Excellent point, well stated. Similarly, I once bought a Gilbert Curfew clock on eBay. During shipping the movement tore loose from the case. The clock was literally totaled beyond repair. The box was undamaged. The extensive damage caused wasn't UPS's fault, it was because the seller didn't realize it could happen. Fortunately for me the seller accepted responsibility and gave me a full refund. UPS returned it to the seller at no charge to me. The rule of thumb in any insurance claim is whether the box is damaged or not. In this (the OP's) case it is obvious that the shipping box sustained an impact. That is the liability of the shipping company (which is why anything valuable needs to be insured by the seller). In my experience: USPS is the most red tape ridden shipper regarding claims. The government has a rule or a regulation for everything imaginable. The person holding the receipt (the seller) is the one to file the claim. I had an uninsured clock that was shipped to me that USPS delivered when I wasn't home, leaving it on my porch. Apparently it was stolen. USPS refused to pay anything because it was uninsured. It tried suing them in small claims court and lost. Why? Because you can't sue the U.S. government. After that incident I installed a self locking mailbox to provide secure delivery of mail and parcels. But now, often their dumb mail carriers won't close the box fully enough to lock it, despite a notice in big letters on the front of the box to close it firmly. In the world of the US Postal system the phrase "throw the mail" is actually said. Apparently they take that phrase literally. Another clock I bought on eBay (that was insured) was a Gilbert Westminster banjo clock. The idiot seller used virtually no packing at all in the box. That one was smashed to pieces. USPS rightfully recognized it to be the seller's liability and refused the claim, which the seller needed to file. I returned it to the seller who was in denial and intransigent. EBay denied my claim and refused to pay me anything! Thank God I paid for it by credit card, not PayPal. I filed an appeal with Citibank and they gave me a full refund through a chargeback. Remember that: when buying anything of value to be shipped, always pay by credit card. It's your best defense against an irresponsible seller and packer of the shipped item. Regardless of the nonsense of the early days of eBay, it is the responsibility of the seller/sender to purchase shipping insurance, not the buyer. UPS is pretty good about damage claims. I had one item that I shipped that was a 1/4 inch thick stone disc, simply secured in thick cardboard on both sides and clearly marked fragile. It won't break unless it is dropped. Apparently that's how it got broken. Despite the parcel being unscathed they did pay me on the claim. With UPS, items under $100 are automatically insured and everything is tracked. As another mentioned: FedEx and UPS are similar - but USPS is the worst.