Guide to Loaner Programs

Discussion in 'Loaner Programs' started by sphinxvc, Nov 6, 2015.

  1. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master (retired)

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    DRAFT LOANER GUIDELINES, IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER

    Loaners are how SBAF shares audio gear among those in the community. Sometimes we use SBAF funds to purchase stuff, or @velvetx arranges something awesome for us from a vendor. Other times members decide to loan out their gear (if this is you, contact me).

    Only Friends can participate in loaners, but more importantly you have to be known and we have to feel comfortable with you. Exceptionally, some Randos that we know will be permitted, if you have to ask, you're probably not one of these exceptional cases. Generally, us knowing you means we know you hang out here, and we don't think you're a douche. There's no way to buy, sleaze or strong arm your way into loaners, even if you're a contributor or Friend (remember, we've excluded Friends from loaners before).

    Shipping insurance claims can be a shitshow, so we now use a SBAF insurance fund to protect gear. Members are asked to contribute to the fund in nominal amounts at the start of a tour. When a nice healthy reserve has been built up (say $2K), we'll stop asking for contributions (unless, of course, we dip below the reserve amount). Funds are donated to [email protected], Marv posts what we've received in his regular financial reports. Add your handle and the loaner name to PP insurance contribution (and pay "personal/gift" unless you're covering fees)

    You're responsible for receiving gear, checking that you have all that was originally included, that everything works, and (if required), posting a picture of what you got. You're also responsible for shipping to the next person. PLEASE use FedEx or UPS when you ship. If you use USPS, FULLY insure the product and add whatever other safety measures you can, such as signature confirmation. If something goes wrong, we want it to be clear to USPS that they're liable. Also, don't be a dick - don't mod gear, or rub your junk on it. If packaging is broken down, let us know so we can arrange for better packaging. Don't risk gear because you're lazy.

    Don't get your panties in a bunch about logistics. Most carriers take the same amount of time to deliver to any major city, whether it's one state over or several over. Shipping to the boonies usually requires more time. Don't assume that we're "wasting time" just because the list is arranged in a particular way. Also, sometimes I will change the order of the list if someone is going to make measurements or people can meet up in person to change hands, etc.

    Loaner threads are started by me, with information on what's going out, who it's from, how much we're asking for the insurance fund, how long you can keep gear, and the order of participants. Once the tour is underway, the process is supposed to be self-managed. This means that when you get something, you need to reach out to the next person on the list and figure out where and how you'll get it to them when the time comes. Don't sit on your hands and wait till the last day. If someone drops out, just contact the next person so we keep things moving. Keep posting in the thread so we all know what's going on. I can't stress that last part enough.


    Who does what? @velvetx uses his wiles to get awesome gear from vendors. (Thanks for what you do, @velvetx!) I make threads and monitor them. I also field all questions/offers to loan out member gear.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
  2. Original Ken

    Original Ken Friend

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    I would suggest an addition to #9:

    * Try to ship within the USA using Medium Flat Rate Priority Box or Large Flat Rate Priority Box. This has the advantages of low cost, relatively gentle handling, and flexibility for the recipient in arranging delivery or pickup at the post office. The Flat Rate boxes are ideal for heavy equipment like headphones and headphone electronics.
     
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  3. The Alchemist

    The Alchemist MOT: Schiit - Here to help!

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    What is the length of loaners or does it depend on the item, demand for the loaner, and how many people have signed up for a particular loaner? Will the Gear Masters inform us on how long each user can use the loaner?
     
  4. velvetx

    velvetx Gear Master West/Vendor Spotlight Moderator

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    This is going to depend on what is being loaned and if it can properly be packaged in one of those boxes without worry of damage. Ultimately the protection of the loaner is first priority. You will see for things such as Schiit products it is highly advised that using the Schiit box is recommended as it keeps things packed to prevent for minimal movement and any cosmetic damage during shipping.
     
  5. The Alchemist

    The Alchemist MOT: Schiit - Here to help!

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    I must concur with @Original Ken about flat-rate boxes. Most small and medium sized Schiit products do fit inside USPS Flat-rate boxes,even with the original Schiit boxes inside. They are priority mail and include $50 insurance (of course you can add the proper amount of insurance on the loaner depending on the item cost). I know sometimes the loaners may be too big for USPS Priority mail flat-rate boxes, but for the items that do fit, they are ideal and they ship quickly. I know the Bifrost, Valhalla, and smaller Schiit products you can put in their original boxes with the original secure packaging and they will still fit in a priority flat-rate box.
     
  6. velvetx

    velvetx Gear Master West/Vendor Spotlight Moderator

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    The length of the loaner will be specified in the initial post by the gear masters. In regards to how long each user will be able to keep a loaner will range anywhere between 3-5 days and this will depend on how many people sign up and when the loaner needs to be returned.
     
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  7. The Alchemist

    The Alchemist MOT: Schiit - Here to help!

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    thank you for the reply velvetx :)
     
  8. velvetx

    velvetx Gear Master West/Vendor Spotlight Moderator

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    Agreed if it can be safely packed in a priority mail flat rate box of course as this is the cheapest way to go it should be used (unless the loaner is shipped in factory packaging). In regards to insurance please make sure that once you ship the product you ship it with insurance equal to the cost of the product (some cases $50 may not be enough). Also make sure that when packing the loaner it's well protected and won't suffer damage while shipping.

    In general and maybe others will chime in but shipping USPS priority mail should be the standard as you get a tracking number, the ability to purchase insurance, as well as basically get 2 day shipping anywhere within the US.
     
  9. The Alchemist

    The Alchemist MOT: Schiit - Here to help!

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    Yes $50 is not enough to cover the insurance on loaners, I was just stating that when shipping Priority flat-rate box, that $50 insurance is included, then you can add the rest of the insurance on your own depending on the cost of the loaner item.

    When the Gear Master's have time, can they post the length of the loaners for the Bifrost Multi-bit and Gungnir Multi-bit? Thanks!
     
  10. velvetx

    velvetx Gear Master West/Vendor Spotlight Moderator

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    Threads have been updated.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
  11. The Alchemist

    The Alchemist MOT: Schiit - Here to help!

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    thank you velvetex, and to all of the Gear Masters for their hard work and managing the loaners! :bow:
     
  12. Pyruvate

    Pyruvate Friend

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    How much does insurance usually cost? These are multi-hundred dollar products, some even in the thousands.
     
  13. velvetx

    velvetx Gear Master West/Vendor Spotlight Moderator

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    Please see below from Post Office

    Prices for insurance coverage changed as follows:
    • Value up to $50 is $1.65.
    • $50.01 to $100 is $2.05.
    • $100.01 to $200 is $2.45.
    • $200.01 to $300 is $4.60.
    • The price per additional $100 of insurance, valued over $300 up to $5,000, is $4.60 plus $0.90 per each $100 or fraction thereof.
    So for say the Multibit Bifrost it would be $7.30 ($600 value).
     
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  14. Original Ken

    Original Ken Friend

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    I would suggest adding the following:

    " If you are participating in any Loaner programs, then please check the following option checkbox:

    Your Account -> Contact Details -> Receive email when a new conversation message is received

    and also make sure the option above entitled " Accept conversations from..." is checked and is set to "Members Only" "

    ( This is necessary to insure that Loaner program participants can receive private messages from the person with the item who needs to ship out the Loaner and needs your shipping address. )
     
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  15. Original Ken

    Original Ken Friend

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    Another bit of information... large and heavy items, like big amps or DACs, cost more to ship across the USA, then smaller distances. Smaller items, like most headphones, that can fit in the Medium Flat Rate Box or Large Flat Rate Box, don't have this problem.

    So, the method of grouping people together by location, can indeed save shipping costs on those larger items.

    Just FYI.
     
  16. velvetx

    velvetx Gear Master West/Vendor Spotlight Moderator

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    Thank you for the suggestion but the issue is that most vendors when they ship out loaners include boxes. The issue with just shipping things inside a flat rate box is damage which is ultimately the reason why we try to use vendor approved packaging for their products. It is an extra cost with shipping things out but ultimately getting products back in pristine condition is our goal. The same goes for member loaned gear.
     
  17. Original Ken

    Original Ken Friend

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    @velvetx I was not posting to suggest Flat Rate Boxes, since that suggestion was made before by various people - it is usually done when the vendor box can fit inside the flat rate box.

    Instead I was just posting a confirmation that grouping people by location has additional benefits in postage costs for larger items.
     
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  18. velvetx

    velvetx Gear Master West/Vendor Spotlight Moderator

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    Understood, thank you for clarification.
     
  19. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master (retired)

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    Thanks, I've added this as number 11.

    This is actually our MO, but it hasn't been possible with the Gungnir Multibit loaner given 1) 50% or more of the field has dropped out, and 2) people having specific time constraints. Hence logistics have been considerably screwy. Rest assured you will see a more logical route to other loaner programs where we don't have the same issues.
     
  20. Original Ken

    Original Ken Friend

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    Apparently the insurance has gone up (one would assume as of January 1st). For items $600 and above:

    So, the Bifrost Multibit would now be $9.45 (rather than $7.30) and Gungnir Multibit is $18.55 (rather than $13.60).
     

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