Key points:

  • Musical instruments are both expensive and fragile. Special shipping considerations are required to make sure the goods arrive undamaged, and you don't lose money
  • It is not recommended to ship musical instruments without the product's specific case, this should be avoided wherever possible
  • Easyship can help you find the best shipping solution for your musical products, ensuring there are no surprises and nothing gets damaged

Are you looking to start shipping musical instruments? This article breaks down the risks, key determinants to consider when picking a shipping method, and tips to make sure your instrument is effectively packed. Plus, find out how Easyship can help you effortlessly find the perfect shipping solution from a reliable courier in minutes.

Risks of Shipping Musical Instruments

Musical instruments are complex, fragile and often expensive goods. If you are shipping them, it is best not to treat them like other more robust products. You may need to take some extra steps to protect them against damage. This can quickly cost you a lot more than any savings to be made on unreliable shipping. Plus any packaging materials that don't fully protect the products.

A range of materials such as high-quality wood is used in the making of many instruments. These can be easily scratched and whilst not impacting the functionality of the goods, they can quickly reduce value. Others such as string instrument parts have to be properly packaged and wrapped up, plus also protected against other factors. Be aware, that heat and pressure changes can also warp and further damage them.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Shipping Method

Shipping musical instruments safely can take more care and consideration compared to other items. The range of different instruments reflects the range of different shipping needs of each. When analyzing which shipping options your musical instruments require, there are some key factors to consider:

Size and Weight

As many musical instruments have an odd-sized box and potentially be very heavy, or even very light, knowing the exact size and weight is crucial. This can ensure accurate shipping costs and there are no nasty surprises!

As different shipping services have a range of standards to determine the cost to ship, calculating the dimensional weight (DIM) can be essential. For example, shipping drum kits will take up a lot of space for a courier. However, the overall weight is quite light, compared to if you were to ship guitars that would take the same amount of space. In this case, a courier would charge you the DIM, rather than the overall weight.


Whether your musical instrument is shipping internationally or domestically will impact what type of shipping solution could work best for you. This includes looking at which destination countries the carrier services and which shipping methods are available for that specific route. You will also need to determine whether your musical instruments require additional documents.

Carriers also often use dynamic zones to work out the pricing of shipping from a particular origin to a certain destination. In general, the more zones the goods transit through, the higher the price. This applies both for international and domestic routes, and it can be easiest to think of it as the greater the distance, the higher the price.

Shipping Timeline

Fun fact: A 2022 Statista study has shown that faster delivery is the number 1 thing online shoppers would change to improve their shopping experience.

With eCommerce giants like Amazon increasing customer shipping expectations with speedy deliveries, fast shipping can be crucial. However, in short, the quicker your customer needs an order delivered, the more expensive shipping can be.

Shipping Insurance

Your chosen shipping courier can offer a certain amount of insurance coverage if the customer's musical instrument is damaged or lost in transit. Checking whether shipping options offer high coverage limits can be essential. Ensure that you have peace of mind when shipping expensive products with Easyship. Protect your shipments up to $10,000 in just a few clicks.

Related post: How to Ship a Guitar


Tips for Packing Musical Instruments

While each instrument will have its own specific packaging requirements, there is one universal rule. Shipping an instrument without a case is not recommended and should be avoided whenever possible. In general, the case will have been custom-made to protect that specific item.

If this is not possible, then cover the product with at least two layers of bubble wrap and secure it with packing tape. After this, find a strong box made from corrugated cardboard or similar material that won't flatten in transit. This should be at least 2 inches greater in height and length than the instrument. If you have the correct case available, there are 3 steps to check for most instruments:

  1. Prepare the instrument. Remove any moveable parts and loosen any strings to prevent snapping
  2. Pack in a suitable case. Make sure the product is secure with a shake test. Fill any empty space with packaging materials like crumpled newspaper, packing peanuts or kraft paper
  3. Pick the right box. Find a strong box that holds its shape in transit, plus can hold the weight of the instrument and case. Fill any gaps with crumpled paper or air cushioning for a snug, protective fit

Best Way to Ship Musical Instruments

Are you looking for the best shipping company for musical instruments? Accurately working out the factors broken down in this article like DIM weight, shipping zones, customs paperwork, insurance, and delivery speed can take a lot of research.

This gets even more complicated when you start to cross-compare couriers and their features, especially when looking at how to ship musical instruments internationally. Make Easyship your one-stop solution.

Easy Example: Shipping a Guitar

To break down the comparison process, we are looking at shipping a 15lb guitar and case from New York to Los Angeles. The 3 options detailed below highlight the best value, cheapest and fastest shipping services currently available for that route. These 3 are the most relevant, however there's a wide range of alternatives also calculated by Easyship in a few clicks.


Free Shipping Rate Calculator: Effortlessly compare shipping options from over 250 carriers around the world, and find the perfect solution for your shipping needs. Just enter your product information and find the best value rate from A to B.

Looking for the best value shipping method for musical instruments? Sign up for a FREE Easyship account and explore shipping rates with up to 91% off retail prices. Save time on research and create a shipping experience that gives your store the edge.