Do you have old guitars at home that you don’t use anymore? Well, if you have, you can sell them. With Craigslist and eBay, musicians don’t necessarily need to buy brand-new guitars, instead they get some good used guitars online. Generally, there are two reasons why people ship guitar, either they’re selling out their old guitars or they’re shipping their item back because they don’t like it.
The primary question would be, “how much does it cost to ship a guitar?” If you’re in the US and shipping a guitar in a hard case, it might cost you around $100 to $150. However, if you ship your guitar in a gig bag, it’ll be around $70 to $90. Furthermore, there’s still less costly shipping of guitars, and that is, using a box to send the guitar.
Aside from the cost difference between shipping with a hardshell case and a gig bag, there are still other aspects that affect how much it cost to ship a guitar. You have to consider the distance, size and weight, the value of the guitar, and the courier service provider. Below, I’m going to discuss everything that affects the cost of shipping a guitar.
The primary consideration of the cost of shipment is the distance. If you’re shipping within the city or state, it’s cheaper. Maybe around $40 compared to shipping across the country and even more internationally.
Size and Weight of the Guitar
Aside from the distance, the size and the weight also matter to the overall cost of the guitar for shipping. For example, if you’re shipping a solid-body guitar, it’s more expensive than a hollow-body guitar. Additionally, if you’re shipping with a gig bag or a hard case, the cost will also differ significantly.
Hardshell Case vs Gig Bag
Although I’ve already mentioned the cost difference between using a gig bag and a hardshell case, here, I’m going to discuss why. It’s true that your guitar will surely be protected with a hardshell case than a gig bag, but it’s heavy. As you know from the previous section, more weight equals more cost for shipping.
When using a gig bag, on average, your shipment will only weigh approximately 9 to 12 pounds. However, with a hardshell case, the overall weight will be 20 pounds more. Aside from that, not all guitars come with a hardshell case and it’s expensive to buy it unless you’re shipping a very pricey guitar.
Value of the Guitar
Do you think the size/weight and distance are the only factors that affect the shipping cost? The value of the guitar affects the shipping rates as well. How? If you’re sending a guitar priced over $2000, you might want that it’s properly insured. This will increase the cost of the shipping service. But, on the good side, it’ll ensure that your package is safe.
Courier Service Provider
Whether you’re selling a guitar or shipping it back to the online guitar shop, you need a courier to do the shipping for you. FedEx and UPS are the two major service providers, but you can also send your package via postal service.
FedEx: Federal Express is the most popular company that offers online shipment. If you have an account with them, you don’t need to go to their nearest branch. They just pick the package up for you. For those who don’t have an account with them, you need to send the guitar yourself.
The company has a rate of $0.90/$100 for guitars around 25 years old. Maybe, FedEx is great if you ship newer guitars. Their ground delivery service is designed to reflect warm weathers, so you don’t worry about your guitars being affected. You may visit their website for complete details of how much your package cost.
UPS: United Portal Service is another shipping service that has almost the same policies as FedEx, but, it may be better. If you want to insure your guitar even when it’s new, you can do so with UPS. However, if the price of your guitar is more than $1000, there are certain requirements that you need to comply with to claim your insurance.
Here, if you have a $500 guitar going to a 1,000-mile destination, you’ll be charged with around $100. If the destination is near, the cost will be lesser, or more expensive when it’s afar.
Postal Service: Local postal service may ship guitars. However, you shouldn’t ship expensive guitars as these postal services have a declared-value limit for the shipment. Aside from that, it may be quite expensive compared to the first two and may need to process a lot of papers.
Cheapest Way to Ship a Guitar
Based on the discussions above, the packaging (hardshell case vs. gig bag) affects the cost to ship a guitar. So, how about cutting the cost. All you need is a box, a bubble wrap, and newspapers. After you have packed the guitar securely, put it in a box and choose which courier you want to have your guitar shipped. Here’s a YouTube video with very understandable ways to pack a guitar for shipping.
Yet, it’s good to wary, especially if you’re shipping an expensive guitar. Though you can save tons of money by using a box and bubble wrap, you might sacrifice the safety of your guitar. So, it’s your prerogative, whether to think of saving first or to ensure that your guitar is well-packed and properly shipped.
Shipping a guitar could be costly and hassle. But, since you already know the factors that affect the cost of the guitar, you can now ship in the cheapest possible way. There’s no fixed rate on how much is the cost to ship a guitar, but there are ways on how to spend a little as possible.
I hope that this guide has helped you with your problems. This article isn’t only helpful to those who are selling out their old guitars, but also for sending your guitar as a gift to your friends and relatives. Whatever your purpose is, shipping your guitar could be cheaper if you know the best and cheapest way to do it.
Hi music fan! I am Jeff. Hope that you enjoy some stuff I shared here in my personal blog.
About myself, Currently I am in charging as Artist Manager/Music Supervisor at 72 Music Management. I did managed album to Grammy Award in 2017 with 7 Nominations from 2014-2020 and had the opportunities to work with : A.J. Croce, Blind Boys of Alabama, Bobby Rush, Dom Flemons, Dustbowl Revival, Sarah Grace
Governor of the Memphis Chapter of The Recording Academy is one of a award that I am lucky to achieved.