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eBay On-Time Delivery now monitoring Royal Mail Tracked 24 & Tracked 48 parcels

By Chris Dawson January 27, 2017 - 9:00 am

Back in 2015, eBay introduced a new On-Time delivery metric which was supposed to kick in almost a year ago in February 2016. However as the Royal Mail tracking integration with eBay had some problems, eBay have been protecting sellers using Royal Mail  Tracked 24 & 48 and Royal Mail Signed For services from late delivery rate misses.

eBay have been working hard with Royal Mail and they are now receiving up to date tracking information for Royal Mail Tracked 24 and Royal Mail Tracked 48 services. As a consequence, from the 1st of March eBay will no longer protect transactions from any late delivery rate misses when sellers use these services.

The first eBay monthly performance evaluation where these transactions are no longer protected will be the 20th of April 2017.

eBay are still not receiving full tracking for Royal Mail 1st Class Signed For and Royal Mail 2nd Class Signed For services and so items sent via Royal Mail Signed For will still enjoy protection under the On-Time delivery metric. eBay will confirm when tracking notifications are in place for these products at which time protection will stop as well.

It’s worth taking a look at your eBay Seller Dashboard and checking your Royal Mail Tracked 24 and Tracked 48 parcels are being noted. Also if you’ve not been bothering to upload tracking numbers it’s time to start doing so if you want an automatic On-Time delivery credit for these parcels.

  • steve
    7 months ago

    “enjoy protection”? ebay need to get real, and not penalise sellers for using 3rd party companies – unless ebay take responibilty for the delivery themselves by acting as a contractor.
    Better ebay spent less time designing logo colours and kicking sellers, and more time getting the site working and achieving some contol of the blatant scammers paradise that is the ebay Money Back Guarantee.

  • Andy R
    7 months ago

    I thought the whole point was that if you uploaded tracking you were protected from late delivery anyway.

    So what is this nonsense?

  • 7 months ago

    Please think carefully before uploading tracking info for “automatic On-Time delivery credit”

    You only get the credit if Royal Mail actually deliver in time. I believe that only 92%, last figure I saw at least, of first class post arrives next day. This would give you a late delivery rate of 8%.

    • 7 months ago

      Hi Sue, you’re quoting Royal Mail Universal Service Obligation Quality of Service achievement (currently 93.4% for 2016/2017) for 1st Class post.

      Tracked 24 and Tracked 48 are not 1st Class services…. I suspect they’re much higher attainment rates

    • 7 months ago

      You suspect they are much higher?

      I would want a lot more hard assurances than that to risk my account on.

  • Dom
    7 months ago

    Problem is Royal Mail tracking for Tracked 24/48 has lost it’s value since they changed the wording of the tracking to ‘Delivered to your address or a neighbour’. Amazon no longer accept it as proof of delivery in defence of A-Z claims due to the word ‘neighbour’, thought not sure about PayPal/eBay.

  • David Brackin
    7 months ago

    RM routinely scan TR48 a day after collection so assume ebay have incorporated this into the dispatch metric?

    Also the cut-offs and delivery promises presented to the buyer are pre-historic in ecommerce terms. Amazon buyers are getting tempted into fast delivery options. On ebay there’s very little ability to offer fast services to buyers at a premium. Currently items bought from us before 2pm and are delivered the following morning. I can’t advertise that to buyers on ebay. They got told it’ll show up in two days.

    And don’t get me started on Friday afternoon standard purchases expected on Monday (a next-day service). I’ve yet to be persuaded that ebay have their maths right (at least noone there has been able to explain precisely how they deal with weekends and bank holidays)

    When it is fixed, I’m prepared to bet that it doesn’t work in business policies.

    Ebay has its work cut out on delivery. It was the battleground of 2015 and they are just about there. So well done on persuading Royal Mail to share data that’s quite a hard thing to do, but completely the wrong battle.

  • Jon
    7 months ago

    I set my dispatch time to 3 days. Never had a late delivery since. Only a couple of non deliveries for which eBay still blame the seller anyway. Why bust a gut pleasing eBay Towers? Forget 1 day dispatch & your eBay placing. It’s all BS. Although it depends how much competition you have & how much you value a measly 10% discount on your seller fees I suppose. My sales have not changed since I stopped jumping through all the hoops – still rubbish since they destroyed my overseas trade. If only they would make the damn shopping carts multicurrency like eBay.de they would start to gain a bit of respect. No Top Rated Seller support for TRS sellers anymore. No option to give postal discounts & combined purchases. No more “collections” displayed to the right of search results. I could go on but It’s pointless.

  • Anne
    7 months ago

    I agree with Don, we changed our dispatch time to 2 days, charge postage (over cost to cover expenses) on just about everything and every month we sell more and more, I dont want to be faced with a stressful life for a 10% discount on fee’s, we worked it out that the 10% discount is a 10% off 10% fees, so your discount is an extra 1% (somebody will prove me wrong) – extra 1% = 300% more stress, we deal in small vintage / retro stuff, minimum I will make is to double the price paid, most of the time I times the cost by 10 to get the selling price and still fill 3 postage bags a day – why do I need the stress of trying to get items out same day, just had a guy on today – bought Sunday, asked where it was Today (Wednesday) and why it had not arrived and if it was not going to arrive he need a refund, item was on a dispatch time of 3 days and a 3-5 day carrier postage, don’t need the stress so just refunded him, somebody else will buy it

  • Tomas
    7 months ago

    I can not understand the “its only 10%” – I guess we may be a larger company than most but to give you a clue that is well into a 4 figure sum for us (almost 5).

    We offer same day dispatch and only use 1st class royal mail (RM24) and next day courier (DPD/PF)… well apart from the locations which it is not possible like scottish highlands and british isles. Actually that also includes Northern Ireland which we charge extra for courier delivery but have no way of altering the delivery estimate, so we just have a disclaimer on our listings.

    Anyway, despite all of that we are currently at 1.27% for late deliveries and of course receive the TRS discount. We have no complaints with the current TRS system.

    I honestly can not see the logic/problem behind not meeting the TRS requirements as they stand.

    • 6 months ago

      It’s not just a matter of meeting the TRS requirements.
      It’s the additional Premium Service requirements that can be uneconomic, depending on your product and business.

      Jiffy bag pre-packed standard product is versatile.

      If you sell low-value, high-postage products that are the type that are commonly hired in “real life” then 30-day returns can be very expensive. Things like second hand power tools, or party frocks.

      You end up with a high return rate, lost postage costs, and devalued goods returned, often needing cleaning/testing/repair before they can be sold again at a lower price. You may also need to store them somewhere for a twelvemonth if they’re seasonal goods – Hallowe’en costumes etc.

      Similarly, if you run a part-time business with high-manpower packing and dispatch (antique china or furniture that is too big to drop off at the post office or courier dropshop), then fluctuating day-to-day sales can make it difficult to offer 1-day dispatch times. There are only so many dinner services or four-poster beds you can dispatch in one afternoon.

    • Lee Pearce
      6 months ago

      So we have 3 domestic mail options on our listings, RM48, RM24 & RMSD, most buyers choose the RM48 (Free, i mean included in the purchase price) option, occasionally followed up with a “please ship ASAP as i need it straight away”.

      We do have the option to upload the delivery notification reference like we do on Amazon, but do not do so unless we have a “Where’s my item” request, also i am not sure that ebay can use them automatically yet to confirm delivery.

      So the only way we can be affected for shipping on TRS is customer input when leaving feedback.

      Well that was my first mistake, lost TRS in December due to too many 1 star ratings from customers leaving positive feedback.

      Downloaded the csv file from ebay and there were 72 orders where a 1 star was left for delivery.

      I checked each one and as i only need to find 18 to bring me back into an acceptable percentage, i found 38 where the RM tracking site showed that it was delivered on or before using the the delivery notification from the 2D barcode being scanned by the postie.

      Of the rest, some did not show up on the tracking site so can only assume postie did not or could not scan on delivery, of the rest they did show that they were delivered after ebay’s estimated delivery date, however i have 2 points to make about this.

      Whilst the service is called RM48, if you look on the RM website the delivery speed of 3 days but ebay gives it 2 days, also a majority of the “late” ones were posted on a Monday, when we dispatch 3 days mail, so i assume do many others and therefore in Nov/Dec RM struggle a bit.

  • Andy R
    6 months ago

    I understood that sellers are supposed to be protected as long as tracking shows Acceptance within the despatch deadline, even if delivery is late.

    That was the whole point of encouraging tracking, whilst at the same time penalising everybody who used non-tracked services.

    So none of this makes any sense.

    You are protected from defects if A) you use tracked and B) tracking shows acceptance within your stated despatch time, even if delivery is late.

    Has Ebay changed this subsequently ????

    • Alan Paterson
      6 months ago

      No, ebay hasn’t changed. You have it correct. The problem with Royal Mail Tracked was that the 48 parcels were not receiving an acceptance scan same day – therefore this was causing problems with the ebay system. Royal Mail Tracked 48 are collected but then are not scanned until the next working day. Apparently this has now been fixed by Royal Mail (by simply subtracting a day from the acceptance scan – it is still scanned next day) and is now complying with the ebay system.

      There were other problems as well with RM signed for but i believe this has yet to be fixed.

      This was not ebays fault – they were only going on what they had been told by Royal Mail. it came as a surprise to them that many parcels were not being scanned the same day they were being collected – this is what a large part of their defect system was based around.

      Dont worry now though – you are protected providing you meet the criteria.

    • Stuart
      6 months ago

      “This was not ebays fault – they were only going on what they had been told by Royal Mail.”

      Alan, how is this not eBay’s fault? When we researched the tracked 48 service a few years ago we asked about the scanned points in the process, and got a full answer. How could a company the size of eBay fail to get this information? The answer is simple, they’re not a seller so not a user of the service. And they failed to check their assumptions.

      And how can it possibly have required a year to resolve? Pure incompetence.

    • Alan Paterson
      6 months ago

      Reply to Stuart:

      Folks are so quick to blame ebay without having the full information. The answer to your question Andy R is that ebay were given “wrong information” or you could say “lost in translation”. It was NOT their error – let me explain. They were told by RM that an “acceptance scan” was completed on collection. However, Royal Mail’s definition of an “acceptance scan” was different from what you and i (and ebay) and every other courier would call it. Royal Mail’s definition of an acceptance scan is when the bar code is scanned at the collection point (every collection point post office etc has a barcode that must be scanned by the Royal Mail driver at the door) and NOT the actual parcel. This is what Royal Mails definition of an acceptance scan is. Its peculiar and was misleading to both sellers and ebay and not bays error. By the time ebay realised of this strange definition it was already into Feb 2016 and the first evaluation period (for quaterly evaluation anyway) had been completed. ebay did their best to rectify but found the only solution was to delete all defects caused by Royal Mail from sellers account. Very fair on ebays part (more than fair i would say as they were removing ALL defects – even defects not effected like Specials and T24). There was then a very long wait for Royal Mail to come up with a solution to the problem. if you are going to blame anyone then blame RM. ebay meantime protected all sellers from defects caused by the situation. How is this classed as “incompetence” in any way?! Too much mud slinging at ebay for my liking – especially over situations that folks do not have all the facts for.

    • Stuart
      6 months ago

      Reply to Alan:

      eBay failed to understand how Royal Mail work. Then they didn’t do any testing to check how this would work in practice. Failing the former is very bad. But the latter is terrible – they should have tested the tracking data long before the metric changes were announced.

      You can defend eBay as much as you like but this is incompetence.

    • ALAN PATERSON
      6 months ago

      OK Stuart, even if what you are saying is valid – ebay realised the problem – assessed the problem and then offered to protect sellers from the problem. I am desperately trying to see your point but at the end of the day ebay are protecting sellers against these defects and will continue to do so till April. so they have sorted it. Why the mud slinging? ebay are covering you. you do get that – yes? I would understand your point if ebay were not doing anything about it – but they are. These defects have never effected you.

    • Stuart
      6 months ago

      Alan, where is this mud slinging? I was just saying that the argument that this wasn’t eBay’s fault is silly. But as you say, they covered us. And yet I’m ungrateful for some reason. Why celebrate eBay protecting us from their own failures? When the changes were announced, we adapted our operations to work around what eBay wanted. We wasted time that could have been used on something that actually helped our business. We invested in a metric that didn’t do anything. And prior to eBay’s last minute change to ‘cover’ us from their failings, we had to spend many hours arguing with their customer services to remove incorrect defects (we sell several thousands of items a day on eBay – the number of incorrect defects was huge), while talking to alternative carriers to find a way to get around this. That’s a lot of time wasted that should have been used on something productive. If eBay had done even a little testing, this wouldn’t have been needed. And this is a pattern with eBay, where they don’t think through changes.

    • Alan Paterson
      6 months ago

      Hi Stuart – I agree with some of your points Stuart and i see that i am not going to change your mind on my main point – it was not ebays fault. The “mud slinging” is calling ebay “incompetent” over the situation and to be honest it is also kinda the general theme of this thread. I felt that to blame ebay is undeserved when you look into the lengths they have gone to fix this. If you knew what I know about the situation you would see WHY it happened and the enormous effort that ebay went to rectify the situation relying on a third party (RM) to come up with a solution. Think about it………. who would have thought “acceptance scan” was not a scan of the parcel? – thats fundamentally what went wrong and as i said earlier this was in no way ebays error and did not show up on their testing. The vast majority of the wrong defects were being caused by Tracked 48 parcels not being scanned same day although ebay had been told their was an “acceptance scan” (collection point scan) by RM.

      Ironically the time you spent trying to get these defects removed was futile as they would have all been removed anyway by ebay before the evaluation on 20th Feb 2016 – although I appreciate that nobody knew that at the time. I done the same thing as you. I feel that the new system is FAR superior and considerably fairer than the old system. I sympathise with the time you spent – I was literally spending 8 hours a day on the problem back then and that was on a 7 day week. I sympathise – and i realise how time consuming it was and how frustrating (but at the same time a relief) when ebay announced they were removing ALL defects associated with RM tracking numbers. I get it.

      However, if you look at the reason that it happened in the first place and the communication between ebay and RM (which I was privy to as we were able to read at least some of the correspondence) you will see that the issue was completely out of ebays control. It was quite laughable how it has now been “fixed ” and can i emphasise again that ebay were waiting for RM to come up with the current solution (as rudimentary as it is). It was out of ebays hands – all they could do is continue to protect which they have been doing and are doing till April 2017.

      ebay have done a good job of integrating all of the top courier companies into their system. Each courier has a different system, different tracking and different idiosyncrasies. It is a challenging task on so many levels. To my knowledge all of the issues have now been resolved and they are now working on accepting the smaller couriers. This is far ahead of any other market place or web site. Other platforms do not even accept the tracking information mentioned above as proof of delivery. So ebay have done a good job and relative to other platforms – they are way ahead in this particular area. Yes there were teething problems , we can debate all day whether they “were” or “were not” outwith ebays control but at the end of the day ebay done the right thing by protecting sellers and we now have a system for evaluating TRS that is very fair, far superior to what was before, under sellers control and we are now all happy? yes?

      I think the important thing is to recognise that they done their best, it is now fixed and although time was wasted by many sellers we can now concentrate on building our ebay business as the new system is now working and evaluating accurately.

  • 6 months ago

    Had cause to ring Royal Mail last week. Spoke to our account manager, he said he did not have the authority to speak to me. I asked to speak his supervisor, he replied he did not have one. Asked for name of his manager, his reply … MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.
    This is the calibre of managers employed by Royal Mail.
    No management at the top leading to power crazy staff at the lower levels.
    We spend 10k monthly with Royal Mail. Now moving to UK mail.

    • Alan
      6 months ago

      Hi Sue, you are not alone. I too have had similar responses from Royal Mail in the past. Its quite shocking. A lot of the staff seem, uninformed, untrained and some of them are simply rude. Royal Mail has went down hill in the last few decades with their attitude to customers / account holders on the phone.

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