Nov 1st 2012
Introduction: This is a short guide on my experience with the buyer's shipping addresses and steps you should take to avoid losing your package and speed up postal travel time by preventing delays with the automatic optical postal package reading and sorting machines.
I have noticed that almost something like 1 in 5 addresses are correctly formatted when they are given to you. Incorrect formatting can be something like spaces in the wrong spot, not the optimally written for postal machine scanners, Apartment number/ suit number written incorrectly, incorrect postal code and etc. Also did you know that an incorrect address can stall your parcel/letter at a sorting facility up to 8 hours? It will need to be hand sorted and read manually before it is fed back into the system.
The following is my simple checklist to look for to prevent problems with addressing. I hope you guys will all find it helpful and learn something.
Step 1: The postal code lookup check: Copy and Paste the postal code and country onto Google maps and see if the same city comes up. Google should highlight and box a certain area where the postal code is valid in. In the area highlighted, look for the actual street and see if it is in the postal code zone.
Step 2: Address Accuracy check: If everything is okay, check if the buyers eBay address matches the Paypal address to the letter. I lost a parcel once because Selling Manager provided me the wrong province when it should be blank. It filled the province field with the word "default". Of course eBay thought I was crazy. Remember that Selling manager and eBay could give you different results. You can perform this step after you printed out the address label so you have something physical to compare address to. If you use selling manager, check selling manager and paypal. If you do not, use ebay records and paypal.
Step 3: Dont trust your buyers reformatting check:
If you buy your label from PayPal, print and Skip this step.
When printing your label, Print using the font New Courier or just Courier. Make sure the return address's font size is smaller than the destination address. Make sure you type in the postal code capitalized and a space for Canadian postal codes (M1M 1M1). Make sure you leave blank space bottom of the destination address and the bottom right side due to the postal machine requires it to be reserved for bar coding. Also note that machines will read bottom right to top left.
Proper placement for stickers: Airmail => top of address, leftmost. Right of return address. Warning stickers/ special handling stickers => left or right of the destination address.
-= You are done! =-
If you end up with any inaccuracy, do not ship! Contact the buyer with something like this.
There was a problem with your shipping address. I noticed that your postal code does not match the address you provided me. So I need you to confirm your address. Can you reply with your address in writing? Thanks!
noticed that your address is spelled like this ==== but shouldnt it be spelled a letter differently like this? ====. Please get back to me, thanks!
If the buyer replies with the same address that they provided you, It usually means they know 100% where they live. It is just that Sometimes its just that they don't know how to format an address or I don't know how to write certain information.
Example bad Address:
32 Graduation Ave. Some College
Univercity of waterloo, Village South Room# 2044
Waterloo ON x0x 0x0
I did more research and it turns out the address you gave me the second time was right. It was not formatted correctly. Can you confirm that this formatted address works?
2042-32 Graduation Ave
Waterloo Univercity - Village South
Waterloo ON X0X 0X0
If this address is correct, please update your paypal and ebay to match this so that other sellers on eBay wont have trouble mailing in the future. Thanks!
(Important notes: Room /apt/suite number can be placed before street number separated by a dash. All optional information must be placed on the second line. Postal code must be capitalized, recommended separation of the province/state by two space lengths for optimal machine reading. Use Province shortcode when you can.)
If the buyer is like
Yes the address is correct, I got alot of things from ebay already to the same address.
Then you can assume that the incorrect address does work. Note that incorrect addresses do work because as long as the postal code, is right, minor spelling mistakes are ignored, corrected and then mailed. The buyer is getting packages because the postal service constantly correct his incorrect address.
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