Tracking a parcel is increasingly something that is not just expected as normal by customers and consumers but also a marketplace requirement whenever you’re selling. Those all important tracking numbers, in particular, are vital in the event of a dispute over whether a package has arrived or not.
And that’s also the case when you’re sending your products overseas to shoppers internationally, although the challenges there can be more considerable. As part of a clear out I’ve been listing some personal items on eBay in the past few weeks and (despite thinking I’d opted purely to offer domestic shipping and switched on the Global Shipping Programme if there was any international interest), I found a buyer in Spain by accident. In the end, a despatch had to be made to that very enthusiastic and friendly buyer in Spain. They wanted tracked and signed for shipping and were happy to pay for that and it was easily sorted via Royal Mail at a surprisingly reasonable price.
Delivery on the small packet was promised between 3 and 5 working days. And late on day number 3 after despatch my buyer asked for a progress report. (Obviously the tracking number had been provided and disclosed to the buyer and eBay.) But the buyer was having bother using it so I did it for him. He wanted to know when he should go into town to his PO Box at the local Correos (post office) to get his goods.
I sent the packet first thing last Tuesday and very quickly it was updated and clear that in less than 18 hours my parcel was on the plane to Spain from Heathrow. But then there was silence. Until the wee small hours on Saturday, all Royal Mail tracking said was that my sale had been passed to a local provider. Come Saturday, when I transferred to the Correos (the Spanish national mail supplier) website, it finally revealed the packet had arrived. The buyer successfully collected the items on Tuesday before my tracking confirmed it had been delivered. Sadly updates in those last few days (and my buyer was becoming anxious) were slow and not very illuminating.
Spain is one of the bigger potential ecommerce markets in Europe and, for example, is one of only five countries in the EU to offer a national Amazon website marketplace site. But clearly the Correos link up with Royal Mail tracking could be improved and that would be a welcome development to enhance trade.
That said, all well’s that ends well and the parcel has arrived in time (do we count the day of despatch when calculating delivery dates?) But moving between websites and entering different codes is rather cumbersome and the system needs improvement. Instant ad daily updates (even at weekends) would be reassuring.
What have your experiences been when it comes to trading with Spain?