Monday, August 9, 2010

Mystery 'solved'?

In the six years that I have been selling my art
I have probably had a dozen or so pieces of art
come up 'missing'?

During my years on eBay...I ended up having to start
requiring a 'signature upon delivery'...
just to safeguard myself.
(It can get pretty pricey to refund painting purchases...especially with all the
'do's and don'ts' of insurance claims.
Then..when eBay went to buyer feedback only...if we got an impatient
buyer...whose painting didn't 'arrive'...and they didn't want to wait for the
insurance claim...under 'threat of negative feedback'..we'd have
to refund their money...thus our reasoning for signature upon delivery...
and our eventual departure from eBay.)

Anyway...I do digress a bit...
since coming to Etsy...I have 'relaxed' a lot of the 
shipping policies...
I don't ship as much with UPS 
(they are somewhat 'notorious' for being known to just leave a package
at someone's front door)
but I still have those darned 'missing packages' 
from time to time.

Most of them are internationals...which means...
I have "NO idea what-so-ever" how to track those packages down.
(Course...I had a package to WA that seemed to go missing in Bothell...
and that package Never Has turned up.)

In mid-May I sent a package to the UK..
a month later I got an email saying the package was never received.
So I plugged in the customs number
(that's the only number I have to track USPS Internationals)
and it showed that the package was 
'received' by my Post on the 19th.
That was it!

So...for weeks emails went back and forth...
I checked the tracking every week...same message...
until finally...I refunded the purchase and just sent a new print..on me.

Saturday I got the print back....
the original one.
It arrived in the UK on May 25th...where it 'sat'...until August 3rd.
It had a pink sticker on it that said...
"Not Called For...Non reclaime"

It was shipped back to me on the 3rd and I got it on the 8th!

I still don't know if the second package ever arrived or not!
The tracking just tells me it was sent...

I do sooooo wished there were a more reliable service with which to ship
my international packages???


ArtformTheHeart* said...

I've sent and received stuff from the USA. What I can say is that stuff can sit in UK customs for up to a month. The courier/Royal mail has to pay the customs duty on it before customs will release it to them to deliver. I've waited up to a month on many occassios for parcels from USA. I've then had near identical parcels with near identical value (around $500) sale through customs in a day or two with no import duty incurred!! Go figure. Royal mail are notoriously bad for losing parcels, accepting wrong signatures, delivering to wrong addresses etc. It stinks, especially when like you say, only buyers can rate on eBay and they basically blackmail you into a refund.

CMZ Art/ Rustic Goth said...

Thank you for your explanation. I've never really known how that all worked. Just can't figure out how some packages arrive in just a couple of days while others 'sit' for months...??
But then...I've had packages come up missing in the US too...never to be seen again???

ArtformTheHeart* said...

just as well the postal services aren't brain surgeons!! lol. I actually watched a documentary a while back about Royal Mail and it seems that most of their staff are temporary workers, had their hours and pay cut, understandable that their heart isn't in it but we do pay for a service.

The Words Crafter said...

As I was reading this, I was talking to my husband and told him that of all the packages I've received in the past few months, only one UPS guy has asked for a signature before leaving a package. One....I really hope you can sort this out and I hate that you've had to return the money. Sounds like that one package not only didn't get delivered, no note was posted either to let the recipient know a package was even there!

CMZ Art/ Rustic Goth said...

Yes...I'm just as frustrated for the buyer as I am for myself. They don't know me at they can't 'just' take my word that I have shipped their item...especially when the Post Office is inconsistent with checking the packages in (I have several packages that I mailed two weeks ago that simply say "no record"...even though I know that they were mailed..and even have it on a printed receipt.) Those types of packages are especially hard to track.
If there was a more reliable way to ship...and it were cost effective..I'd do it..especially for the Internationals.

Anonymous said...

I've been lucky so far that the only few things I have sent internationally has all been received and within a good time frame. Hopefully it will stay like that :)