How To Ship A Guitar: The Best Foolproof Method

How to ship a guitar? If you are planning to become a legitimate online seller of guitar, you should know the answer to this question.

Fortunately, the process is not as complicated as it seems. Well, it would prove to be an ordeal in the start. But once you can get used to it, it would be just a repetitive bliss.

However, it doesn't mean that you can take this process easy. In fact, you have to be meticulous even if you are familiar with the steps. After all, you need to satisfy your customers at all cost.

In this article, we will show the step-by-step process on how to ship a guitar. Make sure that you will master them properly. So what are you waiting for? Read on!


How To Ship A Guitar

How To Ship A Guitar

Things You Need

Of course, you cannot ship a guitar without packaging it. You have to make sure that the guitar is secure and immune from possible damages.

There are ways to pack the guitar safely. However, all of these steps would require the assistance of various packing materials. Here are they:

  • Shipping boxes - The shipping box would serve as the second cover for the guitar you will ship. It should be big and spacious so that you can ensconce the case of the guitar while leaving the area for the rest of packing materials.
  • Packing peanuts - You use this material to fill the gaps between the shipping box and the guitar case.
  • ​Heavy paper - These materials are necessary for the protection of the finish of your guitar. Throughout the shipping duration, jostling and impactful bumps can happen. These instances could create scratches and dents to the body of the instrument.
  • ​Foam padding - Although it is not necessary, a foam padding can still provide additional protection to the guitar.
  • ​Packaging tape - You need to get a specialized packaging tape specifically designed for shipping. Many would recommend a reinforced tape as the best option.

Preparing The Guitar

How To Ship A Guitar

If you have all these items already, then the next thing you should do is to prepare the guitar for shipping. The packing process needs a lot of consideration. If your desire is to make the product arrive at the best quality and condition possible, then you should be thorough.

Specifically, when shipping a guitar, the first step that you need to do is to detune it. You should know that taut guitar strings are quite susceptible to breaking or snapping when being shipped. When this happens, it can cause scratches or significant damages to the finish of the guitar.

A guitar seller doesn't have to remove the strings from the instrument totally. At the same manner, you should not also entirely loosen the strings.

Instead, the best thing you can do is to detune the strings by two octaves. In doing this, you can effectively remove the tension and prevent any unwanted damages.

You may also need to purchase a cellophane wrap to cover the finish of the guitar. This process is not necessary for brand-new guitars. However, if the instrument is old, then covering it with cellophane wrap is a requisite.

Using The Foam Padding

How To Ship A Guitar

The foam padding, or the packing paper, is essential to the safety of the instrument. Specifically, it provides optimal cushioning around the empty areas of the guitar.

You need to fill any free portion between the case and the guitar first. Always pay attention to the sides and bottoms of the case.

Of course, do not forget that the neck of the guitar is quite sensitive. Therefore, you need to surround it with as much padding as possible. The more thorough you do this, the more the guitar can avoid breakages.

Aside from the bottom and sides, you should not also forget to add padding on the top of the guitar. Doing this will prevent the instrument to move wobbly inside the case.

Make sure that the bottom part has ample protection so that it can resist blows as well. All in all, you have to guarantee that the guitar won't make any movement inside, even there is external pushing or pressing.

Alternatively, you can also use bubble wraps to secure the sensitive parts of the guitar such as its neck. If you are going to use bubble wraps, make sure that is it durable and flexible.

It should be able to resist harsh impacts that might occur during the shipping. Also, do not forget to secure the bubble wrap with the packaging tape.

Securing The Movable Parts

How To Ship A Guitar

During the transit, nothing should rattle. Therefore, components like the tremolo bridges should be secured thoroughly. You can do this by wrapping these portions with the combination of newspaper and packing materials.

Wrapping The Headstock

Among all the parts of the guitar, the headstock is the most sensitive. A guitar in good condition should have a headstock that is snug and firm. Wrapping this portion with bubble wrap and newspaper can keep it from being loose.

Separating The Fretboard From The Strings

You should also prevent the strings from having contact with the fretboard during the shipping. Their collision could damage both of them. Fortunately, you can avoid such instance from happening by sliding layers of newspaper between the fretboard and the strings.

Preparing The Shipping Box

How To Ship A Guitar

Once you can finish securing your guitar inside the case, you are now ready to put it inside the box. Before you place the instrument, put some layers of padding on the box first. Next, position the guitar on the box and place it in the center.

Make sure that there is an equal spacing on the sides around the guitar case. Otherwise, there is a tendency that the product will shift during the transport. Even if you already added protective paddings inside, it will still not guarantee the safety of the instrument.

Once the guitar is already firm and stable, you can already fill the rest of the spaces with packing paper or foam padding.

The more layers of padding you will put, the less chance the guitar will shift during the shipping. Only after this process you can add the other shipping amenities such as air cushions and packing peanuts.

If everything inside is in place, you can already close the box. Secure it tightly with the recommended packaging tape. After this, you can already bring the box to a shipping company that you choose.


Of course, if you are selling on sites like Amazon, you might not need to worry about the packaging process. They offer the Fulfilled-by-Amazon (FBA) services, in which an intermediary store will secure the product for you.

Meanwhile, if you are dealing with multiple orders, you can also contact the service of various prep centers. You can send the guitars to them, and they will be the ones who will package the item depending on your desired specifications.

For starters, you need to learn the process on how to ship a guitar. If you are planning to sell an old unit, then the guidelines we stated above will assist you.

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