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eBay dispatch/delivery, 8 years on has anything really changed?

By Jane Bell February 19, 2017 - 5:11 pm

Jane is the eBay Anorak and today discusses eBay’s dispatch and delivery tracking:

Way back when, at the eBay Seller Summit around 8/9 years ago eBay were showing us the then new DSR stars for sellers. I remember the uproar around an eBay business being judged on the performance of it’s carrier. A low performing carrier could damage your eBay visibility and therefore your business through less than 5 stars/defects given by buyers for dispatch but was really marked on delivery.

Here we are all these years later and despite various changes, have eBay really improved over this period of time? Seems it’s on a rewind if your business is still being rated on the performance of the carrier, particularly Royal Mail as protection ends on March 1st for Royal Mail Tracked 24 & 48 services.

What happened to the Royal Mail acceptance scan apart from it failing miserably from the start? This would clearly say the seller had performed as they promised, end of.

So you post your parcel out on the day you promised the buyer, fulfilling your expected service as a seller. Royal Mail pick up on time but don’t deliver on the day they should. No acceptance scan as proof of pick up on the parcel as it’s in a sack of many orders, the only proof is that they visited your premises and scanned the premises barcode on your wall.

Large letters are not yet covered on the 2D barcode and Signed For delivery is still protected for now. Royal Mail 48 at 2 to 3 days delivery is considered an economy service by eBay and so doesn’t get you the Fast & Free logo but ‘Other 48’ at 2 days is classed as a standard service, should it be renamed Royal Mail 72?

The only remedy is to add to your processing time and post out faster so the buyer gets the order early, but this again will affect visibility and give a less desirable delivery time to the buyer, catch 22? Are eBay indirectly forcing sellers to add a longer delivery date?

What would the ideal despatch process be for you?

  • northumbrian
    8 months ago

    the ideal despatch process would be for ebay to negotiate a realistic discounted rate with a major courier and take delivery and despatch in house taking responsibility for delivery cost

    • james
      8 months ago

      ebay did negotiate a favourable rate with Royal Mail for returns, then said they absolutely positively would not & could not profit from this in any way, and then charge roughly double for a return than i can get it for myself, as a one-off return in a medium size company.

  • BFT
    8 months ago

    “Are eBay indirectly forcing sellers to add a longer delivery date?” you ask.
    Yes, without doubt. I wanted to offer 1st Class, same day despatch for my best selling lines, but was worried about RM’s low success rate at delivering next day – their target was 92% on time. Ebay only allows 4% late.
    I telephoned Ebay Customer Support and they told me that I should extend my despatch times and use 2nd Class (target 98% on time), not shorten them or else I would be penalised by the new metric.
    Computer says NO!!!!

    • 8 months ago

      When in reality they should be using an acceptance scan on despatch from the sellers premises not an RM delivery scan, it’s going back 8 or 9 years.

  • Andy P
    8 months ago

    A good start would be eBay showing the right delivery time. I sold an item 8.55pm last night (Sunday). The buyer chose 2nd class post, which the listing shows as Estimated within 3-4 working days. I have my handling time set at 1 day, so what does the order page show? …Estimated delivery Wednesday, 22. Feb. 2017

    eBay seem determined to make sellers life difficult. And don’t get me started on decyiphering addresses.

  • 8 months ago

    Yes, addresses, that’s another one. I once posted an item out and the address was wrong as they’d moved house and not changed it. eBay CS say that we should be checking every address is correct before we send. Yeah, like that’s possible
    *facepalm* No excuse for wrong addresses, I remember one I didn’t send out a few years ago just had door number and postcode, how do buyers get away with that?

    eBay have a day missing out of their week, David Brackin will tell you about that one.

    • Alan Paterson
      8 months ago

      Hi Jane. ebay will protect you for this. You have been given wrong information. As sellers- if the buyers address is different from the saved delivery address they have on their ebay then you are fully protected. All you need to do is provide tracking that proves delivery of the item to what is saved on ebay OR if you have no tracking you need the buyer to confirm their new delivery address on member to member messages – if this address is different from the address saved you are also covered. Occasionally in the past I have phoned ebay and got incorrect advice. It happens. They try to get it right but don’t always. If you feel something is wrong or “unfair” phone back and ask the question again (i may not be popular for saying that but i have had to do it in the past – they are ok if you are honest with them and you don’t keep phoning again and again and again).

    • 8 months ago

      Alan, Over the last 15 years on eBay you are right if you call back you usually get a different item, the case I’m referring above was many years ago and things are different now. I wasn’t given the wrong information as such but given the text book answer from screen.

      As I said it was many years ago and at that time eBay would not and did not protect me on that no matter how many times I called and at the time (many moons ago on that account) even being a Titanium Powerseller got the same answer. Thankfully things are better now.

  • Steve P
    8 months ago

    I believe that all the RM needs in theory is a number and a post code, because the UK post codes are street / part street specific.

    Sensible practice suggests that people would give a full and correct address on sites like eBay, paypal etc. etc,

    but that would mean some having to divert attention from snapchat / facebook / whatever for a whole 30 seconds.

    • 8 months ago

      I know that’s all RM need for delivery but I when they didn’t want to give full delivery address on request (this was a fair few years ago) my sceptical side decided not to go ahead 🙂

  • Steve P
    8 months ago

    That was a wise choice, I recently had a packet returned because of this.

    It was marked as incomplete address. I could have emailed the buyer to confirm and then waited for a reply, but I just figured it would get there.

    The next time I get one, I’ll probably just cancel.

    • 8 months ago

      Well one of the reasons (and the only reason to choose unless you want a defect) is that there was a problem with the buyers address or the buyer wants to cancel so that is a legit reason to cancel in my book. It’s OK if you notice these things, I think there is software to check addresses but I’ve never used it.

  • deniis
    8 months ago

    It’s still the same nothing has changed, super high Fees, Buyers abusing the system, half the time many people lie and continues to be the same when your a seller you need to bend over backwards otherwise your ratings will be ruined and your account

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