Just a bit of advice for those shipping heavy items to buyers.

FedEx has indicated that it is their policy NOT TO REIMBURSE shippers / buyers for the damage to the container of a shipment - you must replace the container at your own cost.  

UPS has confirmed that it is their policy TO REIMBURSE shippers / buyers for the damage to the container of a shipment - provided you provide sufficient proof of loss.  

This happened to me this week.  FedEx destroyed an expensive box containing an amplifier I purchased on Audiogon.  The shipper filed the claim for replacement of the box, which cost $150 from the manufacturer, and FedEx denied the claim - because they do not insure the container - ONLY THE CONTENTS.  The shipper had foolproof proof of loss.  Yet FedEx would not reimburse him.  The shipper did have a new box sent to me - but, he had to absorb the entire cost of the damage caused by FedEx.  

The only recourse the buyer has is to simply "reject" the shipment and FedEx will return it to the seller at the seller's cost.  In this instance, I conferred with the shipper, and he decided to have me accept the shipment and he would replace the box.  But... it was a costly lesson.  

This is the socond time this has happened to me - FedEx has damaged a container, during shipment.  So - it is a frequent enough occurence that it will be my policy in the future to ship only via UPS.  
I have had enough things destroyed by UPS that them and USPS will never get my business, FedEx is the only shipper I use and have never had an issue. 

Ok I understand the frustration about the expensive container being damaged. Have you considered the fact that, if its that nice of a box then the seller should have placed IT in another container to prevent damage during shipping. I know a thing or two about shipping high end equipment, and you really have to overpack to insure things like this do not happen. Don't blame the shipping company IMO you should plan for the worst. I used to work for UPS in the 80's. And I always use FEDEX because its close to my house....never a problem, because I PACK they dont. (that way if anything goes wrong I can only blame myself) The seller should have split the cost with you at the very least IMHO.

Matt M
I think you both missed the point.

The point is... the FedEx policy vs that of UPS.  UPS policy does reimburse the shipper for damage to the container... and... FedEx policy does not.  

How much simpler can I make it.  

It has nothing to do with what you "think," or what you "prefer."  

Both companies honor their insurance of contents... but... only UPS does so with regard to the container.

So, if you don't want to incur the cost to replace the container... then... only UPS will insure it and replace it.  

The rest is moot.
FedEx one shipment was to be delivered tues then they changed to wed for no reason .One week latter i had records with a delivery date of sat.I checked it was on the truck near me suddenly it said it would not be delivered until tues because of bad weather it was 50 and sunny.They are real turkeys.

bassdude, I agree that the FedEx policy sounds ridiculous, but with Hifi gear, it's always safer to double-box.
As a former UPS employee who worked on the line sorting and unloading trucks, knowing how those packages are handled behind the scenes, turned me into a FedEx customer.

In industry ratings, UPS has the best "on time" delivery record, but has been highest in damages reported.
I get your issue with FedEx, they won't replace boxes. So what? In the final analysis though, all costs have to be taken into consideration. I ship FedEx because it's cheaper than UPS, and more convenient for me, end of story.

Now, if you would rather pay the extra costs for years just in case you may cash in on that insurance policy one day with a box, you are free to do so.

I have been shipping FedEx for 20+ years, and this has not been an issue. I have had shipping damage claims, but not for damaged boxes. All carriers have shipping damage, it's part of the trade.
reality is different UPS has very high probability to destroy even bullet proof packaging and void reimbursments at all possible costs
I am going to stick with Fedex as they are always cheaper than UPS by a significant amount every time i ship
UPS really suck. The brown Gorillas are playing football with the customers packages in their warehouse. 

You should try to go in court with FEDEX....
Good luck

That's what boxes are for - to be destroyed to save their content. If this is intolerable to some just double-box yeah. $150 is very big money in audiophile world, this story put me to tears.
The only things I would ship UPS  are books and bowling balls. They truly suck IMO.

No I got your point, and took that all for granted in the first place, you missed my point that I wouldn't ship UPS under any circumstances even if they shipped for free and guaranteed the box.
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Boxes are meant to take shipping punishment in order to save the contents.  If you want to save the "box", you will need to put it in a sacrificial box to protect the original box.
I've used both and have never had a bad experience with either, with one exception.

When I sold my NAD Masters Series components (3 cartons), shipping from Maryland to Colorado, the buyer could only accept and sign for the shipment from home, after hours, a service FedEx offers, but one which I could not do on their website (high value).  When I got to the local FedEx store they clipped me for about $150 more than shipping for daytime delivery.

When I sell, my most local drop off point is my local UPS Store.  If an item is valued at over $999, I am required to print off a form, meet the driver at the store and have him sign for it, no problem, as he's there from about 5:30pm for 20-30 minutes.  Apparently UPS had troubles dropping off high value items at those franchised UPS Stores.
There are many high-end manufacturers/dealers that will not ship UPS, nor except UPS shipments. I have experienced far too many horror stories first hand, of damaged gear. They will NEVER see my business. (period) FedEx has (knock on wood) never damaged or lost a thing for me, so guess who has my account?!
No doubt the only safe way to ship "high-dollar," heavy, bulky equipment is SBA or BAX - forget about FedEx and UPS.

They may be fine for smaller, less expensive shipments, but not for "the good stuff."

See the "Amps Forum" post by someone who is far more experienced and knowledgeable than anyone posting above.


See the "Amps Forum" post by someone who is far more experienced and knowledgeable than anyone posting above.

bassdude, you have convinced me....you must work for UPS!!
No other explanation.
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UPS blows...... I've used FedEx for over 15 years and shipped many items on a daily bases and not 1 incident ...  if you want the shipping box protected put it in another box..  UPS will tell you what ever you want to hear
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FedEx absolutely destroyed a pair of $3000 loudspeakers, beyond belief destruction, then tried to settle for $1200 despite our insured and provable value of $3000.   Only after we threatened to create a website: www.howfedexdestroyedourproduct.com did they settle.  Very bad experience with FedEx.  
Just to weigh in on this - I bought a factory-refurbished Denon AVR recently from a Denon-authorized dealer that was shipped FedEx. I purchased on a Weds, it shipped on Weds 20 min. later with an immediate email from FedEx offering me a tracking number and various special delivery options. I was informed it would be delivered on Friday, and because I could only be home after a certain time I paid extra to schedule a delivery window on Friday evening between 5pm-8pm. 

On Thursday afternoon my delivery date was changed to Saturday in a follow up email. No reason given. Tracking indicated that my package sat idle in a warehouse for 23 hours. On Friday morning I contacted FedEx customer service to complain since I paid for a specific delivery window on a specific date. It was clear from the email I received in response that the customer service rep either had not read or had not understood my complaint, as he simply indicated that my package would be delivered during my 5pm-8pm delivery window... the day after scheduled delivery. He was not the slightest
bit apologetic about this. 

I attempted to rearrange my Saturday schedule to accommodate. FedEx missed the delivery window. At 8:15pm I left for the appointment I would now be considerably late for. At 9:30pm the driver called me and left a voicemail to the effect that he was leaving my "signature required" package in between the doors at my apartment. 5 minutes later he called back and told my voicemail that he was leaving the package with a neighbor across the street and two doors down - a neighbor I had never met and did not know at all. He gave this person my phone number. 

While my neighbor turns out to *not* be a dangerous psychopath serial killer, and ultimately I picked up my new AVR from her the following morning, I think you'll understand why I fall into the "Never Again FEDEX" camp. We seem to have come a long long way from the days of "When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight" to "We don't really give a shit if it gets there at all, and we don't mind distributing your personal contact information to strangers along the way." 

What a troll ... all we have here are anecdotal experiences.

Having said that, here's a tip (whether you're a FedEx or UPS fanboy) ...

Use nylon strapping on your cartons.  It's a $150.00 investment in the tensioning and crimping tools but well worth it.  What does it accomplish in addition to holding the carton together?  It ensures manual handling and your precious cargo doesn't travel on those long, inclined roller/ramps. 

This eliminates both the risk of the package taking a 12 foot fall off the high point of the ramp, as well as there being a 100 pound carton (immediately behind/above yours) slamming into your shipment.

Thom @ Galibier Design
Wow... when I started this thread... I had no idea it would elicit all of these great incidents and suggestions of how to prevent destruction of your shipment by FedEx and UPS.

Keep em’ comin’

But... in the meantime... give us the link to where / how to get "nylon strapping / tensioning system."

What we need from this thread is how to prevent damage to expensive equipment, during shipping. That’s not FedEx... or... UPS.

But... it may be SBA or BAX.

I can tell you one thing... I will not... entrust expensive items to either one - FedEx or UPS.

But... maybe... SBA or BAX.

Ooops... I’m repeating myself...

Oh... well... after 4 glasses of an incredible wine - I’m sure you can understand!

Or... I’ll make dam’n sure the seller bears "risk of loss" if shipped via FedEx or UPS.

And... make sure you pay via PayPal / Credit Card - that will reimburse you if you do not receive the shipment undamaged, in the condition described by seller.

These are "no-brainer" suggestions to protect you.

You should do the same.
I was sitting in my living room one day and UPS pulled up. I was waiting for delivery of a tube amplifier and was hoping this was it. It wasn't a large or extremely heavy unit but the driver in his rush took a step out the door of his truck and dropped it. It fell hitting the bottom step of the truck and landed on the pavement. He proceeded to scoop it up and headed to my door. Well, thought I, do you suppose he will say anything? After the usual "How you doin'" he thrusts his signature pad out. So I sez, sez I " I saw you drop the box. I will not accept delivery until I open it and examine the contents AND make sure it will work." He sez "Oh, you saw that? Heh heh" Upon opening I found one of the tubes was smashed. That was all it took. I refused delivery due to damage, called the seller and told him what happened. All worked out in the end but this cured me of UPS once and for all. 
Absolutely never use UPS, they SUCK. Ruined insured amp, fought for weeks to only get partial payment. 
We checked with an Audio Dealer who ships a lot, and he advised us not to use FedEx, because they do use a lot of poorly trained contract drivers (many who do not speak English and who do not care how they handle shipments - they're much less costly).  UPS does not do that.   

He also advised us to wrap the Mfrs packaging (usually 2 boxes) in bubble wrap, enclosed in additional outer box (3rd box), marked "Fragile, Do Not Stack, Do Not Drop," and insure the item for greater than $5000.  He said UPS uses "special handling" for these packages, because of the increased value and cost if damaged in shipment.  

He advised that other than using a freight carrier (SBA, or DAX) that would be the safest way to ship high value goods.  

But... in the meantime... give us the link to where / how to get "nylon strapping / tensioning system."
Well, prices have gone up since I equipped Galiber’s infrastructure with these tools, but if a few buddies buy and sell a few times/year, you might want to do a group buy.

I picked my tools up at a local shipping supply, so other than the general good quality of Uline’s products (in the links below), I can’t vouch for these from direct experience. They appear to be the same general construction however.

They don’t make it easy for you to figure out, and you might be well served to check out a local shipping supply company to walk you through this.

BTW, I learned about the manual handling requirement from a fellow who was involved in the design of FedEx’s Memphis depot. I’d be very surprised if UPS’s facilities don’t follow the same procedures from this perspective.

You need two tools.

The first one is used to tension the strap, hold it in place and cut the loose end after crimping the two ends together:


The second is the crimping tool (poly strapping sealer) that you used to "join" the nylon strap with steel cleats:

The consumables consist of a spool of nylon/polyester tape along with the metal cleats to join/crimp the ends together:

Their strapping page is a bit confusing

The S-1243 (1/2" wide x .028" thick seems to be the stuff) I just measured my strapping material (nylon? polyester?) and it’s plenty strong at .017" thick. I’m a bit surprised at the high pricing for the material, as Uline’s tools are quite reasonable in comparison.

These are the cleats (the open variety - match the width of your tape - i.e. 1/2"):

Thom @ Galibier Design
There really is little recourse with UPS or FedEx for damaged high end electronics. Neither will pay full damages for anything less than a forklift blade through the faceplate of your reference amp. The only way to ship expensive gear is to encase it in foam inside a cardboard box placed inside a wood box.
Crush proof and shock proof. Don't use bubble wrap or styro for anything heavy...it will be dropped often, and stryo and bubble wrap only give you ONE drop before losing their cushion.
Take pics of what you ship(and how it was packed)and keep evidence of what you paid to acquire it in case they lose it(very rare). They will only pay what it cost you...not what you insured it for.

18 years, and untold number of Audiogon transactions, I’ve always shipped FedEx - And never experienced a single issue.
Here's my recent FEDEX & UPS experiences - FEDEX guy hand carried each of my 95 lb Daedalus speakers from the end of the truck to my front door and gently put them down.  UPS guy dumped my 90 lb LineMagnetic amp off the back of the truck to my driveway and dragged the box across the driveway to my garage door; thankfully LineMagnetic solidily packages the amp so I had no problem. I was home for both events.
I mentioned this earlier . In Minnesota Fedex is significantly less expensive than UPS . Usually $10 - $30 per package . When shipping frequently it adds up .
Twenty years experience shipping Vintage Drums via FedEx without a single instance of loss or damage. But I pack really well anyway; bubble wrap around each individual piece, cardboard between them all. I would never ship U.P.S., period.
Screw that. I'll never use UPS again after how they botched shipping a pair of really good monitors. They denied all culpability and washed their hands of the matter, even though the box and contents were plainly damaged because of shipping, not because of packing.

I'm using FedEx or freight from now on. 
UPS stock will be dropping soon as your giving these dudes a bad rap. WOW!!!

I love UPS (I am a UPS employee)
I should pass this thread onto my colleagues = ] 

I use Fed Ex ground for all my shipments and have had no problems.

Also, my experience is that Fed Ex is less costly.

Finally, if the OEM carton is so valuable, then buy another "shipping" carton within which to place it when you ship it. Common sense would tell you that no carrier is ever going to replace an outer carton, which by definition, is the shipping carton.

@blackjack616  I imagine the vast majority of UPS employees love and excel at their job - and there's a certain amount of social foundation in seeing that big brown truck pull up outside one's house with a box of good news! Still, it wasn't the rank-and-file employees so much as the denial of any responsibility for the damage. I felt as if a company that cared for the nuts and bolts would have lent more credence (not to mention NOT tossed the box around like it was sawdust).
I just shipped a pair of speakers via UPS, it was cheaper than Fedex, I doubled boxed and had UPS pack them up at the UPS store. I have faith they will arrive safe & sound to their new owner.....
Does UPS say they will honor their insurance with no questions... IF... they package them for shipment at their UPS store?  

Just curious if that makes claims simpler to resolve with UPS?

Or FedEx for that matter - if its packaged by the FedEx store?