Author Topic: anyone ever shipped guitars overseas  (Read 174 times)

Matmosphere

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anyone ever shipped guitars overseas
« on: July 11, 2019, 08:17:34 PM »
Thought I'd ask the collective group and get some thoughts.

I'm moving from the United States to eastern Europe at the end of the month and while most of my stuff is going into climate controlled storage I am starting to think about how to get a couple of guitars there with me. My wife's work is hiring movers for us (sweet deal right!) but it sounds like my guitar and bass are too big to fit in their flight boxes. The want to send them by boat because of the size. Taking them on the plane with me is probably not an option, because we'll have connecting flights and I'm not certain they will be able to be carried on, plus I've got to keep an eye on the three kids.

Does anybody have experience shipping guitars by boat across the Atlantic. I'm worried about humidity/ temperature changes damaging things. I suppose it is done a lot by overseas manufacturers to get their stuff to market so it is probably okay, but I want to do some research before committing one way or another. If I can push back and get them flown with our personal effects I think that would be best, just not sure it can happen.

EBK

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Re: anyone ever shipped guitars overseas
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2019, 09:18:01 PM »
You're not thinking about shipping a Dean guitar overseas, are you?  Because, if you are....
[ominous music starts to play]

we will find you. 

[Music shifts to happy 1950s friendly jingle]

Remember kids, only Gibson makes a guitar with the genuine quality and the familiar feel that you can trust.

[Spokesperson with necktie and shiny hair smiles and winks]

More seriously, I have no experience in this type of thing, so I have no great wisdom to share, but I am happy to hear that you are prioritizing your kids over your guitars.  ;)  I do wish you safe travels and good luck.
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rockola

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Re: anyone ever shipped guitars overseas
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2019, 10:54:04 PM »
Does anybody have experience shipping guitars by boat across the Atlantic. I'm worried about humidity/ temperature changes damaging things. I suppose it is done a lot by overseas manufacturers to get their stuff to market so it is probably okay, but I want to do some research before committing one way or another. If I can push back and get them flown with our personal effects I think that would be best, just not sure it can happen.
Not the Atlantic as such, but I have moved from Europe to Australia and back and shipped guitars both ways. I guess part of the way would have been on the Atlantic. The only issue I had was with a DIY Tele which has a way too thick coat of nitro. Sending it in January from Brisbane (+30C) to Helsinki (-20C) wasn't perhaps the greatest of ideas, but there we are. The nitro of course cracked in quite a few places, and not in the attractive way that everyone seems to swoon over either. No biggie, the cracks are part of the story now. I had no issues with any factory-finished instruments, including acoustics.

Before packing I loosened up all the strings, just in case. All instruments were in hard shell cases and those went in cardboard boxes or were otherwise wrapped quite sturdily.

timbo_93631

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Re: anyone ever shipped guitars overseas
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2019, 06:47:11 AM »
I haven't shipped overseas in a number of years, last thing was a lawsuit Explorer copy, not terribly valuable, but cataclysmically heavy!  I do send and receive guitars domestically quite a bit though.  Best tips to get things there safely:
-Cruise you local guitar shops and ask if they have any guitar boxes, tell them what you are going to do and they'll usually be nice about saving some or give you what is going into the dumpster.  Or dumpster dive.  Wear gloves and a boiler suit.
-As mentioned above slack the strings completely.
Always double box.  Have the guitar in a snug fitting case or gigbag, nothing loose inside, pack around it with some wadded paper or soft cloth/tshirts to make it a snug fit if it isn't.  Have the case floating in at least an inch of cushioning materials inside the first box on all sides.  if you can have a little extra on the ends it is good.  When you tape up the first box nothing should shift or move inside of it.  Float that box inside a second larger box, also with a layer of cushioning.  I usually do wadded packing paper in the first box and packing peanuts in the second. 
-If you are sending bolt on neck guitars, take the neck off.  You can often just put the body n a gigbag and fold it over, box that up well and then send the neck separately or put them both in a larger master carton.  The weight is the same as having it all together but shorter boxes are less prone to damage than long ones from what I can tell.
-Insure all of them for the full replacement value.  It sucks and makes shipping just that much more expensive, but if it goes wrong you are covered.  Or only send things you are comfortable with losing if it goes badly.
-Look at the cost of shipping everything that you want to and compare it to the cost of buying something once you are there.  I'd probably be adventurous and go that route, you said you are going to Eastern Europe, maybe find yourself something really neat like a Musima, Hofner, Rostov, Orfeus, or something even more Soviet/obscure.
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alanp

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Re: anyone ever shipped guitars overseas
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2019, 07:43:26 AM »
-Look at the cost of shipping everything that you want to and compare it to the cost of buying something once you are there.  I'd probably be adventurous and go that route, you said you are going to Eastern Europe, maybe find yourself something really neat like a Musima, Hofner, Rostov, Orfeus, or something even more Soviet/obscure.

This sounds like the most fun option!
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Matmosphere

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Re: anyone ever shipped guitars overseas
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2019, 05:07:59 PM »
Quote
-Look at the cost of shipping everything that you want to and compare it to the cost of buying something once you are there.  I'd probably be adventurous and go that route, you said you are going to Eastern Europe, maybe find yourself something really neat like a Musima, Hofner, Rostov, Orfeus, or something even more Soviet/obscure.

I had considered this, but Iím not paying to ship any of it. Her job is footing all the shipping cost.

But Iím going to be on the prowl for cool stuff the whole time.

Matmosphere

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Re: anyone ever shipped guitars overseas
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2019, 05:09:07 PM »
Btw Tim, one of the guitars is the bass you wound pickups for.