at a FedEx Kinkos (rather than my usual FedEx Customer Counter) and they put the heavy boxes on a little cart...the "little voice" told me that something bad was going to happen...I truly wonder if the damage occured before the boxes ever left the building...

    The other bothersome thing about FedEx Ground (and I'm pretty happy with them overall) is that if the bar coded label happens to "fall off", unmarked packages are trucked to Salt Lake City, UT (transit time of about a week or more) to a holding area. Only then will FedEx Ground start looking for it.

    I had this happen when I bought a Woodson Twin Reverb size amp from a guy in Hartford, CT. FedEx Ground tracking indicated that the amp never left Hartford...that's when I learned about their system for locating packages...they never did find it. And the claim took about two months...
  16. I have shipped several guitars over the past few months & the limit for coverage is $499 unless they are able to open it to confirm it's worth more than that.
  17. the dude

    the dude Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    At FedEx, they are supposed to inspect every counter paid package insured for over $499. You can refuse - and the file is so noted (= more likely claim denial.)

    I learned this recently when shipping an amp in manufacturer's original packaging (which looked like it was designed by NASA.) I, of course said, "Yes, inspect!" - knowing there was no way they would turn me away or refuse to provide insurance. He didn't take the amp out of the box, just inspected the packing - and made sure there was an amp in there.

    I don't think they'd have any way of knowing what an item was worth, but they can confirm that it's properly packed and that it's not just a brick!
  18. JoshB

    JoshB A great man is always willing to be little. -RWE Supporting Member

    btw guys...that $100 rule is for "vintage" instruments...I found that out a couple of weeks ago when I shipped a bass and they gave me the "You can only insure it for $100" line. I called fedex and got clarification and that's what I was told...there's a limit for vintage instruments.
  19. Steve Sundstrom

    Steve Sundstrom

    Oct 4, 2006
    Actually, UPS can and will destroy your goods. I shipped a very well packaged Mesa Boogie Buster 210 combo (yah, it weighed 112lbs, packed) from the PNW to Chicago, and it was a total loss. It appeared to have dropped from a great height on the top corner, blowing the cabinet completely apart and dislodging the amp section, while breaking most of the tubes.
    The claim process was a MAJOR hassle for the buyer, but they ended up paying him close to the actual loss amount. I guess they were serious when they asked me at the shipping counter if it could withstand a six foot drop!
  20. nonfatmatt

    nonfatmatt Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Long Beach California
    I work for one of the UPS stores and it is company policy that any package you send should be able withstand a 3 foot drop or so. It's just a reality of large scale shipping. I'd be willing to wager based on the claims we actually get that whoever packed that Mesa head didn't do it right. Also, the original post was good except in the fact that it recommended bubble wrap instead of peanuts. For a 70 pound head bubble wrap is useless, it'll all pop the first time the head even gets picked up. What you want to do in that case is wrap the head in a plastic bag, and then use cardboard and styrofoam planking with peanuts to provide padding. Unfortunately unless you send something air it tends to get abused, so all you can do is plan for it.