eBay Premium Service delivery criteria change in one week

By Chris Dawson June 25, 2018 - 1:37 pm

In just a week’s time on the 1st of July, eBay will change the delivery criteria to qualify for eBay Premium Service. In some ways it will be more difficult to meet the new eBay Premium Service delivery criteria, but in others it will be easier. For buyers it should signal the end of seeing a listing that professes to offer a premium experience just to discover that if you want express delivery it’s going to cost you tens of pounds instead of a reasonable carriage charge.

Currently sellers have to offer a free domestic delivery service and a next day paid option to qualify for eBay Premium Service and this change on the 1st of July. This will change to a requirement for the free shipping option to have an expected delivery within three days (but eBay have added new services which will now qualify). The requirement to offer a next day option is changing to a 2 day option, but eBay are capping the delivery charge to a reasonable £10 or under. Finally, for items that sell for £20 or more, tracking becomes a requirement with a valid tracking number must be uploaded to eBay at the point of despatch.

eBay Premium Service delivery criteria from the 1st of July

Current From 1 July 2018
Seller Type eBay Top-rated seller eBay Top-rated seller
Returns 30 days or better 30 days or better
Shipping Option 1 Free domestic delivery Free domestic delivery within 3 working days
Shipping Option 2 Paid for next day Delivery within 2 working days for no more than £10
Tracking N/A Listings have tracked delivery services and a valid tracking number is uploaded within the dispatch time for all items >£20

Should I edit my delivery options?

There is a value decision to be made on whether to change your delivery options or whether for your business it will be more profitable to wave goodbye to the eBay Premium Service badge. If for instance you are the only seller of the products you offer, then you’re lucky as buyers will simply decide if your service is good enough or simply not make a purchase. However, for those who compete in categories with multiple sellers offering the same or similar products, having the eBay Premium Service badge definitely could be the difference between a sale or a competitor getting a sale.

If you do decide that you are going to edit your listings, then as the 1st of July is a Sunday this week would seem the optimal time to do so to maximise upon the opportunity. You may find your competitors lagging and unaware of the changes and they could be scratching their heads for days if not weeks wondering why sales have tailed off.

At the same time as editing your postage tables, it’s always worth taking a look at your listings and deciding if there are other tweaks worth making. We know eBay are going to enforce listing against catalogue in many more categories from September, so a complete overhaul of listings and starting to check how accurate catalogue entries for your products are wouldn’t go amiss. You certainly don’t want to get caught up editing 100s or 1000s of listings in September when you should be preparing for Q4, Black Friday Week and Christmas.

  • 8 months ago

    It should work, apart from days like today, when Royal Mail click and drop completely fails for the whole day.

    You can’t meet requirements when you don’t have the tools available to do it

    • Darren
      8 months ago

      I call it ‘Click & Drop the ball’ the failure rate is so bad it is unbelievable.

  • northumbrian
    8 months ago

    were savvy and know the score yet we still got caught recently waiting three weeks for delivery from a UK seller shipping from china

    • 8 months ago


      That will change in July when you have to provide item location with zip-code.

      Still, i see dozens of Chinese suppliers selling Fingerlings stating location is London but is shipped from China. Once of these sellers has negative feedback count of 145 in the last six months!! Ebay just turns a blind eye to these Chinese sellers

  • 8 months ago

    it sums them up Darren

    CnD is back on now, but still not working properly. This is from 9:30 this morning, wa whole day! When the new criteria comes in on ebay, there will be good sellers failing to meet the required standards, due to days like today.

    What can you do though if there is no back up or alternative? Normal post at the post office isn’t an option for many sellers, due to the time involved, volume of parcels and the cost difference between RM24/48 on account vs the muggins price at the post office.

  • Decky
    8 months ago

    What a joke, this why I would never invest in Royal Mail, their behind the scenes business systems and teams are completely useless, lucky to get a reply in 3 days for an urgent issue.

    Its only a matter of time till they start losing business and money to alternatives with all their overheads.

  • Bas
    8 months ago

    “eBay are capping the delivery charge to a reasonable £10 or under”

    That is slightly less “REASONABLE” when you take into account that on an item between 1 and 2 kg, the only available Royal Mail service costs £11, and eBay’s rake-off on postage brings it up to about £12.50 (depending on category).

    For large sellers with large contracts and small, light, non-fragile items, next day delivery is manageable for under £10. For smaller sellers, it means that in order to get the tiny discounts on offer for premium service, the seller has to subsidise next-day delivery. Which is only worthwhile at the point where the discount exceeds the subsidy – in other words, for high-value items.

    It is such a shame that Tamebay writes all its articles from the point of view of only ONE business model – the high-volume envelope stuffer. A more nuanced approach would be nice, acknowledging that other types of seller exist (such as the low-volume antique dealer, the sellers of slow-moving but heavy stock like books and replacement china, and the sellers of car parts and custom-made items).

    • northumbrian
      8 months ago

      we dont worry about FOMO at all
      we list it and sell it
      if it fails to sell
      its pricing or cost we consider first ,not bending over for ebay

    • 8 months ago

      The requirement for express delivery is “Delivery within 2 working days for no more than £10”. There’s no stipulation that you have to use Royal Mail and are more competitively priced services direct from other couriers (or through many online parcel booking companies) that you could choose to use that cost less than a tenner for a 2kg parcel.

      Bear in mind, that if you’ve already built the cost of a “Free domestic delivery within 3 working days” service into your price that probably costs a few quid.

      Lets say item sale price you want is £20. Free domestic delivery within 3 working days costs you £3.50 so you advertise the product at £23.50.

      Then you can charge up to an additional £10 for Delivery within 2 working days so plus the £3.50 you’re actually have up to £13.50 available to cover delivery costs.

      Frankly, if you are unable to find a courier to delivery a 2kg item for £13.50 then just don’t bother offering eBay Premium Service. It’s not for you!

    • Rob
      8 months ago

      Bas, I sell on average 150 items a month and the amount I pay over £10 postage I can count on one hand usually. I post everything from large letters to larger items measuring up to 200cm. Mostly use either ebay’s Shuttle service or UPS Today programme and find both have the most competitive rates.
      Reading your comment further down the page about parcel booking companies not offering compensation. Both Shuttle and UPS Today offer compensation as standard but for things like antiques and breakable a lot of the couriers in the industry won’t offer compensation for these types of item.

  • Dave
    8 months ago

    There’s a new link on Seller Hub which appeared for us yesterday:

    ‘Add tracking details to your orders. Now possible with over 500 integrated carrier services. Try it now. ‘

    I presume to help us streamline adding the tracking details for the deadline in 5 days’ time. However, you click on the link and get:

    ‘Uh-oh. We ran into a problem and we’re working on it. Please try again later.’

    It was the same yesterday. Oh, the confidence that this inspires of eBay implementing this correctly. You couldn’t make it up……

  • Bas
    8 months ago

    “There’s no stipulation that you have to use Royal Mail and are more competitively priced services direct from other couriers (or through many online parcel booking companies) that you could choose to use that cost less than a tenner for a 2kg parcel.”

    Yes, I’m do realise that. But most of those services then require extra to cover certain goods – or won’t cover them at all. They’re fine for sending cheap, mass-produced, easily replaceable items, but anything antique, breakable, or not easily replaced, is a different matter.

    I’m sure the premium service requirement will suit certain types of seller, and certain types of goods, down to the ground. It will suit many of my lines – but others, definitely not.

    My concern is that Tamebay is limiting its view of what is “reasonable” or appropriate to coincide with eBay’s view – envelope stuffers and Hermes, good, furniture sellers, fine art dealers, car part sellers, bad.

    Premium service means – outside of eBay’s definition – extra service, so good it’s worth paying extra for. Not just “free” or cheap service for bog-standard goods.
    If eBay wants to go down that route, that’s one thing. But maybe a site like Tamebay could at least acknowledge that the new rules will have an impact on certain classes of seller, and certain classes of goods.

    • 8 months ago

      Thank you for your concern. It’s very much appreciated.

      PS…I don’t suppose you read this line in the article above?
      “There is a value decision to be made on whether to change your delivery options or whether for your business it will be more profitable to wave goodbye to the eBay Premium Service badge. “

    • 8 months ago

      And re “Premium service means – outside of eBay’s definition…..”

      We’re not talking about “Premium service outside of eBay’s definition”. We’re talking about the “eBay Premium Service Badge” which they can stick on your listings or not depending on whether you do what they tell you to. It’s your choice, but however you define premium service that won’t have any bearing on whether eBay give you a good boy sticker.

  • Fluffy
    8 months ago

    This would be far more meaningful if ebay buyers could filter by expected delivery date.

    Right now if it’s wednesday and i need something for saturday, i have to wade through loads of free delivery items that use hermes or something, so wont arrive on time.

    If ebay make so buyers who care about delivery time can find me, I’ll change my delivery.

  • AdmiralH
    8 months ago

    This change makes almost no difference until you get to the tracking requirement. I still run OBA and post 100s of items over £20 without tracking. Losses just don’t justify a more expensive option. How do eBay classify tracked? Click and Drop (proof of delivery) or Signed? Neither of these are strictly tracked at all but you can enter a number. Is that good enough? It is just another bite at the margin. If the going price is £20 you can’t just add £3.50 as you suggest without becoming uncompetitive and down go your search results. Fortunately I am winding down my business now and can’t wait to finish.

    • 8 months ago

      I believe that if you can switch to click and drop instead of OBA, use Royal Mail 24 or 48, then you should be OK.

      Since it was announced, we’ve just entered the tracking number for all large letters and parcels (RM24 & 48 through click and drop, with just the scan on delivery), just to get used to it. It seems to be working out OK. Most late delivery defects are removed, so they must know that it’s Royal Mail at fault. There’s always a few slip through the net, but not enough to worry about. Late delivery rate currently at 0.5%

      Ebay say the click and drop scan on delivery confirmation is good enough for them, class it as tracking, so there’s no issue there. A little confusion about large letters and orders over £20, but it should basically come down to this: If you use RM24 or RM48 on click and drop, you could just enter the tracking for everything and should be covered for ebay premium requirements. Seems easiest just to enter it for everything, whether automatically or manually.

  • northumbrian
    8 months ago

    were hard nosed battle hardened ebay sellers having survived 2 decades of
    selling trench war on ebay
    though our product and business model are not best suited for ebay premium service ,
    when we do buy on ebay our first option is the premium seller badge offerings ,
    were tired of ambiguous terms and conditions and side swerves
    we understand ebays thinking on this

  • Mark
    8 months ago

    eBay are missing the point. The costs of an item should not enter into the tracked or not being forced upon us. It should be must be offered as an option then when the buyer (that eBay are always so concerned about) chooses not to opt for tracked its their own choice.
    Yet again our contract price with carriers for tracked is nearly 3 times higher than a massive company selling on eBay that a friend of mine works for. They pay £1.24 tracked on a yearly average of 2.5kg.
    Now i know they have huge volumes and deserve a discount for such, but then for eBay to jump in with both feet and say small sellers have to offer the same service for a tiny reward is pandering to the big boys and another nail in the small sellers coffin.
    Next they will be telling us we all have to sell at the same price as the big boys although they buy at a trade price 3 times less than ours.
    Wake up eBay hopefully the fall in traffic that may follow will make you see that Amazon just let us get on with it and do not promote one seller over another in their ability to jump through hoops.

  • 8 months ago

    Its not clear now if a seller has Top Rated Status on Ebay. I would rather have 3 day dispatch and economy delivery than line Ebays pockets more than i have done these last 10 years.

  • 8 months ago

    The fall in traffic/buyers on Ebay UK and i’m certain in other countries is insane. I sell vintage items and they would have received high bids a couple of years ago. I still sell the same types of items but now expecially in 2018 there very few bidders in auctions.

    Ebay is so hard to navigate no wonder buyers are turned off in their droves.

    Expecting single digit Ebay growth again, when they release their Quarter 2 2018 results. – I wonder if Tamebay will write an article about that ?

  • Jenny
    8 months ago

    This leaves us totally stuffed.

    Hermes according to eBay are a 3-5 working carrier, despite the fact they delivery nearly all of our parcels within 3 working days.

    Express delivery is impossible for most of our items. The majority of our goods are made to order, so express delivery isn’t possible. The remainder of the items are such an odd shape and size that it costs us well over £10 to send express.

    Its slightly insulting when someone says “Frankly, if you are unable to find a courier to delivery a 2kg item for £13.50 then just don’t bother offering eBay Premium Service. It’s not for you!”.
    We’ve managed to offer Premium Service for many years, without complaints from customers, so I’m unsure why we are been forced down in the rankings now.

  • 8 months ago

    It’s a week away and I have no idea if we comply. The tool on hub does not tell me. Last time I tried to use it, it was broken in any case.

    We can all argue the toss about whether this change is good or bad — the implementation is not fit for a modern marketplace in 2018.

    • Dave
      8 months ago

      And it’s still broken!

    • SAM
      8 months ago

      We are the same. It is just the normal eBay shambles. We got a phonecall from Rob Hattrells office and everything when we raised our concerns over RMG 24 Large Letter delivery confirmation service not being premium. We are still not clear on this. We send everything with that service.

    • Dave
      8 months ago

      One day closer, and it’s STILL broken….

  • 8 months ago

    We only sell a very small number of items above £20 that are a large letter, so I am not going to bother. We’ll lose a bit of visibility on these listings and save ourselves a load of hassle amending our listing / sales workflow.

    One thing that stood out to me, is why implement this for large letters and not packets?

    Perhaps I am missing something but it seems rather illogical as they are both items going through the post, and presumably just as likely to get lost / damaged.

    What’s eBay’s game plan here?

  • Paul
    8 months ago

    i am a premium service provider but no more, i’m a small seller but i’m sick to death of the goalposts being moved. i will be selling through my antique centre shop more as well as shpock, facebook marketplace etc.
    there pushing more and more sellers out of ebay for some reason, it’s like there trying to shoot them selves in the foot.

  • Mark
    8 months ago

    There is one massive flaw n the ridiculous new “Must go tracked over £20” ebay rule.

    variation listings.
    Small item is £8.99
    Medium item is £16.99
    Large item is £23.99

    So now when you set the shipping options and they were all un-tracked costing you £2.05 and they were the prices you needed to compete with very large companies on eBay and competitors off eBay found readily on google such as Amazon.

    You now need to make the prices £1.50 more so now the small one looks very expensive at £10.48 compared to competitors at £8.99 and so on. Meaning buyers again driven to the big boys or AMAZON.
    Well done eBay.

    • Anthony Taylor
      8 months ago

      Excellent point. I’m not normally one to join the eBay bashing but I do feel they’ve lost their way and are ceding more and more ground to Amazon. This is not a good thing for sellers in my opinion.

    • 8 months ago

      Suggest you look into using click and drop* so you can use Royal Mail 24/48, which would include a tracking number accepted by ebay.

      Don’t know what postage options you’re using at £2.05, but RM48 is £2.19 for a standard under 1kg parcel. Better than adding £1.50, if you can use it. Other advantages to it include spreading parcel weight across multiple items to get a lower average figure and charge.

      You don’t need to be sending that many parcels to use it.

      *yep, still going to recommend C and D, even after Monday Meltdown

    • NorthCrystal
      8 months ago

      @ Gav

      Hey, that’s useful to know! And where do you post your items from?

      I’ve tried RM48 once… took to local PO and they couldn’t scan it. lady didn’t really know what’s wrong so I phoned C&D up and they told me to take it to local DO. I found the DO but it looked closed and no info about opening times etc. Confused here a bit.

  • Tom
    8 months ago

    We’re losing our premium service badge. We are a bathroom company.

    Our current offering is free next day delivery but it is not tracked so we fall foul of the new policy.

    We are unwilling to go back to more unreliable suppliers, just to get the tracking required for the badge.

  • Gillian
    8 months ago

    I’ll probably pull half of my 800 listings,and put them on depop, numonday (no traffic there hardly), facebook waste of time, Folksy, or amazon handmade,.

    Ebay do not care about the small sellers, just the big stores like Argos, Claire’s, etc. Sick of seeing their adverts when going onto eBay.

  • 8 months ago

    @ North Crystal

    Royal Mail say “Drop items at one of 11,500 Post Office® branches or order a collection” Not sure why your post office wasn’t able to take them, but it sounds like you were just badly advised.

    We have a daily collection here. If you spend enough it’s free, otherwise there’s an annual charge, £800+ roughly, which works out at about £3.33 a day. One off collections would be higher than that I guess. But if your business sends daily post, even just 10-20 parcels with a reasonable margin on them, then an annual charge for a daily collection should make financial sense.

  • NorthCrystal
    8 months ago

    @ Gav

    Thanks for response.
    Local PO told me something like ~ “the only way to get your parcel into the system is to scan the barcode” and they couldn’t scan that barcode. so I risk it and send 1st class parcels, with occasional upgrade (my expense) to “signed for” if I’m unsure about the buyer.
    The £3.33 day charge seems reasonable but I’m not posting that many items yet to justify the expense.
    I was just thinking how to get “around” the new rule of “provide tracking above £20” as I send quite few higher-value large letters and RM48 would be just perfect.

    • 8 months ago

      Not used the post office for years now, but they weren’t always well instructed or informed on new developments, and I’d often see incorrect or poor advice given to customers. I think it is the same case here. Just looked it up for people who have to take it to the post office and it looks like it should be a handover of a labelled and sealed mail bag with your RM48 parcels inside, and the click and drop manifest. No need for the post office staff to scan the barcodes at all. Presumably, that would happen further down the line, once the sorting office opens the sealed mail bag.

      If I can put a link in, it’s here:

    • NorthCrystal
      8 months ago

      Yeah I found the PO staff quite poorly trained. It’s been few occasions that I heard the price printed on the label is incorrect and they can’t put it into their archaic system… so there’s me explaining it’s online price discount from RM itself…….. gosh I love RM ! only kidding haha

      Cheers again for few good tips here!

  • lotus nut
    8 months ago

    A number of my listings wont qualify for premium badge.
    This is just another ebay cull of those who have premium service to reduce discount on fees, it serves no other purpose. They are now so desperate for the smallest increase of business sellers fees yet give away loads of ££’s in vouuchers and free lisings plus capped fees for private buyers.

    Like many here so fed up with their constant tinkering with seller requirements that i now send all my items with big red sticker with my website stating 5-10% less than ebay price.

    The results of their constant messing with seller requirements over the last couple of years is a 1% reduction of ebay employees announced last night 27th

    Stock price is just 1$ more than it was a year ago!! amazon about 70% up!!.
    When will they ever learn??? sellers are just so pissed off with them, only when stock plummits will they do something – probably increase fees again!!

  • Sara
    8 months ago

    Offering a £10 postel service is one thing, then when the customer wants a refund, loosing the cost of the postel service is enough to bankrupt a small seller!

  • Noel
    8 months ago

    Has this actually launched yet, I saw someone say that it’s been delayed again until the 6th ?

  • NorthCrystal
    8 months ago

    Nope, it’s 6th July now.

    This help page still mentions 1st July

    But log in into your seller dashboard and there’s (or should be) notification saying: “Effective 06 Jul, 2018, sellers listing items….”

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