Ultra PRO's online store is young, only about a year old, and while it has come a long way from our initial soft launch in late 2019, we still are learning and exploring how to improve our operations. COVID and the holiday shopping season means we have seen the need for international shipping jump through the roof. With transparency in mind, we want to give you an insight to where our thinking has been and where we plan to end up.
We launched shop.ultrapro.com for domestic shipping only, meaning only addresses within the USA could receive orders from our store. In an attempt to share the love, in early 2020 we opened international shipping to test it out. Unfortunately, USPS let us down. Shipments were taking weeks longer to arrive than expected which resulted in unrecoverable chargebacks - meaning people requested refunds for items that had already been shipped - so Ultra PRO no longer had the product, nor the funds, nor the shipping fees. Needless to say, we shut that down immediately while we looked for alternate solutions.
In an effort to mitigate losses, we chose a more reliable shipping option for our friends outside of the USA. We found UPS to be not only the most reliable, but also the easiest to work with when shipping issues arise. We also understood, of course, that the price for reliability is not small, which is where most of your concerns come into play. We've been asked, "why the heck does it cost $70 to ship a playmat to Norway?!" And the reason is guaranteed and expedited shipping.
With the goal of reducing shipping prices for customers while still offering a more reliable service, we are going to work through our trust issues with USPS. It’s time to give them another shot. We have added USPS Global Priority, and Global Express to our shipping choices. We are also going to work on clearer communication by including a disclaimer for processing time to better protect us if chargeback requests should arise. We believe that the more informed you are about where your stuff is, the less likely you are to get concerned and request a refund.
Please also note, the pandemic has had unprecedented impact on warehouse and shipping around the globe. Processing times may take longer than usual due to reduced staff to meet strict social distancing requirements. We apologize for the inconvenience while we not only protect your collectibles, but also protect our employees in these challenging times.
All in all, we are learning, and your questions and concerns are what make us better. We apologize for any inconveniences you have experienced shopping with Ultra PRO in 2020, but we are taking active steps to improve your shopping experience for 2021.
Thank you for choosing Ultra PRO!