Why Online Sales of Musical Instruments Are Booming and How to Ensure Their Delivery
Sales of musical instruments are through the roof. Here’s how to ship them safely to customers.
Sales of musical instruments are booming in 2020, especially when compared to data from last year. Online music marketplace, Reverb, saw Q3 sales of instruments increase to $205.1 million — a significant jump compared to the same time in 2019. Yamaha is moving more inventory in two months than they would normally move in five or six, while Sweetwater.com is seeing monthly sales figures comparable to Black Friday or Cyber Monday, contributing to their 18 percent year over year growth. In the UK, instruments and music equipment sales have risen by at least 80 percent.
All of this growth in sales is happening without the usual autumn boost provided by back-to-school purchases of musical instruments and other regularly scheduled programming.
Why the Sound of Music?
Since quarantine began, people have been searching for more ways to fill their time at home. For many, this involved reigniting passions they put aside due to lack of time, or venturing into new hobbies, including learning to play music.
Since most meetings have been forced to move online, music lessons have become even more convenient. As Zoom learning becomes increasingly normalized, the popularity of musical instruments is likely here to stay.
Hitting the Right Note With Packaging
Music instruments come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes — not to mention price points — that all come with their own packing, over-size and non-standard size shipping challenges. It’s important not only to provide maximum protection during transit, but to make the right impression during the unboxing experience.
Here are some tips:
Cellos And Harps
Large string instruments like harps and cellos come with cases that provide heavy-duty padding, bracing, and protection. But because of their size and intricacy, these cases are quite expensive and in need of serious protection during shipping. The HC Ascent and ChamberPak systems produce premium inflatable cushioning that wraps around the neck and base of cello cases in order to protect them in a parcel box.
Guitars, Violins, Banjos And Other Small to Medium Sized Strings
Smaller string instruments such as guitars and violins have similar packing needs as cellos, and work well with the smaller ChamberPak system. The same air cushioning technique can be used, but the smaller size of their cases make them compatible with foam-in-place solutions that brace them tightly inside of shipping parcels.
Brass instruments such as tubas and saxophones can be a lot heavier than string instruments. HC air cushioning can support the carton inside the outer carton. For extra protection within the case, we recommend protective film on the exposed metal parts of the instruments. This will keep the surface free of dirt and fingerprints.
For small and low weight instruments like harmonicas, paper cushioning can provide the most cost-effective protection without adding any weight to the shipment, saving even more on distribution costs. The Easypack® Packmaster™ Pro system speeds up the packaging process with full and semi-automatic capabilities.
Large pianos are notoriously difficult to ship, but electronic keyboard sales have gone up significantly since the beginning of the pandemic. For safest shipping, place the keyboard in its hard case or OEM packaging, and then protect with HC air cushioning.
Keep Merchandise Value In Mind
Like most product categories, musical instruments are made in a lot of different price tiers, with very different consumer expectations attached to each of them. Some vintage wood, artisan-made cellos cost over $10,000, while others are made of plastic and can be purchased online for less than $150. The higher priced instruments will need more protection in order to make sure they arrive safe, as the cost of damage, replacement, and reshipping could be devastating to a business. There will also be a greater expectation of a premium unboxing experience for higher-priced items. Solutions such as Inspyre could be added to the air cushioning or foam solutions to add an aesthetic “wow” factor.
For lower-priced items, a cost-benefit analysis can help to determine the appropriate budget for your in-the-box protection.
The team at Pregis IQ offers consultations to design and validate the perfect packaging solutions for shipping musical instruments.