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Shipping Tips & Solutions

How to Ship a Guitar

Looking to ship a guitar? You're in the right place. Here's the full rundown on how to ship guitars safely.
How to Ship a Guitar
Alexandra Ortolani

By Alexandra Ortolani

 

October 21, 2021

2.7 million guitars were sold in the US in 2020. So how do you ship a guitar without any damage? This blog outlines the steps to ship a guitar in good condition:

  • Price couriers
  • Account for added fees due to size
  • Package for safety
  • Prepare your guitar for shipment

Let’s rock.

Table of Contents

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Guitar?

Every ax is a different size, weight and delivers to a unique address – meaning, there’s no fixed price when it comes to how to ship a guitar. There are a few go-to affordable courier services, though, which we’ll cover in detail.

You’ll also want to account for surcharges involved in shipping a guitar, including:

  • Fragile item surcharges
  • Oversized package surcharges (for large guitars)
  • Shipment insurance
  • Signature confirmation services

Typically, a boxed guitar with its case weighs around 20 pounds. Most carriers like FedEx, USPS, or UPS allow shipping your guitar without being charged for an overweight shipment. But, you’ll still want to keep in mind weight limits, so you know exactly how much you can ship without being charged extra.

Below are the weight limits for major couriers like USPS, FedEx, and UPS.

  • USPS: 70 pounds
  • FedEx: 150 pounds
  • UPS: 150 pounds

Though insurance and signature confirmation is optional, they can be essential for a successful delivery. All these extras add up, though, so we’ll address these in the last section.

The cheapest way to ship a guitar

Say you want to ship a 20-pound guitar from New York to Los Angeles. Here is the cheapest way on how to ship a guitar from major courier services:

  • USPS Priority Mail 2-Day: $109.15
  • UPS Ground: $77.25
  • FedEx Home Delivery: $86.25

The fastest way to ship a guitar

Though you’ll save money with the cheapest shipping options, it’ll also take more time to get your parcel from point A to point B. Having said that, here are the fastest ways to ship from major courier companies like USPS, UPS, and FedEx:

  • USPS Priority Mail Express 1-Day: $219.40
  • UPS Next Day Early AM: $344.69
  • FedEx First Overnight: $403.79

USPS, FedEx, and UPS may provide fast, expedited shipping options for customers. However, connecting with a reliable shipping platform can help you save big while scaling your business globally.

Say you want to ship the same 20-pound guitar from New York to Los Angeles. We’ll use Easyship’s Free Shipping Rates Calculator to calculate the cost of shipping your guitar across the country.

As we can see, USPS offers the best available rates using the Easyship Shipping Rates Calculator. That means users can choose expedited shipping or standard shipping options without breaking the bank.

Now, let’s compare Easyship’s rates to the standard retail shipping rates. This way, you can see how much you can save by using our platform.

  • USPS Priority Mail Express: $158.00 一 with $61 in savings
  • USPS Priority Mail 2Day: $78.00 一 with $31 in savings

As we can see, users will ultimately save more money when calculating their shipping rates with our Free Shipping Rates Calculator. Plus, Easyship offers up to $5,000 of shipping insurance for any shipment. This way, you can have some peace of mind about the safety of your guitar.

The cheapest way to ship a guitar internationally

Say you want to ship a 20-pound guitar from New York to the United Kingdom. Here are the cheapest shipping rates available from major courier companies:

  • UPS Worldwide Expedited: $535.47
  • USPS Priority Mail International: $139.75
  • DHL International Shipping: $329.12
  • FedEx International Economy: $538.86

Alternatively, you can use a shipping rates calculator to save extra cash for shipping. So instead of forking over hundreds of dollars, you can get your best bang for your buck using a shipping rates calculator.

Now, say you want to ship a guitar internationally from New York to the United Kingdom. Below are the calculated shipping rates for the same 20-pound shipment using Easyship’s Shipping Rate Calculator.

As we can see, DHL offers the best available rates using our shipping rates calculator. However, Aramex and other shipping options are also excellent choices depending on your shipping needs.

Now, let’s compare Easyship’s rates to the standard retail shipping rates. This way, you can see how much you can save by using our platform.

  • DHL Express Worldwide: $116.71 一 with $212.41 in savings

In this case, UPS, USPS, and FedEx retail shipping rates to the UK are not the best international shipping options when using our shipping rates calculator. However, even though UPS, USPS, and FedEx rates are not available, you’ll still save significantly more with the available shipping rates from Easyship.

Now, let’s calculate the cost of shipping a guitar from New York to Canada for the 20-pound guitar shipment. First, we’ll calculate the retail shipping cost from major couriers like USPS, UPS, DHL, and FedEx.

Here are the cheapest shipping rates available for your guitar shipment from NY to Canada:

  • UPS Standard: $65.23
  • USPS Priority Mail International: $93.65
  • DHL International Shipping: $172.53
  • FedEx International Ground: $66.08

Now, let’s compare the retail shipping rates to Easyship’s available shipping rates from NY to Canada. Below are the calculated rates using our free shipping rates calculator:

As we can see, USPS Priority Mail International is the cheapest shipping option available, while DHL Express Worldwide is the fastest and best value shipping option.

Let’s see how this compares to standard retail shipping rates.

  • USPS Priority Mail International: $89.16 一 with roughly $5 in savings
  • DHL Express Worldwide: $105.23 一 with $67.30 in savings

DHL Express Worldwide is your best choice if speed is what you need, especially since you save nearly $70 compared to retail shipping rates. Alternatively, USPS also offers discounted rates and costs $89.16 to ship with Priority Mail International.

Easyship always saves users up to 70% off discounted shipping rates on major couriers like USPS, UPS, FedEx, and 250+ other couriers.

Additional fees from UPS, FedEx, and USPS

Oversized items or heavy items require additional fees to cover the cost of shipping. Or, in the case of a fragile item, you may want to purchase special handling for extra protection. So, in addition to your shipping cost, you’ll pay another fee on top of that.

UPS, FedEx, USPS, and other major couriers charge extra fees to ship fragile items and require additional handling. Your guitar may meet both these criteria.

Additional Fees from UPS

UPS charges $10.85 for any shipment that requires special handling. You may be required to pay an additional fee if your shipment meets the following criteria:

  • Any parcel that weighs more than 70 pounds
  • Any item encased in a shipping container made of wood or metal
  • Any parcel with the longest side greater than 48 inches or its second-longest side greater than 30 inches
  • Any cylindrical-shaped item such as a barrel that’s not fully packaged in a cardboard shipping box

Additional Fees from FedEx

FedEx charges $5.95 per package for additional handling. FedEx requires this additional surcharge to any package that meets the following criteria:

  • Any domestic parcel greater than 50 pounds
  • Any international parcel greater than 50 pounds
  • Any parcel with the longest side greater than 48 inches or its second-longest side greater than 30 inches
  • Any parcel not fully encased in a shipping container
  • Any cylindrical-shaped item such as a barrel that’s not fully packaged in a cardboard shipping box

Additional Fees from USPS

USPS charges $12.15 per package for special handling. That means if you have a fragile or oversized item like a guitar, you’ll have to pay for this feature. Doing so specifies that your package needs to be handled with extra care.

Overall, you’ll pay a hefty retail shipping rate from major carriers like FedEx, USPS, UPS, or even DHL. However, you’ll ultimately save more money when you connect with a reliable shipping platform like Easyship. Save up to 70% off discounted shipping rates on 250+ couriers. Plus, receive up to $5,000 of shipping insurance for any shipment. That way, you can rest assured your parcel is in good hands.

3 Steps to Package Guitars for Shipping

You’ll want to make sure your guitar is packaged nice and snug when it comes to shipping guitars safely. Here are several ways you can minimize damage to your guitar during transit.

1. Loosen guitar strings

It’s essential to loosen the guitar strings before you package it for shipping because it relieves any pressure on the neck of your guitar. Make sure you turn counterclockwise and only loosen them just enough to ease any tension.

Your guitar is more susceptible to damage if you forget this vital step in the process. This is because any sudden pressure applied to your guitar can make your musical item crack 一 and nobody wants that.

2. Secure your guitar in its packaging

Though it may be obvious, make sure your guitar is safe and secure in its packaging. This can be done by building a two-inch barrier between the guitar and the shipping box. The following packaging supplies can help fill the void between your guitar and the shipping box:

  • Bubble wrap
  • Packing peanuts
  • Packaging paper (i.e., newspaper)

You’ll also want to wrap the headstock in bubble wrap to protect the tuners. Then, add a couple of rubber bands around the bubble wrap to keep it secure on the guitar. As long as your guitar can sit comfortably in its box without movement, you’re all set.

3. Choose the right shipping box

You’ll want to make sure that your guitar fits comfortably in its shipping box. Plus, you want to make sure that there is no movement if you shake the box. The more movement there is, the greater risk of damage to your guitar.

Most guitar cases are about 46 inches long, so you’ll want a shipping box that is 2 inches above the guitar case size. Fill in any space in your shipping box with packaging materials like bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or something as simple as newspaper to reduce any movement during shipping.

Uline offers different shipping box sizes for your guitars. This way, you can choose a box that fits your guitar case perfectly.

5 Pro Tips on Shipping a Guitar

Follow these tips for safe and secure shipping for your guitar to ensure your musical instrument arrives without damage.

Consider shipping insurance

Shipping insurance is a great way to protect your guitar shipment from being stolen, lost, or even damaged. In fact, 43% of Americans say they’re a victim of package theft 一 meaning you probably want to consider extra protection, especially for a high-value item like a guitar.

When it comes to shipping insurance, you have two options: you can purchase shipping insurance from your courier or a shipping platform like Easyship. Easyship offers users up to $5,000 of shipping insurance for any shipment. This means you can rest assured that your guitar has the extra protection that it needs.

Related blog post: Shipping Insurance Is Better with Easyship

Get the cheapest shipping box

Shipping boxes can be pricey, especially if you’re shipping a guitar. Luckily, there are plenty of reliable shipping companies that sell affordable shipping boxes.

Uline offers over 1,7000 boxes in stock and ships more than 5 million boxes every day. Say you want to ship your guitar from New York to Los Angeles. You’ll pay $8.92 for a 20 x 8 x 50” corrugated guitar box.

Alternatively, EcoBox offers the same 20 x 8 x 50” corrugated box, but it’ll cost $16.04 each 一 making Uline the clear winner between the two.

Mark your package as fragile

Accidents happen during the shipping and fulfillment process. That’s why you need to make sure that you mark your package as fragile to prevent your shipment from being damaged during transit.

Writing “fragile” on all sides of your package is the best way to prevent damage during transit. You’ll also want to consider adding shipping insurance for even further protection. Guitars are expensive items, so you want to take all the safety precautions necessary.

Require a signature upon delivery

Major carriers like FedEx, USPS, and UPS offer signature upon delivery services. Though this comes at an additional cost, it can give you some peace of mind that the guitar is delivered safely. Nearly two million packages are stolen or lost every day in the US 一 so a bit of extra cost may be a good idea.

How Easyship Can Help

Shipping guitars don’t have to be stressful, especially when you connect to a reliable shipping platform. Save time and money for your eCommerce business when connecting to a reliable shipping platform.

Speaking of, Easyship can save you up to 70% off discounted shipping rates on 250+ couriers. Our shipping experts can tailor a shipping and fulfillment process fit to your eCommerce needs. Plus, our automated shipping tools can help you generate all your shipping labels, packing slips, and more.

Easyship is dedicated to giving you the best shipping experience for shipping musical instruments. We also offer $5,000 of shipping insurance for any shipment, so can rest assured that your guitar is in good hands.

Ready for shipping a guitars? Sign up for a free Easyship account and connect with our team of shipping experts today.


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