I heard from a reader of my Yard Salers newsletter (yardsalers.net) about her worst postal experience as an eBay seller, which led to her only negative feedback. Read on:
I have an interesting story. The only negative feedback I have ever received on Ebay came from a guy in Pennslyvania mad about not receiving his Olsen Stelzer boots that were "lost" by USPS in April of 2008. (and he was really MEAN about it!)
Of course they were not insured, so Paypal took money from my account and refunded the guy. It cost me about $50 with the $12.95 shipping, not to mention the $5 I paid for the boots. This was a reminder to me to just automatically insure anything that goes for more than $30 on Ebay.
Well..... in June of 2010, my mailman delivered two Priority Mail boxes to my door. My first thought was, "Great, someone gave me an invalid address or is returning something without telling me first." The postman said, "No these are from us."
I was confused as I recognized my weight and note scribbling on the side of one of the boxes. Come to find the boxes contained those boots from April 26, 2008 AND a pair of shoes from Feb. 2 of 2008 that I did not know never reached the buyer! (I am in the process of remailing the shoes to the lady who never got them, hoping she is still at that address. She paid less that $12 including shipping for those).
Enclosed was a letter stating the mail was recently recovered from an abandoned storage unit in my hometown of Sioux Falls, used by a suspect in a mail theft case who had already been sentenced to one year in prison! Turns out he had stolen over 25,000 parcels and letters over 1.5 years. He was supposed to be driving the mail from the Annex where I frequently drop my packages if I miss the mailman, to the airport just 2 miles away. How's that for a surprise!
I finally relisted the boots and they sold for $39.99 just the other day with several other watchers but no more bids. I am assuming the suspect never got around to opening my packages otherwise they would have never known how to get them back to me!
I asked Barbara if she could track them, and she said "Yes, I did have a tracking number but all it showed was the item was scanned here in Sioux Falls. I thought about sending the newspaper story online link about the theft to that guy and went thru all my old feedbacks to find the guy's user id but then thought he was so mean he wouldn't care anyhow. Most people are at least cordial when there is a problem. I guess tho, in retropect, USPS has only lost these two pkgs, maybe one more that was insured, and recently this year one flat rate envelope to Europe (which I did not insure and will make sure to do from now on).
There is a number I have to call (still haven't gotten around to that) where I think the PO will credit me the shipping expenses I paid, after all they got their money for it, I should be able to send the other item again at no cost."
I agree, USPS in general is very reliable, but when something goes wrong it is painful. I once had a buyer insist she did not receive the package, but my tracking info said it was delivered.
Another strange occurrence was what I called "The Strange Case of the Boomerang Shoes." A pair of Ferragamo shoes came back to me, returned, in the mail, weeks after I mailed them. I never heard from the buyer and couldn't track them down.