Corona Update: Please note shipping can take longer than usual. Check your local postal service for updates!
I use PostNL for my letters and parcels. 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).
– within the Netherlands for orders above 75 euro
– to Belgium and Germany for orders above 150 euro
The difference between just tracking an insured and signed for
I can ship with just track and trace within Europe and with insurance all over the world. Once I see the parcel delivered in the track and trace, I consider the deal done. Don’t trust your local postal service to deliver at the right address (or at all), choose the insurance upgrade. You’ll need to sign for the parcel before the tracking says it is delivered (and gives us more control over finding the parcel).
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 possible, but not advisable. Make sure before any purchase that this address is correct).
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.
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, pandemic 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 shipping costs back (and parcel value if it was insured). 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. Insured parcels tend not to get lost often.
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, know that customs are not my responsibility and check for pickup notes if the mail-man missed you.
Lost parcel: 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 make promisses. 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.
Shipping in envelope (domestic)
It is possible to ship tiny items domestic without tracking in an envelope. Like needles. This is a lot cheaper for low valued items. Just contact me if you think your order can be shipped that way.