Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall


Shipping a bow - cost and packing?

Messages posted to thread:
Fisher 20-Mar-17
GF 20-Mar-17
Pdiddly 20-Mar-17
George D. Stout 20-Mar-17
Bud B. 20-Mar-17
camodave 20-Mar-17
Kelly 20-Mar-17
kokosing 20-Mar-17
camodave 20-Mar-17
camodave 20-Mar-17
BowAholic 20-Mar-17
Jim Davis 20-Mar-17
M60gunner 20-Mar-17
r-man 20-Mar-17
zonic 20-Mar-17
Orion 20-Mar-17
Fisher Cat 20-Mar-17
jaz5833 20-Mar-17
camodave 20-Mar-17
mgerard 20-Mar-17
jaz5833 20-Mar-17
Scooby-doo 20-Mar-17
jaz5833 20-Mar-17
jaz5833 20-Mar-17
jaz5833 20-Mar-17
jaz5833 20-Mar-17
jaz5833 20-Mar-17
jaz5833 20-Mar-17
jaz5833 20-Mar-17
jaz5833 20-Mar-17
Okaw 20-Mar-17
Fisher 20-Mar-17
Nemah 21-Mar-17
From: Fisher
Date: 20-Mar-17




I have not shipped a bow for quite awhile. So, I don't know the current best acceptable practices. Advice here will help me, and others who may be shipping a bow. Yes, I know get the insurance and hope we don't need it!

I will be selling a few bows over the next couple of months. So I was wondering about the approximate cost to ship recurves and longbows by USPS. Other carriers may be better, but are very inconvenient because I live in a rural area - I don't want to drive an hour each way to save $2.

Also, what are the currently accepted and desirable packing methods? The last bow I sold was a longbow - so I made a nice sturdy PVC pipe with the ends securely glued on and plenty of padding inside. The post office rejected it saying that I was not a known shipper of industrial materials. I had already told them the contents and then offered to open it so they could examine the contents. NO WAY! So, I took it home and made a cardboard box which was fine.

Suggestions or estimates for cost to ship recurves and longbows? I want to be fair with buyers and not waste $ on oversize charges.

Suggestions for packing boxes / tubes for recurves and longbows? I want to pack the bows so they arrive safely. Also, don't want to waste a bunch of $ on boxes or tubes that won't be accepted.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions. Oh by the way, the boxes / tubes will need to be left-handed for lefty bows. Ha.

Best wishes, Matt

From: GF
Date: 20-Mar-17




I just shipped a compound. I most likely overdid the packaging, but it's likely to show up in the same condition as I packed it. Cost me a small fortune!

The LB I received in return shipped in PVC for under $15.

Nemah shipped me a recurve in a cardboard box. Came through just fine.

From: Pdiddly
Date: 20-Mar-17




I use arrow boxes and wrap the bow in bubble wrap...fill any voids with air sacs. Double wrap tips with bubble wrap.

Only had one break open. Box snapped on three sides 16" from the end...bow was fine.

Keep box as small as possible as costs go up with size and weight.

Tape really well, especially box edges and ends.

From: George D. Stout Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 20-Mar-17




No PVC pipe for me, or any round container that invites inspection or won't stay on conveyors. It may look secure, but I've had too much good luck with just boxes..like Pdiddly just talked about. They're lighter, and uniform (rectangular) and cost less to ship. Depending on the weight and length, you can ship accross the lower 48 for less than $30.00. You will see some crazy shipping prices now and than from folks using certain calculators. Go to USPS.com and print your own postage...it's at least 10% cheaper than the post office, and uniform accross the country. Taking to the post office is letting it up to the interpretation of whoever is on duty.

From: Bud B.
Date: 20-Mar-17




Trust me. For an almost bomb proof container go get a discarded refrigerator box from a place like Lowes or Home Depot. Make your own box. That cardboard is thicker and way more durable than an arrow box. Wrap the bow in bubble wrap and pad the tips a little extra using rubber bands to hold wrap in place. Wrap tips in foam or bubble wrap.

Tape the mess out of it. The recipient will value your effort.

From: camodave
Date: 20-Mar-17




Lately I have used the least amount of packing possible and have skipped the insurance. I have shipped about 10 bows from Canada to various points in the US. The key for me with great is that everything has gone through San Francisco. Selling, as opposed to trading, is very competitive. I often just write off the shipping cost unless it is a very desirable bow.

DDave

From: Kelly
Date: 20-Mar-17




84" is the big number to worry about, length plus circumference. Under that no oversize charge.

I ship from a small office and have used the Post Office for over 4 decades. big and small offices have used and I've never had a tube package refused or any other type of shape.

Pdiddily is correct, keep the package no larger than the bow even if I have to remake the box or cut it down. I have shipped many 66" recurves with no oversized charge.

If you have to splice boxes together make sure there is lots of overlap for strength. Improperly spliced boxes are prone to bending at the splice.

From: kokosing
Date: 20-Mar-17




Bought a new longbow shipped in a pvc tube, received with no damage. I paid $25.00 for shipping. But then I got a notice to pick up the bow up at the post office that it was to long for delivery. I told them that UPS would deliver it to my address without me driving 10 miles to pick it up.

From: camodave
Date: 20-Mar-17




Selling is about what someone is looking for, not about what you think should sell. Be prepared to be discouraged unless you take a long-range view.

DDave

From: camodave
Date: 20-Mar-17




Selling is about what someone is looking for, not about what you think should sell. Be prepared to be discouraged unless you take a long-range view.

DDave

From: BowAholic
Date: 20-Mar-17




I also live about 15 miles from the post office so I subscribed the the free USPS Click-n-ship program. You print your own label and they pick the package up during their regular run...for free. As said above, just keep the total length plus girth under 84". I do know that I can mail a bow to the west coast for less than anything I mail across the Mississippi River to the east...even though it's much closer.

From: Jim Davis
Date: 20-Mar-17




I recently shipped a bow to my brother. I had made the take-down Osage for him and was not going to trust the shipper to handle it well.

I built a wooden box of yellow pine and plywood, wrapped the bow in paper and put it in a faux leather sleave. It was a snug fit in the box.

Cost me almost $40 to ship that and a similar box with arrows in it.

It got there and I was glad to have thwarted the UPS gorillas.

I won't ship many bows, but I consider packaging to be an act of industrial defense. (Once shipped a small metal lathe in similar packaging that was right at the 75 pound postal limit. It got there in good shape.)

From: M60gunner
Date: 20-Mar-17




Last bow I shipped from here (Phx., AZ.) cost me $40. I went with 2nd day Air and double insurance. Maybe more than necessary but after reading the "war stories" here I wanted a little peace of mind. I used a carpet tube, made wooden end plugs and screwed them in to cardboard. Then duct taped. Lots of bubble wrap as well. Yes, bow was delivered 2nd day on East Coast.

From: r-man
Date: 20-Mar-17




for some reason the tubes are getting broken , the shape seems to either jam or bend the lines of mail . the result for this is bent tube or and broken bow . I will only use cubed or triangle boxes now .

From: zonic
Date: 20-Mar-17




Please do not put 66-70" longbows in two triangular USPS shipping tubes taped together. They do not remain sturdy at that length! I recently received one like this and I was really holding my breath as I unwrapped. Was ok - but no thanks to the packaging. PVC is the way to go on longbows.

From: Orion Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 20-Mar-17




I've always used PVC pipes for longbows with no problems. Cost usually in the range of $20, plus or minus a little depending on insurance.

Have had good luck almost all of the time, but recently, the USPS did crush a pair of Morrison TD limbs that I sent in a well packed, hard cardboard, well taped box. Looked like they ran over them with a truck. I had been having such good luck with the USPS that I considered not insuring them. Glad i did. They did make good on the deal in a few weeks.

In short, regardless of what you package them in, always insure them. I've also found that the USPS is about half the price of UPS and other shippers.

From: Fisher Cat
Date: 20-Mar-17




Shipping usually costs me about $25 via USPS Priority Mail. I only deal with people who have a history here, so I insure it for the value of the bow, but don't usually ask for tracking.

Carpet tubes are great for longbows, but some are sturdier than others.

If the price at one post office seems out of line, I'll often try another one in town and get a cheaper quote. Seems like they all measure them differently.

Don't let your wife ship it for you. I did that once and it seemed like a math-challenged postal worker with an attitude charged her too much. She didn't know better and paid it. - John

From: jaz5833
Date: 20-Mar-17

jaz5833's embedded Photo



I collect those plastic corrugated campaign signs after elections and use them to pack all sorts of things.

Here's how I do it.

The first picture is a 70" longbow wrapped in newspaper, the cardboard box for shipping, and the corrugated campaign sign material cut into the width of the box and duct taped together.

From: camodave
Date: 20-Mar-17




Canadapost has a surcharge for items shipped in a round container. Shipping insurance is just extortion in my opinion. We are paying for incompetent work by people who are already being paid.

DDave

From: mgerard Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 20-Mar-17




Just received a bow from Kirk Lavender (Bigfoot bows) he spliced 2 triangular boxes together, cut a thin piece of wood to fit one side of the box for support, bubble wrapped the bow and wrapped it with paper. Shipped 2 day priority. Other than a 1 day delay by the post office, bow arrived in great shape.

From: jaz5833
Date: 20-Mar-17

jaz5833's embedded Photo



The second picture is my knife (or similar tool) cutting small holes in the corrugated plastic that will accept zip ties.

From: Scooby-doo
Date: 20-Mar-17




The rules have changed a bit, used to under 84"s that was length, height and width, now you get over size fee for anything over 72"s.(again H,W and L) Just shipped a bow an hour ago. Packed in cardboard triangular post office boxes(two of them cut down) At first it was an inch over 72"s and they wanted 30 bucks plus 5 for insurance. I then cut it down 2"s and it measured 71"s and the cost dropped to 18 bucks including the insurance. Shawn

From: jaz5833
Date: 20-Mar-17

jaz5833's embedded Photo



The zip ties ready to tie down the longbow and keep it from moving inside the box.

From: jaz5833
Date: 20-Mar-17

jaz5833's embedded Photo



Now the longbow is placed in the middle of the ties and secured.

From: jaz5833
Date: 20-Mar-17

jaz5833's embedded Photo



From: jaz5833
Date: 20-Mar-17

jaz5833's embedded Photo



A long look with all the zip ties in place

From: jaz5833
Date: 20-Mar-17

jaz5833's embedded Photo



For double protection, sandwich the bow between two pieces the same way.

Here it is in the box ready to accept your padding of choice.

From: jaz5833
Date: 20-Mar-17




Notice the extra room near the tips that allows for a little box damage without hitting the bow tips.

From: jaz5833
Date: 20-Mar-17




It was $27.65 to send this box two weeks ago. It was 76" long and weighed 4lbs - 7oz.

From: jaz5833
Date: 20-Mar-17

jaz5833's embedded Photo



From: Okaw
Date: 20-Mar-17




As others have said; use the click n ship labels. Free pickup and they seem to get to the buyer faster and with fewer problems.

If you try to put in an invalid address, the system won't let you. I believe many complaints about the shipping taking too long or getting lost, are due to an incorrect or unreadable address on the hand written label. I ship hundreds of bows and other packages each year with fewer than 1 tenth of 1 percent requiring a claim. I have never had a package lost in 12 years of using Click n ship.

The few claims I have had in those years were easy and quickly paid. The process is started online. Lately, I don't buy insurance or buy a minimum amount, because I have so few claims.

From: Fisher
Date: 20-Mar-17




Wow! Thanks for the info. Many great tips here. I better start gathering supplies.

Best wishes.

From: Nemah
Date: 21-Mar-17




I buy large heavy duty shipping boxes from Home Deopt, about 4 dollars. I can then make a perfect bow shipping carton, 8" x 3" x 60". I use spray-on contact adhesive to glue reinforcement sheets of cardboard on the inside of the box at the folds, and to glue the flaps down. Lots of bubble wrap and cardboard strips at the bow tips, and goop packaging tape. Only had one bow damaged in over 40 shippings.......USPS broke it in two.





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