Assuming that I were to purchase a pair of large, heavy loudspeakers from an individual (as opposed to a business), what is the probability that the speakers will arrive with shipping damage due to inadequate packaging?
Second, at what price does the reduced cost of a used loudspeaker justify the cost of having it shipped?
I've bought only one pair of loudspeakers via e-Bay, and I communicated extensively with the seller prior to shipment about the necessity of good packing to avoid shipping damage. Fortunately, the seller was extremely careful when packing and the speakers (Thiel 1.5s) arrived without any damage.
I'm now considering shopping for some Thiel 3.6 or 3.7 speakers, but I, again, worry about the possibility of spending a significantly larger amount of money and then receiving a damaged shipment.
I'm well aware that there is probably a 50% chance of significant damage, even if the speakers ARE properly packed - (That has been my ratio when shipping electronics, even with double boxing and generous padding). The likelihood of damage goes up exponentially with large or heavy items. Further, the shipping companies absolutely refuse to accept any responsibility for the damages they cause, even when their negligence is obvious. Here is one example: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/delivery/fedex_damage.html
Given that the risks for large, heavy items like speakers are so high for shipping damage, should I abandon the idea of an online purchase and shop exclusively in the local market?