Did your eBay Late Delivery feedback metric suffer over Black Friday?

By Chris Dawson December 3, 2018 - 11:39 am

Last week was one of the busiest weeks of the year and this coming fortnight is expected to be even busier. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday, most online retailers would have been shipping larger than normal volumes and, whilst most couriers appear to have coped admirably – perhaps in part due to Black Friday being spreading purchases over a ten day period, there were still some late deliveries which could impact your eBay Late Delivery feedback metric.

There was definitely a slowing down of some Royal Mail services – an item I ordered which eBay predicted would arrive via 2nd Class Post on Monday the 26th or Tuesday the 27th didn’t actually arrive until Thursday the 29th of November. This wasn’t the seller’s fault – they marked as despatched on time and shipped on time.

This leads to a problem with eBay feedback however, for the eBay Late Delivery feedback metric, eBay ask the question ‘Did this item arrive on time?’ along with the latest estimated delivery date. Naturally the correct response to give is to select ‘No’ because the delivery came two days later. For eBay sellers this is a critical measure as it can impact your Seller Level and potentially lead to eBay restricting your delivery options, including the dispatch times you can offer on your listings.

eBay will of course argue that it’s the same for all sellers and that everyone is equally impacted by late deliveries at the busiest time of the year. The reality however is that it’s likely those relying on 2nd Class post will be impacted significantly more than those using tracked deliveries.

Have you checked your delivery metrics for the past week and will you be monitoring them in the run up to Christmas? Buyers may be slow to leave feedback and by the time they do may forget whether a particular item arrived on time or was late, but if too many mark you down it could have longer term impacts.

Best advice in the run up to Christmas is, wherever possible and financially viable, to upgrade slower delivery methods to a faster service. This is of course loss making if you are genuinely only budgeting for the cost of a 2nd class stamp, in which case it makes sense to despatch as quickly as possible – same day if the orders are placed early enough – to at least give your feedback the best opportunity to remain unblemished over Christmas.

  • 9 months ago

    RM did suffer with the delivery time pre Black Friday and I am now looking at 2.37% LDR, up from 1.6% last week and noticeable that the dates are for items posted on the


    To combat that I have increased the delivery rate by a day.

    I am not sure what buyers feedback has to do with LDR unless you have no tracking on your items. eBay is updated with a RM tracking number at the time we dispatch and then the tracking shows when it was delivered. All my items show as “Tracking indicates late delivery” not “Buyer says late delivery”.

    If buyers do mark you as late delivery then the tracking will surely over ride that.

  • Jon
    9 months ago

    What is worst. If an item is 1 day past estimated on arrival, the customers often make an innocent query via the request/case system. This then counts as a count against me as a seller on the new service metrics. You can get several at once if a logistic delay at Royal Mail or the Weather.

    Since I post low value items that are large letters that cannot be tracked , this means it is a very unsuitable system Despite the myth, Ebay does not recognise 2D bar coding on large letters.. You can enter the details but this does not count towards the scores or used as proof. I have had a lot of experience with this. I have also had Ebay messages stating this is the case. Also another myth is that sellers can claim for losses even when an item is marked as delivered. If you use the SU1 codes and even if it says delivered, you cannot claim back even the postage from Royal Mail when a buyer says it has not been delivered but Royal Mail says it has.. Not for any losses actually. So what is the point of tracking on large letters.

  • Jon
    9 months ago

    Mine says 2.85% and still top seller but that is just luck…..

    • 9 months ago

      @Jon And so it should be “eBay Top-rated Seller 3.00% or less “.

  • 9 months ago

    I would love to know how best to handle this.

    We received a number of 1* reviews on Google and Trustpilot as a result of late deliveries over this period. (TNT failed on 11% of Deliveries over this time)

    Fair enough we can point this out in response, but the system seems a little unfair when in many ways it is beyond our control at this point. I can understand losing a star on this but 1*?

    What do others think?

    • 9 months ago

      @Murray It is not beyond your control, I don’t like to let customers down and if your delivery service is failing you should then look to use another, if that is not an option then alter your delivery settings.

      After I saw my LDR go to 1.6% I increased my delivery time, it still went to 2.37%, now at 2.33% but hopefully will not rise above 3% now.

      I offer a next day posting but anything on the system before 3pm goes out the same day. This also helps my LDR metrics.

  • Toby
    9 months ago

    I have said all along…. if you are mesuring sellers on how well they dispatch on time, then damn well mark them on that, not when a third party deliver!
    We have had courier items that have had 3 delivery attempts and then got marked down for late delivery! As for royal mail, well it’s a right mixed bag. I had a an item last week that i ordered, seller sent via barcoded 1st class. I got a message to say it had been delivered but it hadn’t. In fact we were closed that day. So the next day i chased it and all that could be said was that rm showed as delivered. So i checked next door and nothing there… Then later that day the postie came and dropped it off. I asked why it had been marked as delivered already and he said that to save time they often scan them as they walk to the next place and it shows up as delivered!!!!
    The whole system simply isn’t fit for purpose and the seller is always the one blamed. If i send something tracked and it shows as collected on time from me, then i should get a tick for correct dispatch time. The likes of ebay quote that you are marked on dispatch time, yet ask the buyer if it was DELIVERED on time…. 2 totally different things.

    • 9 months ago

      Quite right

      And think about this while you’re good and angry:

      If ebay was to publish your late delivery report online, available for all to see, you could sue them for libel.

      Why? Because the backwards bunch still have a summary total in the report that says “Transactions that weren’t dispatched on time” and include in that figure transactions that were dispatched on time, but delivered after the ETA by 3rd party couriers. No ifs or buts, that makes it a lie.

      To be fair, I do like that they remove most of my late delivery defects automatically, but they could do much better. For example, sync the holiday settings mode properly with the late delivery report, so we could keep the store open over Xmas, advising a 2nd Jan dispatch date, without sending the late delivery report through the roof.

      All simple stuff they could be doing to make things better for them, us and the buyers.

    • 9 months ago

      @Toby, agree with you re the terminology, as Gav said under seller level they do call it “Late delivery rate” but in the report it shows “Transactions that weren’t dispatched on time:” which should read Transactions or items that did not arrive on time.

      And like Gav I have many items that get removed by eBay if the seller was not in on the first attempt or collected the item.

      @Gav when I am on holiday I increase my Dispatch time (found in the postage policy under Business policies) to 5 working days and then reduce each morning. If I am away for longer then I don’t set it till I am in the 5 day scope.

      You can set it to 10+ days but after 5 it is in 5 day increments.

      Customers will often ignore the delivery date so each morning I send a polite message to each person that paid yesterday explaining the delivery situation. Most are quite happy with that and many say they did not spot the extended delivery date.

      But like you said, it would be so easy for them to set this on auto should you use the holidays settings, rather than just increasing the Dispatch time.

    • 9 months ago


      cheers for the suggestion

      I did know about it, but was never able to find that part of seller hub. Still can’t! 😀

      Problem is though, disregarding the dispatch date issue, if I do have holiday mode set to allow buyers to buy and wait, it can backfire and mean having to come in for a day or so to pack and prepare orders. I’d rather have the time off really.

    • 9 months ago

      @Gav It is not part of sellerhub, still part of the old ebay structure.

      If you go to the top left menu where it says Hello Gav? T^here is a drop down menu that shows Account settings in there you will see business policies.

      I usually set it so I post everything the day after I get back, if I don’t leave the area then I would be in everyday doing a bit.

    • 9 months ago

      @ Tyler

      I figured it’d be in there somewhere and that was where I was looking.

      However, business policies really wasn’t showing up and I wasn’t being an internet dunce (not this time anyway) Following your link (thanks) revealed that for whatever reason, it appears my business account isn’t opted into business policies, which ebay are introducing gradually to make it go smoothly for everyone. And therefore, I can’t do what you do the way do it.

      It’d be nice to have the option, but I definitely won’t be using it for Xmas holidays anyway, so no big deal. Maybe in a few months or years, they’ll get around to adding business policies to my business account.

    • Katie
      9 months ago

      Just to note, if you dispatch an item on time and upload your tracking details with the EDD then even if your 3rd party deliver late you are not impacted by a late delivery defect.

      If by chance that happens, you can appeal it within 90 days.

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