What the ship just happened?

Needing a small, but dependable 2-channel amp, I saw one from ATI (AT 602) listed on Audiogon last week. The seller accepted my offer and I was confident things would go well due to his positive feedback. The amp was delivered today, but I was walking my dog down the main street through our town-home complex when the UPS truck pulled up in front of my home. I was about 300 feet away, and I clearly heard the impact when the driver dropped the box onto the concrete surface of my front porch. Of course, he was gone by the time I arrived and saw the box sitting at an angle, with a badly damaged corner (indicating he dropped it that way). The box could be described as being flimsy at best, and I felt my blood pressure rising when I lifted it and could feel the amp free to move around inside. Opening it up, I found the amp extremely well-wrapped in bubble-packing, which just added to my frustration. The amp was only 4" in height, but the box was 13" high and there was

minimal additional packing to keep the amp stationary during transit. I guess the UPS driver took his cue from all this and treated the package accordingly. The amp had a 1/4" chip in the front fascia corner, but survived otherwise. The seller obviously chose a box that he had handy, but one that was totally inappropriate for the job. Looking back, I should have stipulated that the seller use FedEx, but his feedback concerning shipping issues was good, so I felt like everything would be OK. Who was mainly at fault here, and what might have prevented this nagging situation?


I would never buy used.  I would demand a refund from the seller for not packaging this item properly.  If this was sold on Audiogon, I would ask them to intercede.  There must be requirements specified by Audiogon for people selling equipment through Audiogon.  I would have specified to seller they must insure the item being shipped.  Did you pay for this item using a credit card?  Normally, you can stop payment on the card.  Doesn’t Audiogon require sellers to use proper packaging?  If not, what purpose do they serve?  

Regarding Don Sach’s packaging, I’ve sent several items his way and half of our correspondence is about the packaging. I can’t imagine him being negligent in any way when it comes to packaging. Too, he makes a fine preamp. 

I always insist on insurance (as a seller and a buyer) and if the seller doesn't have original shipping  boxes, I'm willing to pay for them to have it packaged at the shipping store. Of course I request a receipt for the service. It's such a hassle with which to deal.

We use UPS only and never had a problem.  We never use Fed X for hi fi gear.  

FedEx drops boxes as well. I am leery of buying an amp without original boxes but no way would I pack an amp the way you have described.


Yes, FedEx or UPS, it doesn't matter.  Heavier the item the the rougher it will be handled.  A few yeas back, I had a 140 lb Jeff Rowland No 5 delivered in the original wood shipping case with all the original packing,   I actually met the driver at the street.  In order for the driver to get the package to the rear door of the truck, he flipped the create a few times letting it drop each time like he was handling a load of used auto parts.  I helped him lift it crate off the truck on once it was on the street, I told him I would take it from there.  

Once it was inside the house and the opened the crate, the amps look perfect, however, once I removed the top of the amp for an internal inspection, and both R + L channel plug-in modules were knocked out of their respective sockets and each had a number of pins bent.  Luckily, I could straighten the pins without breaking any of them and the amp worked perfectly.

The bottom line is FedEx Ground and UPS tend to handle heavy packages very roughly. Both of these companies ship many 70+ pound packages of kitty litter, dog food, and other heavy bulk items from Chewy and Amazon every day and your heavy amps will get treated just like these packages.