CPO Outlet is vexing me

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Blog entry by Woodknack posted 12-07-2016 08:36 AM 1941 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I ordered a reconditioned Hitachi 12” chop saw from CPO. First one arrived in a flimsy box with almost no padding and the cast base was busted and a knob was busted. They sent me another one. Second one was in a slightly heavier box and was packed tight with brown paper cushion but nevertheless one of the feet was cracked and twisted. They are picking up that box and shipping me a third one. They told me they will request extra packing material. I got aggravated and laid into them. I’ve shipped thousands of boxes and I know that UPS does not handle them with kid gloves, you need to pack things right with something that will absorb shock or it’s going to get broken. No doubt CPO has shipped more boxes this year than I have in the last 10, they should know this, I shouldn’t have to ask for extra padding. Their phone reps have been great but part of customer service is delivery. If this doesn’t arrive in good condition then I’m giving up and I doubt they will ship me a 4th anyway.

-- Rick M,

8 comments so far

View HokieKen's profile (online now)


21987 posts in 2628 days

#1 posted 12-07-2016 12:58 PM

That sucks Rick. You would think they could package appropriately! Hopefully 3X is a charm :-)

FWIW, I have a 10” Hitachi miter saw and it’s fantastic for the price point.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View doubleDD's profile (online now)


11371 posts in 3533 days

#2 posted 12-07-2016 02:08 PM

I have a 12’’ Hitachi slider. When purchased at Lowe’s 3 years back and got it home, I couldn’t believe how it was packed. As I opened it, I basically saw only the saw and a few small pieces of cardboard at the bottom to keep it from shifting around. The saw was fine but I thought it was a accident waiting to happen. Sounds like they haven’t improved the packing. You would think that CPO would beef up the package some. It’s still their reputation even though it’s not their product.
BTW great saw.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

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13594 posts in 3870 days

#3 posted 12-13-2016 01:07 AM

First two were in pristine boxes but were busted up inside. Third arrived in a busted up box, top open, side ripped open, tape cut through top and bottom and somehow the saw was fine except one of the locking pins had sheared off.

CPO customer service has been great but the shipping dept needs an overhaul. Probably wouldn’t order from them again.

-- Rick M,

View IantheTinker's profile


285 posts in 1617 days

#4 posted 01-27-2018 05:14 AM

That is interesting, I bought a cheap 10” Tool Shop brand sliding compound miter saw from Menards (my first benchtop tool purchase) and that sucker was packed awesomely. It had styrofoam shaped to snuggly fit around the saw, virtually no wiggle room. That saw only cost me $115, so I am surprised that a Hitachi 12” wasn’t packed better.


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13594 posts in 3870 days

#5 posted 01-27-2018 06:25 AM

It was reconditioned so not in original factory packaging.

-- Rick M,

View Jon Hobbs's profile

Jon Hobbs

147 posts in 2194 days

#6 posted 01-29-2018 06:08 PM

Slightly off-topic, but somewhat germane -

My wife ordered a gas fire pit from When we opened the box, one of the ceramic tiles surrounding the burner was cracked in half. So she goes online and does a chat session with customer service. They offer a refund or a replacement. She accepts the replacement. CS rep tells her to keep the original fire pit and packing for 10 days in case the carrier (UPS) wants to inspect it. UPS never shows up to inspect it or return it.

About 5 days later, we’re leaving for dinner and notice one of the garage doors has been left open. I hit the button to close it. It get’s about half-way down, pauses, then goes back up. I try again, with identical results. I walk around/through our cars to see what’s causing the miss-fire. There’s another fire pit box, standing up on end, on my two-wheel dolly.

The UPS driver had come into our garage and helped himself to my dolly, then left the thing sitting right in the doorway! As I started wheeling the box into the house, it sounds like a box of maracas. Needless to say, once we opened it up, there are bits and pieces of ceramic tile all over the place. Not a single one of the 6 tiles was intact.

My wife gets back on the online chat. They make the same offer – refund or replace. She chooses replace. Same drill – keep fire pit #2 and packaging for 10 days. No one shows up to inspect or return fire pit #2.

A week or so later, fire pit #3 shows up. We open it. Low and behold, 2 of the tiles are broken. Back to online chat. This time, my wife opts for a refund. They once again ask that we hang on to fire pit #3 and packaging for 10 days. The refund lands on my wife’s credit card the next day. No one shows up to inspect or retrieve any of the 3 fire pits.

In the end, oure dining room was stuffed to the gills with fire pits and packaging! We were able to salvage enough undamaged ceramic tiles to have 1.5 complete fire pits :) At no cost!

Our only guess is that it’s cheaper to ship them out and play shipper roulette rather than pack them properly from the get-go. We figure Overstock just hits UPS with a claim and since Overstock does so much business with UPS, they just pay the claim and move on.

-- Jon -- Just a Minnesota kid hanging out in Kansas

View Andybb's profile


3499 posts in 2093 days

#7 posted 01-29-2018 07:57 PM

I guessing that a foreign manufacturer packages for handling pallets and tightly packed shipping containers vs UPS and FedEx trucks and handlers.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Woodknack's profile


13594 posts in 3870 days

#8 posted 01-29-2018 10:11 PM

It happens because the suits demand lower costs and just expect division or local managers to magically make it happen without compromising customer service. So the lower managers play games like this, shipping stuff in the bulk packaging, they save money on shipping materials and lay the blame for returns on the shipper. Believe me, being a mid – low level manager in a corporation is all about hiding costs and shuffling blame if you want to keep your job because the quickest way to get fire is tell a suit that their directive to lower costs is impossible without compromising customer service. And the worst part is it’s never good enough. If they tell you cut costs and you do it, they will tell you to cut more. I took over a department that traditionally had 30% payroll. My boss said it would be nice if I could cut it 5%. I cut it 8% and increased efficiency. I got a thanks then was told to cut it down to 18% and I did it. Then he told me to cut it to 15% and I told him it was literally impossible without closing down. 7am the next morning he was at my desk, chewing me a new @sshole. After hours of going over the numbers he threw up his hands and said, “You’re right, it’s impossible.” I asked him what to do and he said, “That’s your problem.” and walked out. I put my notice in the next day.

-- Rick M,

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