USPS in my area is not very good. I get other people's mail in my mailbox at least once a week. I wonder how many people get my mail. Magazine arrive all chewed up. My wife had a magazine this week packed in a large envelope with a stamp apologizing for damage. At first I figured my local people messed up my two pinball shipments.
Then, I noticed on the triangular Priority Box that was smashed, it has a sticker on it saying that it was damaged at the Memphis Sort Facility. So, the issues are more widespread than just local.
I agree with other posters that:
1) the person needs to do the best possible job to protect items, and protect them according to their fragility, and
2) the free Priority boxes available at the post office are flimsy as all get out. Just because USPS provides free boxes and are usually more economical on shipping rates, its not worth ruining hard to find and rare items. Who cares if its insured for $50 if it took a guy a year to find the part?
Just wanting others to be aware of my losses so they can be proactive and make sure things wouldnt happen to them. If shipping UPS or FedEX is more, but has higher chance of arriving in tact, I would be willing to pay a few extra bucks for that.