Lost and Found Shipping

Your customer lost something and you’ve found it! Congratulations! How will you get it returned? 

Well, you might have just found yourself in the exciting world of lost and found shipping.

Shipping Package

Basics of Shipping

Shipping, the foundation of ecommerce, made popular by a small company called Amazon. In order to get one item from your property to your customer’s you will need a few basics.

  • A destination address
  • Size of the package; typically the box dimensions and weight
  • Service level; will it be overnight express or can it wait ~7-14 days?
  • Who is going to pay for the cost?

Of course, the basics of shipping are never just basic. There are a few additional complications. 

  • Insurance; if something happens to the package and you didn’t offer it, is it your fault?
  • International shipping; ugh…

Lost and Found Shipping Particulars

Lost and Found would not be the spice of life if it didn’t complicate the shipping process even further. Unfortunately, if a person has it, then they can lose it. From full suitcases and golf clubs to wallets or an ID, a wide range of items will arrive in your lost and found collection. 
Your shipping operation will need to be flexible enough to handle all the extreme stuff people might leave behind, such as the false teeth and set of skis you hear about in articles. But also be scalable enough to manage the potential deluge of phones, wallets, keys, etc.

Common Strategies

As we’ve mentioned a few dozen other times (even in this delightful new video), loss happens, and it happens a lot. Many organizations have created some processes and strategies to manage the complicated process of lost and found shipping.
  • Customers send in a shipping label
  • Shipping via Collect on Delivery
  • Free shipping
  • Credit Card authorization forms
Credit Card Authorization Form
These options attempt to address the more complicated parts of the shipping process, mostly customer billing, and often cause more harm than good.
  • Customers send in a shipping label- slow return process, pushing a manual process onto the customer, and overall pretty awful experience. 
  • Shipping via Collect on Delivery- doesn’t allow for service choice for the customer and tends to run into huge headaches in deliverability (plus surprise bills are never fun).
  • Free shipping- taking on cost for customers’ mistakes might be a nice customer moment but can add up quite quickly and is an important ownership verification requirement. 
  • Credit Card authorization forms- adding useless and inflexible paperwork to cause service delays is never a good option, even if it’s an SOP already.

Music Festival Lost and Found Shipping

For Music Festivals specifically, customers are rarely from the local area and there is a large number of lost items in a short period of time which can become a considerable challenge for event producers. Also, festival attendees tend to fall into two extreme needs:

  • Extreme need- recover a wallet, passport, or ID to catch that flight back home. 
  • Extreme price sensitivity- after spending hundreds (possibly thousands) at an event, they’re a little price averse. 

Shipping with the Liff App

So we need to build something flexible enough to address the attendees need but also scaleable enough to deal with the overwhelming amount.  

Carrier Preference

The Liff Happens team loves the USPS flat rate supplies for a much simpler packaging experience (no need to weigh items) and good delivery speed versus overall cost.

With a preferred carrier selected, now you need to offer a customer a shipping option. With the Liff App, the staff chooses the box size at the point of matching and lets them take it from there. 

Matching Lost and Found Shipping
Customer Shipping Gif

Customer Interface

The next step requires getting information from the customer, specifically an address and payment. 

So once we have a match your customer picks up the ball with an email containing a special link to complete the shipping steps.

Customer: “Boom done! Whoop whoop!”

Amazon your Lost and Found

A customer has sent in their address and paid for a shipment so now your shipping operation kicks into high gear. The Lost and Found team will need to:

  1. Print the shipping label
  2. Pull the correct item
  3. Package and Label the item
  4. Get it sent out with a tracking update
Um… —>
Liff App Lost and Found Shipping Gif
Lost and Found Shipments

Shipping Process Results

After running through those steps a few hundred times you have quite a few packages on hand. Drop them off or easily schedule a pick up by the carrier.

The customer automatically is notified with tracking information for the entire journey back home.

Want to know more?
Chat with the Liff team today!