Moving your gear from one place to another can be a daunting task. Not only do you have to worry about the logistics of transporting your equipment, but you also have to consider the cost.
Shipping a guitar or bass amp, in particular, can be a challenge, and in this comprehensive guide to amp shipping, we will explore the factors that affect shipping costs, the different shipping options available, and how to save money when shipping an amplifier.
Table of Contents
- The Factors that Affect Amp Shipping Costs
- Different Shipping Options for Amps
- Compare Different Carriers When Shipping Your Amp
- Amp Shipping Services: Pros and Cons
- Tips for Preparing Your Amp for Shipping
- Do You Need Insurance When Shipping An Amp?
- How to Save Money on Amp Shipping Costs
The Factors that Affect Amp Shipping Costs
The cost of shipping an amp can vary greatly, with the weight of the guitar or bass amp and the distance it needs to travel being the most significant factors that influence the total cost.
These are essential considerations to make when shipping an amp:
- The heavier and bigger the amplifier, the more expensive it will be to ship.
- The longer the distance, the higher the cost of shipping.
- The type of shipping service you choose also plays a role in determining the cost of shipping (i.e., ground vs. air shipping).
- The value of the amp is important if you intend to consider purchasing shipping insurance, which will cost extra.
Because of the different factors, there isn’t one specific cost when shipping an amp – you can expect to spend anywhere from $50 to $250.
However, once you find the size and weight of the amp you’re sending out and know where it will travel to, you can start looking into the various services available and find an actual price!
Different Shipping Options for Amps
A handful of shipping options are available when it comes to shipping an amp. The most common options are ground shipping and expedited shipping.
- Ground shipping options are the most affordable, but arriving at their destination can take longer.
- Expedited shipping options are the fastest and most expensive ones.
When choosing a shipping option, it is vital to consider the urgency of the shipment, the distance between the origin and destination, and the value of the amplifier.
If the amp is valuable, such as a high-end tube amp, and needs to arrive at its destination quickly, expedited or air shipping may be the best option.
However, ground shipping may be the most cost-effective option if the amp is not time-sensitive, not as expensive, or light-weight, such as a mini guitar amp. It’s slower, but definitely a cheaper solution.
Compare Different Carriers When Shipping Your Amp
The cost of shipping an amp can also vary depending on the courier you choose.
By far, the most popular companies for shipping amps are FedEx, UPS, and USPS.
Each carrier offers different shipping options and pricing, so it is essential to compare the costs and services of each carrier before making a decision.
When comparing the costs of shipping amps with various carriers, it is crucial to consider the factors mentioned in the previous section.
Using a shipping calculator can help you estimate the shipping cost with each carrier, and from there, you can better decide which company you’d like to use.
Amp Shipping Services: Pros and Cons
While the courier services mentioned above are the most widely used, they each have pros and cons.
These are the most common ones:
Pros: Reliable tracking, Saturday deliveries, and discounts for high-volume shippers (great for music businesses)
Cons: Higher cost compared to other carriers
Pros: Additional premium shipping options (i.e., Next Day Air), offers packing services at their stores, able to ship packages up to 150lbs, can schedule pick-ups from your home, typically faster than other couriers
Cons: Heavier packages may be costly, and no weekend deliveries
Pros: Plenty of service rates with affordable ground shipping options and built-in insurance on specific shipping rates, Saturday deliveries
Cons: Cannot ship packages weighing more than 70lbs and limited tracking information
If you need to ship your amp internationally, all three can accommodate you but expect higher and varying costs between them. For international shippers, DHL is typically the more affordable option for people.
Tips for Preparing Your Amp for Shipping
Although they seem very sturdy, guitar amps are actually fragile pieces of equipment that require special handling when shipping because of their delicate components.
When learning how to ship a guitar amplifier, proper packing and preparation is essential to ensure that your amp arrives at its destination safely.
Here are some pointers for packing and preparing your amp for shipping:
- First, use high-quality packaging materials, such as corrugated cardboard, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts.
- Remove all loose parts, such as knobs and tubes, and pack them separately.
- Use a sturdy box slightly larger than the amp to allow for packing materials.
- Label the box as fragile and indicate which side is up.
- Purchase shipping insurance to protect your investment.
These steps will help ensure that the amp you’re shipping out will arrive safe and sound – don’t skip out on these!
Do You Need Insurance When Shipping An Amp?
Shipping insurance is an optional service most carriers offer and something you should consider when shipping a guitar amplifier.
Insurance is designed to protect your investment in case of damage or loss during shipping.
Whether or not you need shipping insurance depends on your amp’s value and your risk tolerance.
If your amp is valuable and you cannot afford to replace it, adding shipping insurance may be a wise choice to make.
However, suppose your amp is not-so-valuable or replaceable, like a cheap combo practice amp or a mini guitar amp, or you are willing to assume the risk of damage or loss. In that case, you may choose to forgo shipping insurance or insure it partially to a particular value.
How to Save Money on Amp Shipping Costs
As you can see, shipping an amp can be costly, but there are a few ways to save money on shipping yours, especially if you’re a business that sells music gear regularly.
These are some ways people can save money on amp shipping costs:
- Consider ground shipping instead of expedited
- Choose a carrier that offers discounted rates for businesses and frequent shippers.
- Purchase shipping supplies in bulk to save money.
- Pack the item yourself rather than use packing services.
- Look into using a shipping aggregator to compare rates from multiple carriers.
If you’re a casual seller or simply shipping out an amp as a one-time thing, not all of these will be as relevant to you, but some of these can still help you cut costs, and it’s helpful to understand what options are available out there.
Shipping an amp can be expensive, but with careful planning and preparation, you can save money and ensure that your amp arrives at its destination safely.
When choosing a shipping option, consider the urgency of the shipment, the distance the amp needs to travel, and the overall value of the amp. Then, compare the costs and services of different carriers and choose the one that best meets your needs.
With this advice, you can find the best service for shipping your amp, getting where it needs to be on schedule, and, importantly, all in one piece!