Free On Board Shipping and Your Package Delivery
For many, the legal possibilities that come along with long distance package delivery can be a deeply worrisome affair. All too often this is simply because the customer hasn’t done any reading on Free On Board shipping.
Free On Board, in brief, is the principle that the seller of any item is responsible for said item up to the point that it is put onto the shipping vehicle. At that point, the buyer is responsible.
This is principle that more and more people are researching and acquainting themselves with because of the rise of do-it-yourself retail outlets like Etsy. People who sell their handmade goods through Etsy are essentially starting their own business, and any business, whatever the size, needs to assure itself of its legal stability in order to minimize liability and ensure profitability.
If a retailer on Etsy is shipping a package Free On Board, then technically that retailer is free from responsibility for said package. However, while the retailer may not be obligated to reimburse the buyer (nor does the package delivery company), this is an age in which reputation is easily tarnished and categorized on multiple sites online. A retailer should never try to hook a customer by cutting out shipping and handling, and subsequently risking a damaged product. It’s more profitable, in the long run, to put extra care into properly packaging a product, whether at your own expense or your customer’s.