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View Full Version : Ever get a uke that was damaged in shipping?



Doc_J
09-24-2010, 04:07 PM
Hey Everyone,

Just received a new uke today. Unfortunately it was damaged, most likely in shipping. It had 2 small wood grain cracks on the front at the bottom of the lower bout.

It got me thinking how many people have ever had this happen. I'd guess less than 10%, but I'm usually wrong. So, thought I'd take a poll.

Have you ever received a uke that was damaged in shipping? 0, 1,2,3,more.

I hope no one has received more damaged ones than that!
This is my 2nd shipping damaged uke. Oddly, both were from uke stores in Hawaii.

kenikas
09-24-2010, 04:28 PM
Wow, that sucks. Sorry to hear about your bad shipping luck. I just got my 12th uke a couple of weeks ago and all but 4 were shipped (most from HI) and I've never even had a scratch on any of them. Even the vintage ones I've got on ebay were well packed and arrived in great shape. I hope it's not 10% cause that would mean I'm overdue!!

Doc_J
09-24-2010, 04:46 PM
I have bought and sold a few ukes on ebay and fmm. Never had a problem with damage, even though some were packed better than others.

Only had shipping damage was from two different stores in Hawaii. The first one refunded my purchase price and paid for return shipping, good customer service.

For the damaged uke I received today the store owner wants me to ship back at my expense, even though he admits he didn't pack it well (uke in a hard case was put in a small cardboard box with nothing between the case and the cardboard). Said he would up grade the uke to make up for it. We'll see what happens.

itsme
09-24-2010, 04:46 PM
Just received a new uke today. Unfortunately it was damaged, most likely in shipping. It had 2 small wood grain cracks on the front at the bottom of the lower bout.
Unless there was packaging damage, I'd hazard a guess that the cracks were not related to the shipping. Were they used ukes?

Doc_J
09-24-2010, 04:52 PM
No, it was brand new (Pono PKS-1). The store owner said that he never shipped ukes like this before and that another customer for same uke called today with the same problem.

But you're right. It seemed funny, as the box was fine and the uke was in hard case. The box was tight to the top and bottom of the case, and possibly a heavy weight/box could have pushed on the bridge, stressing the sound board.

kissing
09-24-2010, 05:57 PM
Just once, but it was more the shipping company's fault (they must've dropped it hard).
But nevertheless, the sender provided a partial refund to make up for the aesthetic blemish on the backside of the uke to make up for it :)

southcoastukes
09-24-2010, 07:23 PM
From our perspective - shipping is a nightmare! Spend all that time building a beatiful instrument and then entrust it to a bunch of gorillas! When you think about it, it is even worse for it to spend a lot of time in the back of hot trucks. Instrument 101: do not leave your instrument in the trunk of your car - yet that is more or less what you do when you ship one by ground freight.

We have finally found what we think is the best way to ship: 1) plywood boxed 2) all by air (no ground delivery- no back of trucks) 3) pick-up at your local post office ( see no ground - #2).

Insurance is a hassle for everyone involved. Much better to have a safe, secure delivery.

haolejohn
09-24-2010, 08:34 PM
We have finally found what we think is the best way to ship: 1) plywood boxed 2) all by air (no ground delivery- no back of trucks) 3) pick-up at your local post office ( see no ground - #2).

Insurance is a hassle for everyone involved. Much better to have a safe, secure delivery.
OK. so how does it get from the airport to the local post office? I don't think it arrives by parachute or helicoptor:)

I shipped a uke to TikiUke and it arrived cracked. The USPS made it right by giving him a refund of what he paid but it took a little bit of time. Maybe 30 days? I was surprised b/c I called UkeRepublic and asked him how to pack it. It happens. This is why I buy insurance on my ukes I ship.

haolejohn
09-24-2010, 08:35 PM
No, it was brand new (Pono PKS-1). The store owner said that he never shipped ukes like this before and that another customer for same uke called today with the same problem.

But you're right. It seemed funny, as the box was fine and the uke was in hard case. The box was tight to the top and bottom of the case, and possibly a heavy weight/box could have pushed on the bridge, stressing the sound board.

A pono? You know UkeRepublic (hour away from you) sells Pono. No shipping.Just a car drive:)

ADD
09-24-2010, 11:03 PM
Had a close call once - uke without a case that was packed well with at least 5"- 6" of bubble wrap around it, taped in sturdy box. Arrived at the Post Office with a few rips in the box and several large punctures through box, missing the headstock by just a fee millimeters. Was amazed there was no damage.

Hippie Dribble
09-25-2010, 01:07 AM
hi Doc

I have bought many ukes from the US in the last couple of years and never had a problem. I count myself very fortunate.

A few boxes have arrived looking beat up - big dents and rips, but no damage inside.

Mind you, nearly every CD I get shipped to me has a cracked case!!!

Doc_J
09-25-2010, 01:27 AM
A pono? You know UkeRepublic (hour away from you) sells Pono. No shipping.Just a car drive:)

Yes ... I know....But this was a great price and an offer too good to pass up.

(This was the discounted 2009 line of Koa Pono's. Not much stock of this, anywhere. I believe Mike sold all his old Pono stock last year.)

Ahnko Honu
09-25-2010, 01:57 AM
Never had one arrive damaged but did have one disappear in transit. Seller did not insure the item but did give me a full refund for lost item. That 1 out of 11 new 'ukuleles mailed that did not turn out correctly I guess is not bad. I'm not counting the numerous used 'ukuleles I had shipped here over the years. I prefer USPS over FedEx, and UPS in that order with UPS a very distant 3rd.

southcoastukes
09-25-2010, 03:52 AM
True, true. You can't keep it entirely off the truck. You just try to keep it to a minimum.

adam2180
09-25-2010, 05:18 AM
I have had a few instruments damaged, I usually just fix them unless its really bad. Its best to ship in a hard case.

haolejohn
09-25-2010, 10:20 AM
Yes ... I know....But this was a great price and an offer too good to pass up.

(This was the discounted 2009 line of Koa Pono's. Not much stock of this, anywhere. I believe Mike sold all his old Pono stock last year.)

i understand. those koa ponois are nice. the koa on them is usually very pretty. I have heard that damaged ukes is a common problem from a specific hawaiian uke dealer. I wonder if yours came from one of those.

haolejohn
09-25-2010, 10:21 AM
True, true. You can't keep it entirely off the truck. You just try to keep it to a minimum.

lol. I understand. when I got my sceptre sent to me., I tracked the USPS mailman down so that my uke wouldn't spend time on the back of a truck or in a warehouse.

robbocx
09-25-2010, 11:33 AM
Living in 'The Land Down Under' I reguarly have orders come from far away places.

I have had two vintage ukes sent this way neither was in pristine condition when purchased.

They were both well packed in bubble wrap or peanuts so the ukes survived but both boxes had suffered damage, have you ever watched them load a plane!

Like eugene said most stuff has been squashed during part of the trip.

P.S. Both ukes have been given some TLC and today I wil be playing them at the Coaldale Markets between the escarpment and the sea on a beautiful day along with another dozen or so Random Ukulele Players.

Doc_J
09-25-2010, 12:52 PM
i understand. those koa ponois are nice. the koa on them is usually very pretty. I have heard that damaged ukes is a common problem from a specific hawaiian uke dealer. I wonder if yours came from one of those.

I purchased this one from Scotty's. He's a nice guy and is trying to care this and keep me happy. I mailed it back today. Said he was going to upgrade me to a nicer one, properly packed this time. Should have the replacement by next Saturday.

haolejohn
09-25-2010, 01:43 PM
I purchased this one from Scotty's. He's a nice guy and is trying to care this and keep me happy. I mailed it back today. Said he was going to upgrade me to a nicer one, properly packed this time. Should have the replacement by next Saturday.

that doesn
t sound like the one. I do not remember the name of the place but I do remember it was Ponos involved. Of course there are two sides to every story. I'm glad Scotty is taking care of you. That speaks volumes of their customer service.

UkuLeLesReggAe
09-25-2010, 07:21 PM
I'm waiting for a $1300 uke, I don't want to jynx anything :S

Mandarb
09-27-2010, 05:59 AM
I just received my Kamaka last week. I feel very fortunate - Kamaka did a nice job packing my uke and I am grateful to UPS for the safe shipping. It was shipped from Hawaii to Pennsylvania.

Ukuleleblues
09-27-2010, 11:08 AM
I got a old camp style banjo uke packed by this guy in a single box and shipped USPS. It was insured. The neck was broke in half, not quit snapped all the way but very close. The box looked like it had been run over with a something. When I tried to get the USPS to pay for it they never returned any phone calls until I got the name of the "insurance inspector" and told them I needed it to file in small claims court. The guy called me back and tells me it wasn't packed properly so he was going to deny it (he never saw it). I told him if it was not packed properly they should not have accepted it. He was bragging about how he denies Guitar claims all the time from e-bay sellers. The guy was a real A hole. We went round and around and it finally ended up that he would take the uke for "inspection" and it would take at least six weeks. To make a long store short I fixed it myself and I never ever use USPS knowingly. I work with a guy that used to be at the USPS and he told me he saw co-works on more than one occasion take boxes marked Fragile and for a joke drop kick them across the loading dock. What a bunch of jerks.

I always ask for packing material, double boxing and UPS or Fed Ex shipping. Even if it costs more.

UkuLeLesReggAe
09-28-2010, 05:02 AM
wow. I really hope I didn't make a huge mistake going with usps.. with my uke that i need. I need to play it at a wedding, in 5 weeks now. If i comes damaged, I wouldn' know what to do..

allanr
10-11-2010, 07:53 AM
Got a beautiful Oscar Schmidt spalted mango concert uke on Ebay from someone that doesn't sell a lot of ukes. I specifically asked for it to be well packaged because the post and couriers can be very rough sometimes. They said it would be very well packed. When it arrived, they hadn't even opened the original box and they did nothing at all to protect it, i.e. almost no packing or padding in the box, and no packing or padding around the box. Of course it was damaged, but fortunately only a few tiny and hard-to-see scratches at the back of the headstock where the cardboard had scraped off.

I also bought a uke from china that was shipped DHL. The uke arrived in perfect condition, but the DHL customs clearance people had used a very sharp box-cutter right down the middle of the box that sliced through the included case.

The_Oddness_of_It_All
11-12-2010, 05:27 AM
Wow I feel sorry for the people who said 4 or more. That has never happened to me.

The_Oddness_of_It_All
11-12-2010, 05:31 AM
These stories are so sad! That would be terrible to have a new uke come damaged:( especially if it was expensive.

Skitzic
11-12-2010, 05:53 AM
Wow. I had one uke shipped to me in just the tight fitting box it comes from the factory in. I wasn't thrilled when I saw that, and was really upset when I saw the box had some rather nasty gashes in it. The uke was fine, although whatever tore the box managed to tear that foamy stuff they put around the uke...so I was lucky. I have not bought from that seller again, and all of the others have been packed well.

Chap
11-12-2010, 05:57 AM
Just an FYI....just got my first uke from MGM, and he did one heck of a packing job on it. Plenty of packing material between the hard case and the box. He does good work.

SailQwest
11-12-2010, 06:14 AM
The most expensive uke I ever purchased (a K brand) arrived with the finish crazed over the entire uke. The seller swore that it was fine when they sent it, and that it must have happened in shipping. I returned the uke and they refunded my money (including the return shipping).

WhenDogsSing
11-12-2010, 08:36 AM
Just an FYI....just got my first uke from MGM, and he did one heck of a packing job on it. Plenty of packing material between the hard case and the box. He does good work.

I want to second this comment. MGM does a VERY GOOD JOB at packing his ukuleles. I have bought several from him and every one has arrived safe and intact, due to the extra care he places on the packing.

mds725
11-12-2010, 09:06 AM
I got a old camp style banjo uke packed by this guy in a single box and shipped USPS. It was insured. The neck was broke in half, not quit snapped all the way but very close. The box looked like it had been run over with a something. When I tried to get the USPS to pay for it they never returned any phone calls until I got the name of the "insurance inspector" and told them I needed it to file in small claims court. The guy called me back and tells me it wasn't packed properly so he was going to deny it (he never saw it). I told him if it was not packed properly they should not have accepted it. He was bragging about how he denies Guitar claims all the time from e-bay sellers. The guy was a real A hole. We went round and around and it finally ended up that he would take the uke for "inspection" and it would take at least six weeks. To make a long store short I fixed it myself and I never ever use USPS knowingly. I work with a guy that used to be at the USPS and he told me he saw co-works on more than one occasion take boxes marked Fragile and for a joke drop kick them across the loading dock. What a bunch of jerks.

I always ask for packing material, double boxing and UPS or Fed Ex shipping. Even if it costs more.

Here's how one guy avenged the destruction of his instrument:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo


I can imagine it now: "The USPS Went Postal On My Uke"

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-12-2010, 10:00 AM
Wow, I am really astonished by the number of ukuleles being damaged in transit, at least by the poll numbers here.
I wonder what percentage of those were actually shipped damaged? I don't think a scratch for instance would be likely the result of a shipping mishap. Some retailers are probably not going to admit shipping slightly damaged goods. So much easier for them to say it got damaged in the shipping.
I am also surprised to see what size boxes a lot of ukes are shipped in, boxes that are barely bigger than the case. The boxes I ship in are way over sized and also have a corrugated liner for extra reinforcement. I ship all my work Via USPS Express mail insured. It's expensive but I've never had a problem. In the rare ocassion where it might be a day late, the shipping cost is totally refunded.
As far as ukes being "lost" in the mail, that is always a concern, especially in Hawaii. I don't use my business name on the return address and the large size of the box gives no indication of what's inside.

southcoastukes
11-12-2010, 11:03 AM
Very funny Video!

As to Chuck's remark about the ovesized boxes, I found out (the hard way), that most shipping insurance doesn't pay if the distance between the outside of the box and the instrument is less than 2" - on all sides. (Or maybe that was just one of the excuses - see video above)