Bad year for shipped guitars, is it just me?

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by MichaelHargis, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. MichaelHargis

    MichaelHargis Gretschie

    Apr 2, 2017
    Tucson, Az
    I buy, mod and sell a few guitars a year (avg around 100) and the norm has been about 3 to 4% are damaged in the mail due to poor handling. But this year the avg is 30 to 40% and not just scuffs and rubs, I'm talking guitars arriving in pieces shipped in their cases. The shipping boxes appear to be bent, folded, smashed, stepped on, you name it. Pic of the latest. It hurts my heart!
    Anyone else notice this? IMG_4883.JPG
    MKunie likes this.
  2. thunder58

    thunder58 I Bleed Orange

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    I purchased a guitar recently from Musicians Friend and there were no issues . Sorry to see you go through this
    MKunie and MichaelHargis like this.
  3. panhead6zero

    panhead6zero Synchromatic

    Jan 17, 2015
    The Motor City
    Sad how shippers have lost their work ethic. I remember in the mid 90's working as a purchasing agent. UPS decided to forego, their almost 100% reliability and go for volume. The execs figured the revenue would more than cover the damage costs.

    Been through St David quite a few times. Looks like a nice place!
    MichaelHargis likes this.
  4. Flouswa

    Flouswa Country Gent

    Wow, what the heck?

    I know I was very nervous when I had an acoustic shipped to me, but it arrived in pristine shape. Fed Ex 2 day delivery, not sure if one shipper is worse than the others.
    MichaelHargis likes this.
  5. dak55

    dak55 Synchromatic

    May 31, 2018
    Mills River NC
    Wow! I'm not sure how a Bigsby could come apart inside a case and a box regardless of handling. I've had no problems in stuff I've received or sent but not in the same league as you in terms of numbers. I always keep a small supply of quality new guitar boxes from Uline to send mine. This time of year especially though I think there will be a lot more bad package handling.

    MichaelHargis likes this.
  6. johnny g

    johnny g Synchromatic

    Sep 2, 2017
    union, ms
    Ordered a guitar case from MF for my 5420t and it had a big cut that went thru box. MF made it good with a new replacement. Hard to tell
    if it was UPS or MF. My advice is order from the big boys.
    thunder58 and MichaelHargis like this.
  7. Tinman46

    Tinman46 Country Gent

    Dec 19, 2011
    Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
    So what do you do when this happens? Seller coughs up, credit card buyer protection? Is it easy to get sorted out or a PITA?
    Never had it happen to me yet but in todays world I find myself buying more and more from online retailers and wonder what the course of action would be when stuff like this happens.
    MichaelHargis likes this.
  8. Grez

    Grez Electromatic

    Apr 29, 2015
    Petaluma, CA
    Just had one completely destroyed by the USPS. I think a forklift backed over it or something serious like that. Waiting to hear if they are going to fight me on the insurance. It sucks that we have to accept 2% or so going wrong.
    thunder58 and MichaelHargis like this.
  9. MichaelHargis

    MichaelHargis Gretschie

    Apr 2, 2017
    Tucson, Az
    I always buy insurance in one form or another to cover these costs but it saddens me every time a guitar shows up like this.
  10. MichaelHargis

    MichaelHargis Gretschie

    Apr 2, 2017
    Tucson, Az
    Flouswa, thunder58 and Grez like this.
  11. MichaelHargis

    MichaelHargis Gretschie

    Apr 2, 2017
    Tucson, Az
    Reverb has a great staff that always goes above expectations. They work very hard to please both buyer and seller. Not very common these days IMO.
    Telechamp and thunder58 like this.
  12. Flouswa

    Flouswa Country Gent

    This reminds me of the time a neighbor received a new computer CPU--and one of the drives was actually pushed in so hard that it was disconnected. I told him to demand (not ask for) a replacement as it had to have taken one heck of a hit for that to happen and I'd be concerned what other damage might have occurred that can't be seen.

    Anyone else remember the Samsonite gorilla commercials? Looks as though he's gotten a job with whoever you shipped this guitar through! That's so sad and appalling at the same time.
  13. musicman100

    musicman100 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2008
    Looks like it was damaged before shipping.

    Wow I wouldn’t say a 100 guitars are a few. More like a dealer
    panhead6zero and MichaelHargis like this.
  14. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Remember the song about United baggage handlers? Most of the people working in shipping/receiving aren't paid well, work long, hard days, and don't really care. Considering the increased volume of goods being sent across the world, it's not all that surprising.
    MichaelHargis likes this.
  15. Jockabilly

    Jockabilly Synchromatic

    Sep 15, 2018
    I don't know about the USA but there are some shocking practice in the UK shipping market. They cut so many corners to maximise profits while trying to keep shipping costs down. We have had instances recorded of delivery guys even hurling packages over the roofs of houses and squashing and bashing parcels to make them fit in their vans.

    Personally I have had a padded envelope delivered to me ripped and with some candy wrappers stuffed inside and another box torn all the way down one side and the contents missing.

    There is so much terrible waste as well as they choose to dump damaged stuff at the depot and let the sender put in an insurance claim rather than return it no matter even if the damage is no more than to packaging.

    I was talking to one chap, who delivers locally on a contract to a big company and he told me that, at the main depot, anything that wasn't accepted by the recipient due to damage, however minor, would just be chucked into a big dumpster and sent to landfill. An example he gave me was a shipping pallet full of bags of cement. One bag had been ripped and the recipient refused to accept the load. It was all chucked in the dumpster and sent to landfill when something like 49 bags of cement were undamaged. He said this goes on with everything no matter the value of the item and how minimal the damage.
  16. tdtom

    tdtom Gretschie

    Oct 26, 2018
    new zealand
    guess I'm one of the fortunate ones. my 2655 came from Indonesia, shipped to So Cal where it sat for a few months in a warehouse in San Bernardino. Then it shipped (who knows how?) to New Zealand. I took delivery and then found the infamous pick up volume pots issue with these. It was couriered back to the importer in NZ for inspection, (no faults found) then returned to me. No damages in all those trips. AND I'm getting used to playing at only full volume with the selector switch in both pickups position. Lucky Me?
  17. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    I had an Astro Jet neck broken in transit by UPS. I did have insurance so I ended up getting reimbursed. I was returning it to a seller as it wasn't as described.

    A few years ago I sent an acoustic to France. It was completely flattened, obviously something big dropped on top of it. No reimbursement then, luckily it wasn't very expensive.
  18. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    I sent a very well packed Jackson Randy Rhoads to Berlin (that`s 300 km fom here and not around the world).
    The RR is a neck-through instrument. It is considered to be structurally nearly indestructible. They managed to break the headstock.
    After months I got a full refund from DHL.
    I agreed with the buyer on a fair compensation for the repair and had a little money left in the end.

    A Tokai star arrived at my house with smashed body. It was sent from Japan and I had to go quite a long way to get money from the Japanese insurance.

    All these processes where very tiring and annoying.
    Never the less: Thank God for insurance companies.
  19. Jelly Roll Horton

    Jelly Roll Horton Gretschie

    Nov 10, 2017
    Portland, OR
    I know this isn’t an option for everyone, but I am fortunate (?) to live in a moderately sized city, and I try to buy locally as much as I can, especially from small locally owned shops. But sometimes the items just aren’t available, or the prices aren’t right. So far I have had good luck online with GC and Sweetwater, as well as an unknown clearance house on the other side of the US, which was the risky one (bought a Fender Tele A.S. at an incredible closing out sale price. Now my favorite non-Gretsch guitar). So far, so good; the sellers large and small seem to be as good about packing as they can be, but I cross my fingers every time I have to rely on any of the shipping companies, especially USPS!
  20. Joe M

    Joe M Electromatic

    Dec 6, 2018
    I just had a CS Nocaster delivered in perfect shape. True, it didn't travel far, from Chicago to Detroit, and took less than 24 hours. I'm sure with an outfit like CME, which always packs perfectly, there are probably few, if any, real problems. And, of course, it was a Tele, takes a lot to hurt one.....
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