Minimising “lost” Deliveries over Christmas

Among the frequently forgotten costs of Ecommerce is theft. Either in transit, or”never came”. In the present recession too many chancers attempt to finance their Christmas from the merchant’s pocket. Obviously we do everything we reasonably can to minimise this, but regardless of what we do, there’s always theft. So far this season, I’m getting more than normal.

The first thing to do is decrease the initial issue. Think about sending every parcel monitored. This has a cost. For me to send a parcel monitored in the UK will cost me an additional $5.50. Considering that the actual postage is about $2.50 and my normal order is only $20, this is a costly luxury. Fundamental economics consequently forces me to book tracking for the more expensive orders. The specific cut off is determined by the speed of loss verses the extra cost of tracking.

Then go for quicker postal services. For the majority of the year I use 2nd class post. This can take 3-5 days. For Christmas I switch to 1st class. 90% of the arrives next day, and 99.99% over 2 days. This significantly reduces the amount of”where is my package questions”, as it gets rid of the ones that are distressed.

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This leaves the individuals who claim it never came.

Following 15 years of Ecommerce some things stick out. When the”my stuff hasn’t arrived” e-mail comes, the scammer ones appear to stand out. I am not saying I will spot 100 percent the imitation missing delivery e-mails, but some just stand out. Either by they way they’re worded, or the timing, or something that just does not feel right. You just”know” you’re being scammed. There is however nothing you can do about it today. You need to take care of all overlooking delivery e-mails in precisely the identical way. Though it grates, you don’t have any choice. You have to do it in a professional manner. Emotion shouldn’t get in the way.

There are three possible results, it”arrives”, you send a replacement, or you repay. I have a standard set of activities to employ, and based on first impressions once I get the first missing order email, I’ll miss out the first couple of measures. If it really think it’s a scammer, then I make them work for their refund. If I think that they are genuine I attempt to create the path as smooth and fast as possible.

1 Play the waiting game

At this time of year there’s always a motive for parcels to be postponed. Either snow, floods, strikes, or simply too many different parcels. Sometimes if you just ask a client to wait another week and get back to you if it has not arrived, then that’s the last you hear from them.

Two”You’re out when they attempted to deliver”

Postmen are intended to leave a card if they don’t deliver when there isn’t any reply. Sometimes they don’t. I ask my clients to contact the local delivery office to find out if they have their parcel and organize re-delivery or collection. In 50% of cases this is the last I hear of it. Some crawlers respond in minutes and say something like”I’ve just phoned them and they don’t have my parcel”. 1 optimist attempted this on a Sunday afternoon. This was one of the few times I reported this to Amazon and the upheld my side of it.

3 Imply you can actually trace the parcel

This is somewhat difficult. As you haven’t used a monitoring method, you can’t really track the parcel, BUT chancers might not understand this. So occasionally I state that I am asking the post office to explore this delivery because I’m concerned that too much is going lost in their region. Implying that my fear is that the theft has been done by the post office. This CAN get the nervous scammer to suddenly”find” the package. This CAN get the experienced scammer to similarly”find” the package because they don’t want the post office investigators to see a pattern. Its a long shot though, experienced scammers know I’m bluffing and need”their” refund.

4 Refund or Replace.

If all else fails you’ve got to offer to refund or send a replacement. Obviously a scammer will favor money, and a real customer will, time permitting, favor a replacement. Even if you’re 100% sure they are scamming you, you can’t afford to say no. All that will happen is you will find a chargeback claim, or a Paypal claim, or an Amazon A-Z case. Without evidence of delivery you may loose, and in loosing this will cost you more.

In some very rare instances I’ve asked the client to increase the claim, as there’s a chance they won’t. Amazon certainly monitors non receipt claims and if they spot a pattern will prohibit a buyer. Knowledgeable scammers understand this, and realising that their bluff was called will suddenly”find” the bundle. This is in fact a dangerous choice, as if they do increase the claim, you need to pay up, and your metrics will look bad consequently.








I record the cost of the reductions, all the costs, along with type of product, destination, and worth. This information can be analysed to see whether there are areas or countries where I must not boat or should just use monitored; types of goods where I must go to get a higher profit margin as a result of losses; and some other metric that I think may influence the chances of theft. It’s a constantly changing picture. The only winners are the scammers, the loosers are the honest customers, who must pay more as the losses are made into my costs.