Author Topic: What's the best way to ship a Rhodes?  (Read 35347 times)

Offline james

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What's the best way to ship a Rhodes?
« on: March 25, 2005, 02:24:55 PM »
Shipping a Rhodes piano is inherently dangerous; the best way is to pick it up yourself (or meet the buyer/seller halfway, as I did with my Suitcase 73). Of course, with people in Japan buying pianos from people in the U.S. selling them on Ebay and wondering, now that I've won and paid too much for this piano, how do I get it to Japan???

First of all, no matter what you do, PACK IT CAREFULLY. John Della Vecchia gives the following instructions for properly packing the Rhodes for shipment:

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1. Get alot of THICK foam padding - the stuff you put on your bed with the curved depressions. Pack into the cavity *underneath* the harp snuggly, and then on top of the harp (tonebars). Then put the harp cover back on so it is nice and secure.

2. Put padding on top of the keys and then put the cover on.

3. Use packing tape and wrap the entire piano being sure to cover the latches in your rotation. Go around at least 4 times.

4. Get cardboard (old broken down boxes, etc.) and tape it onto the piano, being sure to cover all the areas of the tolex, and then cut out slots so all the handles show through. You don't need to find a box per se that will fit the piano, all you need is scrap sheets of cardboard to create a "shell" around the unit. The thicker the better.

5. Write FRAGILE all over the box. (this means nothing to UPS, but it gives you peace of mind).

Believe me, taking the hour or so to do this will save you enormous headaches if UPS drops it off the back of their truck (which will happen more times than not). I have shipped alot of rhodes and this is the best way to do it.

John

>>

If you're in the U.S. and it's too far to drive, you should first try David Berg's suggestion:

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I have a recommendation for an excellent company to use for shipping your valuable Rhodes, Clavinet, piano or other large keyboard instrument. The company is called Keyboard Carriage and they are located in Elizabethtown, KY - 270 737-5797. The advantages of knowing your instrument is being handled by professionals who are also moving $50,000 grand pianos and receiving your instrument in the same shape that it was sent, far outweigh the minor drawbacks IMHO. What are the drawbacks of using Keyboard Carriage compared to UPS? They cost more than UPS, e.g. I spent $150 to have a Clavinet sent from Boston to Indianapolis. They take longer than UPS - took two weeks for my shipping. They only make pick ups and deliveries to piano dealers.

I just used Keyboard Carriage to ship a Clavinet for me from Boston to Indianapolis and it arrived in perfect shape. For comparison, last year I used UPS to ship a Clavinet and they almost managed to completely destroy it. To the shippers credit, he did an excellent job of packing - about 5" foam on all sides in a very heavy box. When it arrived, the box was totally ripped open on three sides - it looked like it had been dropped multiple times, the foam was hanging out and the clav case was exposed. The clav itself was inoperable when I first plugged it in - the left side was smashed in and pinched the keys on that side and the whole keyboard assembly was broken off inside so half of the hammers were misaligned with the strings. It was a real mess that took me many many hours to fix. To add insult to injury the seller/shipper (whom I thought I could trust) kept the UPS insurance settlement so he basically got paid twice and I was left with a busted clav. I finally gave up trying to contact him when his e-mail stopped working and he never answered his phone.

So I give TWO THUMBS UP to Keyboard Carriage! It was worth it to me!

>>

If Keyboard Carriage doesn't work out, shipping it as cargo on a train or airline is a good alternative. Several people have been successful with Amtrak in the past, although if you tell Amtrak it's a musical instrument they won't take it. Simone Ghetti used Delta Airlines and had a good experience (11/26/01):

<<

About three years ago I had my Rhodes Suitcase 88 shipped from Texas to Michigan with Delta Air Cargo. It cost about $180...but you are looking at about half the weight. Delta did a beautiful job and it only took 2 days if I remember correctly.

>>

Whatever you do, AVOID FEDEX AND UPS if at all possible. Too many good pianos have been dropped to their doom in their hands...don't let yours be another casualty!!!! For example:

<<

i'll go one step further and advise you to not use a shipping company at all for a rhodes. i have seen high recommendations for fedex, but many people don't know that fedex's ground component is essentially a taken over, confused, inept, and worthless 'roadway package systems' (rps). i have spoken with at least 30 different people at fedex/rps; traditionally sound fedex is not what you get with fedex ground.

it would take me 10 pages to describe the unbelievable disaster that fedex/rps served up for me with a seemingly simple suitcase 73 shipment from montanta to dc. i'll give you the short story:

they lost it. they attempted to return half of it (for exceeding their dimensions). they found it back in montana then sent to me again but via fedex air. it arrived destroyed 4 weeks after it was originally sent by seller. i refused it and sent it back. they lost it. i had to fight like a bear to get my refund (which they kept trying to ship to the seller, who already had my money). about 3 months later it was dumped on the seller's doorstep, and he ebay'd it for parts.

next time i will either drive hundreds of miles myself or pay the extra money to have a piano/organ mover do it right.

oh, the really sick part of the story is that fedex wanted to keep the shipping fee. ha! they destroyed a classic piano, then wanted to charge me $120 for the honor. what a joke. the lady said, "oh, you want the shipping charges refunded too?" duh.

charley

>>

Of course, for some people there will be no alternative. I've heard that the piano is too big to be accepted for FedEx air, so you will be stuck with FedEx Ground ("RPS", mentioned above). I have heard horror stories about both FedEx and UPS, but at the same time there are people who have used both and not had problems. Follow John Della Vecchia's packing instructions and you will be much more likely to have a safe shipping experience.
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Offline Wendy

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Shipping solutions
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2005, 07:33:04 AM »
Hi,

I work with Roadway Express and one of my customers who ships similar products such as these, has been using Keyboard Carriage for all of their delicate shipments but frequently complain about the availability of their trucks in the area; they only come by once a week.

Roadway has an excellent solution for delicate shipments such as these. It's called a sealed divider and we were just awarded a patent on this product.  When our driver picks up your shipment, it is nose loaded onto the trailer and secured tightly so there's no movement during transit. You don't have to crate or box your shipments because a wall is built right behind your shipment and locks are put into place.  These locks are not opened until your shipment gets to the final destination.  Your pianos or organs will not be handled by anyone except you and the recipient of the freight.  This will ensure that your shipment arrives damage-free and intact.  

Believe me, I know all about the horror stories of damaged shipments, and this is a great solution for anyone that needs the extra protection.  The cost is very competitive and is based on the number of lineal feet you will need.  For example, a shipment moving from TX to FL costs about 70.00 per lineal foot plus the fuel sur charge.  It's very competitive. There's a 4 foot minimum.

If you need further information, just call your local Roadway team or log on to our website at www.roadway.com.
Wendy Mann-Flores

Offline james

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What's the best way to ship a Rhodes?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2006, 11:10:52 PM »
I just had a Stage 73 shipped from one end of California to the other, and I found this website in the process:

http://www.uship.com

uShip is a good way to find independent carriers with cargo vans, small trucks, etc. who will bid against each other to give you a low price in the end.  My experience was like having a friend pick the piano up for you, drive hundreds of miles and then help carry it up the stairs when he gets to your place.  The guy I went with had the piano fully padded and shrink wrapped on the outside, and there was no damage done at all during transport.  This cost me $135, plus I got a $10 discount for being a first-time uShip customer.  Definitely check this out if you're looking for safer handling options.
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Offline Dan Belcher

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What's the best way to ship a Rhodes?
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2006, 10:07:43 PM »
As originally posted in this thread

I shipped a 73 key stage model Rhodes from California to Kentucky (almost from coast to coast!) using UPS and it got here absolutely undamaged.  I had it packed by a UPS Store in California.

The entire piano (including the hard top case) was surrounded by two layers of heavy duty cardboard boxes (not regular boxes, shipping-grade boxes, at least 275# Mullen test).  They had to take four cardboard boxes and cut and tape them together to form two larger boxes exactly the size of the piano.  For even more protection, I asked the store to use bubble wrap on the inside and outside of the piano, but the owner was pretty lazy and just plain didn't feel like dealing with something this big and heavy, so she just put it in in a box and let it go.  It's a good thing there was no damage--if it had been damaged, she would have been held liable by UPS and would have had to pay for the damage out of her own pocket.   :P  For that reason, the majority of UPS Store owners are quite a bit more careful when packing your item!

The cost?  Well, I worked at a UPS Store in Kentucky at the time, so my boss let me ship the piano on his account and I only had to pay him his cost, so I got it for around 60% off the retail price.  However, full retail for shipping on a stage model can run anywhere from $100 to $140 depending on location, weight, and insurance.  For a suitcase piano, you should probably double that due to the amp.  Packing costs vary between stores.  Depending on the city, the state, the store, and the owner, you can look for a packing cost somewhere between $30 and $100.  That includes materials and labor and what general mood the store associate is in that day.

When shipping the piano, I insured it as well.  That way, if there was damage to the piano in transit, I was guaranteed to get paid back either by UPS or that particular UPS Store.  (If a UPS Store packs your item, you are guaranteed to get your money if there's damage.  If it is not packed by a UPS Store, UPS does not have to honor the claim If it is "not packed to UPS standards").

Note that the insurance value they will pay is based on whatever proof of value you can provide.  You can either give them a bill of sale of any kind for your piano, or you can find a similar item that has sold or is being sold to prove the price.  Therefore, I advise anyone buying a piano and shipping it to find an absolutely mint condition Rhodes going for over $1000 on eBay and print up a copy of the auction just in case.  ;)

Insurance is pretty cheap.  It's around $8-$16 extra to insure your piano, depending on how much value you want to place on it.  Every UPS shipment is automatically insured up to $100 for no charge.

Also, whether or not you insure the shipment, UPS will reimburse the shipping cost if your shipment arrives after the guaranteed delivery date unless the delay is due to an act of God (i.e. ice storm, earthquake, etc.).  

But the important thing is it did make it to me completely undamaged and it arrived on time.  :D
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1978 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73

Offline ethnotime

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what about shipping each part separately?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2007, 05:12:34 AM »
I was wondering: instead of shipping a rhodes as is, why not pack the individual elements and then have the new owner put it together IKEA style?  There could be three packages 1. the shell of the keyboard; 2. the tone bar assembly and 3. the keys/hammers.  Everything would be bubble-wrapped, with foam etc.  It would seem to be a lot less stressful with a higher chance of it arriving safely.  

Has anyone every tried this method?
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Offline modorange

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What's the best way to ship a Rhodes?
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2007, 09:51:59 PM »
These above examples are all using cardboard alone over the exterior case of the Rhodes. I have shipped a couple of Rhodes pianos and numerous large 4x12 speaker cabinets and there is a material that you can obtain at the builder's supply outlets, such as Home Depot, that have worked well for me using in various degrees.

This is a foam insulation wallboard. It comes in 2 forms, either with reflective paper around an around 3/4" thick styrofoam inside, or a pink foam with clear film. I use the pink stuff. It provides a rigid layer of aroudn 3/4" of protection, and if you have a speaker grill you can double the thickness, and it is very effective, for how thin it is.

Of course you need to keep in mind the dimensions of the cabinet with any additional packing surrounding it, trying to keep it under the oversized limits which can run the shipping costs so high you can do better by using freight than normal UPS or FEDEX ground shipping.
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Offline boriscrispin

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Shipping from USA to UK
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2007, 05:56:44 AM »
Hi Guys,
Could anyone tell me, from experience or otherwise, the possible cost in shipping a rhodes piano from the USA to the UK.  I've always wondered if this was a realistic option, or something that would be ridiculously pricey

Thanks

Alex

Offline ChristianRadtke

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What's the best way to ship a Rhodes?
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2007, 02:21:34 PM »
Hey people!

Does anybody know, how much does it cost, to ship a rhodes from US to Germany? In the USA the rhodes are so much cheaper than in Germany!

Can anybody help me?

Bye,
Christian

Offline Mark II

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What's the best way to ship a Rhodes?
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2007, 07:02:18 PM »
First of all:
I wouldnt buy a keyboard instrument of that age without testing it myself. In my opinion even the cheapest price wouldnt cope with the risk of getting a pig in a poke (German: die Katze im Sack kaufen).

Keep in mind that you have to pay taxes (import plus EUSt (Germany: 19%)) for the rhodes aswell, as the US are no member of the EU. You can get the import tax rate at your custom office (my guess: round about 3 %)

that makes:
((rhodes prize + shipping to the EU)*3% + sending it to your home)*19%

you can run through this calculation and find out if it's still reasonable in your eyes.

for germans: www.zoll.de
the import tax rates are listed in the TARIC

good luck

Mark II
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Offline Spookyman

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What's the best way to ship a Rhodes?
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2008, 07:25:00 AM »
I have no experience with shiping Rhodes Pianos from USA to Europe...

The only thing I know is...

Cabinets for Dotcom Modulars :

2) QCS22 22 Space Walnut Cabinet $275.00 $550.00
2) QCS44 44 Space Walnut Cabinet $475.00 $950.00


SubTotal: $1500.00
Shipping/packaging: $ 1025.00 Bax Global (This rate does not include Duties or Taxes)
Total: $2525.00


No idea if it's in the same price tag, it's perhaps some inch longer, but about the same weight.
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Offline Ben Bove

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What's the best way to ship a Rhodes?
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2008, 04:07:37 PM »
I may be shipping a Mark V in the near future and was hoping for some thoughts on it.

Being that it's not the traditional wood case, i don't believe you can rely on the plastic shell to serve as a "box" in itself with just a cardboard wrapping.  It might be too contoured to have any supportable edges.

It is lighter however, and UPS may be able to have it completely enclosed in a box.

Keyboard Carriage is probably out because the other person probably won't be able to get it to a loading dock / business.

Are there any 3rd party bulk-item shippers like listed above that someone could recommend?  We all know UPS/FedEX problems.  Thanks!
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Offline tomnardozza

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What's the best way to ship a Rhodes?
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2008, 05:06:05 PM »
i've had no problem with dhl.  they seem to be the most careful with everything.  i have yet to ship a rhodes with them, but a lot of other things, and like i said, no problems at all.  MKV's tend to stand a better chance when shipped to NJ, it's a proven fact!
"What's in a name? that which we call a rhodes
      By any other name would smell as sweet......"

Offline tomnardozza

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What's the best way to ship a Rhodes?
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2008, 05:09:30 PM »
.......forgot.....go to the local upholstery store and buy the bags of scrap foam.  they're cheap, and you can't get a better packing material!
"What's in a name? that which we call a rhodes
      By any other name would smell as sweet......"

Offline jim

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What's the best way to ship a Rhodes?
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2008, 05:31:12 PM »
hey i guess we'll see both ends of this one, NJ to Melbourne via DHL! wooohooo!!!

Offline tomnardozza

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What's the best way to ship a Rhodes?
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2008, 06:24:03 PM »
for international shipping, try www.ipsparcel.com  arrived quickly & safely....i think jim would agree!!!
"What's in a name? that which we call a rhodes
      By any other name would smell as sweet......"

Offline jim

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What's the best way to ship a Rhodes?
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2008, 08:33:34 PM »
shockingly quickly. i think within a week.. and yes safely too.

Offline garagebandking41

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What's the best way to ship a Rhodes?
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2009, 04:25:51 PM »
I've never shipped or received anything from freight but my first experience was a great one. I Just got a Mark V through FedEx Freight, and it was in immaculate condition when received. Went from Baton Rouge, LA to Ocala, FL. took 3-4 days. It was packed at a shipping store with plastic/styrofoam on the bottom, some densely packed paper throughout, and two thick cardboard boxes on the outside. Not a scratch anywhere, even on the boxes. A very thorough and customer friendly process throughout. (the guy i picked it up from knew me by name) It was insured for 2000, but luckily, never needed it.
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Offline Looking for Rhodes No5.

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What's the best way to ship a Rhodes?
« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2009, 10:59:21 AM »
With regards to shipping from the US. UPS destroyed my D6 Clavinet. I would say it had suffered over a 6ft drop.

Utterly trashed and then they quibbled like hell when I complained.

Remembering this has led me to believe that shipping from the US may be a bad idea.

Offline Metrolens

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Shipping a Rhodes NYC - LA
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2010, 11:40:41 AM »
Hi all, first time poster.

I'm the owner of an excellent condition Mark II Stage 73. It's currently in New York, and I'm trying to figure out how to get it to Los Angeles.

The latest posts about shipping a Rhodes are somewhat old. Any updated information or advice? Sending via UPS or the like seems too risky for my liking.

Offline FantomXR

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Re: What's the best way to ship a Rhodes?
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2011, 04:29:19 PM »
hey people,

I've got a problem. I want to buy a few (3 or 4) Rhodes Pianos in Atlanta. But I need them in CO Springs.
Do you know a possibility, how to gather the pianos in one place and ship them together to CO Springs? Of course it shouldn't be too expensive.

The best of course would be, if a private person picks them up and drives them to CO Springs and I will pay for this service. But I can't find someone! :)

Thanks for any suggestion in advance.


Chris

Offline pianorocker

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Re: What's the best way to ship a Rhodes?
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2011, 03:48:52 PM »
hey people,

I've got a problem. I want to buy a few (3 or 4) Rhodes Pianos in Atlanta. But I need them in CO Springs.
Do you know a possibility, how to gather the pianos in one place and ship them together to CO Springs? Of course it shouldn't be too expensive.

The best of course would be, if a private person picks them up and drives them to CO Springs and I will pay for this service. But I can't find someone! :)

Thanks for any suggestion in advance.


Chris

A private person would be a lot.  I mean with something like that they'd have to have a large vehicle and likely some other reason to go from Atlanta to Colorado.  The charge for gas alone, plus the fact that they'd need to stop/eat/sleep, and they'd have to be paid would be high.