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Stephen

Anyone Deal With Buying And Shipping A Kiln From Clay-King?

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I am ordering a new kiln (Skutt KM 1027) and Clay-King has the best price by hundreds of dollars. Before ordering I was reading their shipping FAQ and they state to refuse shipment if damage obvious and they would arrange new shipment. Perfectly normal, but then it stated, underlined, that if there was hidden damage they would have no responsibility except to initiate the claim paperwork with the shipper.

 

That gave me pause, I mean its easy to say inspect but damn near impossible to do with the company there beyond apparent damage and the underline made it seem like it happens often. I will not be there when delivered so I can only really have the outside inspected and maybe open box and look inside. Also if its 'hidden' as they indicate the that could be pinned on lots of problems that the shipper may argue has nothing to do with them. 

 

Am I being overly paranoid about this or should I bite it and pay the extra 3-400 to buy local and have delivered and setup. My budget is tight as and the extra dough could go toward other needed items. The last 2 kilns we bought I was able to get local guys to match, or come close to matching, the internet price and I paid the saved shipping to them to deliver out and set up so there was no question of damage but clay-king is hundreds less than the local guys where I'm moving, Dallas area, and no one will budge. 

 

Would appreciate any input or others shipping experiences.

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I ordered my potters wheel from them, they have great customer service! They have some iffy people in the warehouse because for the cheap prices I have placed many orders from them but a lot get messed up, ordering clay from them sucks but my wheel came fine and fast so I would bet you have good luck with the kiln! I'm on Nantucket so it is traveling a bit too!

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Paragon does seem to rule Dallas. I picked the Skutt 1027 because we added that kiln a few months ago as a second kiln to bisque with and serve as a backup to our other larger Crucible kiln (also a great kiln). Since I am going solo I needed something smaller and I like the Skutt a lot and it's priced right for the size and features. Love the standard lift on the top.

 

I am sure Paragons is a good one as well.

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I have ordered almost all my studio equipment from clay king and I get most of my consumable supplies there as well. I can order Monday and have the stuff by Wednesday. If something is damaged or wrong, which has been only twice for me, they are super quick to fix.

 

I ordered both my kilns from them BUT... my Olympic I am near enough that they helped me to arrange pick up at the factory. My L&L I had shipped came in PERFECT condition. L&L did an excellent job boxing their kiln up. It even had this little bar thing on the outside that the delivery guy said to check and verify that it wasn't red. Clear and undamaged meant the box had not been dropped or banged about. Since the kilns come directly from the manufacturer I would check out THEIR shipping methods and reviews if you can find them. L&L has a video showing how they crate up a kiln, what to check for and how to assemble it properly once you get it. Trust me I was super leery of shipping a kiln having heard the horror stories myself but I had good results with both of mine ordered through clay King. If at all possible I would be there when the kiln was delivered and make the driver wait until I checked it out.

 

T

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The issue is not wth Clay King or whomever you buy from its the trucking that can hurt an item. If you sign off on the freight delivery then its your problem not the shippers.Thats the way of common carriers since the beginning of time.

So do not sign the paperwork if the box /pallet /kiln is looking damaged.This is true with any freight delivery item shipped by common carrier.

Since Skutt is in Portland that kiln will be transferred a few times-every transfer can damage an item. The less the better.

It can all go smooth or the shipment can have a set of forks put thru it or dropped it. All common carriers can damage any freight or not its always a crap shoot.

I have had mostly good ;luck but also know of some huge horror stories .

Skutt drop ships their kilns so talk to them on the packing and the transfers and carriers.

If you go for it and the box is crumpled do not sign for it. very simple if you sign its your issue. Talk the driver into waiting to see if its in good shape before signing off.It not something clay king packs or touches it coming directly from Skutt-that why they will be of little help once you sign off on the shipment.

In the past few years I have had a few  large freight items ship across country with zero issues but I felt lucky -the last one was a Large Petter Pugger on a pallet.

Check the shipment best you can and only sign the paper if it looks OK when it dropped off.

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I got my L&L through Clay king, and it arrived in perfect condition.  I wouldn't recommend having it delivered without someone there to check it.  Can you arrange to have someone at least make sure the outer packing doesn't have any signs of abuse?

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Hey thanks everyone! While you have all made me feel better about buying and shipping in general and particularly Clay-King.

 

Since it would be an utter disaster to not have my kiln up and working in November/December I decided to bite the bullet and eat the extra few hundred to buy one I can go pickup. There is a local shop that has one in stock and they have been gracious enough to match the price so the few hundred in tax is the only difference. I originally balked so I hope they haven't sold the one in stock one.

 

I'm going to go grab it and personally take it to Dallas so at least that part of the equation is solved. Of course this kiln was shipped from Oregon to Tacoma so there is that :-)

 

Thanks again!

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Neil here on this board sell L&L kilns-in my opinion the best kilns made-He is very reasonable you could also PM him and ask about an L&L-they cost more up front but are worth it.I own 3 skutts and have the 1027 model you are looking at. I will buy an L&L next time.

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I also purchased an L&L kiln for Clay-King. Everything was good with it's condition when it arrived.  My concern was that they would only drop it at the end of my drive way. The UPS guy that delivered it actually helped me get it into my shop. I couldn't have had a better experence. I have purchased many thing from Clay-King and the have been very good to deal with.

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The kiln will ship in the original packaging from Skutt. Clay-King will not unpack and repack it. When the kiln arrives, inspect the outer box for damage. If there is any, note it on the bill of lading with the driver. If the driver will stick around for a few minutes, remove the outer box and inspect the kiln. If there's obvious major damage to the kiln, refuse the shipment. Technically, you own the kiln once it's shipped, however the place you bought it from will help you with making claims. The kiln manufacturers and all the clay suppliers have relationships with kiln techs, and will often just have the freight carrier pay for a repair rather than replacing the entire kiln. I've done that several times on kilns that were not purchased from me, and kilns that were damaged by moving companies. Clay-King may not have those relationships, and would rather just replace the kiln. As long as the obvious damage to the packaging is noted on the bill of lading, making claims is easy. It's also good to take lots of photos as you unpack the kiln. But round kilns are rarely damaged in shipping.

 

You could also ask your local supplier to match Clay-King's price. They can do it, and will probably be happy to sell it at a lower price rather than miss out on the sale.

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I ordered a Skutt KM614-3 electric kiln from Clay-King and shipping was easy peasy.  They offloaded the palette, placed it directly in front of my garage door and waited for me to check it for issues.

 

Zero complaints, will almost certainly give them my business again.

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