Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Shipping gemstones

ravengirl

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2007
Messages
83
I have been trying to ship back gemstones to a vendor for the past few days, and it has become incredibly frustrating. After a crazy runaround the details of which I won't bore you with (but that included two trips to UPS stores, being forced to open our boxes in person on camera at a store, printing labels at home, and repackaging stones multiple times), we found out that UPS won't insure loose stones. Our own insurance company won't insure loose stones in the mail. USPS is of course closed today for MLK, and we are getting concerned about returning these guys on time.

We're off to try FedEx next, but I wanted to post this on here in case we fail yet again...any recommendations for shipping back stones with insurance? The value is over $5000, which seems to be causing a lot of trouble. Any tricks of the trade? And any idea why our vendor would have recommended UPS when they won't be liable for loose gemstones? :confused: :wall:
 

ravengirl

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2007
Messages
83
And...Fedex's Service Guide also says jewelry, etc. are limited to a maximum declared value of $1,000.

I am out of ideas. Help?
 

VirginiaZee

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 10, 2013
Messages
415
Oh, that is incredibly frustrating! I prefer to ship USPS. Can you email the vendor and explain that you're planning on shipping tomorrow via USPS? Not sure which vendor it is, but I believe the ones I've dealt with, as long as the postmark is within the return window (and they know the stone is coming back) things have worked out okay. Good luck!
 

ravengirl

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2007
Messages
83
Thanks, VirginiaZee. The bigger issue is that the vendor is going out of town on Thursday for two weeks for a gemshow. So if they don't get these back before then, we won't get our money refunded until they return from out of town. We're talking about a 15k+ balance to carry on our credit cards, which we aren't particularly comfortable with.

Very frustrating, as the vendor assured us we could send it 2-day through Fedex or UPS with insurance. How could they not know these rules if this is their business?? Ugh.
 

pregcurious

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
6,724
I send via USPS Registered Mail if I have to insure a stone over $1K. Some vendors will offer that you use their own FedEx account, with jewelry insurance, but that is not always the case.
 

indigoblue

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 7, 2012
Messages
324
I've only shipped a few expensive stones but never had any trouble using the US Postal Service. I used registered mail and insured it for the full purchase amount. They cover all of the seams on the container with their own brown tape and then use a special stamp all over the box so they can tell if someone has tampered with the box while it is in transit. I had covered mine with glossy tape which had to be removed. They sign off whenever they hand it over to someone else so that there is a paper trail for every part of the journey. Not sure if it will get there by Thursday, though. And if the vendor isn't home, will someone be there to accept it? You should probably ask first.

Here's the USPS description:

Registered Mail is subject to the basic standards in 1.0; see 1.4 for eligible matter. Registered Mail is the most secure service that the USPS offers. It incorporates a system of receipts to monitor the movement of the mail from the point of acceptance to delivery. Registered Mail provides the sender with a mailing receipt and, upon request (see 1.8), electronic verification that an article was delivered or that a delivery attempt was made. Customers may obtain a record of delivery (which includes the recipient’s signature) by purchasing a return receipt (6.0), at the time of mailing. Customers may direct delivery of Registered Mail only to the addressee (or addressee’s authorized agent) using Registered Mail Restricted Delivery (2.1.4). Postal insurance is included in the fee for articles with a value of at least $0.01 up to a maximum insured value of $50,000.00. Postal insurance is not available for articles with no value ($0.00). The fees for articles valued over $50,000.00 include insurance up to $50,000.00, and increasingly higher fees for handling costs. The face (address side) of a registered article must be at least 5 inches long and 3-1/2 inches high, regardless of thickness. Registration may not be obtained for the following item if:

a. Sent as business reply mail or in a business reply envelope
b. Addressed to a Post Office to which it cannot be transported safely.
c. Prepared improperly or packed inadequately to withstand normal handling (see 2.3.4).
d. Tied or fastened with one or more articles, unless enclosed in the same envelope or wrapper.
e. Presented for mailing in a padded envelope; envelope or mailer manufactured of spun-bonded olefin, such as Tyvek; plastic envelope or mailer; or envelope or mailer made of glossy-coated paper.
f. A class of mail not listed under eligible matter (see 1.4).
 

ravengirl

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2007
Messages
83
Thanks, everyone. Sounds like USPS is the answer, unless the vendor will let us use their Fedex account, which of course we'd prefer. Very frustrating, as an email from the vendor specifically said to us:

"-Returns need to be made via UPS or FedEx, and must be fully insured. You can enter the insurance amount on their websites and calculate how much shipping would be from your zip to ours, [XXXXX]."

They didn't even mention USPS as an option, and now that I've learned that UPS and Fedex would NOT have honored a claim for loose gems if something had happened, feeling pretty mislead and upset...we called Fedex and the woman got pretty fired up on our behalf, and said that if the stones had been lost in transit we would have been screwed trying to file a claim.
 

Michael_E

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 19, 2003
Messages
1,290
I use Parcel Pro as an independent insurer for both FedEx and UPS. On previous deals like this I have been able to use my Parcel Pro account to have a client ship the goods back to me. Ask your vendor if this is possible as it's faster and safer than most other arrangements.
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top