Returning a guitar - seller requests no insurance?

smv929

Member
Messages
948
I'm exercising the return policy on a guitar. I'm in the US and he's in Canada. He requested I "...declare a minimal value at $100, no insurance is needed." It's via USPS. Should I do this? He's very nice and gracious. I trust him. I guess he's trying to avoid paying a tax? I feel bad returning the guitar. I'd like to follow his request. SHould I get insurance anyway?
 

GCDEF

Supporting Member
Messages
27,647
Have him send you a signed letter absolving you of all responsibility if something goes wrong.
 

spookyelectric

Supporting Member
Messages
2,133
declaring an inaccurate minimal value and asking you to not get insurance is a red flag to me. He gets to avoid paying as much taxes when he gets it back and you get screwed if the package gets damaged in delivery. He would only be obligated to give you $100 rather than your full amount you paid.

Just declare the actual value and get the insurance!
 

Tehillah

Member
Messages
388
declaring an inaccurate minimal value and asking you to not get insurance is a red flag to me. He gets to avoid paying as much taxes when he gets it back and you get screwed if the package gets damaged in delivery. He would only be obligated to give you $100 rather than your full amount you paid.

Just declare the actual value and get the insurance!
100% agree. Regardless of him being a "Nice guy"- I know you may feel bad, etc, but it's still the right thing to do-
 

Jon C

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,124
If he has his own instrument insurance he may not need shipping insurance. I have such a policy and my instruments are covered if listed on the policy, until a sale is final, including during shipping.

So I don't have to get the shipper's insurance to be covered. My insurance company suggests getting insurance of $500 or above just to perhaps influence some degree of care by the shipper, but I'm covered either way by my own insurance for the agreed value of the instrument.

So it may or may not be the case that he's trying to pull something here.
 

Rick51

Member
Messages
3,709
I'm exercising the return policy on a guitar. I'm in the US and he's in Canada. He requested I "...declare a minimal value at $100, no insurance is needed." It's via USPS. Should I do this? He's very nice and gracious. I trust him. I guess he's trying to avoid paying a tax? I feel bad returning the guitar. I'd like to follow his request. SHould I get insurance anyway?
Did the seller tell you this? Is he paying for the shipping?

What happens if USPS loses or damages the guitar?

I trusted every snake that ever burned me on a transaction. If you really want to extend yourself for the seller, you pay for the insurance. Small bucks vs. the value at risk. Advise the seller and get his agreement before you do this.
 

Whitecat

Member
Messages
1,709
Lots of shops insure deliveries with third party cover (i.e., some aspect of their business insurance covers it) - because many carriers refuse to properly insure guitars if at all anyway.

It COULD be a tax thing in that it's a timesaver - Customs may slap taxes on and he'll have to file a bunch of paperwork to get them reimbursed - this happens frequently - and he doesn't want to do that, it's time n' effort. You will want to put the description "returning goods originally sold in Canada" to help out on that front.
 

smv929

Member
Messages
948
I emailed if he would agree to give me a full refund even if damage occurs. He replied yes. So it's in email that he agreed.
 

TomDev

Member
Messages
771
I returned a bass to a used instrument dealer a few months ago and boy am I glad I got insurance because it arrived and he told me it had a broken headstock. Even with insurance, it was still a challenge to get reimbursed by Fedex. Getting reimbursed for a bass that USPS "lost" on me about 15 years ago was even more difficult. At the very least. I would get a signature confirmation of delivery. I would even talk to a lawyer about whether his email statement is valid.
 

Jon C

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,124
He said its all taken care by my insurance company if anything happens to it.
Beware. Unless you have agreed value coverage you will be covered for a highly depreciated cash value amount, if you will be covered at all. Call your insurance company immediately to find out.
 

Jon C

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,124
I emailed if he would agree to give me a full refund even if damage occurs. He replied yes. So it's in email that he agreed.
It's good that he agreed to this but that wouldn't give me much comfort compared to having recourse to insurance, etc.

He's in another country. You effectively have zero recourse if there's a problem and he refuses to reimburse you.
 
Messages
23,814
I'm exercising the return policy on a guitar. I'm in the US and he's in Canada. He requested I "...declare a minimal value at $100, no insurance is needed." It's via USPS. Should I do this? He's very nice and gracious. I trust him. I guess he's trying to avoid paying a tax? I feel bad returning the guitar. I'd like to follow his request. SHould I get insurance anyway?
Is the guitar worth roughly what you paid for it?

Is it the sort of make and model that can be easily resold in the USA?

If so, consider thinking outside the box here. See if the Seller will cut you a check for say 10-25% to cover the things about the guitar that are compelling you to want to return it, get him to do that in exchange for agreeing not to return it. Then dump the thing in the USA and leave all the Customs and Shipping BS out of the next steps you take to move on from this guitar.

Think about this. What is the Downside of resolving this in this way? His cost moving forward is a little less; maybe a lot less. And you get rid of the guitar with no substantial additional out of pocket expense. You get him to sweeten up the pot to make the in USA transaction useful to both of you.

He doesn't want the guitar back in Canada. Why must it go back there?
 

vortexxxx

Supporting Member
Messages
10,099
The reason he's asking for a low value and not to insure it for the full value is that customs will charge him duty, taxes, etc even though it is a return. If he can prove it's a return, they might give him the money back. It's difficult to prove that it is a return though.
 

diaphragm

Member
Messages
33
Just get insurance and declare the right value, if it worries you. Then, if he complains, tell him your wife dropped it off and she's bad at following directions, even though you told her over and over again the procedure.
 

Mandrax

Member
Messages
1,600
Surely doing something like this could make you complicit in some kind of tax fraud? Sounds extreme, but it's a possibility. Personally I like Boris' suggestion ^^
 




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