Shipping preference

Hello All:

I want to know what shipping methods other folks here use to ship
wholesale and retail orders. Like my week was not bad enough already
with the freaking black out my shipper- the good old USPS lost a huge
wholesale order I shipped (it was insured but I will not see a dime
for 30 -60 days AFTER they finish investigating so I guess that might
take a year!)

I don’t use Fed Ex because they will not insure jewelry and I
stopped using UPS because when I lived in Brooklyn a total of 4
PACKAGES SENT TO ME NEVER MADE IT TO ME over the course of a single
year. And when I called UPS to complain and collect the insurance
money they told me tough noodles- they claimed that they did receive
a signature for the packages and go take a hike. They would not even
show me the signatures!! The people who shipped to me (this was all
second hand stuff like equipment I found on Ebay) would not lift a
finger to help me. Disaster.

If you ship from NYC please let me know your experiences.

I waiting until happy hours starts now- I have not had a moment to
kick back with a cocktail in months but my luck this week is so bad I
think I need to relax and get drunk.


 I don't use Fed Ex because they will not insure jewelry 

This is not true. Fed Ex does now have a special program that
allows you to insure jewelry through them. You have to speak to your
customer service rep and I will warn you that they don’t all know
about it but the program does exist. There are some caveats attached
to it (no shipping over the weekend, everything must be overnighted)
but it was cheaper than the extra insurance we had to buy from our
insurance company before the program was started.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140

Hi, FedEx has an arrangement with the MSJA organization. If you
belong to their organization, shipping of up to $50,000 has been
worked out for people in the jewelry trade. That also means, one
can insurance for that maximum amount.

USPS is best used when purchasing their software listed at the web site. They use Pitney Bowes (very expensive) and for mailing services. has a CD that when loaded onto your computer, will
generate just about every service the USPS can do, and you can track
it from your own computer. You can also download postage, rent machines, print special bar coded labels that has a
tracking number that you can also e-mail to your customer so they
can track their own package.

The USPS will pick up from your location during Postal times and for
about $13.00 per pick, they will pick up 1000 pieces if that’s how
many you have for the same price. They come to you and you can save
time, and free up your schedule by selecting what days you will ship
out, and plan according.

There might be more services, but UPS is very limited in the
insurance they allow you to buy. If you want to send very expensive
coins through them, they only insure for the face value. I found
out when I went to UPS to ship out a $1,000 coin and found out that
they would only insure it for the face value.

Use programs that might be available through: Costco, Sam’s Club,
MSJA, other jewelry trade associations, USPS, or other

Hope this helps, good luck. Waynette

I have to concur on UPS. Recently I received a wholesale shipment
meant for another business, I called UPS and told them it was clearly
delivered to the wrong address and to please come pick it up for
redelivery. After a week I called the company it came from, 3 times
on 3 different days they claimed to have contacted UPS to come pick
it up. After 4 weeks I decided it was mine and opened it. Several of
my friends now have very nice boutique style skincare sets for free.
I wonder who paid for them?

On another occasion I literally sat in my window the entire day
waiting for an overnight shipment meant to arrive on Friday that I
needed to in order to ship an order on Monday. The supervisor who was
filling in for the regular driver that day claimed there was no house

that matched it on my house and that he did attempt to deliver

anyway by ringing the doorbell and knocking. As I was speaking to him
I was standing at my front door looking at my house # right there on
the front of the building. He lied and I was stuck with the $30
overnight delivery charge. I avoid UPS if at all possible.


I had a problem with UPS, where they resorted to outright lying. A
package was expected to be delivered on a certain day, and when it
never showed up, we contacted them, and they insisted that they had
made proper delivery, and said they even had a signature to prove
it. We told them to show us the signature, and it was mine, along
with the correct date (which looked a little odd)- only problem was
that I was 400 miles away that day at a jewelry show in Ohio,(and was
able to prove it to them with signed purchase orders from the show)
and the only person available to sign was my mother-in-law, who came
to my home for the sole purpose of accepting the package. When
confronted with this discrepancy, they lied again ,but payed the
claim, knowing that things were about to get quite sticky for them.
From that day forward, whenever I sign for a package with anyone, I
sign it as ’ Edward8 Z20 Smanszersmiten03’ (not my real name by the
way), by putting the date between the parts of my name so that they
can’t lift my name from previous deliveries and put it with a more
convenient date, as they did that time. Its amazing what someone
will do to avoid admitting fault, huh? Ed

UPS? They never ring the bell…they drop the package and run. More
than half the time the package arrives mutilated or with evidence
that someone has attempted to open it…I don’t know what kind
of people they have working for them, but give me the US Postal
Service any time. (Or Fedex)

I just went thru a nightmare with FedEx. Was shipping a wedding
band set worth over $25,000 overnite, mandatory signature. It was
left on top of someone else’s mailbox ROADSIDE on a different road!

Judy Shaw

Hello All:

I highly recommend using jewelry trade specific 3rd party insurance.
I ship through my main vendor and I’m not sure which company he uses,
but I’ll be happy to find a couple of companies for you, if you like.

U. S. Postal registered mail is always good.

Fed-Ex is the only shipper I use other than the Post Office.


I have tried shipping lots of different ways in the past 30 years
and have found in my opinion this.

  1. The post office is not reliable for delivery but the insurance
    pays off in a 30-60 day window.

  2. UPS is iffy all the way around.

  3. Fed-Ex insurance is a pain.

  4. The Solution to all my shipping needs lies with PARCEL PRO.
    Their insurance is great. They use feed for delivery system which
    Parcel Pro insures. The handle international as well as national and
    will walk you through the filling out of the waybills etc. Great
    service, competitive price and overnight as well as two day
    delivery. Phone 888-683-2300 and tell them Frank Goss referred you.
    They have a referral program where you get credit for referrals.
    (not the reason I recommend them I am just a very satisfied
    customer). They are also the shipper of choice of a number of people
    I know in the jewelry business. Frank Goss/ Houston, (can’t believe
    the humidity )tx.

Hi, UPS has a tracking number that can be tracked by going to and clicking on track package, enter your tracking/ups
number and see where it is in transit at all times or if it has been
delivered and signed and see if this shows. If it does, but someone
might say a package has not arrived, further checking might be
needed, but using their web site does save time and grief. Waynette

    I just went thru a nightmare with FedEx.  Was shipping a
wedding band set worth over $25,000 overnite, mandatory signature. 
It was left on top of someone else's mailbox ROADSIDE on a
different road! 

I had a somewhat similar FedEx experience (although I was on the
receiving end) – I had just gotten a new computer from Dell, and
they had installed the wrong version of something. So they Fed Exed
the proper one to me, on a CD. one day I answered the doorbell and
there stood a FedEx deliveryperson, with an embarrassed look on her
face. Turned out she didn’t know where my house was (and I will
admit that streets, and particularly street addresses, are sometimes
very poorly marked in Utah) so she had just dumped it on the doorstep
of a home she thought might be close. Then she had gotten a phone
call from the person who lived at that house, telling her of the
mis-delivery. And when the lady living there found the box, her
small daughter had been using a sharp pencil to pound on the package
and had punctured it in several places. I opened the box and it
appeared to still be OK. But the deliveryperson said, very ruefully,
“I’ll never do THAT again!” She would’ve had to pay for it if it had
been damaged.


I was once advised to ship anything of value by registered mail only
(within US). Was told that that is what places like Sotheby’s and
museums do. I believe there waqs a thread on this question a while

Janet in Jerusalem

Hello DeDe, my name is Marie; I’m a sales representative from MJSA.
We have a FedEx DVX Program that helps you with your shipping
problem. Please e-mail me your fax# and I’ll fax you all the
But in order for you to get this discount you have to
become an MJSA member. So I need the type of your business and
fax#. Looking forward to hear from you. Regards Marie

All, don’t give up on any one particular shipper, as I’ve
experienced all the problems that every one else has at one time or
another. It’s a bit of a bother, but follow up when possible, with
management and they can retrain any driver you complain about (or
worse) and that problem will usually go away. We have had
consistently good UPS drivers who always ring the bell. Have had
very spotty ones with FedEx - some who left large boxes up against
the door preventing it from opening and not ringing either, unless
it had to be signed for. US Postal Service I cannot recall having
any problem with in recent years. For those dealing with lying and
cheating employees - happens in every business, just like jewelry,


I also use Parcel Pro. Like Frank says, they are competitive price
wise, but they also make shipping jewelry much easier. FedEx is the
carrier they use, but they carry the insurance. Since they use FedEx,
there may be screw-ups (like every service), but the insurance rate
is much better.

Doug Zaruba

 I highly recommend using jewelry trade specific 3rd party

I’m not sure I understand what you mean by this but if you mean that
you would have the people who offer you a jeweler’s block policy
cover your shipping insurance than occasionally problems develop. If
this is what you mean I can tell you about the problems we have had
with it.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140

I had a problem with UPS, where they resorted to outright lying. 

While I’ve not had quite that problem, I’ve had far more trouble
with UPS than with fedex or USPS. On two seperate occasions (you’d
think I’d have learned the first time) I was told I could mail an
item to Juneau Alaska, for next day Saturday delivery from Seattle.
On both occasions, the delivery took almost five days. Turns out
that contrary to what their computers tell the counter staff, Juneau
is not available as an overnight, Saturday delivry destination, since
the flights have to be routed first through a Canadian airport, then
Anchoridge, and from there, on a very early morning flight to
Juneau. Seems Juneau very often has early morning ground fog, if not
rain, and thus often the UPS flights can’t make it in in the early
morning, which then means it doesn’t try again till the next day.
Now all this, I can understand. Weather is weather. But then
trying to collect a refund on the fee in both cases proved very
difficult, requireing multiple phone calls and a nasty attitude
visit to the counter where I’d mailed both of them. Then the other
problem I had was even worse. Mailed an ordinary overnight delivery
letter to the east coast, putting my checking account’s ATM
debit/VISA card number in the payment info. At the counter, they
again processed the card for payment. Months later, I get an
invoice from them claiming I still owe the fee, plus a hefty
"declined card" charge. On checking over the phone, they quote the
number they tried to charge, and it’s wrong. My copy of the mailing
slip shows the right number, and at that time, there was way more
than the needed cash in the account, and my bank said there was no
reason such a charge would have been declined. UPS wouldn’t hear of
it. A total brick wall, and less than a week after this complaining
phone call trying to get this resolved (I had no problem paying the
charge, but didn’t want to pay their damn fee, since it was
obviously their own mistake), along comes another letter, this time
from a collection agency, wanting now not just the mailing fee and
the declined charge, but now a collection fee too. I ended up, after
a couple letters back and forth, just paying the damn thing. But
I’ll be damned if I ever use UPS again, if I’ve got a choice.


Parcel Pro is one 3rd party FedEx insurer I have used and am very
happy with. There is one even better service that I will obtain the
name of in the next few days when I see the appropriate person. I
don’t know about the insurance offered with Jeweler’s Mutual Block
insurance, it’s been so many years since I insured with them

Best regards
Jeffrey Everett

Over the years I have used USPS, UPS and Fedex for shipping both in
and out. Depending on circumstances of what is being shipped, by or
to whom, I still use all 3. Problems? Occasionally, but not often.
By far the most problems have been with UPS, but the driver we have
now is excellent. I suspect that the character of the employees you
deal with has as much as anything to do with success rate.

USPS - I always use registered mail (insurance is now included, I
understand) when shipping customers merchandise unless they specify
otherwise. It is reasonable in cost, reasonably fast and
easily/effectively tracked. The only problem I ever had with them
(besides beauracratic attitude) was a package that was being shipped
to Northern Vermont, accidentally went over the border into Canada.
Of course it was a rush situation, and it took days and a lot of
phone work to get it back. Fedex - At our store, we get much of our
incoming materials (from Stuller, for instance) by Fedex. Can’t
recall ever having a problem with them. The only occasional hangup
is when weather problems cause them to be a day late. We occasionally
ship out with them, too, as we have an account with them. UPS - I get
some incoming materials from them, and have had no problems with them
in this location. I will occasionally ship out through a local
branch of The UPS Store (formerly Mailboxes, Etc.) This is only at
customer request. In prior incarnations, however, UPS has been the
least reliable. In various places I have worked, we have twice had
shipments disappear. After sounding the alarm, the items would
mysteriously appear sealed inside a box totally unrelated to our
shipment. In one case, wedding rings we had shipped out turned up in
a box of ultrasonic solution coming in. In another, a shipment we
expected from a supplier turned up at a neighboring business inside a
carton of furnace parts. Fortunately that person was honest enough
to deliver it to us. I also recall in another job, in a mall, seeing
boxes intended for our store sitting on top of a cart of packages,
in an open hallway, totally unprotected. I believe at one point, we
lost a box in exactly that situation. Jim

Hi De De,

Fed Ex has a special program called “Declared Value Exception”. It’s
for shipping jewelry and It’s quite hush hush and if you
call a normal fed ex place they probably won’t know anything about
it. They insure up to $50,000. You only pay $.30 per $100 of
declared value. Visit and type “Declared Value
Exception” in the search area. This has been a real blessing for
me. Hope this helps and I hope your next show is your best ever.

~God Bless you~