By far, packing electronic equipment for shipping is one of the least understood yet most prominent cause of damaged shipments and needless negative reports. There are several resources providing sound advise and instructions on how to pack, what not to do, what to be sure and do, and how to respond to damaged shipments.
Also perceptions or beliefs surrounding this issue abound with MUCH misinformation. Follows is some hard earned truths worth reading
Unless otherwise agreed to IN WRITING, the seller/shipper is TOTALLY responsible for getting the equipment to you IN THE SAME CONDITION AS IT WAS WHEN IT WAS SHIPPED. NO EXCEPTIONS.
In most cases you are the one who is going to pay to ship equipment. Since you are going to pay for the shipping, you are one who selects which carrier to use. Be sure your choice is stated to the seller/shipper and there is undisputed agreement. Also be sure you have sent your desired shipping address to the seller/shipper in writing and that he has received it.
If there is damage to a received package, it is the seller/shipper who is TOTALLY responsible for promptly working out a satisfactory settlement with the carrier. [Note: The Carrier will only negotiate with the person who paid them for the shipment, even when you pay the seller/shipper to do the shipping!]
Most "packing for shipment" business operations are CLUELESS about how to pack electronic equipment; yet know much about packing grandma's old dolls. DO NOT allow your electronic equipment to be packed by such businesses UNLESS YOUR SELLER/SHIPPER DIRECTLY SUPERVISES THE WORK DONE.
The only way you can be assured your electronic equipment is well packed for shipment if for your seller/shipper to learn the proper way to package the gear, so secure a written set of instructions you want him to follow and send it to him before the packing begins. See: http://www.K4ICL.com
for a copy.
When you are the seller, shipping your own gear, YOU either pack it yourself or have others pack it UNDER YOUR DIRECT SUPERVISION. DO NOT have some else do your packing UNLESS you have watched them do the work. If the packing firm "can't get to it right now" or won't allow you to supervise their work, walk out. You will be glad you did.
Regardless which carrier (USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc.) you choose, it should have damage insurance that exceeds the actual cost to REPLACE the equipment
and accessories being shipping.
Carriers, like us, don't like to deal with improper packing and having to deal with the results of damages, regardless of who is fault. If you discover obvious shipping damage you should immediately take enough photographs of the noticed damage, even prior to taking the equipment out of the box. You should SAVE all the packing materials and call the carrier services number to report the damage while, at the same time, notifying the seller/shipper of what you have discovered. Make arrangement to get your contact information to the seller/shipper along with the photos and damage description
as seen from your prospective.
Do all of your communication with the seller/shipper in writing. Communicate with the seller on a regular basis and provide him with as much support as is possible. Many seller/shippers, not having experience with the process, will want to shy away. Truth is, they need will need your support to get them through the issue, just like you. It will be to your advantage to remain helpful and patient as you both work the problem.
DO NOT try to repair the damage your self. As soon as you do you will become totally responsible for ALL needed repairs.
This is because the shipping insurance will not apply if you attempt to fix ANYTHING before the carrier has done their investigation.
There are several sources of information regarding the proper way to pack electronic equipment for domestic shipping. The procedure I use is provided on http://www.K4ICL.com
I know this is a lot but becoming knowledgeable will take the mystery out of the process. After all, the Internet is here to stay, and so is shipping electronic gear.