I purchased eBay item, sent without insurance, now it is missing, what do I do?

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  1. I purchased a bracelet for $450 on eBay, the seller was very nice and sent it quickly. Tracking showed that it arrived on Tuesday, but when I got home there was no sign of it, but our regular mail was in the mailbox. I emailed the seller immediately to let her know what was going on, but that there was every hope that it would be found.
    I called the post office be next day with the tracking number, and they said they would look into it. It was scanned as being left at our house, but it was not there. Our postman is know to scan the packages as delivered before he actually delivers them sometimes (I will be home and see that a package was "delivered" according to tracking, and then he postman actually brings the package to the house a couple of hours later). So I was hopeful initially that it had just been left behind In the truck by accident. The postmaster I was speaking to said that he would check with the man who does our route and see if he knew where it was.
    The next day I called and the postmaster said that maybe it was left at the wrong house, so I should check with my neighbors and the postman would check also. (We have received packages on our doorstep for our neighbors on more than one occasion, and once I found a package of ours left out in the rain along the side of the street where it must have been dropped). Unfortunately, this time it was nowhere to be found. I started to wonder if it was stolen from our porch, or if it was dropped somewhere along the road and stolen from there.
    I called the post office again and was told that the postman said that he did not find the package at the neighbors' houses (and neither did I when I searched and rang doorbells myself), and that he did drop it at our house. They said that the next step would be to contact eBay and that the seller could ask to be reimbursed by them (the post office) since the package went missing. I called and found out that the seller did not get insurance because it wa under $500. eBay told me that they would have my back and that the seller should have purchased insurance or signature required so it couldn't be lost or stolen. They told me to wait 4 days and then they would be able to give me a resolution.
  2. At this point I was feeling so guilty, because it sounded like eBay was going to give me a refund and then then seller would be out the money just because she didn't get insurance. I sent her another message explaining the situation and my apologies and that I would continue to search the neighborhood for the package. In response she (in a nice way) sent me a photo she had taken of the package which was in a fairly large white USPS priority mail box (not easy to be lost by USPS, I would think). However, eBay told me 4 days, so I still had hope it would be found somehow.
    I came home tonight (2 hours after I last spoke to eBay), and I had one email saying that the seller had asked them to step into resolve the problem. I also had another email that said eBay had decided not to refund my money.
    I'm not sure if there's anything I can do here.
    It would be really sad if the seller lost the money because she didn't do anything wrong, but at the same time I shouldn't be out the money because I didn't do anything wrong either. I really wish she had gotten insurance or signature confirmation! I have no idea if the package was scanned as delivered prior to being dropped off and then lost somewhere, or if it was actually dropped off and then stolen by someone.
    Any ideas? USPS did tell me that priority mail comes with $50 insurance. Am I eligible to get a refund of at least that, or is only the seller eligible for that refund?
  3. The first person you spoke to at ebay was completely wrong. The seller is never required to buy insurance, and she doesn't have to get a signature for a package that is worth less than $750. Delivery confirmation is all that is needed for ebay to take the side of the seller. Your seller may be sympathetic but she isn't responsible, and I bet she knew this since she escalated the case. I think the amount of insurance, whether it is $50 or $450, is immaterial because you can't win an insurance claim with USPS if scanning shows it was delivered.

    I would complain at the post office about your delivery man scanning packages before they are delivered. I remember hearing that some carriers have GPS in their scanners, so they can tell where the package was physically when it was scanned. If it wasn't scanned while at your address and there is proof of it, you might have a chance of winning with USPS.

    Would the box she shipped the bracelet in fit in your mailbox? If so, I doubt anyone stole it unless they were watching it get delivered. It seems highly unlikely.

    I'm very sorry this happened to you. I've ordered many, many items on ebay over the years and rarely had a problem. I had two packages go missing on the same day, both were scanned as delivered. I never found them. Luckily, it wasn't very much money.

    Your very last resort is to contact your credit card company. Some credit cards will reimburse for items that are lost or stolen.
  4. Thank you so much for the information. I didn't know about eBay selling or shipping requirements other than what the representative told me on the phone, so it's really helpful to find out the details. That is an excellent idea to go to the post office and see if they use the GPS scanner to see where it was actually scanned. My husband also had an idea that for future more expensive purchases on eBay I should only bid on items that are not shipped via USPS, unless the seller is willing to use signature confirmation (and of course I would be willing to pay more in shipping).
    The box was large, about the size of a shoe box, so it would not fit in the mailbox.
    I used PayPal for the purchase, and it is linked to my American Express card, so that might be a possibility. I will wait until there is no chance of a resolution through the post office and then think about that option.
    It's not the seller's fault, it's not paypal's fault, it's not American express's fault, so it seems like the post office should be the one to make it right if it can be shown that they did not actually deliver the package. If it was stolen, then it is no one's fault and I guess it is just my bad luck.
    Thanks again :smile:
  5. You need to go to the post office in person and sort this out. I once had a package scanned delivered in a different zip code than mine. I went to the Post offer and they found it waiting in someone else's box because they misread the address. Bottom line, they need to find your package.
    *MJ* likes this.
  6. I'll just add commentary about ebay. I wish they stop pretending to know what they're talking about when they respond to callers.
    They give false hope to callers and 90% of the time, the information they spew in inaccurate.

    Your mail carrier and his postmaster are responsible although the likelihood of their standing behind their error. is small.
  7. I had a similar issue a few months ago, luckily it was a cheap item. The package was scanned as delivered but not actually placed in my mailbox. We have all of our mailboxes in the same place (I think 120 mailboxes and 18 parcel lockers) and they all lock so there is no chance for anyone to open someone else's. USPS did tell me they had GPS coordinates for the delivery but even if their GPS was fine enough to have a separate coordinate for every column, that would still leave 18 mailboxes and 2 parcel lockers so impossible to tell who may have received it (mailbox number do not correspond to house numbers and there are no names on them either).
    When I pointed this out to the PO manager (?) who called me and told them I did not think they could prove delivery, I was accused of claiming the package was not delivered when they have proof (their scan) that it was. The woman was really nasty and it was an unpleasant experience to be treated like a lying thief when this was the first and only package I had such issues with. Therefore I totally agree with BB, they will not stand behind any error they may have made.

    Because this was a cheap item the credit card company immediately credited the amount but they did ask me why I did not contact the seller. I told them that since USPS scanned the package delivered the seller is not responsible - I did not want the seller to have to pay for something like this.

    I think you could either contact your credit card company (just make sure you tell them the package was scanned delivered so the seller is off the hook) or check your homeowner/renter's insurance policy regarding their theft coverage.
  8. +
    Agree here...
    At this point,it can't hurt to go to your post office & check again...
  9. just in terms of postal insurance, that is for the sender, not the receiver. so the usps $50 is for the sender of packages and not recipients. she is the only person entitled to a USPS payout and since she didn't purchase more she'll only get the $50. you don't get money from USPS.
  10. Insurance is for the seller's benefit but that is only should a package be lost, stolen or rifled. In the case of a package scanned as having been delivered, the purchase of insurance (or not) is irrelevant. USPS won't pay out when it's delivered.

    However regarding a claim, either side can file for recompense. There was a time when it had to be filed by and paid to the purchaser but that changed several years ago.
  11. Thanks for this everyone! I thought more about it last night, and when I looked at the time it was scanned as being delivered I was pretty sure I was home, so I checked our video baby monitor, and I was home at that time and left an hour later. That means if the package was actually delivered as scanned it would have to have been "stolen" within one hour.
    I will go to the USPS Office and see what I can find out.
    I actually had another item which was shipped through USPS, then on July 1 the tracking just vanished - I called the post office multiple times and was sent down many dark alleys for an answer - yesterday when I came home there was still no bracelet package sadly, but this item missing for 3 weeks was on my doorstep in a mangled and battered priority mail box - so there is always hope. My husband also reminded me that all of the mail for a house a block away (7-8 letters) was in our box earlier this week, so maybe I should expand the search with my neighbors beyond my own block.

  12. Would definitely check with your neighbors again & would be sad to think there is someone trolling the neighborhood
    stealing "packages" should that turn out to be the case..
  13. I received other packages this week, so I don't think it was stolen, but I do live in a city, so you never know.
  14. You never know is right... If your neighbors didn't receive your missing package & the po is likely going to tell you its been delivered
    since it was scanned, something isn't right for sure...The po needs to due some due diligence on this..
  15. I am in line at the post office now, wish me luck! As a side note, I was going to show them the photo of the box sent to me by the seller to see if they can find it, and now I noticed that the ring of the bracelet in the photo is opened and it does not "look too good". Wouldn't that be silly if all of this effort is to try to get a fake bracelet! I zoomed in on the photo so that the seller's and my address are not showing.