guitar shipping: UPS or FedEx?

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by MacPhisto, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. MacPhisto

    MacPhisto Gretschie

    Apr 11, 2009
    i'm off to Chicago in a week and a half, and need to send one of my acoustic guitars back east beforehand so i have an instrument to play while i'm there. which is better, UPS or FedEx? by "better," i mean "less likely to turn the Blueridge BG160 into a collection of lovely sunburst toothpicks." and while we're about it, is the carton-inside-of-carton shipping method typical of, e.g., internet-purchased guitars sufficient, or would i be better put to ship it in the hard case with a carton over the case? i assume it'd cost an ungodly amount to ship it in the case, though?
  2. MGllm

    MGllm Synchromatic

    FWIW our firm quit using UPS in favor of FedEx several years ago due to repeat damage.
  3. Jukebox

    Jukebox Gretschified

    Jun 2, 2008
    I've always had luck with UPS. And if you have them pack it, they know it was their problem! Most of the time I pack it, still no problems
  4. cowboybob

    cowboybob Gretschie

    Jul 20, 2009
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    My company uses FEDEX and as such when they sent me to China for six months two years ago, I had ONE guitar that the company would pay to ship to me while I was there.

    I shipped my accoustic/electric Fender, in its case wrapped in bubble wrap as much as I could. FedEx packed the case in a shipping box that contained those damned polystyrene peanuts. I shipped it home the same way.

    No problem, but I have no idea what it cost either.
  5. I asked these same questions a month ago when sending my duo jet back to Daves for electrical work... Some of the suggestions- if you know how a dealer would pack the guitar, then do it that way, using the same box(es) and materials. It was also suggested you take photos and video yourself during the packing process.

    Lots of horror stories with every shipper, but, generally, things come and go intact.

    When Dave's put the Duo in it's hard case, they wrapped the headstock, and put newspaper between the strings and body & fretboard.

    UPS will charge a lot more if they pack it for you, but that might pay off in peace of mind, if you can afford their services.

    Someone, perhaps Bobkat, spoke highly of FedEx, stating, among other things, that a person can set up an account with them, then order a package pickup and Fedex will come to your door and fetch the guitar.

    Here's the thread from when I was trying to figure this stuff out... I went UPS and it all ended up fine... but... you never know when someone will want to tap dance on your windpipe or guitar....
  6. dan P

    dan P Country Gent

    Jul 21, 2008
    Kansas City
    Basically, with a hardcase your fine either way, bubble wrap the hardcase and fill the remainder of the box with peanuts, not is a good idea too
  7. roadjunkie

    roadjunkie Country Gent

    Jul 4, 2008
    I just shipped a box to the midwest that weighed in at 45lbs. It cost 52 bills thru Fed-Ex and is due to arrive the 13th ground freight. I have my fingers crossed as I never shipped thru them. I haven't had any problems with their deliveries. Most of that cost is from packing material. I don't take chances.
  8. araT

    araT Gretschified

    Mar 24, 2009
    Berlin, Germany
    If you can, shove some underwear/tshirts around the guitar inside the case to fill up the gaps, I always do that when shipping to myself - added padding & peace of mind :)
  9. brsmith21

    brsmith21 Electromatic

    Jul 24, 2009
    Columbia, SC
    I regularly ship with Fedex. I go to their hub/office with my box already packed. Cost me $22 to ship a guitar (insured for $995) in case from SC to Michigan. No account needed, just pay by credit card at the desk. Last time I shipped UPS, they wouldn't insure over $500 unless they packed it themselves.:mad: That was, admittedly, several years ago, but I pretty much quit considering them for my shipping. And don't even ask about the UPS store-full price plus very hefty markup. :eek:Like doing all of your grocery shopping at the Kwik-e-Mart.
  10. gigatron

    gigatron Country Gent

    Oct 9, 2008
  11. guitarfarm

    guitarfarm Country Gent

    I've had very good luck with USPS. Packages arrive intact and on time. My personal experience with UPS has not been good. Packages that one would not normally think could be damaged arrive smashed. Fragile stuff arrives in pieces. UPS absolutely will not process claims, even when you send them photographs of the smashed boxes and repeatedly call them. It is up to the shipper to make good on the damaged merchandise, which they always do. Ship UPS at your own risk.

    Tara, if I ever buy a guitar from you, please omit the underwear as packing material. I might have a hard time explaining that to my wife. :eek:
  12. Scott

    Scott Country Gent

    Jun 27, 2008
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Really Tara, if you throw your granny panties in the guitar cases and shipping boxes does that mean you're going commando now?? :D

    Seriously I didn't know USPS shipped guitar-sized packages. I'd sure use them before I'd fool with FedEx or especially the clowns at UPS.
  13. 6120TM_owner

    6120TM_owner Newbie

    Aug 12, 2009
    Bancroft ON Canada
    I would go FedEX....I ship lot's of stuff and UPS always finds a way to break could ship an anvil and UPS will deliver it broken!!!!!
  14. araT

    araT Gretschified

    Mar 24, 2009
    Berlin, Germany
    :eek: I said when I ship to myself! TO MYSELF!
    Sheesh.. you boys!

    :cool: maybe I am..

    I've only done it when I've mailed guitars home at the end of holidays (usually that I've bought while away) I've stuffed spare clothes around the headstock for extra support, not in the boxes! it's a really useful trick - more suitcase space, and more peace of mind with the guitar, especially if it has a slanted headstock.

    :rolleyes: You boys, really

    RE: USPS shipping guitars, my AmStd Tele came via USPS, and the KHL wolf mini too now that I think about it.
  15. Pappy

    Pappy Country Gent

    Jun 4, 2008
    This thread is all sorts of interesting!
  16. Chaz

    Chaz Gretschie

    Sep 27, 2008
    Oregon Coast
    Shippers, beware of Fedex! The way I read the fine print in their paperwork, they absolutely do not offer insurance. Yes, you claim a value to them, but it's not insurance. I have had good and bad results with UPS, but it's always a crap shoot there. I have never had a problem with USPS priority mail in shipping guitars. Good packing is always helpful too, but I'll have to admit I've never used
    Of course the best delivery service, if at all possible, is IPP (in person pickup) :)
  17. ronniegitar

    ronniegitar Gretschie

    May 3, 2009
    Central NJ
    I have had good luck shipping UPS and FedEX, but I always pack my own guitars, use all the precautions inside the case as mentioned above, wrap the outside of the case with bubble wrap and finally packing peanuts. One thing additional...I always try to make sure that the jhard shell case is immobile inside the shipper, including using either a piece of carboard or styrofoam between the top of the case and the top flap of the shipped. I find that depending where you are shipping to and where you are located, Fedex always seems to be cheaper, unless you want guaranteed next day delivery where available.
  18. Krom5150

    Krom5150 Electromatic

    May 4, 2009
    The majority of broken guitar pics that I've seen are taken with the Fedex box next to the guitar. But the worst one I ever saw was from UPS. It looked like they swung the case at the corner of a steel table, it broke through the case and destroyed the control cavity of the guitar. It was a prototype too, though in later pics the repair was flawless. So it seems like a crap shoot no matter who you go through just pack it well.
  19. Jukebox

    Jukebox Gretschified

    Jun 2, 2008
    This is all true, but remember most of shipping DO NOT have TARA's underwear for protection! She claims those Granny's are good protection! :D:D:eek::rolleyes:
  20. roadjunkie

    roadjunkie Country Gent

    Jul 4, 2008
    There's a song in here somewhere!

    A box full of Tara's bloomers
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