At what point do you give up on a Media Mail package ever arriving?

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by Briskit, Feb 21, 2023.

  1. Briskit

    Briskit “I don’t know karate, but I know ka-razy!” Thread Starter

    Location:
    St Kilda
    Never had a problem with USPS....until now. :cry:
    Media Mail Parcel shipped from NY on 26th Jan, travelling to OR.
    Made it as far as Seattle, Washington and no further.
    That was 18 days ago, tracking just sits on "In transit - arriving late."

    Should I give up hope?
    Is service particularly bad at the moment? I know you guys have been having some wild weather.
    Seller ("Hi-fi Hits") has not been particularly helpful.
    I get the feeling he didn't insure the package, and is going to let me eat the loss. :(
    Was surprised to read that Media Mail provides no coverage at all anymore without insurance.
    I was sure you used to get $100 cover?
    Could be learning some hard lessons here....
     
    Gramps Tom likes this.
  2. Ken Dryden

    Ken Dryden Forum Resident

    I had a package take 42 days to get from Chattanooga, TN to Myrtle Beach, SC. There are certain hubs where media mail goes to sit for weeks at a time.

    So don’t give up hope yet, but consider paying for insurance for future orders.
     
    stoopid, Briskit and Gramps Tom like this.
  3. Gramps Tom

    Gramps Tom Forum Resident

    I believe Media Mail never included insurance, and not certain insurance is even offered at that service level.

    The very few items I have sold and shipped here only goes out via Priority mail. Priority includes up to $50 coverage (used to be $100 iirc). I don't want these packages banging around post offices a minute longer than necessary. Even so, I have made 1 claim for insurance for a $25 valued item, and took 3 visits to the PO and about 2 hours of my time. Legitimate successful USPS Insurance claims are far from slam-dunks.

    I occasionally purchase used cd's on AMAZON from Goodwill Minnesota, located in Minneapolis and shipped via Media Mail. I live in the MPLS-St. Paul suburbs, and it takes less time to receive a disc from Britain or Australia than Minneapolis. The typical route is Mpls, Des Moines, Iowa, somewhere in Chicago, St. Paul distribution center for a few days, my local post office, then my mailbox. Add a couple weekends and a holiday - well, you get the idea. Shippers that use DHL (? how that is a necessary or good step escapes me) further constipates the delivery times.
     
    Briskit likes this.
  4. Gramps Tom

    Gramps Tom Forum Resident

    Respectfully, the non-delivered package is not the shipper's fault if shipped using the agreed-upon method within the listed time frame.
    If you use paypal, I believe their fees cover undelivered items, so perhaps start a claim with paypal - they will likely make it right with you. I'm unsure if they ding the seller, but I would guess not if properly & timely shipped.
     
    TheGreenGroove likes this.
  5. Ken Dryden

    Ken Dryden Forum Resident

    Insurance can be purchased for a media mail shipment, I have purchased it for years. I don’t recall media mail ever including insurance.

    Tracking only helps so much. One Discogs sale that I made resulted in a package bouncing around for over two months before the padded envelope was returned to me torn open, empty and in a sealed plastic bag. I am pretty sue it was stolen and not caught in machinery, as I tape mail securely. I switched to boxes not long afterward.

    Another box sent to me from Myrtle Beach arrived so wet it must have sat in a puddle in a mail bin. The tray card for one cd was ruined. I started reusing plastic bags to keep CDs dry.

    Me other experience with mail left came when a package was show as delivered in my informed drr Eff livery, but it wasn’t in the mailbox. It was a purchase so I figure it was a promo cd sent by a musician, since I was unable to determine any publicist or label that sent it. Reverse tracking doesn’t work so I couldn’t even be sure where it was sent from originally.
     
    Briskit likes this.
  6. bayen

    bayen Forum Resident

    Location:
    philadelphia Pa
    Tedster, Echo and Briskit like this.
  7. Ken Dryden

    Ken Dryden Forum Resident

    14 years is a long time to wait, did you get a refund from the seller or was it insured? It is hard to imagine how it was misplaced for so long.

    Gutfeld! recently shared an anecdote with an added punchline about a letter mailed in 1916 in England that recently reached its destination, or “as the USPS would say, ahead of schedule.”
     
    Briskit likes this.
  8. mstoelk

    mstoelk Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Iowa
    Have you created a missing mail inquiry on the usps website. That almost always gets the package located and moving once again, I have had this happen over a dozen times in the past couple of years. Without fail usually within 2 to 3 days after submitting the request the package begins moving again.
     
    Briskit likes this.
  9. ggergm

    ggergm Letting the days go by, water flowing underground.

    Location:
    Minnesota
    When things get backed up at a postal facility, Media Mail just sits. It's Fourth Class mail, which is their lowest. 14 years is a lot of sitting. A month is not. I've had records take that long to get to me or one of my customers. It sucks but you're not paying for speed with Fourth Class postage.
     
    Briskit likes this.
  10. sharedon

    sharedon Forum Zonophone

    Location:
    Boomer OK
    I waited a year and a half for one, myself. USPS search was useless, they stopped looking.
     
  11. Ken Dryden

    Ken Dryden Forum Resident

    Since I started making insurance mandatory for Discogs buyers, I have found that packages get to them within 7 days, usually ahead of the USPS estimate. No list or grossly delayed packages so far.
     
    Briskit likes this.
  12. SJP

    SJP Forum Resident

    Location:
    Anaheim
    This is factually inaccurate. The shipper is in fact responsible until the item is delivered. There is zero mechanism within PayPal for their fees to cover a non-delivered item. Open a PayPal case in such a situation and the seller is liable for the reimbursement to the buyer.

    Media mail can be very fast and efficient. Yes, there were times during the pandemic when media mail was literally an adventure as we watched tracking but lately, it has been extraordinarily reliable.
     
  13. Gramps Tom

    Gramps Tom Forum Resident

    I made a paypal payment seconds ago, and in the verbiage on the final payment screen, if payment is made for goods/service, the buyer is covered. As I stated, I am unsure if the seller gets dinged.
     
    Briskit likes this.
  14. SJP

    SJP Forum Resident

    Location:
    Anaheim
    Right, the buyer is protected. Only that the seller is held financially responsible.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2023
    Briskit likes this.
  15. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    About two months. Shouldn't take more than two weeks, but sometimes things get messed up.

    PayPal will let you file a case for 6 months after purchase, so it's a d---head move to file one before two months, if tracking shows that the seller actually got it into the system and shipped promptly. You're covered, be patient.
     
    Briskit likes this.
  16. stoopid

    stoopid Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    I have some small items from eBay that are trickling in from 3+ weeks ago. I recall reading somewhere that USPS was intentionally slowing mail delivery on the lower shipping tiers to save costs starting in 2023. I have definitely seen this bear out in the items I've been purchasing that were not sent priority mail or faster.
     
  17. Briskit

    Briskit “I don’t know karate, but I know ka-razy!” Thread Starter

    Location:
    St Kilda
    Hey guys,

    Thanks for all your thoughtful / informative responses.
    I have lodged a "missing parcel search" request with USPS website.
    Fingers crossed that gets things moving again.

    I'll be making sure any media mail packages have added insurance going forward.
     
    cwitt1980 likes this.
  18. I had a very nice print get lost in the mail for 11mos during covid. Then it just arrived on my doorstep without warning.
     
  19. Comicsanstombstone

    Comicsanstombstone Forum Resident

    Location:
    LA
    I just had a media mail package (something I sold on ebay) go astray, a missing mail request hasn’t remedied the situation. eBay refunded the buyer, I suspect they invariably do, even if the fault doesn’t lie with the seller. I wouldn’t mind so much, but the buyer was brusque and rude in his messages, like I’m responsible for the vagaries of the USPS.
     
    stoopid likes this.
  20. mstoelk

    mstoelk Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Iowa
    Yeah when a buyer holds you accountable for USPS issues is pretty absurd. Most all buyers who have had a package go astray have not held me to the fire, I mean I do what I can within my power. But I see feedback comments like "took two weeks to arrive", etc.. assuming the seller shipped within a reasonable time frame, it's fairly ridiculous to give a seller negative or neutral feedback because usps media mail happened to take a couple weeks for delivery
     
  21. Ken Dryden

    Ken Dryden Forum Resident

    The only thing a buyer should be complaining about is a failure to promptly send tracking information, the seller isn’t responsible for the slowness of delivery. My goal as a seller is shipping on the first weekday after the sale, I almost always send the tracking within an hour or two if shipping.

    If a buyer wants the option of a faster shipping option, that should be brought up prior to the sale or payment. Not all will be willing to change their shipping method but it is worth asking.
     
    stoopid likes this.
  22. stoopid

    stoopid Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Anything of value goes first class with tracking, anything more than $20 gets insurance. I've had some purchases and sales go missing in the past few years in various ways. It's made me wise to the glory of CYA. I'm not selling things as a business so it doesn't affect my bottom line and some of the additional cost is built into the sale price and/or handling fee. If the buyer doesn't want to pay the extra for the peace of mind, they can get the thing elsewhere.
     
  23. Briskit

    Briskit “I don’t know karate, but I know ka-razy!” Thread Starter

    Location:
    St Kilda
    Just checking in with a few updates/comments:

    After filing a "missing package request" thingy, calling the USPS, and some email correspondence, my lost package showed up again in tracking and has now arrived at destination. Appears to have gotten severely damaged during transit. Had a sticker with a kind of "Sorry, not sorry - your good friends at USPS" message attached. Thankfully the records were still fine.

    During the same period I had problems with another two media mail packages! One the tracking got stuck again, even though it had been delivered. The other tracking said it was delivered but it never was. I spoke to a local business owner and he said he's getting inundated with packages daily, that are not addressed to him. Meanwhile many packages sent to him are ending up at different addresses. I don't want to get political, but I read quite a bit of bad press about the current postmaster general Louis DeJoy. Theres some theories that the Republican party intended to destroy the USPS from within so it could be privatised. If this is the case it would seem it's starting to work. How very disappointing. :cry:

    In more positive news, the most recent lost package was an order from Plaid Room Records. When I contacted them to double check the shipping address was correct, they sent out replacement items, via UPS, without even asking. Cannot recommend them highly enough. Always outstanding service.
     
  24. Only one time where I've had an experience with a Media Mail package taking more than two months for me to receive it. It was [ultimately] because the packaging was a bit flimsy (and got eaten a bit by some [sorting?] machinery early on). Tracking stalled at near the point of shipment for around two months (actually went off-tracking for a few weeks and then suddenly .... It arrived in an over-size plastic baggie containing all the chewed-up bits as well as all the bits that remained intact. Strangely enough, all CDs were playable and all inserts were in fantastic condition. The jewel boxes were crushed / splintered.

    Over the course of three + decades of mail order transactions ... I consider myself extremely lucky to only have this small negative experience.
     
    Briskit likes this.
  25. Ken Dryden

    Ken Dryden Forum Resident

    If you are sending a package media mail:

    Use a cardboard box with padding, padded envelopes are easily torn open.

    Tape every edge.

    Don't forget to put the address and return address inside the package.

    Insure it if it is too much money to lose.

    Place the contents in a zipped plastic bag to prevent water damage. I've already had two packages with waterlogged CDs because they were likely left in a puddle in a mail bin.
    ---------
    If you are a buyer, offer to pay for insurance, if it is an item that you don't want to see delayed or lost, like an item on your bucket list you've been seeking for years. I've yet to have a major delay since I started adding insurance to what I ship.

    If you are placing an order, consider upgrading to express mail or UPS if you have a large order.
     
    Briskit likes this.

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