Cheapest Way To Ship A Guitar: How To Ship A Guitar Cheap
If you’re selling a guitar, or need to ship it in for a repair, you’ll want to know the cheapest way to ship a guitar.
While there are many methods for getting a guitar from point A to point B, some cost a lot more than others.
Some methods are safer, and some are cheaper, what we’re aiming for is a happy medium, where the guitar will get there, and neither the guitar or your wallet is “broke”
What’s the best way to ship a guitar
Ideally, you’ll want to have a guitar with a hard shell case, wrap and fill up the void space inside the case with packing materials.
Close up the case and ensure that the guitar cannot move inside the case, this is going to be the biggest threat to your guitar.
If the guitar can still move when the case is closed you need to add some more packing material so that all the void space in the case is filled.
With the inside complete, close up the case.
It’s a good idea to wrap a couple layers of bubble wrap around the exterior of the case, for good measure.
How to ship a guitar safely
For added safety during shipping, there’s a few tips I want to point out.
The neck is going to be the most vulnerable part of the guitar.
If the guitar gets dropped or takes any impacts during shipping, the neck is most at risk for damage.
Therefore, I highly recommend removing the neck from the guitar, if possible.
Most electric guitars, and many acoustic guitars have the neck bolted onto the body.
This means if you remove the strings, you can unscrew the bolts and the neck should slide out.
Removing the neck is going to make shipping safer, but also cheaper if you’re not shipping it in a case, because the overall size of the package will be smaller.
Once the neck is removed, it’s best to pack it in it’s own box that will go in the box with the guitar body.
This is the safest method to ship your guitar, as it eliminates any chance for impacts to cause flex or torque on the neck.
Whether or not your guitar has a removable neck, you’ll want to wrap the headstock to protect the tuners.
Bubble wrap is great, but a couple socks can also work (make sure they’re clean ones, of course!).
If the neck isn’t removable, a critical step will be to support where the neck connects to the body, as this will be a weak spot.
I’d recommend placing some packing material or towels below and above the neck connection, and even wrap one around if possible.
This area is not only the most vulnerable, but if something should happen, your guitar is in real trouble.
Check out these guides, here, and here for additional info on packing guitars for shipping.
How to properly ship a guitar
- Remove or loosen the strings
- Remove the neck if possible
- Wrap any vulnerable points, like the headstock
- Ensure all void space is filled
- Wrap the exterior of the case for added measure
Can you ship a guitar in a hard case
Yes, a hard case is actually the ideal method to ship a guitar, as it will protect the guitar as much as possible.
You will still want to add packing material to fill any void space within the case.
Further you want to support weak or critical areas of the guitar, such as the neck-body connection, and the headstock.
If you can ship in a hard case you should, it might not be the cheapest way to ship a guitar, but it is the safest.
How to ship a guitar in soft case
While a soft case isn’t the most ideal method to ship a guitar, having a soft case is still better than no case.
You will want to have a box or something else as the external container, as the soft case won’t do much to protect against impacts.
A guitar being shipped in a soft case might be a cheaper method to go with, but you’ll still want to make sure you’ve gotten everything wrapped up tightly.
How to ship a guitar without a case
If you don’t have a case for your guitar, don’t fret.
While it might not be the safest method to ship a guitar, it is the cheapest way to ship a guitar.
A really good tip is to go to you local music shop and ask if they have any extra guitar shipping boxes laying around.
Most guitar shops have these, and the packing materials for them in excess!
Just politely ask if they have some they can spare, you’ll likely get an ideal shipping box for your guitar, for free!
If your guitar has a removable neck then you’re in even better shape.
Remove the neck if you can, if not the rest of the advice still applies, either way.
Snuggly wrap the guitar in packing material, giving extra care to vulnerable areas like the headstock and the neck arch.
With the guitar wrapped up, find a box that will fit the guitar.
If you can’t find the right size, it’s actually quite easy to make your own box shape from a decent size, normal box.
You’ll just have to apply some DIY skills.
Cheapest method to ship a guitar
Keep in mind, the cheapest way to ship a guitar might not be the best or safest way.
The guitar still needs to reach the destination intact.
Cheaping out on the packing materials or shipping method will add risk to the overall trip.
So We’re aiming to ship the guitar safely, but also cheaply.
So with the guitar packed up and ready to ship, how should you ship it?
By air? By ground, sea, or hot air balloon?
There’s a couple things to consider with shipping methods and costs.
Typically, the slower the method of shipping, the cheaper it is.
The problem with picking the cheapest method is that the guitar will be in transit for longer.
The more time in transit, the more chances for impacts or damage to occur.
So shipping by ground may be the cheapest way to ship a guitar, but not the safest.
Unless you’re shipping locally, or regionally, ground may not be the best choice.
If you’re shipping it more than a couple days drive of travel time, consider shipping by air.
If you’re shipping internationally, you’re likely going to have to use this method anyways.
If shipping across continents, watch out that they don’t tell you it’s shipping by air, only for it to cross the ocean via air, but then get put on a truck for the rest of the journey.
So in sum, if you’re shipping a couple days’ journey, use ground.
If it’s going to take 5-7 days by ground, consider shipping by air.
The added cost of air isn’t small, but you might look at the expense as added insurance for the safety of the guitar.
One that note, also make sure you get a tracking number, and insurance, if the value of the guitar warrants it.
So, these are some ways you can ship a guitar cheaply, but also safely.
The best method might not be the cheapest way to ship a guitar, but it might add enough safety to make it worthwhile.