Most of my deliveries go just as planned, arriving safely and promptly to my buyers.

Occasionally however, there’s an issue with the delivery that I have to deal with.

Broken or damaged

No matter how well you bubble-wrap, and box, and pack an item, sometimes they still get broken during shipping. When a buyer messages me that their item arrived broken, the first thing I do is ask for a picture of the item. You will from time to time, have a buyer who is trying to get a full or partial refund for their purchase, when there is nothing wrong with it. Asking for a picture solves this problem. If they were just trying to get their item for free, after you ask for pictures you won’t hear from them again.


If you receive pictures of the item and it actually is broken, then you have a couple of choices. You can send out another if you have a duplicate in stock. If it’s broken beyond use, a full refund is in order. Sometimes it’s still usable, for instance, a crushed box makes an item un-giftable, but the item in the box is still fine. I then offer a partial refund after seeing a picture, if they wish to keep it, a full refund if they wish to return it.

Tracking numbers

Tracking numbers are important tools for those of us who ship packages. These numbers are associated with a certain package. Each time the Post Office handles the package they scan the tracking number. At any time, a buyer can click on the tracking number and see the location where their package was last scanned. It also proves for a seller that a package was shipped on time, and that it was delivered to the correct address.


Didn’t receive

If a buyer files a claim with eBay stating that they didn’t receive their item, all I have to do is show that the tracking number shows it was delivered to their address. My burden has been met as soon as the Post Office proves delivery. There have been instances that they buyer has then found that their postal carrier actually delivered it to their neighbor, or took it back to the Post Office because no one was at home. Either way, if you can show through tracking that the item was delivered to the address given, your burden has been met.

Not too long ago I sold a Nerf Howler to a buyer. I received this message:


I let the buyer know that I had another Howler that I would immediately send out to him, and I did not ask for him to send back the defective one. It would cost me for the shipping, and it would then just be thrown away. About a week later I received another message from this buyer stating that he hadn’t received the replacement. I went to the tracking number, and to my dismay, it had never been scanned.

Computer errors

It seems odd that absolutely no one scanned this package anywhere in the system. My guess is there was a computer glitch with the tracking number and the scans just didn’t register. I don’t know if the item was delivered. Was lost in the mail, or stolen somewhere between here and there, and I never will. Because I couldn’t prove delivery, I just apologized and refunded his purchase price. The cost of doing business is to sometimes take these losses.

These things happen quite rarely. The packages I ship usually arrive on time, and in perfect condition.

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