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Author Topic: Shipping Ham Radio Equipment  (Read 5552 times)
KD6OJG
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Posts: 38




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« on: July 08, 2013, 10:21:08 AM »

Is there a preferred company to use when shipping ham gear, including the USPS?

I'm about to sell one of my older HT's and I want to make sure my first ham gear sale goes smoothly.  Also, what's the best way to; confirm the buyer's receipt of the merchandis...insurance, and everything else?
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K1CJS
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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2013, 05:14:11 AM »

Pack the unit and its accessories in a box with padding to stop it from banging around in the box and getting damaged.  Wrap each piece separately.  Fill the spaces with shock absorbing material, making sure that the individual pieces can't move and damage each other.  Pack that box in another box with styrofoam popcorn, bubblewrap, or some other shock absorbing material between the inner and outer boxes.  Make sure the inner box can't bang around in the outer one, but don't make the packing so tight that the inner box can't move at all.  

Packing is everything when shipping electronic equipment, and if you follow the above steps, you can ship the unit by just about any package service there is available to you, whether it is USPS, Fedex, UPS, or another company.  Any of those companies offer insurance, delivery confirmation, etc.

Added--BTW, if you print 'FRAGILE' on the box, sometimes that is an open invite to handlers to throw the package around even more than they usually do--so don't print fragile on it.  They may do it anyway--that's why I recommend packing the way I did.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2013, 05:20:33 AM by K1CJS » Logged
KS2G
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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2013, 06:37:27 AM »

CJS has it exactly right!

Pack it correctly, address it correctly, follow tracking on line.

This thread will inevitably bring out horror stories about every carrier.

But I've used them all (USPS, UPS, FedEx) and never had a problem.

73,
Mel - KS2G

 
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KE3WD
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2013, 07:31:14 AM »

Added--BTW, if you print 'FRAGILE' on the box, sometimes that is an open invite to handlers to throw the package around even more than they usually do--so don't print fragile on it.  They may do it anyway--that's why I recommend packing the way I did.

Citation requested. 

Data.

Empirical confirmation. 

Look, if the box-within-a-box contains fragile electronic equipment but the shipper fails to put the proper confirmation of that on the package, with some carriers it may be a case to invalidate any possible insurance claim should the need arise. 

But if you buy into such conspiracy theories, go ahead, its your radio...


73
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KD0REQ
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2013, 08:29:53 AM »

every office store has "fragile - handle with care" stickers in vibrant red in the packaging aisle.  get some, I like to put them on diagonally over an edge and clear-tape 'em down, so the handling apes can't miss 'em.

as for box-in-box, nice idea.  address both the inside and outside boxes.  if the outer box gets shredded "in equipment" then the inner box can still go through.  a copy inside the inner box can't hurt.

for that matter, the address labels are always clear-taped over when I ship something.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2013, 11:36:46 AM »

Look at the original post again, 'WD.  It isn't something that is breakable with normal handling--and you know as well as everybody else does that some package handlers are the vindictive type, and WILL throw a package marked 'fragile' around harder than they would other packages.

If you don't have something constructive to say, why don't you keep quiet for a change.
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N6AJR
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2013, 01:10:50 PM »

I know that most of these carriers use automatic scanning and handling procedures.  so pack your box so it can stand a drop from 6 feet up to a hard floor. as most of the carriers have this somewhere in their handling procedures. also they may be tossed from hand to hand in normal processing. So pack them like this will happen because it will happen.  also if it is a heavy package pleas note on the package that it is a heavy package with a note like caution heavy package 40 pounds.  the carrier employees will appreciate it.
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KD6OJG
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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2013, 01:48:54 PM »

Thanks to everyone for all your advice.  What are your opinions about shipping to a P.O. Box?

A lot of people won't ship to a P.O. box.  And why is that?  Myself, I figure that shipping to a P.O box is one more way for the package to get lost or stolen or damaged.
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WD5GWY
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« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2013, 03:37:52 PM »

Look at the original post again, 'WD.  It isn't something that is breakable with normal handling--and you know as well as everybody else does that some package handlers are the vindictive type, and WILL throw a package marked 'fragile' around harder than they would other packages.

If you don't have something constructive to say, why don't you keep quiet for a change.
Years ago, I drove a truck for a company that hauled mail. (contractor) My first night on
the job, I was at a very large mail center in Dallas, and loading mail on to my trailer.
I was "carefully" stacking packages marked "Fragile" in one part of the trailer, when the
dock supervisor came over and asked me what I was doing. I told him I was trying to load
the fragile packages in a way that they would not get damaged. He said I only had 15 minutes
to finish loading and leave. So, he grabbed a box marked Fragile and TOSSED it all the way to
the front of the trailer. I could hear glass breaking!! I said, that was marked Fragile!!
He said, that means you only bounce the package one time instead of twice or more. NOW,
get loaded up and out of here!!!!
  I learned a lesson about packaging that night! I always try to package whatever I ship just
as others have suggested here. More is better!!!
james
WD5GWY
 
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2013, 03:48:59 PM »

Thanks to everyone for all your advice.  What are your opinions about shipping to a P.O. Box?

A lot of people won't ship to a P.O. box.  And why is that?  Myself, I figure that shipping to a P.O box is one more way for the package to get lost or stolen or damaged.

The P.O. box can't sign a receipt indicating the item was received.  That takes a person to do that.

I won't ship stuff to P.O. boxes, either. 

Having tried everything over the years, I've settled on FedEx for shipping any kind of ham gear.  Everything is traceable from pickup to delivery and all steps between, and if you specify "signed receipt required" they won't just leave it on someone's doorstep -- it must be signed for.  Verification including signature is all on line the minute it happens.
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KE3WD
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« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2013, 04:39:11 PM »

Look at the original post again, 'WD.  It isn't something that is breakable with normal handling--and you know as well as everybody else does that some package handlers are the vindictive type, and WILL throw a package marked 'fragile' around harder than they would other packages.

No, I don't know that at all. 

What I DO know is that those package handlers are increasingly having to work under the closed circuit tv monitoring systems that record to disk 24/7.  While there may indeed be some rogue handlers out there, it is most likely the exception rather than the norm. 

But I use and understand statistics. 


Quote
If you don't have something constructive to say, why don't you keep quiet for a change.

That's not a nice thing to say to someone. 


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AG6WT
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Posts: 463




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« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2013, 08:09:01 PM »

KD6OJG

I mostly use USPS as I've found smaller items that can fit in their flat rate priority boxes to be very cost effective. I add delivery confirmation at a minimum and insurance if the item is not cheap and/or fragile. Of course I double box if I have the original boxes and use plenty of bubble wrap.

As for marking the package as "fragile" increasing the chances of a person intentionally throwing or kicking it around, I've heard (can't remember where, FedEx employee I think) that if you mark it fragile AND buy insurance the package will be treated much better. The idea is that no delivery company wants to pay a claim and if they have to and can track down the responsible employee...

But one last bit of advice. Do as much online research as you can on the prospective buyer to find out if they are a scammer. There are buyers that claim that a package never arrived or the item was damaged because YOU didn't pack it correctly. If you pay by Paypal they will file a claim against you and will try to get Paypal to refund the money the buyer sent you.

Ray KJ6AMF
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K1CJS
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« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2013, 07:15:30 PM »

The P.O. box can't sign a receipt indicating the item was received.  That takes a person to do that.

Funny, but I've had packages that have been delivered to PO boxes--in the local post office that is, not in a mail reception address where you can rent boxes.

What the post office does is put a notice in your PO box, you take that notice and your ID to the desk, sign and you get your package.

The way the outside, private post office box companies are, that cannot be done there because those companies refuse to take the responsibility for the packages--and so businesses won't ship to PO boxes anymore.
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KD6OJG
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« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2013, 02:28:38 PM »

But one last bit of advice. Do as much online research as you can on the prospective buyer to find out if they are a scammer. There are buyers that claim that a package never arrived or the item was damaged because YOU didn't pack it correctly. If you pay by Paypal they will file a claim against you and will try to get Paypal to refund the money the buyer sent you.

Ray KJ6AMF

Okay, that is what scares me.  Do you mean to make sure it is just a general scammer or a dishonest Ham scammer?

How would you handle numerous offers to purchase the item and then take the time to check each one of them out?  I'm going to be selling my Yaesu FT-411E and I have this feeling I'm going to get a lot of interest.  I myself am not well known to the Ham community so people will in turn might have reservations about me.  I've always considered PayPal the safest way for both buyer and seller.
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N0IU
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« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2013, 05:03:55 PM »

How would you handle numerous offers to purchase the item and then take the time to check each one of them out?

It is your radio so it is up to you to check out the potential buyer to your satisfaction.

I'm going to be selling my Yaesu FT-411E and I have this feeling I'm going to get a lot of interest.

Everyone thinks that the entire amateur radio world will be beating a path to their door to buy that piece of vintage gear. The FT-411e WAS a great radio in its day, but that was over 20 years ago. Unless there is someone out there that just has to have one, I personally don't think there will be a whole lot of interest... but I could be wrong. It all depends on what you are asking for it. The last one that was sold on eHam sold for $75 + shipping and that was in October of last year. You will probably be lucky to get 2 or 3 serious offers.

Keep in mind that a brand new Baofeng dual band UV-5RA sells on Amazon for $35.02 with a 1 year warranty and free shipping. There had better be something really special about your vintage HT to make it worth as much as you are planning on asking for it.

I myself am not well known to the Ham community so people will in turn might have reservations about me.

The old saying "Honesty is the best policy" really applies here. Be completely honest about the condition of the radio. You do not want something coming back because the buyer says that the item delivered was not as advertised. If that happens, you will have a very difficult time selling anything else in the future. The names of bad sellers have a way of getting around.

Good luck with your sale!


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