Is shipping via COD safe?

I was speaking with a jeweler friend yesterday who received an order
from a new gallery. It is quite a substantial order, at least by her
standards, and they asked to have it shipped COD. She was thrilled
with the order but a little shaky wondering if anything could go
wrong with that kind of shipping. I wasn’t sure but said that I had
several thousand friends who could either warn her or reassure her. I
know the various shipping methods have been discussed here before but
I think only in referencef to the chances of the package actually
arriving. She is more concerned with actually getting paid.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
Betty Belmonte

Hi Betty

I know the various shipping methods have been discussed here
before but I think only in referencef to the chances of the package
actually arriving. She is more concerned with actually getting

I know I don’t have much experience in the selling (to galleries)
aspect, but I did meet a gallery owner in the Boston area who talked
with me at length about this topic. According to him, it is pretty
standard practice for the first shipment to be payable before
shipment of the actual work. In other words, the gallery should mail
your friend a check and, once that check has cleared, the shipment
would be sent to the gallery. This, to me, seems like it would give
me major butterflies, however, if I think about it, the gallery owner
will probably have no problem with it (assuming he/she is upstanding)
and your friend will look like more of a seasoned professional for
doing so. When it is time for the gallery to reorder, assuming
everything went great the first time around, then they can have COD,
or even 30 or 60 day, terms…depending on how your friend wants to
structure it. Of course, everything should be in written form.

Hope this helps

One may specify with the shipping agent the method of payment. Such
as personal/ company check or money order/ cashiers check. Secured
payment is safest but tell the receiver what to expect.

Hi Betty,

Having worked out the bugs of the COD system years ago, if she ships
through UPS or Fedex, she will have the option of choosing what kind
of payment she will accept–secured or non-secured. Neither of these
services accept cash anymore. If she is unsure it is always best to
select the secured which means they must pay with a Cashiers Check
or Money Order. While you can still stop payment on either of these
methods as the original purchaser, it is not easy to do and usually
not worth ones time. Unsecured methods are personal or company checks
which are, of course, very easy to manipulate. If the client does not
have one of the accepted methods of payment, the package is not
delivered until they do or it is returned to the sender and then she
would only be out the original shipping costs.

Good luck!

Bill, Deborah, Michele & Sarah
Reactive Metals Studio, Inc
928-634-3434, 800-876-3434, 928-634-6734fx

First you need to define “safe”… There are pros and cons, of course.
I’ll tell you one thing about mail, though. All mail - first class,
third class, certified, insured, COD, goes into the same, big bag. The
only really secure mail is registered mail, which goes in it’s own
pouch under guard.

COD is a way of getting paid. You ATTACH a cod method to a shipping

Ship the item Registered mail, COD

Supposedly the hope diamond was shipped from Europe to NY Registered

David Geller

David Geller
510 Sutters Point
Sandy Springs, GA. 30328
(404) 255-9565

It seems to me that the potential problem with COD is not getting
paid when the shipment arrives, it is the necessity of doing all the
work before receiving any money. The client has committed nothing,
and hence can pull out up to the point of the package arriving at the
door. If the order is all stuff that can easily be sold elsewhere,
this may not be an issue, but personally I would like to see the
money earlier in the process.


When I used to wholesale my reps suggested I accept COD orders on
new store orders from ones that didn’t yet have a ceredit rating- but
I learned to keep it to a minimum amount unless they were in the same
state or city. Checks Bounce! and did on a regular basis If you need
to collect on a check you have to go to their state to sue in small
claims court or hire a collection agency. Too much waste of time and
effort. Don’t ship until you get paid! Especially on a large order. I
also used to extend credit to chains of stores and some would reorder
before they had paid for the merchandise that was already sold. Some
also went bankrupt the first year. Watch for large orders. Unless you
have a sales rep who can vouch for them.

Good luck!

When you ship COD, you can specify that you want only certified
funds such as a money order, cashier’s check, or certified check.
That ends the bad check problem. AFAIK, shippers like UPS won’t have
it any other way.

Brian Corll
Brian Corll, Inc.
1002 East Simpson Street
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055


Our experience shows SAFER, not safe. I suggest you verify the
legitimacy of the firm involved. We have sent COD to new accounts,
only to have a fraudulent cashiers check be accepted by the delivery
driver. OUCH!

Daniel Ballard

but a little shaky wondering if anything could go wrong with that
kind of shipping... She is more concerned with actually getting

I am assuming that you are refering to COD services via the US
Postal Service.

I have used it several times. You can get postal insurance along
with the COD service. You will have to pay for all of the Postal
Services “Up-Front” including the COD Service.

The package will be sent to the addresee and will not be delivered
physically to them unless they pay the amount YOU specified in the
COD paper work. You should include the value of your Invoice, the
postal charges, Insurance charges and the COD charges.

The addressee has two options for paying. They can pay the USPS the
amount specified by YOU and then you get paid by the USPS, or they
can supply a check to the postal carrier and then the USPS sends the
check to your return address.

The only risk here is that the addressee does not accept the package
and you are out for all of the postal charges, Insurance charges and
the COD charges (the package will be returned to you)… or the
buyer’s supplied check is not good, but then you usually have legal

Best regards,
Robert Lowe
Lowe Associates - Brasil
Gemstones, Rough, Specimens
Tucson - Jan 31 - Feb 5, 2007 - GJX # 205