Technology is Great!

Posted by Anna-Vija McClain on


How far can you travel on $14.80?
Recently we sold an item on eBay to one of our longtime customers in Peru. Because of the cost of the item we sent it by registered mail. Typically international registered mail takes anywhere between 10 days to 2 months to arrive depending on the destination. This cover took a bit longer… and a bit of a detour.

Thanks to electronic tracking implemented in many countries that are part of the Universal Postal Union, we can quickly locate letters and packages with a few keystrokes. Given the nature of our mailings, we frequently check on the progress of items and when we checked on the progress of our letter sent to Peru… we were initially pleased, but quickly became confused. Here’s why:

To say the least, we were a bit perplexed by the fact that our mailing actually got to Peru (after visiting various airports in the US), but then went on to the Philippines, three days later. But on a positive note, we were able to see where it was. Once it was in the Philippines we were able to log into PHLPOST, the Philippines Postal Service tracking website, this is what we found:

OK… so all was not lost, at least we knew where it was and they appeared to be sending it onto Peru. No new news for the next three weeks, until we logged in on the 6th of March and saw the following update on PHLPOST:

BRAZIL!?!? It now appears that our item was received in Brazil… but how could that be? The “country of destination” appears to have been randomly changed, despite the fact that the envelope’s address label clearly reads: AREQUIPA, PERU. What to do now? We logged into Brazil’s tracking website and found it!  From March 5th through May 24th there was no activity, until, it appears that a message from us to the Brazilian Postal Service (through a convenient website) may have moved things along and it went to a sorting facility on the 25th of May.

Within days it was on its way to Peru:

Once we knew it was on the way to Peru, we felt a bit more at ease. We then utilized SERPOST, the Peruvian postal service tracking system and followed its progress until it was delivered 3 weeks later:

Here are some images of the actual cover. As you can see there are relatively few postmarks to document its journey:

Postmark indicated it passed through the registered mail facility in Jamaica, NY

Postmark indicating it was miss-sent to CMEC in Pasay City, Philippines

So… How far can you travel on $14.80?
Approximately 29,935 miles*

(Mileage was calculated using shortest air mile distance)

Technology is great! Now you can watch as your mail gets misdirected.

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