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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Magic Transactions - why so much trouble? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Marvello
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It's amazing how little I can say in
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First of all - let me preface this post by saying that I am not picking anyone out in particular in this post, so if I have done business with you, or am currently involved in a transaction with me, please don't take it personally - this is not about anyone in particular - this is about a trend I have noticed.

I operated my own online business, not magic related, for many years, and out of tens of thousands of pieces of mail and packages that I sent and received I can only recall one incident where the package/letter was truly "lost" (ie: never showed up anywhere). That is not to say that items don't get delayed at times, but eventually the mail makes it where it needs to go, or back to the sender. I once had a christmas package from my mother show up in April, with no indication where it had been all that time, but the point is that it did finally arrive, even if it was late - it was delayed, but not lost. I have done around 15 transactions here on the Café, and there have been 4 instances so far where the package or check that was sent was "lost" in the mail. That is greater than a 25% failure rate. Based on my prior experience with mail, and the percentages that are posted online for lost mail, that seems way above normal, and actually is "unbelievable." There are a lot of jokes about "snail mail" being unreliable, but if you really look in to the actual percentages, it is amazingly reliable and efficient.

So- what is it about magicians that causes things to "disappear" and "vanish" in the normally reliable mail system? Have other people who have done business here on the Café noticed the same thing, or is it just me?
Never criticize someone else until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Then, when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes.
RandyStewart
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Texas (USA)
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When shipping or receiving via mail, I've decided to take the approach Owen Supreme took when mailing me a set of multiplying candles. This itsy bitsy jewel fit into it's packaged box measuring 6in long by 3 by 3. A small box to hold the set of four candles.

I ordered by phone and noticed the quoted price was $20 higher over the phone. I asked what happened and they quoted the price of product and $20 for shipping. I laughed and said the item fits in the palm of my hand and weighs just a few ounces.

He said they don't take chances and box things so they don't get lost or damaged.

Well! What arrived explained the darn $20! The box was 20 times the size of the product box, insured, confirmation delivery, and online tracking so I knew where it was enroute from California. Nice. Everything short of being carried by it's own security escort. But knowing Owen Magic, they'd provide that as well for the right price! Smile

No, they don't mess around with claims of "lost" items and or "damaged in transit"...

That's the way to do and the extra $ is worth it.
Lambertmoon
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I've been lucky in all of my transactions on the Café. The only problem I ever had was not receiving the goods a month after the payment was received. The member admitted he didn't "get around" to sending it but after I filed a dispute with paypal he sent it.

I've sent cash (less than $20.00) on numerous occassions to reputable members here and never had a problem. Sleightofhand1 and Amerigo to name a few. I know its not the smartest thing to do but I understand if it gets lost its on me.

Marvello-Are incoming checks or your checks getting lost? I'd check with your local post office and let them know. Could be an employee or letter carrier dumping.
Steve V
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Northern California
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Marvello is right. I'm in the traffic business and I've shipped (my warehouses), I'm guessing, about 3.5 million orders (this is over 20 years). I've had less than five orders actually lost, a few hundred damaged due to bad packaging usually but really lost is minimal. So next time someone needs an excuse try something different.
Steve V
Josh the Superfluous
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Maybe the post office is destroying them, after detecting trace elements of whiffle dust.

Seriously though, I have encountered the same phenomena. Spooky.
What do you want in a site? "Honesty, integrity and decency." -Mike Doogan
"I hate it, I hate my ironic lovechild. I didn't even have anything to do with it" Josh #2
Alikzam
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I used to trade "magic the gathering" cards online and this used to apparently happen all the time. Things like this don't actually occur. Its the fault of the senders and receivers and not the postal service (USPC or CanadaPost). You can write only half the address on a letter with a name and it'll find its way. Packages are never lost though.

I cant comment about trading on this forum though, I've never done it.
Sam Tabar
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Austin, Texas
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I've sent a check also to a user here in the Café (I don't know if he is still around.) He confirmed that he has received the check but I never got the product I was paying for. I kept on sending PMs to that particular user but never got a reply ever since. Somehow he mysteriously disappeared together with my check.
"Knowledge comes from finding the answers, but understanding what the answers mean is what brings wisdom." - Anonymous
Josh the Superfluous
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Sam, send me $5.00 and I'll track him down for you.
What do you want in a site? "Honesty, integrity and decency." -Mike Doogan
"I hate it, I hate my ironic lovechild. I didn't even have anything to do with it" Josh #2
Margarette
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Memphis area
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Sam, I can identify with you! I purchased something from a Café member and never got the item I paid for. After several messages back and forth about not receiving the item, I was told that he couldn't refund even part of my money because he was a student and had limited resources.

Margarette
The only stupid question is the one not asked.
Mad Jake
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All the voices in my head helped me make
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Won a close up workstation on an auction site, the seller shipped it USPS Parcel Post. After 2 months of not showing up the seller refunded me. About 19 months later, guess what shows up at my post office? Yep, the workstation. The difficult thing to believe is that the item was shipped from Blacksburg VA, just 3 hours away. This also happend with a piece I won from Chance Wolf about 2 years ago, it took over a year and then just appeared one day at the post office.
For quality Paul Fox Cups spun on Danny Dew's Paul Fox tooling visit us at www.airshipmagic.com
RandyStewart
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Texas (USA)
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A year to deliver 3 hours away? THAT IS INCREDIBLE!
daffydoug
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Quote:
On 2006-08-29 19:03, Marvello wrote:
First of all - let me preface this post by saying that I am not picking anyone out in particular in this post, so if I have done business with you, or am currently involved in a transaction with me, please don't take it personally - this is not about anyone in particular - this is about a trend I have noticed.

I operated my own online business, not magic related, for many years, and out of tens of thousands of pieces of mail and packages that I sent and received I can only recall one incident where the package/letter was truly "lost" (ie: never showed up anywhere). That is not to say that items don't get delayed at times, but eventually the mail makes it where it needs to go, or back to the sender. I once had a christmas package from my mother show up in April, with no indication where it had been all that time, but the point is that it did finally arrive, even if it was late - it was delayed, but not lost. I have done around 15 transactions here on the Café, and there have been 4 instances so far where the package or check that was sent was "lost" in the mail. That is greater than a 25% failure rate. Based on my prior experience with mail, and the percentages that are posted online for lost mail, that seems way above normal, and actually is "unbelievable." There are a lot of jokes about "snail mail" being unreliable, but if you really look in to the actual percentages, it is amazingly reliable and efficient.

So- what is it about magicians that causes things to "disappear" and "vanish" in the normally reliable mail system? Have other people who have done business here on the Café noticed the same thing, or is it just me?


Reminds me of a story...kind of related...several years ago, I ordered some magic from Hank Lee..quite an expensive order, too.

Anyway, a long time went by and it didn't show up.

Well, Hank said that he surely shipped it, but my hands were empty. Well, AMAZINGLY, I was talking to someone on the other end of the trailer court where I was living at the time, and as we talked outside, for whatever reason, he opened up the trunk of his car (probably to put something in there) Anyway my eyes literally popped out of my head when I gazed in the trunk, because there in all its glory was my PACKAGE!!!

I was shocked and VERY happy!

Another time, I ordered an item or two from Hank, and when it arrived, by UPS, I found it outside my door, on my porch, but when I picked up the package, I was horrified to find that it had been opened, and the contents removed. In it's place some kind, loving soul had placed dirt, sticks, rocks and grass, and in the midst of all that, an empty, filthy, beat up crushed BEER CAN.

I cried that day.

Just a couple nice horror stories for your enjoyment.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Steve Brooks
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daffydoug, I certainly feel your pain. I once purchased a brand new DVD player from a store on Ebay. The player was sent, but delivered to an apartment down the street from me. Luckily the receiver of the package was honest and returned the item to me that evening. The worse part was that UPS didn't have them sign for it, they just left the box at the door!

Anyway, I think this is a great topic, so I wrote some of my thoughts about all of this Here! Enjoy. Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
daffydoug
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That part scares me...the part about UPS just leaving packages and not caring if anybody signs for them...I never could quite fathom the logic of that.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
digiquick
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Sydney
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I have found UPS to be fantastic, I receive dozens of deliveries from USA each month and No Probs,

Re Post - Aghh I post to expect the worst and its usually the worst

A parcel I sent with a metal framed item arrived bent out of shape, the parcel was packed under the supervision of Australia Post. A large footprint was on the box. It was insured. The Australian Post refused insurance saying it was not packed sufficiently.

It took 6 months, My MP The Chairman of the Post Office and the Ombudsman to get Justice.

I always fight to the end if I am in the right.

Another parcel with Fanning Powder, Packed to withstand a Jumbo Jet Crashing into it was broken open and the powder spilled out - It brought Sydney Airport to a standstill -

What can you do - I really don't know - Just pack well and insure
Dave Scribner
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Quote:
On 2006-09-07 22:08, Mad Jake wrote:
Won a close up workstation on an auction site, the seller shipped it USPS Parcel Post. After 2 months of not showing up the seller refunded me. About 19 months later, guess what shows up at my post office? Yep, the workstation. The difficult thing to believe is that the item was shipped from Blacksburg VA, just 3 hours away. This also happend with a piece I won from Chance Wolf about 2 years ago, it took over a year and then just appeared one day at the post office.


Gee Jake, you have to understand the shipping business. The package gets picked up and taken to the sorting facility where it goes on a truck to the distribution center on the other side of the country. Then they sort it and take it to their consolidation facility and trucked to the nearest delivery hub. They take it to the delivery sorting facility and load it on the truck for delivery. This is efficient????? Just kidding of course although I do work in the distribution system and this is what happens many times but it's more efficient that it sounds. A year is a long time though. Sounds like it was misdelivered and returned to a holding facility and finally dispositioned. At least you got the package.
Where the magic begins
Bill
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This is a timely topic for me. I was just ranting to my account about how I've had it with the Post Office. I've had things lost, and the attitude I get from the post office is not "well, let me look into it and see if we can find it", but rather "well, sh*t happens". Where, I ask you, but in the government is that attitude tolerated? And to add insult to injury, they ask you to pay extra to ensure that they do what they've been contracted to do (registered mail). Gee, I wish I could get upfront money to build someone a house with the assumption that I just may not do it. But, no,no wait.....if you'll pay me five times my asking rate, then I'll guarantee in writing that I'll do it!

Ahhhhh.............Now I've got myself all worked up again. Gotta go kick the dog!
(Just kidding, I'd rather kick the postman)
Marvello
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The stories from folks here regarding items taking a year or more to be delivered are amazing, however they do point out that when items are actually sent out, they do make it there EVENTUALLY. The story about the package arriving with sticks and mud and a crushed beer can makes me sad - but luckily that is the rare exception and not the rule.

Another thing I find amazing is the fact that UPS or FedEx often will accept packages from shippers that include PO Boxes, and then they go in to the system and taken to the local delivery office where they are marked undeliverable and returned to the sender. If you are a seller shipping via UPS or Fedex and someone gives you a PO Box address to ship to then you should be aware enough to say to the buyer "Please give me a street address since I am shipping via UPS," because UPS or FedEx may not catch it, and they will happily take your money in the meantime.
Never criticize someone else until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Then, when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes.
daffydoug
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Quote:
On 2006-09-08 19:21, digiquick wrote:
I have found UPS to be fantastic, I receive dozens of deliveries from USA each month and No Probs,

Re Post - Aghh I post to expect the worst and its usually the worst

A parcel I sent with a metal framed item arrived bent out of shape, the parcel was packed under the supervision of Australia Post. A large footprint was on the box. It was insured. The Australian Post refused insurance saying it was not packed sufficiently.

It took 6 months, My MP The Chairman of the Post Office and the Ombudsman to get Justice.

I always fight to the end if I am in the right.

Another parcel with Fanning Powder, Packed to withstand a Jumbo Jet Crashing into it was broken open and the powder spilled out - It brought Sydney Airport to a standstill -

What can you do - I really don't know - Just pack well and insure


That's horrible! Man, ANY white powder nowadays is under automatic suspicion...but imagine..the whole airport being at a standstill over a simple container of magician's fanning powder!

What did you say to them to explain what the white powder was? Did they really fully comprehend when you told them you are a magician and you sprinkle the powder on playing cards to make them fan out nicely???? Or did they look at you like you were from outer space? Man, I'm really curious!

On the other hand, this is a sad commentary on how a few idiots have changed the outlook that everyone has on the world, so that we are scared or suspicious of the simplest, most innocent of things!

Sad....very sad indeed.
Posted: Sep 10, 2006 10:12pm
Quote:

On 2006-09-10 10:22, Bill wrote:
This is a timely topic for me. I was just ranting to my account about how I've had it with the Post Office. I've had things lost, and the attitude I get from the post office is not "well, let me look into it and see if we can find it", but rather "well, sh*t happens". Where, I ask you, but in the government is that attitude tolerated? And to add insult to injury, they ask you to pay extra to ensure that they do what they've been contracted to do (registered mail). Gee, I wish I could get upfront money to build someone a house with the assumption that I just may not do it. But, no,no wait.....if you'll pay me five times my asking rate, then I'll guarantee in writing that I'll do it!

Ahhhhh.............Now I've got myself all worked up again. Gotta go kick the dog!
(Just kidding, I'd rather kick the postman)


Excellent points! You just put it in a whole new perspective!

I don't know HOW MANY TIMES I have received someone elses mail in my home mailbox or in my PO box.

Man, that makes me so MAD!!! The PO box number is CLEARLY written on the letter, but they put it in the wrong box! Can't the postman READ???

Well, the main point is this...and I think I am fully justified in thinking this...because it's totally logical: If I am recieving other people's mail, then HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE RECEIVING MINE!!!???

When I tell the guy at the post office, they act like it's no big deal...well it's a mighty big deal to ME, buddy! If I did my job in the same slipshod manner, I would have been fired a long time ago.

There now I have vented. I'll go into the corner now and see if my blood pressure goes down again.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Jerrine
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While living in an apartment (why they call them that I will never understand, they are all together) I routinely recieved 4-7 electric bills and cable bills, obviously with different addresses. Besides, who gets 4-7 bills from the same place monthly. Upon inquiring at the P.O. I was told that I was on the training route. Not exactly sure what they were training them to do. Just more stuff that would never fly in the real world.
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