figBid's Response to USPS Delivery Delays

 

figBid has been receiving feedback about shipping from lots of sellers.  I’m saddened to report that United States Postal Service delivery delays persist throughout the country.  Some areas are worse than others but almost every state is experiencing some type of delay.  Delays are due partly to the pandemic, partly to higher shipping volumes, and mostly because of budget cuts.  This has put a tremendous burden on figBid sellers keeping up with tracking, refunds, communication, and insurance claims.  

What should buyers expect?  Longer than usual wait times for packages.  During this time of year we are dealing mostly with live fig trees.  Buyers must be aware that Priority Mail is not guaranteed.  The USPS 1-3 day delivery window is an estimate only and some Priority packages have been taking up to 30 days to be delivered.  Buyers should also have a plan for receiving packages  which includes taking pictures of the package before it’s opened, while opening, and the contents.  Note any damage and immediately notify your seller.  Buyers may be asked to present packaging and pictures to their local post office, complete claim forms, or submit pictures to their seller in order to process an insurance claim.  Buyers must remain flexible enough to work with a seller before, during, and after the purchase.  Communication and patience with your seller are key.  Please remember that delivery delays or lost packages are not a sellers fault and refunds are not automatic.  Most sellers will work with you toward a solution if needed.  

What should sellers expect?  Delivery delays, lost packages, and disapproved insurance claims.  Texas, Florida, and California have had  the worst delivery times but no area is immune.  I’ve been suggesting that sellers add a shipping and refund policy to their listing.  I’ve also suggested waiting until dormancy to sell your trees may be a better option.  Take lots of pictures of the trees in full bloom now to post in your listings later on.  In any event, be realistic with stated delivery times and plan on delays.  Be sure to communicate with your buyer and work toward a shipping solution.  USPS Express Shipping seems to be working but the cost for shipping is substantially increased.  It’s not always feasible to absorb the cost of Express Shipping but offer the service to your buyers.  Some sellers have been splitting the cost of USPS Express Shipping, too.  Whatever you choose, give buyers other shipping options and remain flexible enough to ship with a carrier you may not be familiar with.  UPS and FedEx have been working well in some areas and poorly in others.  Sellers should also be prepared to edit purchase invoices and complete paperwork to submit for insurance claims.  Although a large number of insurance claims are being disapproved, most companies have an appeals process.  Stay on top of your insurance claims and appeal if necessary.

No business has been immune to this shipping catastrophe and there is no clear solution right now.  Remain flexible, patient, and remember to communicate.  I will continue to monitor and offer advice from my end.  I will also monitor feedback more closely and negative ratings or comments pertained to shipping will be removed when warranted.  Please keep me informed of your experiences, good and bad, and remember I’m always here to help buyers and sellers.  Thank you to everyone for being the most valuable part of figBid.  

 

Daniel Gentile - Owner, figBid.com