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Shipping - My Experiences

Discussion in 'Packing & Shipping' started by Ultimatt, Sep 21, 2018.

  1. Ultimatt

    Ultimatt AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    114
    I have shipped a couple of very heavy receivers (Sansui 9090 and a Pioneer SX-1250) of late with no problems and just wanted to share some advice.

    1. Always use a double walled box - ALWAYS. Buy a box that is at least 2 inches bigger in every dimension than the equipment.

    2. Remove any switch covers or knobs that might do damage. For example, on the 1250 always remove the tuning knob and all the switch covers.

    3. Wrap the unit in bubble wrap designed for electronics. Wrap until you brain says good enough then double that.

    4. Line the bottom of the box with foam. I have always used pool noodles, they are readily available and cheap and seem to provide the right amount of cushion. Get them on closeout at the end of the season. I raid all the dollar stores locally and get them for $0.25 each.

    5. Place the unit in the dead center of the box.

    6. Place more foam around all sides of the unit..make it tight so the unit cannot move. Be careful in the front and fashion the foam such that it won't bend a switch.

    7. Place foam on top to ensure the unit cannot move when the box is closed.

    8. I always label the unit both fragile and heavy. I do this so FedEx can't claim I did not warn them should something happen.

    9. This applies only to FedEx -

    1. Sign up for a FedEx Account - they give you a discount on each shipment.

    2. Always ship the unit to a FedEx store near the final destination. This can save $10-$20 on shipping. The added bonus is that the unit is dropped at a secure location and you can see the condition of the box before pickup.

    Can something still happen? Sure, but I would be willing to bet it would be minor rather than catastrophic.

    Anyway, just my $0.02...feel free to chime in with your methods.
     
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  2. awillia6

    awillia6 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,330
    These 2 were new to me. I already do the rest of your excellent checklist.

    Love the noodle idea (getting to be about time to stock up, right?)

    How do you determine, then specify the right FedEx store to ship to? Does the FedEx shipping site quote you the rate right to the store? If so, should be a snap to do direct pricing comparison shipping to customer residence vs. to FedEx store. Is there a complicated pickup/identification rigamarole for the customer to go through to get his gear out of the FedEx store?
     
  3. Ultimatt

    Ultimatt AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    114
    You can go to the FedEx site and put in the zip you want to ship to and it will give you a list of locations - note - this works for FedEx Ground only (or at least so I am told). Just ship to that address in the name of the person that will pick it up...all they have every asked me for is an ID (drivers license). Make sure the "this is a residential address" box stays unchecked. The quote you get is for shipping to the store itself. Run the quote both ways and I promise you will be surprised what you save.

    It really does save a ton on shipping and I have never had to ship one to a store that was more than a couple miles from the residence it was going to. Forgetting the $$ saved it really beats having it left on a porch and most people prefer this over having to be home to sign for it.
     
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  4. macgolf

    macgolf Beethoven 2004 - 2018 Subscriber

    Messages:
    900
    Location:
    Central IL
    I first used pool noodles when shipping some 15" drivers. Easy to wrap around and fill the void around the baskets. Wasn't aware of a shipping option to a close Fed Ex store. Thanks for sharing.
     
  5. kaplang

    kaplang Works for me ! Subscriber

    Yes. It could still get run over by a forklift or delivery truck.
     
  6. awillia6

    awillia6 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,330
    You da man! My first ship-to-store-for-pickup is underway. Savings are right around 20% compared to direct-to-door (seller drops-off at FedEx in both). I can definitely live with that and especially with taking a few more gorillas out of the handling loop.

    Thank you, my friend.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
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  7. awillia6

    awillia6 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,330
    Followup: my two items (receiver and center channel speaker) were received in PERFECT condition. FedEx notified me they were ready for pickup, so I hied on down to the shop and got a good close look at the cartons BEFORE signing for them and hauling them home. I'm a convert to the ship to store method from now on for delicate gear. Thanks again for the tip.
     
  8. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    18,879
    Ship to store is a good idea. Some sellers will only ship to paypal confirmed address. How do you get around that?
     
  9. kaplang

    kaplang Works for me ! Subscriber

    I don’t know about UPS and FedEx but once the USPS has possession of a packeg you can have it delivered to another address or held at the PO for pickup. Their is a fee for the service to a another address but not if it’s held at your designated PO. I do it all the time to keep from having a package left on my porch and attract a thief.
     
  10. awillia6

    awillia6 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,330
    On pricey and/or delicate audio gear, I always try negotiating with the seller so that I'm the one who generates and pays for prepaid shippers in order that I'm the shipper of record. If shipping damage then occurs (and it VERY often does), I can pursue the damage claim myself AND, importantly, I retain the damaged (but often repairable) items. For the ship-to-store option, I simply ask the seller to invoice me for local pickup ($0 shipping) which I pay, then proceed as above.
     
  11. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    18,879
    Generate a printable call tag using your account number so you are the shipper even though it is coming from a remote location. Hmmm. If the seller is negligent in packaging and the carrier determines it was inadequate packaging, what happens? Do you still pursue refund from seller?
     

     

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  12. awillia6

    awillia6 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,330
    I haven't yet run into that situation with the ship-to-store strategy. Yes, I would do a return of the item (item not as advertised, my go to) to the seller for reimbursement of the item cost. At worst the shipping cost would come out of my net cumulative benefits (i.e. repairing/parting out the hulk) from the usual seller ships/pays mode.
     
  13. Ultimatt

    Ultimatt AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    114
    Regarding the FedEx "ship to store". I like this options because it is always cheaper than shipping to a residence, and it allows for secure pickup at no charge. Anyone who has shipped to a residence knows that they charge if you add "signature required" to the shipment.

    If you have a FedEx account (which costs nothing and gets you a small discount on each shipment) you can generate the prepaid shipping label for anything you buy and simply email it to the shipper...all you really need is the box dimensions. This would also allow you to control how much insurance you put on the shipment.

    If something was super important to me and I wanted to ensure I got it safely, or that FedEX would have no excuse in paying out for a damaged item you can have the shipper take the item to FedEx and they will pack it. I have never done this and I'm sure its not cheap but it might be best for something prone to damage (turntable) of something super rare.
     
  14. savatage1973

    savatage1973 Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,384
    Location:
    NW Pennsylvania snow belt
    Recently, I have shipped several large/heavy/awkward/delicate/expensive items. I had them up for local pick-up only, but people wanted me to ship them, so in order to move them, I had to give in and ship them. What I learned is that if you take them to FedEx and have them pack them, and insure the item, they pretty much guarantee that they will get to their destination unharmed. If there is damage, there is no dispute over the claim--they will just pay it, because they packed it. Yes, there is a packing fee, but it is very reasonable (far more reasonable than I had expected), considering that they provide all packing materials and do the custom packaging work.
     
  15. awillia6

    awillia6 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,330
    Interesting. Have you seen the results of the FedEX packing first hand? Is it excellent or merely adequate? Is it consistent due to procedural dictates or highly variable depending on individual worker talent/technique/attention? How pricey is it to pack up one of our typical gizmos, say a silver, black, or wooden box (17" x 17" x 7" 30lbs) worth $300?
     
  16. savatage1973

    savatage1973 Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,384
    Location:
    NW Pennsylvania snow belt
    I watched them pack my Yamaha CR-2020 receiver that I recently sold. They did an awesome job and the packing fee was only $32 or $38--I'd have spent more than that in materials and time if I did it myself. That is a big, heavy receiver, and it made it to its destination totally unharmed. For reference, the CR-2020 is basically 21" X 19" X 8" and weighs a hair over 52 lbs and has a bunch of easily broken toggle type switches. And as I said, it went 5 states away--unharmed. I'm sure there are variations in attention to detail and competence from location to location, but these guys at my local store do a great job.
     
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  17. EastPoint

    EastPoint Factory Code No. 4200 Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,669
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I have seen a bunch of stuff damaged because it was taken to Fedex stores and packed very poorly. It's a great windfall for the seller, who usually gets to keep their (damaged) gear and gets a check from Fedex, but it kind of sucks. If you do have Fedex pack your gear, please make sure they know what they're doing.
     
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