How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Guitar?

Shipping a guitar may sound daunting and complicated, but it’s quite easy with the right care and precautions. Naturally, there is a cost. It heavily depends on several factors like the weight, the location, the courier, and the service of your choice. Therefore, the price ranges from $50 to $800.

There are many ways to ship a guitar, but luckily, many courier brands offer services for musical instruments. Popular courier services like DHL, FedEx, UPS, and more are some of the most common and reliable ones to use when shipping something so fragile and valuable as your guitar.

How much does it cost to ship a guitar?

Costs of guitar shipment heavily depend on the location, courier service, and the weight of your instrument. If you want a quick answer, on average, it would cost $100 to $150 to ship a guitar with low-cost services of courier brands. But the full range starts from $50 and goes up to $800.

Shipping an average-size guitar with a hard case across the country would cost around $100 to $250, depending on your chosen service. In most cases, it would take less than a week for your guitar to be delivered if you choose the standard services, which cost $100 on average. If you want the shipment to be faster, you will have to choose special services, which would cost closer to the $250 limit.

For international shipments, the rates are higher. You can use FedEx, UPS, or DHL; depending on location, the rate will be between $200 and $500. For overseas shipments, the rates are much higher, but you can use the shipping calculators on the websites of courier services.

What affects the guitar shipping rates?

There are many factors affecting the cost of a guitar shipment. These are the desired shipping time, package dimensions or weight, declared value, service provider, and the location the shipment is made from and to.

Starting with the desired shipping time, the sooner you want your shipment to arrive at its destination, the more it will cost. Generally, a shipment across the country takes less than a week to arrive at its destination. The standard time is around 2 weeks if it is an international shipment. If you want it to arrive sooner, you will have to take a special service which would increase the rates.

The package dimensions or the weight is another consideration point regarding shipping rates. The bigger your guitar is, the higher the shipping cost. To protect the guitar from potential damage, it is better to send it with a hard case, which would increase the cost but make things safer.

The declared value is also important for some courier services. When the declared value is higher, the cost will rise as the risk the company is taking is bigger.

The courier services all have different quotes on shipping rates. Bigger companies like DHL, FedEx, and UPS tend to be more reliable, but their rates are higher. Especially for international shipments, I recommend using a reliable service to avoid potential damage. You can check the website of different courier services, and type in your shipment information to get a quote on your shipping rate.

Finally, the distance your guitar will travel with the courier service significantly affects the shipping rates. Shipments in the same county are the most affordable services, while across the country comes second. International shipments are the most expensive services.

Best Guitar Shipping Services

You can use many different services to ship your guitar, but I will give some quotes from the 3 most popular services and their shipment options for you to get an idea of the prices. I will use an average-sized guitar with a hard case with 44” x 6” x 16” dimensions and 30 lbs weight as an example. 

The international shipping quotes are from New York to Los Angeles, the international shipping rates are from New York to Toronto, and the overseas shipping rates are from New York to Berlin.

DHL

DHL is one of the largest courier services in the world and is famous for its international shipping rates and reliability. It offers faster deliveries and door-to-door service. DHL rates are around $180 for shipping across the country, and the international shipping rates start from $300 for an average-sized guitar.

DHL gives little information about different courier services on their websites. But you can ask them directly by e-mail or phone to get quotes on your shipping.

FedEx

FedEx is the most famous courier service working in the U.S.A. They have good rates and more reliable services with many different options. For an average-sized guitar, the national shipment rates start from $70 for a standard time and go up to $460 for overnight shipping.

Of course, the rates will heavily depend on the distance the guitar will travel. For a shipment from New York to Los Angeles, the rates start from $80, and it takes around a week for the guitar to be delivered. For overnight shipping, the rate is around $460, while there are other services in between those two, such as FedEx 2 Day Service, costing $280. You can examine the rates closer on the official website.

For international shipments, the rates slightly go up. From New York to Toronto, the FedEx Overnight service costs around $520, while the standard shipment, FedEx Ground rate, is around $80. Again there are other services between the two, mostly air shipping and starting from $300. 

For overseas shipping, the rates are much higher, starting from $600 and going up to $1000.

UPS

UPS is another highly popular courier service with great reliability, price, and delivery times. A guitar shipment across the country with UPS would cost between $80 to $350, depending on the locations.

UPS offers different services, the most affordable yet the slowest one is UPS Ground. A shipment from New York to Los Angeles with UPS Ground costs around $90, and it takes around a week to arrive.

The fastest and the most expensive service is UPS Next Day Air. A shipment from New York to Los Angeles takes only a day, but it costs around $350. There are also UPS 2nd Day Air and UPS 3 Day Select Services, costing $260 and $180, respectively.

International shipments heavily depend on the distance the shipment will travel. Shipping a guitar from New York to Toronto costs almost the same as shipping it from New York to Los Angeles. UPS Standard Service costs around $70 and takes around a week, while UPS Worldwide Saver Service is the most expensive and fastest, costing around $400 with a 3-day delivery time.

However, overseas shipping is the most expensive service as the costs start from $600 for a shipment from New York to Berlin with the UPS Worldwide Expedited Service, which takes around a week. The fastest delivery is with the UPS Worldwide Express Plus, which takes 3 days for the shipment to arrive and costs around $750.

Conclusion

Shipping a guitar can cost you anywhere between $50 and $800, depending on the size of the package, the destination, the courier, and the service of choice. There are many different brands and services you can choose from, which makes it more complicated, but it also makes it easier to find the most suitable and budget-friendly service.

Remember that the quotes here are examples of an average-sized guitar for some specific locations. You can use the shipping calculators on each courier service’s website to get a more accurate shipping quote.

Berk Öztuna is a handpan player, percussionist, and guitarist. He has been playing multiple instruments over the last 10 years. He started his music career as a guitarist, playing with several bands before putting his main focus into playing the handpan.

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