USPS Shipping Issues - How to deal with customer???

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Hi everybody,

I'm doing a tiny launch using a minimum viable product to gauge demand for a physical product. I literally have 6 units. I sold one via a giveaway/email promotion on a forum and mailed it out same day via USPS Priority 2 day.

The buyer promised to put a review on the forum with photographs(I didn't ask him to, he just emailed me and said he would.). He's a user with 900 posts so his review would carry weight.

Now it's been 12 days and USPS hasn't delivered the item. I've been to their physical office twice and have been given a more detailed tracking document from their internal system. Apparently they're backed up and simply haven't sent the truck from my city to his yet. They can't give me a delivery estimate but assure me it'll get there.

He's now demanding a refund or that I mail out a new unit. I can't really afford to sacrifice another unit. Should I just refund his money and eat the cost? It's only $50.

This is part of widespread USPS issues and I have personally had packages delayed as well. I doubt most e-commerce sellers would give me a refund in this situation...

What do you guys think?
#customer #deal #issues #shipping #usps
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  • Profile picture of the author Serene Carmen
    Hi Andrew

    This is a tough one, given you have only 6 units. Could you get the product back from USPS and send it via another private courier service?

    Did you guarantee a certain shipping time when you made the sale? I would expect most people would understand shipping delays due to COVID.

    What you don't want is for him to leave a negative review on the forum (him saying the product never arrived or arrived late and you refused to give him a refund).
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  • Profile picture of the author DWolfe
    Originally Posted by Andrew Chase View Post

    He's now demanding a refund or that I mail out a new unit. I can't really afford to sacrifice another unit. Should I just refund his money and eat the cost? It's only $50.
    You should send him a copy of all the tracking information USPS has given you.. Before you issue a refund offer him a solution. Find out when the package is due to arrive via USPS than show it to him.

    Going forward into the future . Put a disclaimer on your listing. Here is a example - Note - Due to Winter Weather. Please allow for additional shipping delays. Purchase insurance form USPS incase the package is lost.

    This is on a Ebay listings that has bids and will sell tomorrow -
    "Shipping is via USPS First Class Mail. Please allow additional shipping time due to work schedule and possible winter weather delays."


    Make sure you get a copy of the tracking information from USPS. Take a cell phone photo of the receipt with the tracking information. Than forward him the photo.
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    • Profile picture of the author Andrew Chase
      Thanks guys.

      Not only did I send him the tracking when I shipped the order, but I physically drove to the post office to figure out what was going on. I got an even more detailed tracking document from them and emailed it to him!
      I think I made a mistake handling the situation for him.
      This is between him and the USPS.

      I gave "estimated shipping time" but I didn't have a specific disclaimer.

      If it was amazon they'd tell him to pound sand...

      It's been 13 days. I'm just going to give him the refund and thank him for his patients. He doesn't need 2x of my product.
      He will get it in due time.

      What will his review say? He gave it to me for free due to shipping? Hard to spin that too badly.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrew Chase
    Thanks for the replied guys. I gave him a refund, he received the product and then paid for it again!
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    • Profile picture of the author Serene Carmen
      Thats great news. Happy customer! Thanks for keeping us updated.
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