Subject: [CR]shipping woes


Example: Framebuilding

Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2007 18:09:11 +0100 (CET)
From: Nick March <nicbordeaux@yahoo.fr>
Subject: Subject: [CR]shipping woes
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org


The story and pics of the damaged derailleur: I know of bikes solidly packed that have arrived bent, and I mean badly bent. Once over a certain size, a parcel travels with the twenty ton stuff in the hold of a cargo plane, gets direct hits from forklifts, etc. The box as pictured has obviously suffered damage/compression. This, and cost and bother with customs nonsense, explains a lot of why so few bikes are sold whole, and so many framesets are for sale on ebay. The pro bike wreckers will sell you a frameset alone, with the amateur hackers who don't have the savvy you bet the bottomon bracket and the headset. The rest of the beautiful machine gets ebayed at great premium in as small unitary components as the sellers mechanical skills will allow. A lot of the bike gets taken to the scrapyard. I mean, it's so much easier to sell campy brakes, campy derailleur front, Camy rear, campy Headset, campy pedals, campy cranks, you name it in seperate listings than find a box, and then face a 50/50 or whatever damage probability. There is no such thing as a safe whole bike ship: cardboard isn't in the same league as 500 kg items and forklifts.

Regarding legal liability, could well be you have recourse from paypal or ebay, but it would be really complicated. A lot of ebayers will partially compensate as part of the service. The real liability is with the postal service or whatever shipping company used. For any claim to be effective, you would have had to signify upon receipt, on the delivery form, that you had reserves, or better still, made a detailled complaint on the delivery form. Don't know if the US postal service chucks boxes over your hedge or knocks on the door and asks you to sign. If so, systematically make a reserve (written) if there is any visible damage to the box, and whether the postman likes it or not, open the box and examine everything, then come whatever, make a written reserve that you have noticed damage that needs further assesment.

A legal recourse against a seller from another counrty ? If you have an awful load of money to waste and enjoy enriching lawyers, sure, just for the kicks 'cause you'll never get your money back.

Summary: ask the seller for 50% of the cost of the repair, then if you want to, complain to ebay. Unlikely you will succeed except via the first option, as you have no proof that the bike arrived like that, it can be argued that you did it yourself.

Nick March, Mont de Marsan, France (the nut who sold fruit and veg by the truckload and knows all about claims from sellers and transport companies).

ps: there is a profitable market for somebody with a little savvy to set up a small shipping service company from Europe to the States and Japan to handle complete bikes. No, please don't ask me, I'm not interested :)

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