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Topic: what if USPS damages the book?

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mjowest avatar
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Subject: what if USPS damages the book?
Date Posted: 3/8/2023 2:19 PM ET
Member Since: 10/5/2007
Posts: 22
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I almost always let it slip by, but who IS responsible?

rebeccam avatar
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Date Posted: 3/8/2023 3:33 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 31,704
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From the Help Docs:

I received a book that was damaged by USPS

Damage by USPS can happen even to well-packaged books. It is not common, though. 

  • USPS is supposed to keep packages safe and dry, and they do a really good job - but nothing is perfect!

  • Since no one can tell if a package will pass through a rainy/snowy area and get wet, we do recommend (but we don't require) an inner plastic layer when Wrapping a shipment.

  • If you live in a very rainy/snowy area or your mailbox is not very weatherproof, you can use Requestor Conditions to stipulate an inner layer of plastic for books mailed to you. Read more in How to Use Requestor Conditions.

Damage by USPS to a well-wrapped package is considered bad luck. The risk of this is split between the requestor and sender in the following way:

  • if the book does NOT get to the requestor (= the requestor gets an empty wrapper or the book or wrapping is returned to the sender) the sender absorbs that blow and loses the credit
  • if the book DOES get to the requestor (even if damaged), the requestor pays the credit for the book.

However, if the wrapping was truly inadequate for normal USPS wear and tear (such as the wrapping did not cover the entire book), and thus may have contributed to the USPS damage, then the requestor can ask the sender to refund credit, since the damage in that case would have been avoidable, and not simple bad luck.

IlliniAlum83 avatar
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Date Posted: 3/8/2023 10:15 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 21,546
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That's interesting, Rebecca....I have gotten empty wrappers a couple times and was told ' too bad, so sad, PO did it'. Not sender's fault.

mjowest avatar
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Date Posted: 3/13/2023 10:25 AM ET
Member Since: 10/5/2007
Posts: 22
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Thank you for this information! 

justreadingabook avatar
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Date Posted: 5/27/2023 11:52 AM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2007
Posts: 27
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Thank you, that helps a lot! Joan