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Six coins lost in the mail this year


robinjojo
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A much awaited shipment from Germany, containing three owls arrived today, empty, aside from a piece of newspaper used as packing material.

What did Tom Hanks say in Apollo 13?  "Houston, we have a problem" as I recall.

The package, this time a DHL box had one corner torn open and then closed but without any tape.  This is the same thing that happen to the shipment from the UK, in which three coins from Roma were lost.  Coincidence? Perhaps, but I don't think so.  I think there's something going on locally, and since I have had many shipments from various sellers and auction houses go through my local post office, the problem could be there.  

I'm not really sure how to approach this issue.  I'm sure that taking to the local postmaster will produce denials and a defense of the workers, who I am sure are honest hard working people, and the problem could be further upstream.  

I have reached the point where, for all future shipments, I will request shipping through a private firm, probably DHL whenever possible.

Any thoughts?

Thanks

A flimsy box and careless packaging didn't help - just a wadded piece of newspaper.

1783121949_D-CameraopenedpackageGermany3blackedoutaddress11-12-22.jpg.150e5d01df2665ee0bac4f53aabb6d4d.jpg

 

Edited by robinjojo
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Somebody is stealing in your area.

I completely sympathize.

I only had one similar situation but without anything missing. I received a package through DHL Paket that was initially lost in transit for 1 month and I got the update "packing damaged in transit". I think they were just covering for the delay as a corner was taped, but without being damaged at all. Contents were there.

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Horrible, that it happened!

I dont think this is a coincidence, and as @ambr0ziementions, it seems your coins have been stolen, as it seems very unlikely that what happened, happened accidentally. Because normally, when I receive coins, they are packed in a square, flat cardboard package, that is "glued" tight shut (I dont know how to say it in English). It's impossible for coins themselves to fall out. Even if the coin arrives in an envelop and not a box, the coin itself is always secured. I don't see how it can 'fall out' through a small hole. Impossible, uneless the coins were packed horrible manner, which I dont believe seeing one of your shipments was from Roma and I have experienced myself how they pack their coins. 

Therefore, some advice / thoughts:

1) Indeed, see if shipments can be organised in another manner, not via your local post office. 

2) File a claim at the local office, and DHL, stating your package was delivered open and the content is missing. Say you will file a claim at the local police. If one of their staff is stealing coins, its a bad sign for all the other staff as well. 

3) File a claim at the local police, and notify the postal office/ DHL. I would do this here, as it might speed up the process at the local office / DHL to investigate the matter too, and prevent it from happening again. And may help with an insurance claim. 

4) And of course, but you will have done so, contact the seller. 

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That is of course very annoying!

If I were you, I would report it to the police. Especially since this has happened several times in your area. I don't expect the thief to be found. Finding the thief will be difficult. BUT - if the police suddenly turn up at these places and start an investigation - then the thief will certainly get nervous. From now on, there will be an investigation! I don't think the thief will then take action again - because the topic is too hot. 

Therefore, from my point of view, it would be important to officially inform the authorities now. The police. And also DHL - and also to inform DHL that charges have now been filed. Whether you will get your lost coins back - I doubt it. But you might prevent future thefts. 

Secondly. Are there official pictures of the lost coins? Then publish them on the internet - so that the thief doesn't have it so easy to sell them. I think there is also an official website where you can publish stolen coins? Does anyone know the address? Ah @shanxi postet the website. Thanks!


PS: One last thing. No offence meant. It is correct that you have made your address unrecognisable on the picture. But be so good - and make the private address of the sender unrecognisable, too. I don't think that's necessary.

 

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8 hours ago, robinjojo said:

A much awaited shipment from Germany, containing three owls arrived today, empty, aside from a piece of newspaper used as packing material.

What did Tom Hanks say in Apollo 13?  "Houston, we have a problem" as I recall.

The package, this time a DHL box had one corner torn open and then closed but without any tape.  This is the same thing that happen to the shipment from the UK, in which three coins from Roma were lost.  Coincidence? Perhaps, but I don't think so.  I think there's something going on locally, and since I have had many shipments from various sellers and auction houses go through my local post office, the problem could be there.  

I'm not really sure how to approach this issue.  I'm sure that taking to the local postmaster will produce denials and a defense of the workers, who I am sure are honest hard working people, and the problem could be further upstream.  

I have reached the point where, for all future shipments, I will request shipping through a private firm, probably DHL whenever possible.

Any thoughts?

Thanks

A flimsy box and careless packaging didn't help - just a wadded piece of newspaper.

1783121949_D-CameraopenedpackageGermany3blackedoutaddress11-12-22.jpg.150e5d01df2665ee0bac4f53aabb6d4d.jpg

 

I can understand your anger & frustration because the same thing happened to me while living in Rochester, NY 😖. On two occasions expensive gold coins that I won from Heritage auctions never got to me. On both occasions a signature was required before delivery that the carrier failed to get. He left the coins outside my side door & they disappeared before I got home from work ☹️. The Post Office did conduct an investigation & realized the carrier was negligent.

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Thanks to all for your support and advice.  I really appreciate the feedback from the members and friends of this wonderful community.

Yesterday I was venting out of pure frustration.  I have filed a claim with eBay for one coin and Paypal for the other two, which were purchased outside of eBay.  I should know the outcome with eBay fairly soon.  Paypal might take longer.  I have one more option if these fail - my credit card - something that I don't want to do except as a last resort.

One thing I noticed on the box is that there is a checkbox for "Return to Sender" that was checked.  It is checked if the box was found to be damaged, among other reasons such as illegible destination address.  It could be possible that the box was damaged sufficiently to allow the three coins to fall out.  Judging from the careless way the shipment was packed, with just a wad of newspaper, I wouldn't be surprised if the coins were thrown it loosely, allowing them to move freely and eventually fall from the box.  That's a definite scenario I think.  However, why I should receive a shipment marked Return to Sender is puzzling. 

So, I'm out $1,700 for now. I'll see the filings pan out.

Thanks again, everyone!

Edited by robinjojo
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One recommendation, if you believe the items to be stolen, is to send pictures of them to your nearby coin stores. It's possible that they may end up there - either the thief will be dumb enough to bring them himself, or they'll be sold to a pawn shop - which may take them to a coin store. There's a good chance the store will notice the coins because few stores deal in ancients anymore - so they'll stick out.

Also, file the police paperwork to declare them as stolen. No officer is going to spend time on this, but you can always make the report. It may provide more legal basis for reclaiming them if they're eventually found.

One oddity: from your picture, it seems like they were packed in a box. I've received a number of coins via DHL and have never received any box. It's always been more of an envelope. It could be a case of your seller not knowing how to ship things.

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4 hours ago, kirispupis said:

One recommendation, if you believe the items to be stolen, is to send pictures of them to your nearby coin stores. It's possible that they may end up there - either the thief will be dumb enough to bring them himself, or they'll be sold to a pawn shop - which may take them to a coin store. There's a good chance the store will notice the coins because few stores deal in ancients anymore - so they'll stick out.

Also, file the police paperwork to declare them as stolen. No officer is going to spend time on this, but you can always make the report. It may provide more legal basis for reclaiming them if they're eventually found.

One oddity: from your picture, it seems like they were packed in a box. I've received a number of coins via DHL and have never received any box. It's always been more of an envelope. It could be a case of your seller not knowing how to ship things.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Yes, the DHL box is unusual and very flimsy.  It does not have self-adhesive flaps and very little tape was used to secure them.  If fact one side was not taped at all and a gap between the lid and the side opens fairly wide when light pressure is put on the lid.  Clearly very poor packaging and, yes, likely sent by an individual not familiar with shipping items overseas.

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1 hour ago, Constantivs said:

I obviously have no idea what happened but I do not trust DHL and do everything I can NOT to use that company.

They've been running a ransom scam in Canada for awhile.. 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/dhl-class-action-hidden-fees-1.5987195

 

Interesting.

Who do you use or request for shipping?  I've heard some bad things about Fedex and have had some shipments arrive in pretty bad shape.  Recently a Fedex delivery was left on my driveway (a cheap flashlight) despite my written instructions next to the mail slot not to do so, and the package was stolen, a real problem around here.

Now, with the is recent experience with the USPS, I am planning on using them as little as possible.

It almost seems, these days, to be a game of roulette.

Edited by robinjojo
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I just closed the claim eBay.  The eBay policy clearly states that any shipment marked as delivered is not covered for missing items in terms of liability, nor is the seller.  So the buyer is left holding the bag.

This is a cautionary message:  Before you sign for anything, inspect the package first for tampering.  I made the mistake of signing without inspecting the box. I just assumed it was okay.  If there is anything amiss, refuse to sign for the delivery and have the USPS, Fedex or DHL send it back to the sender.  Let them deal with the problem.  That will also strengthen your case for a refund, especially with eBay, I believe.

Edited by robinjojo
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On 11/12/2022 at 9:34 PM, robinjojo said:

A much awaited shipment from Germany, containing three owls arrived today, empty, aside from a piece of newspaper used as packing material.

What did Tom Hanks say in Apollo 13?  "Houston, we have a problem" as I recall.

The package, this time a DHL box had one corner torn open and then closed but without any tape.  This is the same thing that happen to the shipment from the UK, in which three coins from Roma were lost.  Coincidence? Perhaps, but I don't think so.  I think there's something going on locally, and since I have had many shipments from various sellers and auction houses go through my local post office, the problem could be there.  

I'm not really sure how to approach this issue.  I'm sure that taking to the local postmaster will produce denials and a defense of the workers, who I am sure are honest hard working people, and the problem could be further upstream.  

I have reached the point where, for all future shipments, I will request shipping through a private firm, probably DHL whenever possible.

Any thoughts?

Thanks

A flimsy box and careless packaging didn't help - just a wadded piece of newspaper.

1783121949_D-CameraopenedpackageGermany3blackedoutaddress11-12-22.jpg.150e5d01df2665ee0bac4f53aabb6d4d.jpg

 

Look local ... the pattern has all the hallmarks of someone with sticky fingers at your local PO.

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1 hour ago, robinjojo said:

Interesting.

Who do you use or request for shipping?  I've heard some bad things about Fedex and have had some shipments arrive in pretty bad shape.  Recently a Fedex delivery was left on my driveway (a cheap flashlight) despite my written instructions next to the mail slot not to do so, and the package was stolen, a real problem around here.

Now, with the is recent experience with the USPS, I am planning on using them as little as possible.

It almost seems, these days, to be a game of roulette.

I am a low end collector and most of my purchases are under $150...   regular mail - cheaper the better. I have never had a coin disappear. Takes awhile but they arrive safe and sound.

With DHL I always get a phone call or text: "want the delivery? eTransfer $30 or its not coming".. even though I've paid premium shipping already to the seller.

Its not customs or anything - its a ransom fee.  Screw DHL - avoid at all costs.

PROOF:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/dhl-class-action-hidden-fees-1.5987195

 

Edited by Constantivs
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2 hours ago, robinjojo said:

Interesting.

Who do you use or request for shipping?  I've heard some bad things about Fedex and have had some shipments arrive in pretty bad shape.  Recently a Fedex delivery was left on my driveway (a cheap flashlight) despite my written instructions next to the mail slot not to do so, and the package was stolen, a real problem around here.

Now, with the is recent experience with the USPS, I am planning on using them as little as possible.

It almost seems, these days, to be a game of roulette.

Just so I'm clear on what happened, this was sent not by DHL Express -- which delivers door to door -- but by regular DHL (effectively, the German postal system), which gets turned over to the USPS after it arrives in the USA? If so, then the fault would seem to lie with the USPS, and not DHL. It would seem reasonably safe to assume that the box was intact when it was turned over the USPS.

Edited by DonnaML
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Yes, the shipment was through German Post/USPS, with US Customs sandwiched in the middle.

The package, as previously noted was very poorly packed and the box itself is very flimsy.  I'm even wondering if the coins were in there in the first place, but I have no way of knowing.

If the seller does not come through with a refund on his own initiative, I will try my last option: filing cases with my credit card company.

I contacted the County Sheriff about filing a police report today but was told that they only make reports on packages stolen from the porch or otherwise outside.  The deputy told me that this is a matter for the Postal Service, since the loss occurred while the box was in transit. 

I'm going to speak to the postmaster about this situation today.

This is one big turn-off for me. Blaaah!

Edited by robinjojo
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Might be someone in the local sorting location who has noticed a trend of coins being shipped to you and is pilfering them, probably not the letter carrier I would imagine, though it seems like he or she might ring the doorbell and notify you of a problem rather than consistently delivering empty boxes and mailers. When Jamesicus (may he RIP) sent me a Diocletian of London the letter was opened and of course, nothing inside.

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I don't think the letter carrier is responsible.  We have a good relationship, and I have been giving her apples. No, the problem is further upstream, how far I do not know.

I visited my local post office yesterday and talked to the supervisor.  The postmaster was busy.  We discussed the matter and he examined the box.  He agreed that the box was not appropriate for international shipping (even for local shipping, I think), and that the securing of the flap was inadequate. Beyond notifying the post office of the problem, that's just about the most that can be accomplished.

On the positive side the seller and I agreed to have replacement coins, that I selected,  from his stock. The coins that were lost were sent by a second party from Germany.  I have done extensive business with this seller and I trust him thoroughly. When the shipment arrives that will close the book.  Still, it is sad that three have gone missing, but on the other hand perhaps they were never sent; I'll never know.

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Yesterday evening, a good customer from Belgium emailed me - and thanked me that his ordered coin had arrived safely. However, he is a bit irritated about the extra item - whether this is a gift? 

What gift, I asked him? We only put the invoice and the coin in the shipment. Nothing else!

He then sent me a picture. An eye cream was in the package with the coin! I can say 100% that I don't own anything like that and we don't put anything like that with the coins (as a gift). Long story short - this eye cream is not from us and was not put with the coin!

We then thought, how could this cream have got into the consignment? The customer was certainly not joking with us - this is an older serious regular customer.

The only logical explanation for us - a person in transit has opened several consignments looking for something valuable. The coin we sent to the customer was not particularly valuable either - "only" around 170 euros - so perhaps it was not worth the risk for the potential thief to make a theft for 170 euros. He was perhaps looking for more valuable items. 

He may have opened several parcels and found nothing - or found something in another parcel. Afterwards, he put all the other parcels back - closed the parcels - so that all the other parcels went on their way to the recipient. And in the case of our parcel, he may have added something wrong (in the rush). 

That would be the only logical explanation for me.

 

 

image.jpeg.4d8b2426284b95ef49033dc6c65b7b24.jpeg

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This is surely something I have never heard of.
Anyway this indicates the shipping service is NOT reliable.

I just remembered a situation from about 1 year ago and it might be a sign that somebody opened the envelope. I received a package through FedEx. The normal FedEx envelope that should contain the coins sent by the auction house + the paper invoice, all wrapped in transparent foil.
This time the invoice was outside the envelope and all in foil. The invoice was the biddr generated invoice - containing small pics and the coins, description and price.

Anybody with bad intentions could have checked the contents if the invoice looked appealing, remove whatever they pleased and re-apply the foil.

A mistake from the house? or somebody really opened the envelope? no idea.

Fortunately the package was intact. The driver however was very curious and asked me if these can be easily bought.

Edited by ambr0zie
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19 minutes ago, ambr0zie said:

This is surely something I have never heard of.
Anyway this indicates the shipping service is NOT reliable.

As this is a German eye cream product (German text on the product), this must still have happened on German soil on the way to Belgium. In other words, still within Germany.

I informed UPS this morning about the situation and sent them the picture. Certainly, the alleged thief will not be found - but it is always good when the story generates attention internally at UPS. Potential thieves don't like attention - and perhaps this will deter them from committing further acts.

 

PS: I had to laugh so much yesterday because the customer asked if this is a gift from us because of the hobby "collecting coins" - and if it is an intentional gift because of the eyes - because coin collectors might get problems with their eyes because you look at coins all the time... 😂

 

 

Edited by Prieure de Sion
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On 11/14/2022 at 1:23 AM, Constantivs said:

I am a low end collector and most of my purchases are under $150...   regular mail - cheaper the better. I have never had a coin disappear. Takes awhile but they arrive safe and sound.

With DHL I always get a phone call or text: "want the delivery? eTransfer $30 or its not coming".. even though I've paid premium shipping already to the seller.

Its not customs or anything - its a ransom fee.  Screw DHL - avoid at all costs.

PROOF:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/dhl-class-action-hidden-fees-1.5987195

 

I have to agree here. Not to jinx myself, but US customs and USPS has never given me any issues. The “worst” that ever happened was a customs agent who opened a $20 trachy order of some miserable (but rare!) coins…he must have wondered why I was buying scrap metal 

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I guess the really problematic issue in a situation where a box or package arrives empty or partially empty is making the case proving that you've have not received something that you don't have.  It is really a word of honor type of scenario.  It is a real quandary.  It is annoying as hell. It is embarrassing, at least for me.  As far as the post office is concerned and the seller, including eBay, the shipment is marked "delivered" and that's that.  I suppose they do this because, by making an option for opening a case for missing items, that option would leave them open to fraudulent claims.  But what about situations where something is missing?  Filing a claim with the Postal Service is not an option.  

When the box from Roma was lost in shipment earlier this year, I was reimbursed by them, much to their credit.  They filed a claim with the USPS.  I received some paperwork to fill out, which I returned to my local post office.  I never heard a word since then.  

So, my advice to inspect a package before signing for it still stands.  If it seems unduly light or there are signs of tampering, have it sent back to the seller.  Once you accept an empty box or package, you're stuck, unless the seller agrees to reimburse or offer an alternative solution.

We live in a world where so many things can happen beyond our control and this is a good example.  While the situation has been most unpleasant, it looks as if it will have a good outcome in the end, which does shine a positive light on human nature.

As I mentioned to the seller, upon thanking him for is offer to replace the coins, which I accepted with gratitude, there are so many greater issues at large in the world that make this situation seem quite trivial.  But we all have our small inner worlds, where events such as this one can dominate the landscape, overshadowing everything else.  Peace becomes a rare commodity, and I am glad that this particular elephant has left the room.

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I'm sorry to hear about your situation and I realize how immensely frustating it might be.  Can you have auction packages delivered to a trusted friend?  That may solve some issues if it's a local post office issue, especially if that clown is targeting your packages, and not just all packages.  Auction packages also seem to be packed way worse than regular vcoins packages.  From the posts I've read, it's sad that a $50 vcoins order is much better packed than a very expensive auction.

While it's nowhere as serious as your situation I just experienced a postal joy.  Coin packages seem to have an annoying radar of requiring signatures when you don't want them and vice-versa. I had signed for a Zurquieh package and was waiting for redelivery today. I find the same card with the annotation 'doesn't fit in mailbox'.  I later heard the mail truck rumbling up the other side of the street and zoomed out there, waving the card.   Ugh, they did the double route crap and it wasn't the same guy.  It seems weird that my street would have two deliveries today so perhaps the genius yesterday left that little gem when I left the slip for pickup.  It sure was nice (not that long ago) when I had a regular postman.  I'm not going to the post office to pick it up.  That's not going to happen, especially during the Christmas rush. I'll have to unnecessarily wait until Tuesday.

That being said, the UAE,  which isn't a fourth-rate country (must be nice), must have an incredible postal system. Both Zurquieh packages arrived incredibly quickly.

They were complaining on the news about some route which didn't receive mail everyday.  I would love that, as long as Saturday was an option.  It sure would alleviate a lot of aggravation, as 85% of my mail is unwanted.

That being said, most of my former mail carriers were great.  My former postman went so far to leave a dymo in my mailbox telling them where to put large packages.  Come to think of it, why didn't they do that?!

Edited by Nerosmyfavorite68
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