Tonearm Shipping Issues

Hi all.

I recently sold a tonearm (SME 345) to a gentleman in the LA area. I live on the outskirts of Toronto, so obviously it had to be shipped cross-border. I sent it (fully insured) via UPS. I had all original packaging and I packed it quite well, and had UPS double box it with Styrofoam peanuts between the boxes.

It left here in pristine condition, but did not arrive in that condition. It was obvious that customs opened the boxes, and just tossed everything back in with no care whatsoever. tools, and fasteners were not placed back in the plastic bags. They were not placed back in their respective compartments either. So once the buyer opened the box it was a mess. The arm was not damaged, but had a really ugly scratch on one side, presumably from the loose tools/fasteners bouncing around.

Tomorrow I will file an insurance claim with UPS and see how they treat this.

My question is; has anyone else had a similar issue? How did you deal with it, and what was the outcome?

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Audiogon is clear that the item must reach the buyer in the condition described in the ad. The financial onus is on the seller in the event that there is shipping damage.

I had a similar situation and asked the buyer if he would prefer a, mutually acceptable, discount, or if he preferred to return the item for a full refund including shipping in both directions.

He chose the former and we worked out a fair discount. The claim was denied but that's just the cost of doing business.

viridian I understand the policy, and there is no issue between the buyer and myself. We are working together on a fair resolution between us.

I was just wondering how well UPS was in dealing with claims. I suppose I should have been a little more specific.

Sounds like you should be suing customs instead.
My apologies for misreading your post. I have had claims go both ways with UPS but none involved international shipping and damage by customs, so I am of little use. But best of luck with the claim, it has truly put you in an unfair position.
UPS wanted to pick up the tonearm from the buyer and bring it back to their facility for inspection. NOT LIKELY. They do not know how to handle delicate objects properly. We have made arrangements with them to go over the issue via telephone with the buyer, and send pictures. It's still up in the air right now, but I will sound in once I have a decision from UPS.