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Thread: Shipping Costs

  1. #26
    Registered User Buck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    Neither UPS nor Fedex sell insurance. They will allow you to pay more for high "declared value" items, but that is NOT insurance, as the fine print of their user agreements indicates. USPS does claim to sell actual insurance, but I'm not optimistic that a claim would go easily. In any case, none of them would be likely to pay the cost of the repairs AND the diminished value of the instrument. You need an inland marine policy if you're going to have any confidence you'll be covered for a loss during shipping.

    Paying for packaging and declared value is the reason many people find shipping to be so expensive. Get your own box and learn to pack the instrument. Also, how the instrument is packed inside the case is more important than how the case is packed inside the box. No shipping store clerk has the skill to do that right.

    I use UPS and not including my insurance cost, which depends on the value of the instrument, I can ship a mandolin anywhere in the lower 48 for less than $50 and an acoustic guitar for less than $75. Shipping east of the Mississippi is a little over half of those maximum values.

    I have an inland marine policy with Heritage. Shipping costs me $0.50/$100, so it would cost me $25 to insure a $5,000 instrument.
    Todd Yates

  2. #27
    Registered User Steve Baker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    Excellent advice. Thanks for sharing.
    Steve

    QUOTE=Buck;1739883]Neither UPS nor Fedex sell insurance. They will allow you to pay more for high "declared value" items, but that is NOT insurance, as the fine print of their user agreements indicates. USPS does claim to sell actual insurance, but I'm not optimistic that a claim would go easily. In any case, none of them would be likely to pay the cost of the repairs AND the diminished value of the instrument. You need an inland marine policy if you're going to have any confidence you'll be covered for a loss during shipping.

    Paying for packaging and declared value is the reason many people find shipping to be so expensive. Get your own box and learn to pack the instrument. Also, how the instrument is packed inside the case is more important than how the case is packed inside the box. No shipping store clerk has the skill to do that right.

    I use UPS and not including my insurance cost, which depends on the value of the instrument, I can ship a mandolin anywhere in the lower 48 for less than $50 and an acoustic guitar for less than $75. Shipping east of the Mississippi is a little over half of those maximum values.

    I have an inland marine policy with Heritage. Shipping costs me $0.50/$100, so it would cost me $25 to insure a $5,000 instrument.[/QUOTE]

  3. #28
    Fatally Flawed willkamm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    Quote Originally Posted by HonketyHank View Post
    With a mandolin, cost almost always depends on the size of the box, not the weight. A half inch more any dimension can make a huge difference in cost. The guys who do the measuring always round up. I'd say $60 coast to coast is not bad if you are not getting some kind of deal with the shipper. I have seen $45 with a volume deal, no signature required, shipping box about as small as possible. I've seen the $90 one, too. Doesn't take much extra room in the box to get up to that level.

    also, do check the different shippers. they can be significantly different.
    That has been my experience. According to the guy at my local post office for a shipment going across a couple of "zones" pricing is determined more by volume than weight. He referred to it as a "balloon" surcharge. Sort of a "effective" weight due to the volume of the package. I know I've shipped UPS and over a certain distance, because of the package volume, they charged me for 30 pounds on a 12 pound package.
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  4. #29
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    Boy, what a frustrating mess this all is. Maybe we ought to set up a billboard of sorts here so, when it can be arranged with our regular travel, we deliver special instruments for each other (rendezvous with the receiver at the other end). Liability would be an issue, but all the smart folks here could probably sort that out.
    Purr more, hiss less.

  5. #30
    Registered User DoubleE's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    Just an FYI. From what I understand UPS only covers damages if the item is shipped in itís original packaging. It puts those of us buying/selling used instruments at a disadvantage. Even buying new instruments at a store you donít get the original packaging! So you pay for whatever amount of insurance and might not be able to make a valid claim if it gets damaged. Thankfully Iíve never had to make a claim. But when I ship I double box and plan on it taking a 10 foot fall and expect that a 250lb dude is gonna walk on it!

    I also check rates before I ship. I used to think smaller things are cheaper with USPS and larger things cheaper with UPS, but thatís not the case. They fluctuate. I never know who will be the cheapest. And I do upgrade the service as much as is economically possible. The less time in any carriers system, the better.

  6. #31
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleE View Post
    The less time in any carriers system, the better.
    Amen to that. Some may recall my recent thread about USPS. Two packages (a mandolin and a set of tuning machines) from two different locations (Mid-West and West Coast) to my location (East Coast). Both took an extraordinarily long time getting here. The USPS tracking system could account for neither one from just after their departure until the day they arrived. The local postal hub (of sorts. . .I am in a very rural area) could uncover no information on their delay or whereabouts. Their only solution was 'wait and see if the show up', which, in the end, they did. Both were in fine shape, no problems.

    I just like things to arrive when they are predicted to, not in a timespan of about 2.5X when they were predicted to. And the tracker was useless, contributing to my concern. More time in the system, especially unaccounted-for time equals more risk. At least with my lack of knowledge about shipping, that is how I imagine it.
    Purr more, hiss less.

  7. #32
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    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jill McAuley View Post
    USPS wouldn't ship a dreadnaught sized box? They're definitely unpredictable when it comes to larger boxes - I shipped a Breedlove OM to Southern California, had to make a box as I couldn't find a guitar box, used USPS, cost $75, no questions asked on their part, very straightforward. Few months later went to ship a tenor guitar, smaller box, but going across country and they were unsure because size wise it was just a shade below their size limit and they guy on the desk was worried that someone else en route might measure it and decide it was over the size limit and refuse to let it continue it's journey. Weird because the OM box had been way bigger the couple of months before.
    I thought it was weird, too, as I shipped an OM in a dread box through them a a couple of years ago and they didn’t even measure it. Pretty sure I sent it 2nd day air and it was less than $150. Maybe regs have changed? I actually like the folks who work at our USPS. They’re universally friendly and typically very helpful, and they’ve been there for years, so I don’t think it was a “bad day” scenario...
    Chuck

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