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View Full Version : Posting a ukulele from Australia - Any tips welcome



Fred Ukestone
05-04-2015, 02:33 PM
Hi All,

I am looking to post a ukulele overseas from Australia. I haven't done this before and I would like tips on packing and method of postage.
Are Australia Post reliable or should I go with someone like Fedex, DHL or Interparcel. Are there companies to avoid due to poor handling, loss or damage of item?
All advice is welcome. I am looking for the most cost effective, but safe, method.

many thanks,
Fred

Fred Ukestone
05-04-2015, 06:30 PM
Thanks for this info Camsuke.

kind regards
Fred

hollisdwyer
05-04-2015, 09:50 PM
I agree with Cam. I have shipped 3 ukes via Australia post without any problems. If the value is above $1000 you should use Express Post International which allows you to have extra insurance coverage, tracking and signature on receipt. Don't skimp on packing. I have always doubled boxed even if the uke is in a hard case.

Fred Ukestone
05-05-2015, 12:05 AM
Hi hollisdwyer and Camsuke,

Can you remember what you paid to ship the ukes. The guy at the post office said I'd be looking at well over $150 (inclusive of insurance) to send a uke to the USA.

hollisdwyer
05-05-2015, 12:28 AM
Yep, that sounds about right. Insurance is a good proportion of that and that sounds like the express post which gets it delivered in 6-9 days. If you send it regular airmail post, the Max insurance is $1000, there is no tracking, no signature on delivery and it can take 21+ days. Suggest you negotiate with the buyer for the premium postage method if that is what they want but regular airmail will still cost about $120 for a tenor in a hard case.
When I wanted to sell one of mine, I would pack it up and bring it to the PO quoting a USA East Coast zip code as a indication of what it will cost to post and work that into the price. I think it is much simpler to talk a cost delivered. The buyer then knows total cost of ownership and you know what you will nett on the sale.

Hippie Dribble
05-05-2015, 01:04 AM
I ship mine standard air mail which generally takes 5-10 days to USA. Paying for any method over and above that is gravy unless you're talking an instrument of the 2k+ range. It is always trackable from the buyer's end through USPS and has never taken anything close to 21 days from my experience having shipped probably 50 of the buggers at least. The tracking number will be on your receipt beginning with: CV(followed by nine digits)AU. Quote that to your buyer and they're set. (In one or two rare instances where they've had difficulty tracking the parcel, you can do it by phone from your end in Australia simply and quickly and pass it on). The costs have increased substantially over the years. I used to be able to ship a soprano or concert in a case for around 75 bucks or less to the US but now it's almost always around 100 minimum. They used to do it simply by weight but then had the brainstorm of also factoring in the box dimensions. I posted a soprano off today and it was on 100. Hard cases are killer for increasing your overall total but really, you can't do it any other way and feel safe.

Fred Ukestone
05-05-2015, 02:08 AM
Thanks Jon and Hollis for your detailed examples of postage costs to the USA. You gotta love Australia Post. They know when they've got you - when you post internationally! That's why I send silk scarves OS at christmas time (lol)

hollisdwyer
05-05-2015, 03:13 PM
Auspost is still cheaper than FedEx, DHL, etc even though their prices have risen, but when you look at what it costs to send a uke from the USA to Oz, it is on par (the DaSilva Martin 3K Soprano that was recently sent to me from Florida to Perth cost about US$95, (note that I advised the seller of methods and cost after checking the USPS website as it was the first time they shipped internationally).
Jon is right about buyer tracking but the tenor ukes in hard cases I have shipped were in the AUS$2000 range and I wanted to see its delivery progress on a day by day basis for myself. The cost difference between air mail and express international was always minor ($20-30) in every case and the buyer always wanted the fastest post office quoted delivery time.
If you're talking about shipping an inexpensive instrument internationally even the cheapest postage makes it almost uneconomic to do so.

Fred Ukestone
05-06-2015, 01:37 AM
Are you guys getting custom made cardboard boxes or buying them off the shelf. I tried Bunnings and Officeworks but their boxes are the wrong dimensions. Hollis you mentioned double-boxing. Are these purpose built?

anthonyg
05-06-2015, 01:51 AM
You really need to keep your box size under control. Simply going a few centimetres bigger than you need can push you into a more expensive bracket postage cost wise. The best packaging I've seen is, the ukulele in a hard case, bubble wrapped to fill any space, a thin sheet of polystyrene foam on each side and the box cut down so it just fits around the polystyrene and then taped together.

Anthony

Fred Ukestone
05-06-2015, 02:02 AM
Thanks Anthony. Do you loosen off the strings when posting OS ?

anthonyg
05-06-2015, 02:15 AM
Thanks Anthony. Do you loosen off the strings when posting OS ?

I've been mostly receiving them. Sent a few. I don't think that sting tension is an issue but most that I receive are detuned a little.

Anthony

Fred Ukestone
05-06-2015, 02:22 AM
Thanks for the advice Anthony.

hollisdwyer
05-06-2015, 03:01 AM
Are you guys getting custom made cardboard boxes or buying them off the shelf. I tried Bunnings and Officeworks but their boxes are the wrong dimensions. Hollis you mentioned double-boxing. Are these purpose built?

Fred, I have reused the boxes that other ukes were sent to me in. I have also gone to music stores to get a trapezoidal box (either for a uke or small guitar and cut it down as necessary). These are usually very thin and not suitable to use as a shipping box by itself but makes a good inner box.

The last time I shipped I needed a thicker outer box and got that also from a music store (all for free). It was a box for a synth that I cut down to size. As someone else mentioned you have to keep the total dimensions as small as possible but even double boxed, a tenor in a hard case and well cushioned will be within the size limitations. For guitars, I have had to use couriers.

I realise that I generally go overboard in these matters but the buyers always mention how much they appreciate the care I have taken with packaging. And when shipping an expensive instrument would you want to not do your best to ensure it arrives safely?

Cornfield
05-06-2015, 03:27 AM
I ship mine standard air mail which generally takes 5-10 days to USA. Paying for any method over and above that is gravy unless you're talking an instrument of the 2k+ range. It is always trackable from the buyer's end through USPS and has never taken anything close to 21 days from my experience having shipped probably 50 of the buggers at least. The tracking number will be on your receipt beginning with: CV(followed by nine digits)AU. Quote that to your buyer and they're set. (In one or two rare instances where they've had difficulty tracking the parcel, you can do it by phone from your end in Australia simply and quickly and pass it on). The costs have increased substantially over the years. I used to be able to ship a soprano or concert in a case for around 75 bucks or less to the US but now it's almost always around 100 minimum. They used to do it simply by weight but then had the brainstorm of also factoring in the box dimensions. I posted a soprano off today and it was on 100. Hard cases are killer for increasing your overall total but really, you can't do it any other way and feel safe.

Jon's method works very well. The tracking mechanism is not that good but the shipping was quick. When I shipped one from the US to Jon, I used USPS. It was half the cost of UPS.

RichM
05-06-2015, 03:58 AM
Jon's method works very well. The tracking mechanism is not that good but the shipping was quick. When I shipped one from the US to Jon, I used USPS. It was half the cost of UPS.

When shipping from the US to other countries, USPS is the *only* way to go. The price difference is remarkable. Unfortunately, USPS has a size limit, and wouldn't take the big archtop guitar I tried to ship.

ralphk
05-06-2015, 08:09 AM
Kissing send me a baritone via overnight postal from Austrailia and it went through great.

AJ Hill
05-06-2015, 09:56 AM
This sound mad but it's true when I posted my last uke the lady in the post office said ,,,,If you go home and put that parcel in a bag seal it up put the label on the bag the cost will be a lot less ,,I thought she was joking but no ,,went home put the box in a bin bag taped it up ,,,and it cost less ,,,,posted it to Hollis ,,,not world wide ,,,well it was a Western Australia but it's the same deal

hollisdwyer
05-06-2015, 01:51 PM
Auspost and USPS seem to be the most economical for posting ukes Oz to USA Or USA to Oz and cost about the same once you do a currency conversion between the U.S. Dollar and the Australian Peso. How you pack it, insure it, send it via different services all come down to your comfort level with risk management.

Fred Ukestone
05-06-2015, 05:21 PM
Fred, I have reused the boxes that other ukes were sent to me in. I have also gone to music stores to get a trapezoidal box (either for a uke or small guitar and cut it down as necessary). These are usually very thin and not suitable to use as a shipping box by itself but makes a good inner box.


Auspost and USPS seem to be the most economical for posting ukes Oz to USA Or USA to Oz and cost about the same once you do a currency conversion between the U.S. Dollar and the Australian Peso. How you pack it, insure it, send it via different services all come down to you comfort level with risk management.
The last time I shipped I needed a thicker outer box and got that also from a music store (all for free). It was a box for a synth that I cut down to size. As someone else mentioned you have to keep the total dimensions as small as possible but even double boxed, a tenor in a hard case and well cushioned will be within the size limitations. For guitars, I have had to use couriers.
I realise that I generally go overboard in these matters but the buyers always mention how much they appreciate the care I have taken with packaging. And when shipping an expensive instrument would you want to not do your best to ensure it arrives safely?


Jon's method works very well. The tracking mechanism is not that good but the shipping was quick. When I shipped one from the US to Jon, I used USPS. It was half the cost of UPS.


When shipping from the US to other countries, USPS is the *only* way to go. The price difference is remarkable. Unfortunately, USPS has a size limit, and wouldn't take the big archtop guitar I tried to ship.


Kissing send me a baritone via overnight postal from Austrailia and it went through great.


This sound mad but it's true when I posted my last uke the lady in the post office said ,,,,If you go home and put that parcel in a bag seal it up put the label on the bag the cost will be a lot less ,,I thought she was joking but no ,,went home put the box in a bin bag taped it up ,,,and it cost less ,,,,posted it to Hollis ,,,not world wide ,,,well it was a Western Australia but it's the same deal

Thanks to all of you for your kind help. UU has a great community spirit!!

AJ Hill, I'm intrigued by your answer. If you put the boxed uke inside a bin bag then Oz Post charges less. I'll go and have a chat to them and see if this applies to International postings.

AJ Hill
05-07-2015, 09:48 AM
Yes it's true,,,sounds daft I agree,,,saved $40.00