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EcommerceBytes Soundoff: Letters to the Editor – May 9, 2021

Letters to the Editor column
Letters to the Editor column May 2021

In every issue, readers soundoff about issues important to them. From shipping issues to payment processing, from fees to online marketplace policies, EcommerceBytes Soundoff gives you a chance to air your views.

Dear Ina,
I had a customer that bought some spendy and heavy items from me. I shipped them USPS in 3 boxes, 2 Large flat-rate boxes and one Medium flat-rate box.

When I printed the label, I used a blue felt marker on the area below the barcode and printed: HEAVY 55 LBS, HEAVY 45 LBS, and HEAVY 35 LBS on the boxes all being 1″ tall block lettering. I also applied a USPS supplied sticker at the top of the label that has “CAUTION, Over 35 lbs”. I also applied a 6″X4″ sticker that reads “FRAGILE – Handle With Care”.

Each box was insured for $450. $50 free through USPS, and $400 through ShipSaver.

I then purchased, through PayPal, the USPS labels and added Signature Required on each label for $2.65 each.

This was added because I didn’t want the packages just dropped off at the front door. I wanted them to be handed to my customer.

Well, 2 were delivered on the 21st and the 35-pound box had been dropped, several times, from the looks of it. The contents were all strapped down to plywood so they wouldn’t shift in the box, but, one of the items was broken in the drop.

I asked my customer if the Postal person noted the damage when she delivered it, he said he never saw them delivered and they were at his front door when he found them.

When I looked the tracking up, it showed it was signed by D B****,(customers name).

The next day the last box was delivered and he saw her and asked if he should sign for this one, and was told: “You can not touch my scanner”. And again, tracking shows it was signed by my customer.

Needless to say, no need to pay for extra service from USPS.
OK. Rant over.
Anonymous

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Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

3 thoughts on “EcommerceBytes Soundoff: Letters to the Editor – May 9, 2021”

  1. I can completely understand the situation in the above letter. I have not found a shipping service yet that is paying any attention to care of the packages. And I think that much of this is caused by the push for profitability at the lowest labor cost. The employees of the USPS are picking up the burden while the USPS is struggling to become profitable. n my town, for instance, the mail delivery personnel use their own vehicles. They go into the office at 6AM to sort the mail for their routes. Then, they pack their cars with as many boxes & mail as possible & delivery until the vehicle is empty–and then go back & fill up their car again & again until their route ha been completed. Some are doing this 3 or 4 times a day. And, they’re working 6 days a week. In all weather–and we have some weather extremes, both summer & winter. Some things are working–in the 4 years I’ve been in business they have lost only one package. Yes, some are late, though all are shipped Priority Mail. But you couldn’t pay me enough to do their job.

  2. Why are we still paying for signature conformation when the customer can no longer sign??? I have noticed same thing. As for the damage, I left UPS years ago as they went crazy brutal after that Christmas season when they were left with tons of undelivered parcels. That was the breaking point (and I do mean breaking!). Post office can be brutal too but all you can do is pack like crazy. I now almost always double and even triple box.

  3. We print large format artwork. It is usually shipped in a tube (we ship unframed only). Once upon a time we used the USPS triangle priority mail tubes to save on purchasing tubes. That was a mistake, they were crushed more often than not. Then we went to ultra strong kraft tubes. Huge increase in cost over free, and the mail carriers are still trying to shove them into mailboxes (tubes are 38″ long). Tried squares too. Moved away from USPS for shipping artwork. Now it is UPS. Their drivers are used to getting out of the truck to deliver. We have a much better success rate with UPS.

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