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View Full Version : I am on the soap box again....


Doc Hoy
February 19, 2012, 04:03 PM
Just visited Gunbroker.com looking for new additions.

Guy has a revolver for sale and wants $40.00 to ship it. No FFL involved.

I would really like to know how he is going to ship it such that it costs forty dollars!

I did not ask him. I figure he knows what he is doing and does not need an inquisition from me.

I won't deal with him though.

NoSecondBest
February 19, 2012, 04:13 PM
Doc,
That's how much it costs a non FFL to ship a gun. They have to ship UPS 2nd day and that's how much it is. They can't use USPS which an FFL holder can.

Beagle333
February 19, 2012, 04:18 PM
Post not relevant.... deleted.

KEYBEAR
February 19, 2012, 04:24 PM
That is just plain silly .
Use a flat rate box from U.S.P.S and no more then ten bucks .
He man was/is going to make a good 20 dollars on shipping .

Doc Hoy
February 19, 2012, 04:38 PM
This is a cap and ball revolver. No FFL required.

USPS ships to any address in the US Priority Mail. I have shipped Walkers and Dragoons for 11.00 because they fit in an 11.00 flat rate box. An 1851 will break down to fit in a 5.00 flat rate box (Actually I guess they are up to 6.00 now.)

USPS must accept a package that contains a BP revolver and consider it a Non-gun. I have had that argument with P.O. skirts locally and won.

If it costs 40.00 bucks, why are most GB.com sellers shipping for 20.00 or less?

Is there something I am missing?

I just packed up and 1860 for shipment in a flat rate box. I cut a piece of plywood to fit in the box. Cut some shims to hold the plywood in place. glued and tacked the shims to the plywood. Wrapped the pistol in bubble wrap and shrink tape. Drilled four holes in the plywood to accept cable ties. Cable tied the pistol to the plywood. Took me every bit of 25 minutes.

This seller is trying to get 50.00 an hour for his time in packing the pistol.

Bogus! I won't deal with charlatans and I don't care how good the deal is.

Doc Hoy
February 19, 2012, 04:48 PM
....This one really has my skivvies in a wad.

Hardy
February 19, 2012, 05:26 PM
I have shipped and bought many BP guns and shipping costs are the same as shipping anything else. Yall buy from Cabela-they don't charge 40! No one does. It appears someone is charging $30.00 to wrap it up for you.
WBH

NoSecondBest
February 19, 2012, 06:23 PM
Doc, you didn't specify it was black powder. In that case, he's overcharging. As for the others who chimed in thinking it was a modern handgun and it was too high....unless you have an FFL YOU CAN NOT SHIP A HANDGUN VIA USPS. That's the law, no exceptions. Many sellers on gunbroker have FFLs and charge what it costs them to ship a gun.

Willie Sutton
February 19, 2012, 07:17 PM
On the same vein... just "won" a nice Uberti cap and ball on Gunbroker, and the <insert invective here> insists on sending it to an FFL. I asked why... "It's a gun".. and this is from an FFL so you would think he might know better. In eny event, we are in a standoff... no cash from me if he wants me to have it sent to a FFL who will simply hand me a box and charge me $50.00

<sigh>


Any FFL's here who can help out Willie? Slap a label on the box and send it out? C&R is apparently OK for the guy too. I'll pay a reasonable handling fee...


Willie

.

Pahoo
February 19, 2012, 07:34 PM
WOW !!
Recently won one and I thought the shipping was a bit high at $20.00. Guess I'll consider myself lucky. I don't like the unpublished shipping charges and along with the other hassles on GB, think I'll back off for a time. .... ;)


Be Safe !!!

straight-shooter
February 19, 2012, 08:08 PM
I just received a black powder pistol via USPS. No problems at all. The private shipper notified me that he originally tryed to ship via UPS and they now have a new policy in place where they will NOT ship any type of firearm, not even black powder unless it goes directly to a FFL. I called their corporate and was told the same. It looks like USPS will have my business from here on out.

sltm1
February 19, 2012, 08:11 PM
Willie, I got stung paying for the FFL charges once buying a Manhattan c&b deringer....ALWAYS look at the stuff in red before the description, it states if it goes by FFL or not, if the seller post's that it does then shame on me (& you) for not reading the small print.

Willie Sutton
February 19, 2012, 09:58 PM
Well... most dealers on GB have a standard boilerplate ad that they add a particular gun to, and in this case it says "Firearms will only be shipped to FFL Dealers".


At issue is the fact that BP replicas are not firearms by any legal definition.... but this guy will just not agree.

So... :mad:


Willie

.

ClemBert
February 19, 2012, 10:20 PM
I generally don't worry about the shipping costs as long as the cost is clearly posted. I consider the shipping cost to really mean "shipping AND handling". I don't like to think I know everything that does into their shipping AND handling process. Could be that shipping materials to pack it proper are expensive for the guy. Perhaps he has to really go out of his way to make the shipment happen. Long drive? Lost work time? I don't know....This is why it is a non-issue for me. I suppose it isn't much different than to add $40 to the cost of the gun then ship it for free. See what I mean...it's a TOTAL COST thing for me.

I'm much more likely to get bent outta shape for being charged $12 to ship me a $3 coffee cup (other other piddly item) I buy online when the place I'm buying from is a big outfit that is already set up to ship these items in mass quantity.

Lee McNelly
February 19, 2012, 10:51 PM
Buy something for 1.00 and pay 40.00 s h

arcticap
February 20, 2012, 01:08 AM
Willie, I sent you a PM.

Hawg
February 20, 2012, 01:10 AM
I agree with Clem, it's a total cost. If it's 40 bucks shipping and 150 bucks for a 250 dollar gun I'm not gonna let the 40 shipping dissuade me cuz I'm still only giving 190 for it.

NoSecondBest, this IS the black powder forum.:p

Doc Hoy
February 20, 2012, 03:50 AM
Respectfully...(And you know I mean that)

The logical practical person in me agrees with you two guys 100%. But the emotional inner child declares that there is indeed a difference. It is a principle thing. (I told you I was on a soap box.)

Any seller who would tack forty dollars onto the end of an auction and call it shipping is being (IMHO) dishonest. And if he would be dishonest about shipping he would be dishonest about other aspects of the sale, like misrepresenting the condition and then not honoring the return policy.

The USPS will deliver empty flat rate boxes and then pick them up if you make the right arrangements.

Miss work? Drive a long way to the P.O.? Sorry guys but I don't buy it.

I have been doing eBay for a long time as a non-business person, just a simple buyer and seller. I just got my 609th feedback yeasterday and they are all positive. That is because I try to treat folks the way I want them to treat me. I pay quickly with exactly the payment method the seller specifies. I tolerate a lot of shenangans from buyers (Like not paying with Paypal when all of my listings clearly state that is the way I want to be paid.) I ship quickly and mostly with a flat rate box and I add only a buck or two for materials and other costs.

Gunbroker is a little different from eBay for many reasons. One of those reasons is that it is not quite as commercialized. This means there is a higher percentage of people selling to people, rather than businesses selling to people. This means that a person has a right to expect that the environment will be more "up-front".

I have some rules which I apply on GB and I like to think that I apply them more or less universally.

1. I don't bid on auctions in which the shipping is more than 25.00 (I know that this means I will miss some good deals by standing on my "principles" soap box.

2. I don't bid on BP auctions in which the seller insists upon FFL involvement. (I think this most often happens because the seller is an FFL holder. 2 reasons for this which I am happy to discuss separately.)

3. If the seller advertises "buyer pays actual shipping costs" and I am really interested, I try to pin the seller down. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not.

I don't get emotional about much stuff, but this is one of those issues that bugs me.

noelf2
February 20, 2012, 09:36 AM
Recently I was planning to ship 2 BP revolvers to a member on this forum for some smithing work. USPS was my preference. I'm in VA and he's in the middle of TX. The guns wouldn't fit in a flat rate box so I packed them up in a box I had. The USPS cost would have been about $50 so I didn't ship them. Just for comparison, I calculated how much the same package would cost USPS to New York. Was about $17. So, I guess sellers have to figure on the worse case scenario. Just sayin'

Doc Hoy
February 20, 2012, 10:43 AM
Thanks for the insight and of course you are correct.

However, this auction was for a pistol which would easily fit in a flat rate box.

Obviously I am thinking, maybe the seller wants to make more money on an auction than the item is eventually worth and he hides that additional cost calling it shipping, or shipping and handling, or shipping and processing, etc.

If I were to meet this guy face to face, I would very likely find him to be a nice, honorable, devoted patriot. But right now he is operating from a credibility deficit.

I can be a pretty quirky guy, a little odd and sometimes stubborn.

I am sticking to my guns. Had I bought this item and paid the forty bucks for shipping I could easily have been told, I had more money than brains. (Even after I sent the payment.)

I am not really certain why I made this most recent post to this thread. I respect all of you and all of your opinions.

I truly am cognizant the validity of each of y'all's inputs.

I am beating a dead horse.

Andy Griffith
February 20, 2012, 06:17 PM
I shipped a couple of items in a large flat rate box a while back.

I put restricted delivery, signature confirmation and $700 insurance on it, and it was a bit above $30.00. I wouldn't think of shipping a BP revolver without those extra three items on it.

Do most of y'all just not purchase a signature or at least delivery confirmation of the on items you were to sell and not add insurance to save a buck or two??? :eek:

Let's just face it, most of the curmudgeons on here also qualify as card carrying cheapskate penny-pinching misers. Most people that trade on guns (especially smokepoles) are tight- I know I am. :D

Simple answer to your rant:
Either man up and pay it, or walk way and buy something or somewhere else.

Hardy
February 20, 2012, 06:22 PM
I did a little checking Doc. As I said before, I never had problems mailing or receiving C/B guns. I talked w/ delivery express owner and he said you can mail or ship anything as long as it's packaged as long it is legal. And the US mail doesn't ask. C/B revolvers are treated like fishing poles etc!!! as far as SC and most states go. I never charged a handling cost when selling firearms. In three years, I have never had a problem taking a wrapped box to the post office. If I did charge to send or mail it was the cost the delivery or mail service charged. The only law I know of is for someone under 18 buying--and sending one w/conversion cylinder in gun, except for few states that prohibit C/B since they are treated as conventional firearms.

WBH

Wolf and Raven
February 20, 2012, 09:03 PM
Just in case anyone is not aware you can get a discount on your flat rate shipping from USPS by purchasing your postage online, plus you get FREE Delivery Confirmation. VERY affordable.

sandman_nv
February 20, 2012, 11:48 PM
plus if the shipment is by Priority Mail or Express Mail, USPS will come pick it up if they do so in your area.

orangello
February 21, 2012, 11:59 AM
just packed up and 1860 for shipment in a flat rate box. I cut a piece of plywood to fit in the box. Cut some shims to hold the plywood in place. glued and tacked the shims to the plywood. Wrapped the pistol in bubble wrap and shrink tape. Drilled four holes in the plywood to accept cable ties. Cable tied the pistol to the plywood. Took me every bit of 25 minutes.

Dang! That is some nice packaging; i will have to remember that if you put a ROA or some pretty steel-framed thing up for sale. Plywood, bubble wrap, shimmed, and ziptied--very nice!

bedbugbilly
February 21, 2012, 12:30 PM
Doc - I agree with you 100%.

I just shipped a pistol/holster (granted a pocket pistol) in a Medium Flat Rate Priority Mail "shirt size box". (As you state though, even the largest frame size C & B can be shipped in that size box, well padded to boot!

Here's the breakdown.

Flat Rate Medium Priority Mail - $11.35
Tracking - .75
$200 Insurance Coverage - $2.90

Total - $15.00

And let's not forget that the boxes are free at the Post Office.

That being said, I can see $20.00 for shipping when you tack on another $5.00 for packing it, cushioning materials, tape, etc. If you're running a business, then yes . . . I can see even $10.00 in addition to the actual cost of postage, etc. to cover an employee's time, overhead, etc.

After that though, I have a hard time seeing how anyone can justify something like a $40.00 s/h charge. In my mind, when I see an excessive shipping charge, I walk away even if I might really want the item . . . it sort of makes me question the seller's "characteer". Just my thoughts . . . . .

hoof hearted
February 21, 2012, 07:13 PM
noelf2

"Recently I was planning to ship 2 BP revolvers to a member on this forum for some smithing work. USPS was my preference. I'm in VA and he's in the middle of TX. The guns wouldn't fit in a flat rate box so I packed them up in a box I had. The USPS cost would have been about $50 so I didn't ship them. Just for comparison, I calculated how much the same package would cost USPS to New York. Was about $17. So, I guess sellers have to figure on the worse case scenario. Just sayin' "

I'm sorry that the shipping priced you out of getting work performed on your pistols.........:(

This is one of the reasons I try to "group" services and discount them to the bretheren!

If I remember correctly you were shipping two pistols and probably with the size of your packaging and insurance it got to be too much (I always pay for ins but have NEVER had to use it).

This brings us to why I encourage my customers to call me if there is ANY issue or concern. Frequently I quote MAX shipping charges (including large packing and insurance) and then work from there.

Colt style BP pistols can be broken down and wrapped carefully they then will fit in a $10.00 flat rate box. Of course for the discerning spender Insurance can be omitted.

Regards, HH

maillemaker
February 24, 2012, 10:39 AM
Many unscrupulous online auction sellers know that people sort auctions by price and commodity items can make or break sales by a penny.

So in order to appear to undercut they will lower the reserve price or minimum bid of the item and instead tack the money onto the shipping.

This is why it is important to always check the payment and shipping details before bidding on anything online.

I will say that some commercial shippers are now requiring all firearms - even black powder firearms - to be shipped overnight. They claim this is to minimize the risk of theft of firearms while they are in possession of them. Obviously if you have to pay priority shipping to send an item it's going to cost more.

FL-Flinter
February 26, 2012, 07:27 AM
A major portion of my business is conducted in and out via USPS. Just shipped a flint pistol out on Friday: Priority shirt box $15.45, Insurance $19.15 & Signature confirmation $2.55 for a grand total of $37.15 which doesn't include the $7+ worth of barrier paper, bubble-wrap, plastic wrap, tape and glue I use when packing it nor my time.

Getting gouged on shipping burns my butt too but also understand that everything else has gone way up in price and it all adds to the cost of shipping. USPS rates have gone up but they're still the cheapest and their service is still the most reliable ... same package above shipping United Parcel Service would have been in excess of $65.
Mark

FL-Flinter
February 26, 2012, 07:47 AM
I will say that some commercial shippers are now requiring all firearms - even black powder firearms - to be shipped overnight.

That would be UPS and not a single UPS Store/UPS Ship Center manager has been able to produce the written UPS or govt. regulation specifically stating "firearm" (generic) or "non-gun" (what a traditional style muzzleloader is). The regulation applies ONLY to "centerfire handguns", not even centerfire long guns. They don't know their own business and if they do they're just trying to rake you out of insane costs that are way above their already insane costs! That goes right along with the FFL dealers who think it's acceptable to rake a customer for $75-$125 just to receive a centerfire long gun - ain't happening with me, all they did was push all my business away because now I'll make the two-hour drive to a shop run by a very respectable lady who only charges for the actual time and costs she has into it ... while I'm there I usually find other things to buy ;) then try to explain it to the warden when I get home :(

Mr.Guido
February 26, 2012, 07:10 PM
Priority shirt box $15.45, Insurance $19.15 & Signature confirmation $2.55 for a grand total of $37.15..........


From USPS.COM
UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE

INSURANCE FEE RATES

Fee . . . . . . . . . . Insurance Coverage
$1.65 ................ $0.01 to $50
$2.05 ................ $50.01 to $100
$2.45 ................ $100.01 to $200
$4.60 ................ $200.01 to $300
$5.50 ................ $300.01 to $400
$6.40 ................ $400.01 to $500
$7.30……………$500.01 to $600
$7.30 plus $0.90 per $100 or fraction thereof over $600 to $5,000.

If I was paying to insure a $1900 pistol, I suppose $40 might not be out of line when insurance is considered, but I doubt the pistol referred to by the OP remotely approached that number.

When I see these type of ridiculous charges in an auction, I sometimes ask the seller if a local pick up would be possible. Some of the responses can be downright entertaining.

Doc Hoy
February 26, 2012, 08:35 PM
In the ad I was speaking of when I openned this thread, there was no mention of insurance of any kind or amount. So I guess I am agreeing with you.

In fairness to the guy who was selling his pistol I did not ask any questions. So it is entirely possible that he was doing something that he considered to be worth 40 bucks. Shipping method, packing material, insurance, signature or whatever.

But those kinds of things are not worth it to me regardless on how he feels about it. If a seller is doing some kind of shipping on a replica BP revolver that it has to cost 40 bucks he is doing too much.

I don't make a business of selling on GB or on EBay but I can say that I have had no problems in more than seven hundred transactions. Every thing I ship goes through the post office. Most of the stuff I have bought comes to me through the post office. Only one thing ever came in damaged and that was a two dollar book and I saw the letter carrier destroy it with my own eyes.

idaram
February 29, 2012, 07:52 PM
I was just shoppin' one evening and saw a couple revolvers that required $50.00 and $60.00 shipping. $40.00 for a Springfield I can see, but $60.00 for a rev.? Haven't (thankfully) seen those ads again.

Best to all,
Andy

hoof hearted
February 29, 2012, 08:09 PM
I went to the PO today to ship back a customers pistol. He shipped it to me in the factory Uberti box which was packed in a larger carboard box and I carried it into the PO that way It was $26.00 with tracking. I opened the box and pulled the Uberti slip box out and shoved it in a $10.00 flat box and relabeled it.

If you care and dont't need a factory box you can save a bunch of money shipping.

It's all about taking the time to care.......

Regards, HH

Doc Hoy
March 1, 2012, 08:36 AM
....in my comment on packing a pistol in a Flat rate box.

Here goes:

We are talking about the medium shirt size flat rate box which I think ships now for about 11.00. You recognize most of what you see in the materials photo. I want to point out the roll of thin plastic film. It is like Saran Wrap. Comes from Home Depot for about eight bucks for a million feet (actually closer to a thousand feet.)

http://i617.photobucket.com/albums/tt259/Dochoy/Pack1.jpg

From scrap plywood I have laying around I cut the three pieces shown. You will see how they go together and how I choose the size to cut.

http://i617.photobucket.com/albums/tt259/Dochoy/Pack2.jpg

Glue and Screw the pieces together

http://i617.photobucket.com/albums/tt259/Dochoy/Pack3.jpg


http://i617.photobucket.com/albums/tt259/Dochoy/Pack4.jpg


Set the completed box insert aside and start wrapping the pistol. Of course bubble wrap in indespensible.

http://i617.photobucket.com/albums/tt259/Dochoy/Pack6.jpg

This is where the plastic film comes in. I use this stuf all over the place. When yoou finish wrapping something it is darned near watertight and won't come open until you easily unwrap it.

http://i617.photobucket.com/albums/tt259/Dochoy/Pack7.jpg


I place the pistol inside of the insert such that no part is touching the end pieces and no part is close to the edges.

Doc Hoy
March 1, 2012, 08:43 AM
Drill four holes in the insert to accept the cable ties.

http://i617.photobucket.com/albums/tt259/Dochoy/Pack8.jpg


Here is the pistol in place in the insert

http://i617.photobucket.com/albums/tt259/Dochoy/Pack10.jpg


Here is the insert inside of the box.

http://i617.photobucket.com/albums/tt259/Dochoy/Pack9.jpg

It takes me about 25 minutes to go through the process described herein

I know very well that I am using tools and materials that not everyone has.

In truth though, the materials that would really be needed don't cost more than about 40 cents. (Bubble wrap and some of that plastic film on a roll.)

Making the insert is completely unnecessary and would not work for a person trying to make a business of selling pistols on GB.com

I do both eBay and GB for fun and to acquire the things I want or need. So when I sell something, as long as I get the price I feel I need to have, I am happiest when the buyer gives me good feedback. I am at 100% on eBay (610 entries) and A+ on Gunbroker and that is the way I like it.

That is why I go to more trouble than is reasonable for a person who is doing this as a living.

Fingers McGee
March 4, 2012, 07:42 PM
I just sent a 2nd Gen Pocket Police in a Priority flat rate box, insured with electronic return receipt. $20.65. I do not think that is unreasonable.

KEYBEAR
March 5, 2012, 01:22 AM
I just sold a Ruger Old Army to Gentleman in some eastern state .
Will be shipping it out in the AM U.S.P.S.
I have it in a Flat Rate Box and packing and really hope it,s to his liking .
I hear this guy is a real bugger about shipping .

KEYBEAR

Doc Hoy
March 5, 2012, 06:39 AM
Good joke from the Bear.

He is shipping the pistol to me and as everyone knows, my feeling is that if you haven't spent forty bucks to ship a pistol it ain't packed right.










NOT! :D

Andy Griffith
March 5, 2012, 08:49 AM
I think the next time I sell something that I want $200 for...

I'll charge $10 for the item, and $190 for shipping. :D

Maybe we all should sell stuff that way.

KEYBEAR
March 5, 2012, 12:46 PM
Went to the Post Office this AM with three box,s to ship . One went to Mi, One to VA, and the last to LA, . Got ins. and tracking on all three total was $24.58 . Kind of cheap ??


KEYBEAR

arcticap
March 5, 2012, 01:04 PM
That's because the Postal Service loses a billion dollars a year.
They help to subsidize business transactions. :)

mykeal
March 5, 2012, 05:32 PM
Actually, the USPS loses no money on operations. The billion dollar a year losses are funding pension programs because of a congressional mandate.

Doc Hoy
March 5, 2012, 09:43 PM
Maybe thats why some sellers want 40 bucks to ship a pistol.

Sure Shot Mc Gee
March 5, 2012, 11:22 PM
I would really like to know how he is going to ship it such that it costs forty dollars! Could the high charge be attributed to extra charges incurred at the Postal office? Like Insurance against damage, Signature Requested upon delivery, Return Receipt requested. Special Delivery. It all adds up to the cost of sending things safely. If one thinks the charge for mail delivery is high. Wait till this coming summer? 40.00 bucks just may be the lesser of the two by then. It's a moot point anyway. Because the prospective buyer never followed up on the deal. So there is no real way in knowing what the shipping cost consisted of for its seller? "You pay to play or you don't":)

KEYBEAR
March 5, 2012, 11:33 PM
Signature Requested upon delivery cost .75 cents ? That leaves $39.25

arcticap
March 6, 2012, 12:29 AM
Delivery Confirmation costs .75 which is similar to a tracking number.
But signature confirmation costs $2.55 and adult signature required costs $4.75.

Delivery Confirmation™ $0.75 No charge
Return Receipt for Merchandise $3.95 Not available
Signature Confirmation™ $2.55 $2.10
Adult Signature Required Not available $4.75
Adult Signature Restricted Delivery Not available $4.95
Other Extra Services Collect on Delivery From $5.90 Not available

https://www.usps.com/

Doc Hoy
March 6, 2012, 06:26 AM
I think you are probably right.

I am sure there are ways to rationalize charging 40.00 dollars to send a BP revolver to a buyer. And the shipping features you mention are among them.

I would not want a shipper to use delivery confirmation or signature because there is almost never a person at my house when the letter carrier passes through. That means I have to ask the shipper to send it to my job and the university is a pistol free zone. Insurance probably is not a bad idea. I have only used it one time on a $300.00 sale. If the value is not excessive I take the chance.

This thread has pretty much played itself out. Actually it was an old saw the last time I got on the soap box.

So here is another one. Sale on gunbroker for two brass frame revolvers an 1851 Navy and an 1860 Army. Opening bid was 100.00 which is fair. The bid as of last night was 455.00.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=275742011

I am going to find that buyer and go into business selling him pistols.

arcticap
March 6, 2012, 02:26 PM
I would not want a shipper to use delivery confirmation or signature because there is almost never a person at my house when the letter carrier passes through. That means I have to ask the shipper to send it to my job and the university is a pistol free zone. Insurance probably is not a bad idea.

Whenever an item is sent through the post office and insured for over $200 then a signature is required on delivery. Or else the letter carrier will leave a [pink] notice for the addressee to pick up the package at the post office where the person must show ID to receive it. The letter carrier is not suppose to leave packages on a door step that are insured for over $200. There isn't any choice involved.
That's the way that it was explained to me.

mykeal
March 6, 2012, 04:47 PM
I am going to find that buyer and go into business selling him pistols.
If you find that buyer you could retire selling him pistols!:eek:

Doc Hoy
March 6, 2012, 07:53 PM
....I have gripes about swindlers charging too much to ship a pistol and I have gripes about idiots paying too much to buy a pistol.

If I am not careful I'll get a reputation as a crotchety old curmudgeon....

....or I'll further the nasty reputation I already have.