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Thread: Always surprised how people send stuff

  1. #1

    Default Always surprised how people send stuff

    I purchased a nice used TKL Mandolin Case. My decision to buy was helped because it had fee shipping. The case arrived at my door from USPS, but was surprised as it was sent with no box, The case just had the postal sticker taped to the case. The case was a little dirty when arrived, which Iím not sure if it was from the previous owner or its journey in the mail.
    I get trying to save money on shipping but I thought it was a little irresponsible and risky to not ship in a box. Itís a great case, tweed rectangular which can really get scuffle and dirty easy. I would have been okay with paying extra for a box.
    One of the bottom feet is damaged, again I can not say for sure it if it already existed or damaged in the mail.
    Years ago I purchased a used Les Paul case and it arrived with layers of brown shipping tape wrapped around the entire case . I had to cut it off with a knife and accidentally cut into the case. Is it just me or is expecting a case to be shipped in a box to much to ask?

  2. #2
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Always surprised how people send stuff

    You should see the way I've received some instruments. One was a tenor banjo in a box. Nothing else. No case, no packing, just banjo in a box. How it arrived in one piece I'll never know.....

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    Default Re: Always surprised how people send stuff

    I have had cases with instruments shipped, no box, just some tape and an address label. I too like a box.
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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Always surprised how people send stuff

    This was Private E bay Sales?

    FWIW, I've received a Godin A8 with a mailing label around the case handle..



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  5. #5

    Default Re: Always surprised how people send stuff

    I feel for ya, bro......that kinda stuff bugs me, too

    Years ago, when stuff was bringing insane prices on eBay I sold a 1963 Fender Stratocaster case to a guy in Italy for something like $1400 or so.......and he paid another $150 or so shipping....ridiculous money....but, the case was as mint as it could be for the age, really beautiful. I bubble-wrapped the case before putting it into a box. It arrived perfect. Customer was happy. I definitely did not want that one coming back. I'm guessing it was probably the best packed case ever sent......

    Similarly, I sold a rare rockabilly 45 for $1650 to a guy in England. Sure, they make fitted boxes to send records in, but I packed this record in a box big enough to send a birthday cake. Tons of packing top, bottom and sides. And, he had to sign for it. I wanted it to arrive safely. And, he loved it!

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Always surprised how people send stuff

    Years ago I bought an early 20's Martin Style A mandolin on eBay with the original case. It showed up with stamps attached to the original case as well the address sticker and the insurance sticker. I'm surprised the post office accepted it that way. The mail lady drove up in front of the house, got out of her truck and said "You better look at this. They insured it." It was already beat but didn't have any further damage. Some people are just nuts. I sold a 32 F2 in a Loar case years ago and I went out and bought a plastic storage box that fit the case and then packed that inside a box with padding.
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    Default Re: Always surprised how people send stuff

    I bought my first Calton case (dreadnought) back in 1976 and Keith gave me a discount on shipping on the condition that I let him have the packaging back. I delivered it back to him at that years Cambridge Folk Festival.

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    Registered User John Van Zandt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Always surprised how people send stuff


    Really? Try this on for size.

    An alto sax shipped in a box with lots of room, and two sheets of newspaper tossed in. The sax rattled the whole way from that ebay ‘pawn shop’ seller to my door. No instrument case, or padding.
    Last edited by John Van Zandt; Aug-22-2019 at 2:55pm.
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    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Always surprised how people send stuff

    Like Pops, I had a mandolin shipped to my front door. Just a mandolin in a case with a USPS label stuck on the side.

    Go figure. . .

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    Registered User JAK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Always surprised how people send stuff

    Get it shipped from a reliable music dealer, and it will eliminate 90% of the worry about shipping. (the other 10% about damage seems to always be there no matter what)
    John A. Karsemeyer

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  12. #11

    Default Re: Always surprised how people send stuff

    I know of a Nugget 2 point that was shipped from Europe to the US in a Calton case. The case was taped shut and the mailing label and postage attached to the case. The case still had the tape residue on it, and when I asked about it, that's the story I heard.
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    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Always surprised how people send stuff

    When I bought my first tenor banjo when I was living back in Ireland it was a new intermediate level one from a shop in the UK (I didn't know at the time that Clareen Banjos was just a 40 min drive away - argh!). The shop sent it to me with no case or padding, simply wrapped in brown paper and amazingly it made it to my local post office in the tiny rural village I lived in without any harm coming to it!
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    Default Re: Always surprised how people send stuff

    I have a friend with a '54 Fender 3 neck table steel. Such a massive block of wood it weighs a ton.
    It's in a period correct tweed case with a lot of the leatherette on the ends deteriorating. One side of the case is about 25% covered in canceled postage stamps.

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Always surprised how people send stuff

    I refuse to ever use UPS again, way too many damaged instruments came my way! But then some shippers even very well known dealers I've gotten stuff from I'm amazed it arrived in one piece! Actually some didn't!

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    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
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    Default Re: Always surprised how people send stuff

    Years ago I got (and have since resold) a Romanian mandola, like a Hora but with the Troubadour brand. Not sold with a case or bag. It was shipped to me in Florida from England in just a thin cardboard box. I found it leaning up against my house when I got home one day. Packed like it was a bouquet of flowers from the local florist. Amazingly, it arrived damage free, and missed the typical afternoon downpour by about an hour.

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    Bob Ayers Ranger Bob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Always surprised how people send stuff

    I recently bought a mandola. It was shipped in its case (a darn sturdy and heavy one) which was wrapped in about 5 layers of bubble wrap, shipping label on that. Came through without any problems or damage to the bubble wrap.
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    Front Porch & Sweet Tea NursingDaBlues's Avatar
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    Default Re: Always surprised how people send stuff

    I’ve only purchased three stringed instruments that required shipping. The first was a guitar from an administrator of the UMGF (Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum). That individual really knew what he was doing – very securely packaged; the guitar and case were protected from puncture and most common crush and/or drop situations; the instrument was secure from any movement; and even the headstock was secured to prevent any whiplash damage. I still have the packaging in case I need it for future use.

    The seller of the second instrument must have taken lessons from the first. It, too, was well packaged.

    The third instrument was also “well protected,” but it took a while to clean up the protection. It was winter and very low humidity. A box that originally housed a refrigerator was on my front porch. I’m serious; it was a huge box with Maytag on two sides. The DHL shipping label indicated that it was from the individual that sold me a Martin acoustic bass guitar. I drug it inside into the family room, tilted it and tried to shake the box to listen for any rattles (there weren’t), let it acclimate for the requisite 24 hours, and then dug in. In hindsight, I probably should have taken it outside. Well, I laid the box on its side and opened the top. The central air blower kicked on at that very moment. And Styrofoam packing peanuts went everywhere. Of course, static electricity reigns supreme anytime there’s packing peanuts. I had peanuts under furniture, stuck to walls and ceiling, stuck to my hands and hair, to my puppy, and wafting along the floor into other rooms. I persevered and got most of major peanut damage under control (I used seven 40-gallon trash bags just to get to the instrument). I drug the case out of the box and opened it. Yep. The bass was surrounded in peanuts, too. At least my wife thought my entire ordeal was very entertaining for her.

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  21. #18

    Default Re: Always surprised how people send stuff

    Peanuts provide good protection but cleanup can be a challenge. Also, they pick up a static charge that makes it harder.

    When I worked at a music store and we got something in packed in peanuts, I took it in the back, opened the top, then carefully lifted the instrument slowly giving the peanuts time to settle downward -- this process could take several minutes being careful, but really saves on the cleanup.

    After 4000 plus eBay sales, I noticed some people would complain if I sent their instrument packed in peanuts, environmentally speaking. Oddly enough, most of these complaints were from the States of California and Oregon, for some reason (?). I have no problem with peanuts, because they can be reused over and over to an almost unlimited degree -- unlike cardboard and newspaper......IMHO.

    When shipping an instrument with peanuts, pack the instrument, surround with peanuts, THEN allow them to settle by pushing down with your hands to pack them tighter -- it will go down several inches -- THEN add more peanuts and tape shut. As mentioned above, gently shake the package to make sure nothing is rolling around in there BEFORE shipping.

  22. #19

    Default Re: Always surprised how people send stuff

    Maybe I dreamed it but I seem to recall that Gilchrist used to ship mandolins from Australia in crates with no cases. Varnished mandolins.
    This would have been early '90s.

    Might have been Dexter J. and Carmel Music passed that along to me.
    I got two Gils from there way back when.

  23. #20
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Always surprised how people send stuff

    My OM came from Hobgoblin UK in a thin layer of bubble-wrap only.
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  24. #21

    Default Re: Always surprised how people send stuff

    I ordered a Randall practice amp (one of the ones with the metal grilles) and it arrived in an almost entirely destroyed box, but the amp lived up to its tough appearance and works no problem.

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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Always surprised how people send stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by JAK View Post
    Get it shipped from a reliable music dealer...
    And if you have a local music dealer, ask him/her to save for you one of the shaped instrument boxes that factories/distributors use to ship to his/her store. You can re-use it, with proper packing, thus preserving part of a tree, and having a container properly designed for the instrument you're shipping.

    Been there, done that.
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