eBay ‘Other courier’ Click & Collect changes

eBay Click and Collect FloweBay have announced that moving forwards that if you describe shipping services as ‘Other 24 hour courier’ or ‘Other 48 hour courier’, these listings will now become eligible for Click & Collect as long as they meet the criteria. However you will still need to ship via one of the 5 Click & Collect eligible carriers.

If you use a different courier described as ‘Other courier’, you will need to change to one of the approved 5 couriers or opt your listings out of Click & Collect to avoid the risk of items being returned to you.

Why?

We more more than a little taken aback at this announcement. Basically it means that if you use a courier which isn’t one of the approved couriers you probably correctly assumed you weren’t eligible for click and collect. Now having done the right thing you’ll be included unless you specifically exclude yourself. We asked eBay why they’ve done this.

ArgoseBay told us that they have conducted an overview of carrier market share on eBay and know that approximately 95% of sellers using the options ‘Other courier’ do in fact use one of the 5 Click & Collect eligible carriers but simply explain this in their listings as ‘Other courier’.

There may be many reasons for this, sellers may switch between based on rates negotiated, weight of items, value of items or using services like Metapack. Many times sellers will use two Click & Collect eligible carriers and use the ‘Other courier’ designation so they can select the most cost effective for different shipments. Other sellers may sometimes use an approved courier in conjunction with a courier not on the Click & Collect list.

Sellers may also use a fulfillment house and not even know for certain which courier their fulfillment partner will use to ship a specific order and so selected ‘Other Courier’ to cover all the angles.

eBay tell us that “Opting out at an account level is a very simple process and as such was deemed much simpler for the 5% than the changing of shipping services for the remaining 95% of sellers on their thousands of listings where this option is shown but the right carrier for Click & Collect is used“.

eBay added that they ensured that the carriers with largest coverage in the UK as were selected as eligible services, but we will look to work with Argos to see if we can expand the carrier set in the future to accommodate more.

What to do and what if you get it wrong?

If you describe your postage as ‘Other Courier’

If you currently describe your postage as ‘Other 24 hour courier’ or ‘Other 48 hour courier’ and use one of the 5 Click & Collect eligible carriers you need do nothing.

If you currently describe your postage as ‘Other 24 hour courier’ or ‘Other 48 hour courier’ and do NOT use one of the 5 Click & Collect eligible carriers, as soon as eBay opt you into Click & Collect you need to opt back out. The alternative is to change the courier that you use.

If you currently describe your postage as ‘Other 24 hour courier’ or ‘Other 48 hour courier’ and sometimes use one of the 5 Click & Collect eligible carriers you need to ensure any Click & Collect shipments are despatched with an eligible courier. We know this is going to be tricky in a busy warehouse and can foresee the odd Click & Collect parcel being sent to Argos by the wrong carrier.

Oops, I shipped with the wrong carrier

If you ship a parcel with a carrier that is not one of the specified set, when your item gets to Argos it may be rejected, although there is a likelihood that the item will be accepted anyway. On acceptance the system will send a message to eBay’s CS teams that the seller has used a carrier that is not one of the 5. The seller will then receive a call from the eBay CS team to let them know that this has happened and to talk them through opting out if they wish.

At worst the item is rejected by Argos and the item will be sent back with the carrier.

I use Interlink, isn’t that the same as DPD?

DPD FeatWell yes and no. Interlink Direct isn’t the same as DPD, although it has the same tracking on the same website and is delivered by the same driver in the same van. Whilst officially Argos haven’t approved Interlink as a Click & Collect courier with eBay, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to differentiate and in all likelihood will accept your delivery.

We wouldn’t want to advise you to use Interlink for Argos Click & Collect as doubtless it’s not in eBay’s contract with them. If you do however you do ship via Interlink no one is ever likely to notice!

I’ll simply opt out, I can’t risk the bad feedback or defects if my parcel is rejected

eBay Feedback Removal smeBay have emphasised that in all cases they will protect the sellers feedback or defects if you accidentally ship with the wrong carrier and your parcel is rejected.

eBay’s CS teams will be notified by Argos and will then telephone you to help you opt out of Click and Collect or advise on which carriers you can use.

Why bother?

Click & Collect is going to be massive this Christmas. Consumers are going to be picking up their bulk Christmas buying at everyone from Tesco Direct (and most other supermarkets) and picking up in store to Waitrose for their John Lewis purchases, from Debenhams to Matalan for clothing and household goods and from Currys to Maplins for electronics. eBay don’t want to miss out on this massive trend and want to do everything that they can to make Click & Collect a success.

Click & Collect won’t cost you anything, you’ll pay for delivery exactly as if you despatched to a customer’s home address. If it increases sales and you do use one or more of the approved couriers exclusively all you need do is carry on shipping and stay opted in to Click & Collect.

If you don’t use the approved carriers (or only sometimes use them AND describe them as ‘Other Courier’) then you need to ensure you handle Click & Collect orders differently and that’s the only reason we can see for opting out.