Losing your mail or package when you send it with SingPost can be an annoying thing even if it does not happen on a regular basis. For a blogshop owner, an eBay seller, or anyone who uses SingPost to ship their goods, a lot of frustration and lost customers can result from SingPost lost mail.
This article is written for the new blogshop owner or online retailer who uses SingPost on a regular basis. We all know how troublesome it can be when a package does not reach a buyer but fortunately steps can be taken to prevent or at least lower the chances of lost mail or packages shipped by SingPost. We'll discuss the common causes of lost mail and packages and ways that can greatly reduce the chances of losing your package through SingPost.
Common causes of SingPost lost mail
Not using registered mail
Regular mail is not tracked and is a lot harder to find if it goes missing. I haven't had a single registered mail go missing but it has happened with regular mail.
Using the incorrect address
The most common cause of incorrect address is making mistakes when writing. However, you'll be surprised by the number of buyers who also do not provide a correct address. While I was selling stuff on eBay, I've had buyers who are using old addresses and even fakes ones and if I didn't a message to confirm the address for every transaction, who knew how many wrong addresses I would have shipped my items to.
Some sellers have really horrible handwriting. Other times the address is smudged or stained and cannot be read.
Not having a return address
If buyer's address is incorrect, not having a return address means there no way the post office can send the package back to you.
Sometimes, envelopes or packaging gets ripped due to improper handling. If you're lucky, the damage is superficial and SingPost takes a little longer to process your package and packs it in a plastic carrier. If you're unlucky, the item falls out and you get only part of the package or just the packaging.
Delivered to the wrong house
This is the worst and I believe most common cause of lost mail. I get about a dozen wrong mails a year delivered to my house that were intended for people with similar looking addresses. We return these to the postman but I'm pretty sure there are people who would just throw out mail that are not addressed to them or keep them if the mail/package looks valuable.
Not enough stamp
This isn't technically "lost mail" but if you don't use the correct amount for stamps, SingPost may return the package instead of sending it to your buyer. Sometimes they send it to the buyer and charge them a fee.
What you can do to prevent or reduce SingPost lost mail
Use registered mail if it's expensive or important
Don't scrimp on the $2.24 if the package is worth much more than that. Insist on registered mail if the order is large. I've sent hundreds of packages and the registered mail never goes missing. Even if it does, you'll be able to file a claim with SingPost.
Check the postal code online
I've had buyers who gave me a wrong postal code for their address and I noticed it only because I'm living in the same area and I know the postal code isn't supposed to start with those numbers. To be sure, always check the postal code. You can do this on SingPost's web site, Google Maps, and street directory.
Always double-check address with recepient before posting
You'll be surprised how many people are using an old address, fake address, or typed their address wrong. Before you ship your order to a new customer, always confirm their address again. (And if their postal code was incorrect, it's a good idea for you to mention that too)
Print instead of writing the address
This solves the problem of illegible handwriting and reduces the chances that you write an incorrect address. Print directly whatever the buyer gave you.
Protect the address with a layer of clear tape
On rainy days, ink can smudge or paper packaging may even tear. I always use clear tape over the address and return address to waterproof them.
This is very important. If after you've taken the above precaution and anything else goes wrong, the return address may still salvage the situation. I've had packages returned because they wouldn't fit into the buyer's mailbox and nobody went to the post office to collect it. I've also had packages returned because even after taking the above precautions, the package got damaged and the address cannot be seen.
Pack stuff properly with bubblewrap and other sturdy packaging materials
I've bought stuff online and had them mailed to me in recycled envelopes. How cheap can anyone get? Even if it's a small item, make sure you pack it properly and use lots of tape. For bulkier items, use bubblewrap to prevent them from tearing the packaging.
Make the address font larger
I noticed the wrong mails that get delivered to my house all have tiny address fonts. Actually, they're the standard size but I still think that's pretty small. Make the font a little larger and it will probably reduce the chances your postman delivers it to the wrong place.
Weigh your mail and use the correct amount of stamps
A digital postal scale can be bought on eBay for about $10 or even cheaper. Use that to weigh your package before you post it and use the correct amount of stamps. When in doubt, it's better to use more stamps rather than less.
What if your mail is already lost?
Unfortunately, despite our best preventive efforts, there will still be times when your SingPost package or mail goes missing. If you are unfortunate enough to lose your package despite following the steps above, you can read our other article on SingPost lost mail for details on how you might be able to retrieve your package.