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TubeNet Shipping Service?

Postby the elephant » Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:19 pm

I have posted this in another thread, but I am seriously proposing it now.

In the online Jeep world we regularly set up relay shipping for used parts. Due to the existence of so many Jeep clubs all over the US it takes very little effort to set up a hand-off system that can see a part shipped for free from NY to LA or from Miami to Seattle. (That would be much harder for low brass players since there are so few of us. It would require some serious organization.) These relays tend to be free, but they take some time, as many times parts will pass through the hands of over twenty people, all carrying the item around a hundred or so miles from where they normally would be to where they normally would go. Only the meetings at either end are out of their normal routines, so it costs virtually nothing extra to carry the part from A to B.

For us we do not have anywhere near the thousands of "known safe" people who will be honest enough to transport very expensive stuff and be financially responsible while in possession of the item. Driving would obviously have to be more than a hundred miles and would probably be roundtrip. This is not simply tossing a used vehicle part in the back and taking it down the road to where you would normally be headed anyway. This is actual shipping of a sort. So money would have to be involved. Period. However, I would pay double the current shipping rates to have my horn carried by hand from tubist to tubist across the country, with a sub-forum on TubeNet where you can post progress updates so both buyer and seller can get a sort of real time tracking report. That would make a few bucks for all participants, allow a lot of us to meet in person, and guarantee that only people who actually care about the horn to touch it.

Disadvantages

• Idiots. Not to be mean, but not everyone here is a candidate to take part in this service. Only very responsible people with a clean driving record and above the age of 25 should do this. (Insurance rates for males 25 and under are crazy high and then suddenly plummet. There are excellent, well-considered reasons for this.)

• Scumbags. Perhaps only people who are known to be safe due to prior sales on this site should be allowed to participate. Perhaps these people also need to have a long-term post history on this site, as well.

• TIme. This system typically takes a long time when it is free. I had a guy in Phoenix send me a starter motor and a power steering gear box and I got lucky and found a jeeper who was going from Phoenix to Dallas directly, so he carried the parts for me up to that point. One more guy carried them to Shreveport and I met him there. Of course, the middle guy had to sit on the parts for two weeks because of work, but once he was free he drove to visit his mother in Shreveport and lugged my parts with him. Again, all this was free. So delays are to be expected.

Advantages:

• Time. If the people selected for this service are paid for their time then delays would not be so pronounced because it would not be a "whenever you can" type of deal. Pay them for gas and time based on flat fees that we could decide on and then post in a set of guidelines. So the time issues listed above might be totally negated in our case. It would depend on who was needed and when, of course.

• Damages. There ought to be none, ever (barring accidents) because we know we can do a better job transporting a tuba in a gig bag than any shipper can, even when palletized and very well packed. You cannot beat the care we ourselves could lavish on horns as compared with any brown-shirted box flinger. They are doing a job moving anonymous boxes filled with god knows what. We would be carrying an expensive, beloved tuba from one friend to another.

• Tracking. Mark could open up a forum where BUYERS set up the route and all the details. Then a thread (perhaps in a small, dedicated sub-forum?) where the seller hands off the horn to the first runner. He then posts using his phone, so the buyer can see the information. Perhaps a photo of the two guys could be posted with the horn in case something *does* happen (such as an accident or the runner turns out to be a turd/thief/etc.) so there is a full record of what happened. At each handoff a pic could be posted with something like "Tuba handed off from Wade to Mark at Olive Garden parking lot on I-35W at 3:15 p.m. Mark is now headed to Waco for next handoff after we ate lunch. ETA is around 7:00 p.m. because I-35 sucks tremendously." Then a cheesy photo of Mark, Wade, the tuba, and our hottie server (note excessive marinara stains on Wade's shirt) could be inserted into the post.

When Mark handed off the horn to someone in Waco a similar post could be made. Stuff like overnight stays at someone's house due to the late delivery hour could be noted. Whatever. This would just be a part of the paid service: sort of "live" tracking progress reports.

Lots of barriers to making this a thing, but no REASONS to not try. I personally will be happy to cart tubas that come through here along the I-20 or I-55 corridors up to about three hours away. For me, personally, I would do this for cost of gas plus my time (which would be over six hours since I live a good bit away from either one of these Interstates. Now, what that time is worth depends. Am I busy or free? Can I do this on the way to something I was already going to be doing? I would say that I could move a horn from some place like Joe's house to Baton Rouge or Shreveport over two days One for a six hour roundtrip drive from the Memphis area and one for the six hour roundtrip drive three hours into Louisiana. This would COST me about $45 in gas plus meals. I would do this hand transporting on two days (13 or 14 hours in the car minimum) for about $150. This is a break-even price and simply provide by the BUYER to not take advantage of me. If the horn had to go more than that it would become very costly.

HOWEVER, there are certain advantages to doing things this way. They are great and obvious advantages, too. However, there is one massive downside, and that is insurance. Period. For me that is a deal breaker. It would not be for many others. I just do not take risks like that these days. However, lots are willing and trusting enough that this sort of ad hoc system could work.

All we would need are two sub-forms, one for setting up routes, carriers etc. with a sticky posted at the top of all who would participate, their locations, and how far they are willing to drive. Flat rates for time and gas could be posted as GUIDELINES, with drivers and the horn's buyer setting up whatever works for them as individuals. Once all is set, the other sub-forum could be then used to post the route with names of carriers and proposed routes so that all drivers can see what is happening. A phone "network" can be set up. Payment via PayPal could be set up. Then the progress reports can go there. EVERYONE can follow these live reports to see how the system works and whether or not they might want to participate as a buyer or driver.

Sellers only need to be involved up the the point of the initial handoff, and only after all money has been paid to everyone, including for the tuba itself. (In my old, cantankerous, suspicious world I would ONLY pay for the horn and drivers via some sort of TubeNet approved escrow service. Money goes in and is confirmed to be there, ready for the recipient. The recipient cannot get it until they complete their part in the transaction. The payer cannot get it back unless the other party agrees because they cannot meet their obligation. Something like that.)

This would NOT be cheap. However, it is the safest way for horns like this to be transported over a long distance, if you insist on selling your large, heavy, fragile, and expensive items to people who live 3,000 miles away. Which is stupid, if you ask me. I still vote 100% for buyer and seller making the effort to meet halfway, 100% of the time, ever, only. This post is being made because lots of people have not been stung by shippers yet, but who are leery of them based on some of our horror stories. So this is offered up as a solution that is flawed but that WE would be in control of at all times as a group. The forum for tracking progress is a particularly interesting possibility, to me.

I would probably never do this. I only drive to pick up horns. However, this system has seen many jeep parts make their way across the US to my eager hands over the years. The jeep community has the advantage of sheer numbers, and the online community is so huge that there are plenty of well known jeepers all over the US, frequently in the hinterlands that make up all that space between the big cities, so that setting up a hand-off network for a fellow jeeper is not much work. My last involvement in this was to send a transmission up to a guy in Michigan's U.P. last Christmas. I gave it to him for free, and he set up a network to deliver it for free to his garage. He never had to leave his house. I never had to leave mine. And it was FREE. It also took three months. I sent it back in December and he got it (for free, mind you) in early March. This worked because it was a free, rebuildable transmission core that he did not need right away, and because it was a blown-up hulk taking up space in my carport that I was happy to get rid of. He found a bunch of online friends who agreed to take it part of the way - for free, on their schedule - and after three months he had a new NV3550 core to install his rebuild kit into.

Whatever works for you, folks. I am just offering up an idea to help avoid the shipper woes we all end up suffering at one point or another.
Last edited by the elephant on Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TubeNet Shipping Servie

Postby Mark Finley » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:27 pm

I've offer to do something like this in the past, and even had somebody take me up on it once. It was more of a "I'm headed toward X if anybody needs a tuba taken that way"

It's an interesting idea, I would have to clear it with the Chisham's because I'm not sure it wouldn't open up the website for some type of liability in the event somebody loses a tuba by the hands of a scumbag that we thought we trusted.

I'd like to hear from more people that think this is a great idea and would on board for participating
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Re: TubeNet Shipping Servie

Postby bort » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:54 pm

Too complicated.

The intentions are honest, and it works in theory... But there are just too many ways for something to go wrong. Getting help from one person, like Mark's example, is a much more realistic idea.
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Re: TubeNet Shipping Service?

Postby lost » Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:10 pm

I like the idea. I think it could happen though in a much less official way by having a running thread of people with feedback who are willing to deliver and where and people could use their PM to take them up. Sort of like the for sale threads where no liability is implied.
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Re: TubeNet Shipping Service?

Postby bloke » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:34 pm

It would work with ONE person making an agreement with ONE person, and privately - i.e. with private messages.

A seller could take their tuba to a "mule" headed that-a-way.
A buyer could drive to the closest point that the "mule" would be from the buyers home.
The "mule's" gasoline costs could be covered for a trip they were making anyway.
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Re: TubeNet Shipping Service?

Postby royjohn » Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:08 am

I'm retired with absolutely no commitments. In East Tennessee. With a little notice,
I can travel south to Florida or north as far as NYC and vicinity. Or similar distances
in other directions. I'm bored sitting at home and have a new (to me) car with a
turbo I would like to test drive. Just throwing that out there. I love tubas and would
take care of any entrusted to me. I hope others will respond in this vein.
Best,
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Re: TubeNet Shipping Service?

Postby TheTuba » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:18 am

I have a different Idea.
Divide up the country into local "parts" and assign trustworthy tubists there that part to take care of.
Any tubas that pass through that part is transported by that tubist, and the tubist transports it to the next part. The parts can be sized accordingly by how far they are willing to drive and how remote they are to the next trustworthy tubist.
Each part can have a fee, and depending on how many parts you pass through, you pay the fee for each part.
EX
bloke sends TheTuba a JP instrument through the Tubenet honarary system from Tennessee to Texas.
Tuba passes through 6 parts
Each part costs 20 dollars.
Once delivered, TheTuba pays 120 bucks, or, he and bloke can estimate how many parts before the sale, and bloke passes along 120 bucks to the next tubist he hands it off to.
This system I believe will work great
I would put a good signature here, but i dont have one, so this will make do.
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Re: TubeNet Shipping Service?

Postby PMeuph » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:05 am

Are you going to call this service tuber? :lol:

Your system seems nice, but I think the only way it can work is a one on one agreement. I think there's just too much potential for things to go wrong with objects worth up to 10k.

My thoughts:

Jeep parts are heavy, rare to find, lower value and easy to hide it boxes in trunks and have little perceived value to people who want to steal them. You can't walk into a pawn shop with a jeep starter engine and walk out with cash.

Tubas are bulky, light and fragile, high value, difficult to hide in cars and believed to be worthwhile objects to steal. While most pawn shops might not give 5k for a tuba, I'm sure some have given a couple hundred dollars.

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Re: TubeNet Shipping Service?

Postby TheTuba » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:05 am

PMeuph wrote:Are you going to call this service tuber? :lol:

Your system seems nice, but I think the only way it can work is a one on one agreement. I think there's just too much potential for things to go wrong with objects worth up to 10k.

My thoughts:

Jeep parts are heavy, rare to find, lower value and easy to hide it boxes in trunks and have little perceived value to people who want to steal them. You can't walk into a pawn shop with a jeep starter engine and walk out with cash.

Tubas are bulky, light and fragile, high value, difficult to hide in cars and believed to be worthwhile objects to steal. While most pawn shops might not give 5k for a tuba, I'm sure some have given a couple hundred dollars.

___


All of this depends on trustworthy tubists, and I am sure there is at least 1 in every state.
Most major cities have orchestras, and the tubists there can act as "nodes", who oversee and choose the tubists.
I DO NOT propose that the tubas are kept in cars. Tubists bring the tuba home,honking on it once or twice(with permission of course), while they arrange a time convenient for them and the tubists in the next part.
REMEMBER
This service is for quality, not speed.
I would rather wait a month than a week, if the week has a chance of damaging the expensive horn I am buying.
There can be a forum where the required parts are informed of any tubas passing through their territory. This forum can be made so only the approved tubists /sellers can post/update. If a non participating member wants to post, they can contact a approved member to relay their post onto the forum.
Again, this would take a lot of logistical planning and the contracting of many tubists, but with roughly 8500 members, U am sure it can be done
I would put a good signature here, but i dont have one, so this will make do.
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Re: TubeNet Shipping Service?

Postby royjohn » Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:03 pm

I think some brave and desperate soul will have to try this. A 1000 mile trip with three legs would seem to me to be easy to set up.
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Re: TubeNet Shipping Service?

Postby Mark Finley » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:05 pm

PMeuph wrote:Are you going to call this service tuber? :lol:

___


This deserves a quote. I chuckled
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Re: TubeNet Shipping Service?

Postby PMeuph » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:57 pm

TheTuba wrote:
......
I DO NOT propose that the tubas are kept in cars. Tubists bring the tuba home,honking on it once or twice(with permission of course), while they arrange a time convenient for them and the tubists in the next part.
.....

Nor do I propose that tubas be kept in cars, but what I didn't say, as it was fairly obvious to me is they will be in the cars during the trip and people almost always need to stop during a trip for concentration/bathroom/ coffee/food/fuel up.
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Re: TubeNet Shipping Service?

Postby Schlepporello » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:27 pm

PMeuph wrote:
TheTuba wrote:
......
I DO NOT propose that the tubas are kept in cars. Tubists bring the tuba home,honking on it once or twice(with permission of course), while they arrange a time convenient for them and the tubists in the next part.
.....

Nor do I propose that tubas be kept in cars, but what I didn't say, as it was fairly obvious to me is they will be in the cars during the trip and people almost always need to stop during a trip for concentration/bathroom/ coffee/food/fuel up.

And police stops. What are you gonna say when the state trooper pulls you over and asks about that tuba in your car? You're hauling equipment for pay. That's borderline commercial transport. You may be required to have proper transport documentation if you get stopped. What looks good on paper may not pan out if you get ahold of a hard-nosed state trooper out to make a name for himself. Ah, but what do I know. I'm just a truck driver.
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Re: TubeNet Shipping Service?

Postby royjohn » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:39 pm

Schlepporello wrote:
What are you gonna say when the state trooper pulls you over and asks about that tuba in your car? You're hauling equipment for pay. That's borderline commercial transport. You may be required to have proper transport documentation if you get stopped. What looks good on paper may not pan out if you get ahold of a hard-nosed state trooper out to make a name for himself. Ah, but what do I know. I'm just a truck driver.


Isn't this a little far-fetched? You have a tuba in the back seat...you aren't required to answer questions about it...as far as anyone knows, it is your tuba, or you are carrying it for a friend. He is giving you gas money (which you aren't even required to talk about, anyway). How is the trooper (IF you even get stopped, and IF he even asks you a question about the tuba) going to know you are making a profit unless you stupidly blab that you are...I think you would have to give the trooper something to be suspicious about before he could even lawfully ask you about the tuba. Just because you are speeding or have a tail light out does not give him the right to search your car or ask you about your tuba, or about anything else, for that matter.

Am I way off here?
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Re: TubeNet Shipping Service?

Postby Schlepporello » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:04 pm

royjohn wrote:Isn't this a little far-fetched? You have a tuba in the back seat...you aren't required to answer questions about it...as far as anyone knows, it is your tuba, or you are carrying it for a friend. He is giving you gas money (which you aren't even required to talk about, anyway). How is the trooper (IF you even get stopped, and IF he even asks you a question about the tuba) going to know you are making a profit unless you stupidly blab that you are...I think you would have to give the trooper something to be suspicious about before he could even lawfully ask you about the tuba. Just because you are speeding or have a tail light out does not give him the right to search your car or ask you about your tuba, or about anything else, for that matter.

Am I way off here?

I may be the one that's over-exaggerating. But I also worked for a company that chose to open a 2nd location in another distant city. They chose to buy an enclosed stock trailer and sneak product down to stock the 2nd location. This went well for a while...……..until the truck and trailer started breaking down and the state police decided to investigate. The first sign that something was amiss was the enclosed stock trailer. You don't haul animals in an enclosed, insulated trailer. At least not one without some kind of ventilation.

Also, I can see the point of "Well, I'm going that way anyway." Do enough people really travel that often to justify creating such an endeavor? And depending on distance, someone's gonna have to stop at a motel every now and then. Surely no one is gonna leave a tuba in their car. And what about loss by wrecks or theft in transit? The driver would need to find someone willing to insure him because you can't put the loss aspect on the back of someone who "just happens to be going that way."
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Re: TubeNet Shipping Service?

Postby TheTuba » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:35 pm

@PMEuph sorry for misinterpreting your reply!
To answer your question, I believe that tubists want to save money, so in most cases, they will arrange a time that allows them to travel the whole way and back in under 24 hours. But, like you said, stopping is a liability, but it is a liability one will have to accept for this service.
@Schelp
That might happen, but there's no reason to get pulled over if you didn't do anything.
However, if that DOES happen, and you didn't do anything wrong, the buyer can
Send emails to the tubists in the required parts saying that they are allowed to transport there tuba, with their and the sellers phone number.
But you can always say it's your tuba :P
I would put a good signature here, but i dont have one, so this will make do.
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Re: TubeNet Shipping Service?

Postby TheTuba » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:45 pm

An overview

Advantages

Quality service
Mabye fast and low cost (depending on distance)

For "part" tubists
Make money
Can get to go out more
Meet different tubists that are good and fun people
Transporting is at your time and your discretion for quality


Disadvantages

Tubists may not be trustworthy
Slow shipping

"Part" tubists
Liable for instrument theft
May have to spend night in motel

I propose that if the distance between two tubists are large, the buyer can pay half of what a motel would cost for the delivering tubist. Bill is required, and can be sent through email.

Once the tuba arrives, you can go get it , or the part tubist in your area can get it to you for no charge (but really, treat him/her to a lunch about discussing tubas :lol: )
Any more thoughts?
I would put a good signature here, but i dont have one, so this will make do.
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Re: TubeNet Shipping Service?

Postby TheTuba » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:18 pm

I have one more thing to add.
If this thing becomes widespread, there is already a chance that thieves will know about this system.
Therefore, we make a "locked" forum only accessible to this service, and take away the "who recently commented" thing so identities can be preserved.
Obviously sellers like bloke will use this service, and since he comments a lot, is already at risk for threats of theft. So this service will not add a lot of chances to it.
I would put a good signature here, but i dont have one, so this will make do.
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Re: TubeNet Shipping Service?

Postby tofu » Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:01 am

I'm not an insurance guy, but I'm pretty sure that once you accept any kind of payment for hauling people or stuff you are going to need different more expensive insurance and may even invalidate your existing insurance. The last thing you need is to end up in a serious vehicle crash and then find out you got an insurance problem. And don't think for a minute that if somebody's expensive tuba gets totaled when your car is in an accident or it get stolen out of your vehicle that they aren't coming after you and you will have a legal problem if you have excepted payment for hauling said tuba. Accepting remuneration really does change things. This seems like accepting a whole lot of risk for little reward.
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Re: TubeNet Shipping Service?

Postby royjohn » Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:43 am

Wow, now thieves are monitoring tubenet and will watch your house, know when you leave and lie in wait for you at the Interstate exit?

As far as the insurance issue, I bought a tuba to take to another city and sell...give the guy you picked it up from a dollar. You are a tuba player and you have a tuba. Or ask your agent, I bet you can get covered. Is this actually a commercial venture? I thought it was doing a favor for a friend? I can't see how you can charge enough to actually make money unless Alan Baer has to have a new horn in time for a NYPhil concert and you are rushing it up there for $1000...
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