Packing 101 (read this if you want your recorder / mixer to arrive in one piece)

famous beagle

Well-known member
Man, I'm sorry you've been having so much trouble trying to get an 8-track! And it breaks my heart to see yet another wonderful tape recorder destroyed through incompetent packing and rough handling. I'm getting leery about shipping anything, ever.

Yep ... I'm done with buying a R2R that has to be shipped. If it's not somewhere close enough for me to drive, I'm not going to mess with it. I just don't seem to have the luck for it.
 

famous beagle

Well-known member
Wait, I just found this one! Maybe if you keep the other one and combine it with this one you'll have a complete working unit Fostex R8 8 Track Reel to Reel for Parts | eBay :\

Thanks. That's an R8, though. I have the 80. I don't know if they'd be compatible or not. Nevertheless, I think I should be able to work something out here. The first step is to file a claim with USPS and make sure they're going to be cooperative.
 

Chilljam

transitional phase
Apparently quite stupid. I really don't understand. Not only are they wasting their time and my time, but people like that are also wasting their money because they have to pay for return shipping! It just doesn't make any sense

It's usually a case where sellers only quote actual shipping costs on top of the final sale price so they aren't getting any money for the extra effort they have to put in packing such a heavy and fragile item. Obviously then they will spend as little time and money (and thought) into packing the item.

As a buyer, don't be so naive as to think sending a message "Please make sure the machine is packed well" will sway 90% of sellers into doing anything more than what they think is the 'bare minimum' packing wise.

You can always tell from the shipping and handling quote... If the seller is charging too little for shipping then you as the buyer is taking the risk. Ask the seller how he is packing and shipping the machine for X dollars? If it sounds like it's not going to be good enough, sending him even $20 extra for packaging can drastically reduce the risk.

Are there courier services that also pack items in the US? I just had a Tascam MSR16 (70+ lbs with sharp metal rack ears fixed to the sides) shipped some 600+ miles. I spoke with the seller and understandably, I could tell he wasn't too confident to pack the machine for shipment so I organised for the seller to drop it off at a courier depot where they pack and send the machine and therefore take any responsibility for any damages. FYI they called me and said that they refuse to ship it unless they can put it back facing down strapped to a pallet as the sharp edges would pierce through any box no matter how much foam and bubble wrap you put.
 

famous beagle

Well-known member
It's usually a case where sellers only quote actual shipping costs on top of the final sale price so they aren't getting any money for the extra effort they have to put in packing such a heavy and fragile item. Obviously then they will spend as little time and money (and thought) into packing the item.

As a buyer, don't be so naive as to think sending a message "Please make sure the machine is packed well" will sway 90% of sellers into doing anything more than what they think is the 'bare minimum' packing wise.

You can always tell from the shipping and handling quote... If the seller is charging too little for shipping then you as the buyer is taking the risk. Ask the seller how he is packing and shipping the machine for X dollars? If it sounds like it's not going to be good enough, sending him even $20 extra for packaging can drastically reduce the risk.

Are there courier services that also pack items in the US? I just had a Tascam MSR16 (70+ lbs with sharp metal rack ears fixed to the sides) shipped some 600+ miles. I spoke with the seller and understandably, I could tell he wasn't too confident to pack the machine for shipment so I organised for the seller to drop it off at a courier depot where they pack and send the machine and therefore take any responsibility for any damages. FYI they called me and said that they refuse to ship it unless they can put it back facing down strapped to a pallet as the sharp edges would pierce through any box no matter how much foam and bubble wrap you put.

Yeah that makes sense, and I understand that they want to do the bare minimum. But to me, when I sell something, the last thing I want to do is have it returned because of some fault of mine because, like I said, the seller then has to pay return shipping and is losing money on the deal. The shipping charges for this Fostex 80 package were $60, so I figured that was a fairly good sign that he would be putting some effort into it. But obviously not.

The thing that really baffled me about this was that, as I said, he clearly babied this machine and all the equipment. It was all pristine-looking, including the heads. He beamed with pride in his description in the auction, and all the correspondence between us during the auction (and immediately after it) all pointed toward him really admiring this machine.
 

Chilljam

transitional phase
The thing that really baffled me about this was that, as I said, he clearly babied this machine and all the equipment.

It sounds like your seller just didn't have a clue what risks were involved with shipping. I too was a little surprised that the couriers refused to pack the MSR16 in a double box especially given that they would pack it themselves and could mark the item as very fragile. When it arrived however, I realized how heavy it really was and immediately glad that I let the experts do it.

Another thing with the Fostex reel to reels, they are considerably lighter... If the seller still has the original box and packing materials for it then it should be fine and considerably cheaper to ship. I shipped my R8 across the country in it's original box without any issues - I was confident it would be fine because I had all the original foam inserts which were about 2 inches thick and kept the R8 secured in the center of the box.
 

RFR

Well-known member
Rather than quoting a lot of posts, I im just going to respond to a couple of points.

1) USPS

I ship a lot of guitars through them. I pack the shit out of them and insure for full value. They require 2 inches of packing around a fragile object. Coast to coast it averages 120 bucks to ship, half of that cost is insurance.

Usps, doesn't fight you on claims. Ive never had a problem with high dollar guitars, but have had a few smaller items get damage in shipping.

UPS on the other hand are dicks. Unless they packed it, no matter how well you've packed, wont pay out.

They give you the insufficiently packed excuse.

They dont pack well.

2) shipping costs on the bay.

I dont think many have any idea on bigger items , the cost of properly packing, shipping, and insuring an item.

I think also they feel that real world shipping prices would scare off bidders.

When i see a Reel to Reel deck with a shipping cost of 25 to 50 bucks, thats a red flag. Youll get bad packing.

3) msr16

Thats a heavy machine, about 75 lbs.
The factory box is real good, but even so, I'd out it inside another box with 2 inches of foam.

I'd estimate that would run about 150 to ship cross country with proper insurance. Maybe a bit more.

Moral of the story is: Save original boxes, pack well, insure the hell out of it.
Double box when needed.

If you are a seller, charge realistic shipping fees. This may drive some people away, but a good explanation of your shipping policies and procedures will go a long way for inspiring confidence.

I know Ill pay more for shipping, knowing it will arrive safe.
 

famous beagle

Well-known member
Rather than quoting a lot of posts, I im just going to respond to a couple of points.

1) USPS

Usps, doesn't fight you on claims. Ive never had a problem with high dollar guitars, but have had a few smaller items get damage in shipping.

This has been my experience in the past as well (although I've only had two claims). Luckily, this damaged Fostex 80 was shipped via USPS and insured fully.
 

witzendoz

Senior Member
You know I once bought a secondhand TASCAM MSR16, I already had one and I wanted a second mainly for spares. I shipped the original box from my first one across the country (4000 Km) so it could be packed and sent safe as I knew it would get beaten up if not packed correctly, it arrived in great condition.

Has anyone thought about shipping with one of the removal companies that ship fragile electrics?

Alan.
 

MagnumPI

New member
Hi Guys, GReat thread. I was wondering if anyone has some advise for traveling with a Tascam 388?
Im going to be moving it about 900 miles across the country in the back of a moving van. I'll pack and handle it myself but was interested to hear if anyone has some suggestions about how to pack or what to place under it to minimize shaking from the road.
I have a mattress that I could use, also thought about buying a bean bag because they seem to kind of move slower like the ocean, instead of just bouncing around (or at least that's what I imagine.
Any thoughts?
Thanks.
 
I have been successful for a long time using Fed Ex ground and the properly sized box. I use a double walled box that is purchased at a packing supply company. It is 24 X 24 X18" and allows for shipping of most decks and those that are near 80 pounds should have a lot of good packing as in the polyester like foam not peanuts or other low grade packing materials. If you do not spend the money to get good packing materials then it is not the shippers fault that a unit is damaged as they go through a lot of movement. If you insure it for $5000 then it will go into the hi value line and not onto any sloppy conveyors. High value items are hand carried from point to point. The Exciters I got at Moody were without a scratch but they were $14,000 each. They had that Polyester foam in them which is where I get that idea. It compresses and returns where styrofoam crushes and stays that way.
 
I do in multiple 250 foot rolls and I use the 1/2 stuff. Three layers around larger items seems to be a good start I have found.
 
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