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STOP PRESS: eBay UK rethinks Royal Mail tracking penalties

By Dan Wilson February 19, 2016 - 9:30 am

The February 20th deadline for eBay’s new Seller Standards is looming. That’s when eBay will be enforcing the new regulations they announced last year. They could have a real impact on your Top Rated Seller status.

We’ve written about the new standards previously and also highlighted some of the problems.

And plenty of Tamebay readers were telling us that they were already not uploading Royal Mail tracking or considering making such a change.

And with just hours to go before those new standards come into force, eBay has told Tamebay that it will be exempting some Royal Mail services from the metric, as long as eBay sellers upload the relevant tracking numbers. This makes a great deal of sense because sellers were being penalised for doing a great job and updating eBay with tracking data in the spirit of helping buyers.

Here’s what eBay say about this moratorium: “We’re currently working in partnership with Royal Mail to find a solution to the issue around tracking on a number of their services. In the meantime, to protect sellers, we will be automatically removing any late deliveries sellers might incur when using Royal Mail Tracked/Royal Mail Signed For services, as long as you’ve uploaded the tracking number to My eBay.”

The Royal Mail services that services that eBay will exempt are:

– Royal Mail 1st Class Signed For
– Royal Mail 2nd Class Signed For
– Royal Mail Special Delivery
– Royal Mail T24
– Royal Mail T48

This is clearly good news and a response to seller feedback and it’s good that eBay have taken all that on board. Obviously it would have alleviated a great deal of anxiety and heartache had such a move been announced earlier, but better late than never.

We are sure that you won’t be shy about offering your views on this welcome change of tack from eBay. What do you think?

  • Gemma
    1 year ago

    I’ve just posted on the other thread – our defects have disappeared this morning and we are all set to retain our TRS.

    This is great news, but it is a shame that eBay have taken so long to take action on this when there was clearly a problem. A lot of stress and frustration could have been avoided, not to mention the number of working hours lost for all involved in trying to resolve this fiasco.

  • eBaySeller
    1 year ago

    Its a matter of eBay doing what the market dictates. We are their market and we bring home the bread so to speak for their bottom line. I think ebay realised they would have no top rated sellers left under their proposed draconian measuring of every detail of tracking.

    Our account is 1.6m a year and we operate on eBay with no account manager since the last 2 years. As a result we have seen a direct decline in sales as we have no real access point for help and advice.

    Unfortunately the guys at eBay cannot see the trees through the woods. I know it is very cliched but Amazon has been directly the opposite for us and our account has grown significantly with them due to support they provide and less tinkering with pre-set rules for selling.

  • DS2987
    1 year ago

    We’ve just received this email from eBay.

    On 20 February, our new seller performance standards will come into effect. As part of this, we’ll be introducing a new Late Delivery Rate that reflects your dispatch and delivery performance. This is based on either tracking information in My eBay, or a question that we ask your buyers about whether the item arrived on time.

    We’re aware, however, that we may not currently have complete tracking information for some Royal Mail Tracked/ Signed For services, even when sellers upload tracking numbers to My eBay.

    We’re currently working in partnership with Royal Mail to find a solution. In the meantime, we’ll automatically remove any late deliveries you might incur when using Royal Mail Tracked/ Signed For services, as long as you’ve uploaded the tracking number to My eBay.

    You’ll be protected starting with your 20 February evaluation, taking into account all transactions within your current look-back period. We’ll continue protecting you until 20 May by removing late deliveries one week before each evaluation.

    As always, thanks for selling with us.

    Regards,

    The eBay Team

  • 1 year ago

    eBay, you listened, thank you #doitmore ;-)

  • tinker
    1 year ago

    thank you ebay for releasing your grip on my throat, if you could now stop kicking me in the nuts it would be a great help

  • Chris L.
    1 year ago

    I got the following email from Ebay today in this regard:

    Email below:

    On 20 February, our new seller performance standards will come into effect. As part of this, we’ll be introducing a new Late Delivery Rate that reflects your dispatch and delivery performance. This is based on either tracking information in My eBay, or a question that we ask your buyers about whether the item arrived on time.

    We’re aware, however, that we may not currently have complete tracking information for some Royal Mail Tracked/ Signed For services, even when sellers upload tracking numbers to My eBay.

    We’re currently working in partnership with Royal Mail to find a solution. In the meantime, we’ll automatically remove any late deliveries you might incur when using Royal Mail Tracked/ Signed For services, as long as you’ve uploaded the tracking number to My eBay.

    You’ll be protected starting with your 20 February evaluation, taking into account all transactions within your current look-back period. We’ll continue protecting you until 20 May by removing late deliveries one week before each evaluation.

    As always, thanks for selling with us.

    Regards,

    The eBay Team

  • David Brackin
    1 year ago

    eBay are to be congratulated here.

    All of us who run operations know that none of us is perfect and mistakes happen.

    They are genuinely trying to take a step towards better metrics — and I think this is heading in a much better direction than the old DSR-led defect system.

    And now they’ve listen to feedback from sellers and realised that perhaps what they’ve build in a very short period of time doesn’t do what it was meant to do and they have made what must be a very tough decision to do the right thing.

    • Dave
      1 year ago

      Handing out congratulations is a tad strong!

      Badly though out and poorly executed Managed Returns.
      Badly though out and poorly executed Defects System.
      Badly thought out and poorly executed Delivery Metrics.

      Anyone spot a theme?

      These aren’t mistakes, this is incompetence. You’d have spotted the flaws in 15 minutes with a pen, paper and a flowchart.

      Its cost us sellers so much time and money. Just fed up with them now and I’m taking my business elsewhere.

    • 1 year ago

      eBay has changed tack on this one. And that’s new and unusual. So whether or not the word congratulate is right… it must be noted as a decent step. And hopefully as an indication of future behaviour.

      The alternative (not changing this tack) was worse.

      Dan Wilson

  • Andy R
    1 year ago

    Another misguided Ebay initiative has to be modified at the 11th hour.

    I can’t thing of another organisation run so badly.

    They’re a bunch of asset strippers whose only interest is trying to get the share price up, so they can jump ship with dollars bulging in their pockets.

    They don’t care about you.
    They don’t care about me.
    They don’t care about buyers.
    They don’t care about sellers.

    All they care about is…. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Sell with them at your peril!

    • derek duval
      1 year ago

      I can the company I work for and guess what they are American owned to…

  • Richard
    1 year ago

    My “late transactions” have now been removed – good news.

    However, I’m not sure I give ebay too much credit for bringing in a new rule that Royal Mail weren’t ready for and then scrapping it (or delaying it). Anything that is ordered from me before 2pm goes out the same day – tracked . I can only assume that the buyer was not in, hence my “late deliveries”.

    Even so, I’m relieved.

  • josordoni
    1 year ago

    Have they said what will happen after 20th May though?

  • Andre Baker
    1 year ago

    Its a real pity that Ebay didn’t speak with Royal Mail a while ago before this On time metric was implemented, they might have understood how some of the postal products work then in the UK, Just unbelievable, you couldn’t make it up could you!!

    Ebay owes us all a huge apology….I don’t suppose we will get it though.

  • Sheena B
    1 year ago

    Well …it’s a ‘bit’ of good news but what about International Tracked & Signed, International Signed For and Parcel Force?

    I’ve got a US/Global defect because a Tracked and Signed to US sent same day took longer than usual in the care of USPS! The RM got it to US WITHIN 24 hours. WHY punish a seller for the incompetence of the courier especially when it’s one contracted by the RM…not me!

    Then there’s the Parcel ‘farce’ of Parcel Force tracking! PF doesn’t show when the parcel is dropped off at the PO So if they collect next day…you get a defect…eBay SAY they know about it…and are working to find a fix….surely they looked into this BEFORE they started this debacle

    As for posting to countries like Russia where you’re lucky if it arrives within a month in the busy periods…or S America where (if you’re daft enough to post to) it’s unlikely to ever be seen again…

    Gawd ‘elp us…..

  • Steve
    1 year ago

    So all the sellers sending low value items that its not worth sending tracked will be offered no protection from eBay’s silly ideas.

    What’s to stop a seller just uploading any unique tracking number to every order so they will be exempt from eBay’s stupid scheme ?

    Is now the time to pickup a roll of numbers from the post office?

  • dan
    1 year ago

    will this take into account ones previous, or is it from today till may?

    i have a few on my account from september to now, and all but one state courier says its late.

    will these be taken off or have i misunderstood the announcement?

    • Chris
      1 year ago

      Would love to know about the previous ones too.

    • dan
      1 year ago

      looked late last night n just now, and some been removed, from sept to date.

      i was at 20%!!! and now just on the edge of the beginning of TRS, top end of above std.

      so i was at severe danger of restrictions as they said anymore than 9% and they would restrict the post services im able to use when listing.

      but these appear to be removed and now it says im top rated seller.

  • 1 year ago

    I wonder if this problem arose because eBay believed their own propaganda?

    Perhaps they honestly thought that 1st class post was guaranteed to be delivered the day after posting, so they made no provision at all for the customer not being at home. Unfortunately, signed-for delivery is the slowest method of delivering large letters (as it ignores the fact that nearly every UK address has a letter box where letters may be conveniently left even if there is nobody at home) – but eBay is forcing us into it in the name of providing faster delivery.

    • Anne
      1 year ago

      Spoke to my postman this week – orders from above, no mail is to be left in a secure customers areas if it cannot be posted through the letter box, signed for must be signed by the customer or returned to the delivery office to collect, he then asks ‘is it still ok for me to sign and leave it around the back’ – a postie with common sense in the countryside

    • 1 year ago

      Nice to see that you regard forgery as “common sense in the countryside”.

      Just remember that on the occasion that an item goes missing, or a signature is disputed, and your postie gets instant dismissal.

  • Jonah
    1 year ago

    I’m not congratulating eBay- far from it. Another half baked “idea” that’s backfired. It’s the least they can do- and just proves a point that eBay isn’t worth planning ahead for with my core business strategy.

  • Steve C
    1 year ago

    Too late. We are closing our shop. Ebay is run by idiots and we are not prepared to pay fees for such incompetence and arrogance to its sellers. They know where they can stick their defects. We are not prepared to run a business on such a platform any longer.

  • tom
    1 year ago

    I hereby confiscate all congratulations given out to eBay in recognition of their admittance to gross incompetence.

    To stab someone in the back and then turn them around and say sorry, I shouldn’t have done that, is no call for congratulations.

    That said, there is some solace (for the time being) for those who send items signed for / tracked.

    But what about the hundreds of thousands of sellers of small low value items, for whom signed for / tracked is simply not justifiable.

    No mention of a solution to the unjust defects for those, just a hidden threat (we will look into what shipping options you can offer) that eBay will force you to offer signed for / tracked, resulting in a significant increase in their 10% cut of your shipping costs.

  • Lu
    1 year ago

    We have just lost our TRS status due to grand total of 15 transactions giving us 5.06% “defect” rate. If they were counted against the actual transactions number we would be around below 2%.
    13 transactions were marked down by customers but surprise surprise all feedback comments were positive with most of them mentioning quick and on time delivery and not a single word suggesting any delays. Go figure.

  • SNOWY
    1 year ago

    As much as I find this site useful, the editorial content is very much pro eBay.

    As mentioned above, a last minute panic change cannot really be seen as something to congratulate them on? For example looking at my items this morning, a delivery date of Tues 21st is forecast. Yes they might arrive on that date, but they might not. How many times do we sellers need to tell eBay that RM 1st class is not a next day delivery service, it is a 1-3 working day delivery service. Yes I could send all my items tracked, but if so I will be adding the postage cost to the item price and forcing the customer to pay more, how is this an improved buying experience for the customer?

  • 1 year ago

    Please could someone advise me as to wether the 2d barcoded by royal mail is accepted as proof of sending (not recorded delivery) by royal mail for the ebay new late arrival policy?
    Thanks in advance

    • SNOWY
      1 year ago

      Well as eBay isn’t even linked into the tracked services at the moment, I can’t imagine the 2D barcode will be integrated either.

  • Andy
    1 year ago

    Can someone explain to me how it is that Amazon have no issues with the Royal Mail tracking information? The self same tracking that eBay can’t decipher.

    Yet another poorly thought out and implemented idea from eBay. It’s them who can’t make it work, nothing to do with Royal Mail.

    • Gary
      1 year ago

      I can explain it in six words.

      Amazon aren’t run by complete retards.

    • Neil
      1 year ago

      Nail hit squarely on head.

  • Simon M
    1 year ago

    A step in the right direction, but buyers still need to be blocked from marking items as being received late before the actual last date has passed.

    S.

  • Steve C
    1 year ago

    Dont you just wish someone would come up with a good alternative. Sellers would flock to it.

    • james
      1 year ago

      anytime a small, viable, alternative comes along, ebay buy it up for low $mills, retains the staff so they cant make new start-ups, and tries (and fails) to integrate whatever code made them unique, into the main ebay functionality. eventually retiring the whole project 18 months later without much to-do.

  • Dave Webb
    1 year ago

    On23rd Feb I spoke to an Ebay manager named Eamonn concerning the delivery dates that ebay are placing on sales.
    I cited two sold items being sent to London and Devon from East Anglia.
    One had next day delivery the other had 2 days.
    I was told that this was because ebay determine the delivery time by the postcode. I was very specific in getting this from ebay they use the buyers postcode to determine the delivery time.
    I then asked why the closer London item had the longer delivery time than the Devon item, he tried to flannel things then and referred me to an Ebay announcement in April 2015 concerning post deliveries.
    And states
    “From 23 April our estimated delivery dates for certain carrier services will be based on the postcode of the item location the seller has specified as well as the delivery postcode specified by the buyer.
    We are making this change to improve the accuracy of delivery estimates. The delivery address postcode used to estimate the date of delivery will be shown along with the item estimated delivery date on the view item page”.
    It was very obvious that the Ebay staff in Ireland have absolutely no idea how Royal Mail operates. They could not grasp the concept that a letter is posted one day and arrives the next and the charge is the same throughout the UK.
    I did ascertain from Eamonn that this whole delivery seller standard was devised by staff from Ebay.com and Ireland.
    So if they cannot understand how a simple 1st class letter is delivered how can they understand anything else.

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