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Al Krow

Couriers for bass guitars - recommendations?

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Just seen Dood's rather depressing thread about UPS and steering well clear.

I'm just in the process of organising a bass delivery from Aberdeen to London.

Any couriers who you could recommend in terms of quality and reasonable price?

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I shipped one last month. Although the recipient organised it all, TNT turned up when they said and delivered next day. All good. It was wrapped very well in cardboard over an industrial bag (around the hardcase) with a whole role of gaffer, but it was ok. 

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I sent a guitar with UPS and had no problems. Accidents can happen to all couriers, and in my experience at least, UPS have been better than some others.

Personally, I invested in 30 metres of bubble wrap from Toolstation (other providers are available) and triple boxed the last guitar I sent. It worked well, too (by that I mean it got there without a scratch and the buyer was well pleased).

 

 

 

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UPS, DPD, Parcelforce.

Just make sure it’s extremely well wrapped; in a case not a gig bag, metres of bubble wrap around that, then a good strong box, put polystyrene or something soft and giveable at each end too.

Definitely make sure it’s fully insured.

Edited by ambient
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12 minutes ago, ambient said:

Definitely make sure it’s fully insured.

+1 on that! 

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@discreet shipped me a bass this week with UPS. Collected south London Monday afternoon about 4pm,deliverd Falkirk/Central Scotland lunchtime on the Tuesday.

 

Set plenty basses via courier with UPS and never a hitch,once all the way to Ghana. Also DPD were great when a bass got pulled by customs in Norway,they contacted me straight away then dealt with customs. Buyer got his bass next day.

 

When booking a courier,double check addresses/contact details and times. Pack everything secure and stiffen corners with extra cardboard. Print 2 or 3 times the require labels then stick them to each side of  the parcel.

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35 minutes ago, ambient said:

UPS, DPD, Parcelforce.

Just make sure it’s extremely well wrapped; in a case not a gig bag, metres of bubble wrap around that, then a good strong box, put polystyrene or something soft and giveable at each end too.

Definitely make sure it’s fully insured.

And check the insurance is for musical instruments. In most cases it isn’t...

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not knowing what the bass is but if the neck can be detached for shipping. SIze of box and less chance of damage can be gained.

 

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I'd say it's pretty much a lottery TBH...some people have problems with some couriers, others recommend that same courier. Most couriers will take the money to insure your instruments without telling you that Musical instruments are excluded from said Insurance. Check the small print.

At Pete says: " If it's worth more than £500 quid, go and pick it up yourself. " There may be something in that ...check for deals on British Rail. We went to Crufts by train one year using a token from Tesco - about £15 per head IIRC. Check with your Union too...UNISON offer discounted travel. 

Most cases will pretty much ensure the safety of your bass. If it doesn't come with a case consider sending one to the seller to pack the bass in. Interparcel will courier an empty case for about a tenner. 

I've had a few horror stories with poor service but I've always received the parcel in the end. I can't recall many (if any)stories of instruments that were actually "lost".

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42 minutes ago, mybass said:

not knowing what the bass is but if the neck can be detached for shipping. SIze of box and less chance of damage can be gained.

Good suggestion but sadly not in this case.

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8 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Good suggestion but sadly not in this case.

Does the owner not own a saw? The neck would be very detachable then....  

I’ll get my coat.........

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6 minutes ago, bassfan said:

Does the owner not own a saw? The neck would be very detachable then....  

I’ll get my coat.........

Dang - good point. I'm sure he does. I'll suggest that to him...

3 hours ago, pete.young said:

If it's worth more than £500 quid, go and pick it up yourself. 

Really? You would do a return London to Aberdeen trip to pick up a £600 bass? I'm happy to travel a couple of hours each way in the car (particularly if I can combine with visiting friends and family); but I'm not sure what you're suggesting is something I would do - it would mean either giving up a day at work or a day at the weekend with my family. 

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I`m going to put this in capital shouty language, to emphasise it:

DON`T USE PARCELFORCE, THEIR LIST OF PROHIBITED ITEMS INCLUDES MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

They`ll take your money for insurance, then should something happen to the item it was your fault for not reading their T&Cs. 

Edited by Lozz196
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26 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

I`m going to put this in capital shouty language, to emphasise it:

DON`T USE PARCELFORCE, THEIR LIST OF PROHIBITED ITEMS INCLUDES MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

They`ll take your money for insurance, then should something happen to the item it was your fault for not reading their T&Cs. 

That is really timely thank you!! The guy the other end just asked me if there is a Parcelforce collection point nearby!

Ok this thread has already "paid for itself".

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17 hours ago, Al Krow said:

That is really timely thank you!! The guy the other end just asked me if there is a Parcelforce collection point nearby!

Ok this thread has already "paid for itself".

Remember that Lozz works for the Post Office...

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Ah I didn't know that!

I just think of Lozz as being an awesomely nice, always helpful, never rude BC'er; a hugely proficient P-bass player (respect) who has released four (I think) albums of original material (even more respect) and who has this weird fetish for Tech 21 Paradriver pedals...

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Did we ever find a courier that does actually cover the full amount for loss and damage? Mainland shipping.

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2 hours ago, fearthebassplayer said:

Anyone know any couriers who will cover full cost for damage not sent in a hard case? 

A bit of a tricky one that. Usually for the insurance to be valid, it needs to be sent in a hard case. If it`s an expensive bass it`s worth getting even a second hand case if possible.

Edited by jezzaboy
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Not sure on the specifics but I used Eurosender, the firm that gives a BC discount to send and retrieve two different basses. They outsourced to a courier company, possibly DPD, but their pricing was way better and they insure musical instruments. Their customer service was good when I made a mistake in one of the orders so I'd recommend getting in touch with them. 

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Do not under any circumstances use Hermes, biggest bunch of monkey’s out there........by miles! Otherwise DHL, UPS, interparcel. 

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Not DHL - they are so bad that I’ve heard of serial killers posting bodies through DHL to ensure that they are never found.

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I got my first bass via. UPS last week, it turned up fine..from Germany to my place.
No box damage and the guy didn't even take it out of the van in the rain until I opened the door.

I've also shipped and received a lot of pricey tech with Royal Mail (signed) and never had an issue.

It's always a gamble with any courier service, having worked in a couple dispatch centers for various courier companies I've seen what happens to boxes if the wrong person there is having a bad day..throwing stuff as hard as they can into the back of the trailer is a common enough stress relief sadly.

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