SHIPPING YOUR INSTRUMENT
safest way to send your instrument is with Federal Express or UPS. Avoid
the Post Office. The best prices are usually directly at a Fed Ex
customer counter or at a UPS hub. Also be aware that the commercial
mailbox places can double or even triple the cost of shipping an
instrument, and their insurance rates can be 300% more than an official
UPS or Fed Ex office. On high value items, they will often insist on
their own boxes and packing materials, which also increases your bill
and, by using an oversized box, they can charge for what is known as
dimensional weight. We have a couple of suggestions for keeping your
shipping costs down.
try to avoid unnecessarily large boxes with all those dimensional weight
charges. Second, if your instrument is insured with your homeowner’s or
a professional musical instrument policy, there is no need to purchase
additional insurance. Third, you will save money if you use your own
box and packing materials.
PACKING YOUR INSTRUMENT FOR REPAIRS OR RESALE
good box or reuse our box if you have one. Be sure the bottom of the box
is well taped with strong packing tape. For packing material, you can
use plastic peanuts, bubble wrap, single sheets of crumpled up
newspaper, or any combination of the three. Wrap each instrument case in
a clean plastic bag. This protects the case or case cover from the
packing materials (plastic peanuts can leave permanent white marks on
cases and case covers). Put the instrument down flat on top of some
packing material. Fill the sides with packing material and then fill
right up to the top. Put in as much stuffing as you possibly can fit
into the box, since the packing material really helps prevent damage to
WHAT INFORMATION DO WE NEED FROM YOU
you do anything else, put your name, address, email and phone number(s)
on a piece of paper and put it in either the case cover pocket or the
inside of the instrument case itself before you close it. Do this for
each instrument you are shipping. That way if the box is damaged, the
contents will still have identification. On a practical level, we will
also know whom the oboe is coming from without having to search through
the packing material in hopes of finding some identification. If an
instrument is coming in to be sold, please write on your note in large
letters that the instrument is FOR SALE. If it is coming in for repairs,
it’s always helpful to alert us to any special problems-if any-you might
want us to know about. If an instrument is here for repairs, we will
also need credit card information for the charges. We take VISA,
MasterCard and Discover. We need the card number, expiration date,
3-digit security code on the back, plus the name and billing address of
the cardholder. If you would like your instrument to be returned to your
business instead of your home, please include that information. All of
this can be included in your note.
I SHIP AIR OR GROUND?
states closest to our shop in Upstate New York, Ground UPS is just fine.
These states are CT, VT, RI, MA, PA, DE, NJ and NY. For the rest of the
country, Second Day Air generally works very nicely. Be aware, though,
that ground service does not guarantee day of delivery. It gets there
when it gets there, but there are rarely any problems. That being said,
we haven’t had much luck with Fed Ex on ground; Fed Ex uses a different
group of drivers for ground than they do for air, and their level of
ground service is not up to speed. Their air service, of course, is
terrific. So, if you are shipping ground, UPS is the way to go.
need to ship overnight, most shippers offer an afternoon delivery for
less urgent deliveries, which saves money over the Guaranteed Before
customers more than, say, two states away, Second Day Air is the most
economical good quality service. Trucking oboes across large chunks of
the country with ground service invites damage to delicate oboes, and we
don’t suggest it.
I NEED TO INSURE MY INSTRUMENT?
are shipping an instrument of ours to us, it is already covered with the
company that insures our inventory, and you do not need to insure the
instrument. But if you are shipping your own instrument to us, here are
a couple of considerations:
are shipping an instrument to us that belongs to you, you are covered as
long as the instrument is included as a scheduled item on your
homeowner’s insurance. Most insurers offer non-professional riders with
no deductible. The cost of insuring the oboe for a year is less than the
insurance of shipping it once! If you are a professional musician, your
professional instrument insurance should cover anything in transit. You
may want to call your insurer before shipping an instrument to us just
to confirm your coverage. For those whose instruments are not insured,
you may wish to insure the oboe with the shipper. Please do remember,
though, that the rates will be better at a UPS hub or a Fed Ex Customer
Counter. UPS Stores, for example, charge about three times more for
insurance than the UPS customer counters do.
Incidentally, both UPS and Fed Ex will insure up to $50,000.
KEEP THE TRACKING NUMBER!
you will be shipping your instrument safely, please remember the most
important thing of all-keep the tracking number and the paperwork!
THE POST OFFICE
we don’t recommend it, if for any reason you absolutely must ship with
the U.S. Post Office, use only EXPRESS MAIL. This is the overnight,
priciest service they offer. This is the ONLY service they offer that
gives you an air bill with a tracking number with an 800 number to call.
All their other services—Priority, Registered, Certified, etc.—have no
real way to track a package (all they really offer is proof of delivery,
and that won’t help if the oboe doesn’t get delivered). The Post Office
also has a minimum of six weeks before they will even put a tracer on a
package after it is lost. So, if you must use the Post Office, don't
leave the building until you have an air bill, tracking number beginning
with the letters US, and the 800 number to call in your hand. If you
don't have those items in hand, it isn't Express Mail, no matter what
anyone tells you.
Nora Post, Inc.
52 Lounsbury Place,
Kingston, New York 12401