How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Guitar? A Comprehensive 2024 Guide

If you want to sell or trade guitars, then you should know how much it costs to ship them. The shipping rates vary depending on where you live and whether you choose to ship via FedEx or UPS.

You can get a rough estimate of how much it costs to send a guitar using the USPS calculator. Other companies will also give estimates on shipping costs based on the location it is coming from, where it is going, and its weight. 

To find out more about how much it costs to ship a guitar, keep on reading!

How To Ship A Guitar

Shipping guitars is a tricky business. You need to know how much it costs to ship a guitar. There are many factors involved such as size, weight, type of guitar, etc.

Shipping a guitar involves more than simply dropping it off at the post office. You also need to make sure you package the guitar correctly. Shipping costs depend mostly on the shipping weight and the destination. A hard shell case is more expensive than a soft-sided case.

Also, make sure to use a reliable courier service that offers insurance coverage for shipments.

How Should I Prepare My Guitar For Shipping?

Before sending your guitar out, you need to prepare it properly so that it arrives in good condition. This includes cleaning the body and neck, removing any stickers, and making sure all parts are free of damage.

Loosen Strings

Stringed instruments should be shipped loose in boxes. The maximum weight for a box is 45 lbs. By loosening the strings of your guitar, you will remove any strain and tension along the neck of the guitar, preventing any snaps or damage, especially if the guitar has been stored for a long time.

Package Your Guitar Correctly

When packing your guitar, make sure to wrap it with bubble wrap. Wrap the guitar completely around, leaving no gaps between the sides of the guitar and the wrapping. Make sure to place the guitar inside the bubble wrap first before adding additional layers of padding. 

Place your guitar in a hard case before you ship it. Make sure there is enough padding inside the case. Don’t ship an unsecured instrument.

Make Sure It’s Safe

When shipping a guitar, you need to make sure it doesn’t fall over or break during transit. To prevent this from happening, secure the guitar by placing some heavy objects on top of it. You can also add a piece of wood under the guitar to help keep it upright.

Packing And Shipping

If you’re planning to ship a guitar through the United States Postal Service (USPS), you’ll have to pay a flat rate of $10 per pound. You can calculate the cost of shipping a guitar by dividing the total weight of the guitar by the number of pounds it weighs.

The amount of money you spend on shipping depends on several factors including the size of the guitar, the location of the recipient, and the method used to ship the guitar. To learn more about how much it costs to pack and ship a guitar, check out our guide here.

How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Guitar?

A hard case guitar usually costs around $100 to ship within the US. A gig bag guitar costs around $85, dependent on the destination, of course. A hard shell case typically costs around $40 to ship. When you send a guitar via USPS, you will only pay $10 per pound.

So, if your instrument weighs 100 pounds, you will have to pay $100. If you decide to take advantage of the services offered by FedEx or UPS, you will have to choose a package option that suits your needs.

These companies offer different options such as ground, express, international, etc.

Factors Influencing Guitar Shipping Costs

When planning to ship a guitar, several variables can affect the overall cost. Understanding these factors can help you make informed decisions and possibly save money:

  1. Distance and Destination: The further the shipping distance, the higher the cost. International shipments are typically more expensive than domestic ones. 

2. Shipping Speed: Expedited shipping options such as overnight or two-day delivery significantly increase costs compared to standard ground shipping.

3. Dimensions and Weight: Bulky or heavy packages cost more to ship. The size of the guitar case and packing materials can add to the dimensions.

4. Courier Service: Different carriers offer varying rates. Specialized musical instrument shipping services may offer competitive rates and extra care for your guitar.

5. Additional Services: Options such as insurance, tracking, and delivery confirmation add extra layers of security but also increase the total cost.

Shipping Costs

You can calculate the cost of mailing a guitar using the following formula:

Weight x Price Total Cost. For example, let’s say you want to ship a guitar weighing 50 pounds to New York City. Here’s what you would do:

  • 50 × 10 = 500
  • 500 + 250 = 750
  • 750 / 2 = 375
  • 375 × 1.25 = 475
  • 475 + 25 = 500

So, the price of shipping a guitar from Los Angeles to New York City is $10.00 per pound.

Shipping Methods

There are two main methods of shipping a guitar. One is the traditional way which includes sending it through the post office. This is the most common way of shipping a guitar because it is cheap and easy. However, you may not get the best results when shipping a guitar through the post office.

The other method involves taking advantage of the services offered online by FedEx and UPS.

Shipping Speed Options

Also, the urgency of the shipment will determine how much you’ll need to spend. Here’s a quick guide to help you decide:

1. Standard Ground: The most economical option, usually takes 3-7 business days within the U.S.

2. Express Shipping: Offers faster delivery, typically within 1-3 business days, at a higher cost.

3. Overnight Shipping: The costliest option for when you need the guitar delivered the next day.

Postal Services

There are many ways to ship a guitar through postal service. In fact, the most popular method is to ship a guitar through USPS. Although this is the cheapest option, there are some disadvantages associated with this method.

For instance, you won’t be able to track your guitar while it is being shipped. Also, you might not receive any tracking numbers.

Comparing Specific Courier Costs

Shipping costs can vary widely between courier services. Below is a brief overview of what you might expect from popular carriers:

1, FedEx: FedEx is popular for reliable tracking and careful handling. Shipping a standard-sized guitar within the U.S. may start around $50 for ground and can exceed $150 for express services.

 2, UPS: Similar to FedEx with comparable pricing, UPS offers extensive domestic and international service, with ground rates starting around $50.

3. DHL: Famous for international shipping, DHL can be a viable option for shipping guitars abroad, with prices dependent on destination and service level.

4. USPS: Generally the most cost-effective for lighter packages. Domestic shipping costs for guitars can range from $20 to $100+, with international rates varying greatly.

Below is a detailed guide on what to expect from these carriers:


FedEx and UPS are reliable companies that provide fast delivery services. They offer packages that can be tracked. Both companies offer special rates for musicians.

FedEx offers a range of services depending on where you live. There are three levels of service: Ground, Express, and International.

  • Ground This is the standard level of service provided by FedEx. It takes 3-5 business days to deliver a package.
  • Express This is the fastest level of service available. You can expect your package to arrive at its destination within 2-3 business days.
  • International This is the slowest level of service offered by FedEx. Your package will take 7-14 business days to reach its destination.

UPS provides similar services. Their prices vary based on where you live.

  • Ground: This level of service is the same as the Ground service offered by FedEx.
  • 2nd Day Air: This is the fastest service offered by UPS. Your package should arrive at its destination within 1 day.
  • Next Day Air: This is another faster service offered by UPS. You should receive your package within 24 hours.
  • 2-Day Select: This is the slowest level of service offered by UPS. It usually takes 5-7 business days to arrive at its destination.

It’s important to note that Ups does not offer an International level of service.

The Shipping Process

After you have calculated how much it will cost to ship a guitar, you need to find out where you want to ship it. Once you know where you want to ship your guitar, you need to determine whether you want to use FedEx or UPS.

If you decide to go with FedEx or UPS, you need to choose between ground and express shipping. If you decide to ship a guitar using FedEx or UPS, you will need to fill in a form called a “bill of lading.” A bill of lading is a document that contains information about the shipment.

This includes the name of the shipper (you), the consignee (the person who receives the package), the date of shipment, the weight of the package, and the value of the goods.

When filling out the bill of lading, make sure that you include all the necessary information. Make sure that you list the correct address for the recipient. Also, if you’re going to ship a guitar internationally, make sure that you specify the country code for the destination.

Once you’ve filled out the bill of lading, you’ll need to print it out. Then, place the printed copy inside the box containing your guitar. The next step is to attach a label to the outside of the box. The label needs to contain the following information:

  • Name of sender
  • Address of sender
  • Date of shipment
  • Value of the shipment
  • Country code for international shipments
  • Weight of the package

You can also add any other important details such as tracking numbers or insurance policies.

Now that you have everything ready to send your guitar, you just need to wait for FedEx or UPS to pick up the package from your home. FedEx and UPS both provide free tracking numbers so that you can track the progress of your package online.

To learn more about how to ship a guitar, visit our How To Ship A Guitar page.

Shipping Costs

Shipping costs are determined by the size and weight of the package. Larger packages generally cost more than smaller ones. Smaller packages weigh less than larger ones.

Most people think that they can get away with sending a guitar via regular mail. However, this isn’t true. There’s no way around paying extra fees when shipping a guitar through USPS.

The average shipping fee for a guitar is $25.00. This means that most guitars will be shipped for approximately $50.00. In order to calculate how much it will cost you to ship a guitar, simply multiply the number of strings on the guitar times the price per string.

For example, let’s say that you want to ship a Gibson Les Paul Standard. Let’s assume that the guitar has 22 frets and that each fret requires one string.

Let’s also assume that the price per string is $10.00. This means you would pay $220.00 to ship the guitar.

In some cases, you may be able to save money by purchasing an insurance policy. When you purchase an insurance policy, you are essentially buying protection against damage during transit. You can usually buy insurance at the same time that you ship your guitar.

Insurance is only available for shipments within the United States. In addition, you must insure the entire shipment rather than just the contents of the box. If you do not have access to insurance, then you should try to find a friend or family member who does. It might take a little longer, but it could end up saving you money.

If you don’t know anyone who ships guitars, you can always ask someone at your local music store. They may be willing to help.

How To Pack Your Guitar For Shipping

When packing your guitar for shipping, you should follow these steps:

Step One

Make sure your strings are loosened as we covered earlier. This will help it fit into the packaging without the risk of anything breaking or snapping. 

Step Two

Remove the capo and other accessories and pack them away separately. Never keep them in the same box as the guitar. 

Step Three

Double wrap the most delicate areas such as the strings and neck of the guitar. This will protect them. Some people even stuff the guitar with bubble wrap. 

Step Four

Pop the guitar in its case, and make sure it is secure. You can also pack the inside of the case to make sure the guitar does not roll around. 

Step Five

Shake it! If you can hear it moving a lot, it’s probably best to place some more bubble wrap or packing peanuts in the box. 

Step Six

Pad up your box, and make sure it is extra secure. 

Step Seven

Finally, tape up your box, and completely seal it. This will make it extra safe.  

Checklist for Shipping a Guitar

Before sending off your guitar, go through this checklist to ensure you’ve covered all the bases:

  • Choose the right shipping box—preferably corrugated cardboard with enough room for padding.
  • Loosen the strings to relieve tension on the neck during transit.
  • Secure loose components inside the guitar or remove them and pack them separately.
  • Wrap the guitar in bubble wrap or use specialized guitar shipping padding.
  • Place the guitar in a hard case if available, for extra protection.
  • Use strong packing tape to secure the box and prevent opening during shipment.
  • Opt for shipping insurance to protect against the unlikely event of loss or damage.
  • Keep the tracking number and monitor the shipment until it reaches its destination.

What Will Change The Price? 

A few factors that will depend on the cost of the shipping will be the distance, size of the guitar, and the type of case it is in. 

1. Distance 

Shipping costs depend on how far away your product is being shipped. For example, if you’re shipping something to California, it might be cheaper than shipping to New York City. The farther away the destination, the higher the shipping cost.

2. Size Of Guitar

Solid-body guitars are generally heavier than hollow-body ones, but they are cheaper to ship due to their smaller sizes. Gig bags and hard cases are usually larger than gig bags and hard cases.

3. Type Of Case

Gig bags and hard cases are typically used for transporting instruments. These types of cases are made out of thick cardboard and plastic.

4. Gig Bag And Hard Cases

These cases are designed to protect your instrument while traveling. They are very durable and come in different sizes.

  • Gig Bag: These cases are commonly used for transporting electric guitars. Most gig bags are made from heavy-duty canvas material. Some gig bags are even padded for comfort.
  • Hard Case: A hard case is similar to a gig bag, except it is more rigid and comes equipped with wheels so that it can be moved easily.

There are many other options available, such as soft cases, which are similar to gig bags but are softer.

What Type Of Box Should I Use? 

There are many different types of boxes that you can use when shipping your guitar. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some common types of boxes:

  • Corrugated Boxes: This type of box is inexpensive and easy to make. However, corrugated boxes are flimsy and tend to break down quickly. Corrugated boxes are best suited for small items like jewelry.
  • Foam Core Boxes: Foam core boxes are very sturdy and can last a long time. They are also relatively cheap. However, foam core boxes are difficult to pack because there are no corners.
  • Cardboard Boxes Cardboard boxes are great for protecting fragile items. They are lightweight and are fairly affordable. This makes them ideal for shipping large items like guitars.
  • Larger Boxes: Large boxes are perfect for shipping large items like amps and basses. They provide protection for expensive equipment.

You can use any of these boxes depending on what you need to send and how much it weighs. You just want to make sure that whatever you choose provides enough protection for your item.

How Do I Make Sure My Guitar Is Safe When It’s Shipped? 

To ensure that your guitar arrives safely, you’ll need to take certain precautions before sending it off. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Use A Good Shipping Company

When choosing a company to ship your guitar, look for one that specializes in shipping musical instruments. If you choose an inexperienced shipper, you run the risk of damaging your guitar or losing it altogether.

2. Use Proper Packaging

Make sure that your guitar is packaged properly. Don’t put it in a regular box. Instead, use a protective case or a custom-made guitar case. Also, don’t place your guitar inside another guitar case. This will only increase the chances of damage occurring during shipment.

3. Pack Your Instrument Carefully

Make sure that you don’t over pack your guitar. The less you have to move around, the better.

4. Ship Your Guitar With Insurance

Most companies offer insurance for their shipments. Take advantage of this service by purchasing insurance online. This way, you won’t have to worry about paying extra fees later.

5. Keep Track Of Your Package

If you’re using a third party carrier, ask them to track your package. This way, you’ll know exactly where your guitar is at every step along the way.

How Can I Get An Estimate For Shipping My Guitar? 

It’s important to get an estimate for shipping your guitar. Most carriers charge based on the size of your instrument and the destination. To find out more information, contact your local post office or a reputable shipping company.

What Should I Put On My Guitar Before Shipping? 

Before you ship your guitar, be sure to label it with the following information:

  • Your Name: The name of the person who owns the guitar.
  • Serial Number: This number is located on the headstock of the guitar.
  • Model Number: This is usually found under the pickguard.
  • Country/Region: This is the country where the guitar was made.
  • City/Town: This is where the guitar was purchased.
  • State/Province: This is your state or province.
  • Zip Code: This is a code that helps identify your city.
  • Shipping Address :This is where the guitar will be shipped from.
  • Destination Address: This will be where the guitar will arrive.
  • Phone Number: In case there are questions regarding the status of your order.
  • Email Address: For tracking purposes.


What’s The Shipping Speed For a Guitar?

It basically narrows down to the shipping option you choose. A standard mailing option can take 2 – 5 business days within the US. However, the guitar can be delivered faster with Priority or Express Mail options. 

Still, faster delivery means more costs. The faster you want the guitar delivered, the more expensive the shipping costs, with some going as high as $200+ where you could have spent about $50.

What’s The Cheapest Way To Ship A Guitar?

The cheapest method to ship your guitars, whether within the state or across the country, is through the public post office. USPS is the public postal company in the US and allows you to ship anywhere within the country. 

Final Thoughts

Shipping a guitar is expensive. But as long as you do everything right, you shouldn’t have any problems getting your guitar to its destination. Just remember to follow our advice above and you’ll be fine!