Jump to content
lilgeneral

Kit Boxes damaged more frequently in shipping

Recommended Posts

There seems to be an increasing trend by the online stores and Ebay sellers to disregard the beautiful box art of the kits when selecting and packaging ordered product. I love the box art as much as the kits themselves. There is a large amount of effort that goes into the design of these boxes, yet online stores do not care. This is another downfall of losing the local retailer. I'm refraining from online purchases now especially ones where I desire very nice undamaged box art. I returned a 1/32 Tamiya F4u-1A Corsair the other day where the seller promised the box was like new and he'd package it well. The kit came packaged in a box no bigger than the kit box itself. Needless to say it was damaged. I returned it for a full refund. Those boxes are beautiful, I don't want a damaged one. It's one thing if I'm paying yardsale prices at a local show where I'm less picky about the boxart, but if I'm buying new, I want the box art to be nice. Imagine all the "Apple" folk purchasing new iphones and ipads in damaged boxes - would they complain?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm more concerned about the contents of the box than the box itself. In ordering from such varied vendors over the years as Hannant's, Hobby Terra, and Dauntless Hobbies, as well as many ebay sellers, I've yet to receive a badly damaged item.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Might be possible that some USPS hubs handle packages differently, but still the shippers should consider this when packaging. I received an order from Hannants and one of the boxes was squished. It was going to another buddy of mine, and he didn't care. I've received orders from Ebay sellers from Japan and China, both of which I received damaged kit boxes. Recently, I received an order from Sprue Brothers with a couple damaged boxes. I always put in the order instructions to please package carefully because I really like the box art. Mind you, this is not a slightly dog eared corner of the box; these are significant smashes where it looks like someone punched the box.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two companies that are careful to the extreme in packaging are Hobbysearch and Jadar. I have never received anything damaged from them. But, also, both come via U.S.  Postal Service. Nick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having no model shops near me, all my purchases have to be craft stores (what tiny stock they have) and online. I gotta be honest and say I can't remember the last time I got a box that was crushed or damaged in some way. Megahobby is my #1 go to place.

It might be your local USPS or UPS. BTW, my father in law worked in  UPS HQ. He said if you get a damaged box, call UPS and complain. UPS hates goods damaged in their hands. I did it once and complained. I was told "Sorry, that will never happen again." Next time UPS came there was a new driver... 

On ebay I have seen guys/stores that take the model out of the box, fold it and wrap it all up and mail it. It's a way to save $ on postage.

But in general the box makes no difference to me. I barely have room for the models never mind keeping the boxes. They usually just get ripped up and put into paper recycling...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Curious, for those who don't care about the box of a kit - if 2 copies of the same kit were sitting on a shelf, one with a beatup box, the other a crisp clean box, would you gladly pay the same retail amount for either kit? Or, if 2 vendors at a show had the exact same kit for the exact same price, one with a damaged box, the other with a perfect box, which one would you pick?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, lilgeneral said:

Curious, for those who don't care about the box of a kit - if 2 copies of the same kit were sitting on a shelf, one with a beatup box, the other a crisp clean box, would you gladly pay the same retail amount for either kit? Or, if 2 vendors at a show had the exact same kit for the exact same price, one with a damaged box, the other with a perfect box, which one would you pick?

Honestly I would take the perfect box. But only for the reason that more than likely it would go into my "pile."  I would think that the perfect box would stand up to other models stacked on top of it. Still wouldn't change my mind that when the model is done the box and instructions would go into the paper recycle bin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A friend of mine has kept the instructions to EVERY model he has ever built.  Why?  I think he's a closet hoarder.  😀

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Rusty,

I prefer to think of your friend as a librarian.  He can answer any question related to those models and also provide copies to those who are in need of them.  Me?  I admit I am afflicted with model hoarding, and my wife will agree on this.

Ed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would pick the pristine box over the dented box every day. I've noticed US sellers often box the kit in a box that leaves a lot of room for packaging and arrive just fine. Overseas, the kits are often wrapped in boxes that were cut to size, marginally bigger than the kit box. Bought a Tamiya Grenada M151A2 kit and the box was trashed and wet, but the kit inside was just fine. But if the kit box was wet or damaged (wet not the seller's fault), and the contents and decals inside were unharmed, I would be okay with it.

So if a box arrived a little dented but the insides are unharmed, I'm okay with it. But, if I ever decide not to build it and to sell it, I know the dinged box won't be worth as much as a pristine box.

As far as keeping old instructions, I do keep them organized in a binder on my model building reference book shelf. I have a binder for 1/35 scale armor, 1/72 scale armor, sci-fi, auto/ship, and airplanes. I keep them for reference, sometimes kits are reissued but with new worse instructions, compare the Testors yellow box kits with the current Zvezda and Italeri reissues and the old 1980s instructions are light years ahead.

They are also handy when someone buys a kit and loses them or the kit didn't include instructions. I can whip out my binder and scan a copy or make a physical copy and mail it to them to help them out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have on very specific use for the box once the model is built.  I cut the top off, write the date on it and post it on my shop wall.  It is my informal history of my builds.  Other than that the only reason I would care about the box is if it is doing its job of storing the model.  Pristine or damage makes little difference to me.  I am a builder, not a collector. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do keep good boxes, ones that are sturdy to keep excess parts in them. I have an old Tamiya M1 box for Abrams extra pieces like USMC specific parts, unused PE etc. I have an old Tamiya M4A3 Sherman box to hold old Sherman parts, and old Tamiya Jeep box to hold soft skin parts, etc. A while label with a marker saying M1 parts, etc. differentiates it from an unbuilt kit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/4/2018 at 3:52 PM, Rusty White said:

A friend of mine has kept the instructions to EVERY model he has ever built.  Why?  I think he's a closet hoarder.  😀

Not necessarily. Like Ed and Robin mentioned, it is most helpful keeping old instruction sheets. I have kept all my instructions sheets as well for every model I built.

From Pete J:

Quote

I have on very specific use for the box once the model is built.  I cut the top off, write the date on it and post it on my shop wall.  It is my informal history of my builds.  Other than that the only reason I would care about the box is if it is doing its job of storing the model.  Pristine or damage makes little difference to me.  I am a builder, not a collector. 

I would love to be able to do that but I've fast run out of room decades ago for something like that. That would be so cool!

 

 

Like Robin, I also keep some of the larger, more sturdy boxes to hold sprues of excess parts. They work well to help keep everything fairly organized.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark, for small scale armor, I use a clear tool/tackle box I got from Walmart years ago. I cut off parts from the sprue and put road wheels in a compartment, track bits, gun tubes, crewmen, stowage, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It appears by the response in this forum that it is probably my local USPS carrier. I'm not real fond of having to confront them on this, but it seems to be required. I received another kit today from Lots of Models. He packaged it well with wrapping in a sturdy Priority Box. When I got it, the box looked like someone sat on it. The Asuka kit is fine, but the box has been squished so it can't sit in a stack of models. I love the Asuka box art (the illustrated ones, not the kit photograph ones).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Michael,

FWIW, I ship all my kits in 200 lb test corrugated boxes.  They cost a little more, but I have NEVER had a return due to damage.  You might try requesting a sturdier shipping box next time.  As I said, it may cost a little more, but at least the box will get there undamaged.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, RGronovius said:

Mark, for small scale armor, I use a clear tool/tackle box I got from Walmart years ago. I cut off parts from the sprue and put road wheels in a compartment, track bits, gun tubes, crewmen, stowage, etc.

I have a small semi-clear compartment box for all my small scale armor pieces which I keep sorted like you do. I use the sturdy model boxes for my excess aircraft and ship parts. Great minds think alike!

 

Mike, I hope you get things resolved with your carrier so that hopefully no more damaged boxes will come.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, lilgeneral said:

It appears by the response in this forum that it is probably my local USPS carrier. I'm not real fond of having to confront them on this, but it seems to be required. I received another kit today from Lots of Models. He packaged it well with wrapping in a sturdy Priority Box. When I got it, the box looked like someone sat on it. The Asuka kit is fine, but the box has been squished so it can't sit in a stack of models. I love the Asuka box art (the illustrated ones, not the kit photograph ones).

General,

Agreed, "talking"  to your postal carrier could be a touchy point. Rather than confront him, I would try to make it more of a friendlier conversation. Because he/she is a govt employee there's no down side for him - only you. You may suddenly stop getting packages delivered at all or you may find some on the neighbors roof. It's a tough one. Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Go to your local PO and speak to the Postmaster.  That's the head person at the local PO.  Also, send a "letter" of complaint to your Postmaster.  Yeah, a real type written letter.  That will guarantee the complaint creates a paper trail.  The government LOVES paperwork, and everything gets filed somewhere.  Sending it Registered Mail won't hurt either.  That REALLY grabs attention at the PO.  "The squeaky wheel....". 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree about the "squeaky wheel; I've had to do that before myself. Haven't had a problem since.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×