Whats the safest way to send a computer?

Postal priority mail, Fed Ex or UPS?? This is within the continental US.

I’m really worried about who would handle it better rather then price right now. However, if you happen to know the approximate price differential I would appreciate that as well.

Thanks all.

I wouldn’t recommend UPS. They’ll happily take your insurance money for a computer shipment, completely destroy the computer, and then cheerfully sic their high-paid corporate lawyers on you if you dare to file a claim. It must be nice, being in the organized crime business.

I wish I had some kind of statistics or something to offer, because this is GQ, but all I can offer is personal testimony.

I have a friend who bought his girlfriend a brand new computer and shipped it via USPS. It arrived smashed. It looked as though it had been drop-kicked. The monitor glass was cracked and the computer would not even boot. Even though the package had been insured, it took them over 10 months to get their money back, and I am not positive on this point, but I don’t think they even got back the full worth of the computer.

I have heard nothing good or bad about UPS or FedEx. Personally I would feel better about moving a computer if it was packed in styrofoam and wrapped in a blanket in the back seat of my car.

What about Airborne Express?

What about it??? I don’t know anything about it. Care to elaborate?

I’ve shipped dozens of PCs via UPS with no problems over the years. I have received some PCs and monitors that were damaged and arranged to ship them back to the vendor. 90% of the time PC damage is caused by improper or inadequate packing. The cartons Gateway ships it’s PCs in costs them around $ 60 each just for the box and packing.

I’ve seen PCs shipped by individuals and sloppy vendors in every crappy ass, poorly packed container you can imagine. People seem to have no idea that a 20 or 30 lb hunk of plastic and metal can’t be adequately protected with a used cabbage or onion box stuffed with newpapers. UPS drivers handle PCs like everthing else (ie a sack of potatoes) but I’ve never seem them outright abuse an item and I have been at their depot watching handling for extended periods of time, in the course of chasing shipments back to the depot over the years.

I’d recommend UPS and packing the hell out of it then double boxing it.

Seems to me you should go with the cheapest carrier and then wrap the thing in about 3 feet of bubble wrap, the stuff does wonders when thick and isn’t very heavy it won’t add that much to the price, then again they charge by size as well as weight, I guess it’s kinda a tradeoff in that regard, good luck

I really don’t know. I can say that newspaper does not make a good packing material and UPS will not refund money until they send an inspector to see the damamged item. However, if you pack your computer correctly (with LOTs and LOTs of packing peanuts) you won’t have a problem. In my (little) experience with carriers I would say pick the cheapest carrier and spend more on packing your stuff. If you pack it correctly and insure it, you can fight for your money if the product gets damaged.

When I have to ship something valuable, I take the item to a reputable packer/shipper. Around here, Staples. Their packaging is good and reasonably priced. It also gives added documentation of the condition of the goods prior to shipment if or when problems occur.

I used to work at the largest computer store in the world, and we shipped a LOT of computers. One of the things I learned, UPS and FedEx have rules about “intrusion” and manufacturer-provided boxes must be pretested so that if anything stabs into the box, it must allow 2 inches of “intrusion space” or they won’t reimburse the shipper. This doesn’t apply to private shippers, but just to be safe, obey the rule and make sure you have at least 2 inches of padding around your computer.
Another thing I learned is that UPS has a “1-foot no drop” rule. Boxes must never be dropped more than 1 foot. Fedex has a similar rule, but better: NO drops allowed.
Fedex is safer but UPS is cheaper. Take your pick. I don’t know about the other shippers, I never used them.

I’ve had good luck shipping many of my company’s computers via FedX. Just use adequate packing.

This is the same as with me. The company that actually does the shipping is not nearly as important as the way the computer is packaged. If you can get it snug in the box, with no way of it coming loose and LOTS of protective layering around it, it will be fine. Now, I have noticed that the packaging peanuts are not great for this. The plastic-bubbles (not the ones that you can pop) seem to work great. They are very “hard”, in that they acn take a lot of weight without being crushed and destroyed. Try looking for those and you’ll be all set… :wink:

Double box things. I have shipped China via UPS that way very successfully. Its the HD you need to be concerned about & the monitor glass.

Visit UPS.com & input the weight & find the price it’ll cost. You’d probably save if they came & picked it up, it only cost $12, unless you have a UPS store nearby. A store that ships UPS adds quite a markup on it & you can see what that is if you get the actually shipping cost from ups.com

I’ve shipped lots of stuff via UPS over the years, and haven’t had that much trouble collecting when an item was damaged.

As mentioned above, how the item is packed is most important. My favorite method is a combination of bubble wrap and packing peanuts. Wrap the item(s) in several layers of bubble wrap, tape, and then pack tightly in peanuts. If the item is too small and/or the peanuts are not tightly packed then the item will settle to the bottom of the box and lose its protection. If you don’t use bubble wrap, at least wrap the equipment in plastic so you don’t get little pieces of foam intruding into your power supply, diskette drive, or monitor’s cooling slots. Double boxing will also help with smaller items, although I don’t really believe it’s necessay with a PC (especially since you may have difficulty finding two boxes to fit one inside another where the smaller is large enough to hold your PC).

Unless you drop a modern hard drive from 6 feet onto a concrete floor, chances are pretty good it’s not going to be damaged. Modern hard drives are very durable and can survive serious G forces (Ok, I’m exaggerating a little, but any shock hard enough to damage your hard drive will probably also seriously damage the case). More likely problems are for cards, cables and CPUs to loosen up during travel; so if the PC doesn’t work after it’s been shipped, the first order of business should be to open it up and reseat everything.