I use the rates of Postnl for my letters and parcels.
I issue free shipping:
– within the Netherlands for orders above 75 euro
– to Belgium and Germany for orders above 100 euro (not yet fully working in etsy)
– Anywhere else for orders above 500 euro

You will receive a shipping notice with a track and trace number as soon as I ship your order (domestic and international). It should arrive timely, but you can check with me if the order has not been received within 2 weeks. I always keep an eye out on my orders and I start an investigation myself after 4 weeks (whether you contacted me or not).

People ask me all the time what the ETA of a parcel will be. I always send them what Postnl tells me and note that it is an indication, not a promise. I cannot make promises for a job I do not supervise or do myself. I’ve learned that as soon as you and your client are dependable on a third party, you shouldn’t make a promise. So I don’t. There are a lot of things we both can do to make the shipment as swiftly as possible…

Track and Trace
With tracking of a parcel of Postnl, we both get the same info. Asking me if I can see more info is rather useless. What I can do is ask them via twitter (fastest way) what’s up if a parcel is lingering too long. Most of the time I’ll get the ‘it’s in customs reply. I cannot add extra info when the parcel is already on it’s way, so all the correct info should be in the info you give me or your Etsy account (messaging another address via Etsy than your address on file is a no go. Make sure before any purchase that this address is correct).

Reasons of delay
Shipping parcels, domestic or international, can be a fickle sometimes. Postnl gives indication of workdays when they expect to deliver. Excuses (and sometimes valid reasons) to be late can be human caused delays (strike, war, accident and so on) and natural caused delays (bad weather, dinosaur attack, kitten rescue and so on). I do not have the power to stop a strike from my workshop in the UK for example, just to have my parcel delivered.

Another thing is customs. Not only can they charge you for importing goods (please check yourself if they do, I’m not responsible for this), they can sit on your parcel for weeks. They are specialized in ruining Christmas, Comic Cons and Birthdays. They have the right to do so and your parcel is in limbo for a while. I have no authority in limbo, no matter what everybody says about me.

When is it lost?
A parcel is considered as lost at 30 days (domestic) or 6 weeks (international). This is when we file a report on a missing parcel. Postnl will search for the parcel (this can take a few months) and if they don’t find it, I’ll get the money back (shipping costs and parcel value). This is why I will ask you to wait to ask for refunds right away or poke etsy for a refund. As long as I don’t get the refund from PostNL, I can’t pay you back. There might be a chance they find it and deliver. I always ship insured. These parcels tend not to get lost often.

Abandoned packages
It sometimes happens a package is returned to me due to failing to deliver or refusing to accept. Reasons mostly are a faulty address, not willing to pay customs or just not able to deliver (not home and nobody is picking it up). They call this an abandoned package. These are returned to me (and can take months).

Once I get these packages back, I will issue a refund
– MINUS shipping costs I made (check postnl.nl for rates, they are higher then what I charge)
– MINUS extra costs made for shipping it back to me
– MINUS damage costs to the product

So please check your address details in Etsy, know that customs are not my responsibility and check for pickup notes if the mail-man missed you.

Who’s fault is it anyway?
I wrote this, because by law the sender/seller is responsible for getting the order to a receiver/buyer. There is a third party involved (the deliverer), that has a whole net of clauses that doesn’t give one solid promise on actually delivering from sender to receiver. This is why I never promise and I always send insured and signed for. This sounds scary, but if it goes wrong, sender and receiver are not financially hurt too much. With Postnl it thankfully doesn’t go wrong that often. It is still the best option for me for shipping from The Netherlands.

I know many won’t read this, but at least I wrote it down for you to read and understand. It might seem like much, but it’s all very simple and most of the time everything goes very well.

Helpful Links:
Domestic tracking PostNL
International tracking PostNL
Customer Service (in English)
PostNL international FAQ
PostNL Twitter