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Duplicate Tracking Numbers Mystery, Please Advise

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artgal
Contributor
Posted on

I have a problem here ..don't know how it happened nor what I can do to resolve it.

 

I just got a message from a regular Etsy customer asking where her order was. My records show that it was mailed on 5/10, however the tracking # search didn't show any movement on her First Class package, which usually arrives at her PO Box in CA. in a few days. I knew it was mailed so, confused, I called USPS and spoke to a machine. When I entered the tracking info it told me the package was delivered to a PO Box in ARKANSAS. I looked through my invoices, and sure enough, there was an order that went out to a different customer at the AK address on the same day and was delivered 2 days later. (Not to confuse but the AR customer ordered a completely different item so unless I ask her, I have no way of knowing which item she received). Anyway, the important thing is that both shipping label receipts show the exact same Tracking #. 

 

I have no idea how this could have happened. It's a first in all my years selling. I guess what I'm trying to find out is:
1. What happens to the package with the duplicate Tracking # (the one sent to CA but never received)?

2. What can I do to correct this, hopefully retrieve the package or have it redirected to the CA customer?

 

It looks like I was charged for both labels so the whole thing is a mystery to me.

 

Thanks for any advice.

11 REPLIES 11

Duplicate Tracking Numbers Mystery, Please Advise

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DPCreations
Frequent Advisor

Do you have a copy of the actual label.  I always print a copy of every label I have in case I need a reference.

 

What information on tracking do you get for both numbers at USPS.com?  Was either or both scanned at acceptance?

Duplicate Tracking Numbers Mystery, Please Advise

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artgal
Contributor

Thanks for your reply

 

Unfortunately I don't have a copy of the actual label, just the attached receipt, for both shipments.

 

From USPS.com:

When I enter the tracking number at USPS.com it shows as printed but undelivered/ not scanned (it hasn't gone anywhere, as if it weren't mailed).

From within Etsy:
When I track from within my Etsy Sold Orders for the Arkansas customer, it shows as delivered on 5/12. And I know she received her order because she left a feedback.

When I track within my Etsy Sold Orders for my CA customer, it shows as printed but not scanned, same as it does at USPS.com

 

It's as if USPS caught the duplicate, which is fine, but I have no idea what becomes of the package. If it gets returned to sender, it should have arrived by now, since it was mailed on 5/10.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Duplicate Tracking Numbers Mystery, Please Advise

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DPCreations
Frequent Advisor

I don't use Etsy for labels when I can use PayPal and USPS.com.   I would trust USPS.com for tracking number search more than Etsy; my guess is that Etsy has it's on algroithms for taking USPS.com information and matching it to Etsy records rather than providing the raw USPS.com data.

I would only question why receipts show identitical tracking nubmers.  Did Etsy's label purchase not provide the correct USPS label number?  Etsy uses a third party, I think, to create the labels.  PayPal uses Pitney-Bowes.  USPS.com has their own.

Duplicate Tracking Numbers Mystery, Please Advise

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artgal
Contributor

No, I'm afraid tha's not it. I never use order Etsy's shipping. I always go directly to my PayPal acct, find the customers payment and ship right from within PayPal.

 

I don't know if somehow I accidentally made that happen but I sure don't know how I could do it.

In 10 yrs this has never happened.

Duplicate Tracking Numbers Mystery, Please Advise

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artgal
Contributor

That came out weird ..I meant to say I never use Etsy's Shipping to ship my orders. 🙂

Duplicate Tracking Numbers Mystery, Please Advise

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DPCreations
Frequent Advisor

I assumed from the start that you printed the label from Etsy.

 

So, did you purchase your shipping labels through PayPal shipping or directly from USPS.com?

 

Next question:  was the item paid with Etsy Direct Checkout or PayPal?

Duplicate Tracking Numbers Mystery, Please Advise

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artgal
Contributor

The item was paid for through my Etsy Shop. But I always bypass Etsy's shipping and go directly to PayPal. I find the customer's payment in my PayPal Summary and pay the postage from there.

 

Any idea what happens to packages shipped with duplicate Tracking #s? The only thing I know for certain is that the Arkansas customer got her order and the Calif customer didn't.

Duplicate Tracking Numbers Mystery, Please Advise

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DPCreations
Frequent Advisor

I'm still trying to piece together basiic information.

Buyer paid with PayPal NOT Etsy Direct Check Out, is that correct?

 

What I'm trying to do is take an analytical approach from purchase payment, to label payment, and then shipping in an attempt to figure out where the error was introduced.  That's the reason for detail questions.

Duplicate Tracking Numbers Mystery, Please Advise

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artgal
Contributor

My apologies DPCreations. Let me try to be more clear.

You are correct: Buyer paid with PayPal, NOT Etsy Direct Checkout.


I do not have "Direct Checkout" setup in my Etsy account.

Therefore I do not use it for processing shipping labels.

My customers' orders are processed through PayPal.
When I receive an order, I first check my Etsy Orders to see what's been ordered and by whom.

Then I go to PayPal, find their paid order (including shipping charges) and proceed with printing their shipping label.

 

Whatever went wrong had to have happened either in PayPal or with USPS (likely PayPal because that's where the labels were created).

 

It's well known that USPS forbids using a unique Tracking number on seperate shipments.

The only way I thought that could even be done was by intentionally printing the lable twice, scratching out the address on one and writing in another address (very illegal).

  • If it's at all possible to accidentally generate identical tracking numbers for 2 different addresses in PayPal, then it's possible that I'm responsible for the error.
  • In the past, I HAVE re-printed a label that mis-printed but that's an option given to the user. The formor is NOT, as far as I know.

I think that covers it but if not, I appreciate your help so please let me know what else I can tell you.

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