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View Full Version : Ebay question – lost package, what happens?


Heat
11-17-06, 04:29 PM
So this guy won a DVD auction of mine, Season 1 of LOST. I mailed it on November 8th via USPS Priority Mail, with delivery confirmation. He lives in Buffalo, New York, I live in Illinois.

Per the delivery confirmation, it was in Buffalo, New York on November 10th. On November 12th it popped up in Pennsylvania, and on November 14th it was in, and left, Memphis, Tennesee.

I don’t have it, he doesn’t have it, and the delivery confirmation still shows it as being enroute. But enroute to where?

So… what happens in this case as far as ebay and paypal are concerned? He’s paid me about $30 via paypal (instant transfer, not credit card). I don’t want him to get screwed, but I don’t want to get screwed either. I called the post office and they just said that it happens sometimes, and they can’t do anything until it’s thirty days has passed.

Meanwhile the buyer is pissed because he thinks that I haven’t mailed the package when he paid me on the 8th. I told him that it was enroute and gave him the tracking number, but I don’t think he believes that it really is the tracking number for his item.

I mailed eleven or twelve items over a few days (the auctions were staggered), they were all received except for this guy's box.

al_bundy
11-17-06, 04:49 PM
i think the post office is 30 days before you can file a claim

DarthVong
11-17-06, 04:51 PM
So do they (USPS) expect it to eventually get to the buyer or not? If he paid for the Priority Mail, I would at least refund him for the shipping.

Heat
11-17-06, 05:06 PM
The post office doesn't know what will happen. It could turn up and get delivered or sent back to me, there was a return address on it, on a separate label. Or maybe it will never show up.

And he paid $4.50 for shipping. The actual cost was either $4.50, or $5.50 (after fifty cents for delivery confirmation).

I did not pay for insurance on it. If I lose the $30 it's not the end of the world, I made a lot more than I expected on the other items I sold plus I wouldn't have watched this DVD again anyway. But I was just wondering what the standard procedure was in a case like this.

al_bundy
11-17-06, 05:20 PM
So do they (USPS) expect it to eventually get to the buyer or not? If he paid for the Priority Mail, I would at least refund him for the shipping.

priority mail isn't guaranteed in 2 days

i've had it take 1 day and 2 weeks

Shoveler
11-17-06, 05:58 PM
Did you offer the buyer insurance? If you did, and the buyer declined, then the buyer would be out $30, not you.

As for the tracking number, I'm not sure how you can satisfy him short of sending the tracking receipt, which I would not recommend. Have you asked the buyer what they would like to see as proof that you sent the item to the address they specified?

Lord Rick
11-17-06, 06:07 PM
The actual cost was either $4.50, or $5.50 (after fifty cents for delivery confirmation).


Why are you paying for delivery confirmation?

You need to start printing your shipping labels from Ebay, directly from the auction.

It is free.
Del. confirmation is free.
You don't have to buy stamps.
Buyer doesn't see how much postage costs. There's only a bar code
on the label.
You can schedule a pickup for the next day, leave it on your front porch, or back porch, lots of other places, so you don't have to go to the Post Office.

Shoveler
11-17-06, 06:10 PM
Delivery confirmation is essential for the seller's protection. Without it, the buyer can file a claim with eBay/PayPal stating that they never received the item, and there is no contradicting evidence. Of course, I've never understood the notion of insurance AND delivery confirmation, but I've always offered insurance, and if the buyer declines, I get delivery confirmation for my own benefit.

I wasn't aware of the eBay printing option (don't sell that often), I'll have to look into it next time I ship something I've sold!

porieux
11-17-06, 06:35 PM
No LOST jokes yet?? :hscratch:

movieguru
11-17-06, 07:40 PM
If it doesnt make it to the destination, the Post Offfice has to refund you the amount of the delivery confirmation only. I feel when they fail to uphold their end of the transaction they should refund the cost of the postage as well; but the PO keeps that anyway. Not much of an incentive for them to deliver anything.

BobDole42
11-17-06, 09:41 PM
I have had a few items lost in the mail. I always refund the buyer's money after a reasonable time period. In my experience, most buyers are willing to wait a few weeks if you keep them updated. I have never filed a claim with the USPS, because the amount of paperwork they require isn't worth the trouble.

Heat
11-17-06, 09:55 PM
Why are you paying for delivery confirmation?

You need to start printing your shipping labels from Ebay, directly from the auction.

It is free.
Del. confirmation is free.
You don't have to buy stamps.
Buyer doesn't see how much postage costs. There's only a bar code
on the label.
You can schedule a pickup for the next day, leave it on your front porch, or back porch, lots of other places, so you don't have to go to the Post Office.
I knew that they printed labels, I thought it was just the mailing label and not the postage barcode (I assume they then charge the paypal account). I'll look into that next time, though usually I don't know exactly how much something is going to weigh or cost until I actually get to the post office (which is right across the street from my work).

Seeker
11-17-06, 10:59 PM
The post office does NOT guarantee delivery - period. At most they will refund ONLY the delivery confimation amount (which is often zero, as some folks have noted). They also do not give you ANYTHING back unless you bought insurance.

Use fedex or UPS who provide about $100 insurance free. If you do a lot of ebay stuff, you can get a fedex account and fedex ground is (USUALLY) cheaper than USPS. Yes, a single dvd or book won't fit that, I know.

As for this particular delivery - I've had many dvds or books (see I use that exception too) go astray - they USUALLY end up at the right place in about 10-15 days. I had one package go to Canada and arrive after 5 weeks - luckily my buyer was patient because I kept him up to date.

A lot of this is about the buyer and seller and their levels of understanding and patience when the middle man screws up.

Formerly known as missflores
11-18-06, 12:22 AM
This happened to me once; I shipped a priority mail package from a post office that was about 10 minutes away from the delivery address. The buyer emailed me about a week after it ship to let me know it had not arrived. The info on the usps's website said it was enroute. This went on for weeks and it was delivered exactly 30 days after it was shipped. Luckily the buyer had not filed a paypal claim.


Did you offer the buyer insurance? If you did, and the buyer declined, then the buyer would be out $30, not you.

Not if the buyer paid through paypal; they will side with the buyer unless the seller proves the item was delivered. If the package gets lost proof of shipping means nothing to paypal. I use to read the ebay forums a lot and even the "pinks" (ebay cs reps) use to say that insurance protected the seller not the buyer.

Lord Rick
11-18-06, 07:56 AM
I knew that they printed labels, I thought it was just the mailing label and not the postage barcode (I assume they then charge the paypal account). I'll look into that next time, though usually I don't know exactly how much something is going to weigh or cost until I actually get to the post office (which is right across the street from my work).

Just go to Office Depot and get a small postal scale. Well worth the money - you'll get it back in gas money (well, not you, but others, since you don't have to drive) you save from not going to the post office, and much more importantly, not standing in that awful line waiting for the idiots behind the counter.

And delivery confirmation is free with this method.

Lord Rick
11-18-06, 07:58 AM
I agree Fedex Ground is the ONLY way to go for heavier items, but for books/dvds/cables, etc. (items 2-3 pounds and small) then the best choice is Priority Mail labels printed from your computer.

I also have a free roll of Priority Mail tape that I had sent to me from the Post Office website. They'll send you all kinds of free supplies - Pri. Mail boxes, tape, etc.

al_bundy
11-18-06, 08:45 AM
Did you offer the buyer insurance? If you did, and the buyer declined, then the buyer would be out $30, not you.



the biggest myth on the internet, i don't care what the excuse is if i buy something i want it delivered.

you can tell paypal all you want about how they buyer declined insurance, they won't listen to you

Bill Geiger
11-18-06, 09:43 PM
I now have insurance standard on all of my auctions (unless it is for an item under $10.00 or something.)

I had a package I sent media mail on 10/2, it got lost for a while and I ended up receiving it back again on the 14th of November. I just sent it again (buyer's zip code had changed.) I had him pay me for more shipping (I offered to refund him his money for the item) but he said he would pay shipping. I sent it FedEx today (with proper zip code.)

And as far as delivery times, it is weird.

I sent several items on the 3rd of November via both first and media. One media arrived in Portland,OR from the Philadelphia area on the 7th. Two others I sent via first class arrived on over 10 days later to Florida & georgia respectively.

matta
11-18-06, 09:57 PM
Why can't you scan and email the receipt showing the tracking number, the to and the from address? That should ease any suspicion.

BobDole42
11-18-06, 10:54 PM
Meanwhile the buyer is pissed because he thinks that I haven’t mailed the package when he paid me on the 8th. I told him that it was enroute and gave him the tracking number, but I don’t think he believes that it really is the tracking number for his item.
I mailed eleven or twelve items over a few days (the auctions were staggered), they were all received except for this guy's box.

You didn't tell him the tracking number was 4 8 15 16 23 42 did you?

In all seriousness, having the USPS lose a package sucks, but I agree with others who have sided with the buyer. I would ask him to give it another week, and if the package still hasn't arrived, refund his money and ask him to help with the USPS claims package. IIRC, he will have to sign a form stating that he never received the package.

movielib
11-18-06, 11:19 PM
My store sells through Amazon and we send out more than 100 packages every week. We get delivery confirmation on all except international (which you can't get it for). It's $.14 for media mail, free for priority and first class (we do it on the net through Endicia, a private company that has a deal with the post office).

When a package doesn't arrive (or even if it does according to the delivery confirmation), or if the buyer insists (s)he never got it, we'll refund. Keeping customers happy is worth more than the few bucks we lose from time to time. What we lose doing this is less than 1% of our sales and it helps avoid negative feedback (except for the ones who do not notify us of a problem and just leave negative feedback without giving us a chance to rectify the situation - but I have almost always been able to get them to remove the feedback in those cases by negotiating after the fact). The percentage of problem deliveries is small but when you do our volume you usually see about one or two a month.

Regarding insurance, at least with Amazon where you can't make the buyer pay for it, it's not worth getting. It would cost much more to do it with every item than is justified by the small number of delivery problems.

Heat
11-19-06, 11:11 PM
Well, looks like it wasn't lost afterall. It last popped up in Hazelwood, Missouri, which is a suburb of St. Louis and also the bulk mail center for where I live.

For some reason it wasn't delivered and was returned to sender (me) via bulk mail which is taking a week and a half so far. I'll know what happened once it finally makes it back to me, which should be in the next couple of days.

Possibilities:

a. Typo on the address (though I double checked them...)
b. Label fell off (unlikely, it was an adhesive label and then I covered it with scotch tape)
c. Address was bad even though it was a Paypal confirmed address - also unlikely since he has received other packages recently
d. Post office decided I didn't pay enough postage (a possibility I guess though unlikely)

My bet is that I made a typo on the ZIP code or something stupid like that, I'll know for sure in the next few days. So not only am I going to be out $5.50 for mailing it again, but I'll probably get a negative on ebay (my first).

beavismom
11-20-06, 07:16 AM
Take a picture of it when you get it back and email it to the buyer. It will show that you did mail it and that for whatever reason it was returned to you. Offer him the choice of refund or reshipment and be very nice and apologetic (even though it wasn't your fault). If you take these steps you probably won't get negative feedback.

Also, when you shipped the package you should have received a receipt (not the green delivery confirmation slip, the cash register receipt) that will show that you shipped the package to his zipcode and it lists the delivery confirmation number. If you still have that you can always make him a copy of that as further proof of shipment. It won't help in a PayPal case, but it will help to convince the buyer you aren't lying about shipment.

Heat
11-21-06, 04:00 PM
Arrgh.

OK, got the package back. Turns out that I had put down the guy’s address as, for example, 380 Vineyard Street instead of 280 Vinyard Street (not the guy’s real address). The post office marked it “address unknown, return to sender” and sent it via the slowest method they could. I looked up the address on google satellite maps, this is a residential neighborhood. Single family homes, relatively nice area. What postman doesn’t recognize a name from a block away? At least they didn’t deliver it to the wrong house I guess.

To top it off, four of the disks became loose during this journey and one is now scratched up. Not horribly, but it’s pretty noticeable and my auction had listed the DVDs as “mint” condition (which they were when I sent them).

Numanoid
11-21-06, 04:09 PM
So all the trouble is your fault (though not intentional). I'd offer a full refund or negotiate a partial refund if he wants to buy the damaged set.

Dr. Henry Jones, Jr.
11-21-06, 04:10 PM
refund it unless you have another set in the same condition to send

Heat
11-21-06, 04:57 PM
I just sent an email basically saying that I would refund the money if he wanted, else I would watch the DVD tonight and if there were no problems with it I would send the whole package tomorrow if he wanted.

If the disk has skips or anything I would just refund his money and re-list it on e-bay making clear that one of the disks had scratches and I would describe the nature of the skips.

I know I made a typo on the address, but I still think the post office should have figured it out. Plus I'm not happy that they took twelve days to get it back to me and in the meantime cause four disks to get loose, damaging one of them. Oh well.

What is bad for the buyer is that he had also bought Season 2 from a different buyer and has had that for two weeks now, but he needs to watch my Season 1 first.