|Mon Sept 11 2017 21:12:57|
Sellers Worry about Shipping to Florida after Hurricane Irma
By: Ina Steiner
To ship or not to ship? Sellers began worrying about shipping to Florida in the days preceding Hurricane Irma's landfall, and the concerns continued today as reports of Post Office closures, flooding, and power outages made headline news.
On Ecommerce EKG
, a seller wondered why eBay was allowing freight-forwarders located in Florida to order items on behalf of international shoppers. "Why is eBay letting customer order item for shipment into Miami, Jacksonville, etc. from overseas customers when there is NO shipping service to those locations, does NOT make sense - We have to cancel those orders as most likely the forwarder in FL is also not functioning, no staff, no electric, no service to locations!!!"
Sellers on industry discussion boards wondered if they should hold off on shipping orders, but in several threads on eBay and Amazon, the consensus was to ship in a timely manner due to marketplace policies that penalize sellers for late shipments.
"We are shipping," wrote an Amazon seller. "The carriers will not deliver if they assume it's unsafe. Emailed the customers indicating that we were shipping but that delivery may be held up by the carrier. What else can you do?"
Some said not all parts of Florida are experiencing severe weather-related delivery issues and pointed colleagues to shipping carrier service alerts, such as this page
on the USPS website.
On the other hand, packages may be more likely to become damaged or go missing, and customers may no longer want an item if it has taken weeks to get to them.
What has been your experience shipping to locations impacted by weather events in the past? And if orders don't make it to recipients in a timely fashion due to delivery challenges, should sellers be prepared to accept returns weeks later, given the hardships people are going through?