Thursday, 13 January 2011

International Shipping

As someone who's online business relies heavily on international buyers, international shipping since the last week in November has been a complete nightmare. I try and ship within 24 hours of receiving an order, always convo the buyer to thank them for their purchase and give an idea of ETA.

However thanks in part to the adverse weather in the UK throughout November and December and the increased security of incoming parcels into the USA, shipping has been taking up to 4 weeks from the UK to USA and in some cases ever longer.

And understandably buyers are getting increasingly frustrated and annoyed that they are having to wait this length of time. Also, there is the very real possibility that some of these delayed parcels have got lost in the system somewhere.

So I'm wondering, what do you do if you have an upset customer who is worrying about their order? When do you decide that you should refund or replace? And what to you tell someone who is contacting you regularly for updates?

All thought welcome


  1. I had one too, left Belgium on the 14th of December and arrived today in the US ... luckily on the birthday of my customer. I am so happy she was very patient.
    But indeed, where is the line to decide for refund or replace ... difficult matter.

  2. Tricky one. I am still waiting on 2 parcels posted back in December, doubting i'll ever receive them now!
    I don't ship internationally so sorry to not be much help but I hope you can resolve it.

  3. Oh it's been a nightmare hasn't it? I think that communication is the key with customers that are upset by the delays. Etsy wrote a good storque post which is good to link to. However, any international orders that are outstanding after 6 weeks should probably be resent. In one instance I ended up FedExing a custom wedding order to the USA at my own expense as I was so concerned it wouldn't arrive in time.

  4. thanks :) I can appreciate how frustrating it is as a buyer when you're still waiting

  5. I've been linking customers to the Royal Mail website and have added the link to the storque article in my shop announcement.

    Fingers crossed things improve now the christmas rush is over