About a month ago, I sold an item on eBay. I shipped the item priority mail the very next day and never thought anything further about it. The other night, I get an email from the customer asking where their package is.
I ship directly through eBay when I can, and this time was no exception. I checked the tracking number that is listed in the eBay interface and got an error message, so I switched over to the USPS (United States Postal Service) website and entered the tracking number.
Their website came up with the package was at the delivery point but could not be delivered due to an incorrect mailing address. The package was supposedly being returned to sender and was last shown at the destination terminal.
I contacted the person back to inform them that the address they had on file with eBay and PayPal was incorrect and that they should change the address to reflect their current address. I even copied the address that was on file into the email.
The customer immediately responded telling me that they lived in an apartment complex and did not include the unit number or the PO Box. The postal carrier probably could have figured it out by other mail that they delivered, but obviously did not.
I suggested that the customer contact the local postal office to see if the package was still there, as the tracking information did not show it in route to be returned. I have yet to get a response and have not received the item back.
If it does come back, I'm assuming that I'll be charged shipping charges for the return and then have additional shipping charges to get it back out to the correct address. Of course, I will expect the customer to pay those fees, as it is no my error, but had it been, I would have paid the charges.
This whole issue would have been avoided if the customer would have had a complete shipping address on file with eBay. You can save yourself and the seller a lot of hassle by getting this right. Also, be sure to include your telephone number in shipping information. Many people don't and are unreachable if there is a delivery issue.