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Best way to pack phones for shipping.

Started by contraste, March 01, 2009, 01:17:29 PM

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I can see Hobie sitting in his trailer "Please Mr. Postman, look and see, is there a 500 in your bag for me? You know it's been so long, since I've had a new rotary dial to call mine"
- Tom


QuoteThe postman is my friend, delivering phones right to my door like Santa Clause, only year round.  I've never had problems with damage.

You must be in league with the Forces of Darknessā„¢ to never get any broken phones at the doorstep.  ;) I guess the Force is strong with this one... :)


I'm noticing some sadly damaged phones in shipping these days; Stephen's Kellogg 1000 and Heath's moss 500. So maybe it's time to revive this thread a little? I just came across this article from a fine company that regularly packs and ships valuable vintage clocks, and they have some good simple suggestions to save time, money, and shipping damage:

Bubble wrap, Saran wrap, and Balloons.

Ed D

I had two phones from two different eBay sellers arrive in February with almost identical packing.  Slim to none!  And both were 500 sets with the handset sitting in the cradle.

One was carefully wrapped in a plastic grocery sack with a single overhand knot to tie it tightly closed around the phone, and about eighteen more of these bags crumpled up in balls and placed around the phone.  Of course, when I picked up the box, the phone slid around as the bags had compressed further in shipping (I am being charitable and giving the seller some benefit that when he packed it, the phone did not move around much.)

The second phone had a thin plastic bag wrapped only around the handset to protect it, the phone body was not covered.  Somehow, when I opened that box and pulled out the balled-up newspaper padding, the handset was still sitting in the cradle.

LUCKILY, neither phone suffered any damage.  I must have been living right or something!



After I received two broken phones (one heartbreaking), I now attach this text as a note to every PayPal payment:

IMPORTANT!  PLEASE READ!  When you box up this phone for shipment, please DO NOT pack the phone up with its receiver sitting on the phone's cradle.  The receiver will knock into the body of the phone during shipment and it is GUARANTEED that the phone will be received broken into several pieces.  PLEASE wrap the receiver of the phone separately. Thank you.

Since I have started doing this, every seller has payed attention to the instructions, and luckily no broken phones since.
Adam Forrest
Los Angeles Telephone - A proud part of the global C*Net System
C*Net 1-383-4820


Thats a pretty good page! I always send a not about packing. I always use bubble wrap without tape and air pillows when I ship. Now my supply of air pillows is gone so I will probably go with the baloon idea!
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434

"There is no try,
there is only
do or do not"


I've currently got something on the way to me I'm a touch worried about. I sent a message just as we've discussed asking that the handset be wrapped separately from the mount, but I've had virtually no response from the seller, except that it was marked as shipped, and that only after I requested an update on its status, but still didn't get a direct reply. No tracking number and no words. I'm just hoping it gets here Monday morning. No reason it should take any longer just coming from Oiho.

I've never had a bad experience yet with anything I've bought, and I really hope this is no exception. But I know it does happen. Things arrive that aren't as described and things get broken due to poor packaging. They're among the main reasons I usually like to pick out items in person.

In person, I can inspect them with my own hands, eyes, and nose, so there's no chance of an incomplete or inaccurate description; there are no shipping charges or waiting period; and I bring it hoam myself, so its arrival condition is my own responsibility. But sometimes I just can't resist something I've seen on eBay.

This will be the seventh telefoan I've bought on eBay, by the way.


Buying something sight unseen from eBay is always a gamble.  Even if you receive your item undamaged, it might not be what you expected.

I don't like to spend a lot of money on phones, I'm always trying to pick up a bargain.  In the  past I've gotten some of my really nicest Western Electric 60's and 70's phones that way.  But I've also gotten some duds.  TWICE now, I've tried to purchase a nice aqua blue 2500, and TWICE I've received a phone I cannot display because of discoloration.  (I don't have the time to do the magic some of you here have shown.)  But, I do not send these phones back because I didn't pay a lot of money, and the phone wasn't "misrepresented", it just wasn't described hardly at all, the picture was fuzzy or too bright, etc.  But I gambled in an effort to score a beauty.  Many times it pays off, sometimes it doesn't.

So, it's all a big game, most times you win, sometimes you lose.  But all in all, the object is to keep having fun.
Adam Forrest
Los Angeles Telephone - A proud part of the global C*Net System
C*Net 1-383-4820


I completely understand you there. I've never bought anything that wasn't at least fairly well photographed, and if I have doubts about something, I'll usually pass, or at least wait till I get some questions answered before I bid, especially if there's real money involved. I don't mind paying the going rate for something I want, but I'm not going to lay down big money when I don't know what I'm getting, and it's also nice to find a bargain.

I just realized I don't have a single WE phone later than 8-56, aside from refurb dates. Sorry, that was random.


Quote from: deedubya3800 on June 05, 2011, 02:02:35 AM
I've currently got something on the way to me I'm a touch worried about.

Update: I'm glad to report that everything is okay with this transaction! :) Here is the thread!

Quote from: deedubya3800 on June 05, 2011, 12:30:35 PMI just realized I don't have a single WE phone later than 8-56, aside from refurb dates. Sorry, that was random.

Update: I shall soon have a WE phone from later than 1956. Not sure of the date yet, but it'll have its own thread soon.


I know we have discussed eBay telephone packing many times. I remember some of you have instructions you send to sellers when you buy a phone. I just did that with the unusual intercom phone I just purchased. I searched eBay for guides to safe packing and found none on phones! There are several on packing old radios but none on telephones. I want to put one up. I would like your feedback and your instructions. I will put together all the best parts and put the guide up on eBay. Whenever we buy a phone we can refer the seller to it.
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434

"There is no try,
there is only
do or do not"


A quick search of "Packing" on the home page comes up with endles packing, bad packing, more bad packing, packing horror story etc etc threads. Someone had an on line packing instructions site I believe but I didn't spend much time looking for it. I think I may have to combine a whole bunch of "Packing Horror Stories" into one giant "Bad Packing" thread guaranteed to depress everyone!



I think that's a great idea.

Search the site and add your own experience to come up with the best of the best way to ship a phone and post it where it can be referenced. Having one sure fire way to ship is better than a bunch of alternatives that can leave a new shipper confused and possibly open up the chance to skip or miss something resulting in a damaged phone.

You may need a method for each type of phone but one method for each would be great. Box size, acceptable packing materials, assembly of pieces within the box and packing material to insure safe passage and, believe it or not, taping the box.

Greg G.

The challenge will be to get the shipper to comply with the instructions.  I gave good instructions and even pictures regarding my Beehive, both over the phone and via email, even offered to pay a little extra.  Did they comply?  No. 
The idea that a four-year degree is the only path to worthwhile knowledge is insane.
- Mike Row

Doug Rose

I sent the seller the same instructions I always do.

"Please wrap the phones in bubble wrap and wrap the handsets separately in bubble away from the phones so they do not hit. Use plenty of newspaper so they do not move around in the box. I appreciate you packing them this way."

I got cellophane and a couple of Styrofoam boards. Everything was rolling around inside the box. I got a full refund, but histroy was destroyed. Seller will only do what seller wants to do. I am seller more than buyer, so I know packing is top priority. That's why Janet does it. She is the best