Prophetic Alert For A Missing Parcel

TIME, I think, for an update on the progress of converting my stash of unusual currency into a larger sum of cash.
Over the last month, I have listed dozens of coins and banknotes for sale on eBay, being careful to make full use of the site’s regular “free listing” weekends because experience has shown that most lots will either sell for their opening price or fail to sell at all.
But, despite sometimes slow progress, I have some good news. Sales have continued at a level of between 150 and 250 per cent of face value since I began to offer these items online.
However the news is not all positive. In a previous post (First Sales – Off and Running) I revealed my “success” in selling coins with a face value of £11 to a man from Staffordshire for £17.80.
Unfortunately my self-congratulation came too early because the day after I posted the coins to him, I was surprised to receive an email asking why they had not arrived yet.
I reassured him that, while the service offered by Royal Mail is very reliable, they could not guarantee next day delivery on every occasion.
This was one of several items I had posted together to addresses around the UK and the United States so I watched to see progress of their delivery.
Unfortunately the Staffordshire man’s concern seemed at first to be strangely prophetic as it soon became clear that, on this occasion, Royal Mail was not delivering as swiftly as normal. In reply to one of the Staffordshire man’s repeated emails to request a refund, I surmised that the reason for this was possibly that, while the weather here in the Highlands was cold but mild, England had seen some snow and services south of the border are notoriously vulnerable to wintry weather.
Eventually it became clear that all other items posted with the Staffordshire-bound package had been delivered successfully, if a little late but I was told this collection of coins had gone missing.
On the earlier listing you will see a photograph of these coins set into a sheet of corrugated cardboard and secured with a strip of clear plastic. I have used this method of postage as the coins are held securely but they do not protrude when placed in an envelope.
Another advantage is that this method of packing allows a package small enough to be sent through the Royal Mail’s normal First Class delivery service.
I had been reassured to learn that items posted through the First Class service were insured to the value of £46 but I soon discovered that not ALL items are covered – currency, stamps and smaller high-value items such as jewellery are excluded.
This meant that I was unable to recover the price paid for the coins, or even their face value, under the First Class insurance policy. I was told by Royal Mail that I should have sent these using the significantly more expensive Special Delivery service if I had wanted the items to be insured.
I attempted to argue that the items I was selling were not “currency” but collectable objects (and the fact that they had been purchased for a sum higher than their face value was proof of this) but was simply told that this argument was not acceptable.
I remain convinced that there is a legal case here but I’m afraid I don’t have the budget to take on an enormous organisation such as the Royal Mail to court over a sum of less than £20 so I was left with no choice but to refund the full amount to the man who had become concerned at the progress of delivery at a remarkably early stage.
This loss of £11 from my kitty will have to be taken into account in the final reckoning when we look at whether I have achieved my aim of doubling the money.
There have been other sales too (all successfully delivered) and I will discuss these in a later post.

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