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FAQ: Lost Packages in Your Craft Business

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Lost packages are something that no seller wants to deal with, but a lost package is likely to happen to your business at some point. Let’s talk about them today.

Liability of Lost Packages

Did you know? On most marketplaces, the seller is responsible for the package until it reaches the buyer. This means that as a seller, even though the package is out of your hands – you are responsible for it until the tracking states “Delivered” or “Notice Left”. While you may have written policies that differ from this for your own business, in the eyes of the most marketplaces the standard is as mentioned above.

What Should You Do if a Package is Lost?

A lost package is one that does not show as delivered by the carrier.

  1. Wait. Wait it out a few days beyond the day of expected delivery. Packages can get delayed a day or so, or incorrectly scanned or sorted. It is not uncommon for a package to show up after the expected delivery date.
  2. Stay in touch. Keep in contact with the buyer. Put yourself in the position of the buyer – they bought something that they didn’t receive. The buyer will either want a refund or a replacement product.
  3. Reach out to the carrier. Either the buyer or the seller can reach out to the USPS (or other carrier). The package carrier is able to open a claim to try to locate your package, or an insurance claim to cover the insured value of your package. To provide great customer service, I recommend that you as the seller reaches out to the carrier. You will need the tracking number, proof of the value of the item, and proof of insurance (if purchased).
  4. File a claim. To file a claim with the USPS, you can visit your local branch, call them, or use this link to file online.

Tip: The purpose of insurance on packages is to protect the seller from being out money if the carrier loses or damages a package. Consider purchasing insurance on expensive or fragile products.

What if the buyer claims that the package was not delivered and the tracking says delivered? I have good news for you sellers: If the tracking says that the package was delivered and the buyer states that it was not received, you are no longer liable. You should inform the buyer to reach out to the carrier for assistance. Additionally, if the buyer leaves negative feedback because of non-delivery, most marketplaces will remove the feedback.

FAQ: Lost Packages in Your Craft Business - by


Thursday 22nd of August 2019

Yes what to do when it says delivered and they claim it was stolen? I found this because I was wondering if there is business insurance that covers things like this. I do not actually send the packages myself and the vendor says there is no insurance on the package and even if there was the post office says they delivered it so I don't have a now what? I'm out $50 to provide good customer service.

Christine, Cutting for Business

Sunday 25th of August 2019

Hello! Once the post office shows that it has been delivered, it is out of your hands. You/your vendor can purchase insurance to cover shipping issues.


Friday 12th of April 2019

My credit card processor "Stripe" held me responsible for a USPS package marked delivered and charged me a $15.00 "investigation fee" on top of refunding the customer $45.00 for the items. Worse thing about this is customer told me she wasn't home, her mailbox was full, and in that case the USPS worker leaves it out in the lobby and things get stolen all the time from her lobby.

I submitted that correspondence as evidence and her bank sided with her. I'm out $60.00 because she lives in a building where things get stolen all the time.

I ship 200 - 250 items weekly and USPS loses about 2% of them.... not cool

Christine, Cutting for Business

Saturday 18th of May 2019



Friday 11th of January 2019

What if the customer says it's been stolen but it shows delivered. I have told her she needs to follow up with the USPS and also Etsy, but she doesn't seem to understand. I would be okay with her filing a claim on by business, but she doesn't understand that. In the past, Etsy has always sided with me when I have proof of delivery. But this customer doesn't understand it.



Monday 14th of January 2019

When you have proof of delivery, it's really not your issue. In good faith, you can make a few phone calls to see if you can help find the missing package. You could also offer a discount on an additional/replacement purchase.


Tuesday 24th of October 2017

It would be awesome if Etsy removed bad reviews based on lost or misplaced packages. I have had several and even though it was marked delivered they stated they didnt receive it and then left me a bad review. Asked Etsy to remove it and they stated it was the buyers opinion and they would not erase it.


Wednesday 25th of October 2017


John Ciacco

Saturday 21st of October 2017

What if a package is sent with signature required, is indeed delivered and personally signed for, and then the buyer says the package is empty? I sold an item, fully insured, it was delivered and signed for personally by buyer. Next day I get a message saying the box was empty and they expect a refund. When I asked them to file a police and mail theft report for me to make an insurance claim, they became very insulted and hostile. So far I've been waiting three days for report numbers... I'm glad to help if this is true, but am I liable to refund the buyer out of my own pocket for claimed theft *after* he signed for this supposedly empty and opened box?


Sunday 22nd of October 2017

This is one of those 'gray' situations. The buyer shouldn't have signed for a package that was empty - it should have been quite obvious the package was damaged. I personally wouldn't be inclined to refund if the buyer won't cooperate with filing appropriate paperwork. However, if a case gets opened against you with Paypal, Ebay, or Etsy - you will likely lose. You'll have to weigh the pros and cons for yourself.