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"Professional" Packing (not)

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:19 pm
by w7apm
I f someone wants to sell you something and they say they will have it "Professionaly" packed I suggest that you RUN don't walk from the deal. In other words the shipper doesn't want to take responsibility for their shipment and is probably not going to be much help if you have to file a claim for damage.
I received a Drake C-line receiver and transmitter yesterday with one layer of large bubble wrap around each and then one layer of that thin foam sheet around the two of them put in a single thin wall box and shipped!
Bent cabinets, VFO knob jammed against the front panel etc...
Just because someone is being paid to do something doesn't mean they have a clue what they are doing...

Re: "Professional" Packing (not)

Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:08 am
If the rig was insured the carrier owes you a claim settlement. Now you may have to have your attorney send them a letter before you ever see a dime. I realize shippers always deny responsibility due to "insufficient packing" because the ploy usually works in their favor but the truth is if they charged a premium for insurance and accepted the package for shipping they automatically accepted the risk regardless of packing quality. If they didn't like the packing job they should have inspected it at the counter.

Re: "Professional" Packing (not)

Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:06 pm
by K4ICL
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: 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

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.


Re: "Professional" Packing (not)

Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:27 pm
That's absolutely all good information except how to proceed in a dispute with the carrier when a shipment is received damaged and the carrier denies responsibility due to insufficient packing which is usually the case. Anyone here ever receive a damage claim settlement from a carrier?

Re: "Professional" Packing (not)

Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:08 pm
by N9LCD
Yes, I received a $325 damage settlement from FedEx. I shipped a "Ramsey" SDU. The unit was subjected to "shock" while in transit, breaking a lead on a TO-5 style regulator chip.

K4ICL has explained the steps for filing a damage claim. I'll tell you what FedEx wanted me to do.

Q: FedEx wanted to know who and how the unit was packed.
A: I explained that I reused the packing used by the manufacturer to ship the SDU to the dealer and used by the dealer to ship the unit to me.

Q: FedEx wanted to know how we agreed upon the sale price.
A: I sent FedEx a catalog sheet showing the price for a "NEW" unit.

Q: FedEx wanted an estimate of the repair costs.
A: I had to pay the manufacturer for an inspection and estimate. The estimate was credited against the repair cost.

I had to pay the manufacturer for the repairs. They, in turn, shipped the unit directly to my buyer.

I then submitted the "PAID" repair invoice to FedEx. They, in turn, reimbursed me for the repairs PLUS the cost of shipping the SDU in for repairs.

Any claim will be exceedingly detailed work that must be completed within the specified time frame. Incomplete claims will be returned for completion. Late claims will be rejected outright!

IMO the crucial steps in any claim are proving that the cost of repairs DOES NOT exceed the value of the equipment and substantiating the market value of the damaged gear.


Re: "Professional" Packing (not)

Posted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:14 am
by K4ICL
Thank you N9LCD for adding the detailed process used by FedEx. It will be very helpful to any who need to do a claim in the future.

Other carriers have a very similar process with some minor exceptions. On one occasion I recall that UPS wanted photographs of the damage, including damage to the box and packing materials. On another claim, UPS sent out a person to inspect and photograph the damage in person. In both cases, a fair claim was paid and the equipment repaired.


Re: "Professional" Packing (not)

Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:41 pm
by N9LCD

I omitted one point:


You're late; you're denied.