A photo of 'damaged or lost' packages tossed in a pile at the Mail Recovery Center. None of these made it to destination. Good luck trying to get a worker to dig for your missing package!
* Note unclaimed packages will be auctioned!
With the rising cost of delivery, I've notice many businesses are turning away from UPS and using USPS i.e. Amazon. Unfortunately, I've had to do this myself because shipping a single book UPS cost more than the book! New restrictions on flat rate shipping has me opting to use media mail. Although, this is a cost effective method, it is slower than slow. Media mail can take up to 10 days within the U.S. There are also restrictions. It can only include a book. Nothing else is suppose to be included in the package such as bookmarks, cards or promotional swag. This certainly puts a damper on my book giveaways and what I want to include in winner packages.
I've personally won books and other items from giveaways that have never arrived. I wondered if it was the sender or the delivery system. Because of my own experience as a book blogger, I now save all winning emails, notify when a package is shipped and I also send an email whenever I receive a gift, ARC or any other promotional items. If you don't hear from me, it means I have not received the package. Of course, once in a great while I have a brain melt and 'think' I sent a notification. I'm really trying to make certain I keep on top of this so hopefully the communication will stay current and accurate.
Recently, I ordered photoshop from a huge dealer. It is now day 10 and the package or delivery slip has yet to arrive. After speaking with the company, they've chalked it up to 'lost' and will submit an insurance claim and re-send another photoshop. I was informed this happens all the time. If a package is 'damaged' in route, the USPS simply tosses it out with no notification. They assume it is insured and the sender will be reimbursed. I was astounded. This got me thinking, have books I shipped via USPS been tossed due to damage? What if we think the gifts we ship are making it, but they really aren't? That's embarrassing because it looks like we hosted a bunk giveaway! I do not typically insure a book package. So, I ask this question:
Do you insure book packages that you send either as an author or book blogger?
Please, if you win any of my book blog giveaways, send a follow up email letting me know you received the package. Just something short and quick "I got it!" is enough. I will always send a notification email stating when the package was sent or when the order was placed (via Amazon ect.). Since Amazon is using USPS, don't assume orders placed will actually make to their destination! I try to be very prompt about announcing, sending and filling orders. A long delay means something is amiss in the postal world and I'd be happy to look into it or promptly send out another package. It's important that everyone who is expecting a package receive it!
So what do you do? I looked up some advice and found this article. I read through the steps. Although, it outlines what to do if a package is 'lost' -- the realistic implement and success of taking this approach seems glum.
How to Find Lost USPS Packages