PacMe FAQ

 

Browse through our Frequently Asked Questions to find answers to your questions and find out more about how PacMe works.

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Receiving

 

The carriers are pushing the online retailers to adopt their Address Verifcation Systems.  This might cause some confusion when they are testing the PacMe address you give them.  In particular, as with many Oregon addresses, line number one of your PacMe address is sometimes too long to fit on some address forms. That is usually the problem.  Please email us at feedme@pacme.com with any address issues you encounter. 

 

Your government-approved PacMe mailing address is written below.  Of course, replace Z9999 with your mailbox number (you'd be surprise at how many packages we receive to mailbox Z9999!).  Also note the official abbreviated address if necessary.

 

Your Name
14960 SW Tualatin Sherwood Rd Ste 103    -or-    14960 SW TLTN SHRWD RD STE 103
Suite 103 - Z9999 Pacme
Sherwood, OR 97140
Tel: 503-822-5522 (if required)

 

If the length of the address is the issue, try the official abbreviation (14960 SW TLTN SHRWD RD STE 103).

 

If that doesn't solve the problem, here are the most important elements, in this order:

  • 14960 SW Tualatin Sherwood Rd, the street address, is a must-have.
  • Ste 103 is next important to most address systems. If line one is too short put this on line 2.
  • Pacme is very helpful, especially when UPS and FedEx are delivering the packages (which is most of them). They know us well.
  • <Mailbox Number> Unless your name is Kelvin Ong without a middle initial, we can figure out your mailbox number, so that is least important.

 

Some notes about your PacMe mailing address:

  • Some address systems will suggest an "alternative address."  If you are allowed to reject their suggestion and keep your address as written above, then do so.
  • If forced to accept an alternative, then try to get the above information on the second address line, which usually is not subject to as much validation. 
  • Our "zip+4" postal code is 97140-8552.  You can always accept this suggestion.  The "+4" uniquely designates our building.
  • Since the street address is soooo long, "Ste 103" might get truncated when printed on labels.  That is why we like to repeat "Suite 103" on the second address line. You might need to remove "Ste 103" from line one, as mentioned above.
  • Interestingly, the word "Pacme" helps the most when in the UPS and FedEx systems. They know exactly where we are.
  • Please put a note in your My Account chat box or email helpme@pacme.com if you have problems with a particular retailer's address system.
  • We do have a shorter address (14960 SW TLTN SHRWD RD STE 103) that has been validated by most systems, so you can try that too.

 


 

Here is the Amazon procedure:

 

                             Amazon Address Validation

 


 

Here is the Target procedure (The Gap and Pottery Barn have the same problem).  The "03" of "Ste 103" gets truncated off the first line, so put it on the second line only:

 

 


 

For Lululemon, use the abbreviated address in line 1. It will suggest the correct, longer address, but it won't fit into their own form!

 

Lulu1

 

Lulu 2

 


 

Dick's Sporting Goods: Enter the abbreviated address.  They will accept the long address.  Accept their suggestion...

 


 

 

Other known issues:

  1. nike.com and gap.com are limited to 35 characters so use "14960 SW TLTN SHRWD RD STE 103" on line 1 and "Suite 103 - Z9999 Pacme" on line 2.
  2. adidas.com is limited to 25 characters so use "14960 SW TLTN SHRWD RD" on line one and "Suite 103 - Z9999 Pacme" on line two.
  3. newegg.com does not allow hyphens ("-") in the address fields.
  4. underarmour.com limits address1 to 29 characters.  Use 14960 SW TLTN SHRWD RD on line one and "Suite 103 - Z9999 Pacme" on line two.

 

The package usually shows up the next business day.  So there's no need for you to do anything just yet, even if the note says you have to collect it from the Post Office within the next 14 minutes or it will get sent back to the sender in Estonia.  Often it might be a "Saturday" issue or a problem with the address format.  Read on for detail.

 

Was it a Saturday delivery?

The most common "undeliverable" package is one that comes, or doesn't as the case may be, on Saturday.  Our warehouse district is technically not open on Saturdays, even if we are here.  The carriers often stop by anyway, but just as often, they put in an "undeliverable" message in their tracking system without even trying to make the delivery. 

 

To save money, retailers will often choose "SurePost" by UPS or "SmartPost" by FedEx.  The Post Office does the final delivery of these packages, but not necessarily on Saturdays, so they just click the button.  FedEx also has a service called "Home Delivery" that delivers Tuesday to Saturday (not Monday).  That also causes some confusion and might delay your package delivery until Tuesday.

 

You can change the weekend delivery setting in your Amazon account by editing your delivery address.  This might help, sometimes.

 

                            Amazon Saturday

 

 "Undeliverable Address" probably means the package will be  delayed until they research the address format.

Read the Address FAQ for issues regarding your Pacme address and Address Verification Systems (AVS).  A common problem is that the package clears the retailer's AVS, gets picked up by UPS, FedEx, USPS, etc. and then their AVS flags the address. These are the AVS systems that are supposed to be "one."  So, the carrier says the package is undeliverable, but what they really mean is that their AVS flagged the address and they need to do some research to "correct" it.  They charge the retailer for this service, so that might cause a delay.

 

Problem at the depot.

We receive thousands and thousands of packages, all addressed in the exact same format.  The "undeliverable address" auto-text message must be the most convenient, go-to button for all the carrier clerks when they realize they won't be able to deliver the package on time, whatever the real reason (e.g. the package got on the wrong route truck, or didn't get on the truck at all that morning, the driver went to lunch early, it's Saturday, etc.).  They can't get in trouble if they say it was an address problem! 

 

 

You shop online. The retailer sends your packages to us. What happens to them?

 

Upon arrival, every package we receive gets its own unique ID. It is now linked to the tracking number from the online shopping site. The package will show up in your account within a few hours from the time the carrier reports that they have delivered the package to our warehouse door. We get hundreds of packages every day so it takes a little time to get them all entered into the system.

 

Every incoming package is opened so we can scan the invoice and take a few quick photographs. Then we re-tape the box. Web orders are often sent in multiple boxes so this helps you know exactly what is inside each package that you receive. This is also a security precaution to stop prohibited goods from entering our warehouse.

 

The package is delivered to your shelf in the warehouse either by a human who wants to exercise or by a robot that never gets tired. Most of our employees are active and like to get in there 10,000 plus steps every day, but we also have a lot of technology to make sure nothing gets lost.

 

You are now in virtual control of your package. Once the package pops up in your account online, you will see its status is probably “on shelf.” You might have several packages from Amazon, so you can add a personal note to each one to keep them all straight (e.g. John’s rugby gear). You can make a “special request” (e.g. take a more detailed photo). You can add it to a consolidation, remove it, and add it to a different consolidation. You can “move it around” as if you were in the warehouse.

 

If you have a question or request, every package has its own chat box for customer support. That’s our primary way to communicate with you because we are probably 10 time zones apart. Your support request will never fall into a black hole. Support “tickets” are actually chats attached to each package.

 

You can even add an “expected” package to your account. If you know the tracking number from the retailer, you can enter it into your account, and then attach a personal note to it. When the package arrives, our system will recognize it and all your notes about the package will still be there. That helps you match up your packages and keep track of what has arrived and what has not.

 

When you want your stuff, just say “PacMe!” We will consolidate your packages and ship them to your address overseas (or your friend in San Francisco). You place a consolidation order from within your account. You choose the incoming packages, putting them into one consolidation or another if you are planning to have multiple shipments. Then you choose all the packing and shipping options. We can remove the shoe boxes, pull the invoices, or pack it pretty much however you instruct us to do so. There are some fees involved for some optional services, but our price list is transparent and straight forward.

 

Or, you can set up your defaults and get your stuff with one click. Ok, maybe a few clicks. If you don’t want to fiddle around with all the consolidation options, you can set up your defaults once and then consolidate with one click whenever you want your packages sent.

 

You can watch the progress of your consolidation every step of the way. Once your consolidation has been approved by PacMe, the order gets locked down. You can track its progress in your account and see how the status changes as we work on it. If we have any questions, we will ask them in the chat box attached to the consolidation in your account. You will get an alert and/or an email.

 

Once it’s gone, it’s not really gone. It’s in your history. You can look in your account history to see all the incoming packages you have ever received and each consolidation in which they were packed. The tracking numbers, invoices, photographs… it’s all there for several months in case you need to go back and check something.

 

 

 

We receive hundreds of packages every day, mostly in the morning, but through out the afternoon as well.  When a package gets dropped off at our dock, the carrier will report that it has been delivered.  It will take us a few hours to process the package and get it onto your warehouse shelf.

 

Meanwhile, we are working on consolidations in the late morning and afternoon. Under normal circumstances, packages that arrive in the morning might not be available to be put into a consolidation on the same day.  It depends on how busy we are on any particular day.

 

If it's urgent, check here.

 

 

Yes, but it usually only makes financial sense to do so when the package is still in our warehouse, not already in your home.

 

Many retailers require paid returns to come from the place where they were originally shipped, which would be the PacMe warehouse.  If you already have the item in your country, it would be costly to ship it back to us, then have us ship it to the merchant.

 

Retailers generally will not allow us to speak on your behalf.  You will need to deal directly with the merchant to get a "return authorization" number, form, carrier label, etc. and then upload the return label to the particular incoming package's document tab on the PacMe website.  

 

If it is as simple as slapping a label on a box, then we do the return for free (except we would charge for the return shipping, if any).

 

In general, returns are often not as "hassle free" as they are advertised.  It's therefore better to buy the types of things that you will unlikely want to return.  You want to limit your stress (see our Shopping Tips for the short list).  This is one of them.

 

Similarly, please don't buy fragile items.  Sure, we can do some extra wrapping and you can buy insurance, but it is a hassle to deal with the return and the claim.  It all ends up as he-said-she-said and we are using left paying the bill.

 

 

 

We will accept packages from ebay and private sellers, but our policy is to leave the packages unopened (except for the odd random audit).  We will still check them into the system and photograph the mailing label, but we won't scan the invoice or take photos of the items.  We will repack the package "as-is" when doing a consolidation.  

 

If it makes a huge difference in dim weight, then we will probably open the package and remove the item, but ebay packages are usually busting at the seams so that isn't a problem.  

 

Only about 5-10% of your ebay packages will likely be bad (arrive damaged, missing/wrong item, postage due, etc.), but nearly 100% of our package problems are related to ebay and private sellers.  You need to be of the mindset "you win some and you lose some" and kindly leave us out of any he-said-she-said argument that might ensue.  

 

We will need to charge "list price" for additional photos of the packaging, returns, special requests, etc. Those usually run about $5-10 each (price list is in the "special request" dropdown box).  

 

Entering Expected Packages (on the My Packages tab) is optional, but it is a great way to keep all your orders organized to know which ones have arrived. 

 

We might also ask you to enter an Expected Package if you need for us to look out for a particular package (we will get an alert as soon as it arrives).  Or sometimes the retailer will drop your mailbox number from the mailing label - entering the tracking number along with the Expected Package will ensure it finds your mailbox immediately upon arrival (though usually your name is good enough).

 

A word of caution. The most important thing to keep in mind is that PacMe is a "package-centric" system.  We don't know what you ordered.  We don't know how many packages the retailer will send out for your order.  Quite often they "drop ship" your items from multiple warehouses so a single order will come in multiple boxes.  And most incoming packages don't include invoices or packing lists - that's another reason why we take photos of the items.  

 

But we do know when a package arrives on our dock!  And this is how you let us know how to expect its arrival.

 

"Expected Packages" work best if you enter the carrier's tracking number.

  • The carrier tracking number that you enter for your Expected Package must exactly match the tracking number that will be on the actual package.  That is the surest way for our system to recognize it. This is the carrier number (UPS, FedEx, USPS, On Trac), not the order number.
  • That said, when any package for you arrives on our dock, our system will show your list of Expected Packages.  If the Sender is unique, then it is easy to match up.  If you have 15 packages from Amazon, then not so much.
  • If an Expected Package doesn't get matched up and the actual package is already shown in your account, you can simply "remove" the Expected Package from your PacMe account. 

Why enter Expected Packages in the first place?

  • About half our customers use the feature.  Many don't.  They just go about their shopping and then consolidate after they think everything has arrived.  If they miss something, then they just have it go in the next consolidation.
  • A common use is putting an Expected Package into a consolidation and then submitting it. This is helpful if you know you will be away from a computer, say on vacation, but want the consolidation to proceed as soon as that last package arrives.  You know it is a single package, not an order that might get sent in multiple packages, so it is easy to place the consolidation order before you leave.
  • If you have lots of packages coming, then it might be helpful to keep all of them straight.  Once you place the order at a retailer, you create an Expected Package and add a note about its contents.  Then, you come back later to enter the tracking number.

 

 

 

 

 

The goal is to get your magazines to you as quickly as possible while minimizing the cost. You don't need to be on the "+mail" plan for magazines; you can have a normal "package only" account.  We are primarily a package consolidator, however, so forwarding magazines by themselves is probably not a very good value. Most customers just have us put their magazines in consolidations that they already having going.

 

Here is the procedure for magazines.

  1. When the "first" magazine arrives, we create a new Incoming Package (e.g. J0014) from the generic sender "Magazines."
  2. We scan/photograph the cover page and upload it to the Photo tab of the "Magazines" package.
  3. The actual magazines are stored in an envelope and placed on your shelf.
  4. We do this for each subsequent magazine that arrives (upload a scan of the cover, put magazine in the bulk envelope).
  5. We will automatically pack the latest "Magazines" package in your next consolidation, or we can send it by itself based on a trigger(s) of your choosing:
    a. when you tell us to ship it
    b. automatically, weekly or monthly
    c. whenever magazine X arrives, we will send them all
  6. After we ship the envelope with magazines to you, we start the process over with the next magazine that arrives.
  7. We charge a single $3 fee for each "Magazines" Incoming Package, regardless of how many magazines we receive on your behalf (ok, maybe only up to 10-15 of them per shipment!).  Then, it is best to consolidate your "Magazines" package with your other packages.  It's probably at least $10-20 to send a few magazines by themselves overseas, and that's by the 9-12 day service. 
  8. As with all of our business, this isn't a very good value for 1 magazine, so buy many and include them in your consolidations instead of sending them by themselves.

 

BTW, for the standard Package-only customers, your regular mail (catalogs, junk mail, letters, etc.) get shredded unless you sign up for a "mail" account. Learn more.

 

For "+Mail" customers, the process is similar to magazines.  You will see a shell "Mail" Incoming Package that fills up with your mail and then repeats each time you do a consolidation.

 

 

 

If you are on our standard, "Package-only" plan, we do not save your mail.  We only save mail for "Package + Mail" customers.  Otherwise, we shred and discard all normal mail that comes to us (and we get tons of junk mail!).  This would include bills and invoices that might be sent separately from the package, although nowadays most of those notices are saved electronically in your account at the retailer.

 

If you want us to save your mail and include it in your consolidations, then you must be on the "Package + Mail" plan.  It's pretty expensive ($300/year) because sorting mail is actually more difficult to do than sorting packages. Package-only customers are allowed Magazines Subscriptions, however.

 

Mail customers must have a mailbox number that begins with the letter M.  That helps us know which mail to save and which mail to shred.

  1. You can sign up for the "package + mail" plan during the account sign up process, or you can change to the mail plan from within your My Account page. Always send us a chat first. 
  2. Your old mailbox number will be shutdown after about 40 days (so make sure you change your address with all your online retailers).
  3. On the other hand, If you cancel your mail account, you will lose your "M" mailbox number.

 

Learn more about about how we handle "Package + Mail" accounts here.

 

 

For "Package + Mail" customers, we accept and process regular mail.  The cost is $300/year.  To set expectations correctly, please read how we do it to see if this service is right for you...

 

Most of our "+mail" customers already have frequent consolidations of their packages so we simply include their regular mail each time we do a consolidation.  That's the best way to think about it.

 

As a general rule, we are not a secretary.  We do not like to open your mail, though we can do so from time to time when it's important.  We can't pay your bills or process complex instructions.  We simply put your mail into a large envelope and then send it to you when you consolidate your packages.

 

How we handle mail is similar to how we handle magazines.

  • To start, we place a box and a large envelope on your shelf.
  • We put junkmail into the box and keep it for a long time - just in case we need to rummage through it to find something that we thought was junk but in fact you needed.  Of course, if you actually want the catalogs and junkmail, let us know.
  • We put "goodmail" into the envelope, which is actually depicted as a normal incoming package in your online account (e.g. J0013).
  • We scan the outside of each goodmail envelope and upload the photo to this singular "Mail" package.
  • Over time, the "Mail" incoming package in your online account will show lots of photos representing the mail that is physically inside the large envelope on your shelf.
  • Each large envelope of mail counts as one "incoming package" and incurs the usual $3 fee, though it would essentially be free if you have more than 7 packages in the consolidation.
  • When you ask for a consolidation, we put this large envelope of mail into the outgoing box with your other items.  There is the usual consolidation fee, but nothing extra.
  • We can forward your mail as a standalone package as well, but it is still run through our consolidation system so costs $13 in PacMe fees ($3 for an incoming package plus $10 to forward) plus the shipping fee, which is easily calculated by our shipping calculator.  It might get a little pricey if you only use PacMe for your mail, however.
  • We then start over with an empty envelope, which will get a new incoming package ID.

As a "+Mail" customer, you will need to fill out the PS1583 form.  Lastly,  It's illegal to use your PacMe address as an official address for a business, by the way, or run a business out of our warehouse.

 

 

We have a big warehouse so we can accommodate large items, but if it won't fit on a typical warehouse shelf, then please contact us first (use the chat box in your account).

 

We will provide you with procedures and pricing.

 

 

 

In summary, we can't accept used items, and we have a limited check-in procedure for new items from private sellers. Read on for the detail.

 

One of the driving forces behind our business is that we only want to do things that we can do really well, which often includes restricting what comes into our warehouse in the first place.  Our policy is that we cannot accept used items.  Even new items from ebay/private sellers might be subject to a different checking-in procedure.

 

Used items. Our contracts with the carriers do no allow us to ship used items or "personal effects," so that is the primary reason behind the "no used" policy. That said, we can accept the very occasional used package amongst all of your new packages.  It just can't be a normal practice.

 

Private sellers.  We might process private-seller packages, even if they contain new items, differently than standard retailer packages. We need to inspect all incoming packages for prohibited goods, but we may or may not open the package fully or take a photo.  The package will be consolidated "as-is" if it looks at all problematic.

 

Not all ebayers, etsy, and amazon private sellers are incompetent, but nearly 100% of our package problems are with these sellers. Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference between a private seller and a small retailer.  Granted, even large retailers are problematic sometimes, but in general, we prefer not to deal with small-time sellers.  It's a lot of he-said-she-said, and we usually ended up paying for their shoddy packaging mistakes.

 

We won't reject these packages, but we might send you to this FAQ so that you can moderate your future purchases.

 

 

 

Yes. We have a wine storage and shipping permit.  We use UPS and FedEx to ship wine. Here are some particulars:

  • There is no sales tax in Oregon and there are no restrictions on the amount of wine we can receive on your behalf.
  • Our warehouse is secure and insured, but we don't have a proper climate-controlled wine-storage facility.  Oregon has a cool climate Oct-May, however, so storing wine in our warehouse is usually fine.  It gets a bit hot in the summer, but rarely above 25c. Of course, if it's just in/out, then it's no problem any time.
  • If the wine is already packed securely enough for export, then we can simply relabel the incoming boxes and charge our standard fees.  Otherwise, we can re-box the bottles properly (it's about $15-30 per case, depending upon the type of packaging you desire).
  • As a rough guideline, it would end up costing about $10-15 per bottle if you shipped three 12-bottle cases to a major city in Australasia/Europe. A case of twelve 750ml bottles weighs about 40lbs (18kg).
  • The carrier will process it through customs, but you'll have to pay tax and duties directly on your end.
  • It's important that you understand the wine import regulations in your home country because we do not (except for Singapore and Hong Kong)!

 

We can ship wine to consumers in just a few countries:

  1. Singapore (limit of 54 liters per shipment)
  2. Japan (limit of 10kg per shipment)
  3. Korea (limit of 12 bottles of less than 1 liter per bottle per shipment)

Duty in Singapore is S$88/litre of alcohol (new rates as of 2014).  So a 0.75 litre bottle of wine with 15% alcohol, would have a duty of 88 x 0.75 x 0.15 = S$9.90/bottle. When shipping a case of wine to Singapore, the shipping cost per bottle is about S$14 equivalent.  So, duty plus shipping is therefore about S$24/bottle; then add the actual cost of the wine and 7% GST.  Technically, GST is charged on the value of the goods plus shipping, but they usually add a pretty low value for shipping.

 

We can ship wine to businesses in the following countries:

  1. Australia
  2. Austria
  3. Belgium
  4. Bulgaria
  5. Canada
  6. Cyprus
  7. Czech Republic
  8. Finland
  9. France
  10. Germany
  11. Greece
  12. Hong Kong
  13. Hungary
  14. Italy
  15. Japan
  16. Liechtenstein
  17. Luxembourg
  18. Macau
  19. Malta
  20. Monaco
  21. Netherlands
  22. New Zealand
  23. Philippines
  24. Portugal
  25. Romania
  26. Singapore
  27. Slovakia
  28. Slovenia
  29. Switzerland
  30. Thailand
  31. United Kingdom

 

 

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