Shipping Your Gear To Us
We have been receiving and shipping instruments and amplifiers all over the North American continent for twenty years. Nothing that we have shipped or that was shipped to us has ever been lost or stolen. During that time only one guitar was ever damaged in shipping.
THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT RULES FOR SHIPPING:
1) Pack Your Gear Properly - if you are not sure how to do it, take it to a UPS Store or Fedex Kinkos and let them pack it. It costs more, but if damage occurs they are responsible. If you pack your gear incorrectly they may refuse to pay your insurance claim. You DID buy insurance, didn't you?
2) BUY INSURANCE!!!
Proper packing is the key to successful and safe transit of your equipment. Below is a guide to the necessary materials to ship a guitar (for amp guidelines see section at bottom). If you have any doubts, please call us, or visit www.ups.com; click "Support", UPS has extensive information including step-by-step guides on packaging virtually anything.
First and foremost: USE A HARDSHELL CASE! You need one anyway, don't you? Besides, many carriers will not honor an insurance claim for an uncased instrument.
- A carton:
Use a corrugated "200 lb. test" cardboard box, new if possible. A used box that does not meet shipper guidelines may result in denial of insurance claims for damage. If you must reuse a box, make sure it is rigid and in excellent condition with no punctures, tears, rips, or corner damage, and that all flaps are intact. Remove or cover any labels and all other shipment markings from the box.
The guitar case should fit into the box with at least 2 inches of clearance (for foam peanuts) all the way around. You can often obtain a ready-made guitar box from a music store sometimes free, sometimes for a price.
- A plastic bag to put the guitar in:
Manufacturers use a plastic bag to keep moisture out if the humidity changes during shipping. Trash can liners work just as well. Be sure to squeeze the air out and tape the bag(s) shut.
- Foam peanuts:
Most guitars require 2 or 3 cubic feet of foam peanuts. If you don't have them, BUY SOME! (Office supply store)
Wide sheets of bubble wrap with small bubbles works best for either wrapping the guitar body inside of the case, or as padding to keep it from moving around. I prefer the large bubbles for securing the headstock. (Office supply store)
- Box-sealing tape
Use 2-inch wide clear plastic shipping tape. You can buy a small roll with a disposable dispenser at many office supply stores and home improvement outlets.
DO NOT USE NEWSPAPER OR ANY OTHER KIND OF PAPER as packing material for guitars or amps. It compresses and leaves a space in which the gear can move.
- First, loosen the string tension (drop it a step or so; some tension helps keep the guitar stable) and place the guitar in a plastic bag. Position the bubble wrap either around the body or roll it up and jam it into any gaps between the guitar and case.
- Securing the headstock is important. Wrap it in large-bubble wrap so that it can't move up or down when the case is closed. You don't want to squeeze the case closed on it, but it should be snug. If necessary, place some bubble wrap on top of the neck/head so that when the case is closed the neck stays in the case's neck rest.
- Make sure there are no objects loose in the guitar or in the case! If the case has a storage compartment with a cover it's ok to put small parts there, but make sure it can't come open during shipping.
- When you close the case, pick it up in both hands and shake it in every direction, feeling to see if it moves. If you can detect any movement while shaking, it's best to pack it a bit tighter.
- Fill the bottom of the carton with 2 inches of foam peanuts. UPS requires at least 2 inches of filler on all sides of the instrument. Place the cased guitar in the exterior carton. Don't overpack the box with peanuts, but do remember that they will settle some during transit. Push them in gently until the box is full, but don't force them.
- Lastly, tape the box closed. Cover all seams with tape so that the box cannot accidentally open. If you need a guide, look at how any box for a heavy item was taped. Mark your carton "THIS SIDE UP" with arrows towards the headstock.
Bring your packed guitar to a shipper such as UPS, Fedex, or the US Postal Service.
Once again: BUY INSURANCE! UPS charges less than HALF what the Post Office does:
It is not necessary to use express shipping, but if you want to minimize the exposure to weather conditions and handling feel free to do so if you can afford it. UPS has a "3-Day Select" ground service to the 48 contiguous states that avoids the temperature changes of air freight. Note that we charge a small fee to repackage your goods for shipping back to you. Most guitars can be shipped at standard ground rates across country for $20-30. Figure twice that or more for express services.
Most amplifiers' size and weight are well within the limits set by common carriers. If you have any doubts, please call us, or visit www.ups.com; Click "Support", UPS has extensive information including step-by-step guides on packaging virtually anything.
- If your amp is a common brand like Fender or Marshall, go to the nearest dealer and see if you can get a box that was used to ship a model similar to yours. Even though it isn't "brand new" it is so well designed and built that it is unlikely your amp will get damaged and even less likely that anyone will argue with a claim if it does.
- If the amp is heavy (over 50 lbs) you MUST use a double-walled carboard box with a 275 lb. test strength.
- We don't recommend sending a bare amp chassis removed from its cabinet. If you must send such an item, remove all tubes and package them in a separate box and send them separately.
- Wrap the amp in plastic sheets or trash bags. Tape the sheeting closed so peanuts don't get all inside it. If we have to clean a whole bunch of them out, you get to pay for our time doing it!
- Go to a home improvement store and purchase some thick hard styrofoam sheets (or scrounge some foam corner blocks from anywhere you can find them) and tape the foam sheeting or corner blocks to the amp on all sides.
- Place the whole thing in a tightly fitting box or make a box by taping cardboard all around it. Fill any spaces with foam peanuts.
- NOW place the boxed amp INSIDE ANOTHER BOX with at least three inches of foam peanuts around all sides. FAILURE TO DOUBLE-BOX WILL RESULT IN THE SHIPPER DENYING DAMAGE CLAIMS!
- Lastly, tape the box closed. Cover all seams with tape so that the box cannot accidentally open. If you need a guide, look at how any heavy item box was taped.
- We recommend ALSO using 3/4-inch NYLON FILAMENT STRAPPING TAPE around the box; use two full belts around the carton in each direction. This will make for a very secure package. (Office or Home supply store)
MAKE SURE NOTHING MOVES WHEN YOU SHAKE THE BOX!
If you want to use a shipping store or the US Postal Service, now is the time to bring it there.