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Thread: Suggestions for Shipping/Selling on the Classifieds?

  1. #1
    Registered User Miltown's Avatar
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    Default Suggestions for Shipping/Selling on the Classifieds?

    So I'm thinking of selling a mandolin via the Classifieds, and I'm just wondering how people typically do it.

    Is the best method for receiving payment Paypal? And if so, I assume you wait until you receive the payment before shipping, right? Anything else I need to know about receiving payment? Scams, or anything like that?

    What about shipping itself? Anyone have a preferred carrier? Especially for shipping stuff to Europe? What insurance should I get, etc.?

    Finally, what about packing. Any advice as to how best to pack a mandolin to ensure no damage? The mandolin I'm thinking of selling won't be shipping in a case.

    Thanks for any advice!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Suggestions for Shipping/Selling on the Classifieds?

    PayPal is probabaly the most common payment method. Only ship to verified addresses and you are reasonably safe.

    USPS is typically the best for shipping internationally. Well, maybe not the best, but SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper. I use Express vs Priority. It is more reliable.

    Speaking of international... You are more prone to fraud so be more careful. With no case, you will want to double box. Mandolin in a tight fitting box, then padding, then the outer box. Balance protection with shipping costs. If the mandolin value is not a lot, it may be worth keeping the box smaller. It can make a big difference in shipping costs.
    Robert Fear
    http://www.folkmusician.com

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Suggestions for Shipping/Selling on the Classifieds?

    - You can state any payment you would like. Paypal is almost a necessary evil though. It is easy for the buyer and does offer some protection. The seller ends up eating almost 3% and is more at risk it the buyer files a complaint.
    - Shipping will be more expensive than you think so make sure you have an idea of the cost. I typically use USPS or Fedex, UPS seems to be more expensive. I have shipped two mandolins USPS in the last 6 months and both took longer than they should and by a lot, but they did arrive safely. I would strongly urge you to require a signature. That way an expensive package is not sitting on a door step and no one can say they did not get it. I would also ship 3 day instead of ground.
    - Packing - the two places that seem to get damaged on a mandolin is the peghead and something hitting the end and the strap button acting like a wedge. I will take a little tension off of the strings to allow for changes in weather and humidity. Wrap the peghead in bubble wrap, if there is a gap at under the neck/back of the mandolin in the case I will but some there as well. Pack bubble wrap around it in the box, especially at the top and bottom. Mark the box fragile and pray. I have been lucky both receiving and sending with no damage.
    - You much less likely to deal with scams or flaky people going through the classifieds here than craigslist or ebay. Not that something could not happen but pretty safe. You typically will offer a 2 or 3 day return privilege. Most buyers will want that option, gives them a bit of safety to know they can return. You can require the buyer to pay return shipping or both ways, just be up front. I personally prefer to talk to the buyer or seller if I am dealing with something fairly expensive.

    -

  5. #4
    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suggestions for Shipping/Selling on the Classifieds?

    PayPal is especially good for international transactions because they do the currency change for you. Specify your price and they'll charge the customer the appropriate foreign amount.
    Speaking of international sales, be sure the mandolin you want to sell does not contain any of the CITES banned endangered woods. This is the whole Rosewood family,plus some others. That rules out the fingerboard of a lot of mandolins.
    For wooden musical fun that doesn't involve strumming, check out:
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    Registered User Tenzin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suggestions for Shipping/Selling on the Classifieds?

    To avoid any confusion, take lots of pictures. If it's valuable enough that you cannot afford it being damaged, pack it in a box as if you were going to ship it in that box. (Bubble wrap the headstock...) Then, put the entire box inside a second box that will alow packing material around all six sides. A general rule of thumb is that it should be able to withstand a drop from five feet. (I've shipped a lot of computers and parts.) . It will most definately cost more than you expect to ship. Preapare for sticker shock.
    ó
    And once the storm is over, you wonít remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You wonít even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you wonít be the same person who walked in. Thatís what this stormís all about.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Suggestions for Shipping/Selling on the Classifieds?

    Hi all,

    I found some useful information here. Thank you!

    I am in the same boat as the OP. I am selling a bouzouki (4000$). I live in Norway, and have an interested buyer from Washington DC. I have never sold and shipped internationally before. Is there any updated information on this?

    My questions are:
    - How do I do this safely? (Insuring the instrument, wrapping)
    - I want to add the shipping price as a cost for the buyer, but what is custom here?
    - What postal service should I use?
    - Is it custom to get full payment up front, and how do I ensure the buyer on the safety?
    - Toll shipping fee. When and how is this paid for?

    I am grateful for all assistance in this matter!

    Kind regards,
    Borgar

  8. #7
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suggestions for Shipping/Selling on the Classifieds?

    All good advice above.

    I don't use Paypal. It's an unnecessary hoop, and they charge you to jump through it. It's a racket.

    To decide which shipper to use, I keep the online rate calculators for FedEx, UPS, and USPS bookmarked. (You might have other shippers where you live.) When I have something I want to sell, I package, weigh, and measure it and put the weight and dimensions into all three calculators. For the destination zip code, I use a zip for the most distant city in the usual 48: in my case, San Diego. I also factor in insurance.

    I pick the best deal and add that figure to my asking price. So if my original asking price was $1,000 and shipping is $100, my new asking price is $1,100, shipping included.

    For packaging, I usually go to the local music store. They often have empty corrugated instrument boxes made to fit what I'm selling — and they're free.
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

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  10. #8
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suggestions for Shipping/Selling on the Classifieds?

    Quote Originally Posted by Borgar View Post
    . . . My questions are:

    - How do I do this safely? (Insuring the instrument, wrapping)
    - I want to add the shipping price as a cost for the buyer, but what is custom here?
    - What postal service should I use?
    - Is it custom to get full payment up front, and how do I ensure the buyer on the safety?
    - Toll shipping fee. When and how is this paid for? . . .
    1. To ship safely:

    - if you have a case, use it.
    - loosen the strings.
    - don't ship in the winter.
    - if possible, ship by ground, not air.
    - use a box with room for padding.
    - stuff it tightly with newspaper, corrugated cardboard, packing peanuts, or bubble wrap.

    2. I include shipping in my asking prices. (See post #7.)

    3. The service I use depends of the best price I find, including insurance. (See post #7.)

    4. Yes, get full payment up front. You can tell the buyer that if the zook is damaged to return it to you for a refund.

    5. I don't know what a toll shipping fee is.
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

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    Pittsburgh Bill
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    Default Re: Suggestions for Shipping/Selling on the Classifieds?

    I always sell with a 48 hr. approval period and will not buy unless provided the same. The buyer pays return postage if not satisfied.
    Stiver A style custom #388-5-20
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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suggestions for Shipping/Selling on the Classifieds?

    Quote Originally Posted by Northwest Steve View Post
    I would strongly urge you to require a signature. That way an expensive package is not sitting on a door step and no one can say they did not get it.
    Hmm...sounds good in principle, but what about the medical device shipped to me by courier, but left sitting for a few days on a neighbour's porch? The courier company had a record saying that I had signed for it, though neither my neighbour nor I had. I'm afraid that I've seen a few similar stories on the Forum about musical instruments in the USA, especially since covid began and online shopping increased. Still, you can't go through life assuming that everyone's going to mess up or take shortcuts -- just a small but significant minority.
    Last edited by Ranald; Jun-09-2022 at 2:07pm.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Registered User dwc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suggestions for Shipping/Selling on the Classifieds?

    Signature confirmation is hit or miss. I have sent things with sig confirmation that were just left in an open garage, and I have had things that I was supposed to sign for just left on my porch.

    The seller is in Norway and the buyer is in Washington DC, USA. Would the buyer expect a 48 hour approval in this case? I have always allowed for one, but in the case on international shipping, zi would hesitate. Obviously, if damaged in shipping I would accept a return, but an unconditional return policy might be different.
    Northfield Artist Series F5 (2 bar, Adirondack)

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  16. #12

    Default Re: Suggestions for Shipping/Selling on the Classifieds?

    I purchased this Collings MT2 on line from a well known music store. It had a varnished finish and when shipped, they wrapped the mandolin inside it’s case in bubble wrap. The bubble wrap completely imprinted the finish with round dots. (You can only see a small portion of the mandolin in the picture but it almost looked like it was covered in fish scales.) They refunded my money and paid to have it returned.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/a...hmentid=201453

  17. #13
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suggestions for Shipping/Selling on the Classifieds?

    Quote Originally Posted by dwc View Post
    . . . The seller is in Norway and the buyer is in Washington DC, USA. Would the buyer expect a 48 hour approval in this case? . . .
    You might make the case that people in DC are different than other people. It's possible. The mando might have to be sent back to committee for rewrite or could be tabled.

    In general, though, anyone who gets an instrument in the mail should be able to open it within a day and inspect and play it in an hour. So two days seems reasonable.

    I once bought a Gibson Heritage guitar online from Rumble Seat. It looked great in the picture, but it felt clunky and sounded dull ó even though it was exactly as described. In short, I jus didn't like it. So I paid the freight to return it. Rumble Seat wasn't out anything, and I got an immediate refund.

    The return shipping will cost a lot more, of course. But that's the buyer's risk, not the seller's.
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

  18. #14

    Default Re: Suggestions for Shipping/Selling on the Classifieds?

    [QUOTE=707erich;1868485]I purchased this Collings MT2 on line from a well known music store. It had a varnished finish and when shipped, they wrapped the mandolin inside it’s case in bubble wrap. The bubble wrap completely imprinted the finish with round dots. (You can only see a small portion of the mandolin in the picture but it almost looked like it was covered in fish scales.) They refunded my money and paid to have it


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