Amazon wants faster despatches from UK sellers

By Dan Wilson August 8, 2017 - 6:36 am

We’ve had several reports from Amazon sellers that they need to be sending items faster to meet the one day criteria.

Here’s the text of the email we’ve seen on an Amazon forum: “We are making changes to our Handling Time settings to improve customer experience. Handling Time is the time you need to dispatch your order to the carrier, which directly impacts the delivery time shown to customers at checkout. Customers are more likely to purchase products that have a faster estimated delivery time. In response to customer needs, we are making important changes to help you set faster delivery times for your seller fulfilled products.

This email focuses on important policy changes to the Handling Time for your products. We will send you updates on changes impacting the Transit Time separately. Click here to learn how delivery times are estimated and how to modify your Handling Time.

1. Starting today, you can set your Handling Time to 1 day. If you set a 1 day Handling Time, orders for these products are now required to dispatch within 1 business day. Please audit your current setting to avoid impacting your Late Shipment Rate.

2. Starting from September, if you didn’t set a Handling Time for a product (new or existing) we will default its Handling Time to 1 day. We will send you an email communication in advance of the change.”

The ecommerce giant is really getting ever more keen on swift despatch and satisfying customers. But clearly the problem here for sellers is that Amazon is a hanging judge too. Many sellers will, and already do, cheerfully meet these criteria and send out goods with admirable alacrity. But equally some sellers will find these new rules punitive and difficult to abide by. What do you think?

Updated: Amazon has been in touch with Tamebay to say that these changes are being put in place to help sellers who are already serving customers with fast despatch and despatching swiftly. If you are doing a fine job, you have nothing to fear. The above changes aren’t new “rules”. Every Amazon seller still has the opportunity to set their own despatch times as they see fit. But it seems Amazon wants those doing a good job want the best to more keenly communicate that to shoppers. We encourage Amazon to be more complimentary in their communiques with sellers because the above quoted email is not one that shows a whole lotta love.

  • Stuart
    11 months ago

    The difficulty is managing the peaks and sudden increases in orders for no reason. It would be great for all marketplaces if you could set maximum daily order numbers. So let’s say you can dispatch 500 orders a day, wouldn’t it be great for everyone if you could set this up along with a cut off time.

    At the end of the day we all want the same thing, the difficulty is often jumping through hoops that we can’t help to set or manage the hoop.

    • DS2987
      11 months ago

      This is a good idea! Hope marketplaces are reading, as you say I am not sure policy changes based solely on what just retail customers want is a balanced business model when marketplaces have trade customers (sellers) with a voice too.

      I have always advocated marketplaces should allow sellers to set their own stalls out on a host of metrics and measure them against what they say they are going to do for their customers.

      Market forces will take care of the rest and avoids a broad brush approach to policy implementation.

  • Whirly
    11 months ago

    Meanwhile over at eBay 2.0, buyers still can’t search for products offering next day delivery.

  • DS2987
    11 months ago

    There needs to be an order cut-off time like eBay (for all it’s other faults) for next-day dispatch.

    It is unfair to expect sellers on one hand to work business days but make these days 24hrs as far as seller metrics are concerned.

    The impact of this policy change is that all orders received Friday, Saturday & Sunday now have to be dispatched before close of business on Monday which could be a tall order for sellers who do not have ‘on demand’ resources.

    And to be honest from our Amazon feedback our customers are very happy with the current delivery times many of which are delivered in 1 working day against a 1-2 promise. But ask someone if they want something delivered faster for no extra cost and of course the answer is yes, fast paced living has made us an impatient nation for no real reason!

    • 11 months ago

      An order cut off for time like ebay do is only really needed for same day dispatch, not for one-day dispatch.

      Amazon are basically saying, if someone orders something on a Monday, at any time from 00:01am to 11:59pm, you ship it on Tuesday at the latest. If you can’t ship an order placed at 11:59pm the day before, it’s a poor do really and needs looking at.

      If Amazon did step it up further to same day dispatch, absolutely, we’d need a cut off time.

  • Leader of the Banned
    11 months ago

    It depends on the customer & the product for sale. Fast delivery is not every buyers priority. Some customers don’t want next day delivery. Especially if they are not going to be home to accept it.

    If super fast delivery became a chargeable optional extra then the picture would be much clearer. I don’t believe all customers want their item next day, especially if they are paying a hidden premium the seller has added to price of the item. I would rather wait a few days if it costs less for delivery. I’m sure most customers would like the choice instead of being hassled by the free postage option if you sign up for Amazon prime every single time they buy something.

  • 11 months ago

    I don’t really see this as a problem, most items purchased before 4pm go out the same day, we really only have one day despatch as a safety net.

    On Amazon, many buyers do pay the extra for First Class postage.

    On Ebay they just ask us to send it quicker, without paying the extra.

    Christmas can be a little hectic and we did struggle last year, but this year we are planning for it and have improved our packing process

  • rob
    11 months ago

    Here is crazy idea, why don’t the market places allow you to add next day delivery for free but if the buyer wants it slower/cheaper then you can offer a discount for this.

  • 11 months ago

    What’s Amazon definition of a working day ??? as we have to answer message 7 days a week within 24 hours, which is fine. However, know Amazon “most customer focused company in the world approach”, means I wouldn’t be surprised if they start to include Saturday or even Sunday as a working day, which you are supposed to dispatch on!… If you are required to dispatch on these days they will only go out on Monday when couriers start to pickup from you again. However who needs to rest on weekends and spend time with your families, when you can be dispatching parcels!!!!!!

  • Merlo
    11 months ago

    Crazy- how do cope with the huge stack of orders on a Monday. At busy times it can take us to the Friday to catch up and ship all next day. If this is mandatory we will have to restrict sales over the weekend or pack Sundays neither of which I want to do.

    • DS2987
      11 months ago

      Add in a bank holiday or a seasonal peak and it starts to become physically impossible for sellers with higher volumes. The only workaround would be to turn on holiday settings as soon as a limit is reached but it can take 24hrs to re-list when turned off.

      Easter weekend can be nearly 5 days of orders to now get out in a single working day.

      All that will happen is sellers will print labels and upload tracking but not physically ship items until they can catch-up. Customers will feel better for getting a shipped notification but they are unlikely to get their items any quicker than now.

    • 11 months ago


      As a customer I would be disappointed if I was expecting a quick service and did not get one, but most of the time I am not that bothered if it takes 2-3 days longer.

      Your offering a service to your customers so it is down to you to provide that service. If you can not cope with the volume then employ staff or alter your despatch time to show your true delivery status. However, if the system you are working is not effecting your business and customers are not complaining then why change.

      Last Christmas we worked 12-14 hr days getting the items packed and despatched on time, we then closed for two weeks.

  • 11 months ago

    I think all any of us want is to be able to clearly make our offer to customers and then fulfill it. Not everyone wants quick all the time — if it means missing out on something you want. Selection trumps next day delivery every time. If there’s a spectrum of value then surely there’s a spectrum of delivery too!

    The marketplaces that sellers will be attracted to and bring their wares to will be those who allow them to sell. Buyers will go where the stuff is.

  • Simon
    11 months ago

    i think this article need clarification. From what I gather sellers are not going to be forced into a 1 day handling time. You can still set 2 or 3 days if required.

    • DS2987
      11 months ago

      The default from September (unless specified otherwise by per SKU upload) for all new listed items will be 1 day. Any current listings set to 1-2 days will be automatically converted to 1 day handling. But if you already have 2 day or 3 day handling uploaded nothing is going to change….for now.

      Delivery transit times are set to be reduced soon also, I am guessing Expedited will be 1 day not 1-2 days & Standard 2-3 days not 3-5 days but TBC.

    • Merlo
      11 months ago

      Thanks to you and DS2987 for clarifying what is actually happening. (Neither Tamebay or ChannelAdvisor provided sufficient information.) Templates all amended now.

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