Shipping Expensive Speakers? WATCH OUT

Be very careful if you have to ship expensive & heavy speakers these days.
BAX Global now only insures up to only for $500 for damage.
UPS freight will insure for up to $50K, but speakers must be new & crated & only with a "managers approval".
Moving companies will insure @ $10 per $1K value, but must be crated (if you put your trust in them).
Unless you have "your" speakers on your home owners policy (& you had better check with them first), it could get very hairy.
Just a heads up as I was about to ship 550 lbs. @ $25K value last week & ran into this situation.
Most companies will insure for full value if lost, but not for the damage (that they themselves do).
To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
All the best
For all intents and purposes, I consider shipping large used speakers a virtual impossibility. I have been looking for used Vandy 5As within driving ditance of my home for some time. Problem is I have to find the time to drive out to where they are located, they have to fit in my station-wagon (which means ditching the boxes, something I don't really want to do) and, to top it all off, they have to be well priced.

Large speakers shipped from a private seller are a problem.
Thanks. This is VALUABLE information.
Thanks for the heads-up, Palladin. I'm about to ship some crates.
If I have these insured through my home owners policy, they will be covered, even if shipping outside the US?
My understanding is that the shippers have contacts with third party insurers you can use. .
Paladin, in your estimation is it best to ship new speakers from the manufactor via UPS? I'm getting the Merlins direct from Bobby who is recommending BAX. Should I go UPS though?

I wonder if it might be worthwhile to investigate using the services of a fine art /antiquities specialty shipper. They aren't cheap, but they are careful and they know how to handle fragle/delicate/valuable cargo. Fine Art shippers aren't available to all parts of the country and you ship on their scheduled runs to a given geopgraphic locale, so you have to wait a bit longer for service. Try someone like (Transport Consultants International.)
To Mariasplunge: Don't even think of UPS. Let Bobby ship via Bax. Mine came in perfect condition. BAX has different rules for commercial users and Merlin can insure them for their full value.
Buy from a dealer, then you dont have to worry!
I've come to the conclusion that shipping speakers a great distance, which increases handling, is a real crap shoot.

I have purchased 5 pairs of speakers in the past five years. Three pairs arrived damaged. One pair was shipped via BAX, one pair was shipped via UPS, and the third pair was shipped by another private carrier similar to BAX. All three pairs made the journey from the east coast to the west coast.

The undamaged speakers were both shipped via UPS. One pair came from just 200 miles away, and the other pair came from New York.

Quality packaging and limited handling are everything. These two elements matter more than the carrier, IMO.
Buy from a dealer, then you dont have to worry!
Chadnliz (System | Threads | Answers)
All three pairs of damaged speakers were purchased from dealers.

In all cases, the damage was a result of rough handling and sub par packaging...either subpar original manufacturer packaging, or subpar non-original packaging.

Limit the handling. Pack with bullet proof packing material and in the original boxes. Or, buy locally.

Otherwise, take your chances.
Why don't you rent a truck and pick-up the speaker's? Some of the newer U-Haul trucks are nice.
Manufacturers & dealers usually have their own private insurance & can always replace a "NIB" production speaker.
For the most part - "WE" whom try to sell our items here have very few to no choices.
I have outlined most of the pitfalls in the original message.
It is up to "YOU" the shipper to get the proper information in writing from the shipper as to exactly what & how much they will pay out for "DAMAGE" (less their deductable).
Homeowners insurance may or may not be responsible for damage in shipping - Check with them first.
Every carrier in my case they had me jumping through hoops - First they say OK & then their stipulations.
I used BAX Global about 2 years ago to ship my SF Amati's & to receive my SF Stradavari's & both shipments/deliveries went perfect.
Last week they (BAX) told me that they will not insure for over $500 for damage as the have had too many claims.
Let me say this again:
Out of the country? FORGETABOUTIT!
Final word of advice:
1) Do all your homework first & eliminate any surprises.
2) Make sure that you are 100% covered for damage less any deductable & not just loss insurance.
3) Dont't get ripped off for re-packaging (crates) as they usualy cost $250 per + extra freight weight (could equal another $1K).
4) Take plenty of pictures of the items you are shipping prior to packaging WITH DATE so you have enough proof as to the condition of what you are shipping.
5) Package very carefully.
6 - 10 Hope for the best as it will probably take at least about 2 months to recover a claim once it is filed.
Think about this:
You buy a set of speakers $40K retail speakers @ $25K & with their proper packaging, shipping & insurance is another $2,500 or 10% - Are you really saving any money?
Don't forget that the seller is responsible for anything wrong here & must refund the $ if not as posted/advertized when delivered.
Best of luck
Thanks Donaudio for the advice. I'll take it!
Tvad, are you west coast? Where?
Like I said as a consumer buy speakers from a dealer, it is the dealer and vendors concern...and at any rate buying from a dealer is the right thing to do and when you can, you should.
Yes, that is one of the possibilities I considered, but with the mileage fees it makes the radius for my search all that smaller. BTW I laugh when I see U-Haul vans with the advert on the side saying $19.95 to rent it. You go there and realize that there are a load of additional fees and a minimum number of hours you have to rent it for. Nobody gets out of there spending only $19.95. The best I did was the one from Home Depot that wound up costing me only $27.00 or so for 90 minutes. Just enough time to get that Durock to my house and bring back the van!
If you have home owner's or renter's insurance, check with your agent about a policy to cover damage in transit. There's always Lloyd's of London, but they ain't cheap.

Finally, if the party who is shipping doesn't have the ORIGINAL boxes or crates, spend some money to have a crate made for large speakers. One per box, and both strapped to one pallet if they'll fit, separate pallets if not.
Quality packaging and limited handling are everything. These two elements matter more than the carrier, IMO.
I agree 100% with this statement. I believe the most important protection when packing speakers, would be to make sure all the four corners are well cushioned and reinforced. This seems to be where most of the damage usually happens with shipping any speaker.
I wonder if many of the problems occur with the middle weight speakers, that are too large to double box and carry easily, and small enough that people try to get by without pallet packing. My experience has included zero damage to small speakers, slight damage to B&W 803's shipped in individual boxes by UPS, and zero damage to two separate shipments of large speakers (each over 100 lbs per speaker) that were strapped to a pallet, and likely loaded on the truck with a forklift. When they arrive at your destination, you can cut the straps and move them individually, assuming you do not have access to a fork lift. My take on this is, if the packaging is not bombproof, moderate to large speakers need to be strapped to a pallet, regardless of the extra cost.
good point Mitch, my speakers came BAX but are over 600lbs so nobody would try to move that by hand!
Is this only for expensive speakers? What about expensive amps or other gear?

D@mn Paladin, I was considering posting an ad to sell off some of my old Mod Squad Soft Shoes......but now I guess I'll just have to advertise local pick up only......

I see new business opportunity for Audiogon, start a shipping company to ship high end speakers :)

If I have to pay double of UPS rate to get that peace of mind, I will be happy to spend the extra.
Yes Semi - I agree

Some kind of shipping service is a big opportunity, as is a third party insurance that sells riders to cover this kind of stuff.

I was the recipient of some destroyed speakers - I was lucky that the seller owned up to it and refunded me the money. While it is what's supposed to happen here, there is no obligation...

One reason that the speakers were so damaged was that the original manufacturers packing was so thoroughly inadequate.

Something to think about.
Unfortunately, it's a crap shoot at best! How do dealers get their speakers? Surely they're not suffering the same poor percentages of Audiogon members. Seems like it would be tough to do business if 25% of your goods were received damaged.