Priority International small flat-rate box - not arrived. Am I out of luck?

  1. #1 Dec 14, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
    I've sent a lot of packages internationally in the past. Usually, they are bags and big items that I would send out Express through USPS since it guarantees tracking. Sometimes I use Priority, and I find that I would get tracking as well using the customs form.

    However, I sold a Balenciaga Wallet on Bonanza and it's a small item. Used the Priority small flat-rate box to have it shipped. I was turned away by the clerk because I filled out the wrong customs form (I'm use to filling out the bigger ones, but for a smaller item, it needs a smaller form, makes sense since the bigger one wouldn't fit on top of the small flat-rate priority box). On the bigger one, I had it claimed for $400 and insured for that amount as well. On the smaller one, there was no space for insurance and the clerk told me that with small flat-rate box, it can't be insured. I asked if there was tracking with it, and he said it may or may not track (which I thought was the standard answer, since with Priority they don't necessarily have to track it point-by-point but had good results with Priority in the past).

    I've always had good experiences with USPS both Express and Priority International shipping and have shipped for years, so thought it would be okay. It was shipped on 11/30. On the USPS site, it would show that it was accepted in the system on 11/30 and was processed in my hometown facility on 12/1. That was the last update I had.

    It's been past the 6-10 business day mark and no arrival yet. Even my express packages I sent to Australia 6 days ago haven already safely arrived (from my knowledge, express and priority would take around the same time, since it's the customs part that may take a while). I called USPS and was told that for priority small flat-rate boxes it doesn't provide tracking. Even when it arrives in the destination country, that country's postal service would not provide tracking either. But it will at least update to let me know it was delivered? I asked what my best plan of recourse is in case it doesn't arrive after 3-4 weeks. They told me to send another package :sad:

    Am I just screwed? Would USPS not be able to provide my any help if it isn't trackable? Would paypal not back me up? I like to think of myself as a honest seller with good intentions... what would one do in this situation? Would I be responsible for its lost?
  2. I would give it to the 21st. That's why I don't like the small flat rate boxes.

    You need to ship something like that Express Mail to get the signature for paypal though.
  3. Sigh... I usually do send everything Express but since it was a smaller item and fitted perfectly in a small flat-rate box...

    The one time I went against my better judgement and try something different...

    Had no problem with priority international in the past and wouldn't think it would be for that instance. I just wish I did some more research on the small flat-rate box...
  4. Those small flat rate boxes sometimes track and sometimes don't. The buyer said she hasn't got it? I've sent a couple of those boxes out- and even when the tracking didn't update, the buyer said she has received it.
  5. Yea, she emailed today asking when she should expect it. :sad:

    As a buyer, if this happened to you, and let's say, it doesn't show up after 3-4 weeks, would you expect a full refund? Out of wallet and money? :sad:
  6. If the buyer decides to open a dispute with pay pal you would have to provide a tracking number and show prove of signature signed by the addressee bc it's over $250. I hope the buyer receives it,could be held up in customs.
  7. I NEVER use flat rate anything to ship international. I had a package lost in a flat rate envelope and after a quick call with USPS they pretty much told me that there wa nothing they could do. I had to refund the buyer because there was no proof of delivery, the customs form number isn't really valid for tracking. For all I know he got it and then filed the claim. I was out of the money, item, and the cost for shipping.
    Now I always use priority USPS with tracking ( if you print online you can get a tracking number but not if you buy at the post office) and full insurance.
    Good luck!
  8. You have to pay for delivery confirmation at the post office. If you print on paypal it is free.

  9. Oh isn't delivery confirmation free with USPS priority international shipping? I am shipping a package out tomorrow to Japan and was planning to get USPS priority international and insurance for $250. It's already $32!!
  10. It may be. Use the USPS shipping calculator to work it out.
  11. Using a small flat rate box to ship overseas is a nightmare. It will take almost a month to get to its destination...No tracking is available and no insurance. Do not worry it will get there. However, it is not going to be for a while.
  12. Wow, really, a month? Is this usual with most/all small flat-rate boxes? Even though they are priority? Is it even possible to be less priority than other priority counterparts? :confused1:
  13. FWIW, I just sent something in a small flat rate priority box to Hong Kong (a pair of leather gloves that were worth about $100). It was the first time I did it, so I did some stupid things (like using the flat rate box and not realizing that you couldn't insure it). However, it did get there, even though the tracking never updated. It took a little over a week to get there. I guess I really dodged a bullet and got lucky, but hopefully your package will turn up eventually too. Just keep up good communication with your buyer so that you do know when it gets there. Good luck!
  14. Like I said I've used it before and the transit time wasn't much different than the regular priority mail- I don't think it takes a month in general, but it might be stuck in custom.
  15. did you post to australia? australia post is quite good with deliveries, there might be a delay because of xmas but i think if the address is correct it should get to your buyer with no problem.
    i had things mailed from the USA on the flat boxes and,fingers crossed, never had a problem with them going missing.