Shipping: Frequently Asked Questions
> Do you have international shipping?
Absolutely! International shipping is no problem. Be advised, delivery to most countries takes a week or two, but sometimes various delays can cause a package to take 3-4 weeks in unusual circumstances. Also, not all countries provide tracking information during transit in your country. So, you might see a tracking event where the package is "departure scanned" when it leaves the US, but you won't see another tracking event until the package is delivered.
> Can you mark my international shipment as a gift?
I'm sorry, I "could" do that but I choose not to because that is against both US and International law. I know, I know, you've asked other makers to do that they are happy to comply. That doesn't concern me. I run a legitimate business and I follow the letter of the law. If you have an issue with the amount of duty your country charges I'd take that up with your government's customs office ;)
> Why are there *@#$%! extra charges on my international shipment!?
Yep, you'll also have to take that up with your country's customs and duty office. Nearly all nations of the world impose import duty (VAT) and/or processing fees on international shipments. As such, I'm not responsible for (nor aware of) those charges. It's your country and your responsibility to know your customs & duty practices.
> Do you provide tracking information?
All orders receive an automated shipping confirmation email from firstname.lastname@example.org when your label is printed. This does not mean the carrier has picked up the shipment, nor does it mean they have scanned it. You may need to wait 24-48 hours after receiving the shipment email for the tracking information to be updated. Don't forget to check your spam filter.
> Did you send me the wrong tracking information?
Nope, the system is automated so it's not possible for you to receive the "wrong" tracking information. You may need to wait 24-48 hours after your package has shipped to get tracking information. If you track it sooner than that, you might see error messages or the tracking information for a different package. The USPS seems to recycle tracking numbers.
Please keep in mind that you'll get the shipping notice when I print the label. This does not mean the carrier has picked up the shipment, nor does it mean they have scanned it.
> Did you send my package to the wrong address?
Sorry but my shipping system automatically ships to the address you provided during checkout. So, if it went to the wrong address it's because you provided the wrong address :)
> What carriers do you ship with?
I highly recommend the USPS because it's cheap and reliable. People like to badmouth the USPS. Their tracking system isn't fantastic, and sometimes there are unexplained delays to foreign and domestic shipments. On international orders your package gets handed off to your nation's mail service...which may also be unreliable.
However, my experience is that your package will get to the destination if you are patient. I've shipped thousands of packages with the USPS over the years, and only a handful have ever been lost. That's a darn good record in my opinion.
International customers should check with their customs service if it seems like there is an unusual delay. It's somewhat common for a customs office to hold the package without notice, or even mark the shipment as "delivered" when it's received by customs.
Countries that participate in the international "DelCon" tracking program should see tracking updates once the shipment lands in the destination country. Countries that do not participate in the program will stop seeing tracking updates when the shipment leaves the US. Normally the next scan is a delivery scan, but again, this depends on your country's mail system.
I've recently added a FedEx option. That is much more expensive, faster in some cases, and tends to have more robust tracking and delivery date accuracy. You get what you pay for. However, I have daily USPS pickups and I do not have daily FedEx pickups. If you request FedEx I have to make an extra stop on my way home at the end of the day. That's okay with me but it means your package won't get processed right away.
International customers should be aware that FedEx will pay any customs and duty charges on your behalf and send you a separate invoice for those charges. It is the customer's responsibility to be aware of their nation's customs and duty practices.
> Why did my package have signature confirmation?
Any order over $200USD has signature confirmation automatically applied. This is to protect both me an you. I know sometimes this is inconvenient, but it's better than a missing package. Besides, you can't make everyone happy. Some people get mad that their shipment did NOT have shipping confirmation, the next person will be mad that it DOES have shipping confirmation.
> My package is marked as delivered but I still don't have it, what can I do?
I borrowed this handy-dandy infographic from Amazon. They know a lot about shipping stuff and this is what they recommend. In my experience, 80% of the time someone else in your household has the package so check with the wife and kids. The mail carrier is supposed to physically scan the package whey they are on your doorstep. Sometimes they are naughty and scan it at some other time. You should first check with your mail carrier to see if they remember delivering the package. The sooner you do this the better the odds. Next you should check with your postmaster.
Remember to be nice; USPS employees are just people and sometimes they mess up...just like you do. I think of it like being in a restaurant: you can get as mad and shouty-voice as you want, but I hope you like eating spit...or in this case...not getting your mail in the future.
> My package is taking longer than it's supposed to, why?
Hey man, I just put the package in the blue box. After that it's up to the USPS, fate, the weather, and perhaps your nation's customs and postal service if you are international. If you have questions, you are welcome to contact the USPS or your local postal service.
One thing to note, as of January 1, 2015 the USPS is closing down 82 sorting facilities around the US. This is creating some crazy delays depending on where you live. Sorry about that, but it's waaay out of my hands. At th
> I'm still feeling impatient, if I email you repeatedly and/or get really angry about it, will that make my package arrive faster?
Sadly no. You've mailed a letter (or a package) before right? Once you put it in the mail...it's in the mail. I have access to the same information you do via the tracking number I emailed you. There is no super-secret place I can go to find out what is "actually" going on with your package.
> It's been more than 7 business days and my (domestic) package has not arrived. What can I do?
If a package is not delivered within 7 business days, the recipient can initiate a missing mail search. All you have to do is fill out this form
on the USPS website. Unfortunately with international shipments you are probably out of luck. Once the USPS passes the package to your country's postal service, you'll have to take that up with them.
Most international packages arrive within the specified time frame, but sometimes they can take up to a month. This is not the fault of myself or the USPS, but strange things can happen once the shipment crosses the pond. Again, you'll have to talk to your local postal service once the tracking shows the package has departed the US. Unfortunately many countries will tell you to take it up with the USPS...which is incorrect.
> I'm pretty sure my package is lost, how can I file a claim with the USPS?
Easy, just follow this link
for more information! Okay, it's the government. It's not that easy. You can only file a claim if your shipment was insured and you'll have to provide lots of documentation. If your shipment is uninsured, the best you can do is submit a missing package request (above).
> Funny story, I placed my order and used the wrong shipping address. Can I blame you for that?
You can try but it won't get your package to the right place. Most times you can email me and I'll catch the shipment, but I ship orders first thing every morning. I don't typically check every single email I get just in case I need to cross reference it with some bad shipping information.
Don't get me wrong, I understand the issue. You were probably in a hurry when you made the order and made a mistake. I've even done it myself. In both instances I'm really sorry. But if you provided the wrong address, you provided the wrong address, and there isn't much I can do about it. If you are in the continental US, you can contact the USPS about a "USPS Package Intercept
" and they will attempt to redirect the enroute package...for an additional fee of course.