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Thread: Shoping mandolin - Nov 1 - West to East Coast - safest method?

  1. #1

    Default Shoping mandolin - Nov 1 - West to East Coast - safest method?

    Any recommendations given humidity, etc. for safest way to ship a mandolin from the Rockies to Michigan?
    Fed ex ground?
    Fed ex air?
    USPS priority?
    etc?
    recommendations and thoughts are appreciated.

    Best,
    AB

    P.S. I expect 100% agreement by all responses

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Shioping mandolin - Nov 1 - West to East Coast - safest metho

    I just shipped Fedex ground west to east coast successfully, and today received a mandolin by UPS that was in great condition.

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    Default Re: Shioping mandolin - Nov 1 - West to East Coast - safest metho

    I have had good success with Fedex ground, especially when the end points are urban areas, there are have been no worrisome delays. Make sure that signature is required. Put a humidifier in it. I have also had success with UPS ground, but in my neck of the woods every time I've had them hold something for pickup at the local depot, it's like a three stooges act for them to find it. I've had good luck with redirecting to a local Fedex Office store or UPS pack & ship store, because they're small enough to be able to find it easily, and it's in a shirtsleeve environment while it's waiting for me.

    Also - my luthier advises me to schedule shipments so that they don't span a weekend, thereby limiting the possibility of your instrument sitting around in a truck somewhere. (If you follow that rule then you may want to push your date to the following or preceding Monday.) He will also defer shipments sometimes if there is bad weather along the route. Check the weather, and the zone map for the shipper so you know generally how long it will take to get from origination to destination zone.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Shioping mandolin - Nov 1 - West to East Coast - safest metho

    wOW - Really good post! Thank you!


    Quote Originally Posted by Alfons View Post
    I have had good success with Fedex ground, especially when the end points are urban areas, there are have been no worrisome delays. Make sure that signature is required. Put a humidifier in it. I have also had success with UPS ground, but in my neck of the woods every time I've had them hold something for pickup at the local depot, it's like a three stooges act for them to find it. I've had good luck with redirecting to a local Fedex Office store or UPS pack & ship store, because they're small enough to be able to find it easily, and it's in a shirtsleeve environment while it's waiting for me.

    Also - my luthier advises me to schedule shipments so that they don't span a weekend, thereby limiting the possibility of your instrument sitting around in a truck somewhere. (If you follow that rule then you may want to push your date to the following or preceding Monday.) He will also defer shipments sometimes if there is bad weather along the route. Check the weather, and the zone map for the shipper so you know generally how long it will take to get from origination to destination zone.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Shioping mandolin - Nov 1 - West to East Coast - safest metho

    as a luthier and pickup builder who ships worldwide, all shipping vendors these dayze are a gamble of sorts. loosen the strings before entombing in a hard case, double or triple pack well, liberal use of FRAGILE stickers (so there's no handling excuse on the shipper's part), insure to the max (make SURE you have a receipt for the instrument or a letter of verified value by the manufacturer as that will be required for an insurance reimbursement, which will typically take forever) ... cross yer fingers and toes, and pray.
    Mandolins are truly *magic*!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Shioping mandolin - Nov 1 - West to East Coast - safest metho

    I asked a cafe sponsor a couple weeks ago with whom I was doing a trade which carrier they preferred. The response was, “The way this generally works is we use someone until they break something or make us mad, then switch to another until they break something or make us mad, then...” I shipped Fed Ex ground without issue because the USPS said my dreadnaught guitar box was too big (it had a mandocello in it). My newOM arrived via Fed Ex without issue.

    Regardless, pack very well, and good luck!
    Chuck

  7. #7

    Default Re: Shioping mandolin - Nov 1 - West to East Coast - safest metho

    Another idea is to always take photos of the package before it gets sent - that way you’ve got proof that the address was right, it was covered in Fragile tape, the box was in good shape, etc.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Shoping mandolin - Nov 1 - West to East Coast - safest method

    I have shipped or received several mandolins, so have learned a few things. Most damage that I have read about seems to be the headstock or dropped on the end so the end pin splits the block inside the mandolin. I take some tension off the strings, not enough so the bridge will move. Also I will put a cloth or something between the strings and fretboard so they don't slap around. I wrap the headstock in bubble wrap. I put a small amount under where the neck and body meet, there is usually a gap under there and if seems to me to put more pressure on the neck. If there is room in the case I will put a little wrap at the bottom of the mandolin inside the case to protect against damage at the endpin. I have used fragile stickers and have not used them and all have been fine. I wonder how much difference it really makes especially on a large box? Also if someone is having a bad day or mad at the boss a box with a fragile sticker may be a great choice to target?

    I use Fedex ground, I have been happy with the results and has been the least expensive. It is my understanding that Fedex will only insure to $1000 and I am not sure if your homeowners insurance will cover anything damaged during shipping? I have shipped with USPS as well a fair amount. If was fine but the last two boxes were an issue. They arrived safely but not a good experience and I even had a local manager lie to my face about it. I really think they do not want to deal with large boxes. I always get a signature for delivery either way.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Shoping mandolin - Nov 1 - West to East Coast - safest method

    I have had a couple of guitars get damaged by UPS (one, they had obviously opened the box and case, played the guitar, put it back, and somehow proceeded to break the headstock off!). I will never use them again.

    So far, I have shipped a lot of high end guitars via USPS Priority Mail and FedEx with no issues. <crosses fingers>
    ===================

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