Last Month, our second shipment from Lyon and Healy finally arrived! That was only 3 months after we organised our first shipment from Chicago. This time, our two beautiful Chicago line models - Grand Extended and Concertino Extended (semi grand), and two Drakes; two-tone mahogany and two-tone colour were landed.
Everyone thinks that a harp business is really elegant, gorgeous and beautiful. That's yeah...or nah.. that's how our business to be shown by our customers but it is not that pretty at the back. Take a moment to read behind the scenes moment of shipping & unboxing process!
Aaaah... two beautiful Chicago harps landed at our Auckland showroom.. But this is not how they travelled all the way from Chicago.
Getting an air cargo spot during this Covid-19 time is not easy. Less passenger flights means we have less air cargo spaces. It also means we are seeing the highest shipping rate in the record. Thanks to our Artistic Director and a Chief Harp Officer Ina who used to be an international trade expert in her 20s, she has her know-how and a network to get the most competitive price in the market and know how to bring the harps with the safest route. If something happens during the travel? Don't worry, all our harps are fully insured and Ina is an expert handling those tricky situations (She used to handle perishable products - which one do you think is tougher? Perishable products or high valued fragile instruments?)
Ina had to reschedule her flight from her Queenstown trip to arrive earlier on the harp delivery day, so she can monitor and supervise unloading process.
After multiple delays on a Friday late afternoon, our truck has finally arrived. This was the most challenging shipment/unloading process that we ever had. The truck driver was not knowledgeable and less skilled handling harps, of course, we didn't expect the shipping company to send us a harp specialist, but he was rather very creative on how to handle the harps (tried to unloaded upside down..etc). He asked whether he could unload harps in his preferred way, which potentially damage the harps. Harps need to be handled and unloaded in a very specific way, and this is why we don't send harps directly to our customers from our overseas supplier. For a domestic delivery, we aim to hand deliver by ourselves where possible, otherwise we send them with a full instruction after we go through a thorough in-house quality check - at least we know harps were delivered in a good condition to our showroom, and it is trackable if something happened during the domestic delivery.
Yes true, we gave a very hard time for the driver, but we could not allow any practices that could potentially damage harps. That is not something you can compromise! After about an hour, finally harps were safely landed in our warehouse.
The very next morning, we started our unboxing job. These harps are 185cm+ taller, and the box hight is about 200cm.. A carton for a pedal harp is bigger than a car!
Hey gorgeous :) Finally we could see an actual harp in a carton. This gorgeous baby travelled safely from Chicago to Auckland.
Empty harp carton. We asked around the community whether anyone wants this box for free but nobody was interested in. We had to let this go (by cutting into pieces..argh..) because we do not have much space at our showroom.
A Chicago pedal harp comes with a brown dust cover with its name on it. You can add a transport cover - full set or partial with an extra cost.
An extra protection with bubble wrap for the base. Now it is our time to go through a thorough in-house quality check. Harps exposed to multiple risks during the transition and this is our job to minimise these risks. Ina tightly monitors the whole transition from suppliers' warehouse to our showroom, chase up for its update, and make an adjustment to avoid potential damages. It's Ina's No.1 priority to follow up the shipment once she was notified that is leaving from suppliers showroom.
We unbox harps at our showroom, unwrap by our professional team, go through a thorough quality check, tune for several days, make sure harps are in a good condition. Some strings snapped after it landed, and of course we replace strings without an extra charge, then we hand it over to our customers. We would never send a harp directly from our overseas supplier to our customers, and ask them to take our responsibilities of receiving, handling, unboxing and checking a harp. There are hundreds of details that they need to look for and it would be pretty hard for a non-harp/trade specialist to spot those issues. If I was a customer, I would never take that risk. Let your professional, most trustable harp dealer in New Zealand to care your harp!
Ta-dah! Two beautiful harps at our showroom. Transiting is quite stressful for harps so they need a good care, rest, tuning every hour so they can sing out in their own beautiful tone. We hand delivered a Chicago Concertino Extended Ebony to our Auckland customer for a free of charge.
Chicago Grand Extended is still available at our showroom - book an appointment to meet and try our gorgeous Chicago model.
*Video of unboxing moment will be soon available on our youtube channel*
Thank you for trusting Harpitree NZ team!