Common Sense 101 - Shipping and Insurance


Staff member
Feb 13, 2015
Southern VA
Every time I think we're all adults and we all have a modicum of good judgement I get proven wrong, so I guess we'll do a thread on this.
If you have some good trading advice to add, jump in. This thread will not be about name-calling or shit-stirring.

NEVER send anything of substantial value without tracking, insurance, and preferably a signature required. If you stuff several hundred dollars into a plain envelope and mail it by regular mail to someone you don't know, you're a fool.

Shipping, Insurance, and Damaged Goods -
Whoever packages and ships the item is responsible for its delivery and condition.
If you want to ship it with no insurance and no tracking, it's your problem if it arrives damaged or is lost/stolen.
Not the buyer's problem.
You will make the damage claims, not the buyer.
You will eat the loss on stolen or lost goods. Not the buyer.
Consider that when listing your goods.
It's fine to ask the buyer to pay shipping charges and insurance, but it's still your item until it reaches them and in the condition it was advertised.
I know that sounds harsh, and some will argue it's wrong, but transactions here should be considered to be handled just like face to face deals.
Until the item is in the buyer's hands in good condition, it's yours.
The ONLY exception would be if a buyer pays the shipping entity directly and assumes possession when they pick the item up from the seller (ie, sends the shipper a preprinted label and arranges for pickup).


Staff member
Feb 13, 2015
Southern VA
To further clarify the shipping damage or loss issue, see what UPS says.
While a recipient can initiate a claim, UPS is going to work with the shipper. That's the person who had the contract with UPS. The person who paid UPS. And that's who will receive any restitution.

Damaged Packages
Damage to a package can be reported by a shipper, recipient, or by UPS. After a damage inspection is performed by UPS, the shipper of record is contacted with the results. Depending on the results, the shipper can file a claim for the repair or replacement cost of the package contents up to the declared value.

The steps in a damaged package claim are as follows:

1. Damage Reported
A shipper or recipient can report a package that has been damaged during shipment. The shipper can also submit documentation in support of the claim online, or by fax or mail, at the time damage is reported. In the event that a damaged package is discovered while still in the UPS system, we will notify the shipper of record and provide details. Once damage has been reported, you can check the status of the claim online, anytime.

Note: Damage can be reported online only for packages that have an origination and destination within the United States. To report damage of international packages, contact UPS.

2. UPS Inspects Package if Required
UPS will inspect the damaged package to determine the cause of damage and verify proper packing materials were used (in accordance with the shipping terms). UPS may inspect the package at the shipper's or receiver's site, or may collect the package for inspection at a UPS facility.

Once the UPS investigation is complete, a notification letter will be emailed, faxed or mailed to the shipper. UPS will not send inspection information to the receiver of the package.

3. Claim Authorized
  • If the claim is issued, a Damage/Loss Notification claim letter will be emailed, faxed or mailed to the shipper of record; UPS will not send the claim letter to a receiver
  • If the claim is not approved, UPS will notify the shipper; the shipper can contact UPS with any questions or concerns

4. UPS Reviews Documents
It is essential that the shipper supplies UPS with documentation that supports the actual repair or replacement cost of the merchandise, up to the declared value, as requested in the Damage/Loss Notification claim letter. This documentation can be provided either when the damage is first reported, or after the Damage/Loss notification is issued. Supporting documentation can include original invoices, purchase orders, or other information required by UPS.

UPS will:
  • Determine the value declared, if any, for the contents of the package
  • Verify that the product falls within the guidelines of the UPS terms or contract with the shipper
A UPS mailing address and fax number will be provided in the Damage/Loss Notification claim letter. In addition, instructions on how to submit supporting documentation online will be provided.

5. Claim Paid
Once the claim has been approved and UPS receives the supporting documentation identified in the claim letter, payment will be processed. The claim payment may differ from the original amount requested depending on the documentation provided. Explanation of the difference in payment amount, if any, will be printed on the check stub. Typically, claim checks are mailed to the shipper's billing address on file three to five business days after UPS receives the required documentation.

In the event the claim is not approved for payment, UPS will contact the shipper.
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