Welcome to the Shipping Damage page!...you probably do not want to be here, and we're sorry for your loss. That, or you're shipping a typewriter.
This page will try to not only tell you how to avoid shipping damage, but also deal with a machine damaged in shipping and help with claims. If you are looking for help and/or intend to keep the machine, please proceed to Repair or the Discord server.
Good Shipping Practices
Most sellers on selling platforms do not know specifics about how to use and safely protect a typewriter, just by virtue of the machine's old and fragile nature, but will act on good faith. With this in mind, it often helps to send a list of shipping tips as well as explanations on how to enact them. This is also helpful for more experienced typewriter users who are wondering what the best way of shipping a typewriter is:
1. Tie down any carriage releases and use any carriage lock functions. Using a rubber band, secure the carriage release in a forward or actuated position, tying it against the platen shaft and/or other parts of the typewriter.
In combination with a carriage lock, this serves to protect the escapement (spacing mechanism) of the typewriter, which is often difficult to replace and/or repair.
2. The carriage will often slide around freely as a result of the above. Thus, it is a good idea to physically secure the carriage using Saran wrap/plastic wrap, or a sheet of foam taped around it.
This prevents the ends of the carriage -- especially fragile objects like platen knobs -- from taking damage, especially since the carriage will move around freely if the release is tied.
3. Stuff the type-basket with foam or bubble wrap.
This prevents the type-bars from swinging forward in transit, where they may be crushed, damaged, or even snapped.
4. Wrap the entire machine in bubble wrap. If it is a portable machine, secure the machine to the case and wrap the typewriter both inside and outside the case. Then, proceed to wrap the case of the machine if applicable.
This prevents general damage and serves to absorb shock.
5. Double-box if possible, and fill up empty space with packing-peanuts. This is especially useful for heavier standard typewriters, which often do not have cases for protection. Try to use newer boxes if possible, and reinforce corners with additional folded cardboard and/or water bottles, or some form of rigid support.
Dealing with Shipping Damage
When receiving a shipped typewriter, it is always good practice to take records of opening the box. Unboxing photos can both be fun to share but also invaluable if damage does occur to the machine, because it serves as a form of documentation.
Shipping damage is the responsibility of the sender, especially if you have provided best practices. Writing a polite message to a seller, including pictures, and explaining the circumstances will help on most selling platforms. It is generally recommended not to leave feedback until you have inspected and tested any typewriter bought online.
If you are making a shipping claim as a sender, taking pictures while you packed the machine or pictures of the machine after arrival during unboxing/of damage sustained are helpful in your claim. Proof of payment is often required for insurance or recompensation claims.