Author Topic: Hall of Fame: eBay Shipping Vs. Murphy's Law  (Read 2640 times)

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Offline RaymondMackTopic starter

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Hall of Fame: eBay Shipping Vs. Murphy's Law
« on: September 28, 2023, 06:21:05 am »
So there I was: innocently looking though my personal files as I backed up my old PC before upgrading, and I stumbled across a folder I had made of all the broken equipment I've received from eBay over the past year. It really put into perspective how naive some sellers are when shipping vintage equipment that is either really delicate or really heavy. Or, as is often the case, both. It's like they want to tempt fate with terrible packing, poor or non-existent package materials or too small of box (or bubble mailer). Relying, instead, on cute "Hang in there!" posters for moral support, silent prayers to dubious deities for luck, and a spritz of wishful thinking for good measure rather than industry "best practices" on how not to have things break in transit.

But I digress. Rather than extol the mediocrity that is eBay, I present eBay Shipping Vs. Murphy's Law:
 
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Offline Berni

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Re: Hall of Fame: eBay Shipping Vs. Murphy's Law
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2023, 09:12:42 am »
Ouch, yep i had a fair few similar ones.

It is how i found that adjustable wrenches are nice tools for clamping around the sheet metal housing and use the wrench as leverage to straiten it back out.
 
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Offline Stray Electron

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Re: Hall of Fame: eBay Shipping Vs. Murphy's Law
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2023, 10:29:46 pm »
   My only question is weather that was USPS or UPS?
 

Offline Berni

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Re: Hall of Fame: eBay Shipping Vs. Murphy's Law
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2023, 05:00:32 am »
UPS certainly is capable of it:
 
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Offline AVGresponding

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Re: Hall of Fame: eBay Shipping Vs. Murphy's Law
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2023, 05:12:36 am »
No pic but I had a HP 8570A arrive stretch-wrapped to a pallet... (naturally it was raining too)
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Online coppercone2

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Re: Hall of Fame: eBay Shipping Vs. Murphy's Law
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2023, 05:24:57 am »
there was this youtube video of a chinese shipping company loading a cargo container and it basically looked like kung fu boot camp with dudes drop kicking boxes to wedge them into place and jumping on them.

it looked like that shit was about to overcome electron degeneracy pressure. Since then I believe china post is the leader in fusion related research. One of these days we will see shenzen wiped off the map in a terrible accident
« Last Edit: September 29, 2023, 05:28:23 am by coppercone2 »
 

Offline tautech

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Re: Hall of Fame: eBay Shipping Vs. Murphy's Law
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2023, 06:17:00 am »
there was this youtube video of a chinese shipping company loading a cargo container and it basically looked like kung fu boot camp with dudes drop kicking boxes to wedge them into place and jumping on them.

it looked like that shit was about to overcome electron degeneracy pressure. Since then I believe china post is the leader in fusion related research. One of these days we will see shenzen wiped off the map in a terrible accident
Due to inaccuracy of US GPS coordinates ?

Mods, delete this post and the previous.
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Offline AVGresponding

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Re: Hall of Fame: eBay Shipping Vs. Murphy's Law
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2023, 09:24:09 am »
Why? It's amusing, and I'd be surprised if you haven't seen the video the post refers to
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Offline factory

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Re: Hall of Fame: eBay Shipping Vs. Murphy's Law
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2023, 06:26:44 pm »
Edit: Deleted, this thread is a mess....

David
« Last Edit: September 30, 2023, 11:39:58 am by factory »
 

Online coppercone2

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Re: Hall of Fame: eBay Shipping Vs. Murphy's Law
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2023, 09:15:00 pm »
in case someone does not understand, the point is that eventually a shipping company (evidence points to china) is gonna beat so much crap into a shipping container that it will achieve a fusion reaction, neutronium or possibly a black hole

it gave me an idea for a new IEC quality specification, the test is that it survives repeated overseas shipping. It would be nice to get away from the expensive mechanical test equipment required to perform these tests. kind of like a gang initiation.

And you need to factor in handle replacement for TE purchases, at least I do, because I am scared a cast-repair weld job is gonna result in a severed toe if it fails.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2023, 09:20:48 pm by coppercone2 »
 

Offline tv84

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Re: Hall of Fame: eBay Shipping Vs. Murphy's Law
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2023, 09:46:52 pm »
in case someone does not understand, the point is that eventually a shipping company (evidence points to china) is gonna beat so much crap into a shipping container that it will achieve a fusion reaction, neutronium or possibly a black hole

It was too deep for me but now I give it huge credits!  :-+ ;D
 

Offline schmitt trigger

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Re: Hall of Fame: eBay Shipping Vs. Murphy's Law
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2023, 10:53:36 pm »
I don’t purchase from TEMU, but my wife does a lot.
Most of her orders are handicrafts material for her classes.
Even though it is lightweight, about 1/4 of everything arrives crushed or damaged.
If you have ordered from TEMU, the orders arrive in a bubble bag, with items shoved in individual plastic bags without any protection.
When she complains, I tell her that is the hidden price from ordering such cheap supplies.

I know, I know; this isn’t test equipment. But the issue is still relevant: proper shipping and handling do cost money, and in order to minimize costs, many shippers feel the pressure to skimp on it.
 

Offline tautech

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Re: Hall of Fame: eBay Shipping Vs. Murphy's Law
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2023, 11:24:29 pm »
in case someone does not understand, the point is that eventually a shipping company (evidence points to china) is gonna beat so much crap into a shipping container that it will achieve a fusion reaction, neutronium or possibly a black hole
::)
You really have no idea.
How much shipping from Asia do you actually do, let's say in the last 10 yrs as I have and never, I repeat never received a damaged instrument.
Whereas a 100+lb machine I shipped across the US to be containered in LA arrived here with parts falling from its packaging.
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Online CatalinaWOW

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Re: Hall of Fame: eBay Shipping Vs. Murphy's Law
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2023, 11:32:39 pm »
in case someone does not understand, the point is that eventually a shipping company (evidence points to china) is gonna beat so much crap into a shipping container that it will achieve a fusion reaction, neutronium or possibly a black hole
::)
You really have no idea.
How much shipping from Asia do you actually do, let's say in the last 10 yrs as I have and never, I repeat never received a damaged instrument.
Whereas a 100+lb machine I shipped across the US to be containered in LA arrived here with parts falling from its packaging.

China doesn't deserve all the blame, but the joke is still funny.

I also see totally different reasons for the damage in the two countries.  In China they are trying to squeeze every last bit of value out of everything, so tight packing is a must.  In the US it is a combination of incompetence (not understanding how to protect shipments) and laziness (just not willing to take the effort to handle things properly).  The second part is baked into US culture as is reflected by milspec requirements for shipping containers.  They include requirements for dropping things from 5 to 30 meters and rolling shipping boxes down long hills in addition to all the shake rattle and roll from tracked vehicles, aircraft landings and parachute drops.
 

Offline tautech

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Re: Hall of Fame: eBay Shipping Vs. Murphy's Law
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2023, 11:36:53 pm »
in case someone does not understand, the point is that eventually a shipping company (evidence points to china) is gonna beat so much crap into a shipping container that it will achieve a fusion reaction, neutronium or possibly a black hole
::)
You really have no idea.
How much shipping from Asia do you actually do, let's say in the last 10 yrs as I have and never, I repeat never received a damaged instrument.
Whereas a 100+lb machine I shipped across the US to be containered in LA arrived here with parts falling from its packaging.

China doesn't deserve all the blame, but the joke is still funny.
Not from where I sit.
It's blatant China bashing and little else.
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Offline Co6aka

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Re: Hall of Fame: eBay Shipping Vs. Murphy's Law
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2023, 12:24:27 am »
Even funnier are the buyers who "complain" about the increased shipping cost of proper packaging... "Can't you just drop it in a stamped envelope?"  :-DD They demand that 20 pieces just squeezes into a flat rate envelope/box (leaving zero space for even a single air molecule; forget packing materials) so that's all they're gonna pay for shipping (lots of "!!!") and otherwise I'm a lowlife thieving shipping scammer (more "!!!") charging orders of magnitude more than it actually costs.  >:D

Prolly shipped more than 50,000 packages successfully since 1999 (packed for at least a six-foot drop at every interchange) but certainly received fewer than ten thank-yous for proper packaging.
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Online coppercone2

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Re: Hall of Fame: eBay Shipping Vs. Murphy's Law
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2023, 02:01:07 am »
this is very mild but it is shenzen
https://youtube.com/shorts/zjdpz05u2DY?si=J2_G2GFikxOA14yV

the good video.. disappeared  >:(

but in a nut shell, check out how your package does against the 'mighty foot' to ensure test equipment integrity
« Last Edit: September 30, 2023, 02:05:18 am by coppercone2 »
 

Offline KungFuJosh

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Re: Hall of Fame: eBay Shipping Vs. Murphy's Law
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2023, 04:19:26 am »
this is very mild but it is shenzen
https://youtube.com/shorts/zjdpz05u2DY?si=J2_G2GFikxOA14yV

the good video.. disappeared  >:(

but in a nut shell, check out how your package does against the 'mighty foot' to ensure test equipment integrity

That's not impressive. Shipping centers in the US are the same or worse. I had a friend who worked for UPS as a loader. His whole group pronounced UPS as "oops." They'd toss shit on the truck, and if they heard something shatter or break, they shrugged, said "oops" and carried on.
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Offline AVGresponding

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Re: Hall of Fame: eBay Shipping Vs. Murphy's Law
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2023, 06:31:32 am »
in case someone does not understand, the point is that eventually a shipping company (evidence points to china) is gonna beat so much crap into a shipping container that it will achieve a fusion reaction, neutronium or possibly a black hole
::)
You really have no idea.
How much shipping from Asia do you actually do, let's say in the last 10 yrs as I have and never, I repeat never received a damaged instrument.
Whereas a 100+lb machine I shipped across the US to be containered in LA arrived here with parts falling from its packaging.

China doesn't deserve all the blame, but the joke is still funny.
Not from where I sit.
It's blatant China bashing and little else.

No it's not. Stop reading more into something than exists.

https://youtu.be/zjdpz05u2DY


Most of us have had both good and bad experiences with a multitude of carriers; I really don't like DHL much, does that make me a Germany basher?

The spec-an that came cling-wrapped to a pallet came via Hermes (as was) from a UK seller. Am I Brit bashing by mentioning it?
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Offline watchmaker

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Re: Hall of Fame: eBay Shipping Vs. Murphy's Law
« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2023, 01:15:42 pm »
We restore vintage navigational timepieces (chronometers).  Been doing it for almost 40 years now.  We KNOW how to ship and have shipped many overseas with only customs as the problem.

Recently sent a chronometer to a licensed captain.  Actually second time.  Both times it was delivered to his home in Baltimore.  First time we ate it, said, "well... coulda been us".  The second time the cartons were thrown off a roof and driven over.  $1K of damage.  Did NOT eat that.  UPS paid for it.

Without a doubt, it was his driver.  Twice in one route?  I shipped it to him at work at the Pilots and Mates School.  No problems.

Told the story to UPS who did not care.  So it goes.  FedEx would not have paid.
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Offline RaymondMackTopic starter

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Re: Hall of Fame: eBay Shipping Vs. Murphy's Law
« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2023, 07:55:22 pm »
   My only question is weather that was USPS or UPS?

The first HP PSU was USPS, but that box was way, way too small and soft (cardboard felt like a wet paper towel). For small, light items USPS has been great (so long as the item is padded).
The second HP PSU was UPS, but the guy who shipped it just straight-up wrapped it in cardboard... I'm amazed the rear heatsink fins weren't broken like the first. (These 6000A series PSUs are super fragile!)
The Boonton standard capacitor was USPS, but... a bubble mailer with no padding or bracing doesn't protect anything. So I don't blame USPS here.
The HP 8175A was FedEx. The box was large enough but the shipper put the front panel right next to the edge/corner of the box and filled the remaining space with bubble wrap. Had it been centered, with bubble wrap padded *around it*--keeping it centered--it would have arrived okay.
The HP optical power meter latch might have been cracked already, but it broke free in the packaging. It came from Canada via UPS. It wasn't packaged very well, but I'll chock this one up to the seller not disclosing the damaged latch. I don't blame UPS here.
The last image with two HP 6000A series PSUs was FedEx, but the seller shipped this like a buffoon. Who sets two PSUs *directly* against one another? For god's sake, at least put a sheet of cardboard between them... And stacking them sideways is probably why the displays fell off. But who knows. These things are like fabergé eggs.

Over-all I'd rate USPS (in my area) to be 10/10 for small things and 6/10 for larger stuff on not breaking things and 10/10 on shipping speed (they move packages through their network on Sundays and even holidays, UPS and FedEx ground don't do that). UPS gets a 4/10 on heavy stuff and 8/10 for small stuff (almost every Amazon package is crushed regardless of how light or small it is). Almost everything I get from UPS that is heavy or large is damaged. And it's not the end delivery guy's fault (I went to school with him, super nice guy). It's somewhere in the transit chain before him. Finally, FedEx is maybe a 7/10 for heavy/large items and 10/10 for small stuff. So yeah, I prefer FedEx, but most sellers I buy from use UPS. Every time I see a UPS tracking number, a small part of me dies inside.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2023, 08:28:32 pm by RaymondMack »
 

Offline RaymondMackTopic starter

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Re: Hall of Fame: eBay Shipping Vs. Murphy's Law
« Reply #21 on: September 30, 2023, 08:23:29 pm »
in case someone does not understand, the point is that eventually a shipping company (evidence points to china) is gonna beat so much crap into a shipping container that it will achieve a fusion reaction, neutronium or possibly a black hole
::)
You really have no idea.
How much shipping from Asia do you actually do, let's say in the last 10 yrs as I have and never, I repeat never received a damaged instrument.
Whereas a 100+lb machine I shipped across the US to be containered in LA arrived here with parts falling from its packaging.

China doesn't deserve all the blame, but the joke is still funny.

I also see totally different reasons for the damage in the two countries.  In China they are trying to squeeze every last bit of value out of everything, so tight packing is a must.  In the US it is a combination of incompetence (not understanding how to protect shipments) and laziness (just not willing to take the effort to handle things properly).  The second part is baked into US culture as is reflected by milspec requirements for shipping containers.  They include requirements for dropping things from 5 to 30 meters and rolling shipping boxes down long hills in addition to all the shake rattle and roll from tracked vehicles, aircraft landings and parachute drops.

For the record, I have never received a broken part from China. And most of the packages are bubble mailers. So, clearly, they are doing something right. But so is USPS, since they are often the end deliverer after customs. As for domestic Chinese shipping, I couldn't say.

As for the US, second hand sellers (on eBay, Amazon, and so on) are just normal people who often don't know anything about proper shipping. It is not laziness or incompetence, but rather ignorance. They simply don't know any better. That said, sellers who do ship regularly, and continue to use horrible shipping practices (after receiving feedback to their crap shipping), are lazy/incompetent. But that isn't just a US thing. I get packages from Canada that are shipped like crap too. So I would never use laziness/incompetence as a blanket statement, it really doesn't represent sellers as a whole--or the US in general. Many sellers I buy from do in fact provide much better packaging than is required (usually polyurethane spray foam padding). Ignorance is ultimately the issue here. One-off sales from people who rarely, if ever, ship a package or misers/buffoons who do ship frequently are the problem.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2023, 08:25:48 pm by RaymondMack »
 

Offline RaymondMackTopic starter

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Re: Hall of Fame: eBay Shipping Vs. Murphy's Law
« Reply #22 on: September 30, 2023, 08:45:52 pm »
[...]
Without a doubt, it was his driver.  Twice in one route?  I shipped it to him at work at the Pilots and Mates School.  No problems.

Told the story to UPS who did not care.  So it goes.  FedEx would not have paid.

I have the same problem with UPS. It frustrates me to no end. It's not my delivery guy's fault either (I've talked with him about it). Problem for me, comes down to sellers thinking I'm being dishonest when I report a damaged item. UPS won't let recipients file damage claims. So I'm forced to work with sellers on filing them. Last year I bought two large, heavy pieces of Tektronix/HP equipment from the same seller and BOTH arrived damaged... The seller refused to believe me, despite ample photos of the packages before being opened and while unpacking them, CSI Miami style. He thought *I* was the one who damaged them. It was insane. Said he had never had a damaged claim before--which is hard to believe. Ironically, he used very poor packaging technique: two layers of quarter-inch bubble wrap and too small of boxes. Probably would have ended up damaged though FedEx with how he packaged them. Some semi-rigid foam with cutouts for the knobs and other protrusions would have worked a whole lot better. Bubble wrap is really only good for small, light stuff--not massive/heavy equipment.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2023, 08:49:01 pm by RaymondMack »
 

Offline tautech

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Re: Hall of Fame: eBay Shipping Vs. Murphy's Law
« Reply #23 on: September 30, 2023, 08:54:58 pm »
Heavy/multiple shipments are easy.
Knock together a custom pallet and bind all boxes to it and with a roll of cling film packaging wrap cover the lot well and before the last few layers add address labels and stacking instructions on all 5 visible faces like TOP STACK ONLY and FRAGILE if/when required.
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Offline RaymondMackTopic starter

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Re: Hall of Fame: eBay Shipping Vs. Murphy's Law
« Reply #24 on: October 01, 2023, 10:25:43 pm »
Heavy/multiple shipments are easy.
Knock together a custom pallet and bind all boxes to it and with a roll of cling film packaging wrap cover the lot well and before the last few layers add address labels and stacking instructions on all 5 visible faces like TOP STACK ONLY and FRAGILE if/when required.

That only works for commercial locations in the US. Most freight shipments do not ship to home address because the semi-trucks (or box-trucks) they use cannot get in and out of most residential locations. Or have a dock / room to use a pallet jack (i.e., gravel driveways makes them pointless). That said, sometimes they will ship to residences, and my god, I have personally witnessed the most amazing driving skills maneuvering a massive truck into seemingly impossible to fit locations.

Anyways, the simplest answer for second-hand sellers is foam: Either soft or semi-rigid sheets coupled with a little bit of bubble wrap (to avoid scratches on the equipment) can stop most damage. If the equipment has protrusions, use cut-outs in the foam and layer the foam in sheets. The next is using a box with sturdy cardboard (soft cardboard boxes should be tossed) with around 1.5 to 2 inches of spare space *around* the item. This provides enough room for padding to dampen any impacts and stop most damage. At this point UPS or FedEx should be able to deliver even heavy equipment without issue.

For serious second-hand sellers with large volume of sales, polyurethane spray foam is the way to go. You can buy the grey plastic rolls and dispensing equipment to save time and money over using FedEx/UPS to package items. This is as close to commercial molded Styrofoam or other types of prefabricated inserts that small businesses can achieve.
 


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