How To Ship Drums and Cymbals!

Gretch Snare DrumThe following tips will show you how to ship drums and cymbals without spending a fortune on packing supplies, and save time.

A while back I asked how you might be shipping cymbals for sale on Ebay. Well, now I am going to sell two of my treasured snare drums and some other stuff. If you don’t mind, how do you go about shipping your drums without too many headaches?

The last time I shipped an 8 piece DW Drum set and it was a massive pain, especially the bass drum (but I made $500 flipping it).

Go overkill when shipping drums. It might take some extra time, but your customer will appreciate it, and you’ll be happy with peace of mind knowing that your drum shipment will arrive safely.

What’s overkill? Well…

Remove the hardware from the drum, and pack them separately (*not necessary, but if you’re going to do something, do it right).

Wrap each drum in bubble wrap. EACH drum. If you have some foam pipe insulation, use it to cover the bearing edges.

When you find your boxes (heavy duty, man), I like to get some plywood and line the sides and bottom, then some styrofoam. Then, the bass drum goes in. Fill the corners between the bass drum and box with extra bubble wrap or whatever. I sometimes have triangular shaped cardboard ‘tubes’ that work perfectly.

From there, each smaller drum goes in (so, bass drum, then floor tom inside the bass drum, rack tom inside floor tom, etc.). Use filler between each drum.

A final piece of styrofoam and plywood goes on top of it all, the box is sealed, and ready to ship. The hardware (lugs, floor tom legs, spurs, hoops), are all wrapped in plastic cling wrap and boxed together.

There you have it. It might cost more to ship, but I’d rather know the drums will be safe than having to deal with a customer return due to shipping damage, and I know the customer will prefer to know his or her drums are arriving in perfect condition.

How To Ship Cymbals!

Zildjian Avedis Cymbal

How would you or do you ship used drum cymbals like a 20 inch Zildjian Ping ride, a 16″ brilliant crash cymbal, or a 2002 Pang.

Tip #1: A pizza box and lots of bubble wrap does wonders.

Tip #2: Finding the right size box is the hardest part. Often, I have to fashion one out of other boxes. What works well are old LCD, LED, Plasma flat screen tv boxes. You can get them from friends, family, back lanes, even from some electronic stores.

When you do find the right box, you can never have enough padding; use what you like best. I personally use a lot of bubble wrap, filling the box as much as possible. One big tip is to buy some foam pipe insulation. You can get them at any hardware store, and they’re super cheap. They already come with a slit down the length of the foam; you can wrap the edge of the cymbal in this and prevent any nicks, dings, and flea bites from occurring due to the box being dropped. This cymbal shipping tip was by Jimmy, one of our subscribers.

Tip #3: I go to the local deli & get pizza box’s for shipping cymbals. most of the time they don’t even charge me for the box’s! by Dave.

Tip #4: Jazmyne Z. says, ‘I like to wrap the cymbal in bubble wrap, fill a box half way with styrofoam peanuts, place the cymbal, them cover with more styrofoam peanuts. I like Jimmy’s idea of the foam pipe around the cymbal edge.’

Tip #5: Mike Childers says to, ‘Go to your local drum shop or (gag) guitar center and hit them up for some boxes that they have from cymbals being shipped from the manufacturer. Guitar Center usually has mountains of cardboard shipping stuff


Tip #6: Charge the person who bought the cymbal from you for a thin plywood box or OSB box. That way you make a perfect size box. So the other cymbals do not move around in the box use a bolt and nut to put them together tight and use bubble wrap around it all.

Tip #7: To pack cymbals larger than 16 inch I normally go to my local bicycle store (not motorbike) and obtain their empty shipping cartons which they normally discard and then cut these to suit. These boxes are usually very tough whilst at the same time not too heavy so shipping costs are kept to a minimum. For smaller cymbals I ask my local pizza store for their largest boxes for which i pay a nominal sum. by Jack Polubinski.

Tip #8: The easiest way to do this is 1st wrap a few layers of nap film around the cymbal, specifcally on the cup 2nd wrap thick piece of paper around it


Tip #9: Zack 
.comment-author OCTOBER 25, 2012 AT 2:47 PM EDIT 
.comment-meta I’ve always kept the boxes from cymbals I’ve bought. Best bet go to your local mall they will have a ton of boxes of all sizes or just go to UPS store.

 by Zack.

Tip #10: Here’s two ways to keep the cymbal edge safe:

1. heavy Styrofoam edging – similar to TV packaging, with some cloth wrapped around the cymbal edges at the point of contact. This will keep the cymbals from cutting through the styrofoam.

2: cut two wood furring strips (1″ X 2″) the inner width and length of the box. drill a hole through the middle of each. Put a bolt through one strip, using a washer on both sides, and secure the bolt so that it stands up straight and is secure. The bolt should be long enough so that you can place a cymbal or cymbals on the bolt, put the other furring strip on top at a 90 degree angle to the first, and secure with a bolt on top. Make sure of two things – either tape the part of the bolt that touches the cymbal, or put a vinyl tube over the bolt to avoid destructive contact with the cymbal, and secondly, place a felt washer or two between the bell of the cymbal and the upper furring strip. Tighten the bolt so that the cymbal is secure, but do not over tighten. This will keep the cymbal in the middle of the box for shipping.

Tip #11: 
The best way to ship one or two cymbals is for sure the pizza box method. You can find boxes that are as large as 22′ if needed. Of course you have to make sure they are well padded.

I have also been lucky with my local UPS store who can either make a custom box for little no cost or they’ll order a tough corrugated box if needed. UPS is always a drummer’s friend.
If you a touring drummer or tech need to send your cymbals to a gig in advance, send them in their case and make it really easy on you.
No matter how you send them, it’s not cheap.
Cheers, Keith D.

Tip #12: Paul Jonason says, ‘I have sold and shipped around 200 cymbals all over the world while I ran my online drum shop. It is best not to use a drum head box or anything flimsy to pack them in. Don’t you want your cymbal to arrive in the best possible condition? I know I do as I may always want to re sell it.
The best way to ship cymbals is to get a box that is 2″ larger than the cymbal so you can nest it in the box with some packing and space at the edge so the cymbal won’t be damaged if it is hit or dropped. Like a 20x20x6 is nice for an 18″ crash. Also if you do have an 18x18x10 or 12″deep for example, you can still get some space and packing around the cymbal by putting it in at an angle. Bubble wrap and crunched up newspaper both work well and are not very heavy. Boxes that are too tall can be cut in half and pushed together and taped to save money on shipping costs as the price is normally based on weight and dimensions. Save your packing materials and boxes from other purchases and re use them for your sales.
Cymbals are metal of course and quite tough except for paper thins. I have seen cymbals come shipped from Australia and just wrapped poorly in cardboard and they survived.
On the other hand some cymbals are just too pricy or rare to take a chance on damage. I find that most clients will pay a little extra to know that pricy pie is well packed.’

Tip #13: I found the best way to ship used cymbals is to use sound density foam. (thick grey) and cut as needed. Hop this helps!
 Vick Valentine

I have already sent some equipment with strange dimensions. The best way, in this case, is to use a drum head box. Try to arrange a piece of resistant card to give height to the box. This piece of card will work into the interior of the box, the only propose of it is to gain height! Use polyethylene plates for the packing interior and do not forget to introduce the cymbal into an air bubble bag.
It´s a workable package, but it worth´s it! 
Best regards, F. Fernandes.

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