What to do when a customer claims their book hasn’t arrived…

By Sharon Fussell, April 16, 2015


One of the bugbears for any online bookseller is in regards to late or non-arrival of books.

It’s so frustrating when you know a book has been posted, and the buyer tells you it has not arrived.

Before going to the expense of sending out a replacement item (if you have one), or issuing a refund, always do the following…

Copy and paste the address you sent the book to and ask the buyer to confirm the address is correct.

Some buyers forget which address they used! Yes, honestly they do.

On one occasion, a buyer told me they no longer lived at the address they used – as though I should have known!

Always ask that they check with their local Post Office sorting offices.

Unfortunately, in the event of not being able to deliver a parcel, some posties do not leave a note informing householders to pick it up from their local sorting office, and so makes the item undeliverable.This means that buyer will need to phone to arrange a redelivery or go to the office to establish if the item is there.

Ask the buyer to wait a few more working days.

Depending on how long the buyer waiting before informing you of the no show, ask the buyer to wait a few more days to determine if the book has definitely gone AWOL in the post. In many cases the book will turn up the day after the query.

Check the delivery expected date: sometimes buyers expect items to be delivered the day before they make an order!

Some buyers do get shirty if an item has not arrived when expected: it’s always best to keep your cool, be very professional and reply to the email quickly.A speedy response often brings down the buyers anger at non-arrival. Remember, the buyer does not know you, and may feel you have not sent the item.

When the buyer has carried out your request to wait etc, and the item has still not shown up, then you will have little choice but to either send out a replacement copy or issue a full refund.

It’s very frustrating, and in some cases very expensive, when items do not arrive. Not only do you have to issue a refund, but Amazon also keeps a fee for the transaction, and furthermore, you you will have additionally paid for the postage and the lost product.

It is always best to ask for a proof of postage when originally posting the item. Then, if things do apparently go missing, you can ask the Post Office for a claim form to attempt to receive a refund from Royal Mail for the postage and recompense for the product sold.


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