How to ship an amp?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Cheesehead, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. Cheesehead

    Cheesehead Friend of Leo's

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    Trying to sell my Fender EC Twinolux on Reverb.com - my first online sale of a piece of gear.

    They have a helpful video on packing up an amp... They suggest removing the tubes and storing them separately in bubble wrap, but I don't know. I'm nervous I'll break them or screw up the amp if I try to remove them. Or the buyer will screw it up putting them back in. Can I ship without doing that?

    Also any thoughts on the best shipper? UPS?
     
  2. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you ever buy a tube amp new and get it shipped to you I bet that the tubes are already installed in most cases. If you can box it in a way that protects the tubes from being pushed in any way by the outer box then it's probably fine. For example, you could cut a piece of maybe 1/4" plywood or plexiglas of the right size and securely tape it to the backside of the amp such that even if you push hard on the outer cardboard box there's no give at all and the tubes never get pressed upon.

    Removing tubes is actually very easy, but if you haven't done it before it could make you nervous. Maybe there's a YouTube video that has a close up of someone removing tubes that you can look at.
     
  3. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It's true that tubes are installed in new amps whan they are shipped, so it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
    One of those internet myths.

    I would box the amp wrapped tightly in cardboard, then wrap that box in many layers of the thick bubble wrap so there is maybe a minimum 4" layer of bubble wrap on all sides.
    Then box that up in a second heavy duty box.
    The idea being that if dropped, it will be cushioned from impact no matter what side is down, including the corners.
    Peanuts are cheaper but the amp will shift during shipment and end up at the bottom with no padding.

    Ultimately you need a really huge outer box and a really huge amount of bubble wrap.
    UPS will also wrap it for you, and then guarantee safe delivery.
     
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  4. Recce

    Recce Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I just sold a Marshall Haze 40 on Reverb and I read that. I started to try and remove the tubes and came to the conclusion they were safer right where they were than me trying to take them out and the person who bought it replacing them. I an not an amp tech. I packed the box real tight so the Amp would not jar around and sent it. No complaints on the other end.

    With a Fender Amp I would put bubble wrap inside the wholes in the back so nothing else slides in there or if you are going to put the pedal and amp chord in the bottom of the amp bubble wrap between that and the tubes so lose items don't jar into the tubes and break them. Good packaging will keep any problems from happening to the tubes. The tubes were in there tight enough they weren't coming out.
     
  5. tominwa

    tominwa Tele-Meister

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    I don't mean to scare you but.....the biggest problem I have is shipping. I ship 20 boxes a week. Anything that can go wrong will and usually does. If you don't have practice and the materials handy to ship safely you are better off taking it to a packing place. FULLY INSURE EVERYTHING AND GET RETRUN RECEIPT. Personally I only use UPS. When I went with them most all my problems went away.

    EDIT: on second thought.....for what it will cost you to ship you would probably break even putting it on consignment at your local music shop. But then everyone has an opinion.
     
  6. tjnies

    tjnies Tele-Holic

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    I prefer crumpled newspaper inside the cavity rather than bubble wrap. Double-boxing is good, but lacking that some sheet styrofoam panels cut to fit work well.
     
  7. tery

    tery Poster Extraordinaire

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    I remove the tubes wrap them in bubble wrap and use masking or blue tape to label Both the tubes and where they go #1 , #2 , #3 etc . Wrap the amp in bubble wrap & put it in a Hardboard box . - - - Don't forget to insure it .
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
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  8. Glen W

    Glen W Tele-Afflicted

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    Ship a Fender tube amp upside down.
     
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  9. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    FedEx Ground is a lot cheaper than UPS, at least here in my area of the country. A lot! Typically less than half of UPS for a guitar or amp. For a really heavy amp there are other bulk freight shippers out there-- with better rates than either UPS or FedEx Ground, I believe....although it will take longer to get there. You can also get to the bulk shippers via UPS or FedEx, but you may be able to negotiate a better rate directly. It all depends. Unfortunately if you're not a volume shipper you pay a much higher rate, generally. Sometimes, because of negotiated lower rates, going through someone like UPS or FedEx gets you a lower rate with the bulk freight shipper even when the middleman takes their commission.
     
  10. Recce

    Recce Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    You said this was with Reverb get UPS shipping through them. It was half the cost of going to UPS. Just measure and weigh.
     
  11. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I have had both UPS and FedEx destroy a few amps, so who you choose probably doesn't matter that much. The key is to make sure there is plenty of cushioned air between the amp and the outer box. Expect it to be knocked off a pallet when you pack it, my last amp was dropped hard enough that the speaker tore away from the baffle and smashed the tubes, so putting bubble wrap inside the amp is not a bad idea.

    The only way that I would ship an amp now is to take it directly to the shipping company and pay them to pack it. That way if the gorillas destroy it, they can't deny responsibility due to you not packing it properly. It adds to the cost, but it sure saves a lot of arguing if something gets damaged.
     
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  12. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    I have shipped a few amps that I've sold on ebay. I left the tubes in them and there were no issues. I took the amps to my local UPS store and had them package it up. Insure it, pay the man and go home . Super easy.
     
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  13. Brokenpick

    Brokenpick Tele-Afflicted

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    (-& WHO do you ship with who actually keeps Your Package rightside up the whole time it's handled and in transit??)
     
  14. Cheesehead

    Cheesehead Friend of Leo's

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    I'll probably do this, since it's a $2000 amp. Lots of good suggestions in this thread as always!
     
  15. Cheesehead

    Cheesehead Friend of Leo's

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    I'll probably take a lot of photos at the UPS store too to document condition the way I left it....
     
  16. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    Pack it like it'll be handled by idiots with less than a gorilla level IQ. Because it will be handled by idiots dumber than gorillas !
     
  17. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    If you pay to have a UPS or FedEx shipping center package the amp then either company will honor their shipping insurance 100% because they themselves packed the item. The problem is that they'll charge three times what it would cost you to package the same amp. Many sellers/shippers believe paying extra for the packaging process is worth it because A...the shipper doesn't have to do the packaging and B....there cannot be any bull sh*t if there is a damage claim.

    UPS will attempt to claim "insufficient packaging" on almost anything that they didn't package. It's really crappy. I used to work for Georgia Pacific. I now work for a local packaging & corrugated plant and we ship about 20 tractor trailers of boxes and protective packaging supplies into the local market daily. I've done this for over 30 years.

    If you have a buddy at Cream City or Guitar Center or Cascio ask them to keep an eye out for a 2 x 12 combo amp box for you. If you can get a recent box with the 8 foam corner braces you could be ok. If you can't get a decent box I would advertise $90 or $95 shipping to the 48 States and then let FedEx Kinkos pack it. If actual packing and shipping costs you $120 then you'll only take a bath on $25. It is what it is. At least you won't have to worry. It's your first sale and it's a big amp. I would be careful and cautious and I'm sure that everything will be ok.

    Leave the tubes in it. Removing tubes puts you at the same risk as just leaving them in and then brace and block that amp in the center of the box so that it's floating right in the middle.

    Good luck! Good selling!
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
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  18. black_doug

    black_doug Tele-Afflicted

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    When I shipped my Marshall Silver Jubilee combo across the continent I let UPS package it. The tubes were left in. Bubble wrapped and boxed. The buyer complained about the cost.

    If I were to do it again I would do the same thing.
     
  19. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Friend of Leo's

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    The pack and ship guarantee that they offer is nice, and absolves you of all blame should anything happen in transit.

    Two things to be aware of, though, and you might want to go to the store first and get a packing/shipping estimate because:

    - What they will charge you for shipping supplies like boxes and padding is marked up to a ridiculous price. Tons of profit for them. and...

    - Despite the UPS logo on the door, they are franchises, and your shipping rate will be the UPS rate PLUS a markup by them. If you compare what they charge you vs. the exact same size and weight package to the same place, you'll see that they have significantly increased the price.

    At least the FedEx/Kinkos are actually operated by FedEx and will charge you a non inflated FedEx rate.

    I think once you see how much the UPS store is going to charge you, you will be shocked. They also really don't do anything to disclose that it's not actually UPS, which when I discovered this, along with the shipping markup, caused me to pack myself, and either ship online, or go directly to the UPS depot or FedEx store
     
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  20. Steve Ouimette

    Steve Ouimette Tele-Holic

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    FedEx/Kinko's packed a Marshall head for me for $20 AND they covered it because they packed it. By the time you buy or find a box, packing materials, etc. it's easier to just have them do it.

    BUT.

    Take the power tubes OUT and put them in a separate box (that can be packed with the amp). Guitar Center just shipped me a Marshall head and left the power tubes in. Guess what? 2 of them were rolling around inside the headbox when it arrived, and they ain't playing nicely. That said, GC replaced them with a nice quad of Groove Tubes.

    For your Fender I'd guess packing would cost you $25-30. It's worth it.
     
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