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Shipping receipt estimates need to be updated

Stephen J. Weihman

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With current USPS/UPS/Fedex delivery schedules, Atomic Avenue is being generous on the expected receipt date for orders.  For instance, had an order received this afternoon (9/3) for 26 books @ around $90 over 8 pounds.  AA has an expected receipt time of 9/6 - 9/10.  The absolute *earliest* I could get them delivered with USPS is 9/10 with Parcel Select, 9/8 with Priority Mail, and Priority Express on 9/6 at over $70 shipping cost.  And those are estimates.  USPS right now for me has been 1-3 days later than those estimates, FYI.

Unfortunately, there are customers who see those dates and start expecting their packages on the first date listed, and become irate if the package isn't there by the last date listed.  This is simply out of a seller's control right now with all the Covid-19 and USPS turmoil.  I would like to see AA adjust times by at least 2 days - especially when spanning a weekend.

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  • 4 months later...

Only sellers see the shipping estimates; this is not visible to buyers. It's a guideline for the seller for choosing an appropriate shipping choice, but it's reasonable to add 1 to 3 days on to that when USPS itself is adding that expectation. We expect buyers to be aware of COVID-19-related delays (as well as other impacts such as the unprecedented volume increases reported by USPS this holiday season.) If we get an inquiry ourselves about late package arrival, we advise buyers of these delays and to check the tracking provided by the seller and their local postal service about known delays. We do not penalize the seller if the seller shipped on time.

Just as examples, this Spring a Malaysian buyer reported his package was 2 months overdue from the UK. As his postal service should have advised him, Malaysia had put an embargo on packages from the UK and the buyer would simply have to wait until it was lifted. More recently, a US seller shipped a package via Priority USPS mail on time on December 14, 2020 which was not delivered until January 6, 2020; another seller shipped a package also Priority USPS on time December 15, 2020 and it was not delivered until January 7, 2020. If you are a US customer and a package is overdue by the current standards, the seller is in the best position to start a missing mail search, which you can do with USPS here. If after 7 days USPS has confirmed a package has gone missing, we'd advise the seller to issue a refund, file a claim if possible, and ask the buyer to return the order if it shows up late. In the cases where the buyer has involved us, USPS confirmed the package was still in their possession and in both cases, the package was delivered late.

In short, all delivery services are still in a force majeure situation and delivery times may remain extraordinarily capricious for a while. We remain aware of this and keep both sellers and buyers aware of how to deal (and if necessary wait and accept) the situation reasonably.

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