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MoJo

Couriers - Eye opener

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I recently sold a BB415. The buyer didn't live that far away but with current movement restrictions, my only option was to send it to him via a courier. I've sent loads of basses with couriers in the past and thankfully, not had one bad experience. I didn't have a hard shell case but spent about an hour wrapping it in bubblewrap. Anyone that has received one of my bubblewrapped  basses will know that they will withstand anything short of a direct nuclear strike. The first thing I noticed when pricing a courier is how much prices have shot up since I last posted a bass,  but as I entered my details, a message flashed up "any items not in a cardboard box or jiffy bag will incur a surcharge". I tried a different courier and got the same message so I decided to try another website. As soon as I typed 'bass guitar' into the item box, I got a message saying "It looks like you're sending a restricted item". I checked the restricted items list and it stated "Guitars will be transported on a no compensation basis". I went back to the original site and checked their restricted items, which stated "Musical Instruments unless in a hard case". I ended up refunding the buyers money. Certainly an eye opener for me. Doesn't look like I'll be offering postage on future bass sales

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Two things you can do.

1. Go to your local bicycle shop and ask for a bike box. Normally they are only too glad to get rid of them, and with current boom in bicycle sales they have more than usual to dispose of. Cut the box down to the right size to fit your bubble-wrapped instrument. IME bike boxes are made of far stronger card than the typical musical instrument box and will take a lot more punishment.

2. Buy a cheap hard case for the purposes of shipping the bass. It ought to come with a cardboard box, so you can simply open the package when it arrives, put the bass in the hard case, add bubble wrap if required, and replace in it box ready for sending.

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That is a bit of an eye opener. Doesn't surprise me though. As somebody that has worked as a courier, I always treated musical instruments with kids gloves. Made sure when I loaded the van in the morning, that I loaded the van so no damage would come to an instrument. That isn't as easy as it sounds, depending on how many items there are on the route that day.

What gets me is, retailers use couriers, and they will send the guitars out in the original cardboard boxes. 

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6 minutes ago, Triumph_Rock said:

That is a bit of an eye opener. Doesn't surprise me though. As somebody that has worked as a courier, I always treated musical instruments with kids gloves. Made sure when I loaded the van in the morning, that I loaded the van so no damage would come to an instrument. That isn't as easy as it sounds, depending on how many items there are on the route that day.

What gets me is, retailers use couriers, and they will send the guitars out in the original cardboard boxes. 

Which usually contain a rudimentary couple of strips of expanded polystyrene 

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11 minutes ago, MoJo said:

Which usually contain a rudimentary couple of strips of expanded polystyrene 

Yep, which won't prevent damage if rough handled.

Edited by Triumph_Rock

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Interparcel fined me for sending a bass, in a hardcase, but for not putting the whole lot in cardboard. 

I had wrapped the case in plastic, but this was unacceptable. 

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Wow, I wonder if those rules apply with shippers here as well. I received a Warwick Streamer LX just over a week ago from a private seller that was shipped in just its original gigbag, with a DHL label directly on the gigbag. The only form of additional protection added were two old t-shirts around the headstock to protect the tuning machines. I certainly wasn't expecting it shipped like that! But more importantly, I guess I (or the seller) got really lucky nothing happened to it during shipping, with all the steps involved in its logistics!

According to DHL's track and trace site, tt was picked up by DHL at the seller's home address in the north of the Netherlands, then transported to DHL's central sorting hub on Zaventem airport in Brussels, Belgium before heading back to DHL's delivery hub in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and from there on in a delivery van to my work address in Gouda. DHL's proof of delivery claims it was delivered to me and that I signed for it in Amsterdam, strangely. Due to the current covid-19 measures, they don't take a signature and just ask for confirmation of your name (but to make it easy they just ask "Are you [add your name here]?" so anyone can say yes and accept your package). 

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Many years ago, I worked for a major fruit machine manufacturer. It was decided to send a machine to a customer on BR since they were next door to a mainline station. The machine was heavily packaged (on a wooden base as well I recall) and arrived completely smashed. The next attempt (!) was to send the machine completely unwrapped, with just a consignment note on the playglass - it arrived intact & unmarked .............

😎

 

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Many couriers exclude musical instruments from insurance cover in the small print (but still let you buy it)

The main reason I have promoted Eurosender here is that, despite a few issues here and there (as you’ll find with ANY courier or booking service) is that they specifically cover instruments with a third party insurer, as long as the instrument is in a hard case. 

https://www.eurosender.com/en/terms-conditions

ERGO insurance is the company providing the cover. 

Still, you only find out how good that is when something bad happens - but insurance always feels like that. I’d never ship an instrument without proper cover. 

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Ped, I booked Eurosender a week ago for DPD to ship Essex > Scotland but when the time came it was cancelled as DPD couldn't work with Eurosender due to their main office being in Luxemburg.  I don't know how it would work UK > EU or reverse but certainly UK > UK was a no-go now.

3 minutes ago, ped said:

The main reason I have promoted Eurosender here is that, despite a few issues here and there as you’ll find with ANY courier or booking service) is that they specifically cover instruments with a third party insurer, as long as the instrument is in a hard case. 

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11 minutes ago, ped said:

Many couriers exclude musical instruments from insurance cover in the small print (but still let you buy it)

Royal Mail being one of those. Happy to take your insurance money but it's not covered!

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19 minutes ago, Paul S said:

Ped, I booked Eurosender a week ago for DPD to ship Essex > Scotland but when the time came it was cancelled as DPD couldn't work with Eurosender due to their main office being in Luxemburg.  I don't know how it would work UK > EU or reverse but certainly UK > UK was a no-go now.

Just to clarify, as I used DPD via Eurosender pre 1st Jan and it was great so would use again, was it DPD or Eurosender that was the problem? Would DPD not deal with Eurosender as Eurosender are based in Luxembourg, or are DPD based in Luxembourg and as such Eurosender cancelled?

I'm assuming Eurosender are based in Luxembourg. 

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27 minutes ago, Maude said:

Just to clarify, as I used DPD via Eurosender pre 1st Jan and it was great so would use again, was it DPD or Eurosender that was the problem? Would DPD not deal with Eurosender as Eurosender are based in Luxembourg, or are DPD based in Luxembourg and as such Eurosender cancelled?

I'm assuming Eurosender are based in Luxembourg. 

I've highlighted the bit.  This what what they wrote in an email dated 12/1.

Quote

We have been informed just today by our partner DPD, that the pick-ups within the UK cannot be performed for us as we have a seat of the company in Luxembourg and unfortunately not in the UK at the moment. This means that unfortunately as a foreign company we cannot operate at the moment in the UK due to Brexit regulations. 

 

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2 hours ago, LeftyJ said:

Wow, I wonder if those rules apply with shippers here as well. I received a Warwick Streamer LX just over a week ago from a private seller that was shipped in just its original gigbag, with a DHL label directly on the gigbag. The only form of additional protection added were two old t-shirts around the headstock to protect the tuning machines. I certainly wasn't expecting it shipped like that! But more importantly, I guess I (or the seller) got really lucky nothing happened to it during shipping, with all the steps involved in its logistics!

According to DHL's track and trace site, tt was picked up by DHL at the seller's home address in the north of the Netherlands, then transported to DHL's central sorting hub on Zaventem airport in Brussels, Belgium before heading back to DHL's delivery hub in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and from there on in a delivery van to my work address in Gouda. DHL's proof of delivery claims it was delivered to me and that I signed for it in Amsterdam, strangely. Due to the current covid-19 measures, they don't take a signature and just ask for confirmation of your name (but to make it easy they just ask "Are you [add your name here]?" so anyone can say yes and accept your package). 

Were they Pearl Jamm tee shirts?

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2 hours ago, el borracho said:

Royal Mail being one of those. Happy to take your insurance money but it's not covered!

And Parcelforce. I always think that this is fraud, selling you insurance that doesn’t cover, though they’ll say it’s in the T&Cs so the customers responsibility to read them.

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3 hours ago, ped said:

Many couriers exclude musical instruments from insurance cover in the small print (but still let you buy it)

The main reason I have promoted Eurosender here is that, despite a few issues here and there (as you’ll find with ANY courier or booking service) is that they specifically cover instruments with a third party insurer, as long as the instrument is in a hard case. 

https://www.eurosender.com/en/terms-conditions

ERGO insurance is the company providing the cover. 

Still, you only find out how good that is when something bad happens - but insurance always feels like that. I’d never ship an instrument without proper cover. 

Yep, In the US there are very specific exclusions on insuring vintage instruments with our major shipping companies as well, and it's completely on the customer to determine if they need third party coverage.

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8 hours ago, taunton-hobbit said:

Many years ago, I worked for a major fruit machine manufacturer. It was decided to send a machine to a customer on BR since they were next door to a mainline station. The machine was heavily packaged (on a wooden base as well I recall) and arrived completely smashed. The next attempt (!) was to send the machine completely unwrapped, with just a consignment note on the playglass - it arrived intact & unmarked .............

😎

 

Lol, must have been fun working for them!

I guess, if you want to rationalise it,  the 'naked' fruit machine actually looked fragile and was therefore handled as such.

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29 minutes ago, Nail Soup said:

I guess, if you want to rationalise it,  the 'naked' fruit machine actually looked fragile and was therefore handled as such.

Yeah, that be the principle. We sent hundreds of sea kayaks to all parts of the country, and the cardboard box factory of all people kindly advised us we'd be better off with naked kayaks in plastic tubes.

We had a total of one damage, and the full price of that kayak was way lower than the price of hundreds of protective boxes. I guess we were lucky, but we did count on the fragile look, and it seemed to work.

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Transit cover is there for two potential problems

1) Damage in transit

2) Item lost

Maybe the answer is bulletproof packaging, don’t bother with insurance and pray it’s not lost in transit? 

What’s annoying is that music shops can send anything with a business account regardless of Ts and Cs you get as a private shipper (economies of scale I guess). I recently ordered a Fender which was delivered directly in a gig bag in the original box from Fender (factory sealed). That box made it from California via the Netherlands to me in perfect condition with no other padding/packaging than a small bit of extra cardboard top and bottom. Given how flimsy some hard cases can be (e.g. vintage Fender), it does make you wonder why a hard case is mandatory for those couriers that DO offer musical instrument cover?

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I've no proof, but I could imagine that some courriers and their insurance covers had claims of 'it arrived broken' when in fact it was already broken when sent. Was there not a flurry of bogus 'whiplash' claims a while back..? Maybe the System has been abused too many times by the unscrupulous few..? :/

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10 hours ago, Dad3353 said:

I've no proof, but I could imagine that some courriers and their insurance covers had claims of 'it arrived broken' when in fact it was already broken when sent. Was there not a flurry of bogus 'whiplash' claims a while back..? Maybe the System has been abused too many times by the unscrupulous few..? :/

I think you're on to something there. Reading the other thread about the one man Sansamp fraud crime wave has made me really think about how I send stuff of value in future, as well as a very bad experience. It's not fool proof but you could video the item being wrapped (in case the bar steward nicks the knobs off your bass for example!) , boxed, photo the box with the addressee details on it before you take it to the depot or it gets collected (so they know you're sending them a bass and not just a little envelope addressed to yourself), share the tracking info and follow up with the receiver for when it arrives before you leave feedback for them or spend the proceeds of your sale. This should provide you with evidence to protect yourself to a small extent against things going wrong such as items getting lost, so you can prove you're not a scammer, and items arriving knackered, or against buyers being a bit of a Billy-Hunt and nicking bits of or damaging your item before returning it for a refund. 

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A video  of packing is still no proof.  Soon as the camera is turned off,  the knobs can be whipped off  ( and other stuff depending on the item ) and then sent. 

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25 minutes ago, fleabag said:

A video  of packing is still no proof.  Soon as the camera is turned off,  the knobs can be whipped off  ( and other stuff depending on the item ) and then sent. 

Sure, I realise that, there's probably no way of proving that it is a bass in the box, or that the bass is in A1 condition when it went in. But a photo of the box on the scales at the Parcelforce hub or on your doorstep as the DPD guy picks it up or whatever should show that it left yours in a good state, in case it arrives at destination looking like a carcass that Rocky has been pounding. 

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On 19/01/2021 at 12:48, el borracho said:

Royal Mail being one of those. Happy to take your insurance money but it's not covered!

 

On 19/01/2021 at 15:43, Lozz196 said:

And Parcelforce. I always think that this is fraud, selling you insurance that doesn’t cover, though they’ll say it’s in the T&Cs so the customers responsibility to read them.

If it's in the T&Cs and on the list of exclusions (which people should read before purchasing) that an item isn't covered, if a customer then goes on to buy the insurance then it's pretty much their own fault for wasting money.

If you read most couriers list of exclusions for what can be sent in the first place it's a surprise they're in business, they exclude almost everything bar a cardboard box with bubble wrap in it.

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