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posted on September 11, 2003 06:14:57 AM new
Hi all, a question about what is the standard thing to do or what you would do.

I sent a package worth $15 regular 1st class USPS, no delivery confirmation, no insurance was requested by buyer or suggested by me.

The package has not arrived so who normally eats the loss in these situations ?
Do you refund fully ?
Do you refund half ?
Do you refund nothing and say it is a problem with the USPS ?

I am willing to refund fully to save the hassle if that is the standard thing to do but do not want to throw money away if that is not the standard thing to do.

Comments ?
posted on September 11, 2003 06:34:00 AM new
After 21 days post-shipment, file USPS FORM 1000 - Domestic Claim or Registered Mail Inquiry with your PO & make the drones there do a trace!

Some questions:

1) Did you verify the address and convert it into the STANDARDIZED ADDRESS before shipping?

2) Did the address have a "bar-code?"

3) For a measly $0.13, WHY NOT use eDC on all yer FIRST CLASS & PACKAGE SERVICES mail??

Over past 3 years, I've shipped over 3000 packies -- NEVER ONE lost or misdirected!

If you follow the USPS's proper addressing procedures & use a bar-code, lost mail is close to impossible

Ralphie loves Mr Blonde:
"Are you gonna bark all day little doggie, or are you gonna bite?"
posted on September 11, 2003 06:41:36 AM new
If it doesn't arrive the "right" thing to do is refund the money. Since you've done nothing to protect yourself (dc/insurance/etc.), you can't complain, now can you?

There are two things you have to protect yourself against - unscrupulous buyers and delivery challenges encountered by the USPS. I'm with Tom, spend the extra few pennies to get some peace of mind that it has been delivered. We also insure items that are unique or valuable so that we don't take a big bite if it gets lost/broken. It's just the smart thing to do.


Trying to Make a Difference - One Satisfied Customer at a Time....
posted on September 11, 2003 06:57:34 AM new
Actually... form 1000 will not work for your case (it only works for insured mail). What you need to file is a form 1510, mail loss/rifling report. My way of handling this is as follows:

1) I have the following line included in all of my auctions: "Seller is not responsible for lost or damaged items which are uninsured. It is the full responsibility of the buyer to request and pay additional charges for all insurance."

2) If the buyer chooses not to request insurance and reports his package as lost, then I offer to fill out the form 1510 for them if 30 days has expired (the time limit before you can file the report)

posted on September 11, 2003 07:13:01 AM new

Since I've NEVER had a lost item, I don't know the correct form

Ralphie loves Mr Blonde:
"Are you gonna bark all day little doggie, or are you gonna bite?"
posted on September 11, 2003 07:28:03 AM new
You may want to include some BS disclaimer in your TOS, but that doesn't relieve you of your responsibility to ship something in a manner that GETS THE ITEM TO YOUR BUYER! How are they to know whether you addressed it properly or packaged it correctly to get it there?

Seriously, I mean no disrespect, but if you're in this eBay thing as a business, what business abdicates their responsibility once they receive the money - the transaction is only half over at that point. Your customer has upheld their part of the bargain - prove to them that you will uphold yours by making sure their purchase gets to them or they get their money back....

Then again, keep putting that disclaimer in your listings - that'll eventually mean more customers for me...


Trying to Make a Difference - One Satisfied Customer at a Time....
posted on September 11, 2003 07:45:55 AM new

I'm sorry that you don't approve of the way I do business... but it has worked fine for me. I keep very good records of all my transactions, so I can verify the address on the shipment as well as the date it was shipped. My terms are not BS... they are a well thought out business plan. Why should I punish the many for the few? If I provided delivery confirmation or insurance on all my items... that cost + the cost of labor involved would need to be applied to ALL my customers. My customer base has shown me that they would much rather risk the loss of a package rather than pay $0.50-1.50 more on s/h. It is probably a different scenario in different fields. All I know is what works (and what is standard practice) in mine.

edited to clarify that my average item with s/h is less than $15.00. A $0.50-$1.50 additional charge for delivery conf. or insurance is a BIG percentage increase 3-10%. That is probably why my customers choose lower s/h versus delivery conf. / insurance. I'm sure that with higher priced items it is a different case.
[ edited by eauctionmgnt on Sep 11, 2003 07:50 AM ]
posted on September 11, 2003 08:03:32 AM new
eDC is on ALL my packages no matter the price of the auction. Next I know buyers are cheap and they expect the best so if they don't insure a high priced item I insure it. Better lose $1.30 that $49.00.
I will not refund if eDC says it was delivered and the person accepting the package has given the postalperson the OK to leave the box on their door step. That has happened to me and I won't refund that. I have had one lost box and that was before eDC. Now if we can get the postal employees to scan the bar code everything would be find. I have a guarantee and it is in my about me page. I do refund along with the postage.

When I buy something I don't take insurance and if something happens I feel it is my fault but everyone doesn't do business like that.

posted on September 11, 2003 08:11:07 AM new
Boys, boys! Cooleth thy hemmies!

Just some musings:

If ye donna use ENDICIA or USPS SHIPPING ASSISTANT, then run each & every address you ship to through the USPS ZIPPER here:


This will give ya the ZIP+4 & the STANDARDIZED ADDRESS! QUICK & EASY

The USPS lives & breathes the AMS (ADDRESS MATCHING SYSTEM) and every VALID USA address is in there in the PROPER FORM for correct delivery!

If you get an address that donna match, then email the buyer & ask for a re-check! Many times, I've had folks reply: "Oh yeah, my REAL address is blah,blah..."


Use eDC on EVERY PACKAGE! It is FREE for PRIORITY and only costs a measley-little $0.13 for all other classes!

Only wierd rule is with FIRST CLASS MAIL: must be either in a BOX or, if in an envelope, the envelope must have a 3/4" MINIMUM THICKNESS -- hey, throw a peanut in!

The USPS admits to a 5% NON-SCAN rate, but my personal experience has been about 99% SCANNED, because I add a big bright sticker which reads:



Ralphie loves Mr Blonde:
"Are you gonna bark all day little doggie, or are you gonna bite?"
posted on September 11, 2003 08:12:21 AM new
Is the DC only scanned at the your post office and the receiving post office? I don't think that it's like UPS/FedEx where the driver scans it at the door.

-------------- sig file ----------- President John F. Kennedy said, "There are three things which are real: God, human folly and laughter. The first two are beyond our comprehension, so we must do what we can with the third."
posted on September 11, 2003 08:19:22 AM new
I have only had one item get "lost" in the mail. I issued a full refund including shipping which cost me $18.00.

tomwii: If you put edc on all your packages, and you have shipped over 3000 packages, then you have given the post office $390. You could afford to refund a lot of items for that.

If the item is over $25 I personally insure it. But, I also charge a fifty cent handling charge on everything. I just don't want to give that or any portion of it to the PO.

As far as lost mail being impossible, our mailman puts someone elses bills and sometimes even checks in our mailbox rather than the neighbors at least once a month. If I didn't return it to the correct address or the PO, then it would be lost. Packages are another matter unless they are small enough to stuff into a box.

Edited to add: Not trying to be argumentative here. Just wondering why anyone chooses to give the post office more than they already charge when there are so few items lost these days? Maybe it depends on the type item you are selling and how much that item goes for? I think everyone has to do what is right for them. But, I also feel we have a responsibility to get everything to the person involved and I never argue with the customer. It takes to much energy and time and days of stewing afterwards. I have seen people sit and moan over losing $5 because someone said it was broke. Really now, wouldn't it have been easier to settle up and move on?

The casual seller might have more problems with this than others. I usually make at least $180 a week so that one week I had to refund the $18 wasn't that big a deal. If I had only made $180 all month that might be a different story.
[ edited by lindajean on Sep 11, 2003 08:23 AM ]
posted on September 11, 2003 08:20:24 AM new
I agree with eauction. On my lower priced items adding DC or insurance when the customer hasn't paid for it takes a huge bite out of my profit margin.

I will either insure or DC items over $50.00 if the customer hasn't for my benefit in case of a problem.

DC isn't the panacea most think. I had DC on a package and it didn't arrive. When I took my slip to the post office they told me that it was basically useless for tracking purposes. If it was scanned when it arrived somewhere, there was no way to tell where it was. The customer filed the appropriate form after 30 days and was told by her post office that it was basically just a good way to complain. Fortunately, it showed up about 45 days later.

I keep all my postal receipts and write the customer's name next to the shipping information. If there is a problem, I will scan the receipt and send it to show proof of mailing.

I, too, have a disclaimer in my description that I will not be responsible for lost packages, but so far have only had one that never arrived. I did refund that one because the customer was a newbie and didn't want them to have a bad Ebay experience.

posted on September 11, 2003 08:29:28 AM new
I agree completely with everything you said.

But, It is not worth my time to sit and write info on my postage receipt. I mail at least 30 packages each trip to the PO. I do occassionally have a customer email to see if an item has been mailed, but my auction management program shows when I sent the letter saying it has been mailed. That gives me the date. As far as sending proof, I just tell them to let me know if it hasn't arrived in 10 days because even priority mail occassionally takes longer than a week. So far, so good.

You know the Post office really does do a great job with getting everything where it is supposed to go. Where I cringe is when I see them dumping all the boxes into the bins. I wonder how anything ever gets anywhere in one piece. Late at night everything is stacked everywhere and they literally toss them into the next boxes with small and large packages all getting dumped together.

posted on September 11, 2003 08:57:43 AM new
I'm with Lindajean - nearly 5,000 transactions and only 2 totally lost... I refunded those items (though one guy insisted I keep the s/h. I insure my $35++ postcards at my expense. USPS is very reliable ( no comments about the folks behind the counter however).

posted on September 11, 2003 09:10:44 AM new

If you print your label from the USPS website, the edc is FREE. I use it always. I also offer insurance in a personalized email to my buyer reminding him or her that I cannot be held responsible for lost or stolen mail (that is also stated in my auction terms). Making that clear, if the buyer chooses not to take insurance I don't refund anything. If I fail to offer insurance, I would refund.


posted on September 11, 2003 09:10:53 AM new

Where do you get eDC on First class for $0.13 ??

I can get eDC on Priority Mail form the USPS web site, buy you cant to first class there??

posted on September 11, 2003 09:22:31 AM new
Use either:





3) Other UN-NAMED PC POSTAGE modalities which I won't name (STOMPS.COM)

and you get eDC for the following charge:


FIRST CLASS = $0.13 for eDC ($0.50 for RETAIL DC

PACKAGE SERVICES: $0.13 for eDC ($0.50 for RETAIL DC)

(Package Services: is Parcel Post, Media Mail, etc)

Ralphie loves Mr Blonde:
"Are you gonna bark all day little doggie, or are you gonna bite?"
posted on September 11, 2003 09:33:44 AM new
Remember many of the people who claim non reciept are lying.

Out of 5000 packages (Avg value $20) sent over the last 5 years (All with TYPED addresses) I have approx 100 where the recipiant cliaimed it was lost.

I make them wait 30 days.
I make them fill out & sign a sterly worded claim form.
I never give refunds, I just ship another one. [if I don't have another one of the item I don't tell them until I actully send a refund check instead.]

About 1/2 never email back after I tell them this

Of the remaining 50 about 1/2 wanted to replacement item shipped to a different address. I refuse to do this, if they gave me a bad address the first time then it's there fault. Many of these turned out to be boyfirends/girlfriends address who they have since broken up with.

So that leaves about 25 which I actually sent replacements to. A few of these people again claimed they didn't get the replacement package. These people were clearey liars, but I refunded them by mailing a check which they get.

posted on September 11, 2003 09:34:03 AM new

For me, the answer is: "YES!"

#1: The PayPal SELLERS PROTECTION POLICY requires it!

#2: IT'S CHEAP! You pay either $0.00 for PRIORITY MAIL or $0.13 for ALL other classes -- what a BARGAIN!!

#3: It CYA & SAVED my BIG BUTT numerous times!


I drop-shipped an item to a lady way up there in THE GREAT NORTH-WEST!

But, the warehouse couldn't find the DC number for me to email to her

I ALWAYS email TRACKING NUMBERS to ALL my buyers -- makes them

So, I emailed her & asked her if the packie had arrived yet -- she replied "NO!" And where was her packie, etc, etc, blah,blah!

So, Ralphie is chewing-up the carpet & I'm losing hair -- BUT, I then get an email from my shipper with the eDC number (he finally found the tracking number) and guess what kiddies??


So, I called her PO & the clerk called the delivery person, & SHE REMEMBERED SCANNING the item & putting the item INSIDE THE LADY'S HOUSE!

Excuse me??

So, I politely mention how it was delivered...

and I get this:

"Sorry Tom,
I am so embarresd........It was delivered days ago, I don't know exactly
when, The gal that works for me but in under the counter and put a bag of
feed on top of it. XXX and my mail lady are both great people. Again, I am
sorry for the mess, and thank you for looking so hard for my XXXX, for me."

Is eDC worth $0.00 -- OF COURSE it is!!

Ralphie loves Mr Blonde:
"Are you gonna bark all day little doggie, or are you gonna bite?"

[ edited by tomwiii on Sep 11, 2003 09:35 AM ]
posted on September 11, 2003 09:41:52 AM new

Is USPS Shippng assistan avaible on the USPS web site??

I couldn't find it there.

I know endicia is a pay service, but is USPS shipping assistant also a pay service.
If it is then the true cost is higher than that quoted.

You can ship priority mail from the USPS web site for no chage except for actual postage.

posted on September 11, 2003 10:07:05 AM new
dpends: USPS SA is FREE, but ya gets what ya pays for...


Don't know why PO hides it

I pay $14.95/mo for ENDICIA PRO & I love it cause I gets what I pay for it...& MORE!


Ralphie loves Mr Blonde:
"Are you gonna bark all day little doggie, or are you gonna bite?"
posted on September 11, 2003 11:45:26 AM new
had a lady email me that package hadn't arrived....after 2 months!

I reminded her that she had passed on insurance and the DC showed it as being delivered.

she emailed the next day, her husband had received the package and forgot to tell her. oopsy!

posted on September 11, 2003 02:03:19 PM new

posted on September 11, 2003 08:06:15 PM new
After 2000 plus shipments, I have never had a lost pkg. This over 5 years!! What am I doing wrong?? lol

posted on September 12, 2003 12:27:29 AM new

Why dont you like stamps.com??

posted on September 12, 2003 03:38:17 AM new
Hi ... good thread...
Re: Post Office Track & Delivery Confirmation
1 - it does not track...the user needs to click through twice to see the disclaimer.
2 - if a 'delivery confirmation' package is lost (happened on 4 items I sold to different people)...file claim and refund...Post Office can't track it
3 - yes, some Post Office locations scan when item arrives...most don't
4 - using track and confirm and track it yourself..I shipped several items to different people...with track and confirm. Some received the items, but no confirmation on the Post Office.

posted on September 12, 2003 06:34:32 AM new
I have over 5000 packages shipped and none lost (except a couple of internationals). I think that using a barcoded label with a verified address helps a lot to eliminate lost packages. I purchased an item a few months ago and it was lost. The seller had a lot of complaints for lost packages. I don't know if they were sloppy or just didn't ship and claimed to have. She did not use DC so she had no way to prove she shipped anything.

DC does help. I have had dozens of people say they did not get the package, I do a DC and show them I have some sort of confirmation that they got it and I never hear from them again.

"For I know the plans I have for you." says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." - Jeremiah 29:11
posted on September 12, 2003 07:35:46 AM new

Last time I used them (18mos ago), they:

1) Had terrible software that was always crashing my PC or printer!
2) Had NON-EXISTANT "customer support" -- if you did by some miracle get a hold of a person, they know NOTHING!
3) Had HORRIBLE prices -- no flat rate/month!
4) Had horrible billing -- it took MONTHS to get rid of them!

Switched to ENDICIA & love this company because:

1) DAZZLE is a powerful full-featured professional mail program that will work with just about every printer out there -- YES, it does take a little work to set-up, but once you're done, you be all SET!

2) Wonderful LIVE English-speaking customer cervice!

3) FLAT-RATE monthly plans: 9.95/mo for regular (unlimited postage printing) or $14.95/mo for the PRO PLAN (again unlimited postage printing + some extra goodies such as STEALTH printing)

4) ONLINE refund procedure for printing mistakes!

For me, I can't think of anything I DON'T LIKE about ENDICIA


Ralphie loves Mr Blonde:
"Are you gonna bark all day little doggie, or are you gonna bite?"
posted on September 12, 2003 07:45:11 AM new
most ebay bidders are not lowlife scums,they are honest and shockingly naive or trusting at times,forking over big bucks to someone they have never met in cyberspace.

-sig file -------The thrill is gone!!
posted on September 12, 2003 11:10:34 AM new
Tom: Thanks for the info. I tried d/l'ing Endicia and for some reason Dazzle would not launch. Even though they told me my account was activated. I thought I'd try the stamps.com site. Right now just using USPS.com, and I need to get on the ball with it. mostly do flat rate priority so dont worry too much about edc charge. But have ocassional buyers ask for 1st class or 1st class only one more day delivery time.
Charge priority and mail 1st class????? hahaha.....

Nothing like being a quick study!
ok, going to try Endicia again.

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