How many shipments can audio equipment survive?


I’m sure many buyers and sellers on Audiogon have pondered this question. Assuming an audio component is otherwise very well cared for, how many times can it be shipped from one place to another before it gets damaged? I’m sure this depends on a number of factors:

  • Quality of packaging: Some manufacturers have really well thought out packaging that keeps the components snugly cushioned in custom molded clamshells with double boxes. Perhaps there are even packaging techniques that I haven’t even seen that work really well. I have also seen some packaging, even for really high quality components, that is poorly constructed and will fall apart after one or two shipments. For something really substantial like speakers, I know some companies will sell you brand new packaging if you need it. I once got a quote of around $250 for some new speaker packaging, not including shipping fees. Definitely not cheap, but perhaps worth the money if you’re trying to sell some goods and don’t want to limit yourself to local-only transactions.

  • Size and type of component. It seems to me that smaller electronic items the size of a large book would hold easily over multiple shipments. That just seems intuitive. In my mind, the most risky items would be big heavy amps (especially tubed) and speakers. Come to think of it, am I overly paranoid about that? Maybe high end audio components are more durable that I expect. In my mind, I picture internal parts like speaker crossovers, and amplifier circuit boards just popping loose eventually during a bumpy ride. Does that happen? If so, it would seem kind of silly given that so many high end components are extremely durable on the outside, perhaps even overbuilt.

I wonder how manufacturers think about this question when they ship their gear to audio shows all over the country, or perhaps even internationally. Do they sell off their gear at a discount after one show, or do they ship their stuff from place to place like “going on tour”? 

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you are overly paranoid about that
Agreed.  If you use the proper packaging for the item and it's still in good shape, the number of shipments won't really matter.  The concern over time is from the packaging material breaking down (i.e. cardboard deteriorating).  Or risks such as a fork lift piercing into a box and damaging the equipment. The actual shipping does not hurt electronics. 
In all the ausdio components I have bought and sold, most of the boxes were very rugged and would survive multiple trips.  The packaging on my ************* speakers (returned them) had the flimsiest box I had ever seen.  The cardboard was so thin, that I could put my finger right through the cardboard if pushed hard enough.  The styrofoam sheets that are part of the packaging had disintegrated on one of the speakers as Fed Ex demolished one of the cartons.  The box comes in 2 parts, a top half and bottom half and need to be taped together.  Not very sturdy.  I did mention it to the owner of the company, so perhaps they have changed packaging
I was up all night thinking about this  i would say 7 times max before its toast!!!

I am a pretty insane over-packer so I would say any piece of equipment, leaving aside extremely fragile items like turntables, can survive innumerable shipments if packed correctly.
Q)  How many shipments can audio equipment survive?     A)  Until something breaks!
Rodman +1
It's hard to say exactly, but on average, I would round it off to say:
3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510582
0974944592307816406286208998628034825342117067982148

LOL!

Noone has successfully shipped anything all the way across country. (Just a slight exaggeration. Very slight.)

each shipment will increase probability of damage.
Interesting question which is a by-product of the world-wide secondary market that the internet has facilitated.  I don't think the packaging is the only variable.  Leaving aside the gorillas at OOOOPS and the other guys, another variable is the way the piece is put together internally.  This is especially true with amplifiers with big and heavy power and output xformers.  I won't name names but some of the highly respected names don't appear to be cognizant of the interia a heavy piece can develop as it falls from one conveyor belt to another inside those high speed, multi-level sorting centers.  I've also seen large caps held in place with hot glue only.  
"42" Silly Rabbit!
Post removed 
Haha, There’s no @Convert! It’s a software issue and you’re seeing portion of script.

Instead of member’s icon or avatar you see the portion of graphic script.
To my view affected members with graphic avatar while members with trivial letter icon are OK.
When hackers try to install malware, they by accident can throw some character or stream that overrides legit code.
I know that I might be wrong and there’s nothing wrong in being wrong, but
I’m very fanatic to protect my personal funds and/or assets.
@czarivey I'm a bit confused by your message, but I do see this script laid over things I'm supposed to see on this webpage. I took a screenshot and sent to Audiogon support. 
OP, Nothing to be confused about. 
Prior post of Rodman999 with reference to @Convert as member was for some reason was removed so I believe even meaningful post can get deleted weather they comply or not with posting policy of Audiogon.

I always double box and use pool noodles cut to size to protect the stock box along with the equipment. Those conveyor belts travel at 25 mph. Don't forget, some ups fed ex and usps drivers drink early and often.
Yep always make sure that your package can simply be dropped from the plane with or without parachute and surve impact
IME it mostly depends on the weight. Of course appropriate packaging is a given necessity. I’ve had poor experiences with shippers and amplifiers over about 75 lbs, in heavy cardboard boxes, even well packaged. Most people forget about shock damage. Very few Fedex and UPS drivers are Hercules, and, without a lift gate, not infrequently drop heavy parcels two plus feet to ground level and then grab their handcarts. Transmitted forces must go somewhere when the boxes are essentially undamaged....right to the internal components, disrupting circuit board components etc. I’m not demeaning shippers, as I think my drivers are diligent but human, have no help on the truck, but are expected to handle parcels up to 150 lbs. Not to forget packages moved from truck to truck at hubs along the way, conveyor belts etc. The only issues I’ve had with buyers (2) over 20 years was when I’ve sold a 100+ lb component and, after strongly urging 2 day air, they elected ground for savings. Long story short, both arrived with shock damage, boxes were relatively normal, and shippers denied both claims. Both had disrupted internal components on eventual repair. I split the costs of repair on both occasions but will not ship heavy items on my dime/insurance any longer.

an iPhone has an accelerometer in it...

so, you could find an app that records it and then ship the iPhone in a box to find out what is likely to happen in what type of box

in fact, I think this has been done to test wine shipping problems