Shipping: A lesson learned

I purchased a pair of Apogee Stages from a person who lives approx 150 miles from me. The speakers were shipped FedEx Express Saver (similar to UPS 3 day), at a cost of $115. I used this as I was once told by a Fedex employee, they were wrong, that Fedex ground doesn't have COD. Well, for some strange reason, Fedex Express Saver, although more expensive, takes longer than Fedex Ground. Ground would have taken 1 day, while Express Saver is "guaranteed" in 3 days or less. I was hoping that I would get the speakers today, but they didnt arrive

So for a short ride, it pays to pay less.
Just: That IS weird.
COD via FedX Ground can be complicated. At our local FedX office they will handle pickups for DHL (this is FedX ground) they will take your cash, but won't handle account-billed shipments or COD's for Ground service. You have to drive about 40 miles to the DHL office for those services, which I wasn't about to do. Buyer wanted COD so I couldn't accomodate him. I tried parcel post COD, but the clerk told me that I couldn't insure a COD parcel (makes no sense at all - I think she was just ignorant). UPS is out of the question, so the poor guy lost the deal as it then went to another more trusting party who paid me up front, as per usual.
Anyway I hope you enjoy your new speakers!
I would have made the drive.
Seems very pricey for $115 and only 150 miles. That's almost a buck a mile. I agree about driving to pick them up yourself, or you could have rented a Minivan for less if they wouldn't fit in your car and still saved a fortune.

I handle a LOT of shipping throughout the world for my company. So I know a lot about commercial freight, and how to save money especially when it comes to heavy packages (I ship crates that weigh in excess of 1400 lbs. each.)

Recently, I needed to get a Sony 36" Wega TV (~230 lbs.) I bought shipped almost 3000 miles from California to New Hampshire, and it only cost me $150. It even included two residential deliverys. For the pick-up the driver helped box-up the TV, and when it got to my place the driver helped me carry it up 3 flights of stairs and put it ON TO MY TV STAND in my living room (it did cost me a couple of beers for that one - thank god it was his last delivery of the day! ) Try that with UPS or FedEx!!

I priced FedEx, Emory, Eagle, etc. and ended finding a way (don't ask me to try this again) to get a cheap ride with some returning computer tradeshow gear which was located in a nearby city to the pickup, and returning to a nearby city where I live (it was bizarrely coincidential.)

I did have to wait about a month to get it (I had to work my schedule around theirs), but for $150 it was way worth it. All the other companys where 3-4 times the price and didn't include the residential deliveries.

Shop around next time. Some of the commercial freight companies will squeeze in small shipments (consolidated freight)and sometimes cut you a deal:

- if the truck is just about FULL already
- the route is DIRECTLY near another larger more expensive shipment
- if it's not out of the drivers way of the larger shipment

Since the larger shipment has already basically paid for the entire truck they don't need to make as much from you and will sometimes (not always) cut you some slack if you get someone nice on the phone. Also, I've found the drivers are way more careful with your stuff than the mass shipping companies are.

Good luck with getting your speakers.
Derrick, you're just not having ANY luck lately are you ? : ( Sean
WRONG: "DHL (this is FedX ground)".

DHL is DHL. Fed EX Ground is (was) RPS.

RPS is (was) one of the most unreliable services we have ever used (and we used them daily for several months until we had to give up on them). DHL is the MOST reliable service we have ever used (thousands of times). RPS (Fed EX Ground) is not even comparable, let alone the same thing.

DHL is an air shipment company, and has nothing to do with any ground
service, and is not "FedX ground"!

DHL does handle some of USPS's shipments
(and UPS & Fed Ex air for many non U.S countries, especially Africa).
Sean, tell me about it!! I would have picked up the speakers myself, however it was a 3.0 hr drive one way (it must have been a 175 mile trip, 1 way) plus I didnt have a car large enough to fit 2 large wooden crates.

Try asking a Fedex telephone person about why upgraded service takes longer than "ground" service. If it isnt on their computer screen, they cant tell you, the best that I got was that a ground shipment would have never left a truck, while the Express service went from a truck to a plane, to a dock, to a truck. Go figure......I just hope it doesn't come damaged like an amp did last week.
FEDEX and audiophile gear do not mix. I bought a pair of used tube monoblocks through Audiogon and had them shipped to me via FEDEX. The amps were in the original factory cartons with dense foam interior packaging. the boxes arrived and loked as if they had been though hell. The metal cage on both amps were bent from the boxes having been dropped. I filed a claim with FEDEX. They took thrre weeks to send someone to examine the damage. They tnen declared that they could not be responsible for the damage becasue the packaging was not new. They also said that FEDEX shipments had to be able to sustain a 36 inch drop as this was standard in the conveyor belt delivery system despite the fact that the packages were clearly maked fragile. It cost me several hundred dollars to fixed the damage they caused. FEDEX was arrogant and rude in denying any responsibility for the damage they caused.
Making the trip can yield extra benefits. I live in a remote area of Wyoming, where there are only a few audiophiles (one fantastic hi-fi shop though). I drove 500 miles roundtrip for my Mirage MRM-1's and met another junkie in the process. I demo'd his rig and we have become friends since. He turned me on to other used deals from guys in his audio club. Now I'm getting a killer analog setup at entry-level prices. It pays to drive.
How about this one? The other day I sent something to a guy UPS-COD for $418 several hundred miles away. UPS delivered the package but forgot about the COD. Customer service was clueless about what to do next. I had to call several times to get any action on this. Fortunately, the guy was honest enough to overnight me a moneyorder so problem solved but I will never go UPS-COD again.