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Re:Packing scopes purchased on ebay (was: Remember this seller!)

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  • will long
    Hello All: This is my first post to group; so, that fact may give you an indication of my passion on the subject of ignorant, negligent, or just plain uncaring
    Message 1 of 15 , Feb 4, 2008
      Hello All:

      This is my first post to group; so, that fact may give
      you an indication of my passion on the subject of
      ignorant, negligent, or just plain uncaring "don't
      give a s**t" microscope packing jobs done by
      (unfortunately) many eBay sellers.

      Appended (between the xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx-lines below)
      is a slightly editted copy of a "PACKING CHECKLIST"
      that I send to eBay sellers from whom I purchase
      microscopes, and other delicate instruments. Feel free
      to borrow and/or modify whatever text you might find
      useful for your own transactions.

      I too, have found that many seller's simply ignore the
      instructions. However, I have had other sellers
      actually mail me thanks for the information, and a few
      have indicated that they unpacked scopes that they
      thought were all ready to ship; then they repackaged
      them using the information that I provided.

      We all know that eBay Feedback can be used as a
      retalitory weapon by sellers who resent an honest
      appraisal of their actions posted by a good-faith
      buyer.

      I might suggest that we standardize a
      "Microscope@yahoogroups.com" Packing Checklist that we
      all could use for such transactions--a hotlink to a
      webpage with a photo-illustrated version of list might
      be a good idea.

      Since eBay feeback can work against even saints, why
      not establish our own "Rouges Gallery" to identify the
      worst offenders? If we had a webpage version of the
      checklist, it could certainly include, or link to,
      such a page. (Photo documented cases would help drive
      the point home to prospective sellers, particularly if
      one established the habit of photographing a package
      as received; opened enough to show the packing
      material [frequently of inadequate type and volumne];
      and then detailing any resultant shipping damage.)

      If maintained and used regularly enough, such webpages
      (packing checklist and rouge gallery) could provide an
      easy and convenient way for microscope buyers to
      convey both their expectations of a shipper, and the
      consequences of ignoring those expectations, by simply
      posting a notice on their eBay "Me" profile. Such
      notice might state: "I subscribe to the packaging and
      shipping standards established by the Microscopy Group
      at yahoo; and, I report damage resulting from poor
      packing to the Rouges Gally."

      For what it's worth, here's my list:
      xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
      Subject: PACKING CHECKLIST for (user name) eBay item -

      Hello,

      This is generic form letter to eBay sellers who are
      about to send delicate or fragile items, PARTICULARLY
      VINTAGE MICROSCOPES, to eBay purchaser (user name).

      First of all, please do not take offense that I send
      you this note--unless I have received packages from
      you recently enough to remember, I do not know how you
      pack your shipments. I would prefer to err on the side
      of caution before shipping, rather than commit time
      and energy to resolving a dispute later. You would not
      believe what some eBay sellers concept of adequate
      packing of fine instruments is! I have received fine
      microscopes, which managed to survive the preceding
      century in great condition, literally destroyed and in
      pieces because of the ineptness and/or negligence of
      some sellers. I have opened packages to such horrors
      as main tubes broken away from focusing racks,
      objective lenses driven through sub stage condenser
      irises, and (unfortunately common) vintage wooden
      storage cases split apart with internal partitions
      broken away and other signs of battering.

      1: The first thing to remember: Microscopes are
      delicate, precision instruments.

      A lens surface that rubs on material as soft as
      newsprint through shipment vibrations is RUINED.

      The diaphragm blades of a condenser iris are exposed,
      not encased as in a camera lens, and are easily bent
      or broken by contact with other components or
      structure of the microscope.

      Focusing wheels, filter sliders, iris adjusting lever,
      etc., are not robust structures--they are designed for
      careful handling in use. One needs to consider that
      fact when placing packing materials, especially if
      several loose items or disassembled scope components
      are to be packed in a common box where they might move
      into contact with each other.

      2: The parts of an assembled microscope move.

      Nose-pieces and sub stage condensers rotate. Mirrors
      swivel on their gimbals.

      Ocular lenses will slip out of draw tubes. Draw tubes
      themselves slide.

      Main tubes, stages, and condensers move up and down on
      their racks.

      If the scope does not have adjustment locks on ALL of
      these movements, and few do, then one must take
      measures to secure them for shipment. (Just look at a
      few antique microscope listings on eBay and notice how
      many photos show an objective lens in contact with the
      specimen stage. Now, imagine what happens to that lens
      during the jiggling and vibration of shipment, perhaps
      a Trans-Atlantic journey.)

      3: A storage case is not a shipping container.

      A storage case is designed to keep dust off an
      instrument when it is not in use, and to provide a
      convenient, consolidated store place for the scope and
      its accoutrements in a STATIC ENVIRONMENT. It is not
      designed, nor intended, for securing the instrument
      and its attachments against the dynamic movement,
      shocks, and vibration they will encounter in modern
      shipment handling.

      Lenses, filters, condensers and other attachments WILL
      fall out of their niches and compartments. The scope
      itself, and the heavier accessories WILL split, break,
      and batter the partitions and tabs of storage cases
      that are only designed to organize them while sitting
      on a shelf or lab bench.

      4: Remember physics.

      The scope is a heavy instrument. When the package is
      moving the scope's mass is moving with it. When the
      package stops, the scope mass wants to keep moving. IT
      HAS MOMENTUM! (Drop a 10-pound sledge hammer head from
      waist height--about the height where the package
      handler who trips will be holding my microscope--onto
      a concrete floor. See the energy? Now, imagine that
      was a 10-pound brass microscope inside of an
      100-year-old wooden storage case.)

      A heavy microscope, even stripped of the more
      vulnerable components, can still be destroyed by such
      a fall, if it does not have sufficient,
      shock-absorbing, packing material around it. Main
      frames can be bent out of alignment; let alone the
      more common occurrence of bent draw tubes.

      SUGGESTIONS:

      Strategically disassemble the scope (within your
      capabilities) to isolate and protect the components
      individually before consolidating the package.

      Remove objective lenses, oculars (eyepieces),
      condensers, filters, mirrors (if loose fit), and other
      components that are likely to dislodge, or that can
      move into contact with the microscope body and be
      damaged. Package the components to protect them
      individually. (Whether you use paper, bubble wrap,
      confetti, or plastic "peanuts", does not matter; as
      long as it it properly applied in adequate quantity.
      Remember, if you use loose material, wrap components
      against infiltration of the material into the
      components' internal workings--self-sealing plastic
      bags are great for this; paper and tape is adequate.)

      Protect lens surfaces. Lightweight, corrugated
      cardboard rolled around the lens to form a tube longer
      than the lens can then be folded back and taped; or
      better, pinched at each end and taped, then packed in
      a separate small box together with the other objective
      and ocular lenses. Several small boxes placed, well
      separated, inside a main box full of plastic peanuts
      is my idea of good packaging.

      Secure the scope movements. Wrap and tape, or place
      physical barriers such as foam rubber or Styrofoam
      blocks, to prevent main tube, specimen stage, sub
      stage carrier (assuming you've already removed the
      condenser and mirror), and scope base from moving into
      contact with each other. The entire scope body can
      then be wrapped--bubble wrap is great, but paper and
      tape will do the job if done carefully.

      At this point, if I were doing the packing, I would
      wrap additional padding around the main scope--large
      foam rubber scraps or bubble wrap being ideal. I would
      then place a thick bed of plastic peanuts in a box;
      place the scope centrally; arrange my packaged
      components in the box with adequate separation from
      the scope, each other, and the box's outer surfaces;
      then fill the box beyond the rim (while holding the
      flaps up to do so), jiggle the box to settle the
      peanuts, but keep it slightly over-filled; then
      compress the material with the closing flaps; and
      thoroughly secure the box with tape.

      The above are only general tips--many materials and
      methods can achieve the desired results. By all means,
      if you have questions, email me. I am virtually never
      in a hurry to receive an item--I am always pleased to
      receive one in good condition.

      I hope this information is helpful. To repeat, I had
      no intent to offend. If I have overlooked any major
      concerns, I would welcome your input. Feel free to use
      the above text as the basis of your own packing
      checklist or as the basis for forum discussions and
      the like.

      Thank you, for your patience and consideration.

      Regards,

      (user name)



      Send SHIPMENTS to:

      (shipping address here)


      Mail CORRESPONDENCE ONLY to:

      (contact address - if differt from shipping address)

      Preferred email address:

      xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

      So, any comments or suggestions?

      Regards,

      Will Long


      ____________________________________________________________________________________
      Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your home page.
      http://www.yahoo.com/r/hs
    • Wallace Kelley
      Hi Will, thank you for including your excellent shipping instructions for all of us to see and use. I finally settled with the seller of the microscope I
      Message 2 of 15 , Feb 5, 2008
        Hi Will, thank you for including your excellent shipping instructions for all of us to see and use. I finally settled with the seller of the microscope I received with the broken mirror and received a partial refund of the purchase price. Frankly, I'd rather have had the intact mirror. In the past I have including packing instructions similar to yours with my emails to sellers, but I had not had a problem in a while and I had neglected to send this seller my instructions. I've learned my lesson and like you, unless I personally know and have had past experience with the seller I'll include instructions for packing with every ebay purchase I make.

        I agree it would be nice to have a standard packing checklist with photos on the internet that we could refer sellers to.

        Nice to hear from you and,
        Best regards,
        Wallace


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • nic.rhodes
        I have received two microscopes in the last year that have arrived trashed from Ebay purchases. One I think was due to poor handling. Matter was never
        Message 3 of 15 , Feb 5, 2008
          I have received two microscopes in the last year that have
          arrived 'trashed'from Ebay purchases. One I think was due to poor
          handling. Matter was never resolved. Seller now on my ignore list. The
          other is still in negociation, despite 2 months on, no progress :(.
          Both sellers were given instruction to pack VERY carefully. Both
          microscopes suffered major damage to heavy metal components. However I
          received today a beautifully packed disecting scopes, exactly as per my
          instructions, as I have kit from other forum members here. Regular
          users seem to understand the issues more.
        • gcouger@science-info.net
          Hi Wallace, If some one will take the the pictures as they pack a scope I will make the page and host it on on science-info.net. We can all collaborate on the
          Message 4 of 15 , Feb 5, 2008
            Hi Wallace,
            If some one will take the the pictures as they pack a scope I will make the page and host it on on science-info.net. We can all collaborate on the text for the best way to pack and ship a scope.


            Gordon


            ----- Original Message ----
            From: Wallace Kelley <wkelley@...>
            To: Microscope@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Tuesday, February 5, 2008 12:01:23 PM
            Subject: Re: [Microscope] Re:Packing scopes purchased on ebay (was: Remember this seller!)


            Hi Will, thank you for including your excellent shipping instructions
            for all of us to see and use. I finally settled with the seller of the
            microscope I received with the broken mirror and received a partial
            refund of the purchase price. Frankly, I'd rather have had the intact
            mirror. In the past I have including packing instructions similar to
            yours with my emails to sellers, but I had not had a problem in a while and
            I had neglected to send this seller my instructions. I've learned my
            lesson and like you, unless I personally know and have had past
            experience with the seller I'll include instructions for packing with every
            ebay purchase I make.

            I agree it would be nice to have a standard packing checklist with
            photos on the internet that we could refer sellers to.

            Nice to hear from you and,
            Best regards,
            Wallace


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




            Yahoo! Groups Links








            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Wallace Kelley
            Hi Gordon, I suppose now I have to put my money where my mouth is. I will work on taking some photos with instructions and place them into a word document.
            Message 5 of 15 , Feb 5, 2008
              Hi Gordon, I suppose now I have to put my money where my mouth is. I will work on taking some photos with instructions and place them into a word document. Then I'll send it to you and if you host it on your science-info.net that will be great. It may take me a few weeks to work on this project but I think it is a very needed item for the group. Once we post the document, we can invite comments and change if needed.

              Kind regards,
              Wallace

              Wallace Kelley
              Tallahassee, Florida


              ----- Original Message -----
              From: gcouger@...
              To: Microscope@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 2:06 PM
              Subject: Re: [Microscope] Re:Packing scopes purchased on ebay (was: Remember this seller!)


              Hi Wallace,
              If some one will take the the pictures as they pack a scope I will make the page and host it on on science-info.net. We can all collaborate on the text for the best way to pack and ship a scope.

              Gordon

              ----- Original Message ----
              From: Wallace Kelley <wkelley@...>
              To: Microscope@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Tuesday, February 5, 2008 12:01:23 PM
              Subject: Re: [Microscope] Re:Packing scopes purchased on ebay (was: Remember this seller!)

              Hi Will, thank you for including your excellent shipping instructions
              for all of us to see and use. I finally settled with the seller of the
              microscope I received with the broken mirror and received a partial
              refund of the purchase price. Frankly, I'd rather have had the intact
              mirror. In the past I have including packing instructions similar to
              yours with my emails to sellers, but I had not had a problem in a while and
              I had neglected to send this seller my instructions. I've learned my
              lesson and like you, unless I personally know and have had past
              experience with the seller I'll include instructions for packing with every
              ebay purchase I make.

              I agree it would be nice to have a standard packing checklist with
              photos on the internet that we could refer sellers to.

              Nice to hear from you and,
              Best regards,
              Wallace


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

              Yahoo! Groups Links

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • gcouger@science-info.net
              Wallace, I see it as a progressive work. Different scopes take different methods. I wasn t call on you in particular but on anyone packing a scope for
              Message 6 of 15 , Feb 5, 2008
                Wallace,


                I see it as a progressive work. Different scopes take different methods. I wasn't call on you in particular but on anyone packing a scope for shipment. I won't put names of the contributors on the ones we use as bad examples unless they want me too.


                Pictures of scopes as they are unpacked may be instructive as well.


                Best Wishes
                Gordon

                ----- Original Message ----
                From: Wallace Kelley <wkelley@...>
                To: Microscope@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Tuesday, February 5, 2008 2:05:24 PM
                Subject: Re: [Microscope] Re:Packing scopes purchased on ebay (was: Remember this seller!)


                Hi Gordon, I suppose now I have to put my money where my mouth is. I
                will work on taking some photos with instructions and place them into a
                word document. Then I'll send it to you and if you host it on your
                science-info.net that will be great. It may take me a few weeks to work
                on this project but I think it is a very needed item for the group.
                Once we post the document, we can invite comments and change if needed.

                Kind regards,
                Wallace

                Wallace Kelley
                Tallahassee, Florida


                ----- Original Message -----
                From: gcouger@...
                To: Microscope@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 2:06 PM
                Subject: Re: [Microscope] Re:Packing scopes purchased on ebay (was:
                Remember this seller!)


                Hi Wallace,
                If some one will take the the pictures as they pack a scope I will
                make the page and host it on on science-info.net. We can all collaborate
                on the text for the best way to pack and ship a scope.

                Gordon

                ----- Original Message ----
                From: Wallace Kelley <wkelley@...>
                To: Microscope@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Tuesday, February 5, 2008 12:01:23 PM
                Subject: Re: [Microscope] Re:Packing scopes purchased on ebay (was:
                Remember this seller!)

                Hi Will, thank you for including your excellent shipping instructions
                for all of us to see and use. I finally settled with the seller of
                the
                microscope I received with the broken mirror and received a partial
                refund of the purchase price. Frankly, I'd rather have had the intact
                mirror. In the past I have including packing instructions similar to
                yours with my emails to sellers, but I had not had a problem in a
                while and
                I had neglected to send this seller my instructions. I've learned my
                lesson and like you, unless I personally know and have had past
                experience with the seller I'll include instructions for packing with
                every
                ebay purchase I make.

                I agree it would be nice to have a standard packing checklist with
                photos on the internet that we could refer sellers to.

                Nice to hear from you and,
                Best regards,
                Wallace


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

                Yahoo! Groups Links

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




                Yahoo! Groups Links








                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Gary Lekvold
                Hi Will, I read your post with great care. You did an outstanding job of writing about an all too often overlooked subject. Now the negative part. Your list
                Message 7 of 15 , Feb 7, 2008
                  Hi Will,
                  I read your post with great care. You did an outstanding job of
                  writing about an all too often overlooked subject. Now the negative
                  part. Your list would be great if you were giving a lecture to a
                  bunch of scope people. If the plan is to send it to eBay sellers,
                  then you are making a broad assumption that they even have a clue what
                  an ocular is. Talking about the diaphram blades in the condenser iris
                  is a total waste of time for many sellers of scopes. They don't have
                  the slightest idea what you are talking about. I am pretty active on
                  eBay, about 800 feedbacks. As a seller I frequently have fifteen or
                  twenty packages to pack, weigh, measure and process for shipment, in
                  one day. If I received those suggestions along with your payment, I
                  would read about two sentences and then toss it in the trash.

                  Please remember, I thought you did a geat job of writing about the
                  subject, I really do. As a seller, if I read that you were about to
                  give me a lecture on physics, I would instantly toss it. I ship
                  mostly delicate items (usually nuclear instrumentation). I have never
                  shipped a scope, but feel quite confident that I can do the job, and I
                  would use most of your suggestions. One of them, you might want to
                  reconsider. Plastic peanuts----I don't care how well you center a
                  heavy object in loose peanuts, by the time it arrives, the heavy
                  object is almost always right up against one side of the box. I
                  always use solid 2" styrofoam to brace between the outer walls, and
                  the object, and then fill in the empty spaces.

                  I have emailed sellers of scopes before they shipped to me, and have
                  enclosed my request along with payment, but it goes something like
                  this. "The two tubes that you look through have removable eyepieces
                  in the ends, please remove them and cover the tube they came out of
                  with tape. Under the flat plate thing where you place the slides,
                  there is a round thing with a lens in the end, etc, etc, etc". If the
                  seller is a knowledgeable scope person, then they already know how it
                  should be packed and they might just learn something from your
                  suggestions, but I think it needs to be cut WAY down, and use more
                  common language, and forget the formal scope terms, if you want more
                  shippers to read it.

                  Gary
                  --- In Microscope@yahoogroups.com, will long <long_will@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hello All:
                  >
                  > This is my first post to group; so, that fact may give
                  > you an indication of my passion on the subject of
                  > ignorant, negligent, or just plain uncaring "don't
                  > give a s**t" microscope packing jobs done by
                  > (unfortunately) many eBay sellers.
                  >
                  > Appended (between the xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx-lines below)
                  > is a slightly editted copy of a "PACKING CHECKLIST"
                  > that I send to eBay sellers from whom I purchase
                  > microscopes, and other delicate instruments. Feel free
                  > to borrow and/or modify whatever text you might find
                  > useful for your own transactions.
                  >
                  > I too, have found that many seller's simply ignore the
                  > instructions. However, I have had other sellers
                  > actually mail me thanks for the information, and a few
                  > have indicated that they unpacked scopes that they
                  > thought were all ready to ship; then they repackaged
                  > them using the information that I provided.
                  >
                  > We all know that eBay Feedback can be used as a
                  > retalitory weapon by sellers who resent an honest
                  > appraisal of their actions posted by a good-faith
                  > buyer.
                  >
                  > I might suggest that we standardize a
                  > "Microscope@yahoogroups.com" Packing Checklist that we
                  > all could use for such transactions--a hotlink to a
                  > webpage with a photo-illustrated version of list might
                  > be a good idea.
                  >
                  > Since eBay feeback can work against even saints, why
                  > not establish our own "Rouges Gallery" to identify the
                  > worst offenders? If we had a webpage version of the
                  > checklist, it could certainly include, or link to,
                  > such a page. (Photo documented cases would help drive
                  > the point home to prospective sellers, particularly if
                  > one established the habit of photographing a package
                  > as received; opened enough to show the packing
                  > material [frequently of inadequate type and volumne];
                  > and then detailing any resultant shipping damage.)
                  >
                  > If maintained and used regularly enough, such webpages
                  > (packing checklist and rouge gallery) could provide an
                  > easy and convenient way for microscope buyers to
                  > convey both their expectations of a shipper, and the
                  > consequences of ignoring those expectations, by simply
                  > posting a notice on their eBay "Me" profile. Such
                  > notice might state: "I subscribe to the packaging and
                  > shipping standards established by the Microscopy Group
                  > at yahoo; and, I report damage resulting from poor
                  > packing to the Rouges Gally."
                  >
                  > For what it's worth, here's my list:
                  > xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
                  > Subject: PACKING CHECKLIST for (user name) eBay item -
                  >
                  > Hello,
                  >
                  > This is generic form letter to eBay sellers who are
                  > about to send delicate or fragile items, PARTICULARLY
                  > VINTAGE MICROSCOPES, to eBay purchaser (user name).
                  >
                  > First of all, please do not take offense that I send
                  > you this note--unless I have received packages from
                  > you recently enough to remember, I do not know how you
                  > pack your shipments. I would prefer to err on the side
                  > of caution before shipping, rather than commit time
                  > and energy to resolving a dispute later. You would not
                  > believe what some eBay sellers concept of adequate
                  > packing of fine instruments is! I have received fine
                  > microscopes, which managed to survive the preceding
                  > century in great condition, literally destroyed and in
                  > pieces because of the ineptness and/or negligence of
                  > some sellers. I have opened packages to such horrors
                  > as main tubes broken away from focusing racks,
                  > objective lenses driven through sub stage condenser
                  > irises, and (unfortunately common) vintage wooden
                  > storage cases split apart with internal partitions
                  > broken away and other signs of battering.
                  >
                  > 1: The first thing to remember: Microscopes are
                  > delicate, precision instruments.
                  >
                  > A lens surface that rubs on material as soft as
                  > newsprint through shipment vibrations is RUINED.
                  >
                  > The diaphragm blades of a condenser iris are exposed,
                  > not encased as in a camera lens, and are easily bent
                  > or broken by contact with other components or
                  > structure of the microscope.
                  >
                  > Focusing wheels, filter sliders, iris adjusting lever,
                  > etc., are not robust structures--they are designed for
                  > careful handling in use. One needs to consider that
                  > fact when placing packing materials, especially if
                  > several loose items or disassembled scope components
                  > are to be packed in a common box where they might move
                  > into contact with each other.
                  >
                  > 2: The parts of an assembled microscope move.
                  >
                  > Nose-pieces and sub stage condensers rotate. Mirrors
                  > swivel on their gimbals.
                  >
                  > Ocular lenses will slip out of draw tubes. Draw tubes
                  > themselves slide.
                  >
                  > Main tubes, stages, and condensers move up and down on
                  > their racks.
                  >
                  > If the scope does not have adjustment locks on ALL of
                  > these movements, and few do, then one must take
                  > measures to secure them for shipment. (Just look at a
                  > few antique microscope listings on eBay and notice how
                  > many photos show an objective lens in contact with the
                  > specimen stage. Now, imagine what happens to that lens
                  > during the jiggling and vibration of shipment, perhaps
                  > a Trans-Atlantic journey.)
                  >
                  > 3: A storage case is not a shipping container.
                  >
                  > A storage case is designed to keep dust off an
                  > instrument when it is not in use, and to provide a
                  > convenient, consolidated store place for the scope and
                  > its accoutrements in a STATIC ENVIRONMENT. It is not
                  > designed, nor intended, for securing the instrument
                  > and its attachments against the dynamic movement,
                  > shocks, and vibration they will encounter in modern
                  > shipment handling.
                  >
                  > Lenses, filters, condensers and other attachments WILL
                  > fall out of their niches and compartments. The scope
                  > itself, and the heavier accessories WILL split, break,
                  > and batter the partitions and tabs of storage cases
                  > that are only designed to organize them while sitting
                  > on a shelf or lab bench.
                  >
                  > 4: Remember physics.
                  >
                  > The scope is a heavy instrument. When the package is
                  > moving the scope's mass is moving with it. When the
                  > package stops, the scope mass wants to keep moving. IT
                  > HAS MOMENTUM! (Drop a 10-pound sledge hammer head from
                  > waist height--about the height where the package
                  > handler who trips will be holding my microscope--onto
                  > a concrete floor. See the energy? Now, imagine that
                  > was a 10-pound brass microscope inside of an
                  > 100-year-old wooden storage case.)
                  >
                  > A heavy microscope, even stripped of the more
                  > vulnerable components, can still be destroyed by such
                  > a fall, if it does not have sufficient,
                  > shock-absorbing, packing material around it. Main
                  > frames can be bent out of alignment; let alone the
                  > more common occurrence of bent draw tubes.
                  >
                  > SUGGESTIONS:
                  >
                  > Strategically disassemble the scope (within your
                  > capabilities) to isolate and protect the components
                  > individually before consolidating the package.
                  >
                  > Remove objective lenses, oculars (eyepieces),
                  > condensers, filters, mirrors (if loose fit), and other
                  > components that are likely to dislodge, or that can
                  > move into contact with the microscope body and be
                  > damaged. Package the components to protect them
                  > individually. (Whether you use paper, bubble wrap,
                  > confetti, or plastic "peanuts", does not matter; as
                  > long as it it properly applied in adequate quantity.
                  > Remember, if you use loose material, wrap components
                  > against infiltration of the material into the
                  > components' internal workings--self-sealing plastic
                  > bags are great for this; paper and tape is adequate.)
                  >
                  > Protect lens surfaces. Lightweight, corrugated
                  > cardboard rolled around the lens to form a tube longer
                  > than the lens can then be folded back and taped; or
                  > better, pinched at each end and taped, then packed in
                  > a separate small box together with the other objective
                  > and ocular lenses. Several small boxes placed, well
                  > separated, inside a main box full of plastic peanuts
                  > is my idea of good packaging.
                  >
                  > Secure the scope movements. Wrap and tape, or place
                  > physical barriers such as foam rubber or Styrofoam
                  > blocks, to prevent main tube, specimen stage, sub
                  > stage carrier (assuming you've already removed the
                  > condenser and mirror), and scope base from moving into
                  > contact with each other. The entire scope body can
                  > then be wrapped--bubble wrap is great, but paper and
                  > tape will do the job if done carefully.
                  >
                  > At this point, if I were doing the packing, I would
                  > wrap additional padding around the main scope--large
                  > foam rubber scraps or bubble wrap being ideal. I would
                  > then place a thick bed of plastic peanuts in a box;
                  > place the scope centrally; arrange my packaged
                  > components in the box with adequate separation from
                  > the scope, each other, and the box's outer surfaces;
                  > then fill the box beyond the rim (while holding the
                  > flaps up to do so), jiggle the box to settle the
                  > peanuts, but keep it slightly over-filled; then
                  > compress the material with the closing flaps; and
                  > thoroughly secure the box with tape.
                  >
                  > The above are only general tips--many materials and
                  > methods can achieve the desired results. By all means,
                  > if you have questions, email me. I am virtually never
                  > in a hurry to receive an item--I am always pleased to
                  > receive one in good condition.
                  >
                  > I hope this information is helpful. To repeat, I had
                  > no intent to offend. If I have overlooked any major
                  > concerns, I would welcome your input. Feel free to use
                  > the above text as the basis of your own packing
                  > checklist or as the basis for forum discussions and
                  > the like.
                  >
                  > Thank you, for your patience and consideration.
                  >
                  > Regards,
                  >
                  > (user name)
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Send SHIPMENTS to:
                  >
                  > (shipping address here)
                  >
                  >
                  > Mail CORRESPONDENCE ONLY to:
                  >
                  > (contact address - if differt from shipping address)
                  >
                  > Preferred email address:
                  >
                  > xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
                  >
                  > So, any comments or suggestions?
                  >
                  > Regards,
                  >
                  > Will Long
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  ____________________________________________________________________________________
                  > Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your home page.
                  > http://www.yahoo.com/r/hs
                  >
                • Ron Lisk
                  There s a great deal of sense in what Gary says. It s regrettably true that quite a few sellers on e-bay conform to the old adage of knowing the price of
                  Message 8 of 15 , Feb 7, 2008
                    There's a great deal of sense in what Gary says. It's regrettably true
                    that quite a few sellers on e-bay conform to the old adage of knowing
                    the price of everything and the value of nothing. I think the most
                    practical method of dealing with these issues is to e-mail the seller
                    in advance of bidding and insist on adequate insurance cover against
                    loss or damage in transit. Obviously this will involve a supplementary
                    payment. Additionally, after winning the item it's a good idea in cases
                    where there may be any doubts about the competence of the seller to
                    arrange to contact him by telephone to discuss any specific packaging
                    requirements. A courteous phone call is likely to be more productive
                    than a lengthy detailed list of instructions.
                    Just a few thoughts.
                    Ron.
                    --- In Microscope@yahoogroups.com, "Gary Lekvold" <lekvoldgl@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Hi Will,
                    > I read your post with great care. You did an outstanding job of
                    > writing about an all too often overlooked subject. Now the negative
                    > part. Your list would be great if you were giving a lecture to a
                    > bunch of scope people. If the plan is to send it to eBay sellers,
                    > then you are making a broad assumption that they even have a clue what
                    > an ocular is. Talking about the diaphram blades in the condenser iris
                    > is a total waste of time for many sellers of scopes. They don't have
                    > the slightest idea what you are talking about. I am pretty active on
                    > eBay, about 800 feedbacks. As a seller I frequently have fifteen or
                    > twenty packages to pack, weigh, measure and process for shipment, in
                    > one day. If I received those suggestions along with your payment, I
                    > would read about two sentences and then toss it in the trash.
                    >
                    > Please remember, I thought you did a geat job of writing about the
                    > subject, I really do. As a seller, if I read that you were about to
                    > give me a lecture on physics, I would instantly toss it. I ship
                    > mostly delicate items (usually nuclear instrumentation). I have never
                    > shipped a scope, but feel quite confident that I can do the job, and I
                    > would use most of your suggestions. One of them, you might want to
                    > reconsider. Plastic peanuts----I don't care how well you center a
                    > heavy object in loose peanuts, by the time it arrives, the heavy
                    > object is almost always right up against one side of the box. I
                    > always use solid 2" styrofoam to brace between the outer walls, and
                    > the object, and then fill in the empty spaces.
                    >
                    > I have emailed sellers of scopes before they shipped to me, and have
                    > enclosed my request along with payment, but it goes something like
                    > this. "The two tubes that you look through have removable eyepieces
                    > in the ends, please remove them and cover the tube they came out of
                    > with tape. Under the flat plate thing where you place the slides,
                    > there is a round thing with a lens in the end, etc, etc, etc". If the
                    > seller is a knowledgeable scope person, then they already know how it
                    > should be packed and they might just learn something from your
                    > suggestions, but I think it needs to be cut WAY down, and use more
                    > common language, and forget the formal scope terms, if you want more
                    > shippers to read it.
                    >
                    > Gary
                    > --- In Microscope@yahoogroups.com, will long long_will@ wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Hello All:
                    > >
                    > > This is my first post to group; so, that fact may give
                    > > you an indication of my passion on the subject of
                    > > ignorant, negligent, or just plain uncaring "don't
                    > > give a s**t" microscope packing jobs done by
                    > > (unfortunately) many eBay sellers.
                    > >
                    > > Appended (between the xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx-lines below)
                    > > is a slightly editted copy of a "PACKING CHECKLIST"
                    > > that I send to eBay sellers from whom I purchase
                    > > microscopes, and other delicate instruments. Feel free
                    > > to borrow and/or modify whatever text you might find
                    > > useful for your own transactions.
                    > >
                    > > I too, have found that many seller's simply ignore the
                    > > instructions. However, I have had other sellers
                    > > actually mail me thanks for the information, and a few
                    > > have indicated that they unpacked scopes that they
                    > > thought were all ready to ship; then they repackaged
                    > > them using the information that I provided.
                    > >
                    > > We all know that eBay Feedback can be used as a
                    > > retalitory weapon by sellers who resent an honest
                    > > appraisal of their actions posted by a good-faith
                    > > buyer.
                    > >
                    > > I might suggest that we standardize a
                    > > "Microscope@yahoogroups.com" Packing Checklist that we
                    > > all could use for such transactions--a hotlink to a
                    > > webpage with a photo-illustrated version of list might
                    > > be a good idea.
                    > >
                    > > Since eBay feeback can work against even saints, why
                    > > not establish our own "Rouges Gallery" to identify the
                    > > worst offenders? If we had a webpage version of the
                    > > checklist, it could certainly include, or link to,
                    > > such a page. (Photo documented cases would help drive
                    > > the point home to prospective sellers, particularly if
                    > > one established the habit of photographing a package
                    > > as received; opened enough to show the packing
                    > > material [frequently of inadequate type and volumne];
                    > > and then detailing any resultant shipping damage.)
                    > >
                    > > If maintained and used regularly enough, such webpages
                    > > (packing checklist and rouge gallery) could provide an
                    > > easy and convenient way for microscope buyers to
                    > > convey both their expectations of a shipper, and the
                    > > consequences of ignoring those expectations, by simply
                    > > posting a notice on their eBay "Me" profile. Such
                    > > notice might state: "I subscribe to the packaging and
                    > > shipping standards established by the Microscopy Group
                    > > at yahoo; and, I report damage resulting from poor
                    > > packing to the Rouges Gally."
                    > >
                    > > For what it's worth, here's my list:
                    > > xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
                    > > Subject: PACKING CHECKLIST for (user name) eBay item -
                    > >
                    > > Hello,
                    > >
                    > > This is generic form letter to eBay sellers who are
                    > > about to send delicate or fragile items, PARTICULARLY
                    > > VINTAGE MICROSCOPES, to eBay purchaser (user name).
                    > >
                    > > First of all, please do not take offense that I send
                    > > you this note--unless I have received packages from
                    > > you recently enough to remember, I do not know how you
                    > > pack your shipments. I would prefer to err on the side
                    > > of caution before shipping, rather than commit time
                    > > and energy to resolving a dispute later. You would not
                    > > believe what some eBay sellers concept of adequate
                    > > packing of fine instruments is! I have received fine
                    > > microscopes, which managed to survive the preceding
                    > > century in great condition, literally destroyed and in
                    > > pieces because of the ineptness and/or negligence of
                    > > some sellers. I have opened packages to such horrors
                    > > as main tubes broken away from focusing racks,
                    > > objective lenses driven through sub stage condenser
                    > > irises, and (unfortunately common) vintage wooden
                    > > storage cases split apart with internal partitions
                    > > broken away and other signs of battering.
                    > >
                    > > 1: The first thing to remember: Microscopes are
                    > > delicate, precision instruments.
                    > >
                    > > A lens surface that rubs on material as soft as
                    > > newsprint through shipment vibrations is RUINED.
                    > >
                    > > The diaphragm blades of a condenser iris are exposed,
                    > > not encased as in a camera lens, and are easily bent
                    > > or broken by contact with other components or
                    > > structure of the microscope.
                    > >
                    > > Focusing wheels, filter sliders, iris adjusting lever,
                    > > etc., are not robust structures--they are designed for
                    > > careful handling in use. One needs to consider that
                    > > fact when placing packing materials, especially if
                    > > several loose items or disassembled scope components
                    > > are to be packed in a common box where they might move
                    > > into contact with each other.
                    > >
                    > > 2: The parts of an assembled microscope move.
                    > >
                    > > Nose-pieces and sub stage condensers rotate. Mirrors
                    > > swivel on their gimbals.
                    > >
                    > > Ocular lenses will slip out of draw tubes. Draw tubes
                    > > themselves slide.
                    > >
                    > > Main tubes, stages, and condensers move up and down on
                    > > their racks.
                    > >
                    > > If the scope does not have adjustment locks on ALL of
                    > > these movements, and few do, then one must take
                    > > measures to secure them for shipment. (Just look at a
                    > > few antique microscope listings on eBay and notice how
                    > > many photos show an objective lens in contact with the
                    > > specimen stage. Now, imagine what happens to that lens
                    > > during the jiggling and vibration of shipment, perhaps
                    > > a Trans-Atlantic journey.)
                    > >
                    > > 3: A storage case is not a shipping container.
                    > >
                    > > A storage case is designed to keep dust off an
                    > > instrument when it is not in use, and to provide a
                    > > convenient, consolidated store place for the scope and
                    > > its accoutrements in a STATIC ENVIRONMENT. It is not
                    > > designed, nor intended, for securing the instrument
                    > > and its attachments against the dynamic movement,
                    > > shocks, and vibration they will encounter in modern
                    > > shipment handling.
                    > >
                    > > Lenses, filters, condensers and other attachments WILL
                    > > fall out of their niches and compartments. The scope
                    > > itself, and the heavier accessories WILL split, break,
                    > > and batter the partitions and tabs of storage cases
                    > > that are only designed to organize them while sitting
                    > > on a shelf or lab bench.
                    > >
                    > > 4: Remember physics.
                    > >
                    > > The scope is a heavy instrument. When the package is
                    > > moving the scope's mass is moving with it. When the
                    > > package stops, the scope mass wants to keep moving. IT
                    > > HAS MOMENTUM! (Drop a 10-pound sledge hammer head from
                    > > waist height--about the height where the package
                    > > handler who trips will be holding my microscope--onto
                    > > a concrete floor. See the energy? Now, imagine that
                    > > was a 10-pound brass microscope inside of an
                    > > 100-year-old wooden storage case.)
                    > >
                    > > A heavy microscope, even stripped of the more
                    > > vulnerable components, can still be destroyed by such
                    > > a fall, if it does not have sufficient,
                    > > shock-absorbing, packing material around it. Main
                    > > frames can be bent out of alignment; let alone the
                    > > more common occurrence of bent draw tubes.
                    > >
                    > > SUGGESTIONS:
                    > >
                    > > Strategically disassemble the scope (within your
                    > > capabilities) to isolate and protect the components
                    > > individually before consolidating the package.
                    > >
                    > > Remove objective lenses, oculars (eyepieces),
                    > > condensers, filters, mirrors (if loose fit), and other
                    > > components that are likely to dislodge, or that can
                    > > move into contact with the microscope body and be
                    > > damaged. Package the components to protect them
                    > > individually. (Whether you use paper, bubble wrap,
                    > > confetti, or plastic "peanuts", does not matter; as
                    > > long as it it properly applied in adequate quantity.
                    > > Remember, if you use loose material, wrap components
                    > > against infiltration of the material into the
                    > > components' internal workings--self-sealing plastic
                    > > bags are great for this; paper and tape is adequate.)
                    > >
                    > > Protect lens surfaces. Lightweight, corrugated
                    > > cardboard rolled around the lens to form a tube longer
                    > > than the lens can then be folded back and taped; or
                    > > better, pinched at each end and taped, then packed in
                    > > a separate small box together with the other objective
                    > > and ocular lenses. Several small boxes placed, well
                    > > separated, inside a main box full of plastic peanuts
                    > > is my idea of good packaging.
                    > >
                    > > Secure the scope movements. Wrap and tape, or place
                    > > physical barriers such as foam rubber or Styrofoam
                    > > blocks, to prevent main tube, specimen stage, sub
                    > > stage carrier (assuming you've already removed the
                    > > condenser and mirror), and scope base from moving into
                    > > contact with each other. The entire scope body can
                    > > then be wrapped--bubble wrap is great, but paper and
                    > > tape will do the job if done carefully.
                    > >
                    > > At this point, if I were doing the packing, I would
                    > > wrap additional padding around the main scope--large
                    > > foam rubber scraps or bubble wrap being ideal. I would
                    > > then place a thick bed of plastic peanuts in a box;
                    > > place the scope centrally; arrange my packaged
                    > > components in the box with adequate separation from
                    > > the scope, each other, and the box's outer surfaces;
                    > > then fill the box beyond the rim (while holding the
                    > > flaps up to do so), jiggle the box to settle the
                    > > peanuts, but keep it slightly over-filled; then
                    > > compress the material with the closing flaps; and
                    > > thoroughly secure the box with tape.
                    > >
                    > > The above are only general tips--many materials and
                    > > methods can achieve the desired results. By all means,
                    > > if you have questions, email me. I am virtually never
                    > > in a hurry to receive an item--I am always pleased to
                    > > receive one in good condition.
                    > >
                    > > I hope this information is helpful. To repeat, I had
                    > > no intent to offend. If I have overlooked any major
                    > > concerns, I would welcome your input. Feel free to use
                    > > the above text as the basis of your own packing
                    > > checklist or as the basis for forum discussions and
                    > > the like.
                    > >
                    > > Thank you, for your patience and consideration.
                    > >
                    > > Regards,
                    > >
                    > > (user name)
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > Send SHIPMENTS to:
                    > >
                    > > (shipping address here)
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > Mail CORRESPONDENCE ONLY to:
                    > >
                    > > (contact address - if differt from shipping address)
                    > >
                    > > Preferred email address:
                    > >
                    > > xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
                    > >
                    > > So, any comments or suggestions?
                    > >
                    > > Regards,
                    > >
                    > > Will Long
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    >
                    ________________________________________________________________________\
                    ____________
                    > > Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your home page.
                    > > http://www.yahoo.com/r/hs
                    > >
                    >
                  • pennine56
                    Hi As an aside on this interesting thread, are there many couriers that do genuinely insure microscopes for damage? If I read the fine print correctly, two of
                    Message 9 of 15 , Feb 7, 2008
                      Hi

                      As an aside on this interesting thread, are there many couriers that do
                      genuinely insure microscopes for damage? If I read the fine print
                      correctly, two of the major 'affordable' couriers in UK, DHL and Parcel
                      Force and possibly others, count microscopes as glassware or containing
                      glass and offer no compensation for damage. Also for items over 100
                      years old.

                      To date I've had to overpack and effectively underwrite any damage loss
                      myself.

                      regards
                      David
                    • Ron Lisk
                      Cover can be arranged for anything if you re willing to pay the premium which is why it s important to identify at an early stage what is normally covered
                      Message 10 of 15 , Feb 7, 2008
                        Cover can be arranged for anything if you're willing to pay the premium
                        which is why it's important to identify at an early stage what is
                        normally covered under a specific carrier's policy and make additional
                        arrangements direct with the seller.
                        Ron.
                        --- In Microscope@yahoogroups.com, "pennine56" <pennine56@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Hi
                        >
                        > As an aside on this interesting thread, are there many couriers that
                        do
                        > genuinely insure microscopes for damage? If I read the fine print
                        > correctly, two of the major 'affordable' couriers in UK, DHL and
                        Parcel
                        > Force and possibly others, count microscopes as glassware or
                        containing
                        > glass and offer no compensation for damage. Also for items over 100
                        > years old.
                        >
                        > To date I've had to overpack and effectively underwrite any damage
                        loss
                        > myself.
                        >
                        > regards
                        > David
                        >
                      • gcouger@science-info.net
                        Hi Ron, If DHL Ground service is as good as the rest of their operation at $17.?? for 22 pounds 14x14 x 24 inch box from Oklahoma to California for a shipping.
                        Message 11 of 15 , Feb 7, 2008
                          Hi Ron,


                          If DHL Ground service is as good as the rest of their operation at $17.?? for 22 pounds 14x14 x 24 inch box from Oklahoma to California for a shipping. There is a 10% discount if you have an account. Fedex ground is 15.55 and USPS Parcel Post is $21.50. There is a discount for if you have an account here as well. At 22 pounds this would be a a light scope but the first number I pulled out of the air. I just called DHL and their ground service does insure microscopes. They also furnish free packing materials for express services but not for ground. They are sure completive with everyone else and if any of their service from the express side of the business made it over to the ground side they should be good there as well.


                          When you ship over seas the price of DHL goes up lot. One hundred and twenty some pounds in 5 boxes from Sweden was going to cost nearly $500 via their postal system and $750 for DHL to fetch it. The difference being DHL insured it and the postal system wouldn't insure glass. But when you ship over seas DHL is by far the easiest way to go. They will keep you and the recipient out of trouble on taxes, tariffs and such.




                          Gordon


                          http://www.dhl-usa.com/USSvcs/detail/ground.asp?nav=dhlExp/DDeliveryServices/GDS

                          ----- Original Message ----
                          From: Ron Lisk <ronaldlisk@...>
                          To: Microscope@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Thursday, February 7, 2008 8:24:00 AM
                          Subject: [Microscope] Re:Packing scopes purchased on ebay


                          Cover can be arranged for anything if you're willing to pay the premium
                          which is why it's important to identify at an early stage what is
                          normally covered under a specific carrier's policy and make additional
                          arrangements direct with the seller.
                          Ron.
                          --- In Microscope@yahoogroups.com, "pennine56" <pennine56@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Hi
                          >
                          > As an aside on this interesting thread, are there many couriers that
                          do
                          > genuinely insure microscopes for damage? If I read the fine print
                          > correctly, two of the major 'affordable' couriers in UK, DHL and
                          Parcel
                          > Force and possibly others, count microscopes as glassware or
                          containing
                          > glass and offer no compensation for damage. Also for items over 100
                          > years old.
                          >
                          > To date I've had to overpack and effectively underwrite any damage
                          loss
                          > myself.
                          >
                          > regards
                          > David
                          >





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