While drums are the best instrument in the world, they come with a few frustrating aspects. Every drummer has to deal with noise constraints and lugging large pieces of gear around when playing gigs.
Another aspect that can be a bit frustrating is when you need to transport the drums to somewhere far away.
Whether you’re selling a kit or moving to a new location yourself, shipping a drum set isn’t the easiest thing to do as there are dozens of parts to consider. If you’re wondering about the cost of it all as well as how to save a bit, keep reading!
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Cost and Companies
The best shipping companies to use in the USA are FedEx and UPS. These companies charge by weight, allowing you to have a bit of control over the price of your package. Typically, they’ll charge anywhere between $50 and $150 to ship your kit to a destination in the same country.
If you plan on shipping your kit to a different country, the price will increase depending on how far you send it. For example, it will be a few extra dollars to ship the kit to Mexico, but it will be a few extra hundred dollars to ship it from the US to South Africa.
While FedEx and UPS are the most reliable and well-known shipping companies, there are other ones that you can use such as Maersk, DHL Express, and USPS.
Saving Cash on Shipping
While shipping costs are fairly reasonable, especially considering that you’re sending a whole drum kit across the country or world, there are some things you can do that will drop the costs a bit. Doing these takes a bit of work, but I know many people that prefer to go these routes.
Pack the Boxes Yourself
The biggest thing you can do to save costs is to pack the drums in boxes yourself. Shipping companies charge a fee to pack boxes, so doing it yourself before approaching the company will eliminate that aspect.
However, you can’t simply put each drum in a box and go on your way. You have to completely strip the kit down and pack it in the same way that it came when you first bought it.
This means that all the drum shells need to be stripped of their lugs and hoops, the drumheads need to be taken off, and the hardware needs to be collapsed as much as possible.
It’s essential to wrap all the separated parts with bubble wrap so that none of your kits gets damaged while being transported.
I found that the best way to do this efficiently is to find a YouTube video of someone unboxing a new drum kit and reverse engineer the process to box your kit up in the same way.
Ship from Business to Business Addresses
Another tip I have for saving a few dollars is to ship your kit to a business address. When you send any package to a front door, it’s always going to cost more.
Shipping to a business address usually saves the shipping company a bit of fuel and manpower, so it’s a cheaper option when shipping.
If you have a friend in another state or area that is happy to receive your kit at their place of work, I highly suggest that you go down that route.
Pack a Smaller Kit
As the companies charge by weight, you’ll be spending more on shipping for a large drum set. If possible, you should consider sending a small kit for whatever purpose you’re needing it for. A compact drum set may only cost $50 to ship if it has been packed efficiently.
While packing the drum kit yourself is going to save a few dollars, it may not be the best option for everyone. You need to be incredibly meticulous with packing.
If that doesn’t sound like you, it may be better to allow the shipping company to do the box packing for you.
They have established processes and they know exactly what they’re doing. It’s often a lot safer to let them do it. Also, you’ll be fully insured from every angle if they do this.
If you packed the kit yourself, you may be the one to be blamed if any damage occurs.
With the world’s economy in the state that it currently is, expect shipping costs to increase constantly. Unfortunately, rising prices are something we all must bear through.
However, you can save a bit of cash here and there by being smart with how you ship your drum set.
If you pack it into boxes yourself, ship it to a business address, and send the smallest amount of drum gear possible for the situation you need it for, you’ll save a decent sum of money. The more you ship gear, the savvier you’ll get at avoiding a few costs.