LESSON : Don't buy gear that has to be shipped to you -
especially if it's heavy... or fragile !!!
Insist that anything is Double-boxed, and well padded and protected
By Foam blocks, and lots of Bubble Wrap !!
If you are buying a Tape Recorder, Insist that the Reel Spindles
are removed along with the Reel Tables, and packed well in
a small box. Have the seller Rubber-cement a foam block
to the area between the reels then protect the face of the machine
with thick cardboard or foam over the VU Meters, Headstack, and the
rest of the front area to prevent any damage to the front of the machine...
Insist that the machine is tightly packed, nice and firm,
so it cannot move at all inside the box.
It's NOT expensive or difficult to do this !!!