If you own a guitar, there may come a time when you need to ship it somewhere. This could be because you are sending it to be repaired or refinished, you sold it, or you are sending it to a place you will be spending time and want your guitar there. No matter the reason, you want to make sure that it gets to its new destination in the same condition it was when you shipped it.
Picking the Proper Mailing Container
To ensure the safety of your guitar, you need a shipping container that will provide protection to the case. It should be large enough to hold the instrument without having much extra room at all. Measure the guitar case and look for a box that is not more than one inch larger than any of the dimensions. While you could use a wooden shipping crate, you can also use corrugated cardboard. This will save you money on the container and the shipping fees.
Preparing the Guitar
One of the first things you should do to prepare the guitar for shipping is to loosen the strings. Tight strings put a lot of pressure on the neck and fretboard. Bumps and bangs and even changes in temperature can add to that tension in a way that can cause serious damage to the instrument. You should also place some newspaper between the strings and the fretboard to keep them from scratching the finish or wood. Remove the battery from the pickup. It is also a good idea to secure any parts that move, such as a tremolo. You can wrap these parts with newspaper or bubble wrap. Wrap the entire neck and headstock with bubble wrap and then place the guitar in the box. Look for any spaces between the instrument and the case and fill them with bubble wrap too.
Boxing It Up
Once you have the guitar in the case and ready to go, slip it into the box. Jiggle the box a bit to see if the case moves and fill any spaces with bubble wrap. The idea is to make the case as snug as possible without putting any pressure on it. You can then close the ends and seal the box with tape. Do not use staples as they may end up going into the case.
Even the best packing and handling of shipped items can sometimes end with damage. Take out insurance on the package so that it will be repaired or replaced if something does happen. Luckily, this is not often the case, and your guitar will get to its destination needing nothing more than a tuning.
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