How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Guitar?

Okay, you’ve sold a guitar you don’t need anymore and now you want to ship it. But how much does it cost to ship a guitar? Let's answer this!

How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Guitar?

To guitar heaven, some may think but in fact used guitars get to live their second (or even third or fourth) life with the next happy owner. Not everyone can afford themselves to buy a brand-new axe fresh from the music store.

Some people don’t even want to buy a new guitar for various personal reasons. That’s why there is a demand for used gear out there which has to be satisfied by the current happy owners.

Quick Answer: Usually, a guitar in a hardshell case will cost you somewhere between $100 and $150 to ship within the US, while guitar in a gig bag costs around $85, depending on the destination, of course.

Easiest Way To Ship A Guitar

It can be pretty much any medium – from your local newspaper to the word-of-mouth. However, in the modern day of the almighty Internet, most people would prefer to buy used guitars from other people via specialized forums/communities or online services, the largest being Craigslist and Ebay.

You should read this post if you want to sell a guitar on eBay: How to sell a guitar on eBay and not get screwed (much)

Once you got listed on such services, found yourself a customer and agreed on a price, a few questions come up immediately:

  • How much is it to ship a guitar?
  • What’s the best way to ship a guitar?

Suddenly it turns out that you’ve never done shipping all by yourself. Now you’ve got to figure out how to do it…

But that’s why we’re here – our step-by-step guide not only answers the question “How much does it cost to ship a guitar?” but also shows you the cheapest and easiest way to ship a guitar.

Step 1: Decide Between A Gig Bag And Hardshell Case

From a buyer’s perspective, the choice is quite obvious – hardshell case is more durable and provides safer transportation with minimal damage to the guitar.


Hardshell Case

Some hardshell case you may like:

However, from a seller’s perspective it’s not always that easy, mainly for two reasons:

  • More weight = more money to pay for the shipping: An average guitar in a gig bag weighs approximately 9 to 12 pounds, while guitar in a hardshell case weighs almost twice as much – up to 20 pounds.
  • The hardshell case itself costs money: Not everyone has a hardshell guitar case at home, so you might want to think twice before considering getting one for your shipment.

All in all, I would advise you to stick to the gig bag. 99% of the time it does the job of keeping your guitar scratch- and damage-free.


Gig Bag

Best Gig Bags are here:

If it’s not a classic vintage one-off model worth thousands of dollars, choose gig bag over a hardshell case and you and your buyer will both win. But let's get back to that "How much to ship a guitar" thing…

Step 2: Decide On How You’re Going To Ship It

There are basically two ways of shipping a guitar – by yourself (well, I mean by post, and that includes paperwork too) and using third-party service (UPS, FedEx in North America).

If you don’t know how to ship a guitar without a case (in a gig bag), I would strongly suggest using UPS (or another similar service in your country). There are three simple reasons for that:

  • You don’t have to worry about boxing and packing. They will take care of it all for you.
  • ​No paperwork for you. And that’s a huge advantage, I can tell you.
  • You can easily track the shipment – from start to finish.

Step 3: How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Guitar?

Every major shipping company has a time/price calculator on their website. If you don’t know how much it costs to ship a guitar, use it to calculate the actual cost of your shipment, taking every detail into account.

Here’s an example of such calculator on UPS website. This thing will give you a very accurate answer on "How much does it cost to ship a guitar?" and you'll also find the cheapest way to ship a guitar.

Usually, a guitar in a hardshell case will cost you somewhere between $100 and $150 to ship within the US, while guitar in a gig bag costs around $85, depending on the destination, of course.


Step 4: Prepare Your Guitar For The Shipping Best Way To Ship A Guitar

The next step of out "How much does it cost to ship a guitar" guide is preparation. The general idea here is to prevent any movable parts from coming into contact with each other, guitar itself, and the case. Here are a few tips:

  • Loosen the string – this will ease the tension on the neck
  • ​Secure (or even unscrew if possible) any movable parts, such as tremolo bridge
  • ​Wrap anything that sticks out (mainly headstock and tuning pegs) in a newspaper
  • Separate the strings from the fretboard with a list of newspaper to prevent unnecessary contact.

This way you’ll be sure that the guitar is safe and sound while travelling. Visit here to see how to Safely Pack and Ship a guitar.

Step 5: Make Sure You Ship Your Guitar With A Signature-Required-On-Delivery And Full Shipping Insurance

Just trust me on this. You don’t want to get caught in a situation where your buyer says I didn’t get anything from you, while trying to rip you off. You’re paying a few additional bucks for your own safety.


These were the tips on shipping your axe. Now you know the answer to the question “How much does it cost to ship a guitar?” and what to do when you want to ship one next time. Good luck!

After sell your old guitar, may be you should grab a new one, check out this post: Best Acoustic Guitars Under $500

Natalie Wilson

I've been an avid guitar fan for as long as I can remember and the day I embarked on my six-string journey at the young age of 5 truly defined the course of my entire life. I work as a professional musician, session guitarist, and guitar teacher, and would like to use this blog as a personal outlet to share my six-string knowledge with the world. Welcome to

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