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Thread: Any Ukulele Shipping Problem Stories Out There?

  1. #11
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    Right now, packages are being delayed because of the unrest in the cities.

    I've been told that with the rioting in Montreal, the rioters have looted UPS trucks.

    "May you live in interesting times."—Ancient Chinese curse.
    Last edited by Kenn2018; 06-01-2020 at 08:41 AM.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  2. #12
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    If you want to ship something, I learned about a shipping service, ShipBikes.com, that has a deal with FedEx for discount shipping. I checked on shipping a bass uke and instead of costing $52 regular FedEx, they charge $27. This has been verified by people on the Talk Bass forum too.


    This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
    9 tenor cutaway ukes, 4 acoustic bass ukes, 12 solid body bass ukes, 14 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 39)

    • Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
    • Member The CC Strummers: YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers
    Last edited by kohanmike; 06-02-2020 at 07:20 AM.

  3. #13
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    As of last week, FedEx delivery was good, and UPS wasn't too bad here in the US. USPS delivery has been taking much longer, a week or more beyond the expected delivery dates. Tracking shows the packages just sitting in distribution centers. I don't know how the riots of the last several days may have affected this, though.
    "So many ukes, so little money..."

    Kanile'a KSR-T premium koa tenor
    Rebel Double Cheese spruce/mahogany tenor, my BFF.
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kohanmike View Post
    I learned about a shipping service, ShipBikes.com, that has a deal with FedEx for discount shipping. I checked on shipping a bass uke and instead of costing $52 regular FedEx, they charge $27. This has been verified by people on the Talk Bass forum too.


    This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
    9 tenor cutaway ukes, 4 acoustic bass ukes, 12 solid body bass ukes, 14 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 39)

    • Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
    • Member The CC Strummers: YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers
    Of course, it's up to the seller to decide which shipper to use, and they probably have contracts.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  5. #15
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    I've sent and received lots of ukuleles over here in Europe, through lots of different carriers.

    I must say that I never had a ukulele damaged in transit. It's true that 'fragile' stickers don't mean a thing, that boxes are piled up, fall over and are sometimes even tossed. But there's double boxing, 'airbags' and cardboard fillings, and lots of duct tape for that, and if you google a bit you know how to protect ukuleles during shipment at there most vulnerable bits. I've never had ukes-in-transit treated to extreme temperatures or moisture. Most parcels are basically cardboard boxes and are therefore kept dry and inside.

    The most annoying bit about posted ukuleles are the unexpected delays. I've had ukuleles stuck in customs declaration for months, not weeks. No pre-customs clearing, filling out forms, mailing of bank statements or (heaven forbid) phone calls can speed up the process. I know, I've tried. I've also had bad experiences with one French and one Dutch parcel service which lost track at a sorting center, and took weeks to resurface the entrusted ukuleles. Unharmed.

    Second annoyance in line (nothing serious) are wrong delivery announcements. It's being delivered tomorrow, only they happen to be there today, or only after the weekend since they couldn't finish the planned route. I'd really rather they wouldn't announce it when it's uncertain, and just show up. I'm not concerned about packages being dropped off at neighbours, or about having to go and pick it up myself the next day, but misinformation is something I don't like.

    Third is the rising of postage rates. Big companies seem to send out goods for next to nothing (they even announce it as 'free shipment') but have you ever tried sending a big box through the mail from a European country? You can buy a budget line instrument for the postage alone... The last 6-7 years saw some alternative postage systems emerging, not delivering to your door, but rather a 'shop-to-shop' system, where gas stations, book shops and corner stores take in boxes, have them picked up twice a week, and receiving a load of parcels at the same time. Currently there's 4-5 companies doing that. The rates are usually much lower, although the speed is lower as well and they don't do overseas shipments; on the other hand the online tracking is usually better since it's their main job (no letters, no publicity to distribute, no post offices to operate).

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    Of course, it's up to the seller to decide which shipper to use, and they probably have contracts.
    I should have been more clear, I meant that if you want to ship something, this is company to use.

  7. #17
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    Not really a shipping problem, but I thought I'd share just in case anybody else is thinking of ordering direct from China. I ordered an Aiersi Soprano Pineapple with Aliexpress in mid-April. They stated 20-40 days, but with the caveat that this might be extended, owing to difficulties caused by the Covid 19 pandemic. After 40 days in the wilderness, I sent a message of inquiry. The polite response asked for my continued patience. The ukulele arrived this morning - the package originated in ShangHai.

    The packaging was minimal - just the manufacturer's thin cardboard box wrapped around with clear tape, and the labels stuck on. There was a small amount of thin foam and bubblewrap around the uke itself. The box was not damaged, and the contents in good condition.

    I'm a happy customer!

    John Colter

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ukulelekarcsi View Post
    Second annoyance in line (nothing serious) are wrong delivery announcements. It's being delivered tomorrow, only they happen to be there today, or only after the weekend since they couldn't finish the planned route. I'd really rather they wouldn't announce it when it's uncertain, and just show up. I'm not concerned about packages being dropped off at neighbours, or about having to go and pick it up myself the next day, but misinformation is something I don't like.
    This is one of my biggest gripes. FedEx has been the biggest problem with this. I'm given a day and time range that the item is supposed to arrive. (Usually, I can't change it, only the originator can make changes.) I arrange to be home at that time and the instrument arrives a day early. Or, they try to deliver in the morning even though they said it would arrive late afternoon. But since I'm not home to sign for it, it stays on the truck or warehouse overnight.

    I now have FedEx delivered to the local Walgreens and pick it up from the store.

    Between COVID-19 and the unrest, I have a uke understandably sitting in in the USPS distribution center in St. Paul, MN. I understand the situation and just have to wait patiently for it to be possible to ship soon.

    Getting a uke is not important compared to the other problems facing us all right now.
    Last edited by Kenn2018; 06-02-2020 at 09:09 AM.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  9. #19
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    Aug 2019
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    I have an instrument coming via UPS. Tracking information says:

    "Civil unrest has delayed your package in transit. Delivery will be rescheduled. Check back for updates."

    I also ordered materials from Japan, and received a message from the vendor saying Japan Post to the States is suspended, possibly/likely for several months.

  10. #20
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    Massachusetts
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    We ordered a couple bikes from REI for my daughters recently. They were shipped UPS 2nd day air and both ended up lost in a warehouse for over two weeks. After I opened an investigation with UPS, tracking stated, "An operational error has occured.... we are trying to locate....etc." Ultimately, both bikes were received and were in perfect condition. I'd have been pretty stressed if it were an expensive and delicate instrument that was lost for that long. A better story is that I ordered a student violin from a shop in NY last week and it arrived in one day via UPS.

    Lot's of stress on these delivery services these days. Package as best you can and definitely relieve string tension before shipping. Then cross your fingers and hope for the best.
    Collings UT41-K Sunburst
    Pono MTSH(S)PC
    1950 Martin Style 1 soprano
    Martin OXK soprano

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