Pre-shipment. In transit. Delivered. Confirmed. 

If you use the tracking number that we send out to you when your packages are sent, you might become very familiar with these phrases over the past few days. 

As we've said many times before, we've been incredibly grateful for and dependent on the USPS for delivering our packages during the remarkably busy month that we've just concluded. 

However, the service has grown less reliable over the past few days. In looking at our shipments for the week March 30-April 2, we are seeing a considerable drop in processing and the tracking is indicating some faults in the system. 

We have changed our promotional calendar in 2020 to reflect a stronger promotional focus on titles that we have on hand (quite literally) and that we can ship out on the day the order is placed. So we are shipping most orders within 24 hours, particularly for items in the following categories: 10 CD boxes, $5 Classical and Jazz titles, 2 for $15 and 4 for $10. 

Here's a breakdown of the past 8 days:

All orders placed through Thursday, March 26th have left our location, and seem to have been delivered. 

All orders placed on Friday, March 27 through Sunday, March 29 were delivered to the post office on Monday, March 30th at 1 PM. Only 30% of those orders are marked "In Transit" or "Delivered". Now, this was a VERY large delivery (thanks!) and we're trying to play detective to figure out what is happening. 

a. First class and international destinations were processed quickly and most of these items have arrived or are tracking correctly on the USPS web site. 

b. Delivery of Media mail - our preferred method of mailing - seems to be quite erratic. The USPS always indicates that they have 10 business days to deliver Media Mail, although it rarely takes that much time. Of the 70% of the orders that are marked "Pre-Delivery" or "Confirmed" on our site, all of these items were shipped Media Mail. Now some Media Mail items have been processed and were delivered yesterday or expected to be delivered by April 6th. So some packages from the large shipment we delivered to USPS on Monday have filtered through the system - and most of these packages seem to be delivered to the Washington DC/Maryland/Virginia area. There's a few that made it to the Midwest and none of the orders for delivery west of the Mississippi, or north of New York City have seen any motion on the USPS tracking site. 

c. And if you do use the USPS web site for tracking, what we're finding is that the site doesn't update until the item is "out for delivery". Here's an example of an order that was mailed as part of the large drop off on Monday, March 30th and was delivered on April 2nd. The USPS tracking did not update until last night (April 2 - we've also left out the exact address for privacy issues). This customer lives right outside Washington DC, and until 10 PM last night, this order was marked "Pre-Shipment":

April 1, 2020, 10:34 pm
Departed USPS Regional Facility
April 1, 2020, 6:51 pm
Arrived at USPS Regional Destination Facility
April 1, 2020
In Transit to Next Facility
March 31, 2020, 7:51 am
Arrived at USPS Regional Origin Facility
March 31, 2020, 6:36 am
Accepted at USPS Origin Facility
March 30, 2020, 12:52 pm
Shipping Label Created, USPS Awaiting Item

d. All other shipments sent on Tuesday March 31 - Thursday April 3rd follow a similar pattern. Unfortunately, 95% of these orders are still listed as being in "Pre-Shipment". First class and international orders have been processed and are "In Transit". Again, this again aligns with Media Mail v. First Class.

e. Again, we have shipped 97% of all orders placed in the past 10 days, and we will continue to ship orders. However, we are looking at offering different shipping options so you can get your orders faster. 


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