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BuggZ
November 24th, 2008, 08:48 AM
I can't understand why some e*ay sellers just dump a computer in a shipping box without any padding. I received a box today from a seller with two older laptops in it. One was an AT&T 200 that was in a carrying case. The other was a Zenith ZWL-183-92. The Zenith was put in the box right on top of the AT&T laptop case. The only padding in the box was one air cushion packing pillow like Amazon uses to ship books and a crumbled up plastic bag. It looks like the Post Office ran over the box with a truck a couple of times before it was delivered, covered in tape and stamped "received in damaged condition and resealed at Zip Code XXXXX". The Postal Worker said if the box wasn't insured then they won't do anything about it. What a job, you get to destroy property and then blame the sender for not insuring it. Having a bad day, just go kick the crap out of some stranger's package and feel the stress drain away. Believe it or not, the AT&T survived the trip, while the Zenith suffered major damage to the LCD housing, but both laptops still work.

VintageComputerman
November 24th, 2008, 09:13 AM
Leave the guy appropriate feedback and mess with his DRS scores, lol.

BG101
November 24th, 2008, 12:15 PM
Whether or not the Zenith still works, it is ruined.

This is the fault of the seller for not using adequate packaging AND the post office for not treating it with care.

I agree with leaving appropriate feedback.


BG

VintageComputerman
November 24th, 2008, 12:48 PM
I ship stuff all over the world and never have a problem. Packing is really important. One thing I do is frequent a local computer repair business and collect their boxes and packing material. It works great and I end up maintaining an almost perfect score on ebay. It was 100% but after they implemented their new changes, it dropped to 99.6.

Druid6900
November 24th, 2008, 08:13 PM
I ship stuff all over the world and never have a problem. Packing is really important.

Same here, I've never had an item arrive at it's destination damaged and I've shipped monitors and AIOs as far as Hong Kong.

I have, however, received items that were creamed by one post office or another and, on occasion, had to do a dispute when the seller refused to file a claim.

I ALWAYS take the optional insurance if the shipping method isn't one that includes it already. It's a small price to pay to end up not totally screwed.

Yzzerdd
November 24th, 2008, 08:25 PM
I ALWAYS take the optional insurance if the shipping method isn't one that includes it already. It's a small price to pay to end up not totally screwed.

Ah yes, but always read the fine print. I know for the USPS at least, no matter how much you've insured it for, you'll only get what the post office thinks its worth. Oh look, an Altair from the 70s! Why, thats got to be so old and useless, it's probably worth less than the shipping costs!

--Jack

Druid6900
November 24th, 2008, 08:33 PM
Ah yes, but always read the fine print. I know for the USPS at least, no matter how much you've insured it for, you'll only get what the post office thinks its worth. Oh look, an Altair from the 70s! Why, thats got to be so old and useless, it's probably worth less than the shipping costs!

--Jack

Yeah, came up against that with USPS, once, and used their own rules and regulations to make them find, buy and ship me a TRS-80 model I case that one of their gorillas went to town on. Fortunately, they didn't damage the keyboard, but the back 1/3rd of the case top and bottom was rattling around inside the computer.

I just proved, by using legacy Feebay auction info, that their accessment was unreasonably low and not based on anything but a guess and the USPS arbitrator agreed.

The replacement was packaged so well that it took me 1/2 hour to cut all the bubblewrap off it LOL

NeXT
November 29th, 2008, 08:30 PM
When I had my Cube shipped in two parts, I went FedEx.
Bad idea.
While the cube arrived in one piece, the monitor was trashed. The tuning magnets on the tube were knocked off and had to be reinstalled/glued into place, the box looked more like a cardboard boulder as every corner was rounded and the center of the screen cot scratched and it took me two hours to polish it down to a level where you could barely see the damage. They also wrecked one of the rollers on the stand and dented the front of the monitor case.

Thank god it was insured.

Trixter
November 30th, 2008, 06:05 PM
I've run into this too (http://trixter.wordpress.com/2006/10/25/government-workers-are-so-very-helpful/), unfortunately.

gerrydoire
November 30th, 2008, 06:12 PM
I can't understand why some e*ay sellers just dump a computer in a shipping box without any padding. I received a box today from a seller with two older laptops in it. One was an AT&T 200 that was in a carrying case. The other was a Zenith ZWL-183-92. The Zenith was put in the box right on top of the AT&T laptop case. The only padding in the box was one air cushion packing pillow like Amazon uses to ship books and a crumbled up plastic bag. It looks like the Post Office ran over the box with a truck a couple of times before it was delivered, covered in tape and stamped "received in damaged condition and resealed at Zip Code XXXXX". The Postal Worker said if the box wasn't insured then they won't do anything about it. What a job, you get to destroy property and then blame the sender for not insuring it. Having a bad day, just go kick the crap out of some stranger's package and feel the stress drain away. Believe it or not, the AT&T survived the trip, while the Zenith suffered major damage to the LCD housing, but both laptops still work.


Been there done that, I specifically tell the person I'm buying from, how will this item be packed, etc etc, people are idiots and shouldn't have to be told the obvious, ask for 50% of your money back ...

BuggZ
December 1st, 2008, 05:20 AM
The up side is that after contacting the seller, he agreed to refund a portion of the purchase price and I still have the laptop for parts. At least the seller stood behind the deal. I had a deal a few years ago where the seller placed the laptop user manual on the keyboard and then closed the lid of the laptop cracking the LCD. When I got the laptop and found the damage I contacted the seller only to be told the books were not between the LCD and the keyboard when the laptop was mailed. The box was not big enough for the laptop to move around in at all, but the seller still insisted the Post Office was to blame. On top of that, they didn't insure the package even though they charged me extra for insurance. Had to file a claim with PayPal to get any money back.

Chuck(G)
December 18th, 2008, 07:21 PM
Why can't everyone ship gear like this? (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/11/21/more_hp_packaging/)

NeXT
December 18th, 2008, 08:52 PM
Did that once to a guy on ebay when I couldn't find a decent box. Oh man was he pissed he paid so much to ship a huge box (24" x 12" x 24") containing only a 5 1/4" floppy drive.

Unknown_K
December 18th, 2008, 09:11 PM
Did that once to a guy on ebay when I couldn't find a decent box. Oh man was he pissed he paid so much to ship a huge box (24" x 12" x 24") containing only a 5 1/4" floppy drive.

That is mean if it was across the border to the US.

Chuckster_in_Jax
December 18th, 2008, 09:11 PM
Whenever I buy anything online, I try to specify UPS for shipping. You get $100 of insurance free with your shipment. and they have the best tracking system of anyone.
I bought some electronic components from a parts warehouse about a year ago and specified USPS for shipping. I never got the order so I called their customer service. They were quick to tell me never to send anything by US postal service because their tracking service was so bad. If a parcel was lost it could take 30 days for them to give you a definite "we cannot find it" and resolve the complaint. The parts warehouse could not give a refund or replacement for your order until the post ofice had finished their search.

Chuck(G)
December 19th, 2008, 12:19 PM
Whenever I buy anything online, I try to specify UPS for shipping. You get $100 of insurance free with your shipment. and they have the best tracking system of anyone.
I bought some electronic components from a parts warehouse about a year ago and specified USPS for shipping. I never got the order so I called their customer service. They were quick to tell me never to send anything by US postal service because their tracking service was so bad. If a parcel was lost it could take 30 days for them to give you a definite "we cannot find it" and resolve the complaint. The parts warehouse could not give a refund or replacement for your order until the post ofice had finished their search.

Have you ever tried to make a claim against UPS for merchandise damaged in shipping? :roll:

NeXT
December 19th, 2008, 12:25 PM
Have you ever tried to make a claim against UPS for merchandise damaged in shipping? :roll:

OR have you ever received the mysterious "brokerage fee"?
EVERY time I use UPS they ding an additional $40 on me that I must pay at the door. I don't know why and I don't know for what reason they do but they hold my stuff hostage until I pay.\
EDIT: I also forgot to mention that the bastards also dinged me $40 on a prepaid parcel as well once. >:/

BuggZ
December 19th, 2008, 01:25 PM
UPS doesn't deliver to US Military APO addresses so they are not an option for me. That leaves USPS as the only reasonable cost option for most things.

Chuckster_in_Jax
December 19th, 2008, 05:04 PM
I haven't experienced the problems you guys have. Maybe it is because most of my dealings have been in the USA. A couple of times I have received damaged goods, but the person that shipped the goods had to file the claim. So if there were any hassles filing the claim I would not have seen it and I did get my money back even if it was through PayPal. One of the items I was required to return to the shipper. Sending it back was easy and did not have any hidden or excessive charges.
I have bought items from Canada on several occasions with no problems except that sometimes it takes forever to get the merchandise.

Vint
December 19th, 2008, 09:05 PM
Just as a perspective, let me add my stats here for informational purposes. This is long winded . . . are you ready?
I've browsed eBay auctions for a couple of years now. I average watching aprx. 25 items at a time - exclusively vintage gear in electronics, namely vintage 8-bit computers, and related items. I filter results to my criteria and I take the time to read a sellers feedback. Location is somewhat important for the closer to you they are, the cheaper the shipping costs. I've now bought close to 100 items from 35 different states in the U.S. I have yet to receive even one item poorly packaged. 100 items is a fair sampling of eBay sellers, so I don't just consider myself lucky - I've 'learned' to read the auctions well, ask questions, never assume anything, always check completed auctions to gain insight into the going price. I've found that I can 'read' auctions pretty well. I don't bother to bid, (usually), until the last hour of the auction and I know ahead of time just how much I want to bid. I never get impulsive here - you'll lose your shirt! Don't fall prey to the last minute bidding frenzy. Set your price in the last hour and stick with it. I don't buy anything that a seller won't even bother to test - and I don't mean, powers on. Powers on is a poor excuse for testing. I realize some sellers can't test everything, for whatever reason - so then I move along. If I'm very interested in a particular item and it just doesn't come around very often for auction, I'll ask the seller to test the equipment. If they give me some razzle dazzle, I move on. There will always be another auction for what I'm looking for. If they don't have decent photos of the auction item, I move along. If their auction wording gives little info and spends most of the blurb telling you 'their' rules or what they won't do, I move along. If there is any sort of vague response from a seller, I move along. Following these practices has given me a vintage 8-bit computer collection I'm happy with and everything works! Almost everything I have in my collection is in superb condition, much of it saw very little use, if any. I have no equipment I didn't personally 'hand pick', as opposed to hoarding loads of gear I'll never use.

The biggest problem with buying through eBay? - The shipping costs. Carefully consider the shipping costs. (Many buyers don't.) Computers aren't light, and shipping has accounted for 44% of my total costs! (I buy a lot of books too.) That's outrageous, but the Post Office loves me. So if you're not willing to drop a big portion of your expense on shipping - don't eBay. I eBay because I can get 'exactly' what I want. I pick the best items I can afford and I know what it 'should' sell for.
I bet I've shocked some of you with the cost of shipping stated here, but don't take shipping costs lightly, or fluff it off, because it's only $20. or something. It adds up very quickly when you keep buying. For anyone who keeps track of their spending, they already know this. I keep all my eBay expenses spreadsheeted and I'm aware of every penny spent.

Just yesterday I mailed some Christmas presents to my grandchildren in North Carolina, (I live in Ohio). Three boxes at 22 pounds and the cost was $35. and another $5. for insurance, - (just in case the Postal workers decided to play some football with the packages.) That 'seems' outrageous to me - but then how else they gonna' get there? You'd think I could just put them up on my roof and Santa could pick them up on his way through :)

Ole Juul
December 19th, 2008, 09:51 PM
OR have you ever received the mysterious "brokerage fee"?
EVERY time I use UPS they ding an additional $40 on me that I must pay at the door. I don't know why and I don't know for what reason they do but they hold my stuff hostage until I pay.\
EDIT: I also forgot to mention that the bastards also dinged me $40 on a prepaid parcel as well once. >:/
Only the outrageous charge is UPSs fault. The stuff has to go through customs and you can easily deal with that yourself, but if you're not near the point of entry, I guess you don't have a choice. :(

My last job was in a music store. We would use UPS for a lot of stuff from the US and the trick is to tell them that we do our own brokerage. That means that someone has to go the the Airport and pick up the papers and take them to customs and get the shipment cleared, then pick up the goods. Someone has to do the brokerage but it certainly is NOT worth 40 bucks. By the way it was 50 to us for some reason, it's probably more now. As often as they could they would "forget" and just send us the stuff anyway. We finally learnt to refuse the shipment. That fixed them. :)

Druid6900
December 20th, 2008, 09:15 PM
Basically, it's a courier company racket.

They all own their own brokerage houses and every single item goes through customs. It allows them to charge you somewhere from 30 to 50 bucks to tell you that there is NO duty payable on the shipment.

I NEVER use couriers when I buy something outside of Canada (usually from the US). I always use USPS who hand it off to Canada Post, who don't bother with looking at it UNLESS it's near the end of the month when they have to fill their quota that they've let slide for the other 3 weeks of the month.

In addition, I've never had a claim with USPS or Canada Post, but have had several with UPS which is why I stopped using them. The worse thing that happened was that USPS misplaced a package I had sent to a buyer and when I submitted a query to Canada Post, USPS found and delivered it within 4 hours.

Chuck(G)
December 21st, 2008, 09:45 AM
My most memorable experience with UPS claims wasn't computer-related. I shipped (insured to the hilt) a $3000 musical instrument. I photographed every stage of the packing process (double wall box, rigid foam, bubble wrap, cardboard stiffeners).

The thing arrived looking like it had been dropped off the plane before it touched down.

When I submitted my claim, UPS blamed the packaging. I pursued my claim anyway and they concocted the story of how the thing must have been damaged before I packed it. When I presented the photos the claims rep said that pictures didn't prove anything--I could have unpacked the box, kicked the cr*p out the instrument and then repacked it just to get the money.

I filed a small claims action and they paid up. It took nearly a year (I imagine that there's a statute of limitations that benefits them dragging their feet).

I've mailed and insured things through USPS. It seems they'll only pay on a claim if they lose something. If it's an international shipment, they are not responsible once the package leaves the US, regardless of the insurance. So courier is really the only way to go with valuable international shipments.

If I'm shipping big bulky items, I've had great luck with Amtrak Express--but service is limited to only certain stations.

nige the hippy
December 21st, 2008, 11:11 AM
One of my mates is temping on the UK Christmas post, He's horrified, he says that a "Fragile" sticker means that the item is drop-kicked into the receiving bin.

Regarding over packaging and the HP story, another mate ordered 8 motors for 7550a plotters (motor about 2" long and 1" dia) a couple of weeks later the storeman arrived with an HP box 14" by 16" by 2' long, to which my mate raised his eyebrows and commented to the storeman about over-packaging, to which the storeman replied, "Well, where do you want the other 7 then?" :)

VintageComputerman
December 21st, 2008, 12:16 PM
Whenever I buy anything online, I try to specify UPS for shipping. You get $100 of insurance free with your shipment. and they have the best tracking system of anyone.
I bought some electronic components from a parts warehouse about a year ago and specified USPS for shipping. I never got the order so I called their customer service. They were quick to tell me never to send anything by US postal service because their tracking service was so bad. If a parcel was lost it could take 30 days for them to give you a definite "we cannot find it" and resolve the complaint. The parts warehouse could not give a refund or replacement for your order until the post ofice had finished their search.


I sent a package to an ebay customer a while back. Never was delivered. A dispute was filed, I lost. I had to refund everything including shipping. All the while I was protesting my innocence. Unfortunately, I had not shipped with a tracking number because customer never requested one or purchased insurance. Six weeks later the customer contacts me sheepishly admitting she just had the item delivered. Turns out the post office postage sticker pealed off due to old glue and the package ended up in the dead mail unit who opened it and found the invoice. They forwarded it on to my customer and I finally got paid. Now tracking is mandatory.

I have had more problems with the USPS then UPS.

facattack
December 30th, 2008, 01:10 PM
I'm not allowed to have ANYTHING shipped to the house, but my mother mail-orders medicine...