Packing/Shipping 101

Discussion in 'Packing & Shipping' started by Wardsweb, Jul 8, 2004.

  1. wingzam

    wingzam VIntage audio??

    Messages:
    1,424
    I absolutely dread packing turntables,but there is good money in them.
    The last one I sold was a Marantz unit that brought $671.Here's the feedback: MAGNIFICENT PACKING, QUICK SHIPPING, ABSOLUTELY PERFECT TRANSACTION, THANKS!!!!
    I use laptop boxes to put the cover in and also 22x22x12 double wall boxes (which cost $6 each).
    I can spend up to 2 hours figuring out how to bullet proof my shipments..sometimes it's enjoyable,some times it's maddeningly tedious.
    I buy foam corners which really facilitates fast packing of receivers and an industrial glue gun makes tape obsolete and stiffens up the box.

    That poly-foam is great stuff,but I refuse to spend that much money!

    I don't charge for packing materials and pass along the ebay shipping savings to the customer,which I think boosts the final sales price.Either way it all comes out in the wash.

    Sales are really good.One reason is the effects of inflation are ratcheting up the prices of everything so people are turning to ebay for substantial savings.Even run-of-the-mill things are bring prices which makes them attractive to list and if I can list 5 low dollar items and make $75 for an hour+ work that's still doing better than working a so-called real job today!
     
  2. Audiofriends

    Audiofriends Active Member

    Messages:
    104
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    I shipped a year with TNT-post but was very disappointed. I lost 4 registered packages in 1 month. What I though is that I would get the paid money of the customers back. Instead if that TNT-post asked for a ‘buying-invoice’. So an invoice of the product were I bought it. You can imagine that this is in 98% not possible. I got nothing while the packages were insured.

    Now, in DE is shipped normally with DHL-post witch is in my opinion a reliable company. TNT-post ships with Hermes witch give much problems. But the necessary ‘buying-invoice’ opened my eyes.

    So if you bought a painting a 20 years ago for 10 Dollars, and sell it for 1000 USD, you need to have a buying-invoice to get money of the insurance you paid for. Impossible. No more TNT for me…

    Best regards, Fred
     
    mech986 likes this.
  3. Audiofriends

    Audiofriends Active Member

    Messages:
    104
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    A few years ago i bought at eBay some Goodmans Maxim speaker. I asked the seller to give him some extra handling costs if he would pack the speakers twice (double packing). The Maxims would go from UK > NL. The seller agreed, and this is the (in my opinion perfect) result:

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    My opinion: the package has to be able to make a fall of at least 1 meter. If then the goods are still okay, it's a good package.

    Best regards, Fred
     
  4. mech986

    mech986 Text ↓ optional Posts:>18,000 Subscriber

    Messages:
    19,414
    Location:
    La Habra, California, USA
    Glad you got it intact, in my opinion, the shredded paper is virtually useless as a packing material because it can compress and allow the speakers to move around inside the package.

    If I may say so, in my experience, some of the worst packed packages containing speakers, drivers and parts have come from England and Germany. I once had a SEAS 33FW-KA 13" woofer packed solely in an undersized thin cardboard box (so it was diagonal, not flat) with just wadded newspaper for padding. I had a KEF midrange sent from England in essentially a small used cereal box, etc.

    However, the US has its fair share of terrible packers as well.
     
  5. robert_kc

    robert_kc AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    660
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    I've sold several large receivers on eBay in the last few years. It's a lot of physical work, but the process is manageable - once you have a little experience. Shipping large items is the tricky part. Following are my thoughts; I'd appreciate others' input.

    I would never allow UPS or Fedex to package a vintage receiver. They'd throw it in a box and fill it with peanuts.

    IME, the biggest hassle when shipping a large item is finding a suitable heavy-duty box, without having to buy them in bulk on-line. (I don’t do “dumpster diving” for used boxes.)

    I believe in cushioning vs. rigid packaging materials (i.e., foam rubber vs. Styrofoam). The box should be oversize to provide room for a corner being crunched without impacting the amp. And I believe in taking measures to protect the front and back panels. Sometimes I will tape the bubble-wrapped "mummy" to a piece of light plywood (or 1x2s) that extends beyond the front and rear. IME most damage occurs because of the kinetic energy associated with a massive amp jostling around. (I’ve received several items damaged due to poor packaging: Scott 272, Fisher X-1000, and a large table radio.)

    When shipping large, heavy table radios and receivers, I sometimes build a wooden shipping crate from 1x2s and light plywood. But you have to be careful about H + W + D size penalties. (Shipping fees double once a size threshold is crossed.) And for some strange reason UPS charges more for "non-standard" packaging (which is anything other than cardboard) - which makes no sense to me. But sometimes building a wooden crate is worth it, such as when shipping a Pioneer SX-1980.

    Once I’ve determined the box I’m going to use, I determine the exterior measurements, and estimate the total packaged weight. Because I live in the middle of the USA, I assume I'm shipping to LA (90210), and use eBay's shipping calculator to estimate the shipping fee. (In my experience, eBay's shipping calculator is accurate - for supported types of shipping.)

    I choose to include the cost of packaging materials in the item’s price (i.e., BIN or starting bid). (When you buy something from Amazon, do they charge you for the box and bubble wrap? No, it's part of their overhead in doing business – its “baked into” the item’s price.) However, if you decide that you want to add a charge for shipping materials onto the estimated carrier fee, I think eBay allows you to do that. (I think it’s called Handling Fee. I’ve never done this.) Bottom line, what I choose to do is include an allowance for packaging materials into my BIN or starting bid. (Some Sellers advertise “free shipping”, and build in the total cost of packaging and shipping into their BIN, or starting bid, or reserve price.)

    I advertise a fixed shipping fee for CONUS, and offer free local pickup. I state that shipping to Alaska or Hawaii will involve additional shipping fees. I do not offer international shipping. (However I’ve had a buyer use a forwarding service to South Korea. I simply shipped to an address in NJ, and everything worked out OK).

    After the item has sold on eBay and the buyer has paid, it's easy to use eBay's "print a shipping label" function (the Buyer’s address is already populated), and you receive a significantly discounted rate for shipping. (In contrast, you'll pay full "rack rate" if you carry your package into a UPS or FedEx store and ask them to ship it.) You "true-up" the final actual shipping weight and box size when preparing the shipping label using eBay’s software. Once I’ve taped the printed shipping label to the box, I simply drop it off at my local FedEx office for shipping. Because I have an account, I automatically receive an email with the tracking #, and periodic status updates.

    If the actual shipping cost ends up being more (based on Buyer's location), I eat it. If the actual shipping cost is significantly less, then I refund the difference via a partial refund.

    The only real complication in my experience is if the item exceeds UPS or Fedex normal size or weight limits, then eBay’s shipping software doesn’t work. FedEx Ground or an LTL carrier is indicated for really heavy packages. (They’ll strap your package to a shipping pallet, and a fork lift takes it from there ...) You can save shipping costs by requiring the buyer to pick up the crate at their local freight terminal. (Of course, it’s important to disclose this in the ad.) Greyhound Package Express is another option for large packages, if the weight is less than 100 lbs. (Greyhound Package Express is not supported by eBay, so you’ll have to create your own shipping label, and manually populate tracking info.)

    Bottom line, it’s incumbent on the Seller to figure out the shipping before the ad is listed on eBay. This is common sense, and “Business 101”.
     

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