Sorry to the mods but it'll help somebody.
The high and low of borders.
POST CITES, no different from pre CITES. Anything valued over $2500 has to be shipped by a real carrier because Homeland Security requires notice of the high value of anything exported and only the real carriers have the tech and knowledge. There are private agencies that do this but usually sell batches of 10 export licenses for about 1/2 the price, I'd rather pay the $10 fee UPS charges. But I have an account, with most everybody. If you do not report it and they catch you, which is a consern for me but how much of a concern for you is up to you, there is a $20,000 fine and up to 5 years, for each offense. Federal don't play. Undervalue it and get caught not over $2500, $5,000 fine and a year, for each wrist slap.
Sucker shipper, no account, no packing materials, has guitar in case, goes into a UPS store and has them pack it, if you're lucky they'll have a 50x20x10 box and they'll peanut it for around $45, then the shipping over a line, or over an ocean, or over old cold war lines, or especially over the South America line get f*** you expensive, not only because it's size is heavy surcharge but because you're in a UPS store you'll get maximum rate, and they'll charge you $12-15/$1000 for insurance where I pay $8. And since the seller paid you Paypal you have to prove he receives it, have to insure it or take the risk [test of testicular diameter], and that means the buyer is going to pay maximum duty and brokerage. And the shipping, $300 to UKish, $600 behind a cold war line, $650 to Brazil, $450 Australia, then add insurance. Each UPS store is independently owned and out to make every penny they can from everybody that walks in the door.
Savy shipper, kept his shipping boxes. Has a Staples and orders a couple rolls of 1; 1/2" bubble wrap, has a UPS Depot close enough, otherwise back to the Stores. Or has an online account and can print off and drop off at any Store, Staples, etc,,,. Not likely. Average seller, but savy enough to keep boxes and be able to weave the quagmire of bull****. I usually ship international in the original factory shipping boxes except in high value pieces where the seller wants to pay for maximum protection or guitars with idiotic sized pseudo flight cases that make any shipping triple oversize. Basswood is always the issue but so the better packed the better, if it doesn't have neck joint cracks and you're that worried about getting them.
Savy Buyer, pays by wire transfer, has it shipped as a return or seriously undervalued, it can ship Express Mail and the value is set at whatever risk, under $2500, you feel comfortable with. Understands it's not the sellers business selling guitars and packing and shipping could be very very expensive, so don't bitc* when you get the quote.
Shipping guitars under $2500, postal, every time. there's one in every town. Buy a box and bubble wrap online if you need to but having a good relationship with a local store and knowing where their cardboard dumpster is usually a gold mine for good boxes. Guitar Centers dumpster saved my a** many times in the old days.
Shipping during a pandemic. Good Fu**ing luck. The carriers are gouging, it costs me $100 to ship to LA now!! Overseas is, problematic. If you go postal, always check you haven't been added to the increasing list of countries I can't ship to, currently at 102, and have already gotten 3 returns of parts shipped before they went on the list.