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Thu Feb 25 2016 16:19:30

Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Claims

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I am an eBay seller with a question about FedEx SmartPost. We sell fine china, among other things, and whenever we ship china or anything breakable we double box the items in new, heavy duty, sturdy boxes with all interior sides well-padded with paper. The breakable items themselves are all wrapped in non-printed paper and bubble wrapped. 

We put fragile, glass etc. stickers on the outside (of course we know the shipper's don't "scan" these) hoping that the individual working for the shipper will take care as much as possible.

We have had much success with this for the most part; however, we have had 2 episodes within the past year, one where the box had holes punched into it and the item broken, and another that the box was mashed and two of three items broken. 

With FedEx SmartPost, the "claim" must be generated through eBay. One has no opportunity to submit photos or get witness testimonies from the buyer. 

In both cases the buyer sent photos to us with the box condition showing and all of our attempts to pack safely, clearly evident. I reimbursed the buyers immediately in both cases and "filed claim" such as it was. 

In the first incident, I never even got a determination from eBay, no matter how many calls I made, and certainly, no money back. The second "claim" is supposedly under review. The eBay rep I spoke with said she would "research" the issue and get back with me. I'm waiting.

From all that I do know, FedEx SmartPost is a contract with FedEx, USPS and eBay. Supposedly, when FedEx does the long haul and they hand it to USPS for the short haul, USPS will refuse it if it's damaged. To me, that means USPS should be liable for any damaged item. Of course, I could send FedEx Home Delivery or USPS, (which sometimes I do), but I sell a lot from east coast to west coast, and that can get extremely expensive and thus not competitive. FedEx SmartPost is quite a bit less.

My question is, have you had any other complaints about FedEx SmartPost? And is there a way to get any compensation, since I have visible proof that the items were well packed? Or I'm just out of luck all the way around, including my cost for the shipping materials and the cost of the original items, not to mention any profit.

Sorry this is so long, but thanks for any feedback regarding this issue.

Signed,
MoneyOutTheWindow




Comments (17) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl   Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Feb 25 20:31:46 2016

I don't have any personal experience with this, but I did a little research for you.  Take a look at this thread on Ebay.  There is some good information in there.  

Make sure you take a look at the 3rd post.  This would be for future stuff not your current problem.

https://community.ebay.com/t5/Shipping-Returns/Don-t-t
ry-to-file-a-damaged-claim-with-FedEx-SmartPost-read-my/td-p/19211893

It
does appear that you are in good company and that what you are experiencing is what most have as well.  I know that doesn't help you much.  It appears you just need to keep calling Ebay.  I'd call every couple of days until it is resolved.

Maybe this well help you as well.

http://pages.ebay.com/shipping/fedex/smartpost/tnc.htmlR>
Good
luck!  I think you are going to need it.

Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl   Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 26 00:23:37 2016

I ordered an item, on ebay and it was 20 miles away. The seller shipped that FedEx Smart Post. It took 5 days, if he had just put the 2# package through USPS it would have been two days max.

How much do you really want to save? That sucks.  

Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl   Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl

by: SparklyEyes7 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 26 00:59:37 2016

If you're seeing breakage, you aren't packing properly!

You need at least 2" of bubble wrap around each piece and never use paper as cushioning!  Paper compacts which allows for shifting, and that leads to breakage.

Are you on NextDoor?  I ask my neighbors for bubble wrap all the time.  I just picked up abut 2000 feet for free.

Win, win!  I got free bubble wrap and they're happy is didn't go in the landfill.

Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl   Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl

by: Postthoughts This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 26 01:25:50 2016

The only way to protect yourself with Fedex is to open your own account and purchase the label directly through Fedex.  Fedex only deals with the person who has the account  when it comes to claims.  So when you purchase the label through ebay, ebay is the account owner and ebay has to  to file the claim.  ebay can't provide their own customer service    with the poorly trained foreign phone banks reading canned answers that are not helpful.  They certainly won't take the extra steps to file claims on your behalf with photographs and emails from the buyer.    

Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl   Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Fri Feb 26 01:53:41 2016

>>USPS will refuse it if it's damaged. To me, that means USPS should be liable for any damaged item.<< I don't understand your thinking here. Why is the USPS liable when they refuse a damaged product to start with? If they never had it, why is it their fault something is broken? Sounds like it is all with FedEx here and if it means you need your own FedEx account to file damage claims, that is what you need to do. I don't understand why sellers that sell on ebay are so dependent on they for their postage. Go with Endicia or with a similar e/account. Endicia has their own insurance that is cheaper than the PO.

Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl   Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl

by: skl3255 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 26 01:55:07 2016

I use Fedex Smartpost for my heavier packages too.  But I buy insurance through a 3rd party carrier Shipsaver for breakables and more expensive items. At 79 cents per 100 dollars in value it's cheap enough to spring for the added security.

Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl   Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl

by: kimiverne This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 26 10:08:26 2016

I contacted FedEx for this exact issue. The "claim" button on eBay is just to make you feel secure. FedEx does not pay claims for Smartpost packages. They have a deal with USPS stating that USPS is not responsible for damaged items under their care. So, yes, the USPS can refuse an item if the can see damage or hear broken glass but, why would they do it? FedEx breaks it and the post office accepts it anyway because they have no liability. Why would they mess up a good business deal with FedEx by refusing packages and costing them money? If you want any protection, you have to use FedEx home delivery which is just as expensive as USPS, sometime more. It isn't right but that's how they conduct business. So, it's not that they will only pay eBay as some think. It's that they don't intend to pay anyone for a smartpost claim.  

Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl   Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl

by: val2525 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 26 10:52:50 2016

I can't help as a seller, but as a buyer, I LOATHE FedEx Smartpost. It takes twice as long to arrive as using just regualr USPS, Fed Ex or UPS. My Smartpost packages are thrown over my patio gate (I've been home and watched it firsthand). Regular UPS, FE and USPS will open the gate and put the item by the door. It's to the point now that I will find a retailer who offers delivery to the store and pay MORE for the item, to avoid Smartpost deliveries. (Most store deliveries are sent regular ground.)

Google it. You'll find a LOT of buyers who hate the product.

Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl   Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl

by: DIANE1104 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 26 11:42:49 2016

i don't know what it is currently but about  2 years ago I used a few time. Had a claim. Fedx says they did not damage. USPS say they did not. Ebay was of NO HELP. Lost money and decided I would never use again.

Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl   Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Fri Feb 26 15:33:53 2016

I, too, use SmartPost for large, bulky items going from west coast to east coast. The savings are substantial. Like @kimiverne, I also use ShipSaver for insurance. ShipSaver can easily be accessed through your eBay applications.  

Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl   Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Fri Feb 26 22:15:48 2016

This is a much deeper issue once you delve into the details and all the finger-pointing posts online. I have asked ShipSaver to weigh in on using this service. I'll post again when I get a response.

Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl   Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl

by: funkygrrl This user has validated their user name.

Sat Feb 27 14:57:06 2016

We no longer use Fedex Smartpost unless the item is not fragile.  The more often a package is moved from one truck or facility to another, the higher the chance of damage and with Smartpost, the packages are tossed about much more frequently than when you just use one carrier. When there is damage, everyone passes the buck -  Fedex and USPS can blame each other.  If you do decide to continue using Smartpost, then insure with a 3rd party insurer. However, we've found it's worth it to justpay the extra money for Fedex Home Delivery or USPS Priority Mail rather than deal with the headaches and hassles that go along with SmartPost.

Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl   Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl

by: fashionista This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 29 12:28:22 2016

O agree with sparkly eyes, it begins with the packing. I was told numerous times by UPS, pack it as if was going to be dropped from a 4 story window.
Sometimes it's not abuse by the carrier, but the packages go on conveyor belts, and if the one after yours weighs 70 lbs, it comes down like a bullet on those things.
I don't think fragile items should be wrapped in paper, and double boxing is only effective when you insulate the first box with bubble or peanuts,
The key is the packing, it starts there.

Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl   Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Mon Feb 29 14:08:25 2016

I wrote ShipSaver and this was their response:

''Hello, our SmartPost insurance works exactly the same as all of our other shipment methods. We treat it as an insured item the same as any other shipment method. If the item is lost and/or damaged it will be processed the same as all shipments. Since you use us, there is nobody to blame as that is why you insure through us. We also cover the first $100 and over.''

Conclusion: if you use a third party insurer like ShipSaver you have a breezy claims process without any of the finger pointing between USPS and FedEx.

Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl   Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl

by: Beth This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 1 08:10:07 2016

For all the folks "advising" the seller on packaging, I point to their statement that "The breakable items themselves are all wrapped in non-printed paper and bubble wrapped. "

NOW to MoneyOutTheWindow - the rest of these folks are right that you need packing peanuts cushioning that glass.  I'd also suggest NOT putting "fragile" stickers on anything.  It's like a bullseye to some carriers' employees, especially the USPS.  

And with the current environment on ebay's management team, I wouldn't ship via any method that adds 5 days to my shipping time.  Just my 2 cents.  I've only been shippng glass for 40 years. So I still have a lot to learn

Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl   Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl

by: lalaland This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 1 21:28:00 2016

sparklyeyes.
 It just burns me when people make comment like yours.
 Do you not understand that it makes no difference how much bubble wrap you use, when a tow motor fork goes through a box or a semi runs over a box, bubble wrap will not protect it.
 Also, a lot of us  use a whole lot more bubble wrap than what we ''can get free from our neighbor''.  Mine comes in 16 HUGE boxes at a time and I am a very small seller.
 This is another instance where one size does not fit all.

Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl   Seller Says eBay Ignores FedEx SmartPost Damage Cl

by: timeaftertime This user has validated their user name.

Sun Mar 13 11:47:30 2016

@ lalaland, I totally agree with your reply to sparklyeyes.I wish there was a way to send photos here, would love to post a couple taken of the condition of packages I have received.

All we can do is pack as defensively as possible. There is NO WAY to prevent damage from poor/sloppy handling.  My worst was a china figurine, broken when a round rod was driven straight through the middle of the package.

A friend's nightmare is a FORKLIFT driven right through the center of a professionally wood-crated carousel horse. UPS denies insurance claiming ''improper packing'' and now there is a $$$$ lawsuit.

As for the OP - GIVE YOUR BUYERS A CHOICE! It sounds like you are choosing for them. eBay offers multiple shipping options - give buyers the ability to choose! Smartpost is NOT good to use for fragile items in the first place, and many of us don't mind paying a few bucks extra to improve the chances of a sought-after/finally found fragile item making it to our homes!!

RE: the service -- I ABHOR the ''smartpost'' whether it is USPS or FedEx. You get the cheapest, sloppy handling and none of the services willing to pay on insurance claims. If you reimburse your customers (as you should, BRAVO), a few losses should generate interest in using safer services?

I ran into SMARTPOST first with a bad experience - my HOME post office is NOT where I get mail!! yet UPS delivered live plants to my ''HOME'' post office where I no longer receive mail (I have a PO box in a different PO), per the company DEMANDING a ''Street'' address.  The plants died, dried out over a weekend sitting in a PO where I do not get mail, until Monday when a clerk who knows me was kind enough to call.

Every time I order something from a company demanding a STREET address I phone and complain about SMARTPOST. If I am forced into it, I provide the street address of my POST OFFICE where I have a box (''unit #'').


 



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