Gather and listen as I tell the tale that few have known. OK, maybe a lot have known. I thought this might help those who have questions about packing a bass and what happens when you file a UPS damage claim. First of all, I want to thank Matt (Cap'n Crunk on TB), who sold me a beautiful bass that was damaged in transit. Matt and I learned a lot together during this ordeal, and he has been a champ throughout, a real testament to what Talkbass is all about. You don't really know a person's character until the deal goes bad. And this one did. Matt, who lives in Gainesville, FL, shipped me (Washington DC area) a 2007 fretless MIM tobacco sunburst J-bass with a tort pickguard. It also featured a Gotoh bridge and series/parallel switch, which both were really nice and very useful upgrades. Additionally it had Dimarzio DP123 J-bass pickups, which were very nice sounding as well. All of the work was done professionally and it really showed. This bass, to me at least, was a poor man's Bass of Doom. I thought the bass was simply stunning. A real beauty, and I found out after playing it that it was also a really fine playing instrument as well. For the day that I owned it, that is. On receipt of the bass I noticed a quarter-sized chip, and a dime-sized dent. I could tell both were brand new injuries. So Matt and I initiated a damage claim. Fortunately he had insured the bass with UPS. And although he did not double-box it, he had done a nice job of packing it, and had shipped several basses in this identical manner before with no problems. We both now know the true value of double boxing when shipping in a gig bag. Live and learn. Anyway, here is the story: Once we filed the claim, UPS came to collect the entire package and contents from me to send it to an inspection station an hour away from me. There it was determined that the packing job was not the reason for the damage, and UPS agreed to pay the insurance amount, "totalling" the bass. This meant that UPS pays the claim and also keeps the bass. This part was surprising to me. Matt told me that it is still unclear as to whether or not UPS will ultimately be keeping the bass or returning it to him. It is really sad to think that this bass might end up on the scrap heap or worse when it really could be fixed for about $200. But it's sale price and declared value was only $475 so hard to justify a repair of that amount for this particular bass. If I had the money and had known more about the process of UPS damage claims, I might have opted to keep the bass and have the repairs done myself. Or just globbed some epoxy on the injured areas to prevent further damage since the damage area was not visible from the front of the bass. But it just did not make financial sense to do that. Matt and I are both better off just collecting our money from UPS and calling it a sad but decently ending story. The moral of the story in case that is not clear is to always insure your basses when shipping them, and always double box or have UPS pack the bass for you. Yes it costs more to double box, and even more than that to have UPS pack. But it buys you peace of mind. Also, when buying a bass that is to be shipped to you, its a good idea to have the seller agree to immediately refund you the purchase price amount in the event the bass/other gear you are buying arrives damaged, regardless of UPS insurance outcome. This agreement is important because if you file a claim, you will never see the bass again unless the insurance claim is denied. In the case of a denied claim, the bass would get shipped back to the seller who then would have the option of making the repairs, or offer you a new as-is price, and then ship it back to you. That process would be so expensive that the sale at that point would be a non-profit venture in many cases. Also, I think it is a good idea to only buy basses from TB-ers with either a lot of 100% positive feedback on TB, or on E-bay if they are new here, or preferably both. And talk to them to get to know them a little. Trust your gut. I have had bad sellers in the past, and I have had guys like Matt who are great. Epilogue is that I bought another J-bass yesterday. Its not as pretty or fancy as Matt's, but it is pretty nice just the same. The seller has shipped it in a gig bag and says he has wrapped it to the hilt with bubble wrap and peanuts. He also agreed to refund my money immediately in the event of damage in shipping. Good luck to everyone out there in GAS-land. Hope this thread helps you out!