Although we are not being hit as hard as other shippers, the holiday season always leads to a spike in reports of lost and stolen packages. This season has seen an exponential increase as even more people are doing their shopping online as a means to stay safe during the pandemic.
There is little we can do to ensure your package is not stolen. Such steps as adding notes on where to leave the package will not change the carrier’s methods or behaviors. We here rely upon USPS for all package shipping. Ordinarily this adds a layer of assurance, as our packages are generally small enough to be placed inside mailboxes. In larger cities, like our home Chicago, carriers have the ability to place packaged inside multi-unit apartment and condo buildings. We can also ship to P.O. Boxes, where UPS and FedEx cannot. Yet, even that does not prevent your neighbors from creating a risk. With the negative changes applied by the Post Master General that has deeply impacted the carriers’ ability to perform their job effectively and efficiently, causing delays and poor actions to add to these issues.
Here are some helpful hints to aid you in ensuring your packages get to you:
- Track your package! This is the single best way to monitor activity of your package.
- If available in your area, sign up for INFORMED DELIVERY with the USPS. This will give you tracking details sent to you via text or email.
- Be available when your package is set to arrive. If you cannot be there, have a reliable neighbor or friend keep a lookout.
- Have your package delivered to another address, like work or a neighbor that is always home – if this is possible.
- If you have a small, mail slot like, mailbox; work with your carrier on the best place they are easily able to access to leave your package.
- Or, leave a note. This is something we do to help our carrier locate the packages we ship as we must leave them in a secure lobby.
- If you live in a multi-unit building, communicate with management about concerns over safety. Although they may deny it, they carry some liability.
If your package says DELIVERED, but you cannot find it:
- CONTACT US IMMEDIATELY! By delaying, you limit our ability to act and resolve the issue satisfactorily. The more days pass after the date of delivery, the less likely we are able to replace your order.
- Contact USPS immediately! Let them know you did not get your package despite the notice of delivery. Unfortunately, some USPS carriers are cutting corners in their behaviors that are leading to errors in noting a package is delivered. They are under increased pressure to cut hours and delivery more in less time with less pre-sorting activity (measures created by the PMG). Some have been scanning all their packages as being DELIVERED at once, despite not actually delivering all of them or delivering to the wrong address.
- Look everywhere for your package. Under a shrub, behind your home, tucked away in a nook. Ask your neighbors.
You may ask us that if these situations are happening, why we still rely upon the USPS as our carrier. The answer is easy, with over 30 years experience in order fulfillment using all major carriers, the issues with USPS are minuscule when compared to the every day culture of UPS & FedEx. Those larger carriers cater more to Business to Business and treat residential as an annoyance. The smaller the package the less care is given to it. They cannot legally access a building that is locked or requires permission to access, so in those situations they will leave packages ANYWHERE they feel like it. In our market, FedEx is prone to leave a package on the edge of the sidewalk and not even attempt to enter a gate or ring a doorbell – this is their idea of contactless delivery. If your package is lost, damaged or stolen they will push responsibility back on you and the shipper. To save money, shippers will not insure shipments and not help in any manner to resolve the situation. Shippers are now refusing to issue any refunds or offer replacement – as it is hurting their profits as these issues are on a significant rise. We insure every shipment or are willing to accept the loss for lower value shipments. All of these headaches come with a much significantly higher costs that we would have to absorb into our selling prices and our shipping fees.
How we resolve lost or stolen packages:
We will happily replace any reported lost or stolen package once. A caveat is, you must report the loss within 36 hours of when the package was set as delivered before we will process a reship. From there, we will wait 24 hours before shipping to give room that it may be discovered – and please notify us immediately if you do discover your package. You must make every attempt to ensure that the mailbox that we are shipping to is secure and mail is checked and removed in a reasonable amount of time (within 24 hours of delivery). We will only replace/reship once. If this is an ongoing issue, you will need to find a means to ensure safe and secure delivery of your parcels before we can ship to your address again. We cannot be liable for unsecured mail delivery areas or negligence by carriers or building management.
In closing, since our founding we have had only 2 reported lost packages and fewer than 5 damaged – and of those, 2 were not paid orders but samples we sent out. This information is being shared to help bring awareness to this issue affecting every shipper and be a reminder of actions that can be taken to minimize the damage.