If I learned anything from spring break, it is never to rely upon the nightmare that is USPS Standard Mail. It all began when I successfully auctioned off my first ever fan-made plush on eBay. In case you did not read my last post, or do not recognize this character, the plush pictured above is Princess Luna from the 2010 children’s show My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic. It took a good month of work to get this plush done. When I put it for sale on eBay, it sold for a grand total of $380 dollars. Everything had run been running smoothly so far, at least until it came to shipping. This plush was HUGE – I mean 40 inches tall huge! Finding a box for this thing had been a nightmare. After passing up probably 20 different boxes, the only one I found able to fit it was a 45-inch tall box for a mini-fridge I had ordered. I packaged the plush, addressed it to the winner of the auction, and then headed on down to the post office. That was when stuff hit the fan – turns out the $17 dollars I had charged for shipping was no where near enough to get this package to the buyer. The post office clerk told me it would be at least $65 dollars to ship this thing by Standard Post, and that was the cheapest option they had! Having no other option, I handed over the rest of my paycheck and sent the package by Standard Mail.
This was when the real nightmare began. According to the post office, the package should have arrived within 5 days, but 2 weeks later I got a complaint from my buyer that the package had not arrived and an eBay case had been opened against me. I called the post office and spent the next 3 days basically being transferred from one branch to another. No one had a straight answer as to what had happened to package, if it was lost or damaged, or simply had not arrived yet. The tracking number I had been given was incorrect, and what the post office had failed to tell me when I shipped the package out was that Standard Mail can take up to 15 days. Apparently Priority and Express mail can hold up packages shipped by Standard Mail. In the end the buyer did receive the item, and the case against me was closed. So next time I send out one of my plushies, I will make sure to get my numbers right, and always always use Priority Mail.