Think Art Loud

Inspiring, Encouraging, and Promoting the Handmade Arts and Artists

USPS Shipping Nightmare: an artist’s account of wrong address

Posted Monday, March 6th, 2017

Shipping nightmares, we all dread them and pray we’ll avoid them. Every time you have a new order, after the initial thrill of excitement of “Yes! I have a sale!” comes the mayhem: making sure everything goes smoothly for getting the order shipped out and praying that it gets there alright. There are so many things that can go wrong, whether you ship via USPS, UPS, FedEx, or some other shipping service. The package could get lost, it could arrive late, it could arrive damaged, etc. However, there is another issue that could come up and it is every bit as nightmarish as the others, perhaps more so. What else could go wrong? Well, you could be given the wrong shipping address.

That’s right, the wrong address. I recently encountered this particular shipping nightmare. After having a store on Handmade on Amazon for a little over a year with no sales, you can imagine my excitement when at last that rare, elusive e-mail came in that said I had made a sale. I was overjoyed! A sale! At long last! The order was for a pair of earrings I’d originally made as part of a TV stylist gifting event made possible by The Artisan Group. These were a made to order pair of earrings, so, as soon as I saw the e-mail, I got straight on them and had them made, polished, and ready to ship. Then came a moment of puzzlement and concern. I’d looked at the address Amazon had provided me with and something just looked off about it. I was given a business address, but no name. Now, I know that many people have orders shipped to their work address, and so I did some research and could find nothing linking my customer to that particular business. This made me concerned, the last thing I wanted was to find out that I’d had a fraudulent purchase and had just been party to someone committing identity theft. So, I asked some associates for their advice and it was suggested I contact Amazon with my concerns: which I did. Having talked with Amazon and getting confirmation that everything was on the up-and-up, I went ahead and shipped the order to that address………………………..And then the shipping nightmare began!

The next day, I received an e-mail from the customer that their order had been shipped to the wrong address! Apparently, they had previously shipped a purchase to the address I’d been given and, when they tried to change it back to their correct address for this order, Amazon didn’t recognize the change of address and gave me the last used address. I cannot begin to describe the feeling of panic that shot through me! After a couple of phone calls, website foofaraw, and much panic, I had the problem sorted out and just had to hope it would work. Thankfully (praise the Lord!), it did. So, if anyone reading this should find themselves facing this same shipping nightmare, if shipping via USPS, this is what you do:

1)First of all, go to usps.com.
2)Once there, go to ‘Track and Manage’ and go down to where it says ‘Intercept a Package.’ It will ask you to give them the tracking number for the package you shipped. (Always make sure to ship with a tracking number!).
3)Before you can complete your intercept request, you will be prompted to set up an account with USPS. After that is set up and verified, you will be able to proceed with the request.
4)After the account is all set up and you are able to proceed, you will be given a few options: to have the package intercepted and held at that post office for pick up, to have it shipped back to you, or to have it redirected to a different domestic address. If, like I did, you choose to redirect the package to a new address you will then be able to put in the corrected shipping address. Now, you should know that intercepting a package does have a fee and so does redirecting the package to a new address, however, it is worth it to know your customer will receive their order. The delivery will be delayed as they will need to look for the package in order to redirect it, but if they are able to locate the package they will then be able to send it on it’s way to the correct address. However, if they are unsuccessful in locating and intercepting the package, you will not be charged for the intercept request.

So, breathe easy, it is possible to fix one of the worst shipping nightmares you can have! For those shipping by other methods, contact your shipping service if this should happen to you. They may have a similar procedure for package interception.

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