Guest sent shipment in advance

OP is getting miffed at us for our lack of sympathy and understanding. The story is one a five year old would have trouble telling without blushing. It’s one thing to accidentally throw out a birth certificate, a whole other thing to"throw out" a parcel. I could accept that hubby had it returned to sender. There is a duty as a host to respect our guest’s property. I had a parcel sent to a hostel I had booked to stay at in London, never crossed my mind that the host, who agree to accept parcel, would do anything other than hold parcel for me. Airnb would have every right to suspend your listing, they have to protect their guests and the reputation of other hosts.

@smtucker - (whaa…who, me? Why would you be responding to me with indignation when I was responding to the OP? I wasn’t referring to your husband.)

To be clear, im not here for sympathy or understanding, im here for a solution and definitely not comments about how incredulous it is. But, If you do offer unsolicited info or say something is hard to believe, im going to still look for an answer. You’re obviously not here to help because you are only taking jabs and not offering solutions. I recognize my mistake in it. I also recognize that just because someone asks permission to do something, doesn’t mean they will and if they do, a tracking number or heads up would’ve been nice as well. We are both to blame for this, but your contributions have helped no one. The challenge is I didnt know it was his property because he didn’t send it like I instructed (his name,attn my name) or even call or text to say he sent it or peovide a tracking number.

Thanks for asking some good questions. It was addressed to me. I asked my husband to open it. The contents didn’t wave a flag because I didn’t know what he was sending. The slip only had my shipping info. My hubby asked who I had given our address to but that wasnt much help because ot was over the holidays so a lot of people asked. I looked the company’s website and socisl media. Called and no answer. He never said he sent it, never sent a tracking #. I just had no mental triggers. Airbnb wont answer questions. Im just looking for someone who has dealt with something similar.

Correct! It was sent on behalf of a company and not in his name. Opened the box to find a bunch of catalogs. Asked around and even looked the company up and called. Only today did he reach out to ask if I received.

If it’s just catalogues inside then aren’t these easily replaceable?

Ok I can definitely see how this was an honest mistake. If a bunch of catalogues arrived addressed to me that I wasn’t expecting, I’d probably assume it was junk mail and chuck it in the recycling.
I think the best solution now is to tell your guest exactly that. You had no idea it was his package, you threw it away. You we’re on the lookout for a package addressed to him and notice from him that it had been sent.
Don’t worry, mistakes happen!!

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If all of this was just catalog materials, and not anything specifically produced then it seems to me an option might possible be to have the catalogs re-shipped before your guest arrives. It’s possible the items were even free. Do you have any recollection of the items where you could find out if they are free materials from the website?

Because of the materials, I can completely understand why you threw it away. The guest did not follow the instructions of having his name on it. OR he did follow the instructions and it was the company who failed to not note his name on the package. It’s possible that the shipper just quickly noted your name and disregarded his. It could be that three parties contributed to the entire misunderstanding.

But honestly he should have given a heads up to say something is arriving from the company or at the least said which day to expect the package.

I recently received a package from a company and had no idea why it was sent. I had ordered something from this company a long time ago so I recognized the address. I called my mom to see if she sent these items. She said no, so I figured these were promotional materials they were sending out to past customers as free gifts. I couldn’t imagine who else would send me this inspirational/religous coffee cup and little books. So I tossed the stuff in a corner and a couple of days later my friend calls to see if I received a package.

My guess is that my friend likely did not realize that the company would only use their address and give me no indication that she was the sender. Your guest could have assumed his name would be somewhere on the packing slip.

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Thank goodness you filled in the blanks so we know more about the circumstances. You left out enough of the facts that it made a big difference in everyone trying to understand the problem.

So your guest sent ahead a package containing catalogs or pamphlets directly from a company and because his name didn’t appear as the sender, you had no connection of it with your future guest. You have since disposed of the package. Why don’t you explain what happened to your guest ~ it sounds like an honest but unfortunate mistake. The guest was trying to save on costs but didn’t follow your exact instructions about mailing it to you. He carries part of the blame and responsibility for his loss as well.

I hope it ends fairly for you.

Addendum: Oops, I guess I took too long on the keyboard and @Gardenhost and @cabinhost pretty much covered it all.

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Hi, I’ve had something quite similar happen, it’s such a hassle! In my case a package arrived addressed to a name that wasn’t any of my current or recently past guests. It was big and was taking up half the common entryway, so I moved it to the building basement. Two months later a former guest contacted me looking for a package and after a lot of back and forth with me insisting there was no package, she finally gave me the name it had been shipped to (her husbands name, not even the same last name). I told her yes - it was delivered, it’s in the basement, make arrangements to pick it up. When I went to basement it was gone. Someone either took it or threw it away.

I dreaded telling the guest what happened, even though it was not my fault, or my doing. So I totally get the feeling of wanting to cancel the guest rather than deal! Anyhow, you’ve gotten some feedback now, so I’m sure that you’ve figured out a plan. I just wanted to let you know that you’re not alone in how you dealt with this, and it totally sucks.

I tell my guests now that they have to be home to accept the package, or they have to send it knowing full well that something could happen to it if it is sent without a ‘signature required’. During the recent holiday season it was so insane that UPS and Fedex drivers were piling boxes on the stoop because they couldn’t keep up, and so many people had packages stolen…


This sounds just as silly as carrying a statue through customs for a stranger you just met on a flight back from Columbia as their hands are too full! Oh my


For better or for worse, when you post on a public forum like this you are going to get all kinds of responses and you really can’t control that. Just as you wish unhelpful responders would ignore your post, so too should you just ignore posts and posters you don’t like. You should also be aware that this particular forum doesn’t like trolls or spammers. Some people quickly take a new poster at their word, others prefer to conduct an inquisition. That said, once we understand your issue we are likely to be helpful and creative.

The first versions of your story left a lot of key information out. I wouldn’t worry about this too much nor would I fear a bad review if you make a good faith effort to help the guest get those catalogs there a second time. Tell the guest what you’ve told us about tossing the catalogs accidentally and see if you can come to an agreement about what to do now.


No matter what was in parcel, the answer is to email guest, admit mistake and ask how you can mitigate situation. I didn’t think it would require posting to an online forum to know what to do.


Since you agreed I think you should be partly responsible, maybe offer some compensation to make the guest feel better. Also point out their part of mistakes in a polite way.

To all other fellow hosts, never accept packages for strangers or even friends sometimes. It was about 12 years ago, my husband was at high school and one of his school mates asked to use his address for some shipment. My husband was naive and agreed, he was told the shipments were some rennovation materials. In the end, police were knocking on the door and the shipments contained smuggled cigarettes. Luckily many students were involved so they could prove they were cheated, not part of smuggling. The school mate was sentenced in the end and he was just over 18.


Situation sucks, people on here can be harsh. I posted a comment days ago that got people’s nickers all wadded up. It was kinda funny, I was just being real.

I’m sorry you’re going through this. Keep your head up, stay positive and the answer will come, but what do I know? I’m just a doobie smoking retired Army Infantryman who laughs lots. Hooah!

Check out my Airbnb:

Freya, I don’t agree with pointing out to the guest our perception of their mistakes. You’re taking a gamble on how the guest will receive it. 50/50 chance the guest would freak out. Could get lucky and have no issues but you run the chance game. You never know how someone is going to react.

I think in the service business, you have to eat it sometimes. Unless we’re talking major moola, I think it’s easier to fall on your sword, learn a lesson and drive on!

Lecturing a guest no matter how politely is never good customer service.


That’s a nice forum pic. How do you like ours? It’s also our Airbnb pic.

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An honest mistake. Maybe just tell the guest the truth. So sorry, my husband thought it was junk and threw it out. Since the company probably paid for the shipment in the first place ask if it is possible to re ship the catalogs. And this time have it sent to the convention center if that is possible. Don’t most convention centers have a place for companies to ship their materials?

But yes, in the future…just say no. You are a room rental service not a shipping depository.

Also keep in mind if someone books your place and ships drugs or contraband and it gets busted guess who will be held responsible? I never ever allow guests to ship things. EVER.

I don’t see the need for forum members to call your problem that of a five year old. We’ve all done dumb things. That’s why we are here! To offer each other support. I like your profile pic too! :slight_smile:


I wouldn’t allow a guest shipping anything to me either, for the fear of ending up with illegal substances.
Aren’t there possibilities where guests can ship to a certain “point”, DHL-office,… and they themselves can pick it up there? Does anyone know?

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The only solution I can think of is to come clean, reimburse the guest for the value of the package, hope that they are honest and that its value isn’t too dear.

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