Best way to ship/insure a vintage guitar ?

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by bvdd, Jun 27, 2021.

  1. bvdd

    bvdd Strat-Talk Member

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    Hi Guys,

    I'm selling a '62 Gretsch Chet Atkins for an old friend.

    I'd like to offer shipping to the lower 48.

    What's the best method these days?

    Thanks.
     
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  2. Mr Dunlop

    Mr Dunlop Senior Stratmaster

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    FedEx or UPS.
    I don't care for USPS.
     
  3. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Dr. Stratster

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    They're all pretty pricey, lately on the shipping end.

    Most recently, the best option for me has actually been the USPS. Insuring through them relatively inexpensive, but then I've never had a claim either, so I might just be buying a cheap argument.

    There's an outfit called Heritage I hear people with vintage instruments touting when they sell them as insured by them.

    Not sure they if they offer shipping insurance per se, or if their general policy just covers the instrument in that natural course of being transported, but if the price is right, their policy may actually be better in terms of the specialization they do in the area of vintage instruments.

    I'd at least investigate it for a guitar with significant and/or irreplaceable value.
     
  4. bvdd

    bvdd Strat-Talk Member

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    Thanks guys.
     
  5. Sarnodude

    Sarnodude Most Honored Senior Member

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    Take a couple of days off and drive it there yourself.
     
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  6. fos1

    fos1 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    I once had a claim with USPS. It was arduous and lengthy. A major pain and lots of paperwork.

    It was several years ago but I doubt they are any better.
     
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  7. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    We ship guitars everyday. Get a good guitar shipping box. Loosen the strings and tape the bridge down with masking tape. Put some foam under the pickguard. Then put the guitar in it’s case and fill any gaps around the neck and headstock with packing material. Next put some packing in the bottom of the box to pad the bottom a bit and insert the case. Then use packing to fill the box and use proper packing tape to tape up both ends. Ship it FedEx ground with insurance and take photos of the guitar before you pack it and pictures of it in its box with the packing.
     
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  8. cranky

    cranky Senior Stratmaster

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    Hate to say it, but Reverb.com does make shipping easy and they give you a discount on it.

    You pay them for it. But still. They've taken care of me as both a seller and a buyer when something was damaged in shipping.
     
  9. bvdd

    bvdd Strat-Talk Member

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    Great advice!

    Thank you all.
     
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  10. henderman

    henderman Dr. Stratster

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    your guitar will get damaged heavily if it is not packed well enuff to fall AT LEAST from a height of 6 feet onto a concrete sidewalk.

    i used to ship things daily and i had a small return percentage but almost everything returned to me was damaged from not being packed correctly.

    and i am talking about 3 and 4 ounce items...
     
  11. rolandson

    rolandson Dr. Stratster

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    When I purchased my 64 strat I bought two one way airline tickets; The first was 'back of the bus' traveling to the city from whence it came...
    The second, a first class ride home so that I would be able to walk it on board and stash it in the coat closet up front. For the $$ involved it seemed like "jumping over dollars to get at dimes" not to go pick it up.
     
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  12. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    This.
    For something of that value, it's worth the few extra bucks for a road trip.
    No shipping, no flying.
    It's going in my back seat.
     
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  13. balston11

    balston11 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Please be very careful the situation in the Uk is that most couriers offer extra insurance but don't tell you that musical instruments are excluded. It's boring but read the terms and conditions.
     
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  14. BlurgyWurgyWibble

    BlurgyWurgyWibble Strat-O-Master

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    I wouldn't even consider shipping a vintage guitar.
    I've seen too many horror stories and had a few myself.
    Couriers will not insure them unless you declare the value and then they will only insure up to a set ceiling (typically 500 bucks).
    Unless you recruit the services of a specialist/independent courier and pay several hundred bucks = massive massive risk
    Not only of theft or damage but of dishonest buyers.
    Huge nope from me.
     
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  15. s5tuart

    s5tuart Perfecting time travel since 2525

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    Either drive it yourself or get a "man and van" courier to take it for you ( and check their liability insurance!)
     
  16. stormsedge

    stormsedge Senior Stratmaster

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    Yup...drive it yourself.

    If I HAD to ship, I'd use FedEx...I took receipt on many guitars/amps over the last two years and items shipped with them generally showed less container damage, imo.
     
  17. SoulSurfer

    SoulSurfer Strat-O-Master

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    Long story made short:

    I had a beautiful 95 LP Std in wine red with cream piping. Loved the tone of that axe but hated the weight so I sold it on eBay. At the time I was CIO for a large company with world HQ in Omaha. As it turned out, the buyer was from Omaha so I asked my boss who was going there, if he would take the guitar and the buyer would just pick it up. Of course the pr!k said no so I ended up shipping it insured with FedEx. I had double boxed it and put a ton of padding to ensure no "headstock snap". Big surprise, it never reached its destination! The buyer was really nice and understanding as it took over a month of back-and-forth with FedEx to show them the current value estimate of the replacement cost which I got from the store where I bought it. FedEx just me a check including the cost of shipping and I sent the money back to the buyer. This all happened around 2001.

    Go with FedEx or UPS
     
  18. Philo426

    Philo426 Senior Stratmaster

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    I wonder if you bury the case in bubble wrap ...I mean really wrap it heavily before you put it in its shipping box if it would survive abusive teatment.
     
  19. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    Maybe.

    But that could be a $20,000 (or more) gamble.

    It's much easier to insure and collect on a claim for something that is still being made. Collectibles (real collectibles) are not easily replaced, and getting $20k+ out of an insurance company for a "beat up old guitar" can be difficult, and expect their fraud department to pry into other aspects of your financial situation.

    I wouldn't hesitate to ship a $20,000 Custom Shop piece, but a $10,000 vintage guitar is traveling in my car.