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Who Has To Eat The Cost Of A Lost/Stolen Gun

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Animal Mother, Mar 30, 2011.

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  1. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Member

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    I've got a hypothetical situation that I'm curious about. In this scenario a gun is put up for online auction by an FFL dealer and is purchased by an individual. This individual purchases the firearm using a credit card, and the FFL dealer ships the gun to the buyer's FFL dealer of choice without insurance using UPS or FedEx. However, while the gun is in transit, it is lost/stolen. I understand that UPS or FedEx will reimburse uninsured packages for up to $100, but who has to eat the remaining cost of the gun? Is the dealer responsible for the gun until it is transfered to the buyer, or is the buyer responsible for the gun once they have paid for it?
     
  2. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    Until the gun is received by the buyer its the responsibility of the seller.

    This is why we insure shipped guns.

    If I bought a gun from you and it got lost during shipment and you refused to refund my money I'd accuse you of mail fraud and involve the FBI.
     
  3. ants

    ants Member

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    Make it clear in your purchase agreement.

    There is no federal law on who ultimately eats the cost of lost freight.
    Their are rules on who files the claim. But not on who takes the loss.
    That's between buyer & seller. You best make it clear in the purchase agreement.

    Don't forget that insurance does NOT include the shipping cost.

    Carriers (Fedex, UPS, who ever) only honor claims for the value of the merchandise, not the shipping cost.
    They get their money, even if they lose the freight completely.

    Don't forget that your credit card issuer may help you recover part or all of your loss.
     
  4. tazbigdog

    tazbigdog Member

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    Wow, that sucks. You as the seller would eat the loss. ALWAYS ship the item with insurance!
     
  5. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    This is why I rarely buy from sellers that don't accept CCs (never big tix items). If it doesn't arrive, I'm contacting my CC company for a refund.
     
  6. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    They automatically insure the first $100. More insurance can be purchased for about 50 cents per $100 (although most sellers charge $1 per $100). When I worked in the shipping dept. we always insured things over $100 automatically. Saving $5 on shipping isn't worth risking being out $900 on a $1k part that was "lost" in transit. The seller is responsible until it's in the buyer's hands.
     
  7. wep45

    wep45 Member

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    ship a firearm uninsured????????????:neener:
     
  8. Alberforth

    Alberforth Member

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    I don't know what the conventions are in the gun world, but in other online auctions it's common for sellers to state explicitly that insurance is the buyer's choice, and if you don't buy insurance and the package disappears you are out of luck.

    However, if I remember right, in cases where there is no explicit policy the seller is out of luck if they can't prove that the package arrived and the buyer calls foul.

    But all this is hearsay. Check the shipper's and courier's policies about guns specifically. Don't UPS and FedEx have special rules about guns?
     
  9. crankyoldlady

    crankyoldlady Member

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    Insurance protects the seller, not the buyer. Until the transfer takes place it is the seller's property. Why should the buyer take the loss?
     
  10. Remo223

    Remo223 member

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    If you can prove it was lost while in the possession of a dealer, then they are responsible...and possibly criminally liable. I think. In the very least you could take them to civil court.
     
  11. Bubbles

    Bubbles Member

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    We ship everything insured with signature required, no exceptions. It's stated in the ads that those costs are including in the price we've listed for shipping.
     
  12. woad_yurt

    woad_yurt Member

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    The seller is the one who hires a shipper and is thus the only one allowed to make a claim for lost goods. The buyer's part of a deal is to provide an accurate ship-to address and to pay the agreed-upon purchase price, no more. The seller must then deliver the item. If the seller ships it and it goes AWOL, the seller needs to refund the buyer and then go after the shipper with a claim.

    If a seller ships uninsured and it doesn't get to the buyer, the seller is still responsible because they didn't do what they were supposed to do, namely, get the item to the one who paid for it. They can say what they want but they're still responsible. Now, collecting from them may be a supreme hassle but, yes, they are responsible.

    Have you ever gone into a dry cleaner's and seen the sign that says "not responsible for lost or damged merchandise?" Well, despite the sign, they are responsible.

    Anyone can say what for what they they will or won't be responsible but it won't change the reality. I can hang a blinking, 4'X8' neon sign in my living room saying that I am not to be held responsible for any unprovoked aggravated batteries that I may commit on my guests but I could still be held responsible nevertheless. It's the same with any seller-shipper who says that they are not responsible for delivery. They are.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011
  13. ants

    ants Member

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    I see some misinformation regarding freight claims in several of the posts above.
    I don't think anyone is trying to misinform, just a matter of misguidance.
    Rather than argue with anyone, I'll repeat the most important advice:

    Make the terms clear in your purchase agreement BEFORE the money changes hands.

    As we can see from various opinions above, gross disagreement and gross unhappiness are the greatest likelihood in the case of loss or damage of a gun in transit. Guarantee your own happiness by making the terms clear in your purchase agreement.
     
  14. neededausername

    neededausername Member

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    I'm a corporate accountant and can tell you how it works between two businesses. It depends on when the sale occurs and when ownership iss considered to be passed. If the sale is thought to happen at your shipping dock and I am paying for shipping, called FOB(freight on board) Shipping then I own the item as soon as it is shipped. If the sale doesn't occur until I receive the item and you are paying for the shipping, called FOB Destination, then you own the item until I receive it. So it boils down to who pays for the shipping. If I pay for the shipping I am considered to own the item and vice versa. Not sure how it works for individuals because corporate and individual accounting can vary greatly.
     
  15. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    The most correct answer would be whoever the judge in small claims court decides would eat the cost.....
     
  16. GoingQuiet

    GoingQuiet Member

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    The other issue at hand here is that the SHIPPER is the one entitled to insurance funds.

    If I'm buying a gun - and I email you a tag billed on my account, if the carrier damages or loses it - I file the claim, I get the money.

    In traditional - seller pays shipping arrangements - the seller would file the claim and get funds.

    In any case - NOT insuring a firearm is just foolish. Unless it was an oversight, I would expect the seller to make the buyer whole as it would be their responsibility to get the package to the dealer.

    Now how I run my business.....

    Everything is insured. Everything. If it's a BOOK it is insured.

    If the gun going out is rare/hard to come by commercially/ONE OF A KIND - USPS Registered mail, most secure way to send it. I send machineguns this way as do many other dealers.

    If it's commercially available - I just use ground service of priority mail. On the off chance that the carrier destroys it - and I can't replace the item with off the shelf product, I have to make the buyer whole with cash and thats why I plan accordingly. YMMV.
     
  17. Canazes9

    Canazes9 Member

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    That's correct - doesn't matter if it was discussed/agreed to beforehand. Doesn't matter if the buyer said he wouldn't pay for insurance so the seller shipped without. The seller is liable. A CC company will reverse charges on that transaction every time.

    The only way the seller can protect himself is to purchase insurance on every item shipped and build that cost in to the cost of the item for sell.

    David
     
  18. woad_yurt

    woad_yurt Member

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    Thank you, Canazes9.

    The person or company that handled the shipping is responsible for safe delivery and is liable for any loss in shipping, no matter what they say. Period.

    Think about it for a moment. If all of the shipping details are handled by the seller, how could the would-be recipient be held responsible for any screw-up when the carrier has no business with them? The one who shipped is the only one who can make a claim against the carrier. The carrier doesn't know the recipient from a hole in the wall so why would they even discuss it with them?
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011
  19. ants

    ants Member

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    There continues to be misinformation among these posts.
    Be careful to make the terms clear at the beginning of a transaction.
     
  20. brickeyee

    brickeyee Member

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    As noted above it depends on the agreement between the parties.

    We ship things FOB us or the destination depending on the agreement between us and the buyer.

    For the most part items sold by businesses to individuals remain the sellers responsibility until received by the buyer.
     
  21. Canazes9

    Canazes9 Member

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    Folks,

    In the original scenario stated by the OP it does NOT depend on any discussion that took place before hand - that's wrong and ignorant of the law. If you are the seller and ship the firearm (or any other item) to an FFL (as described by the OP) without insurance and the firearm is lost in shipping you are liable. The credit card company will reverse the charges on that transaction every time. The buyer doesn't have to take the seller to court if he used a credit card (as described by the OP), he simply calls the credit card company, says he never received the item and the charges are reversed.

    The only one pursuing court action at that point would be the seller trying to recover funds from the buyer for an item that the buyer never received - a court case that the seller will absolutely lose he if he is foolish enough to pursue it (the seller should be pursuing his losses with the shipping company, his only legal claim). The credit card companies will stand 100% firm on this.

    This isn't a theory on my part, been there, done that, have the T-shirt (I was the buyer). I would highly advise anyone that is selling an item to ship it insured because you do NOT have any recourse with the buyer - even if the buyer says he refuses to pay for insurance. You can try and BS the buyer and you might get a sucker, but if the buyer calls his credit card company you will lose every time.

    I would suggest that all the folks that think that it matters what the buyer agreed to or didn't agree to stop before they post and call their credit card company. Tell them you are thinking of purchasing an expensive item with your credit card and are concerned that if you don't receive the item you won't be able to be refunded. Ask them "what if the seller says it's my fault because I didn't purchase insurance for the shipping?"

    Please post what they tell you :D!

    David


    David
     
  22. gym

    gym member

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    I insure everything I sell, even if the buyer doesn't wantto pay for it. It's just not worth the aggravation. If I have to lay out an extra $20 dollars, so be it. Most times the buyer will split it with you but sometimes not. It's just not worth not insuring a $500-5000.00 item, Camera, Guns,guitars, etc. So far I have had 3 losses in 3 years. So it more than paid for itself. Fedex made me wait 2 months to get paid, even though they insured a moniter for the "real value", they tried to tell me that I could buy it for less. I refused their offer and they eventually paid the full price. It sucks, but people steal a lot of stuff in the shipping business. And they know boxes labeled "machine parts" may actually not be machine parts.
    My local Pak and ship guy was a gun person, and he made me aware that this was pretty often done with firearms. But it's just stupid because if it does get stolen, you are screwed. Also if it get's recovered, you will probablly be in big trouble. "I am not saying anyone here would do that", but it's good to think ahead. When shipping anything as a few guys already mentioned, don't scrimp on the packing and shipping. A damaged firearm is going to cause you headaches also. If it is shipped properlly you can sleep easier. Nothing worse than losing something of value over a couple of dollars.
     
  23. saltydog452

    saltydog452 Member

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    I have bought stolen mdse. Didn't intend to and the serial number was checked by the Dls Sheriff Dept. Green flag. So I bought it. Oops.

    Later the serial number showed to be ' hot'.

    Even with occasional access to the DPS/Nat'l webite, there is some 'lag time' involved.

    'My' pistol was stolen. Since Insurance payment for relief to the insured was involved, the property is now owned by an insurance carrier.

    The carrier isn't in the business or warehousing/marketing stolen, but recovered property. The previous owner may, or may not, have moved on.

    This isn't the Hope Diamond or a MonaLisa painting by Leonardo.

    My only option seems to 'part' it out, give it to a PD with some explanition, toss it into the river, or?

    The best preventive against thievry, is for potential buyers not to do that. I tried

    salty
     
  24. c1ogden

    c1ogden Member

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    "We ship everything insured with signature required, no exceptions. It's stated in the ads that those costs are including in the price we've listed for shipping. "

    You may ship it that way but that doesn't mean its being done that way.

    I recently shipped four revolvers to a gunsmith in another state. The work was completed and the guns were returned last week by UPS "overnight" delivery with "adult signature required".

    I had to go out to run an errand. When I returned I saw the UPS truck parked at the end of my driveway and the driver was at my neighbor's house across the street. The driver looked right at me as I got out of my car and headed into the house via the back door. I expected him to knock on my door within the next few minutes. He never did. When I checked my front door I found his little sticker telling me of the attempted delivery. Apparently he had come to my house just before going to my neighbor's house and then decided that it wasn't worth the effort to walk back up my driveway. His sticker also had a note that an adult signature was required for the package.

    The next day I hear the doorbell and by the time I get there (less than 15 seconds) I see the UPS truck driving away. I thought I'd missed him again but there was my package (containing four guns) left sitting on the front doorstep, not 30 feet from a very busy main street.
     
  25. gatorjames85

    gatorjames85 Member

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    This is the best answer thus far. Assumption of risk can pass between the parties at different points in time, depending on the contract. The link is a wikipedia article that explains the terms a little more.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FOB_(shipping)
     
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