Keep a copy of all emails and communication made with the sender. As soon as you buy something online, make sure you get an email confirmation and a receipt. These are essential for finding packages, dealing with disputes, and tracking your order. If you have not received an email within 24 hours, email the seller requesting confirmation of payment and shipment.
Check your spam and trash folders as well, as most confirmation messages are sent automatically the second you place your order.
Read any emails from the seller for a tracking number. Most sites will send you a tracking number as soon as they ship the package. If they do, you can use this number on the carrier’s website (USPS, FedEx, etc.) to keep up to date with your order. Note, however, that you can not get a tracking number until the order is actually shipped. If there is a handling period or your order still needs to be made, you will not see a tracking number until it is shipped.
Check the online store you bought from for tracking information. Under “My Orders” on Amazon, for example, you can see a detailed breakdown of your order status, including if it has shipped, where it is now, and what the tracking number is.
Contact customer service for your order if you don’t have a tracking number within a day of shipment. If you are sure your package is in the mail, but still don’t have a tracking number, call or email the company you purchased the product from requesting. Be sure to have any customer ID or receipt numbers handy so that they representative can quickly bring up your order.
If you’ve lost a tracking number, the customer service team for the company you ordered from should have one on file.
Plug the tracking number into the appropriate delivery system to see where your package is. If you have a FedEx tracking number, go online to FedEx and type it in under “Track Package.’ This will help you see your package’s current location and when it should arrive.
If you lose a tracking number, and can’t get in touch with the company, call your local post office. They may have records of the package if it is delivered by the USPS. Otherwise, call your local UPS, FedEx, or DHL branch and see if they can help you, though it is a long shot
Know in advance which US Postal Service packages include tracking information. If you are purchasing a product online, make sure that one of these postage types is included in your shipping information. For USPS, the following postage types include a tracking number:
Collect on Delivery
Global Express Guaranteed
USPS First Class Mail, Media Mail or Parcel Post do not include tracking. In some cases, you can add USPS Tracking to the products at the time of your postage purchase.
Save your receipt from the post office. It will include the tracking number. Ask the postal clerk to highlight the tracking number on the slip if you are concerned. They length of the numbers changes based on the package, but it will be a long string of numbers, occasional prefixed by two letters.
Ex. 9208 8000 0000 0000 0000 00
Ex. CP 123 456 789 US
Check the status of your package online. Go to USPS and type in the tracking number on your email or receipt. Press the “Find” button to track your package.
You can also text your tracking number to “28777” to get a text update of your package status.
It may take 24 hours after dropping off the package for it to show up in the system, so don’t fear if it is not there.