Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Posts 1 to 50 of 94
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    When you buy or sell a guitar (between individuals), how do you guys/gals handle packing and insurance? I guess the buyer bears the risk but the seller does the packing - not a good place to be I would think. From what little I know insurance runs upward of 10% (but this is anecdotal information).

    For you folks who do this a bunch, how do you handle it. I saw one guitar listed with a 'dehumidifier case'. I just have to believe that this guy doesn't know much about guitars so I kind of shudder to think how he might pack one.

    Thanks.

    dave

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    I usually ship guitars FedEx. The last one stayed on the east coast and was insured for $2400. The shipping itself was about $20 with another $25 for full insurance.

    It was a PRS 513, so the box was a little smaller than a typical archtop would be, and therefore the shipping rate was a little less, but probably less than $10 difference.

    I've learned if there is any doubt about the shipper's competence with guitar packing, its best to discuss it ahead of time. That way I don't get a case with some tape wrapped around it and a shipping label stuck on it. (That really happened to me with a custom shop Les Paul.) With coaching, I've gotten really good results from the inexperienced.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    You are counting totally on the goodness of the person selling you the guitar. I have bought many guitars and I thank each and every one of them for taking care to pack the guitars well. I have read horror stories of sellers using shipping and insurance as a profit centre. That is, to quote the buyer a high shipping and insurance rate and then ship by the lowest rate possible. I have read horror tales of sellers throwing the guitar into a thin box without packing materials once it has been paid for. Not my guitar now, he figures. But jazz guitarists and archtop players, classical players must be classy decent educated folk because, bless their hearts, I have never been screwed over by anyone to date. And I have bought many guitars. Not as many as 2bop (he is the King Flipper; can't touch dat) but at about a quarter of his industry. And I hope my good luck continues. Every one of them packed the guitar as if it was a personal belonging. Everyone showed that he cared even though it has been sold. I pay by wire, not Paypal, because I figure that if I can't trust a person I shan't be dealing with him anyway. Guess that makes me a heehaw simpleton ripe for the picking. Yeah, I got screwed finally, on a pair of fake adidas off ebay. $126. Broke the duck.

    Ameritage Gold Series cases come with a dehumidifier wooden box each. That is what most sellers mean when they mention "dehumidifier case".

    How do I handle it? Work it out with the seller way before the sale is finalised. You have to get a sense of whom you are dealing with.

    Richard Bruné on shipping: Shipping Info — R. E. Brune, Luthier
    Last edited by Jabberwocky; 02-07-2017 at 12:24 AM.

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    The seller is responsible for the guitar during shipping - PayPal, Reverb and credit card companies will refund the buyer if the guitar arrives damaged or otherwise 'not as described'. UPS and FedEx offer insurance, and I purchase it when shipping, but getting either to pay on a claim is arduous.

    Reverb now offers buyer & seller protection and if you sell the guitar on Reverb and purchase shipping through Reverb you also get Reverb's shipping insurance added to the cost. Rates through Reverb for USPS or UPS are competitive to slightly better than going direct with USPS or UPS. Hopefully Reverb's insurance will be easier to work with than UPS and FedEx.

    Shipping rates have really gotten expensive for cross-country - UPS quoted $120 to ship from the west coast to Chicago, FedEx was $80 insured. On another sale I was able to ship via UPS through Reverb for under $60 to Boston. I also recently shipped from the southwest to Seattle for approx. $30 insured - shippers are really upping the prices for long distance and it's worthwhile to shop for the best rate.

    I've sold hundreds of guitars/amps/pedals on eBay or Reverb over the past 17 years and only had damage on 1 amp I shipped, but it took months to get FedEx to pay the claim.

    ** IIRC either UPS, FedEx, or both, no longer insure 'vintage' or high value instruments - but you wouldn't learn that until you file the claim.
    Last edited by MaxTwang; 02-07-2017 at 12:24 AM.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Dan Erlewine's shipping & packing guide

    http://www.danerlewine.com/freestuff...ingaguitar.pdf

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    I shipped a case a couple weeks ago and got a whopping $82 bill from FedEx.
    I'm sure it was a more of 'dimensional' rather than weight charge, but I only charged the seller $55.
    it's been awhile since I shipped a guitar or case [or bought one for that matter] looks like rates have jumped.
    that won't happen again

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    A 50"x20"x8" box has a dimensional weight of 57.68 pounds. USPS bills by actual weight up to a limit of 70 pounds and L + Girth of 108", I think, unless that has changed recently. Fedex and UPS bill the larger of the two weights, dimensional or actual weight.

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    The few things I have shipped with insurance I let the shipper pack it (if available) so if there's damage they cannot blame the seller. A shipper has a tough time not paying on a claim if THEY pack or is there's a fork lift hole through the case.

    On the reverse side of the coin, sellers to me have been VERY diligent packing well. I have them detune the strings down to put less stress on the neck / head / truss rod area too.

    On the subject... shipping insurance has become a MAJOR scam and PITA. I "HATE" to say it but I think the feds need to investigate these carriers and SEVERELY punish them for not paying or foot dragging on claims. Crappola, life and car insurance companies are regulated why not scrutinize these bastards and maybe regulate the insurance aspect. Maybe just the FEAR of scrutiny would fix it?

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    I purchased a number of very rare guitars from the estate of a forum member who passed away. I spent a lot of money. The guitars are irreplaceable as the person that built many of them also has passed away. When it came time to ship I had the seller take the guitars to a local UPS Store I had already contacted. I had UPS pack the boxes using what I jokingly call "their deluxe treatment" and I insured the guitars for their full value. Mostly over 4k each. So by insuring at that level UPS Stores are obligated to really go "overboard". I have never in all my 70 years seen guitars so well padded and protected. Layers of foam, case wrapped in bubble wrap, just exemplary work. Yeah it cost me more but if any of the guitars had been damaged in shipment I would have been bereft. The guitars all arrived in perfect condition. I kept a couple of the boxes and all the sophisticated padding around for future use.

    Now if you are having someone send you a guitar (when you decide what you are buying) a safe and easy way to close it out calmly is to have them go to a UPS Store and let the store do the packing. Insure the guitar for it's full price and pay for that shipping yourself. It's money well spent. I assume whatever you buy you hope to play and enjoy for a very long time.

    Good luck.

    Big

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    This plus having the guitar shipped to a nearby hub and picking it up from the hub works for me if the guitar and/or my time to deal with damage/claims is too valuable.

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    I prefer USPS to either Fedex or UPS, by far. Cheaper, faster, more reliable. There are many, many horror stories just on this forum about damage during Fedex or UPS shipments. I've never had any damage with USPS. I would not trust anything that I valued to UPS or to Fedex. I've seen packages that were supposed to be overnighted sit for more than a week just waiting for Fedex to pick them up. Fedex Ground is often quicker than their air shipments, depending on the destination and/or origin. USPS will pick the package up from you if you want. Insurance is reasonable. They even have Sunday delivery for packages.

    If you want to know how to pack a guitar for shipment. go to archtop.com. There is an extensive tutorial with pictures. Joe deals with shipments of expensive guitars every day, in both directions. He's seen a lot, if not all, and has good advice.

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    USPS is not perfect either. I recently had them damage a very rare flattop that the seller sent Express Mail. A solid brazilian rosewood back and sides guitar, the box was dropped on it's end, probably by whatever airliner it flew on from California to Chicago. The end result is repairable but ugly. So USPS is NOT an angel in these matters.

    Big

    On Shipping Guitars-img_1502-jpgOn Shipping Guitars-img_1501-jpg
    Last edited by BigMikeinNJ; 02-07-2017 at 01:35 PM.

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    I prefer USPS to either Fedex or UPS, by far. Cheaper, faster, more reliable. There are many, many horror stories just on this forum about damage during Fedex or UPS shipments. I've never had any damage with USPS. I would not trust anything that I valued to UPS or to Fedex. I've seen packages that were supposed to be overnighted sit for more than a week just waiting for Fedex to pick them up. Fedex Ground is often quicker than their air shipments, depending on the destination and/or origin. USPS will pick the package up from you if you want. Insurance is reasonable. They even have Sunday delivery for packages.

    If you want to know how to pack a guitar for shipment. go to archtop.com. There is an extensive tutorial with pictures. Joe deals with shipments of expensive guitars every day, in both directions. He's seen a lot, if not all, and has good advice.
    Interestingly, I've had essentially the opposite experience. Fortunately, no damage using any of these shippers, but in most instances USPS has been 50-100% more costly and widely variable speed with USPS. My '68 GJS sat in the post office in Philadelphia for a week before it even began to move. Talk about nerve wracking!

  15. #14

    User Info Menu


  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by BigMikeinNJ
    USPS is not perfect either. I recently had them damage a very rare flattop that the seller sent Express Mail. A solid brazilian rosewood back and sides guitar, the box was dropped on it's end, probably by whatever airliner it flew on from California to Chicago. The end result is repairable but ugly. So USPS is NOT an angel in these matters.


    Big

    On Shipping Guitars-img_1502-jpgOn Shipping Guitars-img_1501-jpg

    How was USPS on the claim? We've had a couple USPS claims, either lost item or damage, and the post office paid w/o questions. In the case of damage to a sculpture USPS saw the packaging and admitted USPS should not have accepted the package (a stone sculpture that was in a clear plastic storage box w/ no padding).

    OTOH I've had UPS reject a damage claim on a carved soapstone statue that was in a custom wood crate encased in 5" of 'foam-in-place' around it. UPS claimed the item couldn't have been damaged w/ that packaging but you could see the item had been driven through 5" of foam-in-place and came into contact w/ the crate (that's quite a drop!).

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    None of the options are perfect, of course. Stuff can happen, or to put it another way, defecation occurs. But IME, which certainly isn't everyone's, the USPS is the best of the readily available and affordable options.

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    Last guitar I shipped I let UPS do the packing ... no problems on that one

    I am trying to steel myself to sell some guitars ... I've been dawdling for months, but I need the cash to pay off my Super 400

    I plan on letting UPS do the packing again ... I will be selling solid bodies so I'm not as worried as I would be with an archtop ..

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedawg
    ... I will be selling solid bodies so I'm not as worried as I would be with an archtop ..
    If any of the solid-bodies says Gibson and Lifton case, you should be. Don't know what to tell ya but use those cardboard endcaps that hold the case upright and immobile in the shipping box, and strengthen the box at both ends, and pack lots of foam worms around the hard case. Put a small bag of foam worms under the Gibson headstock and nut.

    The stupid Gibson Lifton-style case is too close-fitting around the headstock. Any slight movement, the headstock comes in contact with the side walls and toast, man. You gotta stop the guitar from shifting in the case. Keep the headstock away from the walls. And remove the endpin and store it in the string compartment wrapped in a big wad of paper in a Ziplock.

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Amen Jabberwocky on immobilizing the case and headstock.

    With the DY95n, the guy didn't insure it. And I didn't file a claim. Right here I was told that the carrier might want the guitar, then have their insurance pay me off for the value of the instrument and I'd be out the guitar. No thanks. But let this guitar be a primer of NOT TO DO's:

    Never have a guitar shipped when it is super cold at the send or receive locations. A fellow member had a lovely Guild Artist Award get totally finish checked because it was shipped during
    frigid weather. Mine arrived on a day when it was 8 degrees and stayed like that all day. Allow any cold or hot box to rest at the receiving location until it has totally adjusted to the room temperature, then remove case and if it is hot or cold allow it to totally adjust to room temperature.

    In my case it was 8 degrees here in Chicago, going USPS Express it was on a jet and got to Chicago about 5am. And then bounced around on a USPS truck until about 1pm. Who knows WHERE it got dropped. All it took was one solid drop in that frigid state and that delicate solid rosewood would crack. In the Spring I'm taking it to Pete Moreno to have him fix it. And not going too heavy on the well intended seller paid off, not 4 days later he offers me the Holy Grail of Alvarez Yairi's to me - a 1978 DY96. I'll post this shot of the Three Amigos together: a '78 DY95n, the '78 DY96 and a '77 DY95n... all solid jacaranda. Lovely beasts. Found them all in a period of 5 days. Life Happens.

    Big


    On Shipping Guitars-16472870_10154420869032239_9071931390785290128_n-jpg

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveLeeNC
    When you buy or sell a guitar (between individuals), how do you guys/gals handle packing and insurance? I guess the buyer bears the risk but the seller does the packing - not a good place to be I would think.
    dave
    No Dave. The seller bears all the risk inherent in shipping. If the sellers guitar does not arrive as described, or the guitar is damaged in transit, it's the seller whose on the hook. The buyer receives a refund while the seller deals with the shipping company and a damage claim.

    Not for the faint of heart. And as a buyer, 50% of the guitars I acquired were packed well. The other 1/2, not so much. It's a roll of the dice, but still, out of many transactions I only experienced 1 guitar that had to be returned, and that guitar was misrepresented by its seller. In short - Most sellers don't spend the time to adequately pack a guitar...it's not difficult to do, but it takes time to do it correctly. I finally had to stop buying/selling because of health reasons and not having the energy to spend on packing a guitar right. It's work now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedawg
    Last guitar I shipped I let UPS do the packing ... no problems on that one

    I am trying to steel myself to sell some guitars ... I've been dawdling for months, but I need the cash to pay off my Super 400

    I plan on letting UPS do the packing again ... I will be selling solid bodies so I'm not as worried as I would be with an archtop ..
    Wonderful. But every UPS outlet is different. Many of the outlets staff their stores with minimum wage employees that don't know how to pack a guitar. I've received many so called "packed by UPS" guitars that weren't adequately packaged.

    The bonus of shipping via a UPS STORE, meaning they pack and ship it, is should the guitar get damaged in transit UPS is on the hook for the damage. The down side to shipping via a UPS store is the price is 2, 3, 4 times more than shipping via ones own UPS account.
    Last edited by 2bornot2bop; 02-07-2017 at 11:33 PM.

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    I've probably said this before, but if you work for a company that does a lot of shipping, check to see if they provide an "employee personal shipping" discount. My company does, and it's great. I generally pack my own items that I've sold, but they will also pack for you. (And given that the company is generally sending high end broadcast gear, they're pretty good at it.) The company corporate discount, which employees receive, generally amounts to about 60 - 65%. They always give me a receipt that shows the non-discounted rate (which for a $4,000 guitar shipped across country via 2-day air can be well over $200). I would typically pay a third of that amount.

    Worth checking out to see if your company offers that benefit.

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    If you are the seller and no matter how professionally you pack it yourself and if you ship UPS and insure it fully and UPS breaks it they WILL NOT pay you a dime. You will need a lawyer and have to sue UPS to get your insurance money.

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    I had a guitar delivered by TNT earlier this week; a 1973 Les Paul Recording - Box arrived looking crumpled on the ends. Looked like it had a bit of a rough ride. Fortunately -- the guitar was very well packed (both inside and outside the case) so no damage occurred. I was expecting a broken headstock scenario, but thankfully all was well. I did age a couple of years while unboxing the guitar.

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    I've shipped over 200 times with USPS--had two guitars damaged by dropping. My Heritage Insurance covered them. Last winter I sent a guitar to the east coast and shipped via Priority Mail because a big snowstorm was on the way and the PO guy said it would get there ahead of it. It took two weeks to get to the new owner, being stuck in a PO delivery truck for half of that, with no status updates. Lately I've avoided using USPS because some of the boxes I use are over their limit for Priority Mail and because our local post offices tend to be a zoo in season, although i do send smaller stuff using their free pickup service. The snowstorm shipment was the last guitar I've shipped with them

    My preferred choice now is Fedex Ground. I use UPS only when a buyer send me a prepaid label, mostly because Fedex always seems to charge me less. I've never had a problem with either one, sending or receiving.

    I wrote a long article on shipping my entire guitar collection when we moved 18 years ago. I thought I'd posted it here, but I can't find it so maybe not. I should do it in a new thread, though.

    Danny W.
    Last edited by Danny W.; 02-07-2017 at 11:42 PM.

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    I finally had to stop buying/selling because of health reasons and not having the energy to spend on packing a guitar right. It's work now.
    I hear that!!! I gave up on combo amps bigger than a Princeton years ago due to the work it takes to pack them, now I'm selling off unplayed guitars while I'm "young enough" to pack them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Danny W.
    I've shipped over 200 times with USPS--had two guitars damaged by dropping. My Heritage Insurance covered them.
    ...
    Danny W.

    I've been wondering about Heritage and also Clarion insurance, seems like a good idea in case of break-in theft as well as shipping damage.

  27. #26

    User Info Menu

    I am very excited for an upcoming NGD tomorrow. I will post more info on the guitar when it arrives but I wanted to get everyone's opinion. I have heard that when a guitar arrives after shipping in the cold you should not open the case awhile to let it acclimate to the new temperature.

    I feel like waiting will be next to impossible but it will be in the low thirties in the morning and warming up to the forties in the afternoon. What do you guys think on how long I should wait before opening the case?

  28. #27

    User Info Menu

    Not sure, but fast temperature changes are a killer. I would leave it for a long time to aclimatise. Maybe a day! That would certainly be an exercise in self control! I have a mate who has an early 60s es-175. He didn't like the neck shape as it was too thick for him so he had it shaved down so it was thinner front to back and had it re lacquered. He left it in the car one night when it froze and in the morning the lacquer on the neck was as crazed as the rest of the guitar, you would never know it had been refinished.

  29. #28

    User Info Menu

    Personally, this time of year, I don't open a case for 24 hours. I open the exterior box to allow warm room air to enter the box. RE the guitar case, I treat it like acclimating new fish to an aquarium. AFTER 24 hours I remove the case from the box, allow it to rest in the room, then after 6 hours or so I open and shut the case every 90 minutes or so for several hours. I've never experienced lacquer cracking, but everyone has a different method.

    Better to be patient, than to be sorry, imo.

  30. #29

    User Info Menu

    Paulie,
    The key here is patience, patience. A hasty decision brought on by excitement could result in permanent damage to the finish. Everyone has their opinion, but I practice a slow
    acclimation, depending on weather. I usually take in the cold box and put it in my 60 degree basement for a few hours while in the cardboard box. Then I open one end of box and let that sit for a few more hours. Then I take case out of box , crack open lid 1 inch ( cool air will rush out) for a few seconds then immediately close case lid. I let case then sit for a few more hours in my basement. Then I bring into my temperature and humidity controlled guitar room for yet another few hours and THEN I take the guitar out of the case. Any rapid temperature increase from cold to hot will result in potential finish crazing that you will regret.

    Just my opinion.....the key here is a gradual warm up. I have never had a problem when being patient with this process. Is it over kill, perhaps to some, but not me.


    Sent from my GT-N5110 using Tapatalk

  31. #30

    User Info Menu

    I once had a lacquered pedal steel, it sat in a truck outside in sub freezing weather for some time, don't remember why. I brought it in and opened it up for a gig; the finish which was perfect, slowly crackled and checked before my eyes in slow motion, totally ruined it. I also would advise extreme patience; the shipping trucks and warehouses have little to no heat. Always a little scary shipping in the winter.

  32. #31

    User Info Menu

    I received a repaired Gibson from Nashville last week. They overnighted which means sub zero jet temps not to mention it left at 31 degrees and made a plane transfer at 28 degrees. Then it was on a truck at 50 degrees for 4 hours. I turned off all the heat in my home the night before. When the guitar arrived the inside of my house was 53 degrees. The guitar box still felt much colder. I still waited 4 hours and then would just open the case for a quick look
    for another hour.

    Rule of thumb is to wait 24 hours or till the case feels the same temp as its environment.
    Laminates are a bit less risk than solid carved. Unfortunately you will be pacing back and forth like a caged tiger.

    LOL !

    I want to buy a real nice L5 right now but I won't do winter shipping anymore. Follow the golden rules above and you will be fine. Enjoy your new axe !

  33. #32

    User Info Menu

    You asked and people with first hand experience have cautioned you to go very slow. I'd say do what 2B says, I have a room in my place that is right across the hall from the central a/c-heat. The sealed box goes on the bed and stays there a whole night (if the box is at all cold). In the morning I crack open the end of the box and test the case, if it's at all cold I wait 6 hours with the end of the box open. Then check again, IF the case is cozy then I unpack and put the case in my office (the coolest room in the house all year) and pop the case open, if the guitar temp is not the same as the room the case gets closed 6 hours. And so on.

    I never want to have a guitar finish all checked because I wasn't careful... I mean really... Ya know ??

    Big


    "I spent my whole life trying not to be careless.
    Women and children can afford to be careless, men cannot"

    Don Corleone (The Godfather)

  34. #33

    User Info Menu

    As noted by Vinny , BigMike and 2b, the 24 hour rule is really the prudent approach if we are talking about very cold winter temps.

    Paulie2- Better to be safe then sorry.

  35. #34

    User Info Menu

    The longest 24 hours in your life but with patience comes great rewards. Doesn't help matters if delivered by UPS with a damaged box.

    Don't forget the NGD post. Your new baby will be fine and we can drool over your new axe pics.

  36. #35

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Brucebob
    I once had a lacquered pedal steel, it sat in a truck outside in sub freezing weather for some time, don't remember why. I brought it in and opened it up for a gig; the finish which was perfect, slowly crackled and checked before my eyes in slow motion, ...
    It's January 20, 1951. You finish your gig at the Mousetrap Cafe in Milwaukee at 1:30 AM, pack your gear into the trunk of your Hudson Hornet, and head back to the Hav-A-Nap Motel for a few zees. Next morning, you hit the road in sub-zero temperatures and make the long drive to the Lakeshore Lounge in Rochester. Blowing wind. Lake effect snow. Freezing. You get there at 8:15 PM and are supposed to be set up and playing by 8:30. It's cold outside, but the place is packed, the heat is on, and the place is positively steamy as the winter coats and boots dry off and the patrons relax. The band is ready to go but your guitar is still in the case, which sits closed next to your Gibson GA-50. The manager gets up on stage and asks why you haven't started playing - the place is packed, the joint is jumping, it's 8:35...and you say, what, "Sorry, but my guitar needs to acclimatize before I take it out of the case." Because it's a D'Angelico, or a Gibson L-5. Good luck with that. Hence the ES-175.
    Last edited by Hammertone; 12-13-2017 at 06:27 PM.

  37. #36

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    It's January 20, 1951. You finish your gig at the Mousetrap Cafe in Milwaukee at 1:30 AM, pack your gear into the trunk of your Hudson Hornet, and head back to the Motel for a few zees. Next morning, you hit the road in sub-zero temperatures and make the long drive to the Lakeshore Lounge in Rochester. Blowing wind. Lake effect snow. Freezing. You get there at 8:15 PM and are supposed to be set up and playing by 8:30. It's cold outside, but the place is packed, the heat is on, and the place is positively steamy as the winter coats and boots dry off and the patrons relax. The band is ready to go but your guitar is still in the case, which sits closed next to your Gibson GA-50. The manager gets up on stage and asks why you haven't started playing - the place is packed, the joint is jumping, it's 8:35...and you say, what, "Sorry, but my guitar needs to acclimatize before I take it out of the case." Because it's a D'Angelico, or a Gibson L-5. Good luck with that. Hence the ES-175.
    True- and that’s why the guitars of working pros from that period had instruments covered with finish crazing. There are still many of those guitars around - which are likely identified by necks with finish worn off back.

  38. #37

    User Info Menu

    Thanks everyone. This is exactly what I thought, but needed to hear it again. Going to be a long 24 hours or more until I can open it.....
    Last edited by Paulie2; 12-13-2017 at 11:47 AM.

  39. #38

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by QAman
    True- and that’s why the guitars of working pros from that period had instruments covered with finish crazing. There are still many of those guitars around - which are likely identified by necks with finish worn off back.
    Having had the dead-of-winter experience of moving cold gear from a 0% humidity environment to a hot, 85% humidity club, and watching condensation drip off my telecaster while I was playing, I learned to keep a small terrycloth handy to wipe it down.

    The ES-175 is simply the stand-in, the stunt double that takes a licking for the carved archtop wisely left at home. It is the Timex of the archtop world (being old is fun!). In today's global market, full of everything from poly-dipped Furutama to excellent instruments from every corner of the Far East, that point of view may be a bit obscure, but, back in '49, I think the boys in Kalamazoo knew exactly what they were doing.

  40. #39

    User Info Menu

    way way back I took delivery of a '33 L-5 in the dead of winter.
    I waited several hours before opening the case.
    when I took it out and flipped the guitar over, like Brucebob posted above I watched the finish check before my eyes.
    checking on a guitar doesn't bother me one bit, but I was sad to have been the one to allow it to happen, lesson learned.

  41. #40

    User Info Menu

    Delivered and signed for, and the box looks in immaculate condition for UPS. And now we wait.

    NGD post coming tomorrow or Friday.

  42. #41

    User Info Menu

    CME knows what to do... this label was on the last box I got from them.

    On Shipping Guitars-stop_label-jpg

  43. #42

    User Info Menu

    It's wicked cold in New England today, and I have rehearsal tonight. Even though I brought my Telecaster, and I tend to think of it as indestructible, I brought it into the office with me. Probably unnecessary, but I figure it can't hurt.

    Years ago, I had an Ovation flat top. I took it to a party one sub-zero night, and in the time it took me to walk several blocks, the bridge separated from the body. I had it repaired, but it never sounded good after that.

  44. #43

    User Info Menu

    So there is something to be said for a flat/sanded/washed on finish? :-) If I lived in a cold clime for sure I'd have a tele thinline sanded to bare wood with a light coat of flat tung oil or some such finish on it.

  45. #44

    User Info Menu

    So this whole thing is killing me. I'm sitting in my office looking at the box Fed Ex delivered this morning. It was from QAman and contains (I hope his Lee Ritenour L-5 that I am fortunate enough to have purchased. It's sitting there in the box taunting me, just daring me to open it. I told QAman this is going to be a very very long day.

    Even though the box actually felt warm when it arrived, I'm still freaked out to open it and will wait and take all precautions. Years ago I bought a beautiful Goodall flattop that arrived one January day. I couldn't resist or I was too stupid to know (I'll go with the latter), and I opened it almost right away. When I lifted the lid the top finish literally checked in front of my eyes, like a nightmare. One of the stupidest things I've ever done. So, I can't take any chances with this beautiful Lee Ritenour!! Don't worry QAman, I won't!!!

  46. #45

    User Info Menu

    I liked the Hudson example. But I don't have problems transporting a guitar to a gig by car in winter, because I can warm up the car and control the temperature on the trip. The worst temperature fluctuation occurs when the guitar is being run from the house to the warm car. In a case like that, where someone who actually cares about the instrument is in charge of it, that doesn't represent a problem.

    But there's no way that you can control what happens to a guitar when a shipping company has it. They don't give a damn about your package. To them it's just cargo. Even with overnight shipping your parcel can be left outside for extended periods and then subjected to temperatures changes as it moves from place to place. I don't like that. I normally place my orders for shipment on Monday in order to assure Tuesday or Wednesday delivery. I recently had a package that was on the truck for delivery on Wednesday, but because UPS was too busy to finish their route during the Holidays my delivery got bumped from Wednesday to Thursday, Thursday to Friday, and Friday to Monday. The weather changed a lot during the course of a week. I was on the phone with UPS every day about the guitar being damaged when the weather turned to freezing. They didn't care. The guitar sat outdoors in the back of the delivery truck from Wednesday to Monday as the weather turned to freezing.

    These kinds of experiences have made me become more conservative than most about weather protection. I live in Chicago, where the weather can become cold cold cold in the winter. I don't want to have problems with finish checking and other thermally induced problems when an expensive guitar is handled as just another piece of cargo by a shipping company. As a result, I won't buy a guitar and have it shipped when it's going to be subjected to huge extremes in temperatures. I won't ship an instrument in winter. Period. And I won't buy during heatwaves during summer. I hold off on making a major purchase until a time when the weather doesn't add risk to the transaction.


    I've learned a few things by shipping hundreds of live exotic saltwater fish on overnight transactions. Even though the wholesalers go the extra mile to keep track of weather forecasts and add heat packs or cold packs to the transport coolers to minimize stress to the fish, it's not good enough. When live animals are shipped during inclement conditions they don't do well. In the best case scenario they get sick, in the worst case scenario they die. As a result I won't buy them unless the weather is mild and is going to stay mild for several days beyond the predicted shipping time. You have to pay attention to the weather, and you have to have the good sense not to complete a transaction if the weather adds too much risk to the situation.

  47. #46

    User Info Menu

    it's highly unlikely a guitar will suffer damage being transported from a warm home into the cold and into a warm car.
    checking occurs when there's sudden temp changes, it takes awhile for a warm guitar in it's closed case to get cold and it's not a sudden change anyway.
    but exposing a cold guitar to a warm environment suddenly is usually how it happens.
    in the winter I'll get to the gig early and crack the lid of the case slightly to let it acclimate slowly, even though my old L-5 has tons of checking already.

  48. #47

    User Info Menu

    Wow, i did not know a guitar could react so badly because of temperature changes from box to house. Here in Scotland i have played guitars in shops that had no heating at all, ice on inside of windows.

  49. #48

    User Info Menu

    So I figure Paulie2 (the OP) might be in need of some entertainment, as it's going to be a long night --- not so different from Christmas Eve for a 10 year old, eh?

    So here's my story:
    Last week I received shipment of my 175 from Chicago Music Exchange. It came in around 5:30 pm after a long day of waiting (as a signature was required) and the box felt warm to the touch, but showed some damage. I was eager to open the box to check for damage, so I did take the case out of the box right away -- just to see if there were any mars on the case. Fortunately, the case was clean and it wasn't making any scary rattling noises. But it felt cool to the touch, so I let the case sit unopened for a few hours.

    Once the case felt warm to the touch, I peeked inside -- everything looked OK! So far, so good! I left the case cracked open 1/2 hour or so and finally I just had to see her! The guitar felt cool to the touch -- but not too cool, mind you -- so I took her out, carefully removed the packing, tuned her up and played a few notes. All was right with the world! It was the nirvana of the NGD!!!!

    And then . . . I watched in horror as ever so slowly a network of cracks appeared across the face of my beautiful new guitar!!!!!!

    Just kidding -- that last part didn't really happen. Everything was fine, the guitar looked and played great, but I felt guilty for pushing the envelope and put her back in the case for the night.

    Next day, I got to really play the new 175 and truly appreciated her. It's been a great love affair ever since. Perfection.
    I was lucky enough that the weather wasn't really tough when my guitar got delivered, and I know I pushed the optimal schedule a bit, but hey -- that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

    Happy pending NGD! May I suggest an evening of internet research on ES 175 related topics? LOL

  50. #49

    User Info Menu

    I remember reading a thread on the Les Paul forum where people were leaving their Les Pauls outside and bringing them in quickly to a warm room to get the finish to craze.

    There are some things I'll never really understand.

  51. #50

    User Info Menu

    I recieved a guitar via UPS about a week ago, and temps were getting cold here in Michigan.
    Knowing I needed to allow it to warm up, but not willing to wait longer than necessary, this was the perfect time to utilize the infrared temp gun!
    Removes a lot of guess work, lets you monitor the process. I was OK to take it out when it got within 10* F of room temperature.

    These things do come in handy, and the price on them has fallen a lot since I bought mine years ago. Here's a cheaper new one on Amazon $12.99 w/ free Prime shipping:
    HDE Temperature Gun Infrared Thermometer w/ Laser Sight

    *Now there was another guitar I was tempted to buy at the same time, but it was carved spruce top and I was not willing to risk shipping during busy "Black Friday" holiday delivery times AND the cold.on what was a higher value delicate guitar.
    IF you do shock a very cold nitrocellulose finish with too much sudden warmth, you might get to see the dreaded bluish haze that appears suddenly just before you start crying as you watch the finish check

    John


    On Shipping Guitars-711e-2yan9l-_sl1400_-jpg