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A shipping caution

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Our family like many has been  making increased use of on line shopping due to the pandemic.  In the last few weeks many packages shipped by both UPS and Fedex have arrived in terrible condition and I mean ripped, crushed or otherwise mutilated. Because the contents were mostly soft goods they survived.  After politely requesting an explanation from the drivers of both companies, one fellow candidly admitted that because of increased orders and reduced warehouse staff, boxes were simply being tossed in the trucks roughly and as fast as possible to "Just get them shipped out!".  Another said that all packages are insured but you don't have to accept it if it's damaged.  I had been thinking of shipping my duet for some needed work but  the situation seems untenable at this time.  I can also imagine this situation increasing the risk of lost or stolen instruments.  I offer this as a caution to anyone contemplating use of these services.  

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Bummer! I am planning to have a Wheatstone shipped top me for a trail run from my friends at the Buttonbox. I trust they know how to pack concertinas well. 

 

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Posted (edited)

I just received a concertina via FedEx from the UK to Canada.  No problems wiith damage, timing or customs.  (Well, one reed needed re-seating).

 

It arrived faster than most local deliveries within Canada.

Edited by Don Taylor

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37 minutes ago, Robin Harrison said:

Don't tease us, Don !!

Lachenal New Model 55B Crane. 

 

 

 

 

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I am waiting for a package that was posted in California late April, it took several days  to get to a sorting centre in Los Angeles, stayed there for two weeks, was scanned out of there and two days later was scanned as departing  Denver on May 14. Nothing was heard of it since. I suppose it's sitting somewhere in a warehouse, waiting for a flight to Ireland.

Another package was scanned as leaving France last week, so far without arriving anywhere yet. And things from China, always slow, may remain in limbo for ever.

 

The postal system is suffering from lack of flights and probably a vast increase in online shopping. Some stuff gets through alright though.

 

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As a counter-case, in past couple of months I've received one concertina and shipped another (within UK)  - both arrived in good condition. Both were shipped by Royal Mail next day delivery (in cardboard boxes with plenty of bubble wrap and parcel tape). No guarantees, your mileage may vary!

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4 hours ago, Paul_Hardy said:

As a counter-case, in past couple of months I've received one concertina and shipped another (within UK)  - both arrived in good condition. Both were shipped by Royal Mail next day delivery (in cardboard boxes with plenty of bubble wrap and parcel tape). No guarantees, your mileage may vary!

 

 

My recent experience also, in exactly the same circumstances - Uk - inland Royal Mail next day - same concertina packing - last week or so.

 

Rob

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19 hours ago, David Paton said:

Bummer! I am planning to have a Wheatstone shipped top me for a trail run from my friends at the Buttonbox. I trust they know how to pack concertinas well. 

 

They do. All the same, my concertina could use some work and I was thinking of driving it over there, as my days are so empty lately. Looks like we’re both about 1-3/4 hours from the BB.

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Anyone have any experience with USPS within the states? I sent a concertina a couple of weeks ago and it arrived 2 days ahead of schedule.  I would have sent it priority but my son was doing the in person stuff at the PO and things got mixed up. I had forgotten this tip I was told a year or so ago that if I wanted to ship a valuable piece with USPS I should send it registered mail. With registered mail within the USPS a signature is required from every person who handles it.  While this may slow things down a bit (or not) each person who touches it will careful  damage along the way.  

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Quote

 

1 hour ago, LateToTheGame said:

Anyone have any experience with USPS within the states? I sent a concertina a couple of weeks ago and it arrived 2 days ahead of schedule.  I would have sent it priority but my son was doing the in person stuff at the PO and things got mixed up. I had forgotten this tip I was told a year or so ago that if I wanted to ship a valuable piece with USPS I should send it registered mail. With registered mail within the USPS a signature is required from every person who handles it.  While this may slow things down a bit (or not) each person who touches it will careful  damage along the way.  

 

 

Years ago registered mail caused me a problem - it slows things down a _lot_. My envelope took three weeks to go from New York to Utah (which made it two weeks overdue, it was a paper for a professional conference). The Post office folks told me registered mail was originally meant for things like diamonds, and (at least back then) went from one locked box to another (yes, signed for) and was thus very slow. Certified mail (or nowadays, a tracking number, this was 1983) was what I needed. If you're not in a hurry maybe registered mail is the answer, but my simple envelope took 21 days instead of 2.

 

A postal story: The only box I ever had break open and lose contents, 40 years ago, was insured and I was paid for the lost books. In all fairness to the post office, I was young and naive and the box was much too big and heavy (over 45 lb/20kg). A month or two I later found several of my books at the Barnes and Noble technical book store on Fifth Avenue in NYC and, astonished, bought them back for a bit less than the claimed value (they were used by then, after all)! I guess you could say the post office paid me a few dollars to rent them for a couple of months. I still have them.

 

I don't know how many times I've shipped instruments by USPS but they've all been fine. Do pack thoroughly and do insure them. When I do both, I've had 100% success.

 

I too have been having things show up ahead of schedule via USPS during the lockdown. Someone doesn't have enough to do, maybe?

 

Ken

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Here is the advice I got from Bob Snope at the Button Box earlier this year.

 

Quote

The important thing is that it is "double-boxed", that is, packed tightly inside its hard case and then the case inside a larger box with packing material all around it. We've never had a concertina damaged in shipping that was packed in this manner. Of course, you'll want to insure it, just in case. There are also packing supplies available for purchase at most post offices, if you want to send it that way.

 

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I have interpreted double-boxing to mean the concertina inside its own case with padding to prevent it moving and abraiding itself, pack that inside a larger enough cardboard box to allow for 1"-2" of bubble wrap or poly worms, and then pack that box again inside another larger cardboard box with another 1"-2" of stuffing.

 

Just sending the concertina in its own case is clearly insane, so packing it inside just one cardboard box is, to my mind, single boxing it.

 

But then, I am a bit OCD and I wear both belt and braces (suspenders). 

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A couple of weeks ago, I sent a Bandonika weighing 5Kg by UPS from the UK to Texas. It was 'double boxed', as described by Don & the total package weight was 9kg. It arrived safe & well in 5 days, so I was very pleased with that. I also believe in the 'belt & braces' approach as you don't know how your package will be treated in transit, even if it is marked as 'fragile'.

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My shipping tip here for concertinas.

      I go to our local Value Village ( charity type store ) and buy a bag of 2nd hand towels for around $5-6 and use that as packing between the concertina case and the box.

             Robin

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