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It’s nerve racking to think about shipping musical instruments. There are so many elements you need to make safe and if even one of them breaks, the instrument can be ruined. How can you pack a guitar safely for shipping, and how should you ship a guitar? We’ve got some tips for you. As long as you go step by step, you’ll be fine.
- Start by loosening the strings. You want them to have a bit of slack so that they’re not taught for the entire trip.
- Any part of the guitar that can be moved should be secured. You can pack the part in padding. Newspaper is fine to use.
- Next, you’ll want to take some time with the headstock. You can wrap it in any packing material, but we like a few layers of bubble wrap. Make sure this wrapping is snug without straining the headstock.
- Cover the fretboard under the strings with newspaper. This way, the strings and fretboard will both have some padding. This can be a layer or layers of newspaper, but keep it relatively thin – you don’t want to bulge the strings out either.
- If you have a case, fill in any empty space with packing material. Newspaper is still suitable, as is packing paper, or sections of bubble wrap. You just need to keep the guitar from sliding around. When you ship a guitar, just like any freight it’ll be moved, handled, and may feel a pothole. If you properly pack a guitar, it will sustain this just fine. Make sure the guitar doesn’t slide around in its case.
- If you don’t have a case, do the same for the guitar, but in a box. Make sure the case or the guitar is suspended in a box, with packing material underneath, above, forward and back, and to each side. This “floats” the guitar (in its case or out of it) so that it won’t bump into a side during shipping. Instead, it will just be held in place “floating” by the packing material.
- Slip a return address slip, invoice, business card, or whatever is appropriate into the box, tape it up with shipping tape, and you’re ready to go!