Packing & shipping tips for a 40lbs. espresso machine

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oofnik

#1: Post by oofnik »

I just bought what appears to be an older model re-branded Wega Mininova on eBay. If anyone would like to confirm the model, here's a picture. From the description, the seller doesn't seem to be all too familiar with espresso machines. I would just like to help him get the machine packed up safely to avoid any headaches (cracked HX, broken fittings, etc). It will be going from Nebraska to Georgia, about 1,000 miles, through UPS. Thank you everyone.

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another_jim
Team HB

#2: Post by another_jim »

Mummy wrap the machine and any loose parts in thin bubble wrap, about 1.5 inchs in depth, so it'll withstand getting stabbed by any sharp implements, then double box with lots of beads in each box so it can withstand getting dropped out of the back of the truck several times. That should, with a few prayers thrown in, and barring any great new innovations in package handling, UPS proof it.
Jim Schulman

Espresso Forge: brew truly incredible espresso at home
Sponsored by Espresso Forge
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Kristi

#3: Post by Kristi »

drain as much water as you can from the boiler. Look at the temps to see if you need some RV-potable water line antifreeze (or vodka). Probably want to leave steam and hot water valves closed - mine were left open and when I got it there was a bit of moisture in the box, but none in the boiler.
Kris

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HB
Admin

#4: Post by HB »

Most importantly, insist the buyer take it to a packing store on your dime. It wouldn't hurt to get the name of the manager of the store and call them. Seriously, five minutes on the phone could save you weeks of aggravation filing damage claims. Ship the loose items separately. They will otherwise interfere with a quality pack job and potentially rattle around causing damage. Double box, solid core foam, and Instapak cushions if they have them.


What you can expect from UPS (Getting to know the Izzo Alex)

For more specific suggestions, see Shipping Silvia.
Kristi wrote:Probably want to leave steam and hot water valves closed - mine were left open and when I got it there was a bit of moisture in the box, but none in the boiler.
I would rather have some moisture in the packing than risk frozen water busting the lines. I'm not certain, but the Mininova might have a drain plug on the side. We can assume that this machine will be exposed to freezing temperatures during the long drive from Nebraska to Georgia. Get the water out. Michael Teahan swears by the volka as antifreeze trick, but I've never tried it. Putting your faith in a seller to properly package and drain an espresso machine for a winter shipment... I would be worried. :?
Dan Kehn

Everman

#5: Post by Everman »

I recently sold my Silvia and successfully got it to the other side of the country. I double boxed it with the outer box full of peanuts. Wrapped the machine in large bubble wrap and dumped in peanuts, firmly secured it with some pieces of hard foam.

Just make sure it's padded well and can not move around even if tipped on its side. Also drain as much water as you safely can.

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Kristi

#6: Post by Kristi »

This came from Montana weighing 70 lbs - I lucked out - no damage, but it was super well packed - four 1" planks of styrofoam on all sides, double extra heavy cardboard wall, and bailing twine under the duck tape. Knobs and feet had been removed and were sent in the other box.



Assume your box will sit upside down, and be thrown around.

When the UPS guy was bringing them up, the grinder box fell off the cart and actually bounced, it was so well packed. No damage to either unit from shipping. But again it was due to overkill packing, AND, UPS being kind.

44lb grinder box:



I had had easily 20 emails with the guy discussing shipping and prep.
Kris

mattwells

#7: Post by mattwells »

oofnik wrote:I just bought what appears to be an older model re-branded Wega Mininova on eBay. If anyone would like to confirm the model, here's a picture. From the description, the seller doesn't seem to be all too familiar with espresso machines. I would just like to help him get the machine packed up safely to avoid any headaches (cracked HX, broken fittings, etc). It will be going from Nebraska to Georgia, about 1,000 miles, through UPS. Thank you everyone.
Glad (for you) that I canceled my snipe on that one. I think you are correct about the model. I am packing up a machine right now. Styrofoam around the machine in the first box and a mixture of big and small bubble wrap and the big air cushions between the first box and the second. Boiler drained and then filled with some everclear as an antifreeze (and the everclear run through the HX as well). I am trying to cover all the bases as well. Let me know how the machine turns out.
Matt Wells

LMWDP #160

Flair Espresso: handcrafted espresso. cafe-quality shots, anytime, anywhere
Sponsored by Flair Espresso
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espressme

#8: Post by espressme »

To all the great advice above, I would add: Place the unit into a large plastic bag and then another before packing. You can not believe where the tiny bits of plastic from packaging can get into. They can interfere with switches and other things.

Also, I was told by a shipping claims person that I should have packed for four foot drops. I would amend this to 'pack for repeated 6 foot drops.'

Some shippers routinely deny damage claims by saying that the item was poorly packed!

Remember, Insure for value of shipment + shipping, not the $100 of normal insurance.

Shipping companies' stores are not always a place to have the items packed! Many of their personnel are poorly trained into the " throw into box with peanuts" mentality. They have no idea what strength of box to use or how to package heavy items. It is easier to settle claims when the shipment was packed by the shipping company's Store.

Again, not all are bad but talking with the packager does help.

Did I see the suggestion: Give the packager this thread URL?

My best regards
richard

DigMe

#9: Post by DigMe »

espressme wrote:It is easier to settle claims when the shipment was packed by the shipping company's Store.
Not always!

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1932143,00.asp

bc

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espressme

#10: Post by espressme »

Thou speaketh truth! Some folks swear by JedEx. A reminder also that the Upshipper's Store, if used as a safe drop for your package, charges a goodly amount for the service! It is best to have a local business friend take the package for you.

Having been through a similar go 'round with Puce over a five week period where their left hands said one thing and the next phone message was irate squawk from an unavailable supervisor and another number to call, where the left hand didn't have a clue =endless recursive iterations ending with claim denied because "you refuse to quit your job to be home any of 6 maybe days we might want to make an appointment to see the remains." Fortunately I retained the object and the shipper and I figured out a way to even out the damages.
Best of luck
richard