As an experienced seller and long-time buyer on eBay, I have just learned that FedEx "SmartPost" should be more accurately be known as "StupidPost". This is a poorly conceived partnership between FedEx and the United States Postal Service, with none of the advantages of either service. To put it more clearly, SmartPost S.U.C.K.S. (Simply Unexceptable Customer Keeping Service).
I just found out about this "special" service today, as I was trying to find out why an item I had purchased had not been delivered within the estimated delivery time. I bought a new hard drive for my aging computer on New Years day. Since it was advertised with FedEx as the shipping service, I felt confident that I would receive the item in time for the weekend. That was before I knew what "SmartPost" was.
The seller is not very far away from me, he is in Maryland and I live in Pennsylvania ...an easy afternoon drive. If the unit had been sent via USPS Parcel Post or FedEx Ground service, I would have gotten it in three days. However, because the seller opted to use FedEx SmartPost, the package still hasn't arrived, nine days later.
FedEx SmartPost is a "service" (I use that term very loosely) where FedEx delivers the package to your local Post Office, then the Postman (excuse me, "Postal Person") delivers it to your door. Unfortunately, the transfer between one service to the other adds days to the delivery time. Also, when the package is turned over to USPS, there is no tracking from that point on, so you can't even see when the item is going to be delivered. The service is less expensive than FedEx Ground, but it really isn't worth the few pennies it saves. It might be worthwhile to use this method when your item is being shipped from coast to coast, but when the seller and buyer live in the same region, it just doesn't seem to be a good idea at all.
As more and more USPS workers are being laid off, or given the workload of two or more people, it just doesn't make any sense to mix the two services for one delivery. I like FedEx (when they don't throw my monitor over a fence) and I trust the U.S. Mail ...but they just don't mix very well together!
Of course, this only is my own personal opinion. Your experience could be completely different from mine. However, I truly wish that someone had warned me before I allowed the seller to ship my package via StupidPost.
My advice is; chose one service or the other but avoid the odd bedfellow method of shipping called FedEx SmartPost!
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