How to Deal with Lost Etsy Shipments

It’s an unfortunate fact that sometimes the postal service and other delivery companies simply fail to deliver your Etsy merchandise. If one of your packages has gone the way of Amelia Earhart, you have a few options:

  • Ask your buyer to give it a few days. More often than not, “lost” packages are merely delayed. Shipping times vary depending on destination and time of year. Also, see if he has checked with his neighbor to see whether the package was delivered there instead.

  • Use the tracking number to locate the package. If you sprang for Express Mail with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) or opted for a higher-end carrier, such as UPS or FedEx, you can track the package. Visit your carrier’s website for more information.

  • Report the missing package. If you sent the package via USPS, you can report it missing. If you’re lucky, the USPS will find your package. If not, well, at least you’ll have done your part to improve the system. To report a missing package, fill out the missing package form.

If all these efforts fail, you’ll unfortunately have to send a replacement item or refund the buyer’s money (or, if you’re feeling especially customer friendly, both). Yes, it hurts — but it’s part of running a legitimate Etsy shop.

The exception? If you feel that you’re being scammed. Although you can’t know for sure whether your buyer is pulling a fast one, checking her feedback rating may give you some insight. If she has received 1,298 glowing reviews, she’s probably on the up and up. If, on the other hand, she has garnered multiple negative marks, she may be honesty challenged. Our advice? Trust your gut.

Even if you suspect that you’re being taken, refunding a buyer’s dough may be worthwhile for the sake of your own feedback rating. It’s your call.

One more pointer: If you do refund a buyer’s money for an item lost in the mail, you need to cancel the order. That way, you’ll at least receive a refund from Etsy for your transaction fee.

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