Think I'm done shipping gear

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Nubs, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. Nubs

    Nubs Tele-Afflicted

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    A couple of weekends ago, I sold a Classic Vibe Tele on Reverb. I was seriously considering pulling the listing because it's a nice guitar and I was contemplating keeping it. But someone bought it before I could so, oh well, off it went.

    Shortly after it arrived, the seller contacted me and stated the guitar was damaged during shipping. The lower strap button was broken off and the pickup switch was bent. There were also cracks and dents in the body.

    I knew it was gonna suck before I even started the process, but now I have a claim with the carrier and needed to submit several pieces of evidence proving value, sales, etc. Of course the buyer doesn't want to keep the guitar so I'll get it back all banged up. But I'm really curious how much the carrier is going to chip in for their mistake.

    For years I have shipped guitars, amps, pedals, etc. and not 1 of them ever got damaged during shipping. Now that this first bad experience is occurring, it's really turning me off from selling stuff online anymore.

    The more I think about it, the more of a PITA it is. I almost always estimate shipping to be the wrong price, and it's usually always to my detriment. Plus the whole hassle of boxing and padding the gear as well as traveling to the shipping store is becoming too much of a hassle.

    So I think I'm done shipping gear. I'll stick to Craigslist to move the rest of it.
     
  2. Shuster

    Shuster Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I hear ya!! I couldn't be a crap*er 200.00 guitar that gets the snot beat out of it, instead one of your finest that you pampered?!?! I cringe when I ship amps and guitars!! I over pack them as much as possible!
     
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  3. The Angle

    The Angle Tele-Holic

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    With shipping companies, it's all about speed. Every employee is pressured to move more boxes, do it faster, increase volume, beat your numbers from last week, then beat them again, and beat them again. Thanks to computerized tracking, they know not only how many boxes a driver delivers per day, but per hour, per minute, per mile, and per gallon, how many steps he takes to your door, how many seconds he spends scanning bar codes and shifting boxes to find the right one, and there's constant pressure to improve every one of those paces. Sadly, customer satisfaction isn't factored into any of those metrics, since damage might occur anywhere along the chain and there's no way to know who to blame for it. So the individual driver is not only encouraged but rewarded for treating your package like rubbish.

    Really, it's amazing anything arrives in one piece.
     
  4. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you pack things well then your damage rate should be minimal, but it will never be zero. Plus sometimes an item will
    just disappear altogether. From the shipping companies' perspective it probably makes sense to pay some claims on a certain
    percentage of packages, because it would actually be much more expensive to achieve 100% perfection, and probably is also
    virtually impossible, anyway.

    It's a good reminder that 1) we should do a good job of documenting what we ship to aid in making a claim; and 2) we shouldn't
    ship at all unless we're willing to have a rare but non-zero rate of problems. I will probably still ship a fair number of items because
    I usually get a much better price selling to the whole country than selling to my town.

    The part I'm unsure about is how difficult and arduous it is to make a claim and receive compensation. If the shipping companies
    are smart they should make this pretty painless. Just as the credit card companies make it very easy to dispute a purchase. As long
    as the shipper has this come up rarely then they should just accept the claim with very little hassle. If a shipper is consistently having
    issues then I could see there being questions about the shipper's packing job, etc. Just like car insurance-- you get in one accident very rarely
    and there's no issue. But you get in lots of accidents and your rates go up or you might lose your policy altogether.

    Buying and selling hard goods is not a frictionless transaction. There are commissions, fees, postage, and other hassles involved. It's business, folks. When you think about it, the shipping companies' ability to ship millions of items every day with very few losses is an amazing feat that has only existed in very recent history.
     
  5. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

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    Yep, same here. Ebay is a form of Russian Roulette with three bullets in the chamber. Reverb is better, but then there's getting it to the buyer. I used to sell here, but now everyone wants things for far less than they are worth.

    I've had great success with Craigslist, for nine or ten years now. I just make sure to meet at the local PD safeplace, or a busy location like a QT gas station, and all is well. Never had anything go wrong with CL, but then the problem people almost always reveal themselves before it comes to meeting, and people are willing to pay a fair price.
     
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  6. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I had one claim with USPS for a damaged item, submitted pics of the carton & damage, and USPS mailed me a check for the full sale price ($75). The process was very easy, it took a few days for them to accept the claim and cut the check, but overall I was pleased. (How they cracked open a CRT monitor surrounded by 3" of foam in a secure 'Fort Knox' parcel I'll never know.)

    Good photos seem key.
     
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  7. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Curious how it was packed, that all that damage could happen. I've sold quite a few and I tend to overpack them, in fact I have an acoustic on reverb right now that a guy from Hawaii might buy. Was it shipped in a box with the case? Or just in a gig bag?
     
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  8. muscmp

    muscmp Tele-Afflicted

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    i've almost come to the same conclusion. only difference is that i want to make more than one penny thru craigslist. everyone lowballs and you end up almost giving it away. i'm going to try FB marketplace but i suspect it is just like craigslist.

    play music!
     
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  9. OldDude2

    OldDude2 Tele-Holic

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    I was mowing when I saw the UPS guy launch a package at my door from 10 feet.

    It's a good thing it was well packed:mad:
     
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  10. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Face to face cash deals only for me .
    .. Maybe less $$$ ...but a lot less can go wrong ...
     
  11. 6stringcowboy

    6stringcowboy Tele-Afflicted

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    I was done shipping instruments after UPS (pronounced oops) destroyed a 1977 Ibanez 2617. Wouldn't pay anything because it wasnt packed by them. I ened up splitting the cost of the repair with the buyer and vowed never to do it again.
     
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  12. Recce

    Recce Friend of Leo's

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    Sometimes things happen. You throw those dice and every once in a while they come up snake eyes. It’s part of life. Just move on.
     
  13. D_Malone

    D_Malone Tele-Meister

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    This is 100% accurate. I’m guessing you work for, or have worked for, one of the carriers.

    I used to work for UPS. Y’all would be horrified if you saw how packages are handled, especially around the holidays.

    Always assume your package will be mishandled and pack accordingly.
     
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  14. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I listed a guitar recently and decided to pull the listing and sell the neck and body separately to avoid the hassle and potential damage. It's much easier to box and ship them separately and you should get a similar price unless its considered rare etc.
     
  15. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    [​IMG]
     
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  16. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I have the same stuff. The next guitar I'm shipping is an acoustic with nitro finish. I've seen many folks show finish damage from contact with bubble wrap after shipping a lacquer guitar. I'm shipping in a hard case, inside a box, but will pad the HS and other areas so it won't move in the case. I'm going to put heavy paper towels or packing tissue between the bubble wrap and guitar finish, just to be safe.
     
  17. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    Craigslist around here is a joke. I don't care how fair your asking price is.....all you'll get are lowball offers or people who want to trade their dirty laundry or a broken lawnmower. I'm grateful I got over my "buying and selling" urges some time ago. I've seen ebay offerings that say local pickups only.....I wonder if that works? Anyway, sorry for your experience.
     
  18. lance71

    lance71 TDPRI Member

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    I haven’t shipped in years. Used to be relatively easy. Yes I’ve seen my own mail carrier throw packages out of his truck too! The last guitar I sold was a musicians friends FSR Telecaster Deluxe from 2010 or 11. It was a nice white deluxe body with a 50’s Tele neck. The buyer saw it fully represented in the ad before purchasing, but was convinced it was a parts guitar after receiving and returned it. That’s when I found out the buyer can return anything for any reason on EBay. It was a good guitar just hated seeing it shipped around. I realize the buyer probably just didn’t like it once he received it. The guitar did find another home and I haven’t sold anything on EBay since. May give Reverb a try.
     
  19. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    Not just UPS, all carriers. I work for USPS and during the holiday season anything can happen just due to volume. I slipped on the ice last year and fell onto a large box containing a steel garage shelf...broke 2 of my lower ribs and bent the shelf frame. Amazingly, that customer has never stopped complaining about how I damaged his package. All packages come via human labor, so there will always be human error attached to it. That day, I ruined a steel framed shelf while today I deliverd 4 boxes of delicate blown glass sculptures. It is just playing the odds and sometimes you will lose....unfortunately.

    That said, I still do all my sales local to avoid all the uncertainty. It takes longer to find a buyer and you don't get top dollar, but the lack of boxing up and shipping is worth something.
     
  20. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    When it comes to selling guitars, we (wife plays bass) don't ship. The risk and time involved is too high IMO. Consignment at a music store has been our best solution.
     
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