I had a shipping headache recently.  I feel it’s important to share this story in order to help you avoid the same mistake.  We, and millions of others, trust and use UPS.  Consequently, millions trust FedEx, USPS, and other similar services.

Shipping without 100% tracking

A customer of ours decided to use our Mail-In Sharpening Services, a repeat customer to boot.  We offer free shipping, so I emailed them a return label.  They packed their knives in our reusable Shipping Kit and added our shipping label.

The UPS Drop Box, similar to the blue USPS Mailboxes we’ve all trusted for decades with our letters, gives anyone the ability to drop off a package 24/7/365 with UPS. Keep in mind that, just like a USPS Mailbox, these UPS Drop Boxes have no staff to record receiving a package.

The Shipping Black Hole 

My customer utilized one of these UPS Drop Boxes to ship their knives.  After a few days, they called me wondering when they would see their knives again.  UPS had no information based on our tracking number, only that the shipping had been paid for.  No record existed of UPS receiving this package.  You see, their Drop Boxes don’t have the ability to scan the label barcode.  Consequently, UPS won’t even honor the insurance paid for. 

A UPS Drop Box next to a USPS Mailbox, curb-side

A UPS Drop Box next to a USPS Mailbox

The Solution and tips

Next time you need to ship anything, make sure a UPS representative scans your package barcode.  This holds true for FedEx, USPS, and any other service.  I consider walking the package into a UPS store as the best practice.  The UPS store staff will give you a receipt noting where and when you handed them your package.

Accidents can and will happen.  Whenever you ship anything important, get insurance!  Add some extra insurance by walking it into a Post Office, UPS or FedEx store.  Millions of packages are shipped every day.  Do your part, and limit the possibility of becoming part of the “lost” package statistics.

A Final Note

I trust our shipping companies.  And I hope you do, too.  I just feel it is important that I share this story with the hope that it will help you avoid a headache later on.  Trust, but verify.