Would You Ever Buy a Computer That Ships by Mail (Fear of Damage)?

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I've seen Amazon/Fed Ex/etc. drivers fling packages. With Cyber Monday coming up, I'm wondering if it'd be safe to buy a computer and have it mailed/shipped to me vs. buying in person?
 

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  • #2
phinds
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I've bought quite a few computers over the years. All but one were through the mail. I see no problem.
 
  • #3
anorlunda
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The foam packing they use protects them pretty well.
 
  • #4
hutchphd
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My computers of choice are Refurb desktops (probably mostly corporate buybacks) thru Newegg or equivalent. Usually the technology is >5 yrs old and it does everything I need for US $100-$150 . My latest is an HP8300 I7, although I have several older ones now. I have had no shipping-related problems and in general these things are bulletproof.
 
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I bought a Thinkpad once from Lenovo shipped airfreight from China and it worked just great on arrival and for several years thereafter until the battery gave out.
 
  • #7
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The Hon Reverend Dr @Evo sent me a laptop from the US to New Zealand and it arrived in tip-top condition. The only down side: paying GST and duty before it got released from Customs, but that didn't bother me too much.
 
  • #8
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Thanks for the thoughts!

I feel more comfortable buying an item like this on Cyber Monday now. Hopefully, the packer puts some kind of "fragile" label on my item too!
 
  • #9
Evo
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All of my computers have come through the mail. No problems. They are packed very well.
 
  • #10
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than again, this makes me think twice
 
  • #11
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@kyphysics a common theme behind all your questions at PF is overthinking them and then being hesitant to act. I can appreciate having some reluctance but I think you are too cautious sometimes.

Just jump in and order it. Check on the company’s lost package policy and if there’s some way to protect your delivery from porch pirates.
 
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  • #12
collinsmark
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I've bought laptops that have come through the mail (such as Skylab and Mir-Station), and most recently, a mini-PC for remote telescope control (Vanguard) through the mail. No problems at all.

As far as desktops go, for decades I buy the individual computer parts through the mail, and then put the PC together myself (such as Clubber Lang and Hedy Lamarr). This is my preferred method.

Good luck finding a decent computer or computer parts right now though. Global shortages, increased demand due to more home-offices, and all that combined with increased cryptocurrency mining has made computer part prices ridiculous (particularly graphics cards). So be careful. There are a lot of scams right now due to massive supply/demand imbalance. If you find a deal that's too good to be true, it probably is.
 
  • #13
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@kyphysics a common theme behind all your questions at PF is overthinking them and then being hesitant to act. I can appreciate having some reluctance but I think you are too cautious sometimes.
I must report I've noticed this too.
 
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  • #14
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I've seen Amazon/Fed Ex/etc. drivers fling packages.
It's already the SSD age. Just don't buy old style HDDs, and you are safe.
 
  • #15
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There was a recent FedEx item in the news where a driver tossed/flung 450 packages into a ravine ie roughly six truckloads of packages.
 
  • #16
anorlunda
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There was a recent FedEx item in the news where a driver tossed/flung 450 packages into a ravine ie roughly six truckloads of packages.
It would be fun to learn how many devices from those 450 packages still work.

Edit: Come to think of it, who remembers the old Timex watch ads? "This watch takes a licking and keeps on ticking." They did much worse things to those watches than throw them into a ditch.
 
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  • #17
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I don't have a problem with ordering things online. Just use a credit card, not a debit card. (If at all possible.) It's nice to have the big CC company on your side if anything goes wrong.
 
  • #19
256bits
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than again, this makes me think twice

Thing twice about what in particular?
That the Amazon driver was being flimed tossing a package.
.
Yes. Everyone else who handles packages uses white gloves, and gently move them from one place to another.

What about all the josting and vibrations within the vehicle as it drives down roads.
On conveyor belts, loaded into containers, driven across country in big rigs, distributed to stores, .....
From manufacturer to store shelf, packages are handled multiple times, by many people and machines.
One doesn't really think about how many times a package is handled, or the jostling they encounter.
Even for Amazon, besides the video showing the toss from the delivery person.
 
  • #20
Tom.G
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1638340571950.png


https://www.pack-secure.com/ShockWa...ed-Includes-Framing-Label--10-Ct-_p_9620.html

[edit] Somehow the text of this post was lost in the ether, ergo, another attempt.

You COULD try to have the supplier include one of these in or on the package. They were popular when shipping 14 inch Hard Disk Drives. Once the carriers realized the cost of the package ( 4 or 5 digits), very few were mis-handled! :))
 
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  • #21
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Thing twice about what in particular?
That the Amazon driver was being flimed tossing a package.
.
Yes. Everyone else who handles packages uses white gloves, and gently move them from one place to another.

What about all the josting and vibrations within the vehicle as it drives down roads.
On conveyor belts, loaded into containers, driven across country in big rigs, distributed to stores, .....
From manufacturer to store shelf, packages are handled multiple times, by many people and machines.
One doesn't really think about how many times a package is handled, or the jostling they encounter.
Even for Amazon, besides the video showing the toss from the delivery person.
You seem combative/agitated in tone for no reason (which makes interaction unpleasant).

But, to address your substantive points, I actually do think of times when packages can be handled roughly. For most items I order, it's not an issue - I mainly get nervous when ordering an item with computer-like parts.

I'll see if I can post a picture (have to find it on old phone if it's still there) of a dehumidifer I got from Amazon where the entire bottom of the box was busted open. I couldn't even lift the item, because it would fall through the "hole" in the bottom of the box. I had to lift it out of the box and onto a roller. Thankfully, the item worked, though. :smile:
 
  • #22
256bits
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You seem combative/agitated in tone for no reason (which makes interaction unpleasant).
Sorry about that.
Something I have to work on.
Maybe my pants are on too tight. o_O:oops:

Sometimes it isn't even the fault of the machines/ workers either but the w e a t h e r.
It's raining, packages come off the plane, or truck, cardboard gets soaked and weak, and breaks.
Packages can be sent either loose, in containers, on what they call cookie sheets, that let water in ... , put on baggage dolleys that are out in the rain ( wet passenger baggage ) , you name it with package transportation.

I don't buy those dented canned food items.
Sometimes all that they have are dented cans on the food shelves, so something happened.
 
  • #23
DennisN
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I've seen Amazon/Fed Ex/etc. drivers fling packages. With Cyber Monday coming up, I'm wondering if it'd be safe to buy a computer and have it mailed/shipped to me vs. buying in person?
I've bought a lot of things online the last 5-10 years or so.

It is a good idea to check return and refund policies for the item you are buying. You can also check the seller (ratings, feedback etc).

I've bought from e.g. Amazon, AliExpress, Ebay, GuitarFetish and Thomann. Among the things I've bought is various electronics equipment, music gear (including instruments) and even optics (lenses).

Of all the things I've bought I think only one has been delivered damaged (a lamp I ordered from China via AliExpress). I got refunded for that.

My experience:

(the percentage is my personal confidence for the site)
(with "arrived" I mean "arrived and in good condition")

* Site: (Confidence) : My notes

* Amazon: (100%) : Very good. All items arrived.
* AliExpress1 (95%) : Pretty good. Most of the items arrived. One item damaged, some items never arrived.
* Ebay2: (100%) : So far all items have arrived (optics equipment and lenses).
* GuitarFetish: (100%) : All items arrived (3 guitar pickups).
* Thomann: (100%) : All items arrived (various music gear and instruments)

Notes:

1,2 For AliExpress and Ebay, extra care should be taken.

1 AliExpress delivers from China and the delivery times are long, and if you want to return items it may take a long time and you may have to pay for the return. Check the seller (ratings, feedback etc) and check return and refund politicies.

2 On Ebay you buy from private persons or small businesses. Usually used items (I think). Check the seller (ratings, feedback etc) and check return and refund policies. If the seller has a rating of 100% they are regarded as particularly trustworthy on Ebay.
 
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  • #25
dlgoff
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Bought a referb laptop from Amazon, no issues at all.
Same for me.
 

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