Advice Needed - Package Says Delivered, Buyer Says They Did Not Receive It

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  1. Hi, I hope you all can help me with an ebay situation I am having. I mailed a package via Express about a week ago. The package was marked as delivered, and was scanned as delivered from the buyer's post office (the tracking actually reflects the buyer's post office's zip code...which is just one number off from the zip code that was printed on the label from Paypal. So, for instance....tracking says "delivered to 10001" when in actuality the zip code on the label was 10002).

    The problem is this....the buyer emailed a couple days ago stating that they never received the package. The package was under $250 so I did not opt for a signature, however there was $100 included in insurance since the package was mailed Express.

    I have contacted their post office whom told me that they scanned the package as delivered at their Express sorting facility, and the package was left on the buyer's doorstep since it was too big to fit in the mailbox. I have also asked the buyer to look around their yard, ask others in their home, neighbors, etc to see if someone else had picked up the package. But, every time I ask them if they have done any of this, the buyer does not answer my question....leading me to believe this may be some type of scam. They keep asking me if I have an update for them, but it seems like they have not bothered to look around.

    In the case of a chargeback or claim, what would happen under Seller Protection? I am most worried about the zip code that USPS used during delivery, although the label I printed was absolutely correct, and is viewable in Paypal.

    Thanks so much! Michelle
  2. I don't know anything about US zip codes but isn't it odd that it was delivered to a different zip code to that of the buyer?
  3. Yes, it is strange. I initially wondered if maybe they had a mail hold or picked up the package early from the post office, and that is why it showed delivered at the post office rather than their zip code. Anyone heard of a scam like that?
  4. Express packages required signature unless you opted out of that. Did you opt out?
  5. It's not uncommon for different sections of a city to have different zips within that city. And in fact, the post office sometimes makes changes to zips (and +4 numbers) so it's possible that might have been what happened also.

    In a case like this where it's sounding suspicious, you might respond with a note along the lines of what I suggest here:

    And a C&P of the suggested note:

    Dear buyer,

    I'm sorry to hear that you haven't received the item. Since you haven't received it, feel free to open an "item not received" dispute.

    According to, tracking number fill in blank with d.c. number was delivered on fill in blank with date and time of delivery . Since tracking shows a delivery scan by your mail carrier, that means that there has been theft or fraud taking place after it was delivered.

    USPS takes incidences of mail theft very seriously as it's a federal crime so I will file a complaint with them for the theft of your package. Please ask your family if anyone collected the package. If I don't hear from you by morning, I shall begin the investigation. I will also forward USPS inspectors your contact information as they will need your cooperation.


    Although I don't know whether this is a scam or if she really hasn't received it, what I've found when "investigation," "fraud," "federal crime" are mentioned, if it's a scam, the package often "shows up." And if it's a legitimate missing item, the buyer wouldn't mind helping with the investigation.
  6. Thank you so so much for the very helpful replies. So, even if I tell her to open a case for item not received, and the tracking number clearly shows as delivered to her city (but the delivery zip code is the post office's), you think I would still be covered? I'd hate to lose on some type of technicality, since the post office goofed up on their scan.

    I have a very strong feeling that this buyer has the package, but was trying to see if she could get something for free. :tdown:
  7. Thank for your the thread, I will be sure to read through it!

    And, the note you suggested is absolutely wonderful. I am definitely going to use this with her, then see what she says! Maybe the package will then randomly just "show up"! :yes:

  8. You may loose the case. Ebay is very black and white. Send the note as BB suggested, Hopefully that will help.
    I also just had a case, where the package showed out for delivery in the correct town and zip and then scanned as delivered at a near by zip code. After I called USPS and opened a claim, The carrier swore that she delivered the item to the correct address and that her scanner was not set correctly. Regardless, I still had no choice, but send the replacement to the buyer.
  9. #9 Feb 14, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014
    Just wanted to come back and give an update. I sent the buyer an email similar to what was posted above, and again told her to ask around to see if anyone had picked up the package for her. She wrote a couple word response back and again, addressed absolutely nothing I wrote in the mail (she did not say she had looked for the package, did not mention anything about mail theft and filing a report, etc) . Very strange. If I were in her shoes, and it was my package that had been stolen, I would be very concerned and want to do something about it so something like that did not happen in the future.

    BUT, she did ask if I would refund her $100 of the purchase amount since that is the amount of automatic insurance included on the package. Keep in mind, the item was worth double the guaranteed insurance amount. If she didn't have the package and it was in fact stolen, wouldn't she be concerned about getting the FULL amount back, rather than just $100? I am not 100% on this, but I do not think the post office would even ok an insurance claim since the package was marked as delivered.

    The real kicker, and something of concern - this morning the same person just bought something from one of my other listings!! :noggin:
  10. Why would she buy something else if she did not receive the first one? Things that make you go hmmmm. I would contact EBay and let them know she is asking for a partial refund based on a non-receipt (why would part of your money be all right?) and then has purchased another item. That would make me very uncomfortable. Regardless of price, if you complete the transaction, I would be having signature confirmation on anything sent to her.
    Others will be along with better advice than mine!
  11. As I think someone mentioned, Express automatically comes with signature confirmation (and insurance requires it too). When you look at the USPS tracking, it should say "Signed for by ___________" (someone's name). If for some reason the Express tracking doesn't show this, enter in the insurance number and see what that says.
  12. This sounds very suspicious. I would cancel the bid she has put on another one of your items, and email her to say that you have gone ahead and opened the investigation. Call the bluff.
  13. I think your buyer is a scammer and got the package.

    In this post, I recalled a similar experience. I caught my buyer when she listed the item (which she claimed not to have received) 1.5 years after telling me she didn't receive it.

    At this point, I'd block her so she can't do any more damage and send the following.

    Dear buyer:

    Since $100 partial refund won't help you get the lost package that shows as delivered, I will go ahead and contact USPS to open an investigation. Certainly you shouldn't be out the rest of the money you spent for an item you didn't receive and I shouldn't be out $100 for an item I sent and is showing as delivered. It's not fair to either of us.

    Once the authorities get involved, they will probably be contacting you and I'm sure that with theft of US mail, they'll get to the bottom of this by the time they complete their investigation.


    If she hasn't paid for the purchase she just made, I'd add a comment about not sending that item since there seems to be a problem with either her address or someone stealing mail.

    AND BBL HER NOW!! (Actually, I'd like to have this buyer's ID to add to my own BBL because I'm not at all comfortable with her story.)
  14. Holy cow, what a mess. Sorry this is happening to you OP *hugs* Yeah...most def. block her through Ebay and continue on with figuring out just this current sent package. Those emails BB have outlined are brilliant and hopefully will get this buyer to cooperate eventually.

    I swear, I love so many things on Ebay, but am so frightened of it since I had a scammer buyer years back who eventually and thankfully backed off, disappeared and never got to go through with her evil pans for me, lol. The advice of our fellow tPFers are invaluable, lemme tell you. Hey, good ppl look out for each other, what can I say?! It's such a gamble on there and many times things turn out wonderful and smooth and then...egh, stuff like this. Give and take I guess. Hope this all works out for you and keep us posted! *more hugs* :heart:
  15. When I saw the title I thought, 'USPS did it again'. I had a few items marked as 'delivered' by USPS prior to receiving them hours or a couple of days later. It can be annoying.

    However, the request to get the insurance money sounds very weird. I would expect that the buyer would want the seller's help in getting the situation with USPS clarified and and to receive the item purchased. Good luck OP!