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eBay Black Friday delivery experiences

By Chris Dawson December 3, 2015 - 6:32 pm

As has become my habit, I made a number of test purchases on eBay and Amazon over the Black Friday weekend. Some of the purchases were genuine for Christmas presents, others were made purely to check the service and see how the two marketplaces compared and if they could maintain their normal service at the busiest time of the year.

I should emphasis that I purchased from a variety of sellers, many of whom were not a part of eBay’s promoted Deals program.

eBay Deliveries

On eBay I made nine purchases over the period and wasn’t expecting any to be delivered before Tuesday this week at the earliest. Unlike Amazon who have their own courier it’s unreasonable to expect eBay sellers to despatch until Monday for purchases made at the weekend.

The surprise was the first purchase made on Friday arrived on Monday – one seller was working overtime and must have despatched the item on Saturday. Two other items (from different sellers but the same order) are yet to arrive.

One seller from Scandinavia has bizarrely managed to deliver quicker than many UK sellers, but another supposedly coming from Barking has a five day handling time plus a five day “Other courier” delivery promise. In 2015, 10 days to deliver an item seems more than a little excessive!

Of the remaining six items, only one arrived the following day (although that item was estimated to be 3-4 day delivery). Most had an estimated 3-4 day delivery promise but two lowered expectations to a 7 day and 8 day delivery estimate.

It would appear that eBay sellers are being overly cautious in their delivery promises and most (but not all) aren’t over delivering, they really are taking a couple of days to despatch and then using slow delivery service.

Deals

One thing that does constantly surprise me is the number of items highlighted on eBay deals which break eBay policies. Some are very obvious such as eBay’s picture policy which says “Don’t include borders, text, or artwork on the picture”.

iphone Linx Bag

Other Deal have bizarre terms such as “Postage and insurance charge is non-refundable for all items”. Outgoing postage must be refunded if an item is returned, although return postage may be the buyer’s responsibility. What makes this clause especially noteworthy is that the Deal comes with free postage so it’s not only illegal but also irrelevant.

eBay Black Friday delivery summary

It’s somewhat annoying to still receive emails regarding deals which break eBay rules, especially when it’s as obvious as text and decoration on images which can instantly be spotted.

Overall eBay sellers appear to have performed pretty much as expected over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. We didn’t expect eBay sellers to out perform Amazon as they don’t have access to the same delivery networks and generally can’t despatch at weekend, but deliveries have been trickling in, some much faster than promised and indeed faster than any reasonable buyer would expect.

Other sellers have long despatch and shipping times which appear unreasonably conservative, it will be interesting to see if this continues into 2016 and if it becomes the norm to eschew fast shipment and next day delivery in favour of more affordable services and an attempt by sellers not to over promise on service.

You can also read our Amazon Black Friday/Cyber Monday round up here.

  • Roger C
    1 year ago

    QUOTE : “It would appear that eBay sellers are being overly cautious in their delivery promises and most (but not all) aren’t over delivering, they really are taking a couple of days to despatch and then using slow delivery service”.

    . . and with eBay so willing to punish them for a mistake made by ANY courier can you blame them for putting some slack into what they type into eBay?

    Suppose an eBay seller tries to take on Amazon? He dispatches his order the very same day he gets it by the quickest courier he can afford, then he proudly tells the buyer he should receive it within 48 hours . . only the courier hits a snag and it gets there one day late. Our sellers reward? They get punished by eBay!

    Saddest thing is the potential sales eBay sellers risk to those on Amazon by being cautious with delivery times, yet I’ve almost always noticed identical items are more expensive on Amazon.

    • james
      1 year ago

      Quite a good point there.
      ebay are obviously trying to compete with Amazon,
      how do they achieve this?

      Well Amazon are pioneering innovative new delivery methods, they’re stepping up delivery, offering faster, more secure delivery, taking responsibility for the full chain from order to return, weeding out bad customers & scammers so the majority of users can have a better experience,

      eBay are ensuring sellers are scared to innovate, afraid to even offer fast delivery, ebay are refusing to so much as stock or ship a single item themselves, accepting responsibility for absolutely nothing – even their own site outages, ensuring that returns are accepted whether they should be or not, that the bad customers flourish and the good ones pay the defecit.

      “Buyers want fast delivery, so we tell them it’ll arrive a day earlier than we expect it to, then punish you for late delivery”
      “well in that case i’ll write two days later delivery on it”.
      “ah but then all your sales will go to one of the big ebay outlets!”
      “but dont they end up getting a ton of defects?”
      “yes but they have more money than you, so we remove their defects on request and hide their feedback scores”.
      “so what can i do about this?”
      “have you tried promoting your items so we get another 20% of your turnover?”

      working with ebay makes me feel so loved.

    • Roger C
      1 year ago

      An honest answer and one that mentions one simple but so fundamental difference.

      Amazon are a TOTAL “end to end” purchasing experience, providing anyone who wishes to sell through them meets their needs – which is another matter in it’s own right – then the big machine kicks in and does everything possible to make that customer feel really positive . . .

      eBay want YOU, the seller, to match that commitment yourself and then punish you when you fail to meet THEIR standards.

      One or more of the previous threads not dissimilar to this one talked about eBay’s future, how could the conservative view of an “on-line auction marketeer” work with what is today’s understanding of what an on-line buyer needs and that, of course, is most likely to be Amazon.

      I don’t think eBay have any answers yet but you can be assured that, until they have, they’ll kick YOU the person that pays their wages for not getting it right for THEM!!

      Where are you eBid? Get some investment money from somewhere and replace eBay?

  • Dan L
    1 year ago

    A quick perusal of the Ebay seller forum will show you that many sellers plan to extend their dispatch times in an attempt to counter the new delivery metric when it goes live next year. Such is the law of unintended consequences – I imagine this is the complete opposite of what Ebay hoped to achieve. It’s totally unfit for purpose in the UK where tracking makes no business sense for lower priced items.

  • gary
    1 year ago

    Why would anyone selling on EBAY display their expected delivery. As soon as any courier hits a problem you are punished. Under promise and over deliver is the only way EBAYs policy can be worked to.

    The question is does under promising push sellers to other sites.
    Just another example of where EBAY haven’t got a clue.

    • sue
      1 year ago

      Gary
      We are forced by ebay to add a delivery time to every listing. If we offer less than the standard delivery service our listings do not meet the ebay Top rated requirements which mean we do not get the 10% discount and more importantly our listings do not show in the ebay search algorithm.

  • Sam O'levski
    1 year ago

    Talking of items breaking ebay policies……..
    There’s a business seller on ebay (name available if requested and permitted) with 7,000 listings, who for several months at least has had a large percentage of their pictures with the name of rival website delcampe clearly printed below them – customer service said there was nothing they could do as the seller is registered in Italy, and to report the problem to ebay Italy myself !
    Is it any wonder ebay sellers are suffering ?

    • graham
      1 year ago

      Name and Shame, I can follow this up.

    • 1 year ago

      Sorry but we don’t allow for naming and shaming on Tamebay

  • LJ
    1 year ago

    I cant understand why any eBay seller takes more then 1 day to dispatch an item (Excluding weekends) It should be same day dispatch wherever possible.

    Buying online is meant to be convenient and fast. If I order before 3pm on a weekday, then I expect the item to be sent the same day. Their is no excuse for not doing this. If you cant manage, hire more staff. If you have an exceptionally busy week, put in more hours. I get fed up with ordering items on eBay with 1st class post and then waiting several days before they can be bothered to dispatch it. If you cant pull your socks up and adapt then your in the wrong game.

    • tinker
      1 year ago

      BOLLOCKS!!!!
      staff cost money that free postage does not pay for

    • james
      1 year ago

      I’m with tinker.

      just because you can throw your products in an envelope five minutes before the posty arrives, doesnt mean i can pack 1/4 ton of furniture in five minutes and expect the courier to have room for it without prior notice.

      i’m sure i’m not the only one with good reason not to meet your ridiculous “3pm sameday for all” expectations.

    • LJ
      1 year ago

      Tinker – Bollocks to you aswell. If you cant afford to hire new staff to deal with an increase in business then your doing something wrong. Similarly if your not willing to put an extra few hours in at peak periods then your in the wrong game. If your business can only work by employing solely yourself, and trying to pack 1000 items a day, then your in serious trouble!

      james – If you read my post you will clearly see that I say “same day dispatch wherever possible” Obviosuley their will be exceptions as you have pointed out, but these will be few and far between. I don’t think many people will buy a wardrobe at 3pm Monday and expect it Tuesday morning! Wednesday yes! But for the vast majority of eBay sellers, same day dispatch should be no excuse.

      Ecommerce is changing fast. The big sellers are pushing to get their items to you faster and faster. Look at Amazon offering same day delivery. This clearly shows that speed of dispatch and delivery is important to customers and they are adapting to that. Any seller that doesn’t adapt will be left behind! Far too many eBay sellers with a 2005 selling attitude!

    • Gary
      1 year ago

      Is the buyer prepared to pay for speed? In nearly all cases not. It is easy to modify dispatch times for known choke points. Give the buyer accurate info and they can choose who to buy from. This “speed of dispatch” thing is all a gigantic con invented by those who have an inside interest. (ie ebay as those who don’t play ebays game don’t get discount, couriers who get paid more for premium services, and Amazon for whom it helps promote Prime). The most important factor for a buyer is that the item is delivered in one piece undamaged and speed increases the risk that this won’t happen!

    • Tinker
      1 year ago

      @LJ ,get real chum ,
      we gave up the busy fool act years ago, were in business for profit and reward , not to be monkeys on a stick

    • LJ
      1 year ago

      Gary – Speed of dispatch is a gigantic con? Don’t talk rubbish! How fast the item is dispatched is down to you. Also why on earth have you brought breakages into play? Yes this is important but does not affect how quickly you can dispatch an item. If you really believe your customers are more concerned about the item arriving damaged, than how long it takes to get to them, your living in cuckoo land! Most eBay customers don’t care about breakages as eBay will always have their back, and sellers will always refund them.

      Tinker – Busy fool act! I’m very, very busy with orders (average 4000 orders per week) but I am no fool! It really is not difficult to dispatch same day, and order volume really doesn’t affect this. Once you have a procedure in place, same day dispatch is a doddle. It takes no more work or effort to dispatch same day, as you are still dispatching the same number of total orders per week.

      It makes me laugh the number of people blaming eBay, their courier, customers etc. How long it takes to dispatch an item is entirely upto you the seller. Too many sellers have fallen it to the whinging blame eBay and the customer for everything types.

      Bottom line is all the big business online are pushing for same day / next day delivery. This is clearly because it is important to the customer.

    • Rob
      1 year ago

      ebay is made up of lots of different businesses, some are full time and the only thing they do. While a lot of others use ebay as a second income and can’t always dispatch the same day. I work full time and also run an ebay business. I work on the under promise over deliver with a 3 day dispatch and 3 – 5 day shipping and also offer an upgrade to UPS next day if they want to pay extra for 1 day shipping. Do I lose business doing this way, quite possible but most of my feedback is from happy customers who are happy with how quick items arrive as I generally ship 1 – 2 days and once in the parcel system it is delivered in 2 days. Customers are happy as they have their parcel before they expected and I am happy as I don’t have the defects for late delivery.

    • derek duval
      1 year ago

      LJ…What an idiot u r….

      People pay for first class postage. 1 to 2 days is fine…period….god give me strength with sellers like u

    • LJ
      1 year ago

      Your comment doesn’t even make sense?!

    • Gary
      1 year ago

      It probably makes perfect sense to 99% of Tamebay visitors. When you say “buying online is meant to be convenient and fast” where is any mention of value? As a buyer I place value above speed for maybe 95% of my online purchases. I suspect a very high percentage of the population are of a like mind. Those who give maximum priority to speed of dispatch and delivery, and the higher costs that have to be passed on that come with this, may well be missing out on a huge market!

    • LJ
      1 year ago

      GARY – Their is no higher cost associated with speed of dispatch! Please explain how it costs more for YOU the seller to post it out the same day rather than the next day? I’m not tinterested in some obscure furniture business, based in the remotest parts of Scotland, I am talking about a typical eBay seller, selling standard goods. How does it cost the company more to send the same day?

      Gary You don’t half twist what people are saying. I haven’t mentioned how important the value of the product is to the customer, and haven’t said it is any more or any less important than speed of dispatch and delivery. I think value of the product is just AS important as speed of dispatch and delivery, but offering a value product shouldn’t affect how long it takes to dispatch an item. If you can only focus on one part of your business (Offering a value product) then good luck to you!

    • james
      1 year ago

      “If you cant manage, hire more staff. If you have an exceptionally busy week, put in more hours.”

      “f you cant afford to hire new staff”

      can you tell me where you’re acquiring all these free staff? lots of free staff could be handy.
      – otherwise, can you stop implying (or flat out stating) that same-day dispatch costs nothing.
      if you have to hire staff, then it costs. a lot.

    • LJ
      1 year ago

      Free staff? I haven’t mentioned, or implied this anywhere. If you are so busy that you cant dispatch the same day, on a regular basis, then your turnover should be sufficient to hire new staff. If it isn’t you clearly don’t have the profit margins from this huge volume of sales, and therefore their are bigger problems with your business.

      You really don’t seem to understand the following – Whether you dispatch your orders on the same day, or within a couple of days of your customers ordering, you are still dispatching the same amount of items, and therefore the same workload. It should be no more difficult to dispatch each days orders the same day they are received, than leaving them for tomorrow.

    • tinker
      1 year ago

      ” you are still dispatching the same amount of items, and therefore the same workload. ”
      so your saying June sales are the same as your December sales?
      that you know exactly how many sales your going to despatch every day of every month ,with no fluctuation for seasons or product demand,
      we staff for the average amount of sales though some days we receive more than normal , do you suggest we have staff sitting about like Battle of Britain pilots ready to scramble to acheive same day delivery

  • Jonty
    1 year ago

    Hold up one minute-

    How about the good sellers who live in REMOTE AREAS?

    How the bloody hell can I ask Parcelforce or any other courier to collect when I say? They give me a collection time- not the other way round.

  • tinker
    1 year ago

    “big business online are pushing for same day / next day delivery.”
    we think the main reason rather than customer demand ,
    its become the only thing they have left to barter with, not because customers want or need it,
    nothing wrong with offering next day delivery , but to take the stance that someone who dos not, is somehow offering an inferior or substandard service is quite wrong

    • LJ
      1 year ago

      If you were looking to order an item from eBay and their were 2 sellers offering this particular item for sale, same price, same feedback score, same 1st class postage etc and the only difference is that 1 seller offers to dispatch the same day, and the other seller offer 1-2 dispatch time, who would you choose? Honestly? I’m pretty sure the vast majority would choose the seller with same day dispatch, even if it is a non urgent purchase because why not have it arrive tomorrow rather than the end of the week?

    • tinker
      1 year ago

      very hypothetical
      though of course we would choose the faster delivery,

    • tinker
      1 year ago

      though at the same time if your example is to be used, faster delivery is not gaining that seller a better feedback score or price lol

    • LJ
      1 year ago

      Do you mean faster dispatch? Dispatch and delivery are 2 different things!

    • tinker
      1 year ago

      take any one you wish either or both its all hypothetical

  • james
    1 year ago

    McDonalds, KFC, Burger King. All the Giants of the food industry realise that customers want food fast, now, yesterday even. they want it cheap and they want it fast.

    therefore, theres no excuse for a steak house not pre-cooking the steak and leaving it sitting under a heatlamp for hours, just waiting for soemone to walk in and order one.

    one size does not fit all LJ.

    • LJ
      1 year ago

      Here we go again. Apples and Oranges.

    • james
      1 year ago

      yes good point,

      customers demand their oranges be very orange, therefore all apple sellers must ensure their apples are very orange. cos thats what customers want from their oranges.

      if all you have to offer customers is same-day despatch, you batter right in there and sing of its merits.

      our same-day cutoff is 4am, we dont offer it, hardly anyone ever asks for it. nobody cares.

      its only when someone starts chanting nonsense like “i expect 3pm sameday from EVERYONE even when they tell me otherwise”
      or
      “theres no excuse why EVERYONE shouldnt do exactly as i do”.
      that we have to illustrate that you are not everyone.

      personally my delivery is FAR slower than my competitions. its also FAR better. it costs more too.

      you’re entitled to your opinion, but when your opinion consists of things like:
      “waiting several days before they can be bothered to dispatch it. If you cant pull your socks up and adapt then your in the wrong game”.
      “Their is no excuse for not doing this.”
      etc etc.
      then you’re quite likely to hear my opinion of your opinions.

    • Derek duval
      1 year ago

      So what happens when everybody doing next minute dispatch…do u send a free naked picture of your wife to gain the sale….pmsl

    • james
      1 year ago

      Yes.
      I’m not even joking.
      My dad, (58 year old) ordred from alibaba.
      his order arrived three weeks later with a “super happy loyalty gift for you mister Jim!” of edible panties.
      sure he enjoyed the snack, but they just werent his colour at all.

      (the order was in no way related to edible panties, was like a multipack of keyring-torches or something like that)

    • Tinker
      1 year ago

      Hope they were not brown

  • Toby
    1 year ago

    To the guy that thinks that sellers should move mountains just so that he can get his goods as close to instantly as is possible….
    Have you ever run a business? I mdoubt it very much. I can only imagine that you are one fo the buyers that throws his toys out the pram whenyou leave something to the last minute and for whatever reason it arrives 10 mins late….
    I run a online business and i can tell you that dispatch is the hardest bit of it! On Ebay we have increased out dispatch time from 1 to 2 days not because we are lazy, but because it gives us one more days grace for when Royal mail or our courier fail to deliver on time. If this happens and the customer complains then ebay punishes us quite severily. Yet it is beyond our control? So our actions are as a consequence of ebays short sightedness now our laziness.
    Our sale are never predictable as we are very much season and weather led… as such we don’t have the option of having extra staff just waitng to be called in a short notice. Add to that our royal mail collection is at 3.30… because of this we have a 12pm cut off for orders as they have to be accessed, printed off, sorted, picked, packed andbooked on… so im sorry but your ‘if i want to order it by 3pm i can’ clearly shows that you have little knowledge of mass sending. We arent all as lucky as Tesco to get a special collection at 9pm. Oh and our courier reuires items for that day collection to be booked on by 12.30!
    So already i see your demands failing att he first hurdles because you have no idea about online retailing… You just have demands that everyone should meet because you want it when you want it so there…
    I could go into much more detail but i find your arguements muchg that that of a spoilt child and I thankyou for the insight into the mind set of the few customers we get that abuse us because they ordered at 7pm on monday and it wasn’t with them by tuesday morning even though they paid for 24hr courier! Yes we get them……
    If customers were more understanding when things happen out of our control instead of lauching insults and making false claims then maybe sellers would be more likely to take the faster dispatch risk… if ebay didnt punish us for failures by the postal service then maybe we would be more willing…. If ebays dispatch estimates were actually treated as estimates not estimates with cast iron guarantees on date ( kind of defeats the use of the word estimate)… then again we would be more willing….
    But sadly this is not the case and we sellers arent all tescos etc sending tens of thousands of things every day getting special personal collection times etc…
    But hey, who cares… if this guy wants something we should all work late, employ extra, change working practices etc just for him…. after all its what he wants.

    • LJ
      1 year ago

      I average 4000 orders per week, on 3 eBay accounts and one Amazon account. Admittedly I rarely use a courier, only for large orders, but I do accept your point about having to pre-book, but for Royal Mail no excuse. The vast majority of eBay sellers use Royal Mail, and as such no pre-booking, and they usually collect 4pm onwards.

      Good luck to all of you that have decided same day dispatch isn’t important, or have pushed it to the bottom of their priorities list. I agree that their are many other points important to the customer such as price, customer service, quality of goods, but I would put them all on an equal scale. If I order something on Monday morning and it arrives on Tuesday then I am much more likely to be loyal to that company and will very likely use them again, even if they are not the cheapest. However if I order on Monday and it doesn’t arrive until Saturday, then I will look elsewhere next time. I don’t believe I am alone in this, and too many people run a business thinking like a seller. Jump into your customers shoes for a moment. Go beyond their expectations wherever you can, and you will stick out amongst the other sellers. If you offer the same as everyone else, then the only advantage you will have on eBay is price. And we all know where that leads.

  • The Courier
    1 year ago

    The No 1 thing I get said to me when I deliver is :-

    “crikey I wasn’t expecting this so soon”

    ( ok , so its not always crikey )

    Trust me, you guys dispatch too quickly if anything.

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