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UPS package arrives empty

snowballsnowball 2706 replies244 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
I had an oil painting purchased in the early 70's by a local artist with a juvenile theme. It was hung in my bedroom and then my daughter's when she was born. As my daughter was expecting a girl and lived out of town, I wanted to send the painting for the baby's room. My local framer removed the canvas from the frame it was on, and packed it for shipping. It was in a large tube, about 4.5 feet tall and about 10" in diameter. The painting itself was rolled around a tube and over wrapped in bubble wrap. While the shipping tube was previously used for another piece of art, the ends was capped and taped closed when I picked it up.

I dropped it at my local UPS Store that I have used for years, insured it, and shipped to my daughter's work as I didn't want it sitting at her door until she arrived home. After she received the package and dragged it home, it sat for a couple of days. Once she opened it, she found the tube empty.

We have a claim with UPS and I have been in communication with my local store. As the baby arrived early and my dad passed away, we didn't press UPS for a response. They were having trouble receiving the pictures of the tube, so my daughter didn't get them to them until she was home from the hospital. It sounds like they are not able to find the painting, and by the way the tubing was taped shut, we think someone within UPS opened the package and took the panting. The way it was wrapped, it would be hard for the painting to just fall out. If it did, it was large and bubble wrap, so it should be able to be located.

While I insured the package for $2000, not having any clue what it was worth, I really want the painting, not the money. I have no clue if UPS will actually pay me that amount as it isn't like the painting has been appraised. Actually, when I was looking in my dad's desk for something else, I found a folder labeled art work. Low and behold, there was an invoice for the painting; he paid $400 in 1972! I don't know if this invoice will help me or not.

I have tried to look online to see if the painting might show up on ebay or somewhere else; no luck there. Looking for any suggestions to get UPS to search deeper, or what to do next. If only UPS weighed packages at each stop; we would then know where it went missing.
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Replies to: UPS package arrives empty

  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN 3343 replies11 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Are you also posting on social media? Having a shareable post on FB with a picture of the painting could help. Also daughter could share at work because it might have even been taken there.
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  • snowballsnowball 2706 replies244 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    It was not taken at work as my daughter signed for it herself. Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of the painting, and don't want to share on social media as my mother doesn't know the painting has gone missing. She would be horribly upset, especially with my dad's recent passing; just not ready for her to know at this time, if ever.

    I did think about contacting the painter's estate to see if his son might have a photo. He use to have a gallery out of state, so just maybe the son will have something or know how to search online. While I know what the painting was named, if indeed it was stolen, the person that has it in their possession wouldn't know.
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  • PublisherPublisher 7721 replies80 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The painting may never have made it out of the local UPS Store. Might have been safer to have insured it for a much lower amount, or to have shipped it uninsured.

    Seems like the only ones who handled the painting with knowledge of its insured value were you & the local UPS store.
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  • Nrdsb4Nrdsb4 16847 replies157 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Wow, that stinks. People really suck sometimes, don't they?
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  • snowballsnowball 2706 replies244 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Publisher wrote: »
    Seems like the only ones who handled the painting with knowledge of its insured value were you & the local UPS store.

    That was my thought also, although I have used this store for years and have been dealing with the manager directly. Actually, he was the one who handling the shipping order. Not to say he couldn't have taken the painting, but I would hope not. My daughter thought that would be really stupid of his store to take something in plan sight, especially something so large, but people do stupid things. He knows the painting is more important to me than the money. I thought about asking him if I could offer a reward to anyone that found the painting. I don't know if they would allow a posting at each facility like that, but I would happily pay to have the painting back.

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  • anomanderanomander 1670 replies4 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    UPS might have surveillance video in their stores and processing centers. If they’re taking your claim seriously and give a hoot, they should have a security team for these types of incidents.

    I would suspect internal theft and deterrence thereof is a big thing for any shipping company. Not to mention false claims which they’d want to disprove. Keep in touch with them for sure, but give them some time if they indicate they’re actively investigating. For 2k insured value, if they do find the culprit they’d likely involve law enforcement.
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  • PublisherPublisher 7721 replies80 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 21
    Last week, I received a package containing two books that I had ordered from the publisher. The package was delivered jointly by FedEx & the USPS. It arrived opened & retaped shut. The retaping was loose & poorly done. There was no postal inspection sticker so I believe that the package was opened by someone with bad intentions. Nothing was missing even though the two books cost a total of $500. Fortunately, the packing slip only contained information regarding book titles & quantity, and did not list the price of the books.
    edited July 21
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  • toledotoledo 4773 replies290 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 21
    So sorry this happened to you. I sell on eBay and this scenario happens a fair amount. When I ship valuable items, I print the shipping labels without the postage. That way no one along the way can see the value if I purchased extra insurance. Chances are it was the framer or the UPS store, so keep an eye out in your local area. Also, make sure you meet all the UPS claim dates. They look for any reason not to pay.
    edited July 21
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  • doschicosdoschicos 20833 replies216 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    "UPS might have surveillance video in their stores and processing centers."

    Many UPS stores are independently owned. I would imagine that if someone wanted to steal something out of a package, they could find a place to do so within the UPS store that wasn't under surveillance.
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  • VeryHappyVeryHappy 18472 replies324 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I have no suggestions, but this really sucks.
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  • snowballsnowball 2706 replies244 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    It was not the framer, although I did call her once we knew the package arrived empty. The initial shipping weight at the UPS store and the delivered weight were different. The tape at the end of the tube on arrival was not taped the same way from when I picked it up. There is nothing on the label that indicates my insured value, so like @Publisher said, seems like only the shipper would know the value.

    @toledo any tips for dealing with UPS? I am dealing directly with the shipper at this point; my daughter submitted the claim and photos. It took a while for UPS to receive the photos as she would send all in one email, and then days later UPS would said they couldn't see them. After she had the baby, she ended up sending all 6 picture of the tubing in separate emails. They finally have every thing and were sending it along to the shipper. When I spoke with him on Friday, he said he had just received what he needed. Sounds like UPS searched for the painting and did not find it. The claim info I see online is listed as damaged which seems odd, but the shipper said that was correct. I was out visiting the baby all last week, so hope to go by the UPS store on Friday; due to work I can't get there any sooner. Maybe being there in person will help, but not holding my breath.
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  • powercropperpowercropper 1658 replies67 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    My only thought is that UPS might claim the tube was empty when it was given to UPS store. You picked up the tube from the framer, but it was already sealed? Do you recall details of how the tube was sealed when you picked it up, vs. how it was delivered to your daughter?
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  • snowballsnowball 2706 replies244 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @powercropper The weight at shipping and the weight at delivery were different. I guess UPS could said we were lying about the tube being empty, but sounds like they believe us. The tube was absolutely taped differently once it arrive to my daughter vs how it was when dropped at the shipper. While I don't have picture prior to shipping, my daughter has pictures once she opened the tube. Different tape was used on the poorly taped end, and just two pieces in an X; it was originally taped fully around the end and across the endcap.

    I am sure this will not work out well for us as it will be a he said, she said. The little person rarely beat the big corporation.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 20833 replies216 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    "The initial shipping weight at the UPS store and the delivered weight were different. "
    I would think that would help you a lot with your claim.
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  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner 38706 replies466 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    So sorry, snowball. :( I too suspect the package was emptied at the store or even before that.

    I would not be counting on any surveillance at a UPS store (independently owned). Some places do have surveillance; luxury department stores apprently have protocols for handling more expensive merchandise and surveillance in their shipping rooms because some thieving employees used to "legitimize" fake goods: in the shipping room, someone would swap that real Gucci bag for a fake one and ship the fakery to the customer. Then the thieves would sell the real deal on a resale site, and the customer will have to prove to the store that they have not swapped the item themselves. I once ordered a black designer dress that was deeply discounted, and the package came in with a black nightgown inside, even though the shipping slip said there was that black designer dress in the package. Took it to Neiman and got a few glaring stares from the clerk who refunded my money and said they would look into who could have possibly done it.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 3926 replies16 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    First off... Make a real police report where you live and where your daughter lives. We have used the same framer over year BUT unless you saw them package your painting personally sometimes great companies have unlawful employees. This to me would make the most sense. The police can see if they have cameras and no legit framer would ever want this to happen. They would also be the ones having a clue on the price but you have to ask yourself and everyone involved with a rhetorical question. Regardless of "your" value on it. On the open market it might be worthless unless it's a known artist... Right?
    So then the question would be why.
    Even along the delivery chain I would just doubt someone would open it and take it not knowing if it had any "street" value. Yes, I am actually giving some credit to the potential thieves. 🤔.
    Once again, once it got to your hometown.. Why would they take itt. So one thing you can look at is the timings of the transfers. Just bring up your ups and follow the handoffs. It might be very different for me since being in Chicago it's a main hub and things get timed stamped pretty quickly and loaded to the delivery trucks. So if it comes in at 2:05 am, it's like on its next move within like 15 minutes. So...
    See once it started on its travel were there any places that it just sat for an extended period of time? That's where I would look. If it was accepted and like immediately time stamped to a new location then there would not be time to do anything there. Of course they can always scan it for the time stamp then take the painting but I am giving them to much credit at that point.
    Really sorry that this happened with the other life changes in your life. Congrats on your new grand baby 👶. Hope it's happy and healthy.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 3926 replies16 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I just saw the difference of weights and tape job. Yes, our framer also would tape it like you said. .. Yikes that really sucks! Why can't people just respect other people's stuff.
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  • toledotoledo 4773 replies290 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Stick to your guns on the $2k value. You paid for that insurance, so you deserve every penny. I think you have a very good case. Best of luck.
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  • somemomsomemom 10839 replies324 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I used to ship my wedding ring to my old jeweler in my old town, he'd check stones etc. The last time I sent it, it went missing somewhere between the large main city in our state and my local office. The local manager actually had the conveyor taken apart, found 4 other boxes, but not mine. The worst part was that they let me pay for the insurance, but then I had to prove the package met that value, luckily it went missing on the way from the jeweler so he could do the official appraisal.
    I am sure it was internal theft as it was in my new state where the box went missing.
    Some jerk stole it.
    I would start searching online for similar works, maybe his estate can give you a valuation?
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6953 replies48 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I second filing a police report. I'm sorry!
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