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stolen bowl off porch

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Charles Hill, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. Charles Hill

    Charles Hill

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    I shipped a bowl to a person that paid $90.00 plus shipping. He claims that the item was delivered and the empty box was found outside. He says that it is my responsibility to refund his money. Have you ever had this happen? Would you refund the money? He claims the stolen off his porch
     
  2. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    That is a tough one. My feeling is it was stolen from him, not you. Also seemed to me a thief would have taken the box and the bowl. But not sure what I would do.
     
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  3. Tom Albrecht

    Tom Albrecht

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    You did what you were paid for.
    How was it shipped? USPS?
     
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  4. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    There are three parties involved. Shipper receiver delivery company.
    If you have a reciept then that probably leaves you out.
    You should check with your shipper.
    Your customer may have a claim with the shipper.

    The police are now a 4th party involved. In our area some porch stolen property has been recovered and returned to the owner. If the police have not been involved then I would question the robbery.

    Lastly you may wish to make a nice gesture and replace the bowl at half price or full....

    We have given ups permission to leave packages.
    That makes us responsible.
     
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  5. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    There are no receipts unless requested for a signature. There was a news bit on the Internet about Porch Pirates. These are people who cruise the streets and look for packages left on the front porch. UPS used to require a signature. Now they leave the package and note it was delivered. I am considering putting a note on the front door, asking that packages be left at the side door or under the deck.
    You might, in the future, pay a bit extra and require a signature from the customer.
     
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  6. John Turpin

    John Turpin

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    Yeah. I'd send the buyer my sympathy and offer them a second bowl at a nice discount.
     
  7. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Depending on which parcel service you used, they usually provide a minimum amount
    of insurance coverage on damage and loss of the item being shipped. When you ship
    the item they usually ask you what the item is and what the value is. If the item is a higher
    dollar item they usually ask if you want to purchase additional insurance. You should take
    the shipping receipt to the shipper and file a claim, you will most likely need to provide some
    supporting evidence of the item being lost, stolen, or damaged during shipment.
     
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  8. Mark Wollschlager

    Mark Wollschlager

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    Wow, too bad for the recipient.
    If he has the empty box, it was delivered.
    Hope you did not use paypal. This scenario is a classic, where the recipient claims no delivery, contests the paypal payment and the shipper loses the payment and potentially the shipment. Hope this is not the case.
    Finding the box is strange, but there is no rulebook for thieves.
     
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  9. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    Personally, I see it as cost of doing business. If it was a one time thing you were selling, keep the money. But as a business, it is different.

    Could he be a repeat customer if made happy? Would he post negative reviews online that will cost you future business? If it cost you two sales, that is twice the cost of replacement. If positive review sells more bowls, it is a plus.
     
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  10. odie

    odie

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    Assuming everything is on the up and up, this would be a good way to maintain good will between you and your customer.

    This is the part that bothers me a little.....^^^^^ :rolleyes:

    When I read that in the original post, it sent a "red flag". I have to ask myself why would a thief leave an empty box.....? Seems a little fishy to me. On the other hand, could the box have been empty when it was delivered? I have heard of an instance where a postal employee has removed a firearm from a box being shipped, and the box arrived empty.

    I participate in Etsy forums, and it is known that occasionally a customer will claim not receiving an item, and expect a refund. This is mail fraud, and hard to disprove. If there is no tracking, their credit card co. will refund your money to them, if a claim is registered with them. If there is tracking, and it shows the package was delivered, that changes the ball game.

    I do not ship without insurance, and only use USPS priority mail with tracking. This is the ONLY way to protect yourself from mail fraud. Even then, it's not a guarantee. If it were a $5 item, that would be different, but the cheapest of my bowls are around $50.....so, that's what I do. ;)

    -----odie-----
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  11. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    I haven't had to file a claim yet on things I ship. Minimal insurance on postal flat rate boxes is $50. I am fairly sure that they pay back 'cost' and not retail value.

    robo hippy
     
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  12. Zach LaPerriere

    Zach LaPerriere

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    Sorry this happened Charles. Have you spoken to your customer on the phone? Being gracious in a real conversation usually goes far, and a customer with anger or attitude can't hide behind the internet.

    Like Odie, I only ship Priority USPS, so tracking and 100 bucks insurance is automatic. I don't know if it would be covered once "delivered".

    Best of luck.
     
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  13. Richard Coers

    Richard Coers

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    If it was delivered, you met your part of the contract. No replacement necessary. If they agree it was delivered, it's no different if stolen from inside their house or on the porch, it was stolen from their home. Tell them to file an insurance claim on their homeowners policy.
     
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  14. Lamar Wright

    Lamar Wright

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    I had this happen to a customer when I was selling pens. What I did for my customer was make an identical pen at half the cost as John Turpin suggested. The customer was happy.
     
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  15. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    It might be worthwhile to see if this person has a history of these kind of issues.
    Sadly there are a number of scammers on these sites that try to take advantage of hard working people.
    On some of the websites there are rankings for the people that participate in commerce on the site.
    A new account with little activity might indicate someone that has a checkered history on the site that
    has created a new account.
    If you know someone that lives in the city where the customer lives, they can visit the local court house
    and search the court docket books by the persons name. Many of these counties now have these files set up
    on websites or computer terminals that allow you to search by the persons name. There is usually a history
    of criminal activity or nuisance small claims actions with these people.
    Ebay used to be pretty good about protecting the sellers from this type of activity, over the last couple of years
    it seems like they protect the buyer more than they do the seller. Anymore the courts are just about as worthless when it comes to protecting the consumer, unless you want to pay court fees and hire a lawyer you see little concern by law enforcement or the courts in these issues.
    PayPal has also slowly turned to protecting the buyer more so than the seller in many instances over the last couple of years. The time and effort you invest into a disputed transaction will usually exceed the value of the item in question. This is what these scammers are counting on.
     
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  16. Leo Van Der Loo

    Leo Van Der Loo

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    Only way I ship is with insurance and signature required, tracking is then automatic with Canada post.

    The buyer pays for the insurance and the signature is only $1.50, delivery conformation is $0.00, so everything is then for the customer, either he gets the piece or pieces without damage or he has a claim.

    I’m not part of the problem and the buyer could buy some other pieces with the insurance money if he likes to.

    As for the OP’s buyer, it was delivered, so it was his property that was stolen, I would not refund the money, he can go after the shipper or his insurance co.
    The seller did all he had to do, ship the piece to the buyer, period.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  17. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    USPS provides $100 insurance without any additional cost. I think that the same applies with UPS. I agree with Richard that you have no obligation to do anything. I think that the shipping insurance doesn't cover anything after the package has been delivered and no damage occurred during shipment. The trouble with homeowners insurance is the deductible is larger than the claim.

    This whole story sounds rather strange to me. Why would somebody hang around and open the package on the guy's front porch? Why would a lowlife type be interested in a wooden bowl? He's obviously isn't a woodturner or a collector of wood art ... at least, not in the usual meaning of the word collector. If you decide to send him another bowl, I would ask for a copy of the police report first. I would also make it clear to him that you are doing this out of the goodness of your heart and not because you are legally obligated to do anything.

    I had a package stolen from my porch several years ago. It was a Siemens VFD that I bought on eBay for about $250. The postal service said that the package was left on the porch. I can't imagine why a thief would be interested in a VFD unless he was a woodturner. :D
     
  18. Gary Beasley

    Gary Beasley

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    Most theives are pretty ignorant and could care less whats in the package as long as they think they can sell it for a few dollars. I wouldnt put it past one of those dumb clucks to steal a box of rocks.
     
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  19. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Thieves will take anything and then figure out to to make a buck. I would think the bowl will be tossed in the trash as the thief would have no idea as to its value. Or it will wind up as kindling in the fireplace.
    My father said that there are some people who would steal Christ off the cross and go back after dark for the nails.
     
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  20. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    If you want to save money on your garbage bill each month, you can cancel the service and package
    your garbage into a UPS package and leave it on your front door steps.
     
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  21. Perry Hilbert

    Perry Hilbert

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    Customs differ from industry to industry. Generally, once it id delivered as designated by the buyer, it is his problem. In this day and age, the news is full of reports about having packages delivered where someone will be home, or having them held at the shipping company's local office for pick up. Of course the stupidity of some delivery folks is appalling. I once returned to my office late on a rainy friday afternoon to find a pile of packages sitting out in the rain. There were packages for each business in the building. Some of the packages had reams of special photo printing paper, one was a shipment of carbon forms, and most importantly, a package for me, a rifle shipped back after warranty repairs. The idiot from Fed Ex left the items outside in the rain swept parking lot, when an unlocked door to the rear stairwell was just 8 ft away. The rifle was wrapped in plastic inside the box and was fine. There I was in a suit in driving rain trying to move 70 pound cases of paper into the stairwell for the other businesses, Fed ex 's customer service rep, did not comprehend why I was complaining. The foreign voiced twit kept saying that I needed to fill out a claim form for any damages.

    A friend of mine lost an expensive package to porch pirates about 5 years ago. I asked why he did not just have it shipped to his business. he is the owner and receives packages for his business several times a day.

    In the few times, I shipped things, I always purchased insurance on the item ( and kept pictures) even if the recipient did not want insurance.

    In a strict sense, the OP completed his duties when the package was delivered. Failure to safeguard it after delivery falls on the buyer. . Now what is legal, is not always moral or the right thing to do for business.

    I would look the buyer up in his states criminal records. Almost every jurisdiction now has free ways to look up such things through their court system. I think Delaware is the exception. If he has criminal convictions, for what, fraud, theft, forgery, unauthorized use, etc. If his state allows it look up his civil court history. Some guys are very litigious and many states have a consumer protection statute that gives double and triple damages AND attorney's fees when the consumer sues and wins over an unfair practice. Then weigh whether you want to defend a suit in his home turf.

    I worked retail in high school and the chain had a slogan that the customer is always right. And then I represented a car dealership and the slogan amongst the salesmen was "Buyers are Liars" At first I thought that was so callous, but soon learned that so many buyers try to rip off car dealers it is amazing. (for instance, a person brings in a car for a brake job. A cop shows up the next day saying the car was reported as borrowed and not returned by a relative. So the actual owner wants his car back and never authorized $600 in repairs., or they trade in a car saying their is no lien, and in fact, it is a duplicate title or forged title and the car is subject to a repossession. One customer removed the radio from his trade in while he was waiting for his new car to be prepped. He left cut wires dangling out of the hole in the dashboard.

    Sorry for the side track. The OP must decide whether for customer relations to eat the loss. .
     
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  22. Leo Van Der Loo

    Leo Van Der Loo

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    You can do this with a pen, my last parcel here that was delivered 2 days ago, was valued at $750.00, shipping cost was $22.18,delivery conf. $0.00, signature incl. $1.50, Ins. was $18.00, fuel surcharge $2.00, GST (tax) $2.18 so the shipping cast in total was $45.86, and I had charged the buyer $45.00.

    If the buyer would claim he didn’t get it and wanted his money back, or replacements for the bowls, that was never going to fly, and for that reason I insist on insurance and signature, keeps everything on the up and up.
     
  23. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Maybe they just wanted the cardboard box. :D
     
  24. Colin Nelson

    Colin Nelson

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    I'm pretty new to this and have limited shipping experience with wood, but as a Beekeeper I would ship, requiring signature, with insurance. Luckily, I never had an issue. It costs a little more, but whether you or the buyer pays, your profit margin should make the impact relatively insignificant.

    In this case I'd take a pic of the receipt showing the shipping weight, give sympathy for the unfortunate experience, and if possible I'd do as others have said and offer a discounted replacement. I'd only offer the replacement if it did not impact my other orders or cost me to lose assets that I cannot afford to lose. Frankly, if they did not ask for signature delivery but you shipped it as they requested, it's just not your fault or liability. You are not Amazon, or a commercial seller, you're a private seller who fulfilled their promise. Once it leaves your hands, all things before hand done properly, it's then out of your hands and realm of responsibility.

    If it was insured and the PO pays for the loss you can send them the insurance pay out, if they already paid you, and all should be even outside of the inconvenience.
     
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  25. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    When I lived in Queens, NY in the early 60s, the sanitation workers in NYC went on strike. Consequently, there was no trash pickup for several days. It came out later that a fellow would put his garbage in a box, cover it with brown paper, tie it with string. He would put it on the front seat of his car when he went to work, with the windows rolled down. When he got off work, the box was gone.
    Another time, the newspaper workers went on strike. Comedian Rodney Dangerfield said it was hard wrapping your garbage in a TV Guide.
     
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  26. Ely Walton

    Ely Walton

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    Simple: Ask your customer what they would like to see done... and then do it... plus a little extra. Result: loyal lifetime customer. Priceless!

    Ely
     
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  27. Perry Hilbert

    Perry Hilbert

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    "You are not Amazon, or a commercial seller, you're a private seller who fulfilled their promise." Well maybe.The commercial code in almost all states shifts the burden for some losses according to whether the seller is a "merchant" and/or the buyer is a merchant. A Merchant is simply a person who deals in that sort of goods. Whether that means the seller must sell/make 5 a year or 5,000.makes little difference. If a maker sells 5 a year for a few years, he is a merchant under the commercial code. Karl Lewellen and Sonia Menshikoff wrote the Uniform commercial code based on Karl's knowledge of German commercial law. The law changed responsibilities under the law depending on whether one or both sides of a contract were "merchants" with the policy that "merchants" were better able to undertake certain risks than private citizens. (A rather socialistic view but that was accepted when I believe 48 or 49 states enacted the Uniform commercial Code. A few states have peculiar individual provisions, but most follow it in general. Regardless of whether the seller is a merchant, I believe he completed his obligation when the package was delivered.
    If a turner makes and sells bowls, he is a merchant. The sale of the bowls carries with it certain warranties under the law. For instance that it is fit for the use intended, that it is of fair and average quality. If someone gets hurt by the bowl or it's finish, the maker/seller will probably get sued successfully. If you use BLO that has some poison in it that taints the food put in the bowl, you are responsible for the tainted BLO, the same as if you caused the problem. Same as Hinda, for injuries caused by a third party defective air bag...
     
  28. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Perry, makes me think twice about making anything and selling it.
     
  29. Colin Nelson

    Colin Nelson

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    Perry, you are right. It's very interesting to be a seller. I have been absolutely terrified about being liable for people's tooth issues after selling toothpaste that I make. And also, as a Beekeeper, if I sold over $5,000 in honey per year I would be considered a commercial seller and would be required to use FDA approved bottling facilities. I do everything under my LLC now, sign up at markets it's under my LLC...etc.. People have found ways to escape personal responsibility and due diligence, making others liable for everything even if done with innocent and pure intentions. I'm probably the worst LLC owner in the world, no idea how to capitalize off of it, but it gives me certain protections as an individual...know that much!
     
  30. Perry Hilbert

    Perry Hilbert

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    Several years ago, I read my farm owner's insurance policy. It is like a home owner's policy but twice as complicated. I discovered that my policy had a suddenly added clause that excluded liability for sales of eggs. I had a hen house full of Welsummer chickens that lay the really deep dark brown eggs. Mrs. was selling the eggs for $3 a doz where she worked. We also had several Rouen hen ducks for eggs and we got $4 a dozen for those eggs. Almost every farm couple that keeps chickens sell a few dozen eggs to neighbors etc. Farm wives called it their "butter and egg" money. I alerted the local grange and wrote a letter to a farm newspaper about it. Suddenly folks stopped selling eggs on the side and the Insurance companies got enough feed back that they removed the clause the following year.

    There are two ways to handle the possible liability for injuries from a product you make/sell. One is to form a business entity that insulates you from such liability and the other is to buy insurance to cover the risk. I have not carried such insurance in several years, but when I did, it was quite reasonable, about $235 a year as I recall. Some folks buy insurance on things they ship, the get trip insurance in case their vacation gets screwed up, they buy flight insurance in case the plane crashes, but they won't spend $5 a week for insurance to cover their hobby liability. But check your home owners insurance for coverage for hobby sales etc. Check with your agent. Farm policies cover liability due to the production and sales of agricultural products. In this state, forest products are considered ag products for most purposes. I will need to check to see if wood turnings come under the definition of ag products.
     
  31. Chuck Lobaito

    Chuck Lobaito

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    The delivery services will only insure for loss or damage prior to them delivering. They will not insure after delivery for theft. We have everything delivered to my office so it gets to a person and not left outside.
     
  32. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    After pondering this thread and many replies, I have jumped to this conclusion. The bowl was delivered to the customer at the specific address given the carrier. The box was delivered. You, as seller and shipper, fulfilled your requirement for the customer. The carrier delivered the box to the customer's address. This fulfilled their contract as carrier. What happened to the bowl during shipping or after delivery is up for debate. I really see no liability on the part of the supplier or carrier. If the box was opened before or during delivery, I would be logical that would be noted on the delivery notation.
     
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  33. Ronald D. Black

    Ronald D. Black

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    I am coming in on the late. I have heard of a very large number of "packages/boxes" stolen off a porch. To this date I have never heard of a thief taking the time to open the "packages/boxes" and check its content then removing it. That being said this thief seems to be a very odd one. What value is a wood turned item to someone who is most likely to sell/pawn it? My 2 cents worth is that the recipient is not playing fair with you! Have a Merry Christmas.
     
  34. John Turpin

    John Turpin

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    A tour of local pawn shops should reveal a nice wooden bowl on a shelf. The fact that it was taken by a discriminating thief does make this more interesting. I mean, why lug a heavy box into a nearby alley when it might not contain something that can be pawned? I just hope that the bowl wasn't intended for someone's Christmas present.
     
  35. Richard Coers

    Richard Coers

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    You feel a pawn shop would make a loan on a wood bowl? You must live in a WAY better market than I do!
     
  36. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    The bowl will end up as firewood or in a dumpster.
     
  37. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I have had a would-be thief open a box on my front porch, but when the scoundrel saw that the contents was a Fein Turbo III shop vac, the finicky thief apparently lost interest. Apparently, cleanliness wasn't in the thief's repertoire.
     
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  38. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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  39. Perry Hilbert

    Perry Hilbert

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    There was just a yahoo article on a (IIRC) Pittsbugh fellow that rigged a package with 12 ga blanks. A thief panicked at the noise and tried to jump the fence or something and got hurt. You guessed it, suit against the owner.
     
  40. Raul McCai

    Raul McCai

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    Ahhh one of the law school questions on Uniform Commercial code put to a turning melody:
    Upon who does risk of loss fall in a bailor bailee situation where the bailee transfers possession to the bailee without a written agreement stating upon who it is that the risk of loss falls.
    The UCC 2-509 speaks to this
    Assuming no breach of contract; Risk of loss passed to the buyer upon delivery of goods to the shipper.
    So your customer assumed risk of loss and it was your custtomer who bore the burden to purchase an insurance rider, HOWEVER the shipper may bear some liability. The problem is the shipper has privity with the seller who paid them and not the buyer. So the buyer has no legal options as to the shipper.

    However there is a good result to be had here.
    IT's a lesson for next time. Next time YOU purchase the insurance and charge the customer for it. That way it the item is lost damaged or stolen you get to make another and you get to be paid twice.
    I had a friend who was a glass artist who did this and he made a lot of second pieces.
     
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