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  • Shipping USPS

    Does anyone ship USPS? And by what method? Have you ever had problems?

    I ship about 1/4 of my orders via USPS priority mail. I shipped a package on 1/15 and according to the delivery confirmation it has been in the correct city since 1/17. However, my customer hasn't received it yet and she is freaking out because she needs it by Sunday. I called USPS and was told that delivery confirmation is not destination to destination tracking info. All it states is where it is in the mail stream and that just b/c it says it is in the correct city does not mean that it is. The only way to get destination to destination tracking information is for express mail. The USPS rep went on to tell me that 2-3 business days for priority mail is only an estimate it is not a guarantee and that all I can do is wait 21 days and then file an insurance claim (since the package was insured).

    So I am not really sure what to do about my customer. She's not going to be happy with that answer. Although technically our ground shipping says 2-7 business days, and 7 business days would be 1/26. And secondly, I am not feeling real comfortable shipping via USPS anymore. And lastly, I feel like that is one big giant loophole for the USPS so they don't actually have to take responsibility for anything.

    Thoughts? Experiences?

  • #2
    Delivery confirmation for the most part is a gimmic. :rolleyes:
    It scores you a few points with PayPal, but, other than that, "Delivery Confirmation" means absolutely nothing as far as claims or "proof" of delivery. We used USPS for several shipments everyday and when we realized that some customers would take advantge of us, we stopped using.

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    • #3
      We've always used the USPS and have had very few problems. They've always been very reliable. This past year we've had one, maybe two packages not delivered. One was sent right around the holidays - so not sure what happened to it. The other for whatever reason was sent back to us.

      Have you tried contacting the local post office directly to see if they can help? I know that some post offices are more responsive than others. Some will try and do some detective work on your behalf.

      Do you use a system like Endicia to print your postage and bar codes onto the labels. The reason I ask is that I believe using a system like this has been great. We have a log of everything that was ever sent and with one click it will check the delivery status of every package.

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      • #4
        We stopped using the USPS for that very reason. We deal with brides, and when their shipments are lost or delayed, they tend to freak out more than the usual customer! :)

        We now ship all US orders via UPS exclusively--99% of our shipments arrive and are on time. For the very few times something is lost, we have a corporate account and a customer service rep who will either track it down or issue us a refund within a week. Well worth it!

        However, we do us the USPS Express Mail International for all foreign shipments, as the UPS charges are ridiculous--about twice! These shipments arrive in about a week and last year we only had 1 lost--it ultimately found it's way back to us.

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        • #5
          I ship everything USPS. I rarely have problems - but this year has been worse than others.

          The delivery confirmation is kind of a fraud. I've had the post office pull the "It doesn't mean it was REALLY delivered" thing on me at least once with something I shipped, and once with something shipped to me.

          The one to me I was furious with because low and behold - after I REALLY complained the package showed up 2 days later very dirty with footprints all over it. Obviously it had been 'lost' in the local post office - either dropped behind a counter of something.

          They had scanned the code - but still insisted that didn't mean it ever reached their post office. HUH???

          Submit an official complaint if your aren't getting satisfactory answers. Also - ask if they have actually talked with the route carrier. Sometimes they will remember delivering a pacakge - especially if it had to be scanned.

          My carrier doesn't scan items sent to me until they are at my mailbox.

          Now - while it really doesn't mean much to the post office - it has saved me more than once with claims from customers. I can show them that I shipped the item in good faith and it went through the system. I usually try to work with them regardless, but at least they have 'proof' that I shipped their item.

          If you use stamps.com delivery confirmation is free for priority packages and only .18 cents for first class. But - the vast majority of my orders are shipped in large flat envelopes - which don't classify as a package - and I can't purchase delivery confirmation for those at all.

          Too bad you're having this problem with a 'critical' order. This year I've had at least 4 orders just plain lost. That never used to happen.

          But - I can't beat the price for USPS for the items I ship. If I switched to USPS or FedEx I would have to charge double or triple for shipping - as the vast majority of my shipments are under 2 pounds.

          Good luck
          C Ekman
          Owner/Designer: Cobweb Corner
          http://www.cobwebcorner.com

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          • #6
            Check this link for what to do if item not delivered:

            http://www.usps.com/send/waystosendm...ionservice.htm

            From there click on the FAQ questions for Delivery confirmation - then there is a question for "What if item isn't delivered" It provides a number you can call - I would DEFINITELY do that.
            C Ekman
            Owner/Designer: Cobweb Corner
            http://www.cobwebcorner.com

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            • #7
              Yes, delivery confirmation is a gimmic.
              The employees at US Post Offices are instructed NOT to scan the item into the system. Delivery Confirmation is NOT a tracking system. The item is only "scanned" at the delivery point. And, the delivery point can be anywhere (the delivery address or point is not validated in any way). And, many carriers forget, don't bother or do not know to scan a package. The ONLY reason we use the number in any fashion is to make a notification to our customer that we made an honest attempt to send their order their way. :)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by cekman View Post
                Check this link for what to do if item not delivered:

                http://www.usps.com/send/waystosendm...ionservice.htm

                From there click on the FAQ questions for Delivery confirmation - then there is a question for "What if item isn't delivered" It provides a number you can call - I would DEFINITELY do that.
                I did call that number and they basically told me that all I can do is wait 21 days and then file an insurance claim. If I didnt' want somethign like this to happen then I should have sent it express mail.

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                • #9
                  A few comments to responses and such...

                  When this package originally stated it was in GA on 1/17 (which is the ship to location), I assumed the customer got it despite the fact that it didn't say delivered. It sat on that day for 3 days with no update to the package and I have sent and received packages before where they did not scan them. And I believe someone else mentioned that in this post.

                  After I called suddenly the package justed getting scanned again after it didnt' get scanned for 3 days. The package still hasn't been delivered as far as I can tell. It never said deliver, and it still keeps being scanned with processing. However, now it says it is in WI (which is where my business is). So I am wondering if it is being returned to me, although I haven't the slightest clue as to why that would be. But at least I would know where it is. However, at the same time it seems to me that I will put me out of money.

                  So needless to say this package is still milling about in the postal system and I am yet to be able to do anything. I am not even sure if I have to file a insurance claim what is acceptable as proof it wasn't delivered. Although I have a little more than a week before I can even do that.

                  This has been a real eye opener for me with USPS. I realize things happen, and I have been lucky to not have encountered more situations like this. However, the lack of USPS's responsibility, customer service, and help towards the situation has left much to be desired. If this were to happen again, knowing they will do nothing leaves me uneasy. Needless to say I am looking for a new shipping company which does not make me happy. I know UPS is super expensive for me, largely because of the pickup.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by thedancingdaisy View Post
                    I know UPS is super expensive for me, largely because of the pickup.
                    If you ship packages that average over 2 or 3 pounds each, and ship 5-6 a week, then UPS daily pickup account can prove a cost saver. We started out shipping USPS, had an account, was a "known" customer so we could drop off pre-paid packages without standing in line, etc...
                    Well, we found we were do a lot of travel and the time and expense.
                    We switched to a daily pickup account, and they driver stops each day. We receive a discount off the regular UPS rates (that pays for the weekly pickup charge). Only use USPS in the rare occasion.

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                    • #11
                      That's just it, we don't ship 5-6 packages a week. We ship maybe that much a month. 90% of our products are dropshipped. 10% we actually ship from our place of business. And we don't get a lot of orders for that 10%. From the research I've done on UPS they have great prices if I shipped more packages, but currently I don't. So if I ship with them I have to pay $4 per package for them to pickup or I have to drive to a UPS to drop it off, which is expensive based on how far away it is as well as the time.

                      When I ship with USPS they pick up for free, which is great for the little bit that I use it. However, obviously also has its down falls.

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                      • #12
                        we drop ship about 80%
                        However, the 20% we do stock and ship requires a daily pickup, we just couldn't do it ourselves with the USPS anymore or dropping off at the UPS store or what have you.
                        However, our goal is to completely eliminate local stocking and get rid of local pickup altogether, however, some of our most popular products are not available for dropshipping. :o

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mark View Post
                          However, our goal is to completely eliminate local stocking and get rid of local pickup altogether, however, some of our most popular products are not available for dropshipping. :o
                          This is our plan too. I wish I would have just started this way.

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                          • #14
                            After stocking (warehousing) so many different items, varying size, shape and weight, all the shelving, inventory tracking, boxes, tape, bubble wrap, newsprint, etc and all the orderring and receiving of resale merchandise, it just was not so profitable business model. The thermal printer and UPS account works really well, however, as the labels are free.

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                            • #15
                              We have also been considering switching to UPS for shipping - having always shipped priority mail, because of a couple of packages being lost, one of them sent international. Who is the most reliable and with the best rates for shipping items under 1 pound?

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