I haven't had any problems with new gear, but out of the last 5 used pieces I received, 3 of them were damaged because of crappy packaging from the sellers. Seems to an epidemic of morons.
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Agree with Mofimadness, out of dozens, maybe hundreds, of transactions over the last 20 years every instance of damage was because of poor packaging of used gear by sellers. In fact some of the items that were packed very poorly survived without damage and I have to give credit to the shipping services for that.
I am a psychotic over packager and thankfully in all of my transactions here I've never had an issue as sellers I've dealt with have been equally psychotic! But Ghanson you reference new items ordered is this audio gear? Or just stuff in general? I mostly use Amazon and have had nothing but good packaging from them.
A bit off topic, but I'll never forget the NAD 2100 I got from a guy here on A-gon. He has "protected" the amp with old, ratty bath towels and LEAVES from his yard! When I called him, he said in all seriousness, "Yeah, what's wrong with that?" Of course, the power button had sheared off, one channel was dead, and the amp was useless. There are some real whack jobs out there for sure.
Jond, the last three items I've ordered new from dealers have been mishandled. This has led to cosmetic damage that a dealer ultimately tried to worm his way out of (from a Japanese product whose company is favored by Art Dudley, writer for Stereophile), I've had another whose box was openly barrel rolled on my driveway by UPS (an Audio Research product) two weeks ago, and a Nagra component whose outer box was destroyed when FedEx arrived at the door yesterday. It seems like its gotten very hazardous to have gear shipped and risk being stuck in a bad position or have to get crossways with a dealer. Would you guys sign for this stuff or protect yourselves by taking no chances and having the gear sent back to the dealer?
Nothing is safe--your carton will be thrown, gaff hooked, dropped, rolled, booted, gored--a heavy-duty outer box containing the factory carton is mandatory and should be insisted upon. A box that was new when sent arrives looking like it's 20 years old--filthy, mashed corners, torn, gouged--there is no excuse for this from a shipping service. The seller should be spending $20-50 on cartons, styrofoam and tape.
I wish someone would start a white-glove courier service, where orders are collected from a metro area and driven to another metro area. Sellers and buyers would have to converge at certain points--it would take much longer and would be expensive, but safe. Otherwise, sellers and buyers could each agree to drive 100-200 miles to meet, making regional transactions, or a long road trip would be alright for a large purchase.
I bought most of my system on Audiogon about 6-10 years ago. Back then communication between seller and buyer was not restricted and offers could be customized (made conditional on certain packing procedures being followed). I would sometimes agree to pay for more for shipping to make the seller commit to proper double boxing. As I understand it, current sales procedures prevent, or make much harder, this kind of communication and pre-sale agreement on how packing is to be done.
What are the current restrictions other than communicating via Agon and not via direct email externally?
I did a couple buys earlier this year and do not recall any restrictions on communicating otherwise.
Some kind of agreement on how to safe ship and cost should be part of any large transaction I would think. Otherwise the risks to buyer are considerable especially for fragile big ticket items common in these parts.
Mapman. I'm not referring to restrictions set out in some formal policy statement, but rather the way the contract process is structured. With its "fill-in-the boxes" method of creating a contract, Audiogon prevents inclusion of any contract terms other than the price - other terms such as how the seller is going to package the equipment. Whether or not the "Memo" box can be used to add provisions to the contract is unclear.
Audiogon now also restricts communication between the parties, so you have to submit your offer without any chance to discuss packing with the seller and judge how enthusiastic or reluctant the seller is on that topic. I may be wrong on this, but I think e-mail communication is also not possible until after the buyer is committed to buying the item. I'm not saying anything new - these complaints were aired when Audiogon restructured the contract process.
After you've made your deal with the seller, you can ASK for certain packing procedures, but the seller doesn't have to agree to them because the contract has already been made.