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Re: [BKARTS] shipping options

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Book_Arts-L [mailto:BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of Dave
> Allen
> As Aaron can attest, a major problem with FedEx is the brokerage
> process. Not only are the fees high, they have the annoying habit of
> clearing things through customers and then, months later, informing you
> that there is brokerage due.

As a bookseller who ships all over the world, I appreciate knowing what
customers "at the other end" are faced with. "We" don't always have
information on customs, duty, claim fees, etc.

 I have been shipping almost exclusively USPS worldwide for 15 years, and to
date have had only two packages go missing (one the customer gave me the
wrong PO box number, and whoever received it kept it. I suspect that the
other one was tied up during a strike, and may eventually have reached the
customer who didn't bother to inform me after I had made a full refund.) I
have never had to file an insurance claim, although some packages worth many
hundreds of dollars have been shipped far and wide (knock wood - oops, wood
fairies are on strike: knock Formica.)

One option that a customer has who ordered by credit card and whose order
fails to arrive, or arrives damaged, is to request a chargeback from the
credit card company. This, of course, lays the cost on the merchant so they
don't really want you to know about that. OTOH, US postal law (and the laws
of other countries as well) REQUIRE that a merchant assume responsibility
for delivery in good order. That means if your items arrive damaged they
must be replaced, or the cost refunded. If they fail to arrive, cost must be
refunded. Again, merchants don't always know these laws, and won't pass the
information along if they do.

I have found most companies value their good reputation with possibly repeat
customers, and will refund/replace without question if there is a problem. I
know I do, even if the customer just changes his/her mind and returns the
item in the same condition as when I sent it. (In which case, I do not
refund the postage. If the problem is my fault, I refund all costs.) I don't
understand why any reputable company would do otherwise (and I'm just a very
very small independent).

The only postal systems I have had a bit of trouble with are Canada (delayed
delivery, held in customs - in spit of Priority rush shipment...to a law
firm), Italy (mercy only knows - it helps to include invoices on the outside
of the package, which they actually require but few merchants elsewhere seem
to understand), and Cypress - package was returned to me as unclaimed and
"postage due," customer assured me that the address I used had been correct,
I paid postage to send it again (actually going well past profit, past
break-even, and into "red" since the cumulative postage was more than the
price of the inexpensive book! Still, this was not the customer's fault -
she bought in good faith.)

Again, it's good to know what fees, etc. recipients in other countries must
face by using the various shipping systems. Nothing "here" tells us what
happens at the other end (except customers).

Cheers, Lee

Lee Kirk
Cats are composed of Matter, Anti-Matter, and It Doesn't Matter

The Prints & The Paper
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