"will ship at buyer's risk and expense"

Does anyone here on Audiogon actually fall for this?
I've seen ads like this on eBay, now I'm seeing them here. I'd never agree to any deal including this stipulation!
Dealing with the shipping companies is difficult enough.
At least they have one logical rule: The shipper files & follows through on any damage/loss claim.
The seller insures the package, for full value if they're smart/responsible. The seller eats any loss. That's the way it is.
What I always read into this remark is that if the component arrives and does not work (as it should) but, there is no evident box damage on which to base a claim against the shipper, the seller is going to claim that it worked fine when he shipped it and it must have been damaged intransit. As with you I immediately look elsewhere.
I could see this disclaimer if the seller states he strongly prefers to sell locally. If I have an item that is delicate, I may no want to ship it but I would if a buyer knew the risks were his/hers. It's the seller choice on how he or she wants to sell. It the buyers choice if they agree to terms or not.
My take on those adds:

1. The seller does not advise shipping...WARNING

2. If you want it bad enough to skip the warning then fine...I'm interested in the money and will let you take your chances.

3. Don't expect your money back from my pocket should something bad happen.

I'm with Newbee...I pass on these products. I would not sell in this manor myself though...my add would state pickup only for these types of components...I hate risk and or problems in my dealings.

I steer way clear of ads that state that, because I take responsibility for the safe arrival of anything I sell.
I would interpret this to mean simply that the buyer pays for the cost of shipping and the cost of insurance. The buyer takes the risk of damage in transit, since the buyer is the insured party.
One might not realise how many offers to buy there are from adds that emphasize--"Local pickup only".Of course it works if the prospective buyer "could" be coming over with dollars,in-hand.--- Then we have ship to "lower 48 ONLY",stated, and then have folk from China asking you to ship this item,to them. Obviously, these ain't adds for cables, either.-- I think intelligent folk can see/ understand what's at work here.--- The seller may not actually have a box of bricks 4sale.--- I have never stated in an add "will ship---.

The buyer is not the insured party...he's only paying for it.

It is true, it is the seller's responsibility to file damage claims but the buyer has to cooperate with information and maybe pictures. I once bought a piece that that was supposedly damaged in shipment and the seller said, "These things happen, but it was fine when it left here. Go ahead and see if you can get an insurance claim." After much machination, I got things settled another way, and came to find that the seller never took out the insurance. Terrible!

There is only one instance in which I've ever said something similar to a buyer and that is when a buyer says they wanted to buy and will pay for shipping but NOT for insurance. Usually, after saying that it is then their risk if damaged and that I would need their agreement to this in writing before I'll ship, insurance seems a better idea to them.
I have always assumed, and I believe that it is or should be a fundamental part of the rules of transaction for Audiogon, that the seller is totally responsible for the safe arrival of the shipment. That includes secure packing including double-boxing, full replacement value insurance (which is always mandatory in any posting I run), and of course the courier service itself. For both FedEx and UPS, only the seller/shipper can file a damage claim, though often that will require the full cooperation of the buyer since a visit by a claims representative may be necessary or required. In addition, the buyer should notify the seller of damage issues within 48 hours at most; buyer remorse is not the same as damage. In an attempt to minimize the possibility of any misunderstandings and other potential sources of friction, I will only sell to Audiogon members; and I avoid those with what I consider to be excessive negative feedback (and if there is zero feedback, I always request references).
The seller does not have to file the damage claims IF the seller waves his rights to the claim over to the buyer. All this takes is a signed document stating that the seller was transporting the buyer's property to them and that the item belongs to the buyer. The buyer is then free to file and collect on the claim and do with the damaged items as they see fit.

If one is adept at dealing with shipping companies, this may be the best route to go. If you are not adept at dealing shipping companies and insurance claims, the buyer is better off having the seller refund their money and letting them deal with the claim. If the seller has a selling clause like that mentioned above, the buyer shouldn't expect any form of refund, retribution or help in resolving the claim, so long as the item was properly packed and fairly represented to begin with.

If the shipper accepted the item for shipment and accepted funds for insuring the item, they can't legally refuse the claim so long as there is visible physical damage to the carton used to ship the item. This may end up in taking them to court, but once they accept the package into their possession and receive payment for insurance, they've acknowledged that the item met their shipping standards and that it was their responsibility to transport it safely.

This is a pretty cut and dried business transaction and one has to treat it as such. Shippers always try to make this a very complex procedure as the more complex it is, the less likely it is to get resolved. No resolution means no pay-out on their part, and that's their whole goal. Sean