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Shipping a Phonograph


 
Shipping is very expensive!  Many buyers who intend to purchase a Victor or Victrola from us are surprised at the cost of packing and shipment. Shipping and freight costs have skyrocketed in the past few years. In addition, the extreme care required in packing these antique machines requires crating and/or double-boxing the items, along with a great deal of packing materials which adds to the size and weight of the shipment.  Proper packaging/crating is a specialized skill that will assure a happy customer when the phonograph is delivered. There is nothing worse than ordering an expensive antique and having it arrive in pieces due to poor packing.

PLEASE NOTE: We do not pack machines for shipping, but will gladly work with the carrier as noted below. We make absolutely no money on shipping-related matters.

Within the USA: Shipping TABLETOP and/or EXTERNAL HORN models (under 75 lbs. and without base cabinet):

We will gladly prepare and deliver smaller machines to either a UPS or Fed Ex (buyer's choice) packing facility near our Greenville, SC location. The carrier will then pack and box the items for shipment, and make all arrangements for direct delivery to your home.  All machines and horns must be double-boxed, which then incurs a "dimensional weight" cost penalty from the carrier. Horns and cabinets are packed and shipped separately. Full-value insurance is mandatory. We have an excellent track-record of successful deliveries; our packers know how to prep these items for damage-free transit. Please be aware: even the smallest tabletop models typically cost $125.00 to ship; very large external-horn models can run up to $600.00 depending on weight and destination (they will arrive as two very large double-boxed packages). We will get a quote for delivery directly from the packer/carrier. You will then be billed (at our cost) for packing and shipping, which must be paid prior to release of the shipment.  We will provide the customer with all receipts and documentation regarding tracking information and costs.


Within the USA: Shipping FLOOR MODEL PHONOGRAPHS:

Packing and crating floor-model machines, often weighing upwards of 200 lbs., is a very specialized skill, and can become quite expensive. Please note that we do not have the capabilities to pack or arrange for freight shipment of these larger models. It is the buyer's responsibility to contact a carrier who will quote and handle all aspects of packing and transport. We have provided some recommendations below. We will closely work with any carrier you select to make arrangements and assist with them pickup from our facility near Greenville South Carolina, or we can deliver directly (at no charge) to the carrier’s facility within 50 miles of Greenville. We will also prep machines for shipment by packing loose items, and shrink-wrapping to protect the cabinet finish. However, all shipping arrangements are the responsibility of, and solely contracted by, the buyer. We will take detailed pictures prior to pickup by the carrier (for documentation or insurance claim purposes), but we are not responsible for shipping damage or for processing insurance claims. We regret having to enact this policy, but have found that acting as a "middleman", e.g. calling around to get the cheapest quotes, trying to coordinate delivery with the customer's availability schedule, dealing with insurance requirements, etc., simply consumes too many of our limited resources. Contact us prior to purchase for dimensions and weight of your machine, so that you can get an accurate quote from the carrier. We will be happy to discuss the details with you, to assure that the process goes smoothly. In most cases, the process is quite simple and can be handled in just a few minutes of your time. We will carefully assist you with the entire process.
We are aware that there are numerous alternatives for low-cost shipping, such as Greyhound, White Glove, and other basic services who can often deliver heavy items across the country (often wrapped in blankets or bubble-wrap) at a very low price. However, we can't recommend such options, as the chances for damage to the finish or mechanics of a machine are quite high. You may have good luck, and the phonograph will arrive in perfect shape, or it may be a disaster. We will, of course, honor any customer's wishes in this regard, but we can't be responsible for any aspect of damage when the item arrives. We strongly recommend against any such choices when shipping a valuable antique.

We can recommend the following carriers for shipping these machines:

We travel to the East and Midwest portions of the country to attend estate sales and auctions during the non-winter months (March-November); if you are not in a rush, and are located near one of our future destinations, we will be more than happy to arrange delivery to your door and provide complimentary setup of the Victrola in your home for a nominal mileage-only fee (much less than freight shipping, at an average cost between $200.00 and $400.00) when we are "on the road" buying or delivering phonographs. There may be a considerable wait, depending on your location.

In addition, if you prefer fast personal service based on your specific schedule requirements, we will gladly deliver and set-up any machine to any location east of the Mississippi for $1.55/mile plus reasonable per-diem charges. Contact us for details.

 

INTERNATIONAL SHIPMENTS (Including Canada and Mexico):

We have sold phonographs all over the world, and are glad to serve any international customers. However....

International buyers must assume responsibility for making all arrangements for packing and international shipping.

In other words, we can't become engaged in getting price quotes, generating customs and/or tax documents, or crating/packing and arranging for freight shipments outside the USA.

This means that the buyer must directly contact the desired packing and carrier service to make all necessary arrangements for delivery to their location. We can not accept responsibility for packing fragile phonographs or for making shipping arrangements on behalf of international buyers. Please, no exceptions to this policy. We do not have the skills or resources to properly pack, document and arrange for overseas deliveries.

Why is this? Because, in the past, to service international buyers, we have spent many hours trying to find the lowest cost carriers, coordinating schedules, generating documents and determining customs requirements, etc., only to learn that the cost or timing was not acceptable to the customer. This process was consuming far too much of our time and energy. Our focus must remain on repair and restoration of machines, unfortunately we don't have the resources or personnel to dedicate to shipping logistics.

We can assist you in recommending some excellent "one-stop" freight services who can handle the entire shipping process for international deliveries, however, the customer will be responsible for making all arrangements and payments directly to the carrier. We will also gladly assist the carrier in completing customs forms and providing any necessary documentation. We can also arrange for delivery to a local freight service or for the pickup of the machine from our shop in Greenville South Carolina.

 

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