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Shipping a guitar for repair is safe and easy by following a few simple instructions. UPS, Fed Ex and USPS ship hundreds of guitars daily, very successfully and offer competitive shipping prices. The following shipping instructions are gathered from my experiences and a collection of researched resources I have found that offer excellent tips and hints for shipping guitars successfully with no damage...

First and Foremost

1) Package your own guitar. If you're not sure, have a friend help you. It's your guitar and you will do a much better job than letting the local shipping store package your guitar for you. You will also save yourself a lot of money.

2) Follow the directions carefully and do not cut corners. The same directions apply to both acoustic and electric guitars.

3) Planning is most important. Read the directions carefully, ALL THE WAY THROUGH, then collect all the materials you will need before you start. Highlight, copy and print the materials list if you want to take it with you to collect shipping and packaging supplies.

4) Always INSURE YOUR GUITAR for shipment. Add an extra 10% of your guitars value for incidentals in case of loss or damage to cover additional shipping or processing fees. Too much insurance is far better than not enough, and it's cheap.

Materials List

1) A box that can contain the guitar and the case. You can find one at a local music store or purchase one from a shipping store. Yes, most have boxes designed and sized for shipping guitars. Measure the outside of your case and make sure the box is large enough to allow at least 2" of space on all sides for packaging material. Make sure the box is corrugated.

        2) Packaging materials (you will have somewhat of a choice). Newspaper is as good as any, you will simply need a lot of it. Use the black & white news print, not colored ads or funny papers. If you do not get the paper, ask a neighbor or a friend. You can also use bubble wrap or styrofoam P-nuts. The "C" shaped nuts work the best. It is not necessary to go to this expense if you can find newspaper.

        3) A piece of thin cardboard, similar to that of a cereal box, only long enough to cover the guitar from the nut to the bridge (I'll explain later). A piece of poster board (plain white only), from the local office supply will work great. 

        4) A large plastic bag, big enough to put the guitar in, or two large trash can liners.

        5) 2" wide clear plastic or brown shipping tape. One is as good as the other, which ever is most convenient will do fine.

        6) A box cutter or razor knife and some scotch tape will come in handy.


Prep Guitar and Case

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First, remove the guitar from the case and empty the small storage compartment. Look around thoroughly inside the case to make sure there are no loose items. If the guitar has a tremolo bar, remove it, wrap it separately and tape it inside the top of the shipping box. Mark it so that it can easily be found.
        Loosen the strings on the guitar so that there is no tension on the neck but do not remove the strings, barely floppy will be fine. Loosening the strings greatly reduces the likelihood of a neck break in the event of a sudden shock (impact), to the package.

Pad Neck Heel/Body Joint

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Lay the guitar back in the case and rest the guitar neck on the first neck rest closest to the body at the neck/body joint. Reach down to the bottom of the case at the neck/body joint and feel if there is any space between the back of the guitar and the bottom of the case. If you can't reach inside, look with a flashlight to see if you can see space. If the guitar seats firmly against the bottom of the case with the neck in the rest, it will be OK. If you have any doubts, fold flat pieces of newspaper sheets until the guitar neck raises out of the rest about 1/8" but no more.

Tuning Head Protector

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Lift the guitar headstock from the case and pad the head cavity with newspaper balls until it pads the head and does not lift the neck.

Neck Joint Pad

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The lower photo shows how your padding should look with all pieces in place.

Fretboard Cover

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Remove the guitar and place it on a large flat area coverd with a terry cloth towel. Using the thin cardboard (poster board), cut a piece that will stretch from the nut to the bridge, between the strings and the neck and body of the guitar. Cut the cardboard about twice the width of the neck. If you have to tape pieces together, make sure the taped sides are up toward the strings. Do not let the tape rest against the guitar neck or body.

Finished Cover

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Place it on the guitar evenly over the neck and mark two marks, one on either side where the neck joins at the body. Remove the cardboard from the guitar and cut one slot on either side but not all the way through. Fold the cardboard around the neck but DO NOT TAPE it around the neck. It should rest there fine with the strings laying on it.

Moisture Barrier

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If you have one plastic bag that the guitar will fit in, carefully slide the guitar in the bag body first and tie the bag shut at the headstock. If you have to use two bags, pull the first bag over the headstock and the second bag over the body and over the neck bag as far as it will go. Wrap this bag around the neck and tape the two bags together so they are sealed.

Sealed Barrier

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Again, do not let the tape hit the neck wood, the bags should be taped together.
       The plastic bags help retard temperature and humidity changes during the trip. Lay the guitar back in the case and stuff newspaper balls around the guitars sides so that it does not move in the case if shaken. If the guitar fits firmly in the case then you can skip this step.

Ready To Box

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  Close the case making sure there is no excessive pressure to get the lid shut. If there is more than light pressure to close the case, lift the guitar out and remove some of the padding between the back of the guitar and the bottom of the case at the neck joint. Put the guitar in the case and close the latches.

Box Bottom Padding

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Prepare the box by taping one end shut first. Drop one good layer of newspaper balls in the bottom of the box.

Pad Sides, Top and Back

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Set the guitar in the box, body first, so that you have access to pad around the rest of the guitar. If you have excessive space between the top and bottom of the case and the box, add folded newspaper to fill the space equally on both sides.

Fill Air Space

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Stuff a few paper balls in between the waist of the guitar case and the side walls of the box. Continue putting folded paper between the top and bottom of the case and the box as you work your way to the top of the box. Add paper balls around the neck of the case on either side. Keep adding paper as needed but do not distort the outside shape of the box.

Pad Case End

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I ran out of newspaper, but fill the sides around the neck all the way to the top. Wrap a thick padding around the end of the case. If you are shipping an electric guitar, wrap the tremolo bar, put it in a paper or plastic bag to mark it, and tape it to the inside of either side wall in the box. Close the box and tape ALL overlaps closed so the box is completely sealed. The sealed box along with the insulation provided by the newspaper also helps with climate change during shipping.

Final Notes

You can use these instructions to ship your guitar anywhere you like. When shipping to Accu-Tech Guitar Repair LLC, please make sure you have contacted me first and we have discussed your repair. I may ask for photos via email to get a better understanding of your repair needs. If you have video conferencing installed on your computer, we can discuss your repair during a video call. I will gather your information and generate a computer repair ticket that will keep me advised that your guitar is on it's way so that I can watch for it.

       Follow these instructions carefully and do not omit any steps. Mark the outside of the box FRAGILE or HANDLE WITH CARE. You can pick up these stickers if you like at the office supply store when you get the posterboard.

       Once again, insure your package for the original purchase value plus 10%. Insurance is a small price to pay when shipping your guitar.

Accu-Tech Guitar Return Shipment Policies

When your repair is completed, I will contact you and email your invoice to you. The email will contain a link to the Accu-Tech payment page where you will find instructions for payment through PayPal. Once your payment has been verified, your package will ship the following business day.Your guitar will be returned using the packaging materials it was recieved in. Your invoice will include return shipping and insurance costs. If you have a shipper preference, please advise me by email or phone when you have been notified that your repair has been completed.        

Being a guitarist/vocalist and currently performing musician for over 45 years, I have a complete understanding of the relationship between guitarists and their guitars. After your guitar has been returned, you will be contacted by email or phone to verify your repair is satisfactory and to your liking.

       Thank you for contacting Accu-Tech Guitar Repair LLC...