I had a recent experience selling an item over the B/S/T that is making me rethink my shipping strategy. I always ship via USPS, and I typically only pay extra for Delivery Confirmation. If the item is something fragile like a coticule, I will purchase insurance as well.
About a month ago I sold a CH1 in 2-band to a fellow member down in Florida via the B/S/T. I shipped it as I normally do: it went first class, I believe, and I paid extra for delivery confirmation. Well, 4 days after seeing that the USPS site marked the item as delivered, the member emailed me frantically saying the item had never been delivered. I wrote him with a description of the package and he went to the post office to speak with them. They essentially said it wasn't their problem - that it was marked as delivered. Had it been stolen? they wondered.
I did a little digging online and it looks like if you buy both insurance and delivery confirmation, if the item is marked as delivered then the post office is off the hook even if you bought insurance.
Sure enough, two weeks later the item was delivered to his house. All the while the buyer was a complete gentleman about it.
So my question is: How should a seller ship in order to protect himself and, to the best extent possible, the buyer? It would seem to me that Signature Confirmation is the best way to guard against this, but it is a huge hassle. I wonder if I had just purchased insurance and not gotten delivery confirmation, that my buyer could have initiated a claim early on.
Of course this is with the caveat that I have sold likely in excess of 1000 items through Ebay, the B/S/T, craigslist, etc over the years and this is the first time this has happened.