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Topic: What on earth?

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Subject: What on earth?
Date Posted: 7/23/2008 9:43 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,718
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Last Edited on: 1/28/09 10:11 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 7/23/2008 10:17 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2008
Posts: 502
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I am also a fellow ebayer with an excellent ebay rating so I understand your dilemia......

You thought ahead and got dc on the package.  Should the item does not show up in a reasonable amount of time, offer the buyer a refund of their money with the understanding that should the item arrive that they promptly submit a payment thru paypal.  That would be good faith enough for me to keep your ebay rating from being tarnished. 

Last Edited on: 7/23/08 10:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/24/2008 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,718
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Got scanned in Springfield again yesterday. This is getting really frustrating.

Subject: Sometimes this just happens...
Date Posted: 7/24/2008 8:40 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2008
Posts: 562
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I'm a Postal Supervisor in a Plant in KY, (I did a cut n paste below of a descripion on how some of our mail is processed)  Warrendale, PA is just north of Pittsburgh, PA which makes it a P & DC (Processing & Distribution Center) and Springfield, Ma is another one. I know there are other P & DC's in NY but I'm not sure which one serves your area. Remember Delivery Confirmation is only required to be scanned upon delivery (other than getting scanned at the Window when you purchase the service) the scans you are seeing are more than likely automatic scans of the item as it is processed going across the SPBS (see explanation below).

This type of delay is usual attributed to a mechanical or human error, bad zip code, incorrect or illegible address, etc, a clerk mistypes the zip code on the SPBS, which would deliver the parcel to the wrong container,or a clerk who tosses the package into the wrong sack or APC. Occasionally the wrong Placard will be placed on an APC or gaylord and a whole container goes to the wrong distribution location. (Or the container gets placed on the wrong truck), which is when we get emails from our boss, or one of the Eastern Area VP's wanting to know What, When , Where, How, and Why did this happen. Which means fix it and don't let it happen again.




"The only requirement for a scan is upon delivery. The reason you may see several scans on a book (or package) is usually because of automated Postal equipment.

A SPBS machine (Small Parcel Bundle Sorter) has 4 to 6 keying stations (one clerk per) a couple of mail handlers that "dump" the mail onto a conveyor belt that feeds the SPBS (dumping can be manual from a container or from a hydraulic dumper that tilts over hampers, cages, gaylord boxes, BMC's, or APC's.

When a clerk key punches the applicable zip code for your book, package, or magazine bundle it feeds it onto another specialized belt (called the chain) to direct it to one of about 100 containers. These containers can be a hamper, cage, pallet sized short box (called a Gaylord), or even a sack.  Before it gets to any container on most SPBS there is an overhead fixed barcode scanner which automatically scans and records data.  You may get several scans in the same facility based upon where the item is going. We use different sortplans on the SPBS. Sometimes an item will loop between the "mixed states" (mail going out to the rest of the world) sortplan and the "destinating" (mail coming in from everywhere else for local service area delivery) SInce I work in Lexington, KY, I saw from a status report where a multi scanned small package that was supposed to go to Lexington, TN loop through the SPBS for a few days. Slightly embarrassing, but it happens occasionally. Usually there is an underlying cause (bad zip code, incorrect or illegible address, etc.)

Based upon the size of the postal facility your book may also be "sacked" into a pouch rack. A pouch rack is a number of large plastic sacks going to a group of zip codes. The clerk will be manually emptying a hamper or wire cage (think dimensions of a pallet) and sorting (commonly referred to as "throwing" the mail) small packages into these sacks. Mistakes can happen.

Some post offices may as a courtesy, scan your preprinted prepaid DC (ie free or discounted electronic) but it's not required.  You may also get a manual scan from a carrier if the item is missent (ie to the wrong carrier) while enroute to you.

The other thing to consider is type of mail class. Standard, Media Mail, Parcel Post, Bound Printed Matter, Periodicals (what used to be called 2C), First Class, Priority, and even Express.

Standard, Media Mail, Parcel Post, Bound Printed Matter, Periodicals usually go to a Bulk Mail Center (BMC) for additional sortation dueto service guidelines. While First Class and Priority (based on distance and transportation) usually fly.

Sometimes your media mail book gets tossed into the first class pouch rack which means you get upgraded service."

Hopefully this helps explain some of the strange things you see, :)



Date Posted: 7/25/2008 8:41 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,718
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Thanks Kevin. I have to assume the package must have been accidentally shipped to the Springfield facility. It had a Paypal shipping label on it so it shouldn't have been an illegible address. It's now 9 days and my buyer hasn't received it. I have to say I haven't been too impressed with Priority Mail service lately. Seems like it's almost consistently taking more than the 4-5 days stated on the web site. I'm getting really peeved about this one because I have 100% feedback rating on Ebay right now and this is going to ruin it b/c my buyer is being less than understanding about this being out of my control.

Date Posted: 7/30/2008 12:40 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,718
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Well he got it yesterday. 13 days to go 200 miles - Priority rate. And my first negative feedback - the buyer is being less than understanding. He wants to be reimbursed for shipping since it took so long. It's like, hello, not my fault and it's not like the post office is going to reimburse me! Oh well, as long as I have the DC# Ebay and Paypal will both back me up on this if he decides to submit a claim.

Date Posted: 7/30/2008 5:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,353
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It might depend on where your distribution center is.  I live in Kansas and the next large town over is about 20 miles away and although we have a distribution center here, that town is not in our DC, but in the DC in Kansas City, so items going to that town go to KC and then back to that town.,  Kansas City is 40 miles further east from that town.  Don't know why it's done that way, but it is.  Might this be what is happening to your package?  Pat

Date Posted: 7/31/2008 11:21 AM ET
Member Since: 7/27/2008
Posts: 39
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They're cutting jobs horribly at the post office which is sending Priority mail (and other classes) to different states.  It's going to take longer for Priority mail if it's sent through a longer route.  That's the main reason for Priority taking longer than the customer thinks.  Prioirty mail is also not a guarantee for 2 days.  It's likely to get there, but could take longer.  It goes by air which is better handled than by ground (media mail or parcel post).  That's my only reason for using it and recommending it to a customer when I used to work behind the counter.

Last Edited on: 7/31/08 11:22 AM ET - Total times edited: 1