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Amazon Marketplace Ethics: buyers aren't receiving packages

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Amazon Marketplace Ethics: buyers aren't receiving packages

Old 12-24-07, 11:15 PM
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Amazon Marketplace Ethics: buyers aren't receiving packages

Looking for suggestions/advice:

I sell media stuff on Amazon (books, cds, dvds; probably about 10-16 sales per week, so nothing major).

When a buyer purchases something, I print their address directly from the the listing of my sales in "my seller account." So, there is no handwriting on the package, as my return address is just a label.

In the last three months, I have had 3-4 things go missing. I have shipped them, but the buyer has not received them (if they are to be believed, which I do). They have been kind of high ticket items, including a Homicide: Life of the Streets Megaset.

Amazon's policy is something like, "Most sellers choose to refund the buyer the purchase price of lost items, and consider it a cost of doing business." They do not require that I refund. At the same time, if the buyer files a claim and if I cannot produce any evidence of tracking (which I have never done for media mail), they do credit the buyer's account and debit my account (w/o my permission).

I would like to be able to just refund the buyers because it does suck. At the same time, I can't afford to refund 3-4 big orders every two months. My compromise has been "Buyer: It wasn't either of our faults. How about I refund half the purchase amount?" This has worked in a couple instances, but less than 50% of the time. The rest of the time, the buyer files a claim, I end up being forced to cough up 100% of the price of the item, and additionally sometimes end up with negative feedback because I am blamed for not sending the item the buyer thinks I'm running a scam or something.

Do you have any suggestions? Suggestions such as "make sure the address is legible" or "make sure you use good tape" are not very helpful. What do other sellers do? Just pony up and put tracking on everything?

Thanks for any suggestions and advice! Happy Holidays.
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Old 12-24-07, 11:32 PM
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g
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I use delivery confirmation on every item. And insure every item in the over 40 dollar range. Signature confirmation in the over 80 dollar range.
You should tell your buyers that you only offer replacement copies for lost items. This will make those who really want the item. Tell amazon you only offer replacement items and that customers that dont want it usually have a reason.
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Old 12-24-07, 11:58 PM
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If it's an issue, use DC on every item. You get to pay one of two costs: refunds, or DC to prove that a package made it. If you're not springing for the DC, you have to be prepared to refund. Simple as that.
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Old 12-25-07, 09:47 AM
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Any person selling online, especially via Amazon MP and eBay, that is NOT using delivery confirmation is just asking to be ripped off.
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Old 12-25-07, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Funk
Any person selling online, especially via Amazon MP and eBay, that is NOT using delivery confirmation is just asking to be ripped off.
Agreed. Hell, I'd pay extra for DC if I was shipping something BACK to Amazon!
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Old 12-25-07, 11:28 AM
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I always just insure high-dollar stuff. If it doesn't get there or get there in perfect condition, I would just collect the $. Never had a problem yet, though.
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Old 12-25-07, 11:50 AM
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I frequently use delivery confirmation -- don't bother so much with insurance unless it's requested or paid for by the buyer. That's enough to cover you--you can provide a tracking # that is sufficient enough for paypal not to drain the funds from your account.
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Old 12-25-07, 02:39 PM
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sounds like a workable solution. i'll start using delivery confirmation, and thanks everyone for reading and considering the problem!
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Old 12-25-07, 08:18 PM
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I sell only on amazon and half.com. I started to insure the higher value items when amazon announced they wont cover lost items anymore even with a tracking number. If you sell only on half or ebay you may not need it as much.
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Old 12-26-07, 04:57 PM
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Since losing a few items over the years, I've learned to offer 'free' delivery confirmation on all items. 75 cents can save me at least $30 (more or less) in reimbursements. Besides, Amazon pays you for shipping, at least the base price.
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Old 12-26-07, 09:33 PM
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I always use the Paypal multiple-shipping option, that way, everything is trackable.
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Old 12-26-07, 10:52 PM
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I was selling a copy of Trancers 2 or 3 on VHS for around $20 a few years ago and someone got an email from someone that wanted it but wanted to just send me the money without going through amazon because they were going to use a money order.

I went along with it but told them I wasn't going to send it until I got the money order checked out and all that jazz. I figured either the money order wouldn't be good or it would get lost in the mail. The money order was good so I sent it and wouldn't you know it, the tape mysteriously got lost in the mail so the girl couldn't give it to her dad for his birthday.

I pretty much told them to wait for it but I wasn't going to do anything else.

On a semi-related topic, did amazon give up on forcing sellers to send their stuff to amazon? There was a bunch of reasons why they said this was a good thing but it sounded pretty crappy to have them hold something that might not sell or not being able to do anything else with it.
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Old 12-27-07, 07:40 PM
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Here's what I do for Half.com sales...

1. I send myself 1 cent through Pay Pal for Goods / Services.
2. I use Pay Pal's "Print Shipping Label" and I change the shipping address to the buyer's. Delivery Confirmation is $0.18 for Media or 1st Class, or free for Priority.

You can skip step 1 for multiple sales and choose "Ship Another" at the bottom of the original transaction details. I think you can use "Ship Another" for 30 days.

I always mark the item as sent on Half, but I don't provide the buyer with the delivery confirmation number. On several occasions (and as recently as last week) I have caught buyers claiming non-delivery when they clearly had the item for weeks.
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Old 12-30-07, 08:41 AM
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isn't there a delivery confirmation sticker that is placed directly on the package, so a buyer would know whether or not they could scam you?
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Old 12-30-07, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by cgray
isn't there a delivery confirmation sticker that is placed directly on the package, so a buyer would know whether or not they could scam you?
If using USPS yes there is a big green sticker that says "delivery confirmation" placed on the top of the package near the address.
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Old 12-30-07, 08:22 PM
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I get rid of most of my collection via Amazon.com's Marketplace and use Delivery Confirmation on all orders and when it's a high ticket item, I insure it and add Signature Confirmation. I've only had one item returned because the buyer didn't sign for the item, but he contacted me and I resent it (I ate the cost for reshipping it).

I'd advise always adding tracking to your shipment....I'd rather know a package made it and lose some $ than having to go through the hassle.

Last edited by Sparrow; 12-30-07 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 12-30-07, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Roper
On several occasions (and as recently as last week) I have caught buyers claiming non-delivery when they clearly had the item for weeks.
So what kind of response would you get from your buyers when you told them you had proof of delivery? Do they admit they lied or do they continue to claim they never got the goods?
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Old 12-31-07, 01:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Roper
Here's what I do for Half.com sales...

1. I send myself 1 cent through Pay Pal for Goods / Services.
2. I use Pay Pal's "Print Shipping Label" and I change the shipping address to the buyer's. Delivery Confirmation is $0.18 for Media or 1st Class, or free for Priority.

You can skip step 1 for multiple sales and choose "Ship Another" at the bottom of the original transaction details. I think you can use "Ship Another" for 30 days.
use this link instead; https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_ship-now
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Old 12-31-07, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Pizza
So what kind of response would you get from your buyers when you told them you had proof of delivery? Do they admit they lied or do they continue to claim they never got the goods?
I once had a buyer claim they didn't receive it despite the Delivery Confirmation stating otherwise. The buyer filed a claim with Amazon without contacting me, but (of course) I supplied Amazon with the DC number and the claim was refused.

It all other instances where I've had claims made, when I haven't used DC, I've offered to provide a copy of the receipt (showing date shipped and Zip Code of the receiver). This has always resulted in Amazon eating the costs - they refund the buyer and have never debited my account.

I've sold over 3,000 items through Amazon and I've only had about 15 claims. I only use DC on items costing more than $30 (I would rather eat the cost of an occasional claim on cheaper items, even though I haven't had to, rather than spend all that money protecting myself against what is an overwhelmingly honest buyer market).
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Old 12-31-07, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by feloosa
Thank you. Much simpler.

Originally Posted by Pizza
So what kind of response would you get from your buyers when you told them you had proof of delivery? Do they admit they lied or do they continue to claim they never got the goods?
Here's how the most recent one went...

Buyer: hi i just wanted to confirm that this was shipped since i havent received it yet. thanks David

My Response: Are you sure about that? According to the USPS Delivery Confirmation number (9102150134711059374995), you received the item on December 10th at 3:24 pm.

Buyer: i checked what usps info you gave me now i have to check who signed for it and when since i really did never receive it yet. thanks for the info

-----------------------------------

It's now 11 days later and I haven't heard back. The buyer has a low feedback score, so I guess he didn't realize some USPS packages are trackable. Also, I guess he felt ripped off because he paid $40 for 24: Season 6.

On other occasions the buyer never responded back, or he claims a family member received the package but forgot to tell him, or he was confused because he buys so many items.
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Old 12-31-07, 11:37 AM
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You can go to the USPS site and print out barcoded shipping labels with free delivery confirmation. Then you just take the package to the Post Office and pay for the shipping. I beleive you can pay for it electronically online if you want to as well. There's really no reason not to use delivery confirmation on shipments. Also, if you hve a hand written vs. computered printed label it looks less professional and will make the scammers think it will be easier to rip you off.
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Old 12-31-07, 09:20 PM
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I have two ways I ship:

1. USPS Shipping Assistant: A nice program you can download from USPS's site that lets you print labels with a delivery confirmation bar.

2. PayPal: Yes, it's free. Use the link provided above. Unlike USPS Shipping Assistant, PayPal lets me pay for the shipping postage as well. You'll need to know the exact weight though.

Either way, delivery confirmation is only $0.18 for media mail or free for priority. It just makes sense to use confirmation to protect yourself. Especially at those rates.
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Old 01-01-08, 08:44 AM
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nycbrent and Roper, those are some interesting examples. People are amazing. Every now and then I think about selling a couple of CDs or DVDs on Ebay and/or Amazon. I don't feel I got the patience to deal with people trying to rip you off.
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Old 01-01-08, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by nycbrent
I once had a buyer claim they didn't receive it despite the Delivery Confirmation stating otherwise.
This happened to me once in a situtation where I was the buyer (directly from amazon.com). I reported the problem to them and they re-shipped the items (only about $30 worth of CDs) via UPS, signature required. About a month later the original package turned up in my mailbox. Judging from notes written on the package, it seemed that the post office delivered it to the wrong address initially, then somehow realized the error. In any event I returned the package to Amazon.

Just mentioning this to point out that the post office really does screw up occasionally in cases like these.
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Old 01-02-08, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Dogbert
I have two ways I ship:

1. USPS Shipping Assistant: A nice program you can download from USPS's site that lets you print labels with a delivery confirmation bar.

2. PayPal: Yes, it's free. Use the link provided above. Unlike USPS Shipping Assistant, PayPal lets me pay for the shipping postage as well. You'll need to know the exact weight though.

Either way, delivery confirmation is only $0.18 for media mail or free for priority. It just makes sense to use confirmation to protect yourself. Especially at those rates.

dogbert -- I downloaded Shipping Assistant and it looks like I need to know the weight for that program, as well? I'm fine buying a scale... from you post, though, it just looked like only the paypal one required a scale. If USPS S.A. does not, could you tell me how?

Thanks

Chris
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