Research Project for my College

JMT Guitars

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Hi folks, so simple question for my college design course, how many of you have had problems with instruments getting damaged durings shipping? How much of a problem do you consider it to be? What measures do you take to protect isntruments? And do you think there is potential for a specific product/service in this field?

Cheers!
 
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Roxy13

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I've had one arrive damaged, and that was just a couple of months ago. Packing could have been a little better but I think it was rough handling.

A friend worked for UPS for 35 years and said if an employee thought something was too heavy or was just being lazy they would just drop it and not care.
 

Dilver

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I’ve had probably had more than a dozen but less than 20 guitars shipped to me over the past 20 years and I’ve probably shipped about 7 or 8. No issues yet. Just lucky I guess…. Something I did when shipping a hollowbody recently was slide thin foam core boards between the double boxing. Also, securing the guitar in the case with paper and cloth to minimize any movement in the case. Everyone is always surprised at the lengths I go in packing, but it’s worth it to avoid the hassle if something were to go wrong.
 
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mjross

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Not much in regard to damage of the instrument but a few beat up cases (from items protruding through the box) and boxes that look like they have been through a war. Mind you, we are talking a lot of shipments!
 

Findthetone

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Anything i have received was undamaged. I don't believe it's a packaging issue. It is a handling issue. Until humans can be more responsible with their activities and operations of equipment, shipping will always have issues with handling.
Yep. I deal with shipping companies every day and from what I've seen in the past 2-3 years, I'll never ship big ticket gear item again until I know the employees are of better quality and more responsible.
 
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No guitar I’ve sold, packed, and shipped myself has been damaged in transit.

I’ve received an Epiphone Les Paul Modern with a broken headstock, but it was poorly packed from a fairly large online seller.

I’ve received a PRS SE Hollowbody II with a cracked headstock too. This one was well packed , though. So either the shipper really abused it in transit or the seller had a broken guitar they sold and insured, knowing the insurance would cover the loss when I received the damaged item.
 

Pop1655

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Been on both ends of this way too many times and have never had an issue. Been lucky to deal with sellers that know what they're doing and learned from them myself on how to do it.
 

pillbug

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I’ve received and shipped close to 500 guitars And have had somewhere between 5-10 damage issues (1-2%). Of what I ship, 90% are in hard cases and the other 10% are either in gig bags, or just the guitar in the original wedge box (such as low end Ibanez’s, Kramers, Jackson’s for example). In my experience Damage is usually caused by insufficient packing material. Ideally you want the guitar to be immobile with 2-3” of packing between the guitar (or case) and the outer box.

Outside of the few random times the delivery person steps on or causes holes in the box, the guitars most prone to damages are anything pointy (Jackson RR, Epiphone Explorer, PRS headstocks to name a few I’ve had damaged).

The best way to minimize damage is to closely and tightly pack the guitar, especially the pointy bits, with large 1” bubble wrap and/or corn starch peanuts. Also, as mentioned above, the Stew Mac air-filled end caps are excellent and my current favorite as well.

Surprisingly, Gibson ships all of their guitars (including Custom Shop and SGs) with just cardboard endcaps and usually nothing else in the box. I’ve never had a Gibson get damaged (except for one Les Paul which received a blow to the front of the box, resulting in a cracked pickup ring and knobs, even though it was in the original hardshell case).

Hope that helps and good luck with your project.
 

redking

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I would guess that companies like Gibson and Fender have spent $millions on R&D and testing through the years to prevent shipping damage and they likely decided that the cost of "perfect" shipping protection outweighed the cost of replacing damaged goods, which has lead to their current designs / practices. I used to have a furniture company as a client and they spent almost a million dollars in R&D and testing the packaging and shipping requirements for just 1 vendor that required them so ship and sofas upright because that is how they had their warehouse set up.
 

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