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Thread: HELP! needed to sell my Eastman MD305 in the UK if Posting

  1. #1
    Eternal Beginner Seamus B's Avatar
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    Default HELP! needed to sell my Eastman MD305 in the UK if Posting

    Hello folks - I wonder if you could help me out as I feel somewhat out of my depth here.

    I am about to sell one of my mandolins - my first one actually, the Eastman MD305 with Doug McLure ebony armrest, in a soft bag.

    My main issue is how do I pack and post this safely in the UK if the buyer is not able to collect? I am happy to wrap the mandolin in bubble-wrap, and then the case as well, but I have visions of it being tossed around by postal workers and getting wrecked.

    Any advice much appreciated!
    Eastman MD305 - set-up by Simon Mayor.

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    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: HELP! needed to sell my Eastman MD305 in the UK if Posting

    I would avoid wrapping the mandolin itself in bubble wrap inside the case as I saw a photo recently of a guitar that someone did this with and the plastic of the bubble wrap reacted badly with the instrument's finish and left faint bubble wrap imprint on it! This old article from Frets.com has good tips about packing stringed instruments for shipment or travel:

    http://frets.com/FretsPages/Musician.../packing1.html

    I've shipped a fair few mandolins that I've sold over the years. Get a good box for it - local music shops can be good resources for suitable boxes - even if they don't have a mandolin box, in the past I've gotten guitar boxes and then cut them down to fit). I always make sure there's nothing loose in the case that could potentially move around during shipment and damage the instrument's finish, such as case keys etc. I can't remember if I've ever shipped a mandolin with the armrest still in place or if I've removed them, wrapped them in bubblewrap or paper and packed into the box when shipping, I think I may have removed them. I always pack crumpled paper in the space under the headstock.

    I also usually use crumpled up newspaper (I'll grab stacks of free newspapers for this purpose) to pack around the case when it's in the box so that it doesn't move during shipment, and always make sure that the mandolin in it's case fit's into the box with some room to spare at the top, bottom and both the front and back sides of the between the case and box - that way I can pack the crumpled newspaper completely around it and it protects it in the event of impact. I always write the name and address of the receiver on the box in Sharpie so that in the event the printed label the shipping company/post office uses gets torn or damaged the address is still clearly visible. I also always take photos of what the inside of the box looks like before closing it up and also what the outside of it looks like, just for in case the box arrives damaged by the shipping company then there'll be proof that it didn't look like that when it was boxed up. I'm sure others will have good suggestions too.
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    Eternal Beginner Seamus B's Avatar
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    Default Re: HELP! needed to sell my Eastman MD305 in the UK if Posting

    Hello Jill! Gosh you are always so quick to help, most appreciated.

    Thank you so much for the link and your info and personal experience. I am probably over-thinking this because these mandolins are so fragile to me as someone who also plays a big, smelly, heavy bass guitar.

    Do you know if folks use Royal Mail or a courier? Does it cost more to send fragile instruments?
    Eastman MD305 - set-up by Simon Mayor.

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    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: HELP! needed to sell my Eastman MD305 in the UK if Posting

    I've never heard of there being a higher cost to send fragile things, usually it's weight/size of the box/how far it's being shipped and how quick you want it to get there that influence the price. I've seen folks advertise that they can ship something via Royal Mail, and also seen folks list the usual suspects re: courier companies such as DHL, UPS etc. Over on the acoustic guitar forum I recall reading of several members in the States who'd purchased guitars from the UK that were shipped via Royal Mail, and they seemed to get there pretty quickly as well!
    2018 Girouard Concert oval A
    2015 JP "Whitechapel" tenor banjo
    2018 Frank Tate tenor guitar
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    Eternal Beginner Seamus B's Avatar
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    Default Re: HELP! needed to sell my Eastman MD305 in the UK if Posting

    Thanks again Jill - I would much rather use Royal Mail tracked so it sounds like as long as it is packed and boxed correctly in won't get destroyed en-route. I would be VERY happy not to use one of the UK's dodgy courier companies so that is great.

    I originally bought my mandolin on this site, and it makes sense to sell it here as well if folks are interested. I will list it in the classifieds!
    Eastman MD305 - set-up by Simon Mayor.

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    Default Re: HELP! needed to sell my Eastman MD305 in the UK if Posting

    I once received a Gibson Snakehead by courier from a well known UK shop. It was in its original case and that was in a cardboard box. The mandolin itself was wrapped in a T-shirt and it was fine. I still have the mandolin and I think I still have the T-shirt!

    My concern for yours would be that you don’t have a hard case. Have you thought of contacting one of the specialist shipping companies used by the auction houses? It’s likely to cost you but you’re presumably charging shipping to the purchaser? If you’re really concerned, perhaps you should sell it “Collection Only”.

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    Default Re: HELP! needed to sell my Eastman MD305 in the UK if Posting

    This maybe the picture of the bubble wrap Jill is referring to, I posted this here before. This mandolin was sent to me in a hard case with the mandolin covered in bubble wrap. It was a varnish finish and the back and sides looked like fish scales. It was a two day post if I remember right so the mandolin wasn’t in the bubble wrap very long, looked worse in person than in the picture.


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    Eternal Beginner Seamus B's Avatar
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    Default Re: HELP! needed to sell my Eastman MD305 in the UK if Posting

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    I once received a Gibson Snakehead by courier from a well known UK shop. It was in its original case and that was in a cardboard box. The mandolin itself was wrapped in a T-shirt and it was fine. I still have the mandolin and I think I still have the T-shirt!

    My concern for yours would be that you don’t have a hard case. Have you thought of contacting one of the specialist shipping companies used by the auction houses? It’s likely to cost you but you’re presumably charging shipping to the purchaser? If you’re really concerned, perhaps you should sell it “Collection Only”.
    That's interesting - I would have assumed the chemicals in clothes would be more of an issue but looking around online it does seem that folks use shirts as padding for wood instruments so that is useful to know.

    It appears that shipping a mandolin is fine as long as it is well-padded, and next day delivery to avoid it being slung around for days. I would much prefer collection but I know that is not easy for everyone.
    Eastman MD305 - set-up by Simon Mayor.

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    Eternal Beginner Seamus B's Avatar
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    Default Re: HELP! needed to sell my Eastman MD305 in the UK if Posting

    Quote Originally Posted by 707erich View Post
    This maybe the picture of the bubble wrap Jill is referring to, I posted this here before. This mandolin was sent to me in a hard case with the mandolin covered in bubble wrap. It was a varnish finish and the back and sides looked like fish scales. It was a two day post if I remember right so the mandolin wasn’t in the bubble wrap very long, looked worse in person than in the picture.
    Gosh, how annoying! I would never in a million years predict that bubble wrap would do that. Of course it makes sense, especially if tightly packed. I have already sent this to a dozen of my musician friends and they were jaw-dropped too!
    Eastman MD305 - set-up by Simon Mayor.

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    Default Re: HELP! needed to sell my Eastman MD305 in the UK if Posting

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus B View Post
    That's interesting - I would have assumed the chemicals in clothes would be more of an issue but looking around online it does seem that folks use shirts as padding for wood instruments so that is useful to know.

    It appears that shipping a mandolin is fine as long as it is well-padded, and next day delivery to avoid it being slung around for days. I would much prefer collection but I know that is not easy for everyone.
    Just had a look in my “spare strings” cupboard. The T-shirt must have been there since around 2011, is extra large and white! It was destined for polishing cloths but has, so far, survived; probably because it has a printed logo - Sexauer Guitars - never heard of them!

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    Eternal Beginner Seamus B's Avatar
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    Default Re: HELP! needed to sell my Eastman MD305 in the UK if Posting

    I will need to be very careful with the shirts I choose! Not all of them are appropriate!
    Eastman MD305 - set-up by Simon Mayor.

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    Default Re: HELP! needed to sell my Eastman MD305 in the UK if Posting

    I always use Parcelforce (part of Royal Mail, I think) for posting instruments in the UK, the most reliable and least damage-prone in my experience. Like other UK shippers they won't provide full insurance cover for instruments, so carely packing is key. Make sure you fully cushion the neck, remove the strap pin and remove the bridge from the top (marking its position with post-it notes or similar).
    Parcelforce will collect from your home for a small fee if getting to a PO is difficult. You can also ask the buyer to arrange collection by Parcelforce or other courier, at their expense, in which case they take on any damage/ loss responsibility.
    Kevin
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    Eternal Beginner Seamus B's Avatar
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    Default Re: HELP! needed to sell my Eastman MD305 in the UK if Posting

    I just looked up the emails from when I bought the mandolin originally and I can see that the seller used Parcelforce back then so I will use it also as they were very good.

    Thanks for the packing help info, much appreciated!
    Eastman MD305 - set-up by Simon Mayor.

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