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How to deal with late delivery of an item that isn't your fault...

So folks, I have a question, I'm sure it's been asked a million times before, but I have never actually encountered this situation myself before...until now! I had a package sent out and was given a timeline by the postmaster of approximately 7-10 working days, so I told the customer that it should take at least 10 working days to reach her. It is now 10 working days later and the tracking from the post office seems to show it's no where near being delivered to her...actually it doesnt show much other than it has entered the destination country and thats it! So, maybe I'm jumping the gun here, but I NEVER deliver late and would hate to have this poor customer be my first....what would you do if a package is delivered later than you told the customer to expect and it wasn't of your doing? I'm not sure if i should bring it up with her, ask her outright, or just leave it till she asks me, if it is late do I offer some kind of compensation??? I'm at a loss....any suggestions much appreciated!

6 Responses

Never promise when something will be delivered--you can only speak to what you can control.

Tell buyers when you'll ship. You can tell them what the PO says about delivery expectations, but note that unless someone pays for the guaranteed delivery date service, there's no way to be sure of when the package will arrive.

International shipping is tricky with time lines, since sometimes a package can get to its destination in 7 to 10 days, the same package to the same destination might take 4 to 6 weeks. Weather delays, security issues, customs departments... they all play a role.

Often tracking internationally doesn't show day to day progress. In the US, unless we pay a lot for shipping, once it leaves the US we're usually blind. :)

I'd wait for the buyer to contact you, or send an email after at least 3 weeks just to check in--I'd still think it might arrive after that, but it sounds like you are anxious to make things right with her. You can let her know if at that point she doesn't have it, that you'd like to see if it arrives in another week or two.
I would probably message her and tell her that the post is a bit slow and the tracking shows the parcel has reached her country but could be another few days before it is delivered.

I had a lovely seller recently who was so concerned her parcel hadn't arrived and I was able to tell her to relax and it would get here soon. It took another week or so but as GoTo says it is something we can't control and I think most people know that.
GoTo...thank you for replying, you have put my mind at ease because that is exactly what i was thinking of doing. I actually didn't promise her anything, I only mentioned what was communicated to me by the postmaster. I made it quite clear that it was what i was informed. However, you know how these things can go sometimes...I just hope the customer understands the issues with international shipping. Thanks again...I can eat my breakfast in peace now! :)
Thanks Liz...appreciate your comment. I guess I'm just worried because it's my first experience with this.
Glad to share--it can be stressful, but I admit, at this point I no longer watch tracking to see if something gets delivered unless it's realllly fragile or realllly expensive. :) I'd spend all morning checking tracking if I did, and I expect a buyer will let me know if there's a problem so I just let that go.
I don't ever promise delivery by a certain date, unless the buyer is paying extra for that service.

I do let the buyer know when the package will be shipped.

When it comes to delivery dates, I will tell them what the Post office tells me and emphasize that the delivery time is just an estimate.

I've had packages take as little as 5 business days to Australia and over 6 weeks to England. You just never know.

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