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Why aren't phone numbers mandatory as shipping info?

Discussion in 'Ebay' started by oatmeal, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. oatmeal

    oatmeal Regular Member

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    So I've been doing a lot of ebay selling the past 3-4 months or so. One of the biggest things I noticed about shipping is the lack of adding a phone number to the shipping info. I always wonder why they don't just make this mandatory to add as part of one's shipping information?

    The reason I ask is because I have found that most of the items that have either been delayed, lost, held at customs, or whatnot were resolved simply by a phone number. Sometimes, local delivery can't find the address or they couldn't get in contact with the recipient. The recipient finds out 30 days later that the item was just sitting at their local post office but since they didn't have a phone number included in the shipping info, there was nobody to call. Actually, I always put a fake phone number anyways, but same thing.

    I find this to be especially helpful for international orders as country customs vary greatly and u have no idea when a certain item might be held at customs and they need to contact the recipient for more clearance information. Everything would be resolved if a valid phone number was included in the shipping info.

    I do realize that many buyers don't like the idea of including a phone number because of things like worrying about spam, cold calling, telemarketers, etc. But surely, there should be a way where one could submit a contact number that is used simply for shipping purposes only (or some sort of law/policy that protects people's phone numbers from being misused). After all, all items are delivered by major or national postal services so it's not like they are going to misuse your phone number.

    I also found that IF i needed to ask my ebay customer for their phone number, 9/10 times they always give it. So I don't understand why not just make it mandatory during the shipping info process? Having to ask customers for their phone numbers AFTER the sale and payment is already made seems to be an unnecessary annoyance.
     
  2. oatmeal

    oatmeal Regular Member

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    Anyone? I still think this is the #1 problem for shipping that seems to be the easiest thing to fix! Simply make phone numbers part of the required shipping info. As I hypothesized that most buyers would give u their number when u ask them, I've done it for the last 3 or 4 buyers and they all graciously gave it. I usually say something like, "and if possible, could you please provide a contact number I can add to the shipping information in case anything is delayed, held, or undeliverable."

    I'm thinking I'll just add that to my message now everytime I thank a buyer. I don't know why such a simple thing can't be added to everyone's account so that it shows up on the shipping info in order details.
     
  3. fsaffsa

    fsaffsa Newbie

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    it should be because I need to put a fake number when I print manually -_-
     
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  4. oatmeal

    oatmeal Regular Member

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    exactly. Putting a contact number will solve 90-95% of all problems.

    Biggest reasons why buyers don't receive their items:
    1) held at customs and no contact number so nobody knew who to contact about it being held at customs LOL....usually ppl find out like 45 days later
    but by that time they might not be holding it anymore?

    2) local delivery couldn't find the address so it's held at local post office...but with no contact number, nobody knew it was sitting there for like 30 days lol but
    by that time it might have been abandoned.

    A simple phone number would have solved all of that in 1 minute.

    Now, ppl worried about "spam"......first there should be anti-spam laws so companies like shippers, local post offices are not allowed to spam or sell the numbers...but if that worries u still, then fine, forget a phone number. Why isn't an EMAIL required then as part of the shipping info? I mean, that's even easier for people to agree to at least because it's just an email and you can still get notified by customs or local post office if your package is being held. SO SIMPLE. Why they can't include it is beyond me. How are you (the country's customs or the local post offices/delivery) going to contact the buyer when something goes wrong ??

    Duh.
     
  5. theskyinyoureye

    theskyinyoureye Newbie

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    generally phone numbers might be too personal
     
  6. Uiseann

    Uiseann Newbie

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    It all depends on the company, for sure. Some require it, some don`t.
     
  7. Isamu

    Isamu Newbie

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    Why would they be? Anonymity is the world online.
     
  8. oatmeal

    oatmeal Regular Member

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    Anonymity for mail that you want sent to you safely? That doesn't sound right.
    When you order anything to have shipped to your address, you want full transparency.
    Why would you want me to hide parts of my contact information when I'm trying to send you
    something lol. So I'm only going to get bits and pieces of your info and you expect me to ship it to you without any issues? (rhetorical question, not meant at you).

    Phone numbers solve the issue when they get held at customs or held at the post office for
    numerous reasons. They can contact you! lol. If u don't have a contact number, how can anyone
    reach you when your package is held or some other issue?

    Then at least make EMAIL mandatory? That way u don't have to give out your number, but someone
    from customs or your post office can contact you.

    We live in the 21st century and we still can't communicate to people when mailing items? Seems too odd to me. A simple contact number or email would SOLVE all the issues with held at customs or held at post office.
     
  9. toml3030

    toml3030 Elite Member

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    In my experience in most countries, customs isn't going to call the end user at all. The local post office may, but not at the customs level.
     
  10. dogo69

    dogo69 Registered Member

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    hmm i dont knwo thats a great question
     
  11. Amir324

    Amir324 Newbie

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    I think it is a way of verification. And a type of guarantee for sellers and buyers.
     
  12. oatmeal

    oatmeal Regular Member

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    Agreed.

    I've had more than a dozen or so orders get delayed because of wrong address, or incomplete address, and most of the time, a simple phone number would have solved the issue quickly. Since they didn't provide a number, they never knew it was sitting at the post office. When I told them and suggested that maybe their order is waiting at the post office, go and check your local post office, almost everyone came back resolved. The other times was when customs held it and needed some clearance information. The problem is that some buyers will wait 30-45 days to finally contact me and ask me where their item is. Sometimes it may be longer than the post office is willing to keep items, so it's risky to have to wait that long to finally check at the post office that it's been there all this time!