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Your thoughts on this Postal Service issue regarding mis delivered coins. Update - coins delivered.

SanctionIISanctionII Posts: 11,710 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited January 13, 2023 12:07PM in U.S. Coin Forum

So I purchased coins from a forum member. The coins were mailed to my business address by Priority Mail on 1-4-2023. Yesterday I learned that the Postal Service claims to have delivered the package containing the coins to my business address (a locked mailbox in a bank of mailboxes that I check daily to retrieve business mail) on 1-6-2023 at 10:53 a.m.

I checked my mailbox on 1-6-2023, 1-7-2023, 1-9-2023 and 1-10-2023. No package and no coins.

The seller provided me with the USPS Tracking #.

I went to the local post office this morning, spoke with a supervisor and explained things. He went into the back of the post office building to check on things. He came back and told me that the USPS geo tracking system shows that the package was delivered and is currently at the office building where I have my office. He said he would speak with the postal carrier who delivers mail to my building find out what the postal carrier has to say about the deliver. He said he would get back to me.

Many times I find that in my mail box are envelopes not addressed to me (they are addressed to other tenants in the building and I always take those items of mail to the office of the tenants who should have received them).

In the event that the USPS and/or the postal carrier who delivers mail to my mail box and/or the tenant in the building into whose mail box the package was place are unable or unwilling to provide the package of coins to me what recourse do I have against the USPS?

I assume that Priority Mail has some insured value (I will have to check with the seller on the amount). Does only the person who mailed the package have insurance coverage, or does the intended recipient [me] have insurance coverage. What is the process for asserting a loss claim against the USPS?

Thanks in advance for any assistance/guidance you can give me.

SanctionII

Comments

  • MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have never had this problem but I would guess that if the package shows as delivered, insurance of any amount won't help.

  • P0CKETCHANGEP0CKETCHANGE Posts: 2,237 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Sorry to hear about the issue. I’m sure this is frustrating for all parties. I’d suggest having the seller initiate a claim, since they bought the postage and (by extension) the insurance. This will kick off some processes at USPS and may help the parcel surface. Priority Mail service includes $100 of insurance, and unless the seller purchased additional, that is all that is covered (assuming it’s not bullion, in which case it would be $0). That said, your communications with the local post office may have the most impact, as you can pursue things with them in person, as it sounds like you did. I hope it works out favorably.

    Nothing is as expensive as free money.

  • TomBTomB Posts: 20,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I also recall that Priority Mail currently has a $100 insurance default attached to it unless the shipper declares and pays for a higher level of insurance. However, it is my recollection that when the USPS marks something as "delivered" that most insurance companies will accept that as electronic proof of delivery and the corresponding insurance coverage ends.

    In general, it is the shipper's responsibility to make certain that the buyer receives the merchandise in question, but again when the USPS marks "delivered" then everything is considered to have gone smoothly and the buyer (in this instance, you) has to prove that there was no successful delivery. If you had an agreement with the seller as to the terms of shipment (eg; certain level of insurance coverage, restricted delivery or signature required) then they come into play, as well, as to who has financial responsibility for the loss.

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

    In honor of the memory of Cpl. Michael E. Thompson

    image
  • MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here is where you're going to have difficulty, I think...

    4.3 Nonpayable Claims
    Indemnity is not paid for insured mail (including Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail), Registered Mail, COD, or Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express in these situations:

    • Loss, damage, or have missing contents, that occurred after delivery by the USPS.
  • JimnightJimnight Posts: 10,812 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It's a nightmare.

  • gtstanggtstang Posts: 1,692 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I had something similar happen years ago. The postal delivery person must have known where my package was because it showed up in my box a day later.
    I believe they also have a photo of the delivery so you may want to inquire about that.
    Good luck.

  • gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Used to be if you had to sign for a letter or package that the USPS would put a card in your mailbox. Then you checked off if you wanted redelivery or you brought it into the post office to get your mail.

    Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

  • rokkyrokky Posts: 308 ✭✭✭✭

    I feel for you @SanctionII ….. I really hope things work out. I cringe any time I hear something like this happening.

  • pocketpiececommemspocketpiececommems Posts: 5,741 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @DeplorableDan said:
    First off, what was the value of said package? I believe priority mail is automatically insured up to $100 but you have to pay for additional coverage. Did the seller give you the option to choose shipping method? Whenever I sell a coin privately, I require a signature from the buyer upon delivery. It cost an extra few dollars but it is helpful for situations such as this.

    Concerning the comment about buying additional insurance past the first $100. At my PO I was told that if you want to insure for $500 you pay for $500 even though you should already have the $100 to start with

  • GooberGoober Posts: 980 ✭✭✭

    I had something similar but the USPS has a specific word they use for a “bank of boxes” at the entrance to a neighborhood. Postal manager stated it was delivered to my “bank of boxes”. I then advised the manager I have a single mail box, not a bank. It took a few days but I did get my package. Opened. The carrier said they had a hard time retrieving it. I now, as well as my neighbor’s have cameras pointing to our mailboxes and crossing sights of path. UPS once said, “We left it at the side door.” I have no side door. I used to work for UPS, oh the stories I could share.

    Prost!

    Why step over the dollar to get to the cent? Because it's a 55DDO.
  • djmdjm Posts: 1,558 ✭✭✭✭✭

    We have had a lot of packages put in the wrong mailbox at my complex. Sometimes the people would bring them back to the Post Office for redelivery, others would just keep them. It got so bad they put in an Amazon Hub for packages now you get a unique code to open your box and receive your packages.

  • DeplorableDanDeplorableDan Posts: 2,532 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @pocketpiececommems said:

    @DeplorableDan said:
    First off, what was the value of said package? I believe priority mail is automatically insured up to $100 but you have to pay for additional coverage. Did the seller give you the option to choose shipping method? Whenever I sell a coin privately, I require a signature from the buyer upon delivery. It cost an extra few dollars but it is helpful for situations such as this.

    Concerning the comment about buying additional insurance past the first $100. At my PO I was told that if you want to insure for $500 you pay for $500 even though you should already have the $100 to start with

    Correct. It’s funny you mention that, I just shipped a coin the other day and asked the guy the same exact question. Very lame of them.

  • Project NumismaticsProject Numismatics Posts: 1,333 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Keep working the problem - I bet it will turn up. Good advice above - you're doing the right things.

  • jt88jt88 Posts: 2,831 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 11, 2023 9:36PM

    I think you need to wait for the post office to get back to you, hopefully the delivery person can provide more information about where is the package. You might still have a chance to get it back. As for the insurance I think you will have a very hard time to get the usps to pay for it since it marked as delivered.

  • AdamLAdamL Posts: 165 ✭✭✭

    I've seen/had this happen a few times. I hate dealing with mailboxes like that. Luckily I don't have to on the receiving end anymore.
    Anyway, it can definitely be a nightmare. But more often than not I've seen USPS come through and find the package even when I had lost all hope. You really do have to raise a stink about it though.

  • BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 3,158 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 12, 2023 6:03AM

    Don't forget the idiot-seller clause too.

    Had one recently where bleep for brains wrote the wrong house number on the label. USPS flagged it as an address problem (we have names inside the boxes and some carriers read them to detect misrouted mail). However, it was still delivered to the (wrong) address on the label.

    But USPS showed it as delivered and fleaBay sided with the seller. I was about to start a chargeback when the neighbor showed up with my package.

    The idiot seller never acknowledged my message that it had been misaddressed but was ultimately delivered due to the kindness of the neighbor.

    -----Burton
    ANA 50 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus")
  • OriginalDanOriginalDan Posts: 3,723 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here's my experience from a couple years ago. This one was outright theft, but you might get some idea about how to handle things from it.

    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/1035092/update-good-news-need-some-advice-on-usps-claim/p1

  • Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,612 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 12, 2023 9:49AM

    I would go after the seller for my refund. It’s his responsibility, liability wise if lost. Hopefully he had it adequately insured. The seller should be competent enough in handling this. Don’t tell me it’s some dunce who did not insure it lol.

    My online buying I do eBay or GC. I do buy from collectors from my table at shows. Usually these are competent vest pocket traders. Otherwise I simply take a look at what one of my go to wholesalers have. Never used the BST or whatever. Don’t know the competence of seller nor have guarantee of eBay.

    Your situation don’t know if incompetent seller or some USPS problem. Big ticket purchases I make sight seen at shows. We live in tough times and would not argue against possibility mail order shipment riskier.

    So Cali Area - Coins & Currency
  • Project NumismaticsProject Numismatics Posts: 1,333 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BStrauss3 said:
    Don't forget the idiot-seller clause too.

    Had one recently where bleep for brains wrote the wrong house number on the label. USPS flagged it as an address problem (we have names inside the boxes and some carriers read them to detect misrouted mail). However, it was still delivered to the (wrong) address on the label.

    But USPS showed it as delivered and fleaBay sided with the seller. I was about to start a chargeback when the neighbor showed up with my package.

    The idiot seller never acknowledged my message that it had been misaddressed but was ultimately delivered due to the kindness of the neighbor.

    As a seller, I always purchase shipping through eBay so that the buyer’s address is automatically filled in as the buyer entered it. Eliminates opportunity for address errors on my end.

    I have purchased things on eBay from experienced sellers where the seller hand wrote an address and bought postage at a retail location - don’t really understand why a seller would do that.

  • JoeLewisJoeLewis Posts: 1,904 ✭✭✭✭

    When I lived in an apartment, we had those huge banks of mail boxes. Mail would often get put in the wrong box. When I had the same situation as yours, I went to the post office and explained that, while it said “delivered”, it wasn’t in my box. They had the mail carrier track it down. It took a few days, but they figured out who they accidentally delivered it to, and brought me the coin.

    Never once did the postal workers question whether I was telling the truth or not.

  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,399 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It sounds like the best strategy for an expensive coin is to have it sent registered mail to your PO Box with tracking and signature required.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • MizzouMizzou Posts: 463 ✭✭✭✭

    @Cougar1978 said:
    I would go after the seller for my refund. It’s his responsibility, liability wise if lost. Hopefully he had it adequately insured. The seller should be competent enough in handling this. Don’t tell me it’s some dunce who did not insure it lol.

    Looks like the seller did everything he was supposed to do, why should he get the short end of the stick? Even if he purchased insurance and refunded the buyer, he still lost the coin.

    Sometimes I think that animals are smarter than humans, animals would never allow the dumbest one to lead the pack

  • retirednowretirednow Posts: 471 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Mizzou said:

    Looks like the seller did everything he was supposed to do, why should he get the short end of the stick? Even if he purchased insurance and refunded the buyer, he still lost the coin.

    Not sure I understand the logic ... if insurance pays the fair insured value , Buyer gets his refund and seller gets the fair value that he insured it for! i.e. If buyer paid 500$ to seller and seller refunds 500$ and then insurance pays claim to seller for 500$ it is all even. Only party that is out is the insurance company. Seller gets the value he wanted for the coin in the end and as a seller that should the main focus ... the insurance company now has claims on the coin.

    Only issue is the coin is now off the market (until it shows up in ebay that is). If anyone should he upset is the buyer as he/she did not get the piece he was looking for and that it may be a long time before he/she sees one like it again ?

  • JoeLewisJoeLewis Posts: 1,904 ✭✭✭✭

    @retirednow said:
    Not sure I understand the logic ... if insurance pays the fair insured value , Buyer gets his refund and seller gets the fair value that he insured it for! i.e. If buyer paid 500$ to seller and seller refunds 500$ and then insurance pays claim to seller for 500$ it is all even. Only party that is out is the insurance company. Seller gets the value he wanted for the coin in the end and as a seller that should the main focus ... the insurance company now has claims on the coin.

    Only issue is the coin is now off the market (until it shows up in ebay that is). If anyone should he upset is the buyer as he/she did not get the piece he was looking for and that it may be a long time before he/she sees one like it again ?

    I think you’re missing the part of insurance paying out on a coin that tracking says was delivered. Good luck with that!

  • retirednowretirednow Posts: 471 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JoeLewis said:

    I think you’re missing the part of insurance paying out on a coin that tracking says was delivered. Good luck with that!

    Got it

  • privatecoinprivatecoin Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Congrats on literally winning the lottery!

    Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value. Zero. Voltaire. Ebay coinbowlllc

  • WalkerfanWalkerfan Posts: 8,956 ✭✭✭✭✭

    What a relief! Glad it worked out for you!!

    “I may not believe in myself but I believe in what I’m doing” ~Jimmy Page~

    My Full Walker Registry Set (1916-1947)

    https://www.ngccoin.com/registry/competitive-sets/16292/

  • lermishlermish Posts: 1,916 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Walkerfan said:
    What a relief! Glad it worked out for you!!

    +1 but also for the seller as well! Usually no one wins in this situation and it is a ton stress. Glad for a happy resolution!

  • MaywoodMaywood Posts: 1,884 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @SanctionII said: Many times I find that in my mail box are envelopes not addressed to me.

    It seems that you're aware of the fact that this particular PO does a poor job and mixes up mail. Perhaps you should have mail delivered to an address where you live. It might seem like an inconvenience but it beats a lost package.

  • MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,020 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Maywood said:
    @SanctionII said: Many times I find that in my mail box are envelopes not addressed to me.

    It seems that you're aware of the fact that this particular PO does a poor job and mixes up mail. Perhaps you should have mail delivered to an address where you live. It might seem like an inconvenience but it beats a lost package.

    But if he were to do that, even with a “signature required” shipment, he would risk a package being left in his mailbox or outside the front door (unprotected).

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

  • JimnightJimnight Posts: 10,812 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm glad your nightmare is over. Mine turned out well also.

  • BigtreeBigtree Posts: 197 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @SanctionII so glad that your coins arrived safely. I've lost quite a bit of sleep in the past when my coins have been lost or delayed in the mail.

    I actually had a favorite coin stolen en route a couple years ago, which prompted me to rent a PO Box for the first time since college. I highly recommend it to folks that regularly receive expensive coins through the mail. It is neither convenient (compared to getting mails mailed to your doorstep) nor foolproof, but the amount of stress reduction has been well worth the cost to me, especially with postal theft seemingly on the rise.

  • johnny010johnny010 Posts: 1,084 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My brand new $4k bracelet was stolen out of a FedEx box this week and we have video of the sending and receiving locations …meaning it was taken during transit by an employee. They can all suck at times.

  • winestevenwinesteven Posts: 4,049 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 14, 2023 10:34AM

    Great result!

    However, it’s so unfortunate that the ONLY reason for your positive ending was the action and time that YOU put in!

    The postal executives that you spoke with should have had this same process done that you did! They did NOT do their job! Either retraining is in order, or worst case, perhaps someone should be reassigned to just washing floors instead of remaining in their management position!

    Steve

    A day without fine wine and working on your coin collection is like a day without sunshine!!!

    My collecting “Pride & Joy” is my PCGS Registry Dansco 7070 Set:
    https://www.pcgs.com/setregistry/type-sets/design-type-sets/complete-dansco-7070-modified-type-set-1796-date/publishedset/213996
  • BuffaloIronTailBuffaloIronTail Posts: 7,408 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Goober said:
    I had something similar but the USPS has a specific word they use for a “bank of boxes” at the entrance to a neighborhood. Postal manager stated it was delivered to my “bank of boxes”. I then advised the manager I have a single mail box, not a bank. It took a few days but I did get my package. Opened. The carrier said they had a hard time retrieving it. I now, as well as my neighbor’s have cameras pointing to our mailboxes and crossing sights of path. UPS once said, “We left it at the side door.” I have no side door. I used to work for UPS, oh the stories I could share.

    The "bank of boxes" are caller cluster boxes in USPS lingo.

    Pete> @winesteven said:

    Great result!

    However, it’s so unfortunate that the ONLY reason for your positive ending was the action and time that YOU put in!

    The postal executives that you spoke with should have had this same process done that you did! They did NOT do their job! Either retraining is in order, or worst case, perhaps someone should be reassigned to just washing floors instead of remaining in their management position!

    Steve

    AMEN. They're not all bad, but a pretty significant amount should be washing floors.

    Pete

    "I tell them there's no problems.....only solutions" - John Lennon
  • winestevenwinesteven Posts: 4,049 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My point is the Supervisor(s) that @SanctionII spoke with need retraining. No implication on other USPS personnel.

    Steve

    A day without fine wine and working on your coin collection is like a day without sunshine!!!

    My collecting “Pride & Joy” is my PCGS Registry Dansco 7070 Set:
    https://www.pcgs.com/setregistry/type-sets/design-type-sets/complete-dansco-7070-modified-type-set-1796-date/publishedset/213996

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