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Safest shipping option for high value instruments


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This has been discussed before, but the answer is always changing as the parcel delivery industry changes.

 

What's the best/safest mode for shipping high value concertinas - in the US, to US destinations?

 

Years ago, Paul Groff argued that the safest way was the US postal service registered/insured mail - the service that required every edge of the box to be taped; the postal employees then stamped along all the edges. 

 

But I don't know if that's still the safest.  I don't mind paying for a high level of security.  Suggestions?

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Shipping from Canada to overseas, I've had the best experience with UPS using their Pack N' Ship service. If you bring the instrument already packed, there is a limit on the insurable amount, but if you have them do the packing on your behalf, it can be insured for the full value. 

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I think USPS within the States, but yes, well packed. I have heard problems with UPS honoring insurance, but I guess that means using the UPS Pack N' Ship with high value packages. Of course you need to use a NEW BOX. Also, double box as well, though a good hard case should work well for that.  

 

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Lately I have been coming around to USPS from usually using UPS.  UPS is getting to where they "could give a s%*t" whether you ship or not.

USPS has some idiosyncratic rules (take a look at their website, especially involving batteries!

That being said, USPS Priority Mail, Insured, is pretty safe.  As stated, new box, double box and/or foam (good case is good for penetration safety but not for shock).  Use good tape.

Don't even consider FDX.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nowadays we order so much stuff on line that we always have lots of bubblewrap and styrofoam arriving almost daily.  Accumulate a bunch of that.  Then use bubble wrap to fill the space between the concertina and the inside of the case.  This is so the concertina won't bounce around inside the case.   Then get a corrugated cardboard box slightly larger than the case, and stuff styrofoam or bubble wrap to fill the space between the case and the inside of the box.  Then get another slightly larger corrugated cardboard box and repeat.  Use duct tape as described by others.   I think how you pack it is more important than who ships it .  I have shipped safely using United Parcel Service in the United States, it was about $42.  I would also trust the USPS.  Get a tracking number.

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1 hour ago, arkwright said:

Nowadays we order so much stuff on line that we always have lots of bubblewrap and styrofoam arriving almost daily.  Accumulate a bunch of that.  Then use bubble wrap to fill the space between the concertina and the inside of the case.  This is so the concertina won't bounce around inside the case.   Then get a corrugated cardboard box slightly larger than the case, and stuff styrofoam or bubble wrap to fill the space between the case and the inside of the box.  Then get another slightly larger corrugated cardboard box and repeat.  Use duct tape as described by others.   I think how you pack it is more important than who ships it .  I have shipped safely using United Parcel Service in the United States, it was about $42.  I would also trust the USPS.  Get a tracking number.

 

I do all that,  except for the double boxes. The concertinas always go in custom fitted hard cases.  Recently we bought a large flat panel TV, and in the shipping box, the corners of the unit were protected by wedges of a dense but very shock absorbent variety of foam; I adapted those to position my case in the shipping box, on top of layers of plastic peanuts.

 

For tape, I use the commercial paper tape with fiberglass reinforcing - the kind you have to wet before applying. That's required for USPS registered, which I still think is the safest - if not fastest - way to ship high value instruments. And unlike UPS, they insured the full value of my Jeffries (but I'm sure collecting on that insurance, should the need arise, would not be a simple matter).

 

And yes, in these pandemic times we are inundated with packing materials.

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I recently purchased a camera lens; not really expensive, but not cheap, either. Vendor chose USPS, I chose the tracking texts to phone and followed the package to my house. When I got the delivery notice I went to the door (why don't delivery drivers knock anymore?) No package. It had been only a minute, so I doubted it was a porch thief. I started a claim, a couple days later a postal employee reported that the package was mis-delivered and was un-recoverable. They said to file a claim with the seller and they would pay. The next day it showed up on my doorstep.

 

My neighbor delivered it.

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