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Insurance & Shipping Costs

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  #1  
Old 04-23-2002, 10:11 AM
Gerry Monaghan Gerry Monaghan is offline
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Insurance & Shipping Costs

Mr. Doug,

I see your site has a $10. shipping/insurance fee. What does that do for you? What kind of exposure do you feel you are taking by accepting stuff through USPS or Fed Ex?

To all who would care to comment; Do you have special business insurance to cover you against loss of clients property? Obviously, once you have scanned the clients artifact, it can in essence be recreated to make client whole within reason. What about the potential for loss in the first leg of the transaction. I am so neurotic I almost don't want to take work I can't go get in person.
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Old 04-23-2002, 10:25 AM
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DJ Dubovsky DJ Dubovsky is offline
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You could work around that by having the client scan or take the image to a place for scanning and only send you the scanned version. This means you have to work with the scan good or bad that you recieve but it might be better than getting a priceless print in the mail that you would feel responsible for. I don't get business through the mail so I don't have to deal with this as much. I would put a tracking or something at least on any image I mailed that contained the original.
DJ
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Old 04-23-2002, 10:39 AM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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The insurance fee is to pay for insurance on the trip back to the client. It also pays for a signature requirement on their end.

There may or may not be any real possibility of collecting an insurance re-imbursement for an old photo lost or damaged in shipment, but I insure for the value of my work, since that would be easy to prove.

Insuring and shipment via the best possible means also provides a sign of respect for their originals.

As for coverage while their photos are in your care, I believe there is a very good thread on that here in this same forum.
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Old 04-23-2002, 11:06 AM
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Jakaleena Jakaleena is offline
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Gerry,

I've had a couple of people send me images through the mail. I just scan it, color match it, archive it to CD, and ship the original back to them the same day (insured of course).


Jak
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Old 05-13-2002, 03:15 PM
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firechicken firechicken is offline
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Hi everyone Im new here. I have somewhat the same question as Gerry. Doug mentioned another thread that covered the same topic, but I am unable to locate it, does anyone know the name on that thread, or how to find it. If not heres my question, but first a little about me. I am a new college grad., and a single mom, I hoping to start a small restoration biz., just for extra income. My concern is over handleing old valuable photos. Do I need to be bonded or have insurance. Has anyone on this forum ever had a problem in this area...being sued or mad customers? Tell me how do you solve this. I fear handling other peoples delicate photos , but I would like to be able to offer the convenice to cutomers who dont have scanners. Ideas?
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Old 05-13-2002, 03:29 PM
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Jakaleena Jakaleena is offline
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Glad to see you found us, Firechicken! Welcome!

I don't know about anyone else, but I just take reasonable precautions with people's originals.

I don't have special insurance to cover their loss or damage other than just my regular homeowner's insurance. I do give clients a written estimate of the work which I have them sign if they decide to have the work done. The estimate form includes the same type of disclaimer you see on the envelope when you drop a roll of film off to be developed.

I take extra special good care of their prints while they are in my posession, and I get the original images back to them as soon as possible (see my other post above).

I also give a discount if they give me a digital file on CD-ROM as opposed to providing an original print. Even if they don't have a scanner, they can go to a local print shop (like Kinko's) and have a scan made. Even the smallest towns usually have someplace nearby that offers this service. I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE my clients to opt for this method.

If they are dropping the print off at my house, I can just scan it while they wait and send the original with them when they leave so that it never leaves their posession...
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Old 05-13-2002, 05:13 PM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Here's the thread I was referring to. A search for "insurance" will find a few more.
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Old 05-13-2002, 07:21 PM
Gerry Monaghan Gerry Monaghan is offline
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Welcome firechicken

Firechicken-
Yes I found all this interactive forum stuff to be confusing at first, but I am begining to get the hang of it.
I have been cruising the web to see how the larger restoration websites handle insurance and shipping of one-of-a-kind artifacts. I will tell you some things I have gleaned. Put the responsibility of getting the first leg of shipping of the 'image to be restored' into the hands of the client. Say "client is responsible for first leg of shipping" in your work-order agreement. (or as they say in the printing trades; "FOB My Dock" meaning- I am not responsible for it until it is in my hands.) Recommend backing the image up or scanning the image and sending it via email. All strategies that make sense. Recommend only using Fed Ex or registered mail (trackable). Give specific instructions regarding how the photo to be restored should be packed. (throughout my career in comercial art, I have only lost 1 thing with Fed Ex. I have lost very few things with US Post Office. I have lose many things with UPS. I only use UPS whenever no other choice is available. I consider them the choice when you absolutly have to loose something!
Once the image has been scanned, the client can be made more or less whole through the generation of a new print. I am planning to insure my return shipping for the cost of the work plus the cost of the new print, at least $60. I will have a pricelist to back-up my claim.
Personally, I am planning to only work locally so I can go and get the work in person. I have even thought of getting a notebook computer with a portable scanner so I can show up at peoples houses and scan their photos right there. I wonder if that would work? Sounds cool! Best of luck to you firechicken. Gerry
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  #9  
Old 05-14-2002, 04:04 PM
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firechicken firechicken is offline
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Great info everyone, Jakaleena, I was already planning an insentive for those who sent me a CD in an 8x10 mailer that way I save the cost of the mailer and the risk of damageing their original and they get an extra 8x10 and maybe free shipping. Would that work? I think for now I will not handle the original untill I feel more comfortable and have some insurance(I've been a college student, I havent had any extra money), but for now I know I will lose some customers because of this, so how about I refer those customers to some of you. I could put a link on my site for your site- anybody want to? I have not completed my site, and may not get it finished for a month but if any one wants me to add a link of there site I would be glad to. Gerry what a great idea to bring your scanner to the customer, that would be a great market for the elderly. Thanks again, Clary
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Old 05-14-2002, 05:56 PM
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Sanda Sanda is offline
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I haven't offered insurance as yet but plan to in the future. So far all my international orders have either emailed me a scan or uploaded it directly to my website. I've used regular post to send the prints and CD back ups to them but I always give them the option of Door-to-Door courier delivery if they choose but that is at theit own expense.
As for the local customers I usually like to keep the original until the job is complete that way I can always use it as a reference. But if a customer is nervous about leaving the original I will scan it and return it the same day or while the customer is waiting. When a customer leaves the original with me each night I put the original in my safe so that if there happens to be some disaster overnight the original is protected, so far this approach has worked well.
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