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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
i recently sold a rather beat-up telecaster via evilbay to some guy in arizona. he used buy-it-now and it looked like a pretty good deal from my perspective. i arranged insured shipping via ups, guitar was very well packed, box sealed with duct tape. apparently, ups dropped off the box, rang the doorbell and didn't hang around for a signature.

i've just received notification from the buyer that the box arrived sans guitar but was sealed up with the packing material inside! buyer says it looks like one end of the box might've been opened.

possibilities:

1. the buyer isn't happy with the purchase and is trying to stiff me. has already paid via paypal but he could try getting money back, right? meaning he gets a free guitar.

2. some less-than-amiable chap from either ups or customs is playing a rather ****ty telecaster right now, or

3. i sent him an empty box!

(i've already ruled out #3. it's the only certainty in all this.)

i'm fairly new to the selling/shipping side of evilbay and i'm sure there are more scams and dishonest people than i'm aware of. any thoughts on this one? avenues for recourse? i'm doubting ups would put up their hand and admit liability and just hand over the insurance money. it's kinda hard for me to prove anything, and it looks like it will ultimately come down to me.

argh!

damo

(mods: apologies if this is posted in the wrong section)
 

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To ship it UPS it had to be weighed. I'm sure your "empty box" would've been pretty light compared to a box with a guitar in it. Seems to me you have that on your side anyway.

Maybe have him take the box to UPS and have it weighed. Compare that to your shipping weight.

Have you been in contact with UPS?

Was there a signature required by UPS?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
unfortunately, this has come at a bad time in that i'm out of town for a few days - don't have access to the original shipping documents. i have contacted ups with a claim via their website, though. i believe a signature was required... so i guess if ups didn't adhere to that point, then they are solely responsible for the goods still, yeah?

i was just kind of wondering if anyone else had had this experience with shipping, or was familiar with this type of scam.

failing that, anyone from tempe arizona? would you like to pay this guy a visit and see if he's for real??
 

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this all comes down to UPS package handler being liable.

you shoudl never use 'duct tape' and that is why "security/tamper-proof" tape is useful for seams.

i had one buyer years ago on usenet claim "it never arrived" but when i said, "i'll scan the USPS receipt for you to track" it miraculously arrived! :lol: ...glen
 

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Turn over the responsibility of a claim to the buyer. You shipped the guitar, the weight will show there was one.If he really wants to pursue a claim maybe it was stolen [or whatever], but let that be his job. All you have to do is tell UPS that you are giving him the rights to file claim.

IMO he's probably trying to cheat UPS with a claim anyway. If somebody was going to steal it it wouldn't be an inside job, and after it was dropped off they'd have just taken the whole box, not removed the contents and left box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for the advice guys. will let you know how this debacle turns out.

(good to hear from rich, being one of the more prolific shippers!)
 

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I shipped a jem90 to a guy in Corsica. A couple of weeks later, he emails me saying that the shipping box arrive torn to shreds, the bottom corner of the M100C case was compelely shattered like a truck ran over it, there was damage to the guitar and could I 'please' file an insurance claim. I asked him to email me pictures and never heard from him again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
after all this time, UPS have agreed to pay out my insurance claim for the missing guitar. i'll believe it once the money is in my hand.

they collected the empty box from the buyer, who (based on **** feedback and my communications) seems to have been honest throughout all this. and if he wasn't, well, that's UPS's problem now. how the hell do you deliver an empty box?!? i guess the answer is "quite easily" as it'd weigh bugger all.

man, the problems this has caused! i've been chasing the buyer, UPS, MailBoxesEtc (UPS's local agent) and PayPal (who immediately put my account in the negative). all over a decidely beat-up telecaster copy. i tells ya, sometimes being a wanna-be guitar pimp just ain't worth it.

so much time and hassle later, yet another UPS horror story. i will not be using UPS for shipping anything of worth!
 

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beyblade said:
I shipped a jem90 to a guy in Corsica. A couple of weeks later, he emails me saying that the shipping box arrive torn to shreds, the bottom corner of the M100C case was compelely shattered like a truck ran over it, there was damage to the guitar and could I 'please' file an insurance claim. I asked him to email me pictures and never heard from him again.
What a scammer. ;)
 

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I hate to say it but sometimes FedEx is the way to go. A bit pricey, but they don't fool around about delivery receipt and someone signing for the item. They will even request ID from the person receiving. They have great tracking and I personally have never had a problem. Again..... expensive, but if you're shipping something of high value, it's the only way to go IMHO!
 

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I posted this a while back...

This might get really long, but if you ship stuff thru UPS, you should really read the Nightmare that is UPS. Please forgive any spelling or grammar mistakes.

OK, lets see. I worked at UPS for like 3 years part time to pay for college (5 hours a day, M-F) All I did was load or unload the bulk trailers which were either short flats, 40 foot flats, and drop frames, which were short but had dropped floors with rollers down the middle and wooden flaps to cover up the bottom, damn did I hate those. I worked in the Shrewsbury, MA Hub, which is the largest hub in MA (theres only 2 in MA). It was actually built sometime in the late 60's from what I was told. At that time they barely did more than 10 or 20K a week in packages, although the plant was designed to handle 2 to 3 times that load. The plant did have some expansions later on in the 70's and 80's but nothing major (some more bays and better, faster and stronger conveyor systems and belts, the main lines could rip your arms off). When I was there during the off season (any months other than Nov-Feb) we would typically handle anywhere from 100 to 300K a week. The internet really made UPS what they are today with shipping contracts like Amazon and QVC.

SO I'm sure you can imagine what an increase in production without updating the system means to your package. The main belts are up to a few thousand feet in length and about 2 feet wide with metal walls about 10 inches high on both sides. They ran to different arms of the building (think of a bike wheel) each arm has so many bays (standard tractor trailer bays), and each bay has a specific list of ZIP codes that you could load into it. As the main conveyors moved, they would pass by 2 guys (called pickoffs) they each had 2 shoots or slides if you will. They would each read the ZIP codes as the boxes go buy and grab them, then they would put packages down (or throw) the packages down each shoot that went to the bottom belt (same size and power as a main belt), which had hydraulic arms that would block off certain sections and push the boxes down another shoot thats wide at the top (like 5 or 6 feet) down to 2 feet wide at the bottom where it goes into the truck. (yeah, like that doesn't spell disaster right there)

This system is designed for really any package under 70lbs. Anything over 70lbs is called "bulk" which is handled by hand (this is why you pay a **** load for it) down into the hub, sorted by hand onto trains, which is basically a little electric car pulling 5 or 6 carts behind it, like a snake. If you've seen Austin Powers and remember the car he tried to turn around in and got stuck in the middle of a hallway, yeah, exact same thing just without the train part)
So that means that a package thats 2lbs and a package thats 60lbs travels the SAME EXACT belts, hmmm, yeah, real ****in smart right there.

During the off season you have a much, much better chance that your package will arrive fairly unharmed, and the smaller it is, the better, because like stuff over 70lbs, boxes under 1lb are also handled differently. There what UPS calls "small sort" and goes to another part of the building where there all put down small shoots, gets hand sorted and put into what looks like oversized PO Boxes, one guy on one side is sorting them into each little compartment (each a different zip) and another guy on the other side taking the filled up compartment and putting the contents into a big white nylon bag called a Smalls bag, or just a "Smalls" as we used to call it. the bag gets its own special label which is programmed with the contents of the bag. Usually these bags would have 5 to 15 boxes in them, depending on the size of the boxes. you see us loaders have to scan each box that goes into a trailer, because you guys love to track your boxes, and UPS also uses it to track the loads and production volumes, and how much each person is loading for the day etc etc. We had a scanner that wraps around your wrist with a seperate laser head that straps to the index and middle finger, and you use your thumb to trigger it. (something like the old Nintendo Power Glove) and everything was on a radio wave WAN.

After thanksgiving, its a real nightmare at UPS, the volumes can get astronomical, one X-Mas we did over a million packages in a week. Can you imagine what a plant that shouldn't realistically get more than 200k in a week, getting over a million?!?

This is where the true nightmare begins.

The conveyors turned into raging white water rapids full of boxes as long as the eye can see. But in reality it was so jammed it was hardly moving. No no, not the belt underneath the boxes though, oh no, it was still moving at the same speed it always did, turning the boxes black from rubbing on them, almost to the point that they would burn. You have to understand, these belts arn't smooth at all, they have a fairly rough grip to them. The motors were so strong that if a heavy package was onto of a light one, and that light one was on the belt, it was like rubbing cheese on a grater, tearing through the cardboard and spilling to contents all over the belt, which we would eventually get comming down the shoots into the trailer. albiet usually not in one piece. These items were usually thrown out of the trailer onto the floor (which is like 4 feet down and about 10 feet away) where they would be collected up at a later date, usually at the end of the day. If your lucky you would also have the box or hopefully the shipping label to them, but this is far less than a 50% chance since the belt just eats things up and also the fact that no one actually gives a ****.

So thats what just the main conveyor can do. As the packages progress to then of the belt and down the slide into the trailer, theres a compressing effect goig on with the slide. If your lucky, you package will either fall over the shoot down like 10 feet onto cement or hopefully fall into the trailer. If your really unlucky, your package with get crushed as the slide gets narrower. Have you ever watched the guy pull the lever on a garbage truck and watch and hear the garbage getting pressed into the truck? These shoots do essencially the same thing, and the sound, well, it sounds JUST like it, as the contents break and the cardboard tears and rips into each other, and well sealed packages actually burst open under the enormous pressure making a loud popping noise showering you in packaging peanuts and foam. its a continuous wave of overflowing packages into these trailers where we would just throw your boxes into huge piles that eventually fill up the entire truck from bottom to top. And these trailers can be in excess of 10 feet tall so you can imagine withat happens to the boxes on the bottom. See, if there isn't a retarded amount of boxes being thrown into the trailer, your suppose to make nice, neat walls in the same manner of brick building, or a giant game of Tetris depending on how you look at it. Yeah, not during X-mas though. its basically a mad dash game of huck, chuck and stuff. And thats just for the flat beds. If your in a drop frame and you get loaded like this, you basically open up the floor and let the bottom fill itself in any chaotic matter. what, one side a little to full and the flaps not closing, **** it, jump up and down on it until it compresses the boxes.

What, no stool to reach the top? See nearest package and using as your own personal step stool, oh darn, my foot went thru the box, how sad, don't have time to take it out so lets just stuff more boxes on top of it, ****ing it up even more. This is the general mentality of all of the workers at UPS, or Under Paid Slaves as we all said. We worked for as little at $7 to $8/h, plus we had to pay for health insurance, and Union dues, not to mention these trailers were either freezing cold or boiling hot, and most of the time your boss was younger than you. So really you just can't imagine why people would have these additudes, its boggling.

Heres some fun things that happened while I was there.

We would have contests to see who could accurately re-enact the famous Ace Ventura UPS scene, with one of our costumers packages, this included playing soccer with it.

We would have vigorous tape ball fights, and if this meant jump onto boxes or jumping into a pile of boxes to avoid getting hit, oh well. We would also have water balloon fights.

I have witnessed HAZMAT boxes full of dangerous chemicals and acids and what not, spill onto other packages. Yes these items go into the same trucks but are handled like bulk. That shuts the plant or that wing down for a while so the cleanup team can do there thing.

A co-worker jumped down off a ladder, didn't watch where he was landing, clipped a box, went thru it up to his knee, and broke his leg inside the box, I heard the snap. that was a laugh.

Drugs were/are a common place. People smoked weed in the trailers, or, like my old buddy Phil, actually came to work most of the time with a bloddy nose or developed them during the day, or he would drop acid or E in a trailer, and we would just screw with him all day, so fun.

During the busy season it was a common place to see supervisors kicking boxes with both feet thru the shoots to keep the belts moving. (think sliding down a slide, but instead of sliding, you got hundreds of boxes in front of you and your using your body to force them down, like stuffing a giant turkey with your feet)
 

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Sometimes supervisors would call off a trailer a little to early (they used a computer to tell a waiting truck to connect to a trailer and pull it away, and bring an empty one) if this happens and you can't get the door down in time the last few walls of boxes would spill out all over the outside bay, if your lucky, if not, they would pull away and the initial jerking doesnt spill it, it would when they hit a bump and spill over the traffic lane, a few hundred feet away, getting the boxes runover by other trucks. and if its a really fun day, the portable roller systems we use in the flat beds, which attach to the shoots, would still be in the trailer too, so when they pulled away, a huge roller unit weighing over 1000lbs would also fall onto the boxes.

ok, enough typing for now...
 

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I had something very similar happen to me. If you had it insured, and buyer will swear he didn't receive it (and didn't sign for it either), then you should be fine after UPS allows for time for it to miraculously "show up" in their warehouses or something. I think I waited 45 days or something. Bottom line, if it wasn't insured, then there's no happiness here.
 

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There's a very large picture of a FedEx main depo upsort line at my local office, that shows a line as long as you can see of these huge 12' wide down to 4' wide shutes at a 45' angle, filled to overflowing with big huge boxes and TV boxes and etc. on top of little tiny boxes, etc. I could never figure out why they would actually show that nightmare in one of their retail offices, not like it's a selling point of how much care your package would receive ;)
 

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Rich..... who are you using for shipping guitars? Have you "lost" any yet or gotten scammed? You probably have a ton more experience that the rest of us combined.
 
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