Dilemma due to high UPS shipping rates!


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4xfourfun
August 28, 2008, 11:55 AM
Well guys, I have a little story I wanted to run by you to get your feelings and responses.

I have been wanting for a Colt Anaconda for a little while, so I've been watching the auctions on a regular basis. I came across one that was just what I was looking for. The Buy It Now price was higher then what I wanted to spend but I always check into all options. I e-mailed the seller with some general questions including a shipping quote and to let him know that I was very interested. We chated during a couple e-mails and he asked what I was looking to spend on one and I gave him a general figure. He told me shipping the gun and accessories would be around $40. After a day or two the auction was ended. I e-mailed the seller and he told me he had two other guys very interested and was sure it was sold but he would e-mail me back to let me know.

A couple days later he e-mailed me back and told me the offer he had, which was higher then what I was looking to spend. I told him thanks but I was going to keep looking for one in my price range. He later e-mailed me back and said that guy had backed out and he was going to give me another chance at it before it went back on auction. I again told him the price I was looking to spend and he said he would think about it. After going back and forth some we settled on my price and I allowed him $50 extra towards shipping. I never even asked how he planned to ship but I figured he had taken care of that since he had all ready told me it would cost $40. He was going out of town for a couple days but I went ahead and sent a cashiers check via priority mail to assure it arrived safely by his return date. He arrived home a day later then expected which is no big deal and then deposited the cashiers check and told me he would ship as soon as funds cleared.

A couple days later I received an e-mail stating he had stopped by a UPS "store" and they would not accept firearms so he was going to a UPS center the next day to ship. The next evening i got an e-mail stating "I sent out your package today and did so going on good faith so to speak." He goes on to tell me that he went to the UPS center and the shipping cost $119.37 and would like me to reimburse him at least another $50.00 He said the $40-$50 shipping quote was for a long gun. He said "Apparently, handguns by law, are required to mail via air mail, and not allowed to mail via ground mail." Well, theres nothing I can do or alternate methods I can advise him since it is already on its way. I have a lot of comments but wanted to see what everyone on here thought before I spoke. What would you do if you were in my position?

Thanks!
-Ben

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FourTeeFive
August 28, 2008, 12:08 PM
I learned the hard way when I shipped my first handgun. It was a much less expensive gun and I ended up eating $50 on the shipping, but a deal was a deal.

Your guy obviously didn't research it much since it's pretty clear you can't use their ship centers and that you have to ship overnight:

http://www.seark.net/~jlove/shipping.htm

If he had researched it a bit more he probably could have used a local FFL to ship to your FFL, and it would have cost $30 or so.

So no answers on what you should do. Too bad your seller isn't honoring his commitment to you. He really should have gotten back to you with the new shipping total and you two could have gone from there.

rjohnson4405
August 28, 2008, 12:10 PM
I'd be mad at the guy for quoting a price he wasn't sure of. If I was him I'd recognize I made the mistake and would absorb the cost instead of passing it on to you.

Because it's only fifty bucks I'd probably pay it just to avoid the hassle but send him a note that what he did was unacceptable.

Your other option is to say I didn't okay the extra shipping and that was your fault for not getting the correct price so I'm not paying.

I think either way is an acceptable solution, just depends on how much that $50 would've affected your buying it.

Gator
August 28, 2008, 12:14 PM
He's shipping it to your dealer, right? Couldn't he have had his FFL send it to yours USPS? He is right that handguns must go next day air and UPS and FedEx rates are high. $120 would cover a coast to coast shipment though.

Anyway, he told you $50, the deal is done. However, it was nice of him to go ahead and ship the gun. If it were me, and the gun turned out to be in better condition than I expected, and I got a good price on it in the first place, I might agree to split the difference with him, but I wouldn't feel any obligation, it was his mistake.

torpid
August 28, 2008, 12:14 PM
So he initially quoted you 40 and later you both agreed to 50, and you paid him what you both agreed on. If he's charging money for folks to buy what he's selling, it's his responsibility to research his shipping costs beforehand.

"I sent out your package today and did so going on good faith so to speak."

Good faith cuts both ways, and you had good faith in his sticking to the agreed price that you have already paid. If I were him, I would have eaten the extra expense and considered it a pricey learning experience.

If you want to go the extra "nice guy" distance and if you have the extra money to throw his way, you could reimburse him for his underpreparation.
But I'd opine that you're under no moral/legal obligation to do so.

Norinco982lover
August 28, 2008, 12:18 PM
if you and he had agreed to $50 shipping and you have already paid him than the deal should be done. It is not the UPS centers extrordinary rates that are the problem. You purchased from him in good faith and $50 is already a bit high to pay for shipping (shipping was $50 for my handgun and the seller split it with me). Are you an FFL or how can he mail a handgun from non-FFL to non-FFL? What he means by mailing by air mail is air overnight which is standard. (FFL holders can use regular priority mail USPS I believe). But when I bought my gun last week it arrived very very quickly and I believe the FFL he used to ship (and paid $50) did the normal overnight air delivery with UPS.
I do not believe you would have bought the gun if it had an additional $119 tacked on to it and therefore you should not pay him any additional money. If he has a problem with yuo not paying him back then I would make sure you do not have anyone sign for the gun and just return to sender and request your money back. Your best bet is to keep the gun and tell him you will send the gun back to him when yuo receive your money back. So basically keep the gun.

jcjacobvt
August 28, 2008, 12:18 PM
FFL holders can use regular priority mail USPS. Shipping a handgun from FFL to FFL thru the US Post Office System is the cheapest that you can get. Normally $15. to $25. depending on how much insurance you get. No other delivery service can even come close to that for a price rate unless you have some kind of contract like the wholesalers seem to be able to ship a few handguns to the dealers for only $30. or so dollars. Single handguns from a distributor is actually a lot higher each then getting a few at at a time.

If I sell a gun thru say GunBroker and quote a shipping cost of $25. and then it costs me $35.; I would eat the costs. That is the correct way to do business. If I did not check the actual costs, I should be the one that should adsorb it.

deadin
August 28, 2008, 12:19 PM
For starters, I would ask for a copy of the shipping receipt. $120 seems just a tad high, even for UPS. (Unless he's having it couriered.:scrutiny:)
After that, it's up to you. He's got your money and you will have the gun. A deal's a deal. I personally think he may have "padded" the cost a little to make up for his "loss" in selling for less that he was asking on the auction.
That's his problem, not yours.

(Just another reason I don't like "on-line" auctions.)

zoom6zoom
August 28, 2008, 12:24 PM
He is right that handguns must go next day air But just for the record, this is policy of the carriers, and NOT "the law".

FourTeeFive
August 28, 2008, 12:28 PM
But just for the record, this is policy of the carriers, and NOT "the law".

Let's not go there. Plenty of threads and opinions on that, which end up being personal interpretations of federal laws.

If you feel the need, here's a recent discussion:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=386405

Bobarino
August 28, 2008, 12:34 PM
a couple clarifications; first, when you say "mail" that means USPS. UPS does not deliver "mail". second, there is no law whatsoever that says you must ship a handgun through UPS's next day air service. it is however, UPS's policy to only ship handguns next day air. they did that due to an internal theft problem. third, that price is just about right for UPS. (i own an operate an independent mail and parcel center) i just looked up how much it would cost to ship from my store (in WA state) to a random residential address on MA. it's $119.20 before added insurance or adding the "adult signature required" option. remember, you're essentially buying a cab ride to the airport, an airplane ticket, and a cab ride to your house for the gun. jet fuel is expensive and so is diesel that those brown trucks run on.

so all that said, the seller should have called for quotes before hand. he quoted $50 so he should just eat the difference. if you want to be nice, you may split the difference with him, if not, i wouldn't feel bad if were you. a deal is a deal. he'll know better for next time.

Bobby

Flyboy
August 28, 2008, 12:43 PM
It's not by law, but by UPS/FedEx policy--they were experiencing severe "shrinkage," so they decided to require overnight shipping to reduce that opportunity (and, conveniently, make a pile of money).

Personally, I'd reply that you acted on his "good-faith" estimate of the costs: he quoted you a price without checking. The mistake rests with him, and you shouldn't bear the cost of fixing it. If he doesn't like that, offer to rescind the deal, with him paying return shipping (again, there's no reason you should bear the cost of his mistake).

He won't like it, but he's just trying to fob responsibility for his poor decisions off to you. You had a deal, stick to it.

xsquidgator
August 28, 2008, 12:57 PM
Sounds to me like he made a mistake and is trying to make it all your mistake. If you have the merchandise in hand, and you want to play hardball, you could tell him "nuts" to reimbursing him for his failure to have his act together when quoting a price.

A little more high road approach that isn't too unfair to you would be to remind him that this is HIS mistake. But, being a good guy you are, you'll split the $50 mistake with him and you'll send him half of the amount in dispute. If I were in your situation, I'd be unhappy about simply forking over an extra $50 because he screwed up. I think splitting the difference with him is way more than you have to do, but will still give him something even though you don't have to.

cdrt
August 28, 2008, 01:04 PM
I've sold stuff on Gunbroker, etc. and have never asked for more money on shipping charges. If I say it's $50 and I figured it wrong, that's on me. I would not ask the seller to pay more after the fact.

Also, since he sold it "off auction" he saved by not having to pay the final value fee which would have been $20 or $30 dollars I would guess, so he's money ahead in that category.

Sounds more like he wanted more for the gun and now he's trying to make up the difference in the sale.

kingpin008
August 28, 2008, 01:13 PM
He quoted you a price, he needs to honor that price. It may be the case that he didn't know how much it would actually cost to ship the gun, or he may be trying to squeeze you for a little more cash if he sold you the gun for less than he was hoping to get for it, but either way, he set the terms. Once agreed upon, that's the deal. Now, if he had gone to UPS and realized how much it was going to cost, and then contacted you to see what you wanted to do about it, that might make more sense. But not giving you a heads-up until it's done - not cool.

In my opinion (and feel free to take it for what it's worth) you don't owe him a dime.

waterhouse
August 28, 2008, 01:38 PM
Good faith cuts both ways, and you had good faith in his sticking to the agreed price that you have already paid.

+1. You agreed upon a price. Although it really shouldn't need to be brought up (since you agreed upon a price, and that is really the end of it) you can explain to him that you were already spending more than you had planned, and that you are already past your limit.

Soybomb
August 28, 2008, 01:42 PM
Its his job to research his shipping costs before making the deal. I'd not offer him anything. I sell my stuff online sometimes and usually just do a guesstimate at shipping since I don't know for sure where it will wind up going and the actual shipping costs. Sometimes I eat a little extra cost that way. If I was worried about it I'd do my homework before not try to stick the buyer after a deal.

That said you can go to ups.com and get a rate quote. Plug in your zip code, his zip code, insurance amount, and weight and get a ballpark idea of what he paid. I think that price seems a little high. I just plugged in a 6 pound box from california to maine at $1100 insurance to a commercial address and next day saver is $76, regular next day even if only $85.

4xfourfun
August 28, 2008, 02:31 PM
Thanks for all the fast replies guys. I'm thinking on the same line as all of you, I just wanted to hear some replies before I gave my opinion. Would I have bought the gun if he said it was going to cost $120 to ship? I doubt it, unless it was a really good deal. He also said the $40-$50 quote he had given me and agreed upon was apparently for a long gun to go ground. I shipped a long gun with $600 insurance from IL to PA and it only cost me around $14-$15 through UPS! He had all my contact info including my cell #, I wish he would have just called. I would have had him check into finding a local FFL to ship USPS. I just shipped a H&K USP and it cost $15 USPS shipping/insurance + $15 transfer/FFL fee through my dealer for a grand total of $30. I sure like to think I am a stand-up type of guy and I have 100% positive feedback on every transaction I've made(e-bay, GunBroker, Auction Arms) but sometimes I get tired of being the nice guy who takes it in the you-know-where! :eek:

deadin
August 28, 2008, 05:24 PM
One thing, I wouldn't contact him again until I actually have the gun in hand.
Right now you really don't know for sure that he even sent it. If he's trying to scam you out of extra money he may be waiting to see if you bite on the latest scheme.
Once you get it and are satisfied with it, then you can tell him to take a hike on the extra $$. Until then, don't burn your bridges.

c1ogden
August 28, 2008, 05:57 PM
He quoted you a price and you agreed to it. Done deal.

If he had informed you of the higher price prior to shipping that might have been a different story.

If I was happy with the original deal and the gun I might offer to split the difference with him.

absolute0
August 28, 2008, 06:06 PM
After a day or two the auction was ended. I e-mailed the seller and he told me he had two other guys very interested and was sure it was sold but he would e-mail me back to let me know.

A couple days later he e-mailed me back and told me the offer he had, which was higher then what I was looking to spend. I told him thanks but I was going to keep looking for one in my price range. He later e-mailed me back and said that guy had backed out and he was going to give me another chance at it before it went back on auction


This guy doesn't smell right to me. The seller made 2 overt efforts to stretch you out on the initial sale...Then after you agree on a price he shakes you down for an extra $10 over the previously published & agreed upon shipping charge...THEN he tells you a sob story about a $120 shipping bill and comes looking for more cash from you.

Were it me, no additional monies would be forthcoming.

scrat
August 28, 2008, 06:34 PM
He quoted you a price and you agreed to it. Done deal.

If he had informed you of the higher price prior to shipping that might have been a different story.

If I was happy with the original deal and the gun I might offer to split the difference with him

Agree he already strung you along. in the end once he recieved and cashed your check he was obligated to send out the firearm. You are not obligated at all to reinburse the shipping at all. in fact until you recieve and verify the contents of the items sent to you. he is still under that obligation. What if you send him 50.00 more right now today. Then tomorrow you get to see the gun that was shipped and its beat up or missing parts.


So first of all until you get the gun in your hands your not obligated to do anything. Then once you get it its totally up to you. However i would not send him anything.

he already made a profit on the gun. do you think he was trying to break even. he was selling it to the highest bidder. now he wants more. Why make his profits higher.

McKnife
August 28, 2008, 07:56 PM
You already agreed to a verbal contract, and he accepted. Don't give him a dime.

Lesson learned [on both ends].

AZAndy
August 28, 2008, 08:08 PM
I recently received a pistol from SOG via overnight UPS. From OH to AZ, the shipping was $31.00. I think the seller is exaggerating the expense just a tad.

FourTeeFive
August 28, 2008, 08:50 PM
I recently received a pistol from SOG via overnight UPS. From OH to AZ, the shipping was $31.00.

Private party shipping priority overnight via UPS or FedEx is insanely expensive. Many companies get significant (over 50%) discounts from those rates.

CliffH
August 29, 2008, 01:36 AM
For comparison, I just shipped a revolver from TX to FL via UPS with $500 insurance. Total was ~$65.00.

FWIW, I contacted 3 semi-local gun shops re: shipping it for me. All of them said I'd have to ship it myself through UPS, none of them would ship it.

As others have said, he quoted a price for shipping and didn't get your approval before increasing the price. His mistake, not yours.

GarandOwner
August 29, 2008, 01:56 AM
Shipping charges are drastically lower when they are shipped from an account rather than individual. (When I was in college my dad use to fed ex me overnight packages because it was so cheap using a company account and then reimburse the company) In the original story it seems like he was trying to get you to pay a higher price by "Oh there are two other interested partys, is your offer higher than $xxx" you say no thanks then all of a sudden "Oh the other guy backed out ill take your offer" and now he wants more for shipping, if it were me I would say that the agreed upon price is the most you are willing, and can afford to spend, also say that since he shipped it without consulting you on the price first rather than exploring other options it is his error and you sadly can not reimburse him for the cost.

goon
August 29, 2008, 01:57 AM
I made that mistake shipping a sword to Hawaii.
The shipping was more than I thought it would be and it was my fault for not finding out up front.
I ate the cost.

Your seller is at fault here. He quoted you a price, money was exchanged, and the gun is now on its way to you.
I'd tell him "sorry buddy, but we had a deal and it's over", pick up your gun at your FFL, and go on about my life.

Also, did you actually buy it in an auction?
If not, he's even tapdancing around paying for the service of the auction site by working private deals on his own and using their site to do the legwork for him.
Not so ethical IMO.
Get your gun and tell him to stuff his extra shipping costs.
Or better yet, get your gun and then ignore him.

GarandOwner
August 29, 2008, 03:49 AM
Also for us nosy internet types, let us know how this one turns out. Hopefully you took the advise here and didnt shell out the extra dough. But Im interested to hear what the sellers response will be

WhisperFan
August 29, 2008, 05:30 AM
I had the same thing occur in reverse.

I quoted low, had never shipped a handgun before and paid about 45.00 more in costs than I figured in.

The buyer and I had emailed quite a bit, so I emailed to tell him it was on the way and provide the tracking number. I mentioned that the package had better be on time, because it cost so much more than I had figured. I told him a deal was a deal and I didn't expect him to pay anything for my mistake, but to let me know if the package wasn't on time, so maybe I could try to get some $ back from the shipping company ..... (kinda like a PizzaHut pizza)

The guy emailed the next day - package arrived on time, gun was great looking and he thanked me .... that was it.

4 days later an envelope arrived with 30 bucks in it that I hadn't asked for.

Needless to say, I was thrilled. It is experiences like this that always make me think that, for the most part, gun people are good people !!!

mgkdrgn
August 29, 2008, 08:10 AM
I hope you are an FFL ... or that both of you live in the same state.

4xfourfun
August 29, 2008, 08:44 AM
Thanks for all the comments guys. I haven't replied to his e-mail as of yet so I know he is probably beginning to get curious because I normally e-mail him back fairly quick. I just wanted to think about a fair level-headed response first. I'm on shift today or I would go pick it up. I should have it in my hands tomorrow if everything goes right. My dealer said it looks pretty darn good though, but I could tell that by the pictures and his detailed description. ;)

mgkdrgn : No, neither of us are FFL's and we are a couple states apart. Thats why he shipped it via UPS Next Day Air and he sent it to my FFL where I am going to pick it up. If he was a FFL I would hope he would have used USPS and saved $100!:D

I had actually looked at another Colt Anaconda on Auction Arms that was pretty tempting. The seller was a FFL dealer that was new to the site with only a couple of sales. They said seller was to pay actual shipping cost but didn't state how. I e-mailed them for a price and they stated that they have a service that packages and ships all their firearms via UPS at a cost around $65. I thought that was a little shady, they could at least put in their auction listing a note saying as such. It just goes to show you better find out what these places plan to charge you before you bid or commit to buy.:uhoh:

I'll be sure to let you all know how it turns out, along with a picture of the merchandise to see if the trouble was all worth it. :cuss:

mgkdrgn
August 29, 2008, 02:15 PM
"mgkdrgn : No, neither of us are FFL's and we are a couple states apart. Thats why he shipped it via UPS Next Day Air and he sent it to my FFL where I am going to pick it up. If he was a FFL I would hope he would have used USPS and saved $100!"

Whew, that's better. Pity he didn't have a friendly FFL to take it that would deal with the shipping for you.

Griz44
August 29, 2008, 02:34 PM
I ship handguns via USPS, with insurance it will cost about 21.00 for 3 day delivery. He made his deal, he needs to live with it. As a personal and professional seller, I would NEVER ask a customer for more money after the deal is done and the payment is made. Not a dime more my friend.

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