Author Topic: Crappy shipping practices of CD retailers (and artists)  (Read 2623 times)

drone on

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Crappy shipping practices of CD retailers (and artists)
« on: November 01, 2012, 10:43:00 AM »
Excuse my whining, but I've noticed recently a trend towards really crappy packaging of CD shipments, both foreign and domestic.  First off, let me say, Hypnos does shipping right!  I always get my CD's covered in protective bubble wrap and packaged carefully.  I really appreciate this as a buyer. 

Recently I received a digipak cd from overseas where the artist/label had just thrown the digipak in a very thin "jiffy" mailer.  The inner tray was cracked in three places and the cover had numerous deep dings and dents.  Would it have been too much trouble to use a piece of cardboard in the package to prevent this??

Just the other day I ordered 3 discs with jewel cases.  I paid $8.00 for Priority Mail (which is high to begin with, but the cd's were cheap so it didn't bother me as much).  I got 'em quick, alright, but the shipper crammed the three cd's in a bubble mailer (the packaging was too small), with no padding or protection.  All the jewel cases were badly cracked.

To make matters worse, when I've emailed some sellers and politely pointed this out, and suggested some alternative shipping practices, they didn't bother to respond. 

This pisses me off!!  Anybody else??  8)

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Re: Crappy shipping practices of CD retailers (and artists)
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2012, 10:47:04 AM »
I've had this same experience many times, with single CDs and boxes of multiple CDs. People seem to think any container will work, even one that allows the CDs to rattle around inside.

Same problem with books, too!
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| broken harbour |

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Re: Crappy shipping practices of CD retailers (and artists)
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2012, 12:01:07 PM »
I've noticed this too, and I think it's a reaction to the ever increasing cost of shipping.
I've never had a compaint about a busted shipment, but lately I switched to shipping in these:
http://www.uline.ca/BL_1455/Self-Seal-CD-Mailers?keywords=CD Mailers

Because of the increased cost of the mailers, plus the fact that it costs more to actually ship the CD's, I did have to increase my shipping fees slightly. I still lose money on shipping in most cases, it generally costs me $5 to ship a single cd to the US, and $7-$10 to ship to the UK and most of europe.  I've always wondered if I'm the only one losing money on shipping.  If I charged the true cost of shipment it would appear that I'm ripping customers off.

As a side note, my shipments from Hypnos, Amazon, Headphone Dust and Steve Roach are always well packaged.

APK

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Re: Crappy shipping practices of CD retailers (and artists)
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2012, 12:02:44 PM »
I've given up ordering albums with jewel cases, seems they were always broken.
They are also relatively heavy and take up too much space.
This is why I went towards half width vinyl cases at DataObscura -- lighter and don't break.

Just a note. Sometimes you have to cut back on padding/protection to get the albums under a postal weight limit. Over the limit by a fraction and the cost of shipping can easily double. So perhaps there is sometimes a trade-off by labels on the price of shipping vs amount of padding they can have.

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APK

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Re: Crappy shipping practices of CD retailers (and artists)
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2012, 12:07:37 PM »
Blake : why does it cost you $5 to the USA ... are you shipping rocks with it ??  ;)
Costs me $2.50 here in Ontario.

(I'll answer that myself: your packages are over 100grams. If you use a Uline bubble envelope instead of the Uline cardboard you can probably get it beneath 100.)
« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 12:14:24 PM by APK »
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drone on

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Re: Crappy shipping practices of CD retailers (and artists)
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2012, 12:48:20 PM »
Yes, the Roach mailorder packages items extremely well. 

I guess my main point of this post was about responsibility of the shipper to ensure their product will be reasonably protected.  To me it's not good enough to just blame the postal system, which I think is the attitude unfortunately of some shippers.  If you are sending something fragile and charging the customer for shipping, it's your responsibility to reasonably ensure it gets there in one piece (IMO).  OTOH, there is a seller on eBay who I really like; they also sell the items cheaper than anyone else and shipping is free.  They don't use the best packing and some stuff has arrived cracked (like those jewelcase boxes that hold 4 or 5 CD's) but in this case I don't mind as much because I didn't really pay for shipping. 

But if you do happen to mention it to the seller, politely, not offering any response doesn't make me feel good about that transaction.  It shows the same lack of care they had when they threw your digipak in a thin mailer with no padding and airmailed it.   

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Re: Crappy shipping practices of CD retailers (and artists)
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2012, 01:11:15 PM »
Blake : why does it cost you $5 to the USA ... are you shipping rocks with it ??  ;)
Costs me $2.50 here in Ontario.

(I'll answer that myself: your packages are over 100grams. If you use a Uline bubble envelope instead of the Uline cardboard you can probably get it beneath 100.)

Alberta 'advantage'? We overpay for everything where I live.

I should clarify, it varies wildly.  I've had some come out under 2 bucks, and some over 7 or 8 bucks.  I think it partly depends on what city, zip code, etc...  I've kept track and it averages out to 5-ish dollars.

hdibrell

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Re: Crappy shipping practices of CD retailers (and artists)
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2012, 01:17:02 PM »
"First off, let me say, Hypnos does shipping right!  I always get my CD's covered in protective bubble wrap and packaged carefully.  I really appreciate this as a buyer.  "         I agree with that. Lena does a great job of packing cd's.
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phobos

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Re: Crappy shipping practices of CD retailers (and artists)
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2012, 02:15:26 PM »
I have switched to these, http://rivieramultimedia.co.uk/PBSCProduct.asp?ItmID=9264531.
If anyone gets a cd from me then feedback on the packaging, how it stood up, etc, is most welcome, then if they are no good then alternative packaging will be sought. As a very small independent artist we rely on feedback for everything, it will help us to provide a better service.
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Re: Crappy shipping practices of CD retailers (and artists)
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2012, 02:34:02 PM »
I have switched to these, http://rivieramultimedia.co.uk/PBSCProduct.asp?ItmID=9264531.
If anyone gets a cd from me then feedback on the packaging, how it stood up, etc, is most welcome, then if they are no good then alternative packaging will be sought. As a very small independent artist we rely on feedback for everything, it will help us to provide a better service.


My copy came looking great.

I'd love to hear similar feedback, there's quite a few Hypnos Forum'ers that should be getting CD's from me in the mail next week.

Numina

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Re: Crappy shipping practices of CD retailers (and artists)
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2012, 02:39:25 PM »
Yeah, this is a fairly frequent problem.  What gets me is when I order things from Europe and their bubble mailers are wimpier than the typical ones you find in the U.S., or so it seems.  I wouldn't normally shed a tear of a cracked case except one album I picked up there was a unique title sticker on the case and the cover had cracked right through the sticker all because it was just the disc inside a really thin mailer.  My bigger complaint is that nearly every double-CD set with the flip-tray arrive broken and the all-clear 2-sided flip trays are not easy to find (I suppose if you buy in bulk, but can't find them locally, only solid black flip trays)... however, I figured out a way around this... thrift stores! There's almost always a really bad religious 2-CD set that's in near perfect condition with those clear 2-disc trays and I buy them for a couple bucks when I need one.

For my Numinamusic orders that I ship out, I buy these cardboard boxes specifically designed for CD sales.  I have ones that hold 2 CDs at a time and use them for 1 or 2 order sizes. If it goes up to 3 I'll use a bubble mailer with some cardboard inserted on the two ends and for more I recycle boxes I have and/or cut out my own cardboard mailer - which is kind of a pain in the ass and can take 20 minutes to size it up and cut it just right and tape it all up, but it beats wasting more cardboard by buying a lot of oversized boxes and stuff.  If I was high-volume I would do that, but it's just not economical for me at this time.

Hypnos, Roach, Rich, and Projekt have always had perfect packaging from my experience.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 02:41:07 PM by Numina »

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Re: Crappy shipping practices of CD retailers (and artists)
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2012, 07:08:13 AM »
(I'll answer that myself: your packages are over 100grams. If you use a Uline bubble envelope instead of the Uline cardboard you can probably get it beneath 100.)

Just a quick follow up - I sent the second wave of CD's out yesterday, and the cardboard mailers with a single digipack come out to 108 grams!  8 bloody grams over the limit!  A few I sent to europe were nearly 10 bucks!  Once I run out of these mailers I'm going to have to figure something lighter out.

einstein36

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Re: Crappy shipping practices of CD retailers (and artists)
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2012, 08:46:11 AM »
I think one of these days when teleport devices are made, then we wouldn't have to worry about mailing such things out, we can just zap the cd's, etc to someone right after ordering with in seconds:)
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drone on

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Re: Crappy shipping practices of CD retailers (and artists)
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2012, 09:50:02 AM »
It's called downloading ;D

jdh

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Re: Crappy shipping practices of CD retailers (and artists)
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2012, 11:35:38 PM »
Agree with Broken Habour,Alberta is expensive,especially Calgary.
Hypnos,Steve Roach,Robert Rich,Amazon,never had an issue.
I even bought a CD a few weeks ago from England off Ebay,I got it in 5 days and perfect.
Maybe it is a European thing, very little experience. 
Shipping is expensive but when it gets to 7-8 dollars for a CD,forget it.Download.

Numina

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Re: Crappy shipping practices of CD retailers (and artists)
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2012, 11:33:19 AM »
So I picked up a new CD via rarewaves imports on eBay the other day.  Fast shipping (about 7 days) but mailed in a thin cardboard envelope (very thin, like one step up from paper) and absolutely NO bubble wrap, nothing, and the CD wasn't even shrinkwrapped.  It is a digipak and of course the clear tray portion is cracked and broken exposing sharp pieces of plastic and this more or less ruins the value of the package.  It wouldn't be a big deal if it were a standard jewel case but the disc holder is part of the digipak.  Why don't these guys use at lease one layer of bubble?  They offered a 20% refund or I return it on my dime to the U.K. in which cased I'd lose. Not sure how these outfits can justify no packaging and then offer a refund amount that basically nets them nothing while the customer is on the hook for the rest. Don't plan to fight this one.  No energy.

drone on

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Re: Crappy shipping practices of CD retailers (and artists)
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2012, 02:01:25 PM »
Looks like you got the drone on special there Jesse  ;D

Numina

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Re: Crappy shipping practices of CD retailers (and artists)
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2012, 03:10:59 PM »
Looks like you got the drone on special there Jesse  ;D

 ;)

drone on

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Re: Crappy shipping practices of CD retailers (and artists)
« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2012, 02:27:52 AM »
I'm starting to wonder if sellers in UK are switching to digipaks and using flimsier mailers to combat the skyrocketing postal costs.  I also received recently a cracked digipak in flimsy mailer from the UK.