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bmanoc
Community Member
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎04-12-2012

As a seller, what do I do when USPS loses my package??

I have been buying on eBay for many years, but selling for about one year. For the first time, a package has been lost by USPS and I need some help moving forward.

 

I paid for and printed my label at home on Friday, 02 Aug. First class mail, no insurance, it was only $20 for curl cream. The package was dropped off at my local USPS office on the morning of Saturday, 03 Aug. I dropped off two packages at the same time. The out of state package has been delivered, but the in state package does not even show that it was dropped off at the post office. The only message shown when I try to track online is that the electronic shipping info has been received. That's probably the scariest part, it didn't register at any location. I called the USPS 800 number, but they could not give me any additional information. Instead, I was told to go to my local post office and ask them to search the premises in case it had accidentally been thrown somewhere or gotten stuck etc. The office refused to look ("I wouldn't have a job if things like that happened here!"), but had me fill out a 1510 form. I was told that a portion would be sent to the receiver (buyer) who would have to sign that the package was never delivered, then it would go to the buyer's local office for a search, then my local office for a search, then an investigator.... I spoke with eBay customer service as well who told me to keep waiting for the package to be delivered and that the buyer could file a claim against me for not receving the package. Not so helpful. Throughout all of this, I have been in contact with my buyer explaining the situation. The first response stated that they would wait for the package, but the second said issue me a refund and if it does show up i will paypal you.

 

Basically, I have no idea what to do now. It's only been a week, should I wait another to refund the money? Will USPS refund me? Do I wait until USPS has finished their investigation to refund? I don't want to upset the buyer or get negative feedback for something that is out of my control. I really don't want to lose money either, but I feel like that's what's going to happen...

 

Any pointers and/or guidance would be incredibly helpful!!! Thanks!!

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Community Member
Posts: 53
Registered: ‎06-20-2013

Re: As a seller, what do I do when USPS loses my package??

in reply to bmanoc

Do what the buyer asks -- refund now

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in.a.nutshe11
Community Member
Posts: 1,292
Registered: ‎01-11-2012

Re: As a seller, what do I do when USPS loses my package??

in reply to theloveyousave

I disagree with " do what the buyer says, refund now".

 

I would ask the buyer to please wait a few more days to see if you filling out the lost mail/rifling form will shake it loose.

 

It's only been 5-6 business days and that's not that long for first class mail. 

 

 

 

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kbnode
Community Member
Posts: 724
Registered: ‎10-16-2011

Re: As a seller, what do I do when USPS loses my package??

[ Edited ]
in reply to theloveyousave

Yes refund the  buyer. I had this happen last week. Customer messaged me to let me know he had not received the item. It had been 11 days.

When i checked tracking..said it left for a sort facility the day i shipped it.Then nothing.

 

I spoke to the postmaster..he advised wait a few days more. Well the customer should not wait..I refunded his money. Told him if i get it back i will list it as private sale for him.

The reality is you may not get the package back, things happen and you will be out the package and sale.

 

You are responsible to get the package to your customer. You, I and many others select the usps as our deliviery carrier or subcontractor.  When our carrier fails with a lost package that never shows delivered, we have to take responsibility for that with our customer. 

 

Then it is between you and the post office to get it straightened out. Well, sounds like you are on the right track with the po. I hope they find my lost package too, because though not high value, it was extremely rare. 

edited

Well if it has only been 5 or 6 days... that is a little short..however the customer does not seem amaiable to that.

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sg51
Community Member
Posts: 3,202
Registered: ‎10-18-2008

Re: As a seller, what do I do when USPS loses my package??

in reply to kbnode

Carp happens.

 

It will eventually get there, but in the meantime, you have to be very careful to avoid bum feedack and/or  a dreaded case strike.

 

That mean you have to refund, and hope for buyer to repay when it arrives.

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shabbychicandpink
Community Member
Posts: 2,508
Registered: ‎07-10-2007

Re: As a seller, what do I do when USPS loses my package??

in reply to bmanoc

As a seller, what do I do when USPS loses my package??

 

Refund.

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thebringer_is_back
Community Member
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎04-16-2011

Re: As a seller, what do I do when USPS loses my package??

[ Edited ]
in reply to bmanoc

Here is some advise to you and every other seller on these boards who has a lost package issue or a buyer who says item not received. As long as you have tracking on the package, does not matter if its domestic or international all you have to do is ask, request or tell the buyer to provide you with his local (closest to them -  post office phone number or address).

 

Now after you do that you will get one of these responses...

 

(1) The buyer will help you and give you all the information you request (this buyer is most likely telling the truth)

 

or

 

(2) The buyer will either vanish (like nothing ever happened) or put up a fight in regards to helping you with the info you request, he/she will be combative or ignore you in emails etc.

 

Now

 

Depending on what buyer you get from the choices above all you have to do is call THEIR LOCAL POST OFFICE (NOT YOURS) and be brief about your issue and provide them the tracking number and ask for the status and if the package was all ready dropped off by that route mail carrier.

 

If you cannot afford to call, get a gmail account and download a free app that will let you call anywhere in the world with a headset and Mic for free.

 

If you have an international buyer ask the post office to speak to an English speaking representative and follow what I said above.

 

Record the conversation as proof, for eBay and papal.

 

If the post office clerk tells you the package was delivered, you are not at fault and should not refund or be in any way liable.

 

Sometimes packages do get lost but this is a very rare thing, sometimes the package does not get scanned, or the carrier had a day off and another was in a hurry. Sometimes the package gets misrouted and resent to the starting point or to another post office in another town or city.

 

Just do as I said above and you will never have to worry about getting taken, you will weed out the liars vs.. the honest buyers.

 


Take care

 

 

 

 

 

 

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bmanoc
Community Member
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎04-12-2012

Re: As a seller, what do I do when USPS loses my package??

in reply to bmanoc

I appreciate all of the fast and helpful responses. I would just like to state that in no way am I trying to not refund the money to the buyer. I buy on eBay as well, so I understand both sides. I am just worried that it has only been six business days and it might be too soon to refund. The PO told me that FC mail can take up to ten business days to be delivered and not officially considered lost until 21 days. The paperwork was not started until Friday afternoon, so I'd like to give it to the end of the week so searches can start. Does that sound unreasonable?

 

I am going to visit the local office again tomorrow in the hopes that someone different is working and would consider checking around the site for me.

 

Thanks again!

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bmanoc
Community Member
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎04-12-2012

Re: As a seller, what do I do when USPS loses my package??

in reply to thebringer_is_back

Thanks! I'll add a call to the buyer's local post office to my list. It doesn't appear that the item has been scanned anywhere, so I'm not sure if they will be able to tell me if the package was delivered...

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kbnode
Community Member
Posts: 724
Registered: ‎10-16-2011

Re: As a seller, what do I do when USPS loses my package??

in reply to bmanoc

*The first response stated that they would wait for the package, but the second said issue me a refund and if it does show up i will paypal you.*

 

As a seller with a low number of transactions or feedback, you need to consider the possible consequences of a negative or nuetral rating of your dsrs.

 

Though your single negative will fall off in august 27..you may want to consider if you get a neg from this customer..and then perhaps just one more in the next 12 months you coud get restricted or booted off ebay completely and permanently.  

 

 

 

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sg51
Community Member
Posts: 3,202
Registered: ‎10-18-2008

Re: As a seller, what do I do when USPS loses my package??

in reply to bmanoc

I am just worried that it has only been six business days and it might be too soon to refund.

 


It is too soon to refund if all you count is how likely the package is to arrrive.  The package will almost certainly arrive, and probably within the next week.

 

However, you have two more factors to consider, and both may be worth more than the risk that buyer won't repay.

 

1. Buyer could become annoyed, and leave you bum feedback.

2. 3 days after a case is filed, buyer can escalated. If the stuff isn't delivered by then, you get a case strike. You really don't want a case strike.

 

Now neither of those might happen, because buyer is patient.

Even if either or both do happen, both can be reversed.

But you need to consider the threats and how you intend to manage them.

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Community Member
Posts: 930
Registered: ‎02-16-2013

Re: As a seller, what do I do when USPS loses my package??

I never ship first class.............EVER!

 

I state standard shipping on all my items........but always ship priority........

 

If I've misjudged what an item will fetch and lose on shipping and item.......so be it

 

It's rare I do that.......but it has happened

 

Always get the item to the customer quicker than they expect and always have a tracking number

 

If the item is so cheap it doesn't pay to send priority or with tracking........don't sell it on ebay unless you're willing to lose money and item or unless you have a gazillion of them and can take the hit...........

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retrose1
Community Member
Posts: 4,855
Registered: ‎02-10-2003

Re: As a seller, what do I do when USPS loses my package??

in reply to bmanoc

Does tracking come with your First Class option where you printed your label?  It doesn't always come free with your FC purchase.

 

If you do not have tracking, then the odds are good that the buyer has the package, sees that it was shipped first class and is testing you to see if you can prove it was delivered.  If you don't have tracking on the package, you will never be able to prove it was delivered in a dispute and you might as well refund now and give the buyer a free item.

 

If you do have tracking and the item shows stuck in a place, the buyer may be seeing that, again you can not prove delivery and is shaking you down.

 

If you can not track, you must refund, but the second you do file a using the mail to defraud report with the post office on the buyer to get a file started on them if they are making a habit of it.  If the USPS site updates and shows the item delivered after you have refunded, file a Abuse of Buyer Protection report against them with ebay.

 

While you should not allow the fear of negative feedback to drive your every move in a buyer complaint, the fear of losing disputes should be a prime motivator.  If you know that you will never be able to win a dispute, then you should do everything to keep one from being opened.  Lost disputes hold more power over your ebay account than negative feedback.

 

USPS will not refund you.  It was shipped First Class with no insurance.  Priority Mail has $50 free insurance on every package.

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Community Member
Posts: 2,745
Registered: ‎07-09-2013

Re: As a seller, what do I do when USPS loses my package??

in reply to auntrudy

auntrudy wrote:

I never ship first class.............EVER!

 

I state standard shipping on all my items........but always ship priority........

 

If I've misjudged what an item will fetch and lose on shipping and item.......so be it

 

It's rare I do that.......but it has happened

 

Always get the item to the customer quicker than they expect and always have a tracking number

 

If the item is so cheap it doesn't pay to send priority or with tracking........don't sell it on ebay unless you're willing to lose money and item or unless you have a gazillion of them and can take the hit...........


And many sellers including myself have had the same issues with priority.  I shipped a small flat rate box that went a total of 97 miles about a month ago.  That was accecpted right away and then took 2 weeks to find its way.  Priority is usually no faster than First Class and you get the same hiccups on occasion.

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Community Member
Posts: 2,745
Registered: ‎07-09-2013

Re: As a seller, what do I do when USPS loses my package??

[ Edited ]
in reply to longbeard1975

If you do not have tracking, then the odds are good that the buyer has the package, sees that it was shipped first class and is testing you to see if you can prove it was delivered.

 


And odds are this is just a made up comment.  I have shipped over 1000 items in the past month without tracking and have had 1 complaints of non-delivery and thet buyer left me a neutral 2 minutes after I refunded saying he got the item

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williamh_24076
Community Member
Posts: 284
Registered: ‎06-25-2010

Re: As a seller, what do I do when USPS loses my package??

in reply to bmanoc

 

Refund and Apologize

 

Don't be snarky and say: Sorry the USPS lost your shipment I will try to do better next time., I don't run the PO etc

 

DON'T request your buyer to do anything, file this, call the PO etc

 

The upside is the buyer is communicating, that's a good sign., your buyerisnotacon, justanervousNellie.

 

In your head, right it off as a cost of doing business.

 

---

 

I ship hundreds of packages a month by USPS, 99.98% get there in record time.

 

Validate the address, USPS > Find a Zip Code. Ebay/paypal does no validation what's so ever. Most shipping programs (stamps.com etc) validate automatically.

 

Put your return address inside all packages, if you are low volume put the customers address in also.

 

If the buyers address includes a PO Box number And a street address, delete one or the other and re-validate. I usually go with the PO Box.

 

 

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retrose1
Community Member
Posts: 4,855
Registered: ‎02-10-2003

Re: As a seller, what do I do when USPS loses my package??

[ Edited ]
in reply to longbeard1975

longbeard1975 wrote:

If you do not have tracking, then the odds are good that the buyer has the package, sees that it was shipped first class and is testing you to see if you can prove it was delivered.

 


And odds are this is just a made up comment.  I have shipped over 1000 items in the past month without tracking and have had 1 complaints of non-delivery and thet buyer left me a neutral 2 minutes after I refunded saying he got the item


Nope, Had one the Sunday before last.  Emailed about where their item was, a couple hours later demanded a refund, I just imputed the tracking number that said that it was delivered less than 48 hours after I mailed it and a couple hours after that, they claimed it was delivered that afternoon.  This was all on a Sunday mind you - first class shipping, just a few states over.

 

Depends on the items you are selling and the people you are selling to.  Since the conversion to the barcode number on counter shipped packages and no more green DC notice, I've gotten a lot of 'Where's my item' emails that magically go away when i imput the DC number.  Interestingly every one of them that go away, haven't opened a dispute, knowing to click on other to ask.  Tells me that they are up on ebay's new attitude about scammers and don't want to get on the radar for opening too many disputes that they lose.

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Community Member
Posts: 3,235
Registered: ‎11-24-2003

Re: As a seller, what do I do when USPS loses my package??

in reply to bmanoc

Since your out of state package is showing tracking you must have paid the extra for tracking on that one.  Are you sure you didn't feel it was worth the extra expense to track the one that was being delivered in state? 

 

I ship from the post office and even 1st class gets a tracking number BUT it doesn't show me anything unless I pay the 90 cents extra for it.  To me it's worth 90 cents rather than having to issue a refund.  I spend 90 cents everyday more foolishly~~90 cents for tracking isn't a foolish expense.  It's a preventive expense.

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Community Member
Posts: 930
Registered: ‎02-16-2013

Re: As a seller, what do I do when USPS loses my package??

in reply to longbeard1975

Hmm......

 

Interesting........

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black*max
Community Member
Posts: 7,576
Registered: ‎02-12-2008

Re: As a seller, what do I do when USPS loses my package??

in reply to kattinsanity

kattinsanity wrote:

Since your out of state package is showing tracking you must have paid the extra for tracking on that one.  Are you sure you didn't feel it was worth the extra expense to track the one that was being delivered in state? 

 

I ship from the post office and even 1st class gets a tracking number BUT it doesn't show me anything unless I pay the 90 cents extra for it.  To me it's worth 90 cents rather than having to issue a refund.  I spend 90 cents everyday more foolishly~~90 cents for tracking isn't a foolish expense.  It's a preventive expense.


Well paying 90 cents at the post office is foolish when it's Free or only 20 cents on line.

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Teach a man to fish and you've lost a good customer.
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