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Who is liable when knife stolen by USPS -- dispute with user Kaw10e

Discussion in 'FEEDBACK: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!' started by dyavorsky, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. dyavorsky

    dyavorsky Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 24, 2017
    I'm sure there's a post on this topic, but I can't find it.

    The situation
    I bought a GEC slipjoint knife from seller (@Kaw10e). I paid $213 Paypal G&S for a "special factory order" knife that sold out quickly (retail $149) and will not be reproduced. GECs sells their knives in a plastic tube. Seller put the tube (and presumably the knife) in a brown USPS bubble envelope and sealed the envelope using its adhesive and nothing more. Seller then mailed the envelope USPS first class with no insurance. I received the envelope with the tube, but no knife (and, for what it's worth, the cap of the tube was missing as well, but I've never had a cap just "fall off" a GEC tube). I work from home and know my mailman, and he handed me the package, so at no point did the package sit unattended at my home. The package was sealed by the adhesive when I received it. After cutting open the envelope and finding only the tube, I tried to unstick the bubble envelope's adhesive and re-stick it, which I was able to do. This leads me to believe that a likely scenario was that someone working for USPS did the same and that's how they took the knife (or, less likely, seller only mailed the tube).

    The disagreement
    I claim that USPS is acting as an agent for the seller and until USPS drops the package at my door (or, in this case, hands it to me), the responsibility belongs to the seller. Seller claims that he did his job by mailing the item, and will not refund me. Hence we disagree and someone is out $200 (currently, that someone is me). I have filed a complaint with Paypal; I have not contacted USPS about this.

    Your thoughts
    I'm looking to see what you guys can tell me about the laws, rules, or community norms for this particular situation. Or you're welcome to point me to other posts about a similar situation (I just couldn't find them).

    Many thanks in advance for your thoughts.
    mmmotorcycle, Odog27 and tyyreaun like this.
  2. Boru13

    Boru13 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Apr 25, 2000
    I would like to hear @Kaw10e side but if everything you said is true, it's on the seller as far as I'm concerned.

    Bubble envelope and no insurance :rolleyes:
    Mikey13folsom, shqxk, AntDog and 22 others like this.
  3. Danke42


    Feb 10, 2015
    The shipper pays the freight so any claim to the carrier is on them.

    The only way a loss or damage claim would be on the consignee is if they gave the shipper their USPS account details to ship on.
    AntDog, Insipid Moniker and dyavorsky like this.
  4. BigKurtHaze


    Aug 2, 2015
    You didn’t pay $213 for an empty tube. PayPal should come down on your side. Seller should be making a claim on the insurance they should have got on it.
  5. Pete1977


    Apr 15, 2002
    Insurance protects the seller. The seller should have purchased insurance, at the least.

    You can tell if the seller mailed the empty tube without the knife because of the obvious weight difference.

    If someone at USPS stole the knife in transit, that would be on the seller. His responsibility is for getting what you paid for to you safely. That includes secure packaging and insurance.

    If it were insured HE would be the recipient of the claim, not you.

    The only right thing to do in this case is to refund your money.
    AntDog, JJHollowman, OilMan and 6 others like this.
  6. Bill Siegle

    Bill Siegle KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 3, 2000
    Another case of loss due to poor packaging and lack of tape! When will people learn?!?!?!?! This is the seller’s problem to fix. Be sure to not miss your window for filing a PayPal claim if it ends up coming to that.
    BD_01, onekerf, skyhorse and 7 others like this.
  7. WhitleyStu

    WhitleyStu Keep'em scary sharp!!! Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 8, 2006
    As a small business I receive and ship many parcels and would never use a bubble envelope and never ship without insurance. Flat rate USPS boxes are so easy to use and track. I buy "signature required" to make sure the addressee gets the parcel for my peace of mind and their confidence in our service. I would highly recommend these practices for private sales, too.
    blueboost, BD_01, specgrade and 6 others like this.
  8. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    Not much to add these folks have everything I would ... except maybe to ask once more ...


    k ... I'm done ...
    AntDog, Coreman, mmmotorcycle and 6 others like this.
  9. dyavorsky

    dyavorsky Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 24, 2017
    Thank you all for your feedback.

    I still have the packaging. Shipping price was $4.81 for USPS first class from Florida to California. That sounds about right for a package that started its life with a knife in it. Seller seems like a good guy that wouldn't just ship a tube, and I think this confirms that.

    I have to admit that I have shipped knives in bubble envelopes, so I understand the seller's decision to do that, but I agree with you that it is bad practice and puts additional risk on the seller. This is one of those unfortunate instances when that risk materialized and I hope I can get the seller (either voluntarily or through paypal) to rectify the situation.

    Again - many thanks to all for your input.
    Lance Leon, JJ_Colt45 and BigKurtHaze like this.
  10. JD Mandrell

    JD Mandrell

    Apr 20, 2001
    If that's all accurate, it's on the seller, no question.
    mmmotorcycle, dyavorsky and JJ_Colt45 like this.
  11. tyyreaun

    tyyreaun Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 26, 2017
    Some sellers try to claim that their part is done as soon as they drop the package off in a mailbox, USPS is responsible for the rest, etc.

    PayPal will disagree, of course. There's a reason why they have an entire category (INR - Item Not Received) covering this scenario.

    You'll be fine - PayPal will make you whole. And, hopefully the seller learns an important lesson in, if nothing else, investing in packing tape.
    dyavorsky and JJ_Colt45 like this.
  12. Peter Hartwig

    Peter Hartwig Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 29, 2008
    Shipper is responsible for the reasons stated. They had control of the shipping method, packaging, and option to buy insurance or not.
    If the seller won't cooperate I would file a PP claim.
    In the future I suggest the seller use boxes-priority are free, lots of tape including the ends , insure, and signature can be very useful.
    dyavorsky and JD Mandrell like this.
  13. bax229

    bax229 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 7, 2016
    I think I'm gonna check eBay for a tubeless GEC SFO ;)
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  14. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    Did the item have tracking and show delivered?

    That could be a problem for the op.

    But I agree with what has been said, if all is true, this is 100% on the seller and if honest he would take responsibility and refund the money.
    blueboost and dyavorsky like this.
  15. Ajack60

    Ajack60 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Apr 21, 2013
    Agree with comments already stated, poor packaging is on the seller. How much more time does it really take to secure a package so that it doesn't become a temptation for anyone handling the package. It's very easy to run by the post office, pick up a stack of free Priority small flat rate boxes and have them in your possession for when you sell a knife. Tape is cheap compared to a knife being stolen, especially if the knife is being sold for way more than the original price.
    BD_01, Tigerden and dyavorsky like this.
  16. braillediver

    braillediver Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 6, 2007
    You paid for a knife to be delivered. It wasn't. File a PayPal claim.
    AntDog, BD_01, OilMan and 1 other person like this.
  17. Peter Hartwig

    Peter Hartwig Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 29, 2008
    Lets try this again
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  18. Peter Hartwig

    Peter Hartwig Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 29, 2008
    Not the easiest route, but I believe PP has some allowance for when the package is received, but the item isn't. I would at least lay out my case as the OP did in post 1 and see what happens. If the seller is a good member, he shouldn't have to even make the claim. The seller will take care of the problem and kill this thread.
    dyavorsky likes this.
  19. jp9mm


    Apr 1, 2019
    I might 'roll the dice' on bubble bag and no insurance around 50<
    After that its boxes and insurance but if someone steals at usps i don't think insurance will help either (the seller).
    There's no 'proof' either that receiver didn't actually get the item as a package was delivered but i am pretty sure usps updates the weight on the tracking when they scan it in.
    I think an item has to arrive damaged or lost entirely in the system before usps might issue a claim.

    Also i think the best would be to require signature AND hold at local PO. (also still can't protect against ninja usps thievery )
    If they goto the wrong house anyone can sign for it, who doesn't love packages?

    Not a good situation for either party but buyer is usually in the clear
    dyavorsky likes this.
  20. Thomas Linton

    Thomas Linton

    Jun 16, 2003
    The law in all fifty states agrees - so long as item was being sent to buyer's address, risk of loss passes from seller only on delivery to buyer unless expressly agreed otherwise as part of contract of sale.
    Insipid Moniker and dyavorsky like this.

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