Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Is Tracked Shipping Worth It When You Purchase Off the 'Net?

Call me old school but I rarely buy stuff online or by mail order. I recently ordered a box of checks and a check cover from Checks in the Mail. When I placed my order, I opted for free shipping (bulk rate, non-tracked, US mail), although the company recommended shipping + tracking.

Ultimately, I got my checks but my $6.99 vinyl check cover never made it. (Sounds like a perfect example of pennywise, pound foolishness. Damn.)

I've placed an email complaint about this but I suspect that since I opted for the cheapest (free) delivery method, they'll tell me I'm TSOL. Bummer.

I've never had problems with Checks In The Mail in the past. But then again, I've never ordered anything other than checks from this company. I doubt I'll ever do that again.

Many PF bloggers like Miss M are writing about how you can get money back from sites like ebates. Although my interest is piqued, this recent experience makes me less likely to buy stuff online since I'm too cheap to pay for tracked shipping.

Anyhow, I am happy to report that I've mitigated my loss, though. I went to Bank of America to deposit some checks. I asked the friendly teller whether she had any check covers she can spare and she gave me two.

I guess there's something to be said for banking at a traditional bricks and mortar bank. :-D Now I'm not so bummed about my lost $6.99 check cover. (Actually, I'm still pretty bummed.)

This made me wonder, though: Do most people pay for tracked shipping when they order stuff off the internet? I wonder if I should do so in the future? Is it worth the additional money to save myself from the aggravation of a missing delivery?


Jennifer said...

I've found that most places I shop online provide the tracking on their own, to cover themselves as much as anything else. In that same situation, I probably wouldn't have opted to pay extra for tracking either though. It would have to be a pretty significant purchase for me to justify the extra charge.

Anonymous said...

When I order something online like Jennifer said a tracking is provided. When I order off eBay I ALWAYS ask for tracking.

Sharon Rose said...

Hi there-I always have a tracking service for expensive items, but cheaper items I may not be so fussy over.

Miss M said...

Last year I did 100% of my christmas shopping online! Yay for any shopping you can do in your undies. I'm sorry your check cover didn't get delivered, I don't think it's related to using untracked shipping. Unless it's last minute I always use the cheapest shipping option, I can't recall ever not getting something I ordered. If it happened, I would expect the company to send me a new item as a matter of good customer service.

It's funny cause I'm old fashioned about a lot of things, all the social networking sites and text-speak are completely foreign to me. I never have the latest gadgets or electronics. But, I fully embraced online shopping years ago. I stick with better known retailers and I've always been happy.

alice said...

ditto Miss M. I've been an on-line shopper forever. i've never paid tracking and rarely even pay shipping.

my two favorite places for steals -
mybargainbuddy (front page and their forum section) and dealcatcher. once you order from someplace they will then email you all their "special" bargain codes.

i don't think most people realize what steals are out there. stuff almost free and shipped free too!

Saver Queen said...

I probably wouldn't have bothered for something so cheap, either. Bummer that you didn't get them, though. Those covers are so cute. Is there a chance they are just delayed?

MoneyMateKate said...

Not sure how long ago you got the checks, but the cover may still come...I'm thinking that maybe the checkbooks came from a printer and the cover might be on its way from elsewhere.

Shtinkykat said...

Jennifer: Oh, okay. I didn't realize most online merchants provide tracking services. (I guess they build it into their standard S&H cost, huh?)

debtfree2009: I purchased something off eBay EONS ago and I think I asked for tracking then too!

SharonRose: Yep. A $6.99 vinyl cover wasn't worth it. But probably the checks themselves are.

Miss M: Hurray for lazy shopping in undies! I don't know why, but I want to look, touch and feel stuff I buy. Except I'm considering buy my friend this online for Christmas. (Oh Dang! It's out of stock!)

Alice: I'll check those site out! Thanks for the tips.

Saver Queen and MMK: The seller's ETA was 11/26 and the day came and went without the cover. When I complained by email, they told me to write after that day went w/out delivery. I'll follow up with them this weekend. :-D

Anonymous said...

I tend to only buy things online after I've gotten a chance to check them out in the store (but usually I just buy clothes, so maybe that makes sense?).

How did you pay them? If you don't get the cover, refuse payment - do a stop check or call your credit card company. There's no reason to pay for something you never received!