We offer several shipping options here at Viridian Gold, but one thing never changes, and that is that every order is eligible for free shipping. (That's the main reason we have a minimum order amount of $50). Our free shipping method is US Postal Service (USPS) First Class Mail, insured, with delivery tracking and signature required. We try to make sure everybody knows that a signature is required--that is for your protection and for ours!
But, what happens when you are not home to receive the package? This happens with FedEx, too (our other shipper). Well, with the USPS, they supposedly leave a note, and you have to go to your post office and pick up the package. They won't try to deliver again, at least not officially. And, they are not supposed to get a neighbor to sign for it, either!
Each and every order we ship (except for our $2.00 ring sizer kit), is assigned a tracking number. When you place your order with Viridian Gold, an order confirmation email is automatically sent to the address you give us on your order form (that's why you shouldn't use a fake email address!), and that email contains a link to our website where you can view your very own order status. When we ship your order (most non-custom orders ship within a couple of business days), we enter that unique tracking number into our system and it shows up on your order status page as a link. When you click that link, it will show you the status of your package as it moves through the USPO or FedEx system. Tracking data is updated nightly.
Sometimes our customer is not home when the USPO tries to deliver the package. When that happens, the tracking number inquiry will show that the package delivery was attempted, and that a notice was left, and that the local Post Office is holding the package for pickup by our customer. Supposedly, they will only hold for a week, but our experience is that they will keep the package around for much longer, so if this happens to you, don't hesitate to go to your Post Office and ask for your package, no matter how long it has been!
So far, the USPS has never lost one of our shipments (knock on wood!). We have had some scary situations (once, an Express Mail package, containing wedding rings, was misrouted to the Cayman Islands instead of California--so it ended up being delayed by about a week!), but those have happened with FedEx, too! And, when you live in a rural area, the USPS is by far the most economical method of shipment.
You can upgrade your shipping, however, to FedEx ground which is fully trackable, as well as other FedEx air options. And, the USPS offers a very reasonable Overnight Express Mail option, which is actually overnight to most locations (but NOT Alaska or Hawaii!)
So, all in all, we think the USPO does a pretty good job, and that's why we trust them with virtually all of our shipments! If you ever have a question about a shipment or status of an order, don't hesitate to call us.