USPS Shipping Tips

Mojave Outliers Whipmakers Santa Shipping Tips

Right then, it has come to my attention that extra vigilance is needed regarding shipping and receiving packages through the United States Postal Service. There have been theft of packages off people’s front door steps and porches and such, and too, there seems to be some…ah…confusion on the part of postal carriers regarding their duties and responsibilities—for instance, they’re getting pretty casual about leaving notices for packages that they take back to the post office as undeliverable, and instead are scanning them in as “left at the door/porch,” so that the client has no idea what happened to their package! This has happened to me twice now with packages arriving from Australia, and I was even sitting right there in my shop when the carrier came by!

So, here are my suggestions going forward:

1. Get on a first name basis with your postal carrier. Bribe them with goodies, even. I’m serious. It really does help. And watch out! Often your regular carrier is NOT the one who brings your packages, especially if the package is larger, so you may need to befriend more than one person. Too, make sure they understand where to leave packages if you’re not available in person (and make a space if you need to!).

2. Always get tracking on your packages.

3. When you get tracking, go to the USPS website (I’ll put the link below) and have notices sent either to your phone or to your email for every time the package is scanned by someone at the post office, and then watch your phone or email assiduously. The less time there is between a package going missing and you noticing that it has gone missing means a far greater chance that you’ll be able to recover the package.

Here’s the link:

This was how I caught the two packages coming in from Australia. I got an email notice saying the package had been delivered, only when I opened my front door, there was nothing there. So I called the Post Office RIGHT THEN! The carrier hadn’t even got back to the post office yet. I was able to retrieve the packages at the PO loading dock when the carrier arrived back at the post office, and there was no chance for the carrier to stash the packages and then claim ignorance.

4. Consider paying a couple of bucks extra for signature service. That means the postal carrier MUST get a signature, OR they MUST leave a notice and bring the package back to the post office, where you can go sign for it.

5. If it’s an expensive item, consider purchasing insurance. The actual process of making a claim is laborious, but it also means your package is less likely to go astray because post workers don’t like the process, either.

Just a few tips, hope this helps!



Payments and Shipping

Payment is via PayPal, so don’t worry about sending a payment until after you and I have talked and sorted out all the details. I can give you a quote for your build, of course, but typically I don’t send an invoice until I’m ready to start your build. I can also give you an idea of what the shipping will be, but since the post office tends to raise its rates pretty much by surprise, then when I actually send you the invoice, I will re-calculate the shipping at that time. If there is a change in shipping costs, I’ll make sure you’re aware of it. Naturally, the invoice needs to be paid in full before I ship your whip to you.

As for shipping, domestically so far I use the United States Postal Service (USPS) exclusively. For tiny items (like the Baby Basilisk) I can ship First Class, but for most everything else I use Priority Mail, which includes tracking and tends to be a lot faster.

For international shipping, I use USPS Priority Mail International, which takes about 6 to 10 days to deliver. While the package is traveling in the US, you can track it using the USPS postal tracking site. Once it crosses the border, then in MOST cases you can simply use that country’s postal service to track the package using the same tracking number (which also happens to be the customs form number). I do NOT use First Class for international shipping, because they HAVE lost packages when I’ve done so.

International shipping also entails customs and other taxes for you, the receiver, based on the declared value of the item you’re receiving, payment of which is between you and your customs officials. Please do not ask me to risk my livelihood by fudging the numbers on the customs form for your order.

As always, if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!