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Author: Subject: Opinions please
locoboy

posted on 19/8/15 at 01:47 PM Reply With Quote
Opinions please

Opinions please

I work for an online retailer selling used parts.

We use royal mail to send out some othe the smaller items that fit within their services.

If RM loose an item we can not claim for it because we can not prove the cost to us of the item. We sell used car parts and we buy in complete cars, so proving the cost of an alternator from a 2500 vehicle is impossible.

If we had manufactured an item we could prove manufacturing costs and we would get reimbursed accordingly.

So my question..........

Is it right for me to put the onus on the customer to claim a refund for the item because they can prove what it cost them (my sell price). I can provide an invoice etc for them to use in their claim.

This will leave the customer out of pocket for a while until the claim is settled but there is a much stronger chance they will get the money they are owed.

My reservation is that this will pee some customers off as they are not at fault.

At the moment we are taking it all on the chin and giving the customer their money back and not being able to claim from RM for the item and it's getting on my wick a little.

Just canvassing your opinions.

Cheers
Colin





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Locoboy

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loggyboy

posted on 19/8/15 at 01:52 PM Reply With Quote
Stop using RM?





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sdh2903

posted on 19/8/15 at 02:27 PM Reply With Quote
I'm with loggy here. If it's causing that much hassle then you need to change your shipper.

I wouldn't be happy being told it was my responsibility to claim as a customer when I hadn't booked the courier/postal service.

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locoboy

posted on 19/8/15 at 02:54 PM Reply With Quote
We have thought of this but there is nothing as competitively priced and if we were to pass on the inflated costs to the customer in respect of their shipping then we would loose sales for sure.





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Locoboy

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r1_pete

posted on 19/8/15 at 02:56 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by loggyboy
Stop using RM?


+1 I avoid them like the plague, unless I can get it in the letter or large letter category, then only low couple of quid items.

Anything more goes in an oversize box with one of the independents.

Hermes mis delivered a fuel tank for me, it was my fault too, I'd used their postcode lookup and selected the wrong address, it took three weeks but they located the parcel, re addressed it and delivered it, all at no extra cost to me....

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Ivan

posted on 19/8/15 at 03:28 PM Reply With Quote
Give the customers the choice upfront - RM and they claim if lost or courier at extra cost. If they know the consequences of their choice they can't complain and next time will choose alternate delivery method.
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Slimy38

posted on 19/8/15 at 03:51 PM Reply With Quote
Can the customer actually claim for a lost item, even if you provide an invoice? I thought the responsibility was with the seller until the buyer signs for it.

Conversely, if you have a paid invoice as evidence of the value of the item, why can't you use that for the refund?

Something seems off to me. If I sent a Ming vase via Royal Mail, correctly insured, and it got lost, I couldn't prove that vase was actually worth millions of pounds. I couldn't even prove that I'd not put a house brick in there. Is that their entire basis for refusing insurance claims?

(OK, extreme example, but you get the point).

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locoboy

posted on 19/8/15 at 04:20 PM Reply With Quote
They will only refund the COST of the item not the sales value of it. These are different things to different people, ie seller and customer.





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Stot

posted on 19/8/15 at 04:33 PM Reply With Quote
You probably have an idea of how much you would would make if you sold all the sellable parts of the car. If say everything form the car was 4000 and this part sells for 50 then its 1.25% of the total sales value, so if the car cost you 2500 you can say its cost is 1.25% of the total cost value too so 31.25.

If you recorded cars in this way perhaps RM would accept it as reasonable evidence of cost. A spreadsheet could be made up to keep track of stuff like that.

Cheers
Stot

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Brook_lands

posted on 19/8/15 at 06:33 PM Reply With Quote
Set up a separate mail order company.

Mail order company purchases items from main company and is invoiced for an appropriate amount.

Mail order company sells item to customer for cost + postage + % mark-up

Is this worth while? Depends on volume and what value of goods royal fail is loosing each week/month/year.

Other couriers are no better, they want pictures of the product and how its packed etc before you can make a claim so either you have to photograph everything you pack or, again, take in on the chin.

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gremlin1234

posted on 19/8/15 at 07:38 PM Reply With Quote
play them at their own game, invoice them for the 2,500 that the part cost you.

else estimate overall profit, vs turnover, 5% on a very good day, so 50 sale price represents 47.50 cost.

and no the customer cannot claim against the courier, since the contract is between you and the courier.

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russbost

posted on 19/8/15 at 09:32 PM Reply With Quote
If you're sending out a lot of parcels, get a franking m/c, what you save on postage should easily pay for lost items.





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Ninehigh

posted on 20/8/15 at 10:05 PM Reply With Quote
Maybe a small courier service would be a better idea? If you give it to one guy, who sticks it in his van and delivers it that's much harder to lose in the system






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jonabonospen

posted on 20/8/15 at 11:44 PM Reply With Quote
I have my own online retail business and I post my items out in what sounds like a similar method; small parcel sized items under 2kg go with Royal Mail. Over that (size or weight) they go by either CollectPlus or APC.

We buy stock from auctions, sometimes in bulk, and had a similar problem with Royal Mail and how to value an item we sold. I called RM and explained and they said to just send a copy of the invoice from the auction house stating the lost item was just part of a bulk load of items bought and it couldnt be identified individually, and they accepted that.

But to be honest I have only ever had RM lose 2 parcels in 2 years of running this business, posting maybe up to 30-50 RM parcels a week.





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matt5964

posted on 21/8/15 at 06:50 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ivan
Give the customers the choice upfront - RM and they claim if lost or courier at extra cost. If they know the consequences of their choice they can't complain and next time will choose alternate delivery method.


Plus 1 on this give the choice up front





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dubzter

posted on 21/8/15 at 11:39 AM Reply With Quote
Even if it was possible I think it would be unethical to push the responsibility onto the buyer without giving them an option.

I for one tend to read the small print for deliveries (living in the Highlands you need to, we get ripped off far too often) and wouldn't use a company who stated this in their T&Cs

As mentioned above if you put the onus on the buyer at the point of sale and give them the option then that in my opinion would be acceptable. The buyer then knows the risk. Whatever you do though make sure the buyers are aware of what they are agreeing too or it could equate to a lot of negative feedback for your company.

just my tuppence worth.





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coyoteboy

posted on 21/8/15 at 02:16 PM Reply With Quote
I wouldn't be too impressed at having to claim but I probably would prefer that than a company unable to offer a service.

That said, I've never found RM are competitive for anything other than basic letters, ever. Recently priced up sending a glass to my mother, 2.78 2day with the courier picking it up from me was the highest from any of the online couriers. Thought "I'm passing the post office, I'll send it via there" - 2.96 second class packet post, or 3.80 first class (1-5 days).





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beaver34

posted on 21/8/15 at 02:45 PM Reply With Quote
you will find its not just royal mail want costs to claim.

all courier do and most have will only pay above a set amount, like our UK Mail account they will only pay out of item with a cost over 40 and we have to prove it.

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coyoteboy

posted on 24/8/15 at 09:11 AM Reply With Quote
I once had to send back the packaging to RM to prove there was a rip in it and it was adequate packaging. On sending it back, recorded delivery, they lost the package of packaging. They accepted defeat and gave me the compensation.

Fun times.





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ChrisW

posted on 24/8/15 at 10:38 AM Reply With Quote
Slightly different angle on the problem....

I assume you have a Ltd company doing this? If so, why not set up a second company and have one as the 'wholesale' arm which actually buys the cars and strips them, and a 'retail' arm that sells them? That way you can invoice between the wholesale company and the retail one and you have an invoice to show RM in the case of any claim.

Also means you can VAT register the wholesale one and claim VAT back on anything you buy but keep the retail one non-VAT registered (I assume you mostly sell to individuals?). The wholesale company charges VAT on the wholesale price rather than the retail company charging on the retail price which should save a little cost.

Chris





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