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Thread: Shipping Costs

  1. #1
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    Default Shipping Costs

    Anyone shipped a mandolin lately? I just sent one from West to East Coast USA and it was almost 60 bucks for the cheapest option - ouch! I think we little guys are paying for the big discounts places like Amazon get for shipping.
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    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    Approximately 90.00 USPS with (I think) $1.8K insurance Pittsburgh to Albuquerque.
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    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    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.
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    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    Shipped a mandocello last week in a dreadnaught guitar box along with a regular mandolin to TMS on a trade. USPS said because I wasn’t Amazon they couldn’t ship the cello because of the box size. Fed Ex charged me $264-ish for ground. Second day air was going to be over 800 bucks...

    Ouch.
    Chuck

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    Da-yum.. that hurts

    Quote Originally Posted by CES View Post
    Shipped a mandocello last week in a dreadnaught guitar box along with a regular mandolin to TMS on a trade. USPS said because I wasn’t Amazon they couldn’t ship the cello because of the box size. Fed Ex charged me $264-ish for ground. Second day air was going to be over 800 bucks...

    Ouch.
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  7. #6
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    Quote Originally Posted by CES View Post
    Shipped a mandocello last week in a dreadnaught guitar box along with a regular mandolin to TMS on a trade. USPS said because I wasn’t Amazon they couldn’t ship the cello because of the box size. Fed Ex charged me $264-ish for ground. Second day air was going to be over 800 bucks...

    Ouch.
    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.
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  8. #7

    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    FWIW, I live in a rural area where the "small towns" are about 8-10 miles apart from my house to the "city" where I work. I pass about 6 towns in the 50 miles to work. The USPS employees like to throw their weight around, especially when it comes to big boxes and getting out the tape measure to check for "dimensional weight" -- which is an added balloon charge and if it is too big they can refuse it altogether.......I believe it can't be over 108 inches total combined height x width x depth......

    I learned over the years which employees are working which days and which tend to be "sticklers" for such details......often I will get a price, drive a few miles up the road and save $25-30 -- ALL WITHIN THE USPS GUIDELINES THAT ALL EMPLOYEES ARE SUPPOSED TO UNDERSTAND AND FOLLOW.....

    I am not above asking about the employees kids, school projects, sports teams, etc. -- all pointless small talk designed to get their minds off the PRICE BUTTON!!!

    Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Then there is always FedEx.........again, sometimes the package will be $25-30 cheaper than USPS.......

    Did somebody mention a rigged system........?

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  10. #8
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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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.
    Ha, Ha, Ha!!! He thinks that after you've paid and the box is put on a truck or plane, there's gonna be a guy there who wants to take the time to remeasure the boxes coming through??? The guy's dreaming pipe dreams.
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  12. #9

    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    Quote Originally Posted by RobP View Post
    Anyone shipped a mandolin lately? I just sent one from West to East Coast USA and it was almost 60 bucks for the cheapest option - ouch! I think we little guys are paying for the big discounts places like Amazon get for shipping.
    Why do you think that's high? Or rather, what do you think it should cost? And if you were an extremely frequent customer, wouldn't you try to negotiate a discount?
    Play it like you mean it.

  13. #10

    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    20 years ago I worked for a store that shipped about 100 guitars a month. At the time FedEx was charging about $30 to ship a guitar coast to coast. With our FedEx discount it was $9.........

    So, I'm guessing Amazon gets it for peanuts.......(and, rightly so.......!)

  14. #11
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    Quote Originally Posted by Philphool View Post
    Ha, Ha, Ha!!! He thinks that after you've paid and the box is put on a truck or plane, there's gonna be a guy there who wants to take the time to remeasure the boxes coming through??? The guy's dreaming pipe dreams.
    Well he said it had happened in the past several times and folks were understandably irate that their item go returned to them.
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    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    News Flash: I just got notice that USPS is raising their rates again, after the new year . . . don't be surprised if all the others follow.

  16. #13
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    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    Individuals listing on Ebay from all over the U.S on shipping on items of the same Are all over the map. I think most feel the can charge a extra huge amount for there time to box a mandolin or guitar and have plenty left over to make on there selling fees without hurting there selling profits . And in most cases they have a account where those shipping costs are never shown on the waybils at delivery.

    As for UPS there just plain crooks quite similar to that Global shipping program from ebay. Shipping costs keep going up here and the rules change daily .

  17. #14

    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    Just shipped a mandolin about as far as you can in the lower 48, from 80 miles west of Seattle to Savannah GA. I used a canvas covered styrofoam case for light weight, wrapped it in plastic and then double corrugated cut and wrapped to get the smallest possible package size. USPS 5-7 day was less than $30.
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  19. #15

    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    A friend just bought a used mando online. It arrived in just the case - no box! The case had tape around it, but that was it.

    I'll bet the shipping price was right.

  20. #16
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    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    I posted a rim and a neck via USPS internationally to Italy about a month ago and cost was $24.. a few days later I posted to Oregon and it was $27..... both boxes were exactly same size...
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  21. #17
    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    I’ve pretty much given up on shipping mandolins or guitars because of the cost.
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  22. #18

    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    It is bizarre. I sent a sixty pound telescope via USPS to The Netherlands for $80 then when I bought my first mandolin on ebay the seller wanted to cancel the sale because she took it to a UPS store and they were going to charge her $128 for midwest to Washington state. I told her I'd cover her shipping if she went to the Post Office. With a big box and heavy packing materials it was $85; and that was the same case I used to send another mandolin from Washington to Georgia for less than $30.

    Put bubble wrap inside the case to keep the mandolin immobile. Cut down a box to flat cardboard and wrap the case with an intervening layer of foam or plastic. You want minimum cubic inches.
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  23. #19

    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    The other thing I've been noticing about USPS is the amount of "upselling" the counter personnel have been "coached" into doing. A lot of small packages can be sent first or ground and they always say something like, "for $1.18 more you can go Priority and it includes $50 insurance...." Things like that bug me, not that Priority isn't a great service, just that they do it -- kind of like saying, "did you want Fries and a Coke with that?" Anyway, it puts nothing extra in their pocket, but somehow they have this blind allegiance to that civil service position.......?

    Another example from USPS........I send a lot of old records which can legally be sent USPS as Media Mail (used to be called book rate or Special 4th class...) anyway, on a package with several LP's or books that savings can be $8 or 9 dollars over Priority -- anyway, the lady who works at our local post office always states (like a robot) "well, sure, you can send them that way, but they will be the last to be loaded and have to go by truck the whole way, might take 2 or 3 weeks....." -- basically, making it seem like good advice. Experience has shown that the medial mail packages if going to a nearby state will show up just as fast and yes if going across the country might take a couple days longer.......

    Another lazy USPS employee even told me, "I don't think we ship to Canada" when I showed up 15 minutes before closing and he didn't want to do "that" much paperwork...............jeesh!

    Like I say, there are only so many choices, none great, but a necessary evil if you do eBay or any kind of online sales.......

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  25. #20
    Registered User Steve Baker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    They measure all of them with lasers as they pass through the waypoints.



    Quote Originally Posted by Philphool View Post
    Ha, Ha, Ha!!! He thinks that after you've paid and the box is put on a truck or plane, there's gonna be a guy there who wants to take the time to remeasure the boxes coming through??? The guy's dreaming pipe dreams.

  26. #21
    Registered User Steve Baker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    FYI, I have used sites designed for shipping bicycles and parts to ship instruments and saved some money. They’re used to larger packages. I don’t know if it’s strictly allowed but it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission. Try shipbikes.com (my favorite) or bikeflights.com. My $0.02.
    Steve

  27. #22
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    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    A friend just bought a used mando online. It arrived in just the case - no box! The case had tape around it, but that was it.

    I'll bet the shipping price was right.
    I received a mandolin (not a Gibson) shipped in a Gibson case (see photo). I was a little surprised to see it shipped that way. I was pleased that it was not damaged as the case was worth more than the mandolin (won on Ebay).
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  28. #23

    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    Quote Originally Posted by jim simpson View Post
    I received a mandolin (not a Gibson) shipped in a Gibson case (see photo). I was a little surprised to see it shipped that way. I was pleased that it was not damaged as the case was worth more than the mandolin (won on Ebay).
    Good example of what I call "false economy." Whatever they saved in shipping could have caused a nice instrument to be ruined, IMHO. Instruments need to be double-boxed with peanuts, bubble, etc......yes, it costs more, BUT -- good packing is the best insurance.

  29. #24
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    Are you all not insuring these mandolin? Using a rider from another company? Anything under $100 is a steal!

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  31. #25

    Default Re: Shipping Costs

    Quote Originally Posted by sgarrity View Post
    Are you all not insuring these mandolin? Using a rider from another company? Anything under $100 is a steal!
    Exactly. Insurance is another matter entirely. You are best to go with a separate policy, such as Heritage. If you insure with USPS or UPS the rates are quite high, over $300 value, the insurance is priced at $.90 per $100 with USPS or $1.05 per $100 with UPS, for example. You can see insurance will quickly double the shipping cost or more, if it is a boutique mandolin. Plus, there are a lot of things the insurance doesn't cover -- which has been the subject of many previous threads.....and, in general, it is hard to collect on a claim.

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