Monthly Archives: November 2012

Undeliverable USPS shipment

By Tony Lam

Domestic market in US is not as good as before, now more than 50% of my bids or orders are from international buyers. Although the profit for oversea shipments may be better, the risk  of lost or damage packages is higher too. Here is my experience in an undeliverable USPS shipment to Australia.

On 9/6/12, I  received the buyer’s message that she has not received the item to date. She knew that it was delivered to her apartment building around 3 July, at a time when she was away. After tracing it to her local post office, she was advised that it was posted back to me as sender.

After checking my record, I found that the package was shipped on 6/25/12 by USPS First Class Mail International. I asked the buyer to see if she can recall the package again but it was too late. I re-assured the buyer that I will refund her after getting the return.

Finally, without receiving  the package, I gave a credit back of the full amount to the buyer on 10/28/12 . Fortunately, I received the returned package two days after the refund .

In summary of the whole event, I mailed the package on 6/25/12 and it was delivered to the buyer’s apartment around 7/3/12 while she was away. The package got returned to the local post office and sat there until 8/8/12 and then returned to me. I received the package on 10/30/12 after 4 months from my first delivery !!!

Lessons learned from this unsuccessful shipment

Here list out what I learned from this undeliverable USPS shipment event. You may not totally agree on my points. If you have any comments or questions. I would love to hear them.

  1. USPS First Class to Australia takes around 7 working days
  2. It’s better put the shipping option in shipping label as “return to sender if not delivered” since the return shipping is free of charge.
  3. Always assure full accountability for any loss or damage package to the buyers. If loss is unavoidable, take up all the loss and don’t transfer the loss to your buyers.
  4. Consider the risk factors of international shipments based on value of items, destination countries, and fragility of items. Buy shipping insurance to cover the potential loss if possible.

Shipping Large Items