Tracking your parcel after sending it - postal trackers

shinymagpie

vintage bag lady
Mar 29, 2008
2,991
32
Hi.

I am always looking for ways to use systems to make life easier and to keep anyone I sell to happy. (and me if I am buying an item with tracking).

I recently discovered the wonderful world of postal trackers. USPS have a good system which allows you to put in a tracking number and they will let you know by email:
  • the full previous postal history of the item;
  • the tracking from now on; and
  • who signed for it - with a PDF image of the signature.

What I like about it is that I can have any or all of these sent to both me and my buyer. I let my buyers know in advance that I will do this.

My buyers seem to be very happy with the system because we both know where the item is and you can guess from the emails when it is likely to arrive. Maybe yours would be happy too.;)

Key point is do let your buyer know that you are doing this. Otherwise, they might be surprised by the email from USPS!

I use Japan Post EMS and my EMS numbers work fine. I am sure any other international tracking numbers would work too.

Here's the steps

  1. http://www.usps.com/shipping/trackandconfirm.htm
  2. You put the Tracking Number in and click on "Learn More About Track and Confirm By Email"
  3. Put in your name.
  4. put in your email
  5. put in your buyer's email.

It's done! In about 30 minutes or less, you get your first email from USPS. Then you get another when it is logged at the next point of handling. If the system works at it's best, your buyer gets an email when the delivery van heads out for the run.

Canada has a similar system

http://www.canadapost.ca/cpo/mc/default.jsf?LOCALE=en

Many countries have great online tracking, but not all of them will send updates. I think that USPS and Canada may be some of the only ones that do.

Hope this is useful to you.:biggrin:
 

kemilia

the boonies of illinois
O.G.
Mar 14, 2006
3,469
5,431
the boonies of illinois
I have done this and it works well--if USPS updates their info along the way. I have received items that were still in "transit"--maybe it depends on the Post Office.

Once I sent a certified letter and the Tracking on it was not being updated so I called the Post Office, spoke to someone ("where is my letter?" and then I checked the Tracking site later and all of a sudden my letter, that I paid over $3 to send and be able to track so I would know it got there, showed it had arrived--the day before. Maybe my phone call caused someone to update my letter's journey? So I think there is quite a bit of human intervention in their tracking system and humans make mistakes, forget, etc.

But the tracking has worked sometimes too, getting email updates is nice.
 

shinymagpie

vintage bag lady
Mar 29, 2008
2,991
32
Is 'tracking' different than Delivery Confirmation?
Well. Delivery confirmation gives you the deal sealer on it. You get to see the signature of whomever signed for it as a PDF file.

What I like about the tracking is that I can predict where things are up to. For me, this is an issue, because USPS only holds for 5 calendar days before Return To Sender. This is terrible if it is an international transaction. I actually had one get sent all the way back to Japan... urk.... The buyer claimed that they did not receive any notices at all. In my case, there was nothing eBay, PayPal or USPS could do for me. A nice person from USPS did say "I'm very sorry Maaamm", which was nice, but I still had to repost which was a hassle. That was before I used the tracking. Now I just keep a weather eye on the update emails and if something has notice left status, I send a reminder to the buyer just in case.

I think the tracking email must appear as a prompt, because all my mail sent to the USA seems to move very fast.
 

Laneige

love watches
O.G.
Mar 20, 2007
1,263
50
Can someone tell me what does Inbound into CUstom means? I send items by express and it reaches SanFranciso on 23th 1pm+ and the next update is Inbound Custom (no date).

WHat does this means? Then on my postal tracking with local PO...

Does this mean my items will be on hold for a longgggg time? Its actually a used item (electronic) that was send in for a replacement. No battery (harmful items) etc. and some laundry bags.

[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] 23/03/2010 13:52 [/FONT]​
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[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Held by Customs at Destination[/FONT]​