I agree that the shipper is responsible for packing and insuring.
However, the purchaser must not assume the items will be correctly
packed or fully insured.
I've received horribly packed items with no insurance coverage and
no address inside the box (in case the outer label peels off). My
solution is, on larger shipments, to engage a freight company myself
which has an office near the shipper.
You'll find many listed in most city telephone directories. For
example, I've been using Kintetsu Express, which has offices world-
wide. They send a truck to the seller's location to pick up the
package and send it air freight, C.O.D., to me. It costs the seller
nothing, and any insurance claim is made by me since I paid for the
insurance (this costs about $5 per $1,000 value). They can help the
item through customs or allow you to do this (always an interesting
You might also find that professional packing is not very expensive,
especially if you shop around (i.e., never use the firm recommended
by the auction house).
West Chester, Pennsylvania