Shipping whole drumsets

ludwigsok

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Looking for some opinions / advice on how you all ship whole drum sets.

Do you break everything down and nest the drums to have as few boxes as possible, although quite heavy, or do you keep the drums intact and ship multiple, but lighter boxes? I'm looking to start selling off quite a few sets and feel the shipping process could be a detriment to how much I will be able to sell a set for. These will typically be 4 piece sets. Two mounted toms, floor tom and bass. Ultimately I want these to get to the buyer in perfect condition, so that is my first priority.
 

dogmanaut

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First, if at all possible, don’t ship. That would be my number 1 recommendation. It’s expensive, a hassle, and there’s always risk of loss/damage. (And from personal experience, shipping companies will do everything in their power to not reimburse you even if you insured your shipment for the full value.)

If you do ship, though, use the fewest number of boxes you safely can — the smaller, the better. If I’m not mistaken, once the dimensions of the package go beyond a certain size — I think it’s like 20” squared — the allowable weight before they start billing you extra is a lot. I can’t remember what (maybe like 100 lbs.?), and it probably varies among shipping services, but it’s more than a couple nested drums.

Also, I hope this goes without saying, but do NOT let the shipping company box up your drums for you. They don’t know what they’re doing. My brother shipped me some drums one time and got the guy at the UPS store to box them up for him. Ended up costing an absurd amount — around $400 for a 3-piece bop kit.
 

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seungkeeya

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Also, I hope this goes without saying, but do NOT let the shipping company box up your drums for you. They don’t know what they’re doing. My brother shipped me some drums one time and got the guy at the UPS store to box them up for him. Ended up costing an absurd amount — around $400 for a 3-piece bop kit.
But it you don't let them pack, you can't claim when there's damage, can you?
I remember seeing it from older thread where UPS/Fedex refused insurance claim because a member packed on his own (which of course was far better than what they do)
 

DanRH

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But it you don't let them pack, you can't claim when there's damage, can you?
I remember seeing it from older thread where UPS/Fedex refused insurance claim because a member packed on his own (which of course was far better than what they do)
Was that me? Yes, Agreed. My shipping complete kits is OVER unless the shipper does it (and someone pays for it). For those who didn't see my post, last year, I shipped my C&C kit to San Antonio via FedEx. I shipped, as I always do, wayyy beyond what was necessary (well actually I guess not). The shipment was first lost (they delivered to an unoccupied house that was for sale that was next door to where it was actually being shipped to. It looks like the realtor who was at the house signed for it). It sat on the porch over night. The wife of the guy I sold it to found it the next day, right there on the porch of the house it was delivered to. After many calls to FedEx, like I said, his wife found it the next day with no help from FedEx.

The buyer opened the bass drum box (it was in two package's with all drums nested and packed well like CSR does above). The bass drum box had a big hole in it and it apparently had been dropped on a lug which cracked the bass drum shell.

After five appeals (all denied), I gave up. I sent many pictures repeatedly and pictures of packing done by original manufacturers to no avail. It ended up costing me $1400 to replace the bass drum.

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Old PIT Guy

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The buyer opened the bass drum box (it was in two package's with all drums nested and packed well like CSR does above). The bass drum box had a big hole in it and it apparently had been dropped on a lug which cracked the bass drum shell.

After five appeals (all denied), I gave up. I sent many pictures repeatedly and pictures of packing done by original manufacturers to no avail. It ended up costing me $1400 to replace the bass drum.


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What was the reason FEDEX gave for denying the claims? Was it anything to with the box not being new? Because if they looked at this picture with the old packing tape witness marks (across the bottom), as well as tape running along the bottom seam - no need for that on a new box - and all the creasing of the cardboard they likely didn't think it was a new box.

And didn't you post another picture of the box where the floor tom legs had poked through a bottom corner with old dried and papery water stains? If I'm a claims adjuster and I see that I'm going to deny the claim based simply on the fact one of FEDEX's conditions for viable insurance clearly states a new and unused box must be used. I'm just telling you what I think they based it on.

What did they tell you the reason was?
 

seungkeeya

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Was that me?
Yes it was your post. I was really shocked about the result, too.
From then on, no matter what I do with my packaging, I accept the fact that any type of damage I will be liable.
I don't even consider going through the insurance through them. Recently had an incident and I am all out of luck.
 

dogmanaut

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But it you don't let them pack, you can't claim when there's damage, can you?
I remember seeing it from older thread where UPS/Fedex refused insurance claim because a member packed on his own (which of course was far better than what they do)
I mostly ship FedEx unless it’s through Reverb. And maybe this is incorrect, but I’ve always been told that as long as anything over $300 is inspected by someone at FedEx — i.e. they open the box to verify the contents and make sure there’s enough packing material — it’s supposed to be covered. I’ve never been in a position where I’ve had to test that like DanRH, though.
 

Old PIT Guy

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Buying the shipping online with insurance and then dropping it off is when insurance hassles can occur. I had an insured box rejected at a FEDEX store (bought the shipping online) because the box wasn't new. They told me I could buy a box from them to put my boxed item inside, or I could repack the item in a new box and they'd adjust the shipping charge.

I realize they're not in the business to honor every claim, and I'm sure they damage things and deny claims, but if you're going to begin the trip shipping out of spec you can't expect a great result if there's damage, especially if they don't check for insurance or if you drop it off at a non FEDEX location for pickup.
 

lossforgain

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I've shipped hundreds of packages (including full drum sets) and only ever had damage 3 times. The first time was on a Craviotto snare drum, years ago. I had bought the insurance and USPS found a reason to deny payment. Not only that, they kept the drum and packing. I not only didn't get paid, I was robbed. The most recent time was an international shipment to Japan where a Zildjian cymbal arrived cracked. But ever since that first time (and seeing all the stories on here), I do not buy insurance unless the buyer requests. I pack well, and 99.9% of my packages have arrived safely. If I have to take a loss, I want it to be despite my best efforts, not because the shipping carrier doesn't respect me enough to follow through on their insurance liability. I'm not telling anyone else what to do, YMMV.
 

DanRH

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What was the reason FEDEX gave for denying the claims? Was it anything to with the box not being new? Because if they looked at this picture with the old packing tape witness marks (across the bottom), as well as tape running along the bottom seam - no need for that on a new box - and all the creasing of the cardboard they likely didn't think it was a new box.

And didn't you post another picture of the box where the floor tom legs had poked through a bottom corner with old dried and papery water stains? If I'm a claims adjuster and I see that I'm going to deny the claim based simply on the fact one of FEDEX's conditions for viable insurance clearly states a new and unused box must be used. I'm just telling you what I think they based it on.

What did they tell you the reason was?
Insufficient packing.
 

Matched Gripper

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But it you don't let them pack, you can't claim when there's damage, can you?
I remember seeing it from older thread where UPS/Fedex refused insurance claim because a member packed on his own (which of course was far better than what they do)
I don't think a shipper can rightly sell you insurance on an item that you packed, collect the premium, and then, if the item is damaged, deny the claim because you packed it.
 

cashmanbashman

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I work in this industry and I avoid Fed Ex like the plague. If you throw a box at UPS your done, at least around here anyhow. Go online and look at all the TV’s etc being tossed over fences by other guy. I do not work for UPS or Fed Ex so I have no skin in the game so to say. Just my opinion on it.
 

ludwigsok

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Yikes. This is not very encouraging. You would think with the cost of their service, you would at least have a chance of getting a package delivered in tact. I've received many items that were damaged in shipping, but mostly due to poor packing, and I assume rough handling.
 

RogersLudwig

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it's been 12 years, but I used UPS to ship to Italy and packed a five-piece set plus hardware into three boxes. Worked a treat. it cost $1300 but the buyer paid
 

73Rogers

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I shipped a 4pc kit from PA to CA via FedEx. After seeing DanRH's photos, I took every lug and mount off, wrapped them in bubble wrap and put them all in the middle. Also wrapped the shells before nesting them.
I went to the dollar store and bought 10 pool noodles. Used them in the corners of the box and also on the top and bottom.
I bought the box from FedEx, thinking they might be easier on one of "their own". Finally, don't write Fragile on the box, I think they see it as either a challenge or an insult.
My kit arrived on time and in perfect condition but I stressed the whole week it was in transit.
 

Polska

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I wouldnt say one company is better or worse than another. Ive used both and they both had me open the boxes to inspect before shipping out insured. Its a crap shoot, but a costly time consuming one. Though I dont move a lot of gear, I'm sticking with pickup. Id even drive a few hours than deal with the hassle.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I've learned to pack the corners. And well! Sucks about Dan's sitch. I grab old newspapers and make sure there is no possible way absent fire, running over or being speared that the kit could be damaged. Over bubble wrap, foam, corners etc. Much cheaper than paying for a drum replacement. You can also go to GC and get old boxes from kits for free that have special padding to protect drums and much thicker cardboard.
 


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