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PJ-Bassist

OK, So which courier to send a bass?

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I've a few basses for sale on here & eBay.  I was hoping for collection but the majority of interest has come from folks hoping I can arrange a courier.

I looked at Interparcel and UPS and it seems that unless you have a spare hardcase you can send a bass in musical instruments are prohibited.

I recently sent a pedal via RoyalMail, it was damaged and even though I'd paid for the insurance they made the claim process so difficult (the buyer would have had to have sent the damaged item, along with the original packaging to RM for inspection before they payout) it wasnt worth the effort and I ended up compensating the buyer myself.

So, is there any courier who will accept a guitar without a hard case that's worth using or is this standard policy across them all and you just have to assume the risk or stick to collection only.

Edited by PJ-Bassist

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It’s really difficult isn’t it... I really hate being that guy, but I try to stick to collection only. It’s such a lottery with couriers.

I did send a bass to Europe once a few years back supposedly “Fully insured” via UPS but it cost an absolute fortune. Remember it being circa £300. 😕

I can’t think of another industry where you have to pay extra so they don’t smash up your stuff 🤔

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Just had Hermes lose a set of pickups I’d sold.  I didn’t insure as the cost seemed out of proportion to the value so assume I have no comeback. Seems a total lottery. 

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Eurosender will do UK>UK and fully insure instruments, I've sent a couple with no issues, plus some valuable plants.  Now a 10% discount via the Basschat link 

 

Beaten to it. :) 

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I think it's pure luck to be honest.  Having said that I always use UPS through Interparcel but have had good  experience receiving parcels with DPD

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I've sent many basses via ParcelForce, not had a problem. 

But make sure you package the bass very well, bubble wrap, strong cardboard box etc.

Hermes are ok, I've had a few things lost or damaged, or take weeks to arrive with them.

 

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We've all heard the horror stories about damaged items so work from the premise that your item is LIKELY to be abused and prepare for it.

If you don't have a spare case, double box it - or at least extra cardboard in front of any vulnerable parts - lots of bubble wrap inside and out. 

In all the time I'be been using couriers I've only ever had one bad experience. It seemed somebody had used an umbrella (or similar) as a javelin knocking one of the knobs and pots out of alignment even though the bass was in a hard case and a cardboard box..

The buyer returned the bass - it cost less to have it repaired than the cost of the courier....

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From my experience, I would never again use or recommend Hermes for anything, bass or otherwise. 
 

There are only so many lost / missing parcels, ignored email / calls to customer service and faked signatures I’ll accept. 

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51 minutes ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

Have you seen THIS? Works UK to UK too.

 

27 minutes ago, ped said:

Eurosender!!

Thanks for this, I'd missed that announcement - I did a bit of scanning and not a single mention of a hardcase being required (and lots of useful hints on securely packing).  Amazing.

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3 minutes ago, PJ-Bassist said:

 

Thanks for this, I'd missed that announcement - I did a bit of scanning and not a single mention of a hardcase being required (and lots of useful hints on securely packing).  Amazing.

I’ve asked my contact there to double check. If so they might need to change their T&Cs so I assume it’s ok without a case if you’re willing to risk it. I’ll let you know what he says 👍🏼

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I once received a curbow fretless 4 from a gumtree seller via Hermes packaged in two bin bags with a hair band in the middle of the neck to fasten them. Not a scratch... which in hindsight wasn’t that relevant as the bass was s**t 😐

I also once received a fender jazz (via DPD) in one of their new style hard shell cases which are great and very heavy duty. Arrived with one of the corners crushed and smashed up to such an extent that I had to open the case with a crowbar... Again the bass was OK though.

For any bass worth more than a few quid, I really wouldn’t want to ship without a hard case. You can buy one from Thomann (and others) for a few quid. I’d do that and add it to the price. Would give you the cardboard outer sleeve too.

That Eurosender link looks good. Next time I’ll use them 😊

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33 minutes ago, CamdenRob said:

I once received a curbow fretless 4 from a gumtree seller via Hermes packaged in two bin bags with a hair band in the middle of the neck to fasten them. Not a scratch... which in hindsight wasn’t that relevant as the bass was s**t 😐

I also once received a fender jazz (via DPD) in one of their new style hard shell cases which are great and very heavy duty. Arrived with one of the corners crushed and smashed up to such an extent that I had to open the case with a crowbar... Again the bass was OK though.

For any bass worth more than a few quid, I really wouldn’t want to ship without a hard case. You can buy one from Thomann (and others) for a few quid. I’d do that and add it to the price. Would give you the cardboard outer sleeve too.

That Eurosender link looks good. Next time I’ll use them 😊

Cheapest hardcases come in at around £40.  May consider as an option for the more expensive of the two I have left for sale.

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1 hour ago, PJ-Bassist said:

Cheapest hardcases come in at around £40.

Yes if I’m honest I thought they were a bit less than that last time I looked. Someone locally may have one they don’t need 😊

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I just looked at booking collection with Eurosender but TBH it's more convenient to use the Drop Off option through Interparcel as the PF depot is about 1m from my home and on my way to work.

When I was looking at the Eurosender website all the calculations were in Euros - is there an option to work in £p?

The 10% discount through BC would be helpful.

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3 minutes ago, TheGreek said:

When I was looking at the Eurosender website all the calculations were in Euros - is there an option to work in £p?

Yes - click EUR at the top-left and change it to GBP.

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On ‎12‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 20:24, CamdenRob said:

 

I can’t think of another industry where you have to pay extra so they don’t smash up your stuff 🤔

I know , it's unbelievable isn't it .

We have to pay insurance in case they can't do their job .

Pick up only for my stuff - unless its pedals and the like .

If they want it enough , they'll put themselves out - sad really that it's come to this

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Booked Parcelforce collection for a bass last Friday - really urgent with Sat delivery (very expensive). No collection, rude response and a 450 mile round trip by train to hand deliver on Saturday afternoon. No more PF! In the end, pleased I delivered it to guarantee safety - quite an expensive instrument. I’ll be looking at Eurosender in future - thanks!

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@PJ-Bassist here's the reply from Eurosender - it looks like a hard case is not required (but advised):

 

Quote

....but it does need to be in an original shipping box or hard case to be considered as well packed from customer side.

 

We can not guarantee special attention and care and that they are handled not just by people, but by the conveyor belts (like in airports) too and they can switch several vehicles during the transport. Therefore it is important that they are packed in a way that no damages will occur.

 

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7 minutes ago, ped said:

@PJ-Bassist here's the reply from Eurosender - it looks like a hard case is not required (but advised):

 

 

The key question they need to answer is will a damaged item be covered by the insurance if it is not in a hardcase

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5 minutes ago, PJ-Bassist said:

The key question they need to answer is will a damaged item be covered by the insurance if it is not in a hardcase

Quite - I'll push for more detail. 

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On 12/10/2019 at 20:51, hooky_lowdown said:

I've sent many basses via ParcelForce, not had a problem. 

But make sure you package the bass very well, bubble wrap, strong cardboard box etc.

Hermes are ok, I've had a few things lost or damaged, or take weeks to arrive with them.

 

+1  Parcel Farce have done me no wrong.

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5 minutes ago, lownote12 said:

+1  Parcel Farce have done me no wrong.

Parcelforce do not allow extra insurance for instruments even if you pay for it. It's in the terms.

Also in the terms - no damage claims if there is no proper case for it.

 

Frankly - if you send an instrument without a case I worry about your sanity.

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49 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

Frankly - if you send an instrument without a case I worry about your sanity.

True, I'd really rather not but I'm not going to absorb the £40 to buy one and buyers don't seem interested in a 5 - 10% uplift to provide one.  On BC especially they are constantly trying to knock you down on price so presenting another 40 quid on top is going to lose you that sale.

It also strikes me as curious that when Fender, Gibson, Sandberg etc. ship guitars worldwide they are not in hardcases (to my knowledge) and when I've bought guitars online from retailers like Andertons, GAK and GuitarGuitar not a single one has come in a hardcase.  So do they just not bother with insurance and absorb any losses or do commercial organisations have different agreements with couriers?

Edited by PJ-Bassist

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