USPS "Lost" my guitar sold on Ebay

uab9253

Member
Messages
2,344
On August 21st - I sold an Epiphone LE Sparkletop in Red, pictured below, in under 2 hours for $350. I was stoked, even more so by the fact that it was not a collector this time but a kid who was just learning to play guitar and was over the moon excited about getting it. I charged a fixed shipping, $30 and took it to the post office. The actual shipping was $59 but I wasn't too upset because it was going to a good home. I've never ever had an issue with shipping USPS and have shipped at least a couple dozen guitars out that way. So that's when the fun started.
It took 5 days to get to Linthicum MD - which is maybe 2 hours away. Okay, I said to myself, there's all this "Covid stuff" and it's well known that the USPS is struggling right now. The kid who bought the guitar says "no biggie" - he couldn't be more nice.

It leaves MD and gets to Memphis, TN, 3 days later. So much for 2 Day Priority shipping. Again, the kid is not mad and being very understanding. A week goes by, and another - I'm communicating with the buyer who still is not at all bent out of shape. Finally he asks me to file a claim on the package because someone told him it would make them move it quicker. Makes sense to me - it's a big box just sitting in Memphis and it's not like some flat mailer that could have slipped behind a desk or filing cabinet. At this point it is September 8th. On the 11th I get notice from the USPS that the claim has been resolved and they send me a check for $109. That amount is the shipping being refunded plus $50. That was the basic insurance included in Priority shipping. As part of the claim process, I had to prove value and I sent them the Ebay auction showing that it sold for $350. That amount is not an appraisal and not a guestimate. It's what the guitar sold for. I immediately filed an appeal - meanwhile I refunded the buyer who actually wanted to pay part of it because he feels responsible. I said of course not but wow, some kids are still being raised right.

No word yet on the appeal but it's not about the money - I want them to locate the guitar and get it to the buyer. I didn't really need the money - I was trying to just make some room in my studio. The guitar was perfect and played like a dream. The whole thing makes me sick to my stomach.
Lessons learned -
1.Buy more insurance
2.Switch to UPS for all future shipping.

The cherry on top? Ebay allowed me to cancel the sale and refund the buyer but did not give me my seller fee back. Ugh. I have a couple more guitars and more recently I'd been selling locally with FB pages, but for some of the things that are more unique - I switched back to Ebay to reach a broader audience. Memphis TN is quite often listed on the worst cities to live in the USA and here's one more reason why. Postal workers make good money yet it looks like at least some of them steal. It's not like it got lost or sent to the wrong address. It was scanned into Memphis and never scanned out. Never again.
Including the Serial # in case any of you ever run across it. I'm quite sure that my appeal with USPS will be rejected. The kid promised to pay if by some miracle the guitar ever gets delivered and I believe him.
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lostpick

Member
Messages
93
I had to file three appeals on my last USPS debacle. Hang in there. They're pretty cool if you work with them.
 

crosse79

Member
Messages
5,836
I've always used USPS (with tracking) - never had an issue. I live halfway around the world literally - they've never lost a package so far. Just received a guitar from US 3 weeks ago in the midst of Covid 19.
 

lostpick

Member
Messages
93
I worked there and at UPS years ago. Not enough time in the day to explain all that is jacked up at post office. And I'd probably get banned if I did.
My point is, you can search and find any shipping company has done someone wrong. I've been shipping with USPS, UPS, Fedex etc for 20 years. Only had two issues: one with USPS and one with UPS. Both pieces were fully insured and both companies paid. It wasn't as easy as flipping a switch; it took some calls and emails, but in the end they held up their agreement.
 

Drew816

Member
Messages
5,025
Sorry to hear this, but yo bro, peoples at the USPS want to learn how to play geetar too and that was a nice one! :hide :rockin

Currently, during Covid this is all up in the air. No telling what's what, which carrier will be better, etc. I had a small package come from Oregon to central Ohio USPS in two days, normal shipping two weeks ago. Been waiting on a FedEx shipment from DC for over a week now. A few months ago I had a FedEx shipment end up in Newark and they just paid out the claim and gave up trying to track it, wasted 6 weeks on that little adventure.

Hopefully this gets resolved, just keep at it and know it will take time. Bummer for the new player, but a fitting welcome to the world of online gear buying and shipping.
 

hank57

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,289
ahhhhh that sucks...all delivery services have failed me in some way at some time.

keep squeaking and fighting with them
 

Rumble

Instrumental Rocker
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,485
I was pissed a few years ago when they lost my case candy (Tele Am.Std accessory pack). I just know some Tele aficionado postal worker pilfered it en route and has it in damn case!!! Man, I'd really be inconsolably livid it they lost my guitar. BTW, that's a nice red sparkle ( I have a 70s blue).
 

laurabaileysirishcre

Supporting Member
Messages
403
I would not give up hope, it might take a couple of months but the guitar could show up. I had something similar happen except with a pedal, just completely missing a few days after I shipped it. Filed a claim, and after two months the pedal was delivered. The buyer was honest enough to paypal me the money I refunded him.

Side note, was that one of the Mars Music models? My first guitar was that except in blue. I would love to have it back.
 
Messages
3,799
I've told this story before, but I'm still waiting on 6 sets of Elixir 9s that shipped USPS to me from MF in December. Package got as far as my local post office and then disappeared. Stolen I would assume.Of course MF made good with 6 more sets.
 

uab9253

Member
Messages
2,344
I would not give up hope, it might take a couple of months but the guitar could show up. I had something similar happen except with a pedal, just completely missing a few days after I shipped it. Filed a claim, and after two months the pedal was delivered. The buyer was honest enough to paypal me the money I refunded him.

Side note, was that one of the Mars Music models? My first guitar was that except in blue. I would love to have it back.
I got it used, on...wait for it - Ebay lol.
But it was a 2001 Korean from the Unsung factory. I am hoping this case works out that way and the kid gets his guitar. He said his family will repay the money if they do and I believe him. Never dealt with a young person who was so patient and so understanding.
And it's the smallest amount of money involved, but it really chaps my ass the most that Ebay is keeping the $14 seller fee.
 

Jarick

Supporting Member
Messages
7,773
Sorry to hear. USPS has been a complete disaster this year. I've had numerous packages that got delayed by several weeks. All of them eventually got to the destination, one 6 weeks later.

I even had one package that hit my local post office in Minnesota, got routed to a warehouse in California, sat for a few weeks, then came back to my local post office and was finally delivered (I live a mile away).

I would absolutely use UPS for important shipments going forward.
 

itguy61

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
361
I would never use USPS for large valuable packages. I had an amp shipped to me a few weeks ago and it got help up at a distribution center and nobody could find out what the issue was. It sat there for five days and finally delivered to me. My postman said he hardly every delivers packages like this.

UPS and Fedex specialize in this, but USPS delivers mainly letters and small packages.
 

scelerat

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,980
USPS is being dismantled right now. I've had good luck in the past, but the powers that be either don't want it to exist, or want it to exist in such a broken state that people seek alternatives. The plan seems to be "working." :-/
 




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