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OT - Shipping a bass


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Make sure it's in a hard case with a form fitted insert. Any gaps will insure that all shocks to the package will be transmitted straight to the bass.


I like to then pack the case with either stiff cardboard or so much filler than it doesn't move at all in the box. This is really important. The stiffer the material, the more shock is will absorb. The intent is to prevent inertia from creating a second shock inside the package.


So: dedicated hard case, tightly packed outer box.

"For instance" is not proof.


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Originally posted by zeronyne:

The intent is to prevent inertia from creating a second shock inside the package.

Wow, standard physics! Fantastic!


0-9 on target here.


I've shipped with gig-bags as well. The key is to make sure the bass does not move inside the box...

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I'll be shipping this in a gig bag, so i guess i need a good sturdy box and lots of packing foam to get this done right.


thanks. The box should be available at the fedex/shipping co's site i would imagine? or should i go to a guitar shop to get one?

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My son won a bass on e-bay and had it shipped to me. It was in a very good hard case. The seller took it to some local mail boxes type place and they packed it.


It arrived in a U-haul wardrobe packing box with the bass in the center. Case was wrapped in a triple layer of bubble wrap. All extra space between the bass and the outside box was filled with emply, assembled, small express mail boxes. It was sent UPS and arrived with no damage, even though the outer box had some dings and marks.


I now have enough packing material to start my own shop.

Don't look back. You never know what might be gaining on you.

- Terry Pratchett: Going Postal


A good bass player knows the notes not to play. - Nick St. Nicholas



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For personal traveling purposes (I'm flying somewhere for a couple of weeks and decide to ship the bass) I keep a few spare hardshell cases (broken locks and dings) around as shipping containers and pack a gig bag with my luggage for the destination. 9-11 has made flying out of the NYC area a nightmare if you pack or bring anything odd with you into a plane.


For eBay sales with a gig bag, I've done packers, but the combined cost has convinced me to make my own boxes instead. I get the raw materials from storage facilities, or haunt retail appliance outlets (you'd be surprised how many boxes you could make out of a used refrigerator box) and use plenty of packing tape to make my own boxes. The goal is to make "a box within a box" so that the inner box is protected from the damage to the outer box, with something (newspapers, peanuts, bubble wrap) in the middle. The principle is similar to the "double hull" of a submarine where varying pressure between the hulls allows the inner hull to remain solid at varying depths. (or something like that, remember I'm not a engineer!!!)


After approx. 30-40 such shipments, I think I've had a case where a truss rod needed to be adjusted slightly because I forgot to detune the bass about a fourth before shipping (good advice to keep the neck tension without risking damage to the neck from impact).


I do plan on purchasing a flight case or a better travel bag for next year. Banlancing my options between weight and security. Incase cases look pretty good so far, but I'm considering others.


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Last year I sold a bass to someone across the country and shipped it via UPS. I still had the original box it came in, so I used that. But one thing that didn't occur to me was to tighten the knobs... This probably doesn't happen too often, but once was enough. One of the knobs was just loose enough to come off and rolled around in the case, knocking against the body and making some nasty little scratches in the finish. Lucky for me, the guy was totally cool about it and was able to buff them out, mostly but not completely. I was pretty bummed about it, but I would never have thought of it. It must have taken a big knock to get a knob to fall off...I shudder to think!


So, check the knobs. :D And anything else inside the case, such as inside the compartment - maybe fill that with something to secure the contents so they don't escape. Just to be on the safe side.

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I recommend packing in ice -- or even frozen gel packs. They help keep the bass fresh. However, be sure to have a sealed plastic liner between the ice and the packaging -- wet packaging from melted ice is pretty much useless.


Also, don't send it parcel post. Time is of the essence. Make sure to ship your frozen bass using one-day/overnight service.






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From experience, Dry Ice works the best.


No messy water. :D

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