What is the best way of insuring an expensive item sold on EBAY?

oreo713

O.G.
Jun 4, 2008
1,711
999
The Big Apple
Hi everyone! I've noticed that some sellers ship expensive items, such as jewelry, with no insurance, just delivery or signature confirmation. Personally I think that is taking a big, scary chance that your item will arrive without a problem. How would one ship an item that the buyer purchases for over $1,000. with insurance? USPS only insures up to $1,000 for Priority Mail. . Fedex is an good, safe alternative but the insurance rates are astronomical. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Thank you!!
 

BeenBurned

Coach, Dooney, Uggs
Authenticator
O.G.
Feb 25, 2007
45,305
11,201
East Coast, USA
While I've not shipped a lot of items of +$1K, there have been a few. Because those packages were very large oversized boxes, USPS would have been prohibitively expensive so I used Fedex and their "indemnity" coverage. IMO, "indemnity" is ambiguous, is NOT insurance and should a loss occur, I was informed by the person when I sent the package that I probably wouldn't get full value of what the item sold for. (Lucky for me, the packages got there without incident and I didn't have to test their system.

As for using USPS and its insurance, there are a couple of things to keep in mind, mainly for domestic shipments.
  • most items get to their destinations. (In my own experience, of over 4000 shipments I've made in over 15 years, only 2 or 3 have been lost. Of those, only 1 had insurance and it was a PITA getting them to pay out even though it was clear that no delivery was made.)
  • even if a USPS item is insured, if tracking shows delivery, USPS won't pay a claim for a lost/non-delivered. They don't care if it's stolen from a porch or mailbox.
  • If an item has been rifled, tampered or broken, again, winning a claim is an exercise in patience. They do all they can to avoid paying and it's up to the sender and recipient to show negligence. If an item is fragile and the sender didn't mark it as such, USPS will place blame on the sender for not packing properly and for not marking the package as "fragile."
For items $750+, you do need signature confirmation and USPS is aware and getting better at collecting signatures when the service has been paid for. That's an additional service you have to pay for.

It's very rare that I put insurance on an item and it's usually cases where I have an uncomfortable feeling about the buyer or the transaction. It usually has nothing to do with the value of the item.
 
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smallfry

My Sweet Angel
O.G.
Dec 18, 2005
7,161
2,246
USA
Hi everyone! I've noticed that some sellers ship expensive items, such as jewelry, with no insurance, just delivery or signature confirmation. Personally I think that is taking a big, scary chance that your item will arrive without a problem. How would one ship an item that the buyer purchases for over $1,000. with insurance? USPS only insures up to $1,000 for Priority Mail. . Fedex is an good, safe alternative but the insurance rates are astronomical. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Thank you!!
oreo, USPS actually insures up to $5,000 for Priority Mail. I always ship insured with signature confirmation. I would just be too nervous to do it any other way.
 
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oreo713

O.G.
Jun 4, 2008
1,711
999
The Big Apple
While I've not shipped a lot of items of +$1K, there have been a few. Because those packages were very large oversized boxes, USPS would have been prohibitively expensive so I used Fedex and their "indemnity" coverage. IMO, "indemnity" is ambiguous, is NOT insurance and should a loss occur, I was informed by the person when I sent the package that I probably wouldn't get full value of what the item sold for. (Lucky for me, the packages got there without incident and I didn't have to test their system.

As for using USPS and its insurance, there are a couple of things to keep in mind, mainly for domestic shipments.
  • most items get to their destinations. (In my own experience, of over 4000 shipments I've made in over 15 years, only 2 or 3 have been lost. Of those, only 1 had insurance and it was a PITA getting them to pay out even though it was clear that no delivery was made.)
  • even if a USPS item is insured, if tracking shows delivery, USPS won't pay a claim for a lost/non-delivered. They don't care if it's stolen from a porch or mailbox.
  • If an item has been rifled, tampered or broken, again, winning a claim is an exercise in patience. They do all they can to avoid paying and it's up to the sender and recipient to show negligence. If an item is fragile and the sender didn't mark it as such, USPS will place blame on the sender for not packing properly and for not marking the package as "fragile."
For items $750+, you do need signature confirmation and USPS is aware and getting better at collecting signatures when the service has been paid for. That's an additional service you have to pay for.

It's very rare that I put insurance on an item and it's usually cases where I have an uncomfortable feeling about the buyer or the transaction. It usually has nothing to do with the value of the item.
Thank you so much for all the information and time you took to send it to me.. I guess it would definitely pay to get signature confirmation with insurance. I would feel better with insurance rather than without, Too may scammers out there.
 

oreo713

O.G.
Jun 4, 2008
1,711
999
The Big Apple
oreo, USPS actually insures up to $5,000 for Priority Mail. I always ship insured with signature confirmation. I would just be too nervous to do it any other way.
I didn't know that. I guess the raised the amount since I last inquired. I would do the same as you, ship insured with signature confirmation. It isn't worth taking the risk of not doing both when that much money is involved.
 
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BeenBurned

Coach, Dooney, Uggs
Authenticator
O.G.
Feb 25, 2007
45,305
11,201
East Coast, USA
Thank you so much for all the information and time you took to send it to me.. I guess it would definitely pay to get signature confirmation with insurance. I would feel better with insurance rather than without, Too may scammers out there.
Signature confirmation is a requirement for seller protection when the total sale amount (including shipping) is $750+.

If insurance gives you peace of mind, by all means purchase it. Just understand what happens in various cases of claims.
 

oreo713

O.G.
Jun 4, 2008
1,711
999
The Big Apple
Signature confirmation is a requirement for seller protection when the total sale amount (including shipping) is $750+.

If insurance gives you peace of mind, by all means purchase it. Just understand what happens in various cases of claims.
Well....if you had Signature Confirmation, and it was signed for, then there wouldn't be a problem....true?
 

whateve

Authenticator
O.G.
May 10, 2010
55,649
50,644
Well....if you had Signature Confirmation, and it was signed for, then there wouldn't be a problem....true?
There have been cases on the forum where the buyer didn't get the bag even though it was signed for. It turned out the signature was from someone else, maybe someone at a different address. Upon further research, there have been cases where it was proven the package was delivered to the wrong address. In other cases, the mail carrier signed for the package rather than wait to get it from the addressee. In all those cases, you would have a fight on your hands.

I've sent items with signature confirmation and the carrier delivered the item without getting the signature. When this happens, even though the addressee has the item, there is no proof of it. The tracking never shows as delivered, so you would lose a Paypal claim. Whether or not you would win a USPS claim, I don't know. Because I can't trust USPS to get the signature, when I'm shipping something that requires signature I always use UPS, even though it is more expensive. They send you a copy of the signature.
 
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