I built a CBG that I was going to send from Oregon to my brother in New York. I had a box that was a little big but would do, all told it weighed a little over 8 pounds.
I went down to FedEx and it was going to cost $88US to send it. Yikes! I checked with UPS and USPS and they were about the same. USPS did have one option for about $55US.
The box was a bit big, about 48" x 18" x 12". I figured I can make a smaller box that will just fit it, 36" x 11" x 5", and I can get the USPS price down to about $30US. That's at least manageable. UPS and FedEx are still higher.
I was shocked how much it was going to cost, and still a bit put out even if I can get it down to $30.
How are you folks shipping your CBGs? Any way to do it for less?
Keep the box small. A rectangular narrow sort of thing will work.
I made one for a cousin commissioned by my uncle. He was a bit nervous about the shipping, and sent me some extra money to do it ups and insure it etc. He also recommended having them package it. It was going from NC to Cali. I payed more than he anticipated.
Most of my cbg sales happen locally. I sell collectable tobacco pipes on ebay and I use usps and the cheapest route possible. They do mess up once and a while. I had a box delayed and damaged, but the pipe was intact. I would think it would cost 20 to 25 cheapest route, and insure it. You also could offer free shipping, and include it in the price.
I find shipping them a bit daunting, and even selling them online. Mainly one because I will worry until they get it and are happy. The other reason, I live on a campground and work out in the open. During vacation season a lot of people stop me and ask what I am doing. Some have sold before they were finished. I find that if you are able to interact with people, it is easier to make a sale. They come out to the mountains, and see a guy in a stetson hat puffing on a cigar, and they go home also with a story. I put one online in my shop, nothing. Lost in a sea of other cbgs. If you can find a way to set up with tourists or the public on your own, you could save the headache of shipping. However, once you ship, it's not that bad.
I'm just building for myself and friends. I had fantasized that it would be nice to build when I can and sell them but this certainly helped squash that idea. I agree with you, it's much easier to sell to people who can hold it in their hands. Selling over the net is a tougher go I think. Shipping can be pricey, but also, you don't know the seller and they don't know your work. Without holding it, there's only so much they can get from a picture. Are they expecting a rustic instrument with all its charm or a high end bespoke piece that should cost thousands of dollars? Will they be happy or disappointed when it arrives?
Besides, with two young boys and a full time job it's not like I have time to build and stock up. Each one takes me weeks or months to build, just a little spare time here and there. At best, I'll probably just build for friends and they can reimburse me for parts if they're inclined. Or not. With how little really goes into them and how long I take to complete them, it's probably one of the cheapest hobbies I've ever had.
I have a booth in an antique mall, and I had a couple of gits in there and they sat. I knew tourists would be coming into the campground Thanksgiving, so I pulled them out of there. I sold one at the campground, and another to someone that I showed it to at another antique mall. Bought it right there on the spot. Most of my customers have been people that don't play a guitar, or someone buying a gift for someone that plays. In a lot of cases, they end up on a wall as art. I am building at a faster pace because I am in an area where folk art is popular in NC. People come to a campground and want to come home with a story and a folk git. If I go down to Asheville, forget it. I couldn't get anyone to put them in a store. I put them in an antique mall and nothing. I'll keep trying. I think there is a price range that they sell quicker for also. 125 to 150 is good. Go over 200, and it gets harder to sell.
I got in so deep right away I just wanna build and sell as a business.. May do an antique mall type deal and online during the winter months / until I find local places to sell, but plotting on Ren faire vending and craft / farmer's markets starting spring..
So cuz of all that this is quickly become one of the most expensive hobbies I've ever had, even considering most of my body materials are second-hand thrift store finds.
My advice is build up some inventory, and make them so it is affordable for you, and priced so people will drop the cash without thinking about it. Then just find your nitch. Try a lot of different things until something works for you. For all of us it is different.
I live in the hills. I wear a stetson hat. I'm in an area that is secluded half the year, but gets tourism in the summer. I stay on a campground, and build there. People on vacation I found want to go home with something like this, and say they got it from this type of guy. That is my niche. The main part I had to learn is keeping them simple, but remain creative. Keeping the costs low, and having them priced around 125 to 150. It's good to have a range, but once you get to 200 it's harder to sell to most people, especially when some of them go cheap on ebay. Now I put my wife to work on boxes and sound holes while I do necks and fretting and everything else. The missus does the stuff I may be sloppy at. I am trying to keep the labor under 8 hours, and the cost under 20. Now there are some I go all out on for the sake of being an artist. If I go down to the city, it is harder to find interest. Music stores are not the place most of the time, nor are pawn shops. You may want to try a farmer's market that doesn't charge much to set up, or sometimes antique shops let people set up tables on a certain day for free. The booth rent is expensive in an antique shop, so you will need other types of americana and such, which is what I do. It's not bad to get your own hustle because it's less hours you have to work for someone else if you can pull it off. I am still working on it, but want to be productive and independent. I hate working with or for other people.
Not sure who the arsehole amp guy is.
Keeping them simple so your labor cost doesn’t run up is good. Keeping the price where, as you say, people don’t think twice is also really good. I’m sure the hat helps a lot. Maybe I need a hat.
I've been selling on eBay since 2002. sold my first 4 on first listing, I almost always offer free shipping, but what I do is calculate the farthest conus destination, and add half the shipping cost to my price, I cover the other half, 100% pos feedback
If I had a better shop setup, it probably would have been easier just to make a simple case like that.