In my experience, the most damage is done by things getting loose inside, which includes breaking their wood supports. Counterweights can rip their tie down blocks right off the bottom if they have any space to move. Scope tubes have broken their supports. Eyepieces pop their storage area lids off and go rattling around. The least damage is when everything (including the wood) is braced so it can't move, such as with styrofoam blocks cut to size (but those will shed, so components need to be sealed to keep the bits out). Peanuts are nearly useless. Bubble wrap, if really stuffed in, seems to work fairly well.
As to the exterior, I've had scopes wrapped in two layers of thin bubble wrap and two layers of heavy cardboard that were fine. 2" foam insulation and double cardboard has also worked well. And sometimes there have been sprung hinges or cracked corner joints. Whether there was damage to the box seems to depend on luck, and how sturdy the box is to begin with. Celestron advises packing as if you were planning to drop it 8' onto a cinder block.
I get heavy duty moving boxes at Lowes and cut them to size. If something is big and delicate (more than an 815) I will double box with a layer of foam between.
Shipping cost varies by distance in addition to weight and dimension. An 815 isn't that big. I recently paid around $42 to have a Meade 300, which is much larger, shipped from Ohio to Mass, but I used my own FedEx account, which I think is less expensive than paying at a shipping point. An 816 coming from CA, was around $100.
Most of the scopes sent to me have had some damage to the interior of the box, and perhaps a little to the scope itself. In pretty much every case it was entirely repairable. The worst damage was around the holidays. I've had damage then with all the major carriers, although the USPS does seem a bit better. If you send it before November 1, you'll probably be fine.
By the way, is that a Tasco 7TE mount that you have the Mayflower OTA on? It's interesting, since the 7TE was the only AOC 60x900 that I know of, and wasn't aware that Mayflower used the same OTA. My 816 is the same as the Tasco 10TE OTA, so I guess it makes sense. But the mounts are quite different for the 76mm models.
Edited by ccwemyss, 09 September 2019 - 09:35 PM.