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Christmas Chicken! When will you despatch your last seasonal order?

By Dan Wilson December 18, 2013 - 7:53 am

The timing of Christmas this year is a little unhelpful for the ecommerce seller. As it lands on a Wednesday, taking the call of when you’ll despatch your last parcel before the 25th and still ensure a pre-Christmas delivery is a bit of a headache. It’s that weekend that’s the problem.

Royal Mail will guarantee delivery first class post up to and including Friday. But even then, don’t bank on it. They’re also still offering Special Delivery on Monday 23rd… but you’ve gotta hope the buyer is in. Other carriers and couriers will vary.

What are you planning? My view would be anything sent after Thursday is cutting it a bit fine and means squeaky bum time.

As an aside, this is where Click & Collect does come in to its own. As just one example, I noticed on the Marks and Spencer website today that you could still order next Sunday and Monday before noon and pick up in your local store on Christmas Eve. This doesn’t extend to food but for last minute shoppers it is a tempting proposition.

  • 4 years ago

    We are making Friday at noon the final cut off and upgrading all second class orders to 1st class and then we will shut down until the 3rd because realistically the orders are very unlikely to get there in between. I just hope ebay helps with the feedback and DSR because there will be several people to give 1 and 2 stars for dispatch time.

  • Joe
    4 years ago

    I’m sending out orders today, then closing until 6pm on December 24th. I’m upgrading all orders to 1st class.

    Recent experience says that’s it’s just too much hassle to stay open longer, but I know some who trade right through.

  • Chris
    4 years ago

    We’ll be posting Friday and then the final post Monday morning, then we are done.
    To be fair, we haven’t had that many people message who want it before Christmas, maybe, people are just buying for themselves now?

  • 4 years ago

    We are continuing throughout, there will always be the muppet who places the order on xmas eve and wants it the following day. Christmas Day is a big one for us too, we sell a lot while people are letting their turkey settle! We are back in after boxing day, through until NYE.

    The internet never sleeps but I guess we should at some point!!

    :)

    • 4 years ago

      For all orders that may not get there in time I do make certain that the buyer knows that they could be late. But for what I sell, Specialist Transport Books, I suspect that most purchases are for themselves rather than as presents. So it does not matter quite so much if the book gets there after Christmas.

      As far as Do we ever close? The answer has to be No. My Office is at home and as I live within 10 miles of resorts such as Newquay why should I ever want to go away on holiday. So 365 days a year I will warm up the computer and have a look and if nothing is happening I will quickly switch off.

  • Mike H
    4 years ago

    Many of our items could be given as gifts. So you may be surprised to know that we are shutting down today. From experience I don’t want the trouble and bad feedback if little Johnnie or a beloved wife don’t get their pressies delivered for Christmas because of Royal Mail or a courier failing (or the buyer being out). Good luck to those who trade straight through.

  • Steve
    4 years ago

    The big job for us is filling out the royal mail claim forms for Failure of Service. Of 10 First Recorded sent last week, only 1 shows as delivered on thier website. Whilst the service is not guaranteed, they have to prove delivery and signature was next day as advertised, regardless of the nonsense they state, that is the service they entered contract for.

  • James
    4 years ago

    Shutting down ebay this evening. Website and Amazon will remain open.

    The DSR system means that it is not worth the risk of a few 1/2*’s on profile for items that are received late.

    Opening again 24th evening, however I do worry that buyers won’t be sufficiently aware that if they order anything on 24th/25th or 26th the earliest they will get it is Saturday 28th with RM and it is likely that many won’t turn up until Monday 30th. That means for someone ordering on 24th evening it could be that they have to wait 5-6 days before getting their delivery by RM 1st. God forbid the INR and 1/2* issues that might arise from this.

  • paddy
    4 years ago

    I’m closing all Ebay listings down on Friday at noon and that is me until January 6th. On a personal note I’ve ordered a few things last last that I still hope will arrive before XMAS. After seeing the courier is Yodel this may be false hope.

  • northumbrian
    4 years ago

    NOV 30th, is our last date for despatch, Sod Christmas,
    Santa Claus needs assassination

  • Full Time Seller
    4 years ago

    Closing stores for Xmas? That’s odd. Never even thought about closing the store and doubt I ever will. Surely the profits are worth the headache which is why we are in all in this game in the first place, no?

    Seems crazy to turn off your money supply!!!

    • northumbrian
      4 years ago

      thats why we never sleep lol and at least half the worlds population dont celebrate Christmas, they have money too?

    • 4 years ago

      +1

    • 4 years ago

      I concur with your synopsis FTS. I’m happy to keep all trading platforms open throughout. It depends on alot of variables but our products are unique and collectible so we find that many buyers are purchasing for themselves, so their ‘Christmas money’ can often come our way. Also with family now grown up the wife and I are happy to take our holidays late Jan/early Feb when it’s cheaper to get away and no crowds :0

      Merry Christmas one and a prosperous, happy healthy New Year to one and all.

    • Full Time Seller
      4 years ago

      I have to agree, there is a lot of action on Xmas day, from my experience it starts in the afternoon. I guess after the turkey what else is there to do?

      I have just become accustomed to the fact that online businesses are 24/7, so for it to ever be closed just seems a step backward.

      I completely understand it depends on your product offering and business model but for the revenue we generate from mid December to the end makes it more than worthwhile.

      For those closing, why not at least take orders and just communicate/advertise to your customers that you will ship after Xmas.

  • del
    4 years ago

    What does ‘squeaky bum time’ mean?

  • 4 years ago

    Christmas has nothing to do with the birth of ‘Jesus’ or indeed anybody else. It was a convenient Pagan Mid Winter Celebration that the Christians took over just as many of the early Churches were built on earlier Pagan sites.

    Most Religions around the World have a Mid Winter Ceremony of some sort or other and any Religions based South of the Equator it is of course their Mid Summer. So they are likely to have a convenient ceremony as well.

    After all the shortest day North of the Equator is December 21st and that date South of the Equator is the longest day. Most Religions have some sort of ceremony that celebrates that fact.

    So just about every Religion has at this time of year a ceremony that involves the giving of presents and getting drunk. They might not call it Christmas but there is something convenient. So there is a lot to say for being happy to sell anything and everything to anybody who wants to buy.

    • 4 years ago

      This discussion is dangerously at risk of going off topic. Please be mindful that this a business website, not a general chat on issues that you take a view on forum.

      The web is full of those.

  • Gerry007
    4 years ago

    .
    Just arrived & popping down for 1/2 hour on the beach before the sun goes down, oh’ for sunny Barbados….

    Think that answers the question nicely.

    PS: Nice seasons greetings to everyone….!!

  • 4 years ago

    And so it begins. We already have our first unhappy ebay customer who ordered yesterday 1st class and hasn’t received it today! Not looking forward to dealing with this. Normally eBay offer to help with low DSR on bank holidays and strike days etc. Any word on if they will do the same over Christmas and New Year period?

    • Gerry007
      4 years ago

      .
      As you suggest you might get low DSRs for this totally unreasonable buyer, why not shoot ff an email, like:

      ”Serves you right, try tipping the posty & he might deliver more promptly”

      Or maybe not…!!

  • james
    4 years ago

    well we were shipping next day / special delivery / 24hr courier all day today. and our last pickup was about an hour ago. (4.30 – 5pm)
    also already had our first complaint – “i just got an email from eBay saying this might not get delivered until after christmas!”
    “okay, when did you order it?”
    “today, but i paid an extra £3. thats ridiculous, its a present”.

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