Shipping is Safe and Easy When You Follow A Few Basic Guidelines
3 - Read these tips on shipping choices.
You now must decide on a shipping company, on “signature requested”, “declared value” and type of shipping (ground, 2nd day air etc.).
For the shipping company, choose whomever you prefer. We've dealt with UPS, FedEx, Registered Mail and DHL and haven’t had any real trouble with any of them. Usually we use UPS.
The only trouble we’ve had has been with flutes being left on the porch so, choose the signature requested option so that the driver can’t drop off the package unless someone’s there.
“Declared value” is the amount that the shipping company will cover if an item is lost or damaged. Your flute might already be covered under some other insurance policy and, if so, it’s quite possible that the instrument is covered during shipping. If you don't have coverage you have to decide what you want to do. In ten years we've never had a flute lost or seen any serious accidents happen, but you don't want to be the first. I also believe (because I was told this by a UPS employee at our local distribution center) that there's a special procedure for “high value” packages which include more hand carrying (staying off the conveyer belts) and security (keeping them in special locked holding areas). (The UPS web site doesn’t mention any “special treatment,” so this is not official.)
For the delivery, unless it's an emergency and the flute has to get to us overnight, think first about how far away from Detroit you live. Maybe you're close enough that it naturally only takes one day for deliveries to get to us using ground service. Here's a map that I just downloaded from UPS (8/25/06) showing how many days away a package is from us using our zip code (48091). If it turns out that you are more than one day away by ground we recommend choosing 2nd day air. Sending a flute by air is a little kinder than sending it ground when the box will spend at least two days in a truck.People who use P.O. boxes have one more thing to remember. Although your flute will arrive here without a problem, for the return trip some shippers won't deliver to any P.O. boxes that aren't located in federal post offices.