eBay promise faster delivery in search than on the listing page

eBay insist on making life as difficult as possible for buyers in a hurry to receive their item. Yesterday I was looking at packing tape to see how easy it is to get an item delivered next day. How hard can it be? The answer is ‘Very!”

Why eBay search just isn’t helpful

First off eBay have no way in search of finding items which can be delivered the next day. They do display “Fast and Free” qualifying items with an extra banner in search results but that’s not particularly helpful.

eBay’s Fast and Free means that whilst carriage won’t be charged your items can take anything up to a leisurely three days to arrive. This is 2016 folks, a three day delivery promise isn’t fast in anyone’s book. It might have seemed quick in 1999 but today a three day delivery is abysmally slow.

The second failing is to assume I won’t want to pay for delivery. If I’m in a hurry why not highlight listings which can ship today and deliver tomorrow even if it’s not a free service. Why does being free make an offering more worthy than being able to deliver when I need the product.

How eBay search is broken

So now I’ve hunted through eBay’s dodgy search results and I find a listing which promises to deliver for me tomorrow.
Fast Free Tuesday
It happens to be a Fast and Free listing and it’s clearly displaying that the vendor (actually those lovely people Gill and John Hewitt at Bamford Trading) can delivery by Tuesday the 6th of September.

Fast Free WednesdayYou might think I’ve now hit the proverbial jackpot and my cup overfloweth with happiness and joy. Not the case, you see the thing is as soon as I click into the listing itself everything changes. Where on the search results page eBay were promising a Tuesday delivery as soon as I click to the product page the delivery slips back to Wednesday the 7th September.

I’d like to emphasise that this is NOT Gill and John’s fault, they run a superb service. I didn’t even want the packing tape but having found the glitch I had to make a purchase just to see what happened. For what it’s worth the packing tape was delivered today, Tuesday. Gill and John probably didn’t even spot that I’d made a purchase from them (why would they?) but they fulfilled their obligations perfectly. This is eBay being obtuse and broken.

I did think that maybe I’d straddled Bamford Trading’s cut off point by accident, so I went back and refreshed both the search results page and the product page multiple times. Nothing I could do would make the delivery expectations match up.

Will this glitch impact your seller metrics?

eBay are promising me delivery the next working day on the search results page, but delivery in two working days on the product page. Which is right? I don’t know. What I do know is that if the packing tape hadn’t arrived today I’d probably have been blaming Gill and John and that really wouldn’t have been fair.

eBay need to fix this glitch. I’d also be interested to know what the On-Time Delivery expectation for seller metrics was for this purchase. Are you being unfairly penalised or is it just a display issue?

7/9/16 Edited to add: Apparently I found a very rare glitch. It only affects same day despatch items, and only if the seller has changed their cut-off time (which is very rare). eBay say that a fix will be in the place in the next few weeks.