Mailboxes Etc.  Post Net. & Other Mail Services

Mailboxes Etc. and The UPS Store

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Buyer Beware
The UPS store is not owned by UPS,   It is a privately franchised operation.

If you take the time to read this page
 I guarantee you will save money !!

Always go directly to UPS or Fed Ex.  Better yet try to use a friend that has a UPS shipping account.  Call UPS they actually have a service that comes to your home and picks up boxes.  It costs more but nowhere near as bad as  The UPS Store or Post Net or any other corporate franchise Mailbox etc style store.  These people typically charge at least triple UPS rates, I HAVE EXPERIENCED INSTANCES WHERE THEY HAVE CHARGED 6 TIMES AS MUCH AS UPS
More bad news, If you ever have a shipping problem, Mailbox etc will be the ones that will have to sue. They will never help you !!!   In fact, they will be a large hindrance to your chances of collecting any UPS Claim.   Always go directly to the UPS terminal, it will cost you a lot less!   I have found that in most cases mailing services will avoid the issue and try to bury you with red tape.  I think that most of the time they don't insure the package because they can make more money by charging you the insurance and simply not buying it. Naturally if there is a problem, they will look for a reason not to have to pay you.

I was involved in several court battles with Mail Boxes Etc. When I was in Connecticut. I won both cases but I really lost when you figure the time it took.

BTW  The UPS store is Mailboxes etc,  under a new name !!!!   They have no legal affiliation with UPS itself.

The actual cardboard boxes, I have seen at the local mailing services, in Las Vegas are highly overpriced & very light duty cardboard. They will do very little to protect your guitar.


How to Pack a Guitar

Did you know ?? 
If you ship to a business it actually costs more than if you ship to a residence.

Did you know that it costs more for a business to ship something than a private person. Unless the business is set up for volume business. Then there is up to a 40% discount. (One more reason why you are being ripped off at The UPS Store which has no real affiliation with UPS except that they paid UPS to use the name in their franchise)  These companies pay less and always charge more. Charging more in today's economy is acceptable, After all there are bills to pay. Charging much much much more is a rip-off and it reminds me of a guitar company whose name starts with the letter G.

People are always asking me how to pack a guitar.   The four biggest mistakes that most people make are below.

  1. MAKE SURE THE TREMOLO BAR IS SECURELY WRAPPED in a small amount of bubble pack or newspaper. If you don't do this the tremolo bar will fall out of the compartment during shipping and scrape up the guitar.  Also it's a good idea to make sure there are no tools or itsy bitsy screws anywhere in the case.
  2. DO NOT LOOSEN ALL THE STRINGS!!! This is always a major hassle. I get an average of 5 used guitars shipped to me daily. It is a lot easier for me to check the guitar out if I don't have to do a setup first. By loosening the strings as much as people do they usually blow the setup. Sometimes even bridge saddles fall out and cause damage to the guitar. Gibson, Fender, PRS, Hamer, Ibanez, Heritage, Washburn, Jackson and all the other companies ship guitars to me perfectly in tune right out of the case.    Any dealer who sends you a guitar with loose strings only does that because he is too lazy to set the guitar up correctly before he ships it.
  3. DO NOT TRUST LOOSE STYROFOAM SHIPPING BEANS.  Loose Styrofoam beans are useless for shipping anything delicate. They always settle to the bottom and basically offer very little protection against anything.  Bubble pack is the best bet.   Even wadded up newspaper is better than beans.
  4. BUBBLE PACK ON A HOT DAY CAN MELT INTO THE FINISH OF A GUITAR. Especially Gibson Guitars because the use that Nitrocellulose finish on top of a polyester finish to give the illusion of an old style finish.  Make sure the bubble pack is insulated from the guitar with something like a towel or T shirt or soft quilt  etc etc
  5. IT'S A FACT OF LIFE, GIBSON LES PAUL GUITARS BREAK WAY TOO EASILY. In fact, I have said for years, Gibson should just break every Les Paul before they ship it in the first place. They should then repair it before it even leaves the factory. Glue is far stronger than the wood they use. So make sure you insure the living $hit out of it before you ship it. Also pack it well or they won't honor the insurance anyway.     See This Link On Broken Gibsons
    BTW it's damn near impossible to break a Fender, BC Rich, Jackson, PRS, Quicksilver, Pearlcaster neck in shipping. You have to be careful of guitars with heavy bodies and tilt back headstocks. Hamer's, Baker's Turner's & Dean's all appear to look like Les Paul necks but I can't remember ever seeing one break in shipping or elsewhere. They are all basically the same design with set neck construction etc etc.  Why is it that only the Gibson's break repeatedly over and over again.  In fact, I have repaired 5 times more Les Paul headstocks, than all other brands of guitars put together.

            Ed Roman

Loose Guitar Strings

Occasionally I will have to purchase a guitar from another dealer, usually when it arrives the strings will all be loose.  I HATE THAT !!!!!!!!

Did you ever get a guitar shipped to you with all the strings loose?  I really hate it when that happens. The dealer will usually try to tell you it's because he did not want to put tension on the neck during shipping.  

The Real Reason Is!!

The real reason is,  most of these guys don't want to bother going to the trouble of setting up the guitar. They either don't know how to do it, or they know the guitar plays crappy,  so they purposely don't do it.

Here at Ed Roman Guitars we do a full setup on every guitar we ship. (Average Value $75.00)  My shop does a complete setup and adjusts the action. The frets are all ground and polished and the fingerboard is freshly oiled.  furthermore all the electronics are checked and the bridge or tremolo is fully adjusted.

It's usually the smaller vintage dealers who are the real culprits. Most of these idiots are dumpster diving ebay maggots and many of them don't even play guitar.  Many of these guys are Pawnshops, and other assorted small time dealers trying to dump guitars they wouldn't ordinarily want to sell to a local customer.

They usually deal in baseball cards, golf clubs. action figures, jewelry, power tools and computers and anything else they can pick up at a tag sale.

When and if you are dumb enough to buy a guitar from any of these guys. Just be sure you insist that they don't loosen the strings before they ship it to you.  This way when you are not satisfied with the guitar they can't use the old excuse  "it was perfect before we loosened the strings"
Also the guitar can be damaged because the loose strings can allow the parts from the bridge to fall out and scratch your guitar during shipping.


  • It's good to make sure the guitar cannot move inside the case.  Usually a little bubble pack at the headstock area will solve any movement problems.
  • Make sure the case does not flop around inside the shipping box. That will cause a real lot of damage.
  • If you are shipping a guitar without a case (No Problem)  just MAKE SURE you use a lot of Bubble pack taped securely around the instrument. 3 layers at least and maybe a little cardboard in between the layers on sharp corners or at the headstock.  A soft towel around the guitar will prevent the bubble-pack from melting on to your guitar if it encounters heat along the way.
  • Usually most music stores have boxes they are throwing out or have to get rid of. So that's a good place to go get a box.  I always advise my customers to always keep a couple of good boxes around for when they need to ship something.  With all the no personality superstores opening up all over.  Shipping guitars has become a required way of life for anyone who wants to own any guitar that may be even slightly out of the norm.
  • Always Insure the guitar for more than it's worth in case it gets broken or lost. Be careful because UPS and FedEx won't pay claims when they deem the guitar was packed incorrectly.  So make sure you use plenty of  bubble pack.

Shipping a guitar is easy as long as you use common sense and a lot of bubble pack.

Please Buy a Case

I strongly suggest that a case or a gig bag is purchased with your instrument. Here are several reasons why I believe it to be the prudent thing to do.

  • The case is usually less expensive if purchased with the guitar.
  • I usually charge an additional packing fee because I have to use so much extra bubble pack to make sure the guitar is shipped safely.
  • UPS Insurance will only cover the unit if it is stolen. If the unit gets damaged UPS may elect to give you a hard time about paying the claim.
  • I never accept returns on guitars that have left the premises without a case!!! (no exceptions).
  • We are providing real Road Cases for less than anyone else I have seen. Check out this link to see what I mean