Without proof of value, you may never collect any insurance
Don't decide at the Post Office whether to add insurance "just in case". It's too late. Find your receipts first.
The need to prove value is true for
collecting UPS (brown trucks) as well as USPS (post office) insurance,
but the burdens on you may be greater for UPS, namely:
insurance is free up to $100. You can buy more (over $1 per
hundred coverage), but you may never collect.
You are warned to have an original
receipt for the item, a signed receipt from the guy across the counter
when you dropped off the package, perhaps the original complete
as it looked at the other end, perhaps a police report . . .
POST OFFICE INSURANCE
Thank you, TK, for sending in this:
In order to make a claim when USPS loses your package, or destroys box and contents, you must have a receipt showing the value of the item. Regardless
of how much value you claimed, and thus how much you paid for the
insurance, the USPS will only reimburse you for the value shown on a
receipt. "Would you like to add insurance to that?" means,
"Do you have a written receipt for that, or may I swindle you?"
Collector's items only have value between you and the collector. You
won't be reimbursed a penny, unless you get a third party expert to
swear this is how much the item is worth. Since it's in a zillion
pieces and is worth zero, good luck finding such an expert.
Getting items privately appraised in writing for every sale is impossible for most of us. So sell
collectibles online and print the listing page. But sometimes the
final sale price is not shown, so get your PayPal page for that
transaction. If you waited too long and the transaction page is
gone, print your account page and add whatever
eBay/Bonanza.com/etsy listing pages you need to link that line item on
your PayPal account page to the item.
ADDRESSES INSIDE TOO
Customers should ALWAYS
put their name and address inside every package they send (preferably
tape them to the items inside). That way if/when the packaging is
destroyed by machines at USPS, and the contents get separated from the
packaging and end up heading towards the Lost in the Mail Division,
USPS will have a way to get them back to you. (That's reader TK's
advice to us all, and she's not making it up.)
SORRY TO NAG, BUT
Don't put the thing into the carton and then finish packing it.
First put packing into the bottom,
then cram The Thing and even more packing into the carton.
Press BACK arrow on your browser;
Top of main postage page -- you'll lose your place. .
JIN, rev 10Apr2017.