Shipping damage becoming a real issue

With several items ordered new in the last couple of months, that were delivered damaged, I wondered if the Audiogon community was seeing the same type of thing, i.e. irresponsible shipping services and more damage with the items you ship. I realize that in the future we may all have to hand deliver gear to buyers when selling or to pick up gear in person from dealers when ordering new. Any thoughts?
Jond, the last three items I've ordered new from dealers have been mishandled. This has led to cosmetic damage that a dealer ultimately tried to worm his way out of (from a Japanese product whose company is favored by Art Dudley, writer for Stereophile), I've had another whose box was openly barrel rolled on my driveway by UPS (an Audio Research product) two weeks ago, and a Nagra component whose outer box was destroyed when FedEx arrived at the door yesterday. It seems like its gotten very hazardous to have gear shipped and risk being stuck in a bad position or have to get crossways with a dealer. Would you guys sign for this stuff or protect yourselves by taking no chances and having the gear sent back to the dealer?
Damaging begins w/ the seller and how well the item is packed. Then, it falls on the carrier (UPS,FedEX or USPS).

Luckily, I have great services in my area via the (3) carriers as above. I know that it can be a different story
for others across the nation.

Keep me posted & Happy Listening!
If it looks damaged it probably is. Anyway, I'd not take any chances and refuse it.
Nothing is safe--your carton will be thrown, gaff hooked, dropped, rolled, booted, gored--a heavy-duty outer box containing the factory carton is mandatory and should be insisted upon. A box that was new when sent arrives looking like it's 20 years old--filthy, mashed corners, torn, gouged--there is no excuse for this from a shipping service. The seller should be spending $20-50 on cartons, styrofoam and tape.
I wish someone would start a white-glove courier service, where orders are collected from a metro area and driven to another metro area. Sellers and buyers would have to converge at certain points--it would take much longer and would be expensive, but safe. Otherwise, sellers and buyers could each agree to drive 100-200 miles to meet, making regional transactions, or a long road trip would be alright for a large purchase.