Long-term travel - shipping a keyboard?

Posted by: dRummie

Long-term travel - shipping a keyboard? - 07/20/10 12:30 PM

I'm moving to a different country for 2 years, and making some inquiries, have found out that it would cost $1k+ to take my keyboard (FP-7) with me: ~$600 for a proper case + ~$600 more to ship it as a musical instrument with the airline.

Am I missing something, or is this really how much it would cost? Is there a way to take it on-board, or check it as regular luggage (afraid of what might happen to it with all the throwing around that happens to suitcases). Is it possible perhaps to ship it some other way to my new location?

Thanks, any help is appreciated. I really don't want to leave my keyboard behind frown
Posted by: AndyT

Re: Long-term travel - shipping a keyboard? - 07/20/10 12:55 PM

What about sending it through the post instead?
Posted by: dRummie

Re: Long-term travel - shipping a keyboard? - 07/20/10 01:14 PM

I was hoping that was an option. Would I be able to do that in a regular box (I still have the original packaging)? Or would I still need a hard case?
Posted by: Martin C. Doege

Re: Long-term travel - shipping a keyboard? - 07/20/10 01:34 PM

I sent my P-85 from Boulder to Hamburg by UPS. I didn't have the original box, but thankfully the shipping store had a cardboard box that just fit. I'm not sure how much I paid (shipping + insurance + customs fee), but I think the total investment (i.e., original US price + shipping-related costs) was similar to what I would have paid for the instrument new in Germany (they're more expensive here).

So shipping was not extremely compelling financially, but at least it spared me having to sell the DP in the US and then buying a new one here.

Of course the instrument you intend to ship might be larger, which would make shipping even more expensive. So unless you are extremely attached to that DP, selling it in country A and buying a new one in country B might make more sense and be cheaper.

Martin
Posted by: appleman

Re: Long-term travel - shipping a keyboard? - 07/20/10 01:35 PM

Originally Posted By: dRummie
I was hoping that was an option. Would I be able to do that in a regular box (I still have the original packaging)? Or would I still need a hard case?
The USPS and UPS will insure the product if it's in it's original packaging. However, I recommend a hard case.

So the answer is yes, but I wouldn't.
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: Long-term travel - shipping a keyboard? - 07/20/10 01:38 PM

Originally Posted By: dRummie
I was hoping that was an option. Would I be able to do that in a regular box (I still have the original packaging)? Or would I still need a hard case?


For a one time shipping by Fed Ex or UPS a normal box will do. But..... The shippers define a "normal box" to be one that is rigid and has 2" of foam or other non-loose padding all around the object. The best way to ship it is to take it to a UPS store and have them custom pack it. then insure it and send it off. then if it breaks the shipper replaces it. Having them pack it removes the possabilty of the shipper claiming the item was not packed correctly


The reason you buy a $600 shipping case is because you can use them hundreds times and also they don't need to be cut open with a ulity knife. The $600 box will pay for itself after 20 or so shippings

If you still have the original packing then it gets real easy. Repack it in the box then take it to the shipper and have them double box it, pay for the insurance and it will get there OK.

If you want to ship it on an airplane as baggage it will need to be in a box that can be opened for inspection and if you want them to be responcible for damage then it must be in a shipping container that is ATA approved, this means an expensive ATA flight case.
Posted by: dRummie

Re: Long-term travel - shipping a keyboard? - 07/20/10 02:11 PM

My destination is in Europe, so I'm a little afraid of the cost mark-up if I were to sell mine here (Canada) and buy another there. I don't expect it to be cheaper, and at least with shipping, part of the cost is a longer-term investment (the case). I know I will need to ship it again in the future (not often, on the order of once every few years).

The quote I just got from UPS/FedEx is ~$800, which is about the same as the airline fee + renting an appropriately sized vehicle to transport it once it's arrived. Original packaging leaves out the necessity to buy a case, but I know I will be moving it between towns at least once, so perhaps a case of some kind isn't a bad investment.

I was not the person who inquired about the quote from the airline, so I'm not sure what the exact question posed to them was, but is there any difference between shipping it "as a musical instrument" vs. just checking it as oversized baggage in an ATA case? I imagine musical instruments are shipped in temperature-controlled compartments, is that necessary with a DP?
Posted by: Martin C. Doege

Re: Long-term travel - shipping a keyboard? - 07/20/10 02:12 PM

Originally Posted By: ChrisA

If you still have the original packing then it gets real easy. Repack it in the box then take it to the shipper and have them double box it, pay for the insurance and it will get there OK.


I think the P-85 in its original box would have been more expensive to ship, because the dimensions of the original package would have have been over their size limit by a few inches.

Obviously, the OP does not intend to ship his piano hundreds of times, so I don't think a $600 shipping case is very compelling for him.

Martin
Posted by: theJourney

Re: Long-term travel - shipping a keyboard? - 07/20/10 02:48 PM

If you are going to be in Europe for 2 years, it would be better to sell yours before you go and buy an instrument there and then sell it used before leaving again, or to rent one by the month. Most instruments will have their warranty invalidated if you use them outside of the country of purchase. Some Roland models are not working as well under American current as European and vice versa.

Many stores in Europe will let you rent a (digital) piano for 1/60 of the undiscounted purchase price per month. After twelve months you can walk away at any time at no extra cost or after 5 years the piano is yours.

The strange size and weight of digital pianos combined with their required IATA approved hard cases results in very high transportation costs, especially these days when the airlines are making their money from extra fees for everything.
Posted by: dRummie

Re: Long-term travel - shipping a keyboard? - 07/20/10 03:49 PM

Hm, ~600 euro doesn't sound terrible for 2 years' rent. I'll try to look into that. Most of the stores coming up on google are in the UK (I'm going to Italy), but I'll keep looking. If any members have spent time in Italy, I'd appreciate any suggestions.