eVTN (eBay Virtual Tracking Number) and what you need to know

By Chris Dawson September 11, 2020 - 9:00 am

eBay have started to add a eVTN – a unique eBay code – to orders shipped via Royal Mail to improve buyers post-transaction experience by making it easier for them to see any available tracking and delivery confirmation for the parcel’s journey. The eVTN is also live down under for Aussies and is being added to items shipped via Australia Post.

The eVTN is in the format ebay1234abc and will be added to the second line of the address where there is sufficient room. When you generate your Royal Mail address label, it will automatically be transferred from the address into the Royal Mail 2D barcode on your postage label. The unique eBay code will not be printed as part of the address on the postage label in the UK but will be on the shipping label itself in Australia.

This is a really deep integration between eBay and the two postal carriers and, so far as we know, the eVTN is the first time anywhere in the world that a marketplace has had a unique identifier coded into a carriers tracking barcodes.

What is the eVTN for?

eBay won’t thank me for highlighting this, but the eVTN is specifically designed to catch parcels where sellers forgot, couldn’t be bothered, or to try and avoid eBay measuring their delivery metrics purposefully didn’t upload tracking to eBay. Royal Mail in the UK will be able to identify parcels carrying the eVTN and pass the tracking data directly to eBay regardless whether or not the seller uploaded tracking data.

What we at Tamebay would strongly suggest is that you upload tracking data. It’s only if you upload data in a timely manner that you’ll receive the associated seller protections for late or missed deliveries, access to eBay Premium Service, and be covered for metrics such as On-Time delivery.

“What this means is that, for the first time, sellers using Royal Mail or Australia Post services through in-scope shipping channels don’t have to worry about forgetting to upload their tracking information back to eBay. While sellers are still highly encouraged to upload tracking information, Royal Mail and Australia Post will pick up eBay’s “virtual” tracking number and associate it with the parcel’s ID, allowing them to upload the tracking data on the seller’s behalf, with no further effort needed. In turn, buyers will be updated on the status of shipments posted using eligible services.”
– eBay

It’s all about the data

This is also going to be an eye-opener for the carriers themselves. Whilst they’ve been working in recent years to have direct relationships with marketplace sellers, attempting to coerce sellers into Click & Drop rather than buy through anonymous third party integrations, this will be the first time that the majority of eBay parcels will be clearly identified as such in their network.

Royal Mail will be able to tell definitively just how much business they are getting from eBay sellers as a whole and hopefully this will focus their minds even more sharply on the needs of marketplace sellers.

For eBay, they will now be able to see when you offered shipping without tracking but upgraded the delivery or if you uploaded tracking but didn’t actually ship the parcel for three days. Over time, as the data is analysed, it wouldn’t surprise us if eBay started noticing and tracking sellers who habitually under promise and over achieve on the handling and shipping times they advertise to buyers and equally those who over promise and under achieve.

The future for the eVTN

This deep integration between eBay and carriers is unique and it’s a project eBay are keen to expand to other carriers in the future. Expect at some point to see some of the UK’s most popular couriers adding eVTN capabilities to their tracking. Doubtless it will also roll out with other national postal operators around the world.

How to work with the new eVTN

Click & Drop

Click & Drop linked to eBay account

If you use Click & Drop, the system will automatically remove the unique eBay code from address line 2, you don’t need to do anything.

Click & Drop CSV Upload

We recommend that you link your Royal Mail Click & Drop account to your eBay account so the unique eBay code is automatically moved.

Alternatively, if you import your orders via a CSV file, you will need to remove the unique eBay code from address line 2 and paste it into Order Reference Field before generating your labels.

Click & Drop manual entry of address

If you log into Click and Drop and manually enter your orders into the system, you will need to remove the unique eBay code from address line 2 and paste it into Order Reference Field before generating your labels.

Pro Shipping

If you use the Royal Mail Pro Shipping API, the system will automatically remove the unique eBay code from address line 2 and insert it into the 2D barcode on the label, you don’t need to do anything.

If you have a system which reviews or modifies data before you send to Pro Shipping and you remove the unique eBay code from the address line 2, please place into Sender Reference Field for v2 of the API or Shipper Reference Field for v3 of the API.

PPI (Printed Postage Impressions)

Royal Mail will soon be withdrawing some of their current unbarcoded letter products and replacing them with the new Account Mail barcoded products.

If you use Royal Mail PPI there is no requirement for you to include the unique eBay code in the address, as there is no 2D barcode and therefore, no means to provide tracking and event data. The unique eBay code should be removed from address line 2.

Bespoke Shipping Solution (previously known as Customer Owned Shipping Solution (COSS))

If you have a Royal Mail Bespoke Shipping solution with your own Royal Mail account, you will integrate directly with Royal Mail.

Customers using the Royal Mail Bespoke Shipping Solution will have access to Royal Mail’s marketplace specification changes (issued January 2020) which described the changes needed to support the unique eBay code.

Postage Stamps

If you use postage stamps and handwrite your label, there is no requirement for you to include the unique eBay code in the address as there is no 2D barcode and therefore, no means to provide tracking and event data. The unique eBay code should be removed from address line 2.

  • Jack
    1 month ago

    I know my postmaster well enough to give him the parcels and £XXX cash. I collect the change on next drop off. I don’t use any of the services above because they are just too time consuming. I go to the PO drop off my parcels give him the cash and leave. Been doing this for 9 years now.

    • 1 month ago

      If you do enough parcel volume to get a Royal Mail account and use click and drop, you should look into it. It will be quicker and cheaper.

    • Jack
      1 month ago

      @Gav… Doesn’t click and drop involve a lot of labeling and writing out what’s in the parcel… using a cable tie etc?

    • 1 month ago

      @ Jack

      I only ship within the UK and there’s no writing out what’s in the box. Once you get past the address bit, which is quick and also allows you to check the buyer has given you a correct address, it’s just a question of weight and package type (step 1), service (step 2) and you can hit the “apply and generate labels” button, printing off your postage label. There are some more steps, steps 3 and 4, but for untracked no signature regular mail, you don’t have to complete them.

      Royal Mail collect from my warehouse, so after packages are done, it’s just a case of puting them in the appropriate mailing sacks and sealing the sacks at the end of the day. A tag label goes on each sack for package and service (eg Large Letter 48) The mailing sacks, sack labels and cable ties are provided by RM.

    • Jack
      1 month ago

      @Gav I appreciate your input but from what you are telling me click n drop still seems a lot more work than just printing a sticky label, sticking on a signed for sticker, entering the tracking number on eBay and leaving the parcels at the post office. No standing in the queue either.

    • Valdek
      1 month ago

      With click & drop there is now need to manually upload tracking numbers or waiting in the queue. You just leave the bags with your mail z pass the manifest and leave. No more than 10 seconds.

    • 1 month ago


      Labels are very quick with RM24/48 no matter which of the ways mentioned in the article you do them. I’d say it takes no more time than you printing off an address label and sticking on a signed for label.

      Speaking of signed for labels…pricey!

      Prices are going up again in October, but at that point, a RM48 parcel (the equivalent size to a medium parcel) up to 2kg will be £2.67 + VAT, or about £3.20 for non-vat businesses.

      Post office price for a small parcel weighing up to 2kg and sent 2nd class signed for is £4.10. For the same but as a medium parcel, it would be £6.20

      Scan on delivery has been as good as signed for at reducing false INR claims, though you still have the option to add signatures to RM24 and 48 with click and drop.

      Even if it took you slightly longer, which it shouldn’t, if you could save £3 a parcel. Surely that would be worth it.

    • Brana
      1 month ago

      Believe me, it sounds complicated but since I transfered from sticking labels to printing through eBay (about 2 and half years ago), my life is waaayyy easier and faster. Like Gav said, give it a go, you will appreciate your time even more. It’s literally choosing which courier you want, weight and size of parcel in one click and voila – label done. Print

    • Dee
      1 month ago

      Post Office offer a service called drop and go
      Sign up and top up your account Easy to set up
      Leave your parcels and they process during the day. No waiting at the counter with a bag full of parcels
      Access on line and have an automatic proof of posting
      Top up account online
      It’s a brilliant service and saves a lot of valuable time
      I use it all the time

    • This is just another way ebay can make some more cash,they get a bigger discount from the shippers than they have given you.

  • Toby
    1 month ago

    Sadly it still fails to address the issue that RM are rubbish at updating their tracking, with it often taking days or not at all.
    I know of some sellers that purposely don’t add the tracking as when they do their late delivery metrics rocket… Despite actually being delivered on time!
    You can add all these extras… But every part of the system has to work first, and sadly it doesn’t.

    • Brana
      1 month ago

      I think that’s one of the points with eVTN so they and you cam track it anytime. Hopefully

  • Jack
    1 month ago

    Since Covid I changed my eBay dispatch time to 10 days. It has not affected my sales at all and I no longer endure any eBay anxieties. But I do sell collectibles. My customers don’t seem to mind waiting longer for their purchases to arrive.

  • Mark
    1 month ago

    If its a smooth as managed payments refunds i cant wait as it will be smooth and perfect


  • victor
    1 month ago

    whats possible
    then what actually occurs are miles apart

  • Nick
    1 month ago

    Well this annoyed me when I saw it – again before it was announced!

    We use Linnworks to process our orders and print shipping labels. It automatically identifies multiple orders to the same address and merges them, or we can do so manually.

    The trouble now is that all addresses are now made completely unique with these new codes.

    These should not be in the address!

    I now have to manually edit many of our order addresses to remove this code before orders can be combined.

    Also it is adding the codes even though we specify “Other 3-5 Day Courier” so it is not limited to listings specifying Royal Mail. So this now goes on all our courier packages too.

    I already spend enough time every day tidying up customer addresses to improve the chances of delivery but this code appearing on the addresses now makes the address less clear when it appears on courier packages.

    Just wonderful!

    • 1 month ago

      Hey Nick same here.

      We download the Sales CSV directly from the Orders Screen then use our tailor made system to process and combine orders. As with you its had the same affect on our combined orders part of the system. So we now need to edit and add more code to our system to cope with this un-notified change to eBay’s system.

      From the information on here it seems we have to enter this new code in the Sales Reference Field on Royal Mail so where do our Sales Order Numbers now go eBay?? Also where will this code appear in our eBay sales records? How will be able to search this code?

      As usual the eBay Dictatorship Prevails!

  • 1 month ago

    Ah, that explains why the order reference field moved to the top of the Click & Drop form last week. Bit nosy of ebay perhaps, but I don’t have any problem with them realising just how rubbish Royal Mail has been this year.

    While they’re getting cosy, perhaps ebay can link up to the Royal Mail address database and sort things out once and for all, so we sellers get correct addresses, rather than what ebay or the buyer thinks is relevant.

  • Jonah
    1 month ago

    What’s the point?
    RM are often useless at updating their tracking. Many sellers don’t even use RM any more.
    On a brighter note it may actually highlight to ebay just how ridiculous the Delivery metrics are, though obviously that’s the sellers fault and nothing to do with RM or any other courier at all.
    Honestly, you just couldn’t make it up.

  • It’s a start I suppose, but won’t improve RM’s service. I foresee many headaches and frustrated people!
    If they hurry up and get other carriers on board it would be a lot more valuable.

  • NorthCrystal
    1 month ago

    Anyone knows why is this “unique number” in the address? Apart from eBay feeling exceptional.

    • Victor
      1 month ago

      Yes its to cause confusion complications expense and frustration

  • Boyd
    1 month ago

    90% of our packages are RM48 which do not get scanned until delivered. So the system will not work…

  • Darren
    1 month ago

    I noticed this code a couple of days ago and knew absolutely nothing about it – well done eBay that we have to find out on here. We use a franking machine and use 2nd class small parcel so not tracked. This code just adds to our workload as I assume we need to remove it?

  • Gareth
    1 month ago

    Thankfully doesn’t affect me, as I don’t use Royal Mail, but as an auction seller, I would say 60% of my orders wish me to delay sending, so they can combine shipping, and 70% or more of my buyers are repeat buyers. It causes many problems with eBay’s shipping metric. I always ask the buyer to please wait before paying, but few actually do (many are just being courteous and paying asap).
    If I was using RM with this new vtin number, it would mean I’d be onto customer service every single week getting them to remove the defects that shouldn’t be there because my customers requested delayed shipping.

  • Daedalus
    1 month ago

    I have two orders from one customer. I can put both in one parcel to save on shipping, but they both have a different eVTN. Royal Mail doesn’t scan the barcodes anyway (nothing is ever showing up as delivered, even after the buyers have confirmed delivery), except when I specifically ask for proof of postage, which is not worth the time for smaller orders anyway.
    Would there be an issue if I just ship both orders together using the one eVTN?

    1 month ago

    How do we remove this from our Linnworks labels as it complicates the address totally when we print a label via Linnworks.
    We use Royal Mail for posting and it is now appearing on all our labels.

  • Marco Pico
    1 month ago

    I’m using Royal Mail OBA with Linnworks.

    This VTN is, as the article says, displaying on the second line.
    Does anyone know if we’re supposed to leave that on the address label like that?!

    Little concerned a postie will look at that and return to sender.

    I was under the assumption it is not supposed to print but still be a part of the tracking, e.g. for RM24 RM48 and whatever other tracked services used.

  • paul
    1 month ago

    My orders come from ebay to my woocommerce website where i keep stock & also sell on my website… they then all go to click & drop

    it does not remove the new code… so now i have to go through and remove each one…

    No worries though… another bit of extra work, for a marketplace that keeps take take taking..

    • gerald Nicholls
      1 month ago

      What plugin are you using for your woocommerce if you mind me asking? I use woo commerce but only as a business card type site with very little traffic and sales (less than 5 per year! compared to 2000 on ebay). I would love to have the ability to get real time inventory amounts from ebay if possible.

  • NorthCrystal
    1 month ago

    Good work from RM’s Click&Drop that it does not “transfer” those stupid ref numbers onto RM labels. Or it could be eBay API not issuing them. Either way good to not have addresses spam’d with some random “brilliant” idea from eBay.

  • Jack
    1 month ago

    If you sell two items going to the same address but only use one label this probably means you only have proof that one parcel arrived.

    If the buyer opens an INR case would you have sufficient proof for PayPal and eBay to prove was delivered?

    I doubt it.

    • gerald Nicholls
      1 month ago

      Very good point, but I just checked my orders this morning because yesterday someone bought an item from me, then another 2 items later in the evening.
      The first address in ebay, state the VTN, but the second order of 2 items do not have a code.
      Maybe someone else can confirm but it looks like this has been thought of! (Mild shock!)

      Now, all I need is for ebay to allow multiple sales to be sent to their GSP warehouse in one big box (like you would send FBA to amazon) instead of sending 10 separate items per day at 5-10 times the cost.

    • gerald Nicholls
      1 month ago

      No, scrap that comment, whilst that was true(and double checked) I just found another buyer who has bought 2 items separately, both orders have codes.

  • Victor
    1 month ago

    Were quite happy to leave the code on the address
    Gives the scammers something to think about

  • Nick
    1 month ago

    @gerald Nicholls unfortunately I received several purchases from the same customer a few times and they all had the code on the address.

    Sometimes the code is missing, but most of the time it is there, even though we don’t even list with Royal Mail as the carrier!

    I’ve spent the last hour or so removing the code from the address where it makes it look a mess, and gave up on the simpler addresses. Linnworks is not removing the code when printing shipping labels, whether Royal Mail labels or not.

    I think I will have to try and learn how to write macros/scripts in Linnworks just to be able to remove these useless codes. That on top of having to find another way to send PDF invoices to customers because they all get blocked now with the email address change to …

  • Jack
    1 month ago

    I thought the point of these codes was was to prove delivery but I suspect eBay has done this in order to make more money on postage for multiple item purchases. It seems you need a label for every item not every order. If someone buys three or four items there is no way for them to do so without paying postage on every item which will generate three eBay codes. eBay actively try to eliminate the possibility of combined postage and this seems to be just another way. What happens if you only use one label for three purchases?

    • 1 month ago

      Any business sellers worth their salt are not going to be buying postage labels through ebay, so there is no way for ebay to profit out of an increased number of items posted separately, were that to even happen.

      In those few cases where buyers are making multiple separate purchases, bundle them together into the one parcel and link the tracking number, just like you normally would.

    • Jack
      1 month ago

      I don’t use eBay labels but millions of sellers do. If they could force us to use their labels they would charge us extra. eBay don’t do anything unless there’s money in it for them. They have even monetized poor seller performance. That alone speaks volumes.

    • 1 month ago

      Ebay are a business, and businesses are about making money.

      If a seller want to ship items separately rather than combine them, use ebay postage labels rather than cheaper alternatives, then more fool them. Ebay can get some extra money out of those folk.

      The main thing ebay is going to get though is not money, but a shock. They will finally realise what sellers have been saying all along “but I posted it on time!” is the truth. I can’t wait for that to hit home with them.

  • Mark
    1 month ago

    It never ceases to amaze me that people are shocked that eBay have implemented yet another system that is not fit for purpose or built totally to make more money for them.
    Just look at buyers email addresses now. they are gone.
    This is another system failure. When a buyer has no mobile number all thre tracking information is entered to their email address. So our courier emails them the 1 hour window can i ask how many people in the world check their ebay messages evry 20 minutes or so or even every day.
    What use is a tracking update sent by a courier saying your item will be delivered today between 1300 and 1400 when the person got up raced around getting kids off to school ran for the bus and then worked all day doing a job where they have no ebay access.

    we should all add an extended shipping time to our products and sod their system

    They are the online joke site now.

    • 1 month ago

      The email will forward any message on to the buyer’s regular email address. Notifications about delivery windows will still arrive, so in your hypothetical scenario, the buyer is at fault for not putting their mobile on and not being able to check their emails either. The outcome would still be the same, whether the old way or the new way.

  • Jack
    1 month ago

    Yep I agree Mark.

    I changed my shipping to 10 days back in March. Has not affected my sales at all.

    Customers expect delays during a Pandemic. It’s not worth busting a gut to please eBay’s cockeyed metrics and algorithms on their uneven playing field BC or AC.

  • NorthCrystal
    1 month ago

    Thanks eBay for making our life even more difficult!

    Attach pdf to ebay message – no, forget it.

    Email a pdf directly to customer – no, forget it.

  • NorthCrystal
    1 month ago

    Btw eBay – if the message contains a Toyota part number then it is NOT a “contact info” FFS. Have you heard of good programmer able to compose a smart regex formula ??

    “Please remove contact info. If you proceed, you’ll be charged a final value fee, even if the item does not actually sell. See Policy.”

  • robin
    1 month ago

    What if I need “Order Reference Field” for my own use ?!?!

    • 1 month ago

      Hey Robin

      We use the eBay Sales Order Ref for nearly all our Bespoke Systems through the eBay API so you and we are goosed!

      This New eBay Code (eVTN) should be in a totally separate field within the eBay Database and Royal Mail should have also introduced a totally separate field on their side!

      What benefits will this eVTN give the seller? Where can we report on it? I have messaged eBay on all of our 3 accounts as to what the hell it is so it will be interesting to see what they come back with!

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 month ago
  • Rod
    1 month ago

    If you think that Ebay have done this for anything other the THEIR own benefit, financial or other, then your naive.

  • Andy
    1 month ago

    This is really annoying, we have buyers who are buying multiple items and they are all having to go out in separate packages (all to the same address) as to be covered by the eBay money back guaranteed eBay (I called them today) the code for each order needs to be included in each label.

    Surly all we need to do is prove the item was delivered to the address provided, not that the address includes an eBay code too?

  • 1 month ago

    as usual, they have taken a snapshot of ‘how our sellers ship parcels’ and tried to implement a change without consulting the wider groups.
    So, if you sell on eBay and DON’T integrate your eBay store with C&D you’re heading for a headache, I’ve told them directly today on the phone and via email that I am not paying my packing staff to sit there and edit out a tracking code from 1200+ parcels a month, we’re simply not doing it.
    This is SO SO SO SO SO typical eBay and I’m tired of it, we’re gradually moving our business off the site to Magento because they’re going down a route which is not going to fit with our business in the long term and that’s a shame.

    • Jack
      1 month ago

      Why don’t you just copy the address to a Dymo label maker and stick it over the top. Or better still… stop using eBay labels.

    • James
      1 month ago

      Noel…. I’m now going to use multiple private accounts instead. I’m done with Managed Payments and the much higher fees of a business account. eBay just want to give us more work while they make even more money. They’ll be losing sellers in their droves if they keep pissing them off like this.

  • Victor
    1 month ago

    Royal mail trackIng?😳
    Says it all

  • gerald Nicholls
    1 month ago

    These things are never inline with real world behaviours.

    I use click & drop (was on OBA) so I take my sacks to the post office a mile away or the depot and in ebays robotic eyes this is what a lot of business sellers do…

    but in the real world where RM sacks are like gold dust, and post offices are closing around me (my usual post office closed a few years ago and the other ones around me don’t accept sacks at all!), my postal behaviour is not so straight forward.
    If I have 20x 2nd class parcels but 1 person has upgraded to 1st class (or an expensive order that needs signed for), I am not going to put that one parcel in 1 sack (waste of a sack).
    Additionally, when I go to the post office that does still accept sacks, I feel a sense of guilt if I waltz in, drop sacks and leave without giving the postmaster & staff a coin or two, so this fits perfectly in doing that one/two/three awkward parcels over the counter (while dropping the main bulk of orders off in the sack. Hopefully the daily banter and custom is appreciated.

    So when ebay look at my orders they will start to see most are sent when I say they are, but the 1st class / signed for parcels won’t tally up in their system…

    • Victor
      1 month ago

      signed for Is mis selling these covid restricted days
      It should be rebranded as delivery confirmation

  • James
    1 month ago

    Finding out about eBay’s new ways to trip us up and extort even more money from sellers is like finding out about your redundancy in the media before your boss tells you!

    Since Managed Payments has been a total and utter joke, this is the last straw and I will now be using multiple private accounts instead. Greedy eBay can shove my business account up their arse!

    I can’t understand why eBay are so anal about postal and delivery metrics, shouldn’t this be monitored by buyer complaints instead? Of course, eBay want to make it as expensive and complicated as possible for the honest business seller.

    Well, eBay…. you can go to Hell. I’m posting my items using a method of MY CHOICE on a day THAT I CHOOSE, but within the handling time and will always message the buyer with the tracking code as well as manually uploading it. I get postage far cheaper than the eBay link anyway, so why should I fall for yet another one of their tricks?

  • Claire
    1 month ago

    we produce click n drop labels by sending a csv file to RM. we were told by RM (click n drop support team) that this info should NOT appear on the address line of the label so needs to be removed before submitting.

    Ebay concierge says it should stay “as it is part of the address” which is in direct conflict with RM (and logic), also implied that if the label did not match the ebay checkout details then we might have a problem on any non delivery claim also.

    Channel advisor rep says they don’t understand why I don’t like the information appearing in the address field – totally missing the point completely.

    we cannot overwrite the order field with the code as ebay suggest as this would remove our connection to the customer when updating normal tracking and order handling generally. This is clumsy coding and has not been thought through for sellers that are not integrated with Royal Mail direct or use ebay labels. To remove the code means manual interference on an otherwise fairly automated order run system.

    I despair as to the lack of thought given to this by ebay and the lack of support following its introduction

  • Paul Middleton
    1 month ago

    This is how it is appearing for us, we use the ProShipping API integrated into our back end.

    Seems to work reasonably well for us, though I am concerned about needing to waste time and money on multiple labels for individual items.

  • 1 month ago

    I finally stopped being a control freak and integrated ebay with click and drop, having previously had it set up for manual entry (so the addresses could be checked against RM database)

    There’s a few things I don’t like about it, but overall, it’s easier, it’s quicker and ebay aren’t going to make more money out of it. Nor are Royal Mail.

    If there are any purchases that come through as separate deliveries, it’s just a case of delete the ones you don’t need from click and drop, use one tracking number and manually copy and paste the tracking onto ebay. Not hard to do.

    This hypothetical scenario people are worried about, where a buyer purchases items separately, gets them shipped together by the seller using only one eVTN, then falsely claims INR for some items and has it upheld by ebay because although RM tracking says delivered, some of the eVTNs weren’t used, is like something Angry Frank from The Fast Show would have come up with.

    • Daedalus
      1 month ago

      Can you tell me how Click & Drop is easier and faster? I’ve just been getting shipping labels on eBay, which instantly gives me a tracking number, automatically as the tracking number to the order and automatically marks the shipment as dispatched.
      I’m now trying to set up Click & Drop, but find it rather convoluted. I have eBay integration set up, so it shows me my orders, but it’s only really useful to generate labels in bulk and then it’s difficult to tie a tracking code to an item. I also need to re-enter the weight, which is already set up in eBay, but it doesn’t import automatically. I then also need to manually mark everything as dispatched, which is just completely unnecessary, a shipment can be regarded as dispatched as soon as I have the label, even if it’s not physically in a Royal Mail postbox yet.
      It’s a lot of extra work for no apparent reason (apart from this eVTN not appearing (yet)).
      What are the benefits over generating shipping labels on eBay directly?

    • 1 month ago

      hi Daedalus

      If you integrate Click and Drop with ebay, the weight should import over as well. It does for me on those listings that have it. Weight is a funny one though, because if you sell 2 of the same item, it is not simply a case of multiplying the weight of 1 item by 2, which is what the system will want to do. You might use the same box for several items and it can’t take that into account. There’s no real way around that but to manually adjust it to the correct amount, unless you’re happy to pay more for overweighing your parcels.

      The orders can be processed one at a time in C&D, so I don’t know why you are thinking they need to be bulk done. It sorts them out from “new orders” and into “ready to despatch” as you do them, so if you are in “new orders” just clear through them, just as you would on ebay and they’ll vanish off the C&D to do list.

      Once you’ve applied postage, checked the weight and shipping method are correct, the label is printed off and there’s nothing else needs doing*. When the manifest is done at the end of the working day, that is when C&D will automatically update all the ebay orders with the tracking info.

      *You need to have the “Mark orders as despatched on channel” and “Upload delivery confirmation to channel” tickboxes ticked in settings/integration.

      I don’t know the current ebay postage costs, but I’d guess it’s cheaper by some way to use C&D RM48 or 24.

    • Daedalus
      1 month ago

      Thanks for your answer Gav, something must be wrong then, because it’s not importing the weight and it didn’t save the weight I entered from previous orders. Mark as despatched is always ticked, it’s ticked by default and can’t be unticked, I also have Upload delivery confirmation ticked.
      The reason I’m doing it in bulk is because it’s a three-step process: apply postage; generate label; mark as despatched. On eBay, it’s a one-step process: buy postage. It seemed that the only way to make C&D go faster than that is to do it in bulk (which also can be done on eBay, but I lose track of orders when I do that).
      The problem I’m having is that in my workflow, I mark an envelope with what item goes in it and what tracking number is associated with that envelope. I print all my shipping labels off after fulfilling the orders, so I only need to do them once a day. When I apply postage in C&D, it does not give me a tracking number, so I can not have an envelope marked with both item and tracking code. This leaves me with a bunch of envelopes with potentially different items in them and no way of figuring out what label is supposed to go on them. On eBay, I instantly get a tracking code, so that is not a problem.
      I’m only sending either small or large letters 2nd Class, on both platforms the price is exactly the same. I’ve also now noticed that the C&D labels are larger than my label sheets, so I had to scale them down and the edges are bleeding into each other; although I did not realise there was an option to print up to 4 labels on one sheet, maybe that’s scaled appropriately.
      I’ve heard about this manifest, but I can’t find it and I don’t know how I would use it. I just take my shipments to the post office and drop them in the box outside, unless the value is over £5, in which case I drop it off at the desk to get proof of postage. I really don’t want to drop off too much at the desk, because some of the local staff is a bit too incompetent to process shipments a bit faster than one per minute.
      I’m only a small seller at the moment, with 5 – 15 orders per day, but in the process of growing, so would like a quick and easy solution, and so far, only eBay is giving me that.
      In short, the features I have on eBay that I don’t have on C&D:
      * Instant tracking number so I can match item to tracking number
      * labels that fit
      * eBay logo on label, as a reminder to the buyer that this is an item they bought off eBay
      * instantly marked as dispatched, with tracking numbers provided
      * one-step process, instant postage payment
      * no postage price printed on label – important as I sell with free postage to the buyer
      So in order to lose all these benefits, C&D isn’t offering me anything valuable in return, but even if it did, not being able to match an item to a tracking number makes the whole system unusable, I don’t know how else I’m going to send the right item in the right envelope. Even if I click on the despatched orders now – they haven’t got a tracking number in the system, even though the number is on the label.

  • NorthCrystal
    1 month ago

    We send (vat) invoices to customers when requested, and our custom software gets the data from eBay API. Now, this stupid “ebay235834” is not a separate field on the addresses. Sometimes it comes as alone address in the “Street2” field of their API, sometimes it mixed with what the buyer has as 2nd street address. Such a simple change (if they really insist on having this) yet the implementation is lazy and useless.

  • ger
    1 month ago

    I don’t know if other people notice or not, but when I look at previous orders that were dispatched several weeks ago, a good double digit percentage of orders are still awaiting delivery, even though the buyer has left positive feedback and comments on how great the product is.

    Some royal mail posties are still not scanning parcels when they deliver them, and now according to ebays new code, ebay will think all sellers are lying 20% of the time.

    This is on top of problems such as Posties scanning the item delivered (before placing order at doorstep to stand back for covid guidelines) but not rescanning the parcel when they take it back to the sorting office, or giving the parcel to a random neighbour, but not scanning that either. Well I guess I should thank them for scanning it as delivered at all, saving me losing future cases,.

    When I worked as a courier 10 years ago, we had the facility to log the parcel delivered/safe/neighbour or even abducted by aliens If I really wanted to. So why in this day and age have RM not got the ability to scan the parcel when it gets sent back to the depot?

  • NorthCrystal
    1 month ago

    Click & Drop has dropped this message:

    “As part of the changes to eBay’s tracking requirements for shipping via Royal Mail, shipping updates for your orders will now be mandatory for orders imported through Click & Drop eBay channels. This means for:

    Scenario 1 – New eBay channel integrations:
    The Shipping Updates checkbox will automatically be selected with no option to de-select it.

    Scenario 2 – Existing eBay Channel integrations:
    The Shipping Updates checkbox will remain unchanged, but if the channel is updated for any reason shipping updates will become mandatory.

    If you do not want order Tracking/Item IDs to be provided to eBay please disable your eBay channel integration(s) and import your orders either (a) manually; or (b) via the desktop app (having first removed any unique 11-digit eBay codes from the Address fields).”

    import manually? you’re joking? 1000 orders per week to be imported manually haha good one!

    wow eBay – there’s massive delay with delivering the RM mail yet you insist on tracking for ALL orders in the middle of national pandemic.

    we do not add any tracking for items below 20 quid… as plenty of buyers were asking why the tracking “doesn’t work” (well, it’s delivery confirmation) or some brave ones saying that I can wipe my **** with such a tracking info. well, if you buy something for 6.95 do NOT expect free next day delivery with full tracking info.

    time to change handing time to 2 (or 5?!) days to accommodate this stupid change. and leave ebay for good in the near future.

  • BabyDog
    1 month ago

    As of this morning, I have closed my business account. Goodbye Managed Payments and lack of FVF offers – good riddance! I’ve just opened 3 new private accounts using independent credentials and let’s see how that goes.

    I think eBay should be fairer to sellers (they pay their wages FFS!) and add a “Mark as delivered” option to sold items. The buyer will soon kick off if an item is not received. I’ve not had one sing;e tracked/signed item shown as undelivered according to RM and Collect+ Websites.

    One thing I cannot stand are buzzwords like “data” and “metrics”, all I want to see is the sodding results, I mean a happy customer!

    I think that I’ll be telling eBay to go do one before the year is out.

  • 1 month ago

    Hay Guys.

    Latest response (5th) from eBay yesterday was “If you use Click & Drop and import your orders from an eBay order using CSV you will need to make a manual change to each address provided and remove the eBay code from address line 2 and paste it into Order Reference Field 2!

    That would be really good advice if there were in fact an ‘Order Reference Field 2’ on Click & Drop! I see there is now a ‘Special instructions’ Field but the documentation doesn’t say exactly what this is for apart from saying: ‘Alphanumeric’ and ‘Max. Length (characters) 100’.

    For now I have coded our system to remove the eVTN in its entirety until we can get some sense from somebody. I have just contacted Click & Drop Customer Support so I will be back with their response when I can and in the meantime it may be worth emailing the CEO in the States and or the UK Directors. You can find their email address on this very handy website:

  • Bobs your uncle
    1 month ago

    eVTN only started showing up this morning for me.

    I am one of the old school sellers who, when a sale has been made, I print out a packing slip which has their address on. I then copy and paste their address, exactly as they have entered it, and print it out, cut it out and stick it to the parcel.
    Now heres the bit you wont believe……….I physically go to the Post Office and hand my parcels over one at a time, having weighed them to make sure they are within the limits for Second Class Small parcel. When it is processed iam given a slip of paper with a tracking number on, which I then enter onto the items sales page so the buyer can also see the tracking number.
    Yes, every so often the Royal Mail dont update their website when delivery has been made, but so be it. It has never been a perfect system, but its good enough for what I need it for.

    Now the question is, being old school, do I need to have the eVTN in the buyers address when I post, as I dont have one of the 2D barcodes on the postage label.

    • 1 month ago

      that’s not old school Bob, it’s medieval.

      If you keep doing it that way, there’s no where for you to add the eVTN. So, you’d be under the same group of people as those who use Postage Stamps in the article.

  • ifellow
    1 month ago

    So Royal Mail who are regularly delivering late, (especially 48 items up to 8-10 working days ), have partnered with eBay to make sure tracking is uploaded so people can see if their parcels are late?

    Freakin hilarious ! !

  • 1 month ago

    Response from Royal Mail Click & Drop abut eVTN:

    Thank you for your email.

    We were made aware the eBay were making some changes to their platform but were not informed what these changes were. I have forwarded your email onto our developers so they can look into this and get back to you.

    Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience caused and for the late response to your email.


  • Jack
    1 month ago

    Every address now looks like this regardless of what mail service I ship with. But is this code tracked via every RM service including mail dropped off at the Post Office? I don’t think so – what’s the point enforcing this code on every seller? So now all sellers who don’t have a drop & go account have to delete this code from every address label if we use a courier. Typical blanket solution from eBay that inconveniences millions of sellers… and buyers when their parcel goes astray.

    Mr Redacted
    11 Redacted Close
    Leyland ebayn697fgx
    Preston Lancashire pr26 7ab

    • Ifellow
      1 month ago

      The ebayn697fgx part doesnt print on click and drop labels, at least for me anyway.

    • Jack
      1 month ago

      Both address fields on eBay display the code on three of my eBay accounts. I assume the other two will update soon. I don’t use click and drop or drop and go but the codes are there.

      According to a Filipino eBay agent they are there for for the customer and for the seller. I tried explaining that I don’t use Royal Mail all the time and I don’t use drop and go but she was stuck in a loop and kept repeating herself. Obviously reading from a script.

      This will cause a lot of confusion for novice sellers. It’s all a complete waste of time and effort.

      There are many other things that need fixing before the they start breaking stuff again.

  • Jonah
    1 month ago

    People sound so surprised at this. I’m not surprised, I’ve been on the ebay platform for nearly 21 years and it’s just another example of their “take it or leave it” approach. No consideration, consultation or foresight, just the thought that if your unhappy go elsewhere. What perhaps had started out as a genuine idea by eBay has become so poorly orchestrated that you can only think it was implemented by primary age schoolchildren.

  • Victor
    1 month ago

    As long as who ever delivers the package
    Can read the delivery address
    We dont care if ebay adds the National anthem to the label

    • Bas
      1 month ago

      But they can’t read the delivery address if the extra code makes the address too long to fit into the address fields on the postal system. And anyone who’s ever sent a parcel to a film or TV company on location, knows that it already tends to look like:

      Ms Redacted, Chief Wig Buyer or Mr Blank, Deputy Wig Buyer
      BigLongRunningCostumeDramaSeries 751 Episode 29
      GreatBigTelevisionCompanyEnterprises 2020(London) Ltd
      Hairdressing Caravan B447
      Location Site Melbury MarkettownMarket Place
      Tradesmen’s Entrance
      Melbury Markettown Close
      off Melbury Markettown Duckpond Lane
      Melbury Central Trading Estate
      London Road
      Near Bursthampton

    • Victor
      1 month ago

      Poor ebay
      Cant blame them for an imaginary or hypothetical address

  • I’ve said it before and I will say it again – if ebay are serious about ensuring buyer satisfaction re: delivery then they should either 1. have their own delivery network or 2. franchise/contract a delivery network.

    This is obviously easier said than done however it is possible (Amazon have done it) and they would be able to cater for the vast majority of items sold on ebay. Their drivers would scan an item upon collection and ebay would know where the item is at all times and could efficiently integrate with their platform to ensure buyer satisfaction.

    • Jack
      1 month ago

      eBay don’t sell anything so they have no need for a delivery system of their own. Amazon sell everything from shoes to groceries so they created their own delivery network including drone delivery.

    • 1 month ago

      @crackerjackcommerce and that’s what this is all about. This is first step towards forcing all business sellers to use their (eBays) contract with Royal Mail! Just like Managed Payments that they will be making a killing on!

      Nobody will convince me otherwise!

  • 1 month ago

    Latest Reply from Click & Drop:

    “Thank you for your email.

    Our technical team have confirmed the eVTN code will now be removed from the address data before an order downloads into Click & Drop, so you shouldn’t see any further orders download into Click & Drop with this code on.

    You are correct that there is no Order Reference Field 2 on Click & Drop so this information was incorrect from eBay unfortunately. As far as we are aware this is part of some changes eBay are making to provide increased tracking functionality, unfortunately I can’t answer any further on future plans from eBay.
    I hope this helps.
    Kind Regards

    I replied asking for more information especially for users of the upload file method rather than the Integration Method.

  • SMc_UK
    1 month ago

    Hi 2oolz,

    I have the same situation and have been trying to find out what Royal Mail would be doing with the data in the Order Reference Field and why it would make any sense to put the VTN in there ? Also this Order Reference Field is currently used by Royal Mail Click n Drop as the indicator to combine orders together for the same buyer into one package so that would break if we added the unique VTN.

    Received a similar reply from Click n Drop See Below :-

    “….Thank you for updating your enquiry with Royal Mail.
    Firstly, I apologise for the delay in responding to your query.
    You do not need to add the VTN code to your order reference field, this will be removed from the orders coming into Click and Drop. Royal Mail have now stopped the VTN from downloading into Click and Drop.
    I hope this answers your question…..”

    I’m still not clear if she is talking about the Ebay Integration with Click n Drop or what I was asking about i.e. independent system importing data in. They never give a clear and proper answer. I guess that is because the support agent doesn’t really understand it and are just relaying from “The developers” who are an outsourced team and probably should be given notice based on their software solutions…

  • eBay Seller
    1 month ago

    If you are using Excel, try this: Ctrl+H, in the find box:


    leave replace blank and click Replace All

    • Claire
      1 month ago

      yes we use this method on address line 2 to delete before uploading a csw file to RM. They were very clear to us that this information should not be uploaded.

      My concern is what ebay expect us to do with the information once removed. They suggest that we copy over the order field (which is not practicable) and it is this part that has simply not been thought through at all. Having deleted the info for RM as required, we should not then be penalized by ebay on metrics unless and until there is a sensible practical resolution of the problem by both ebay and RM.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Just seen this on Click & Drop Updates (

    “So that shipping updates occur more frequently throughout the day, we have changed the frequency of eBay shipping updates so that the updater can run every 30 minutes between 09:00 and 17:00, and every 105 minutes between 17:00 and 09:00.”

    Maybe something to do with the eVTN?

    • SMc_UK
      4 weeks ago

      I think the shipping updater is RM’s auto process for sending out Emails and or Text updates to the recipient of the package.

      Anyone can use this regardless of the eVTN number by just supplying the email address and or mobile phone number of the recipient along with checking the required tick boxes SMS_Notification and or Email_Notification…

      My system does this automatically, if those details are not available then it substitutes in our own details so we get the auto notifications of whats happening to the packages.

  • Jack
    4 weeks ago

    When I spoke to an eBay agent yesterday he told me that the eVTN is being used on every Royal Mail service including parcels paid for at the post office. I’m pretty sure he was wrong and I told him that. He said he would get back to me today or ask a manager to call me today. So far no call back. I don’t expect one either.

    I can’t see how eBay would have a better tracking system than Royal Mail. Can someone help me understand the benefits of this eVTN if any?

    And has anyone managed to find out if we are still covered if we dispatch 3 items to the same address but only use one eVTN? What happens if the buyer claims they only received one item?

    • Jonah
      4 weeks ago

      @jack “What happens if the buyer claims they only received one item?”

      You refund for the other two like eBay always make you do. The buyer is king, always has been always will be.

      We are completely ignoring eVTN, life is too busy to be worrying about more ebay hoops to jump through. The removal of email addresses is more of a worry for us, we always gave customer email addresses to shippers to enable a smooth transactions and easy delivery.

    • Ifellow
      4 weeks ago

      Chinese dont have to go EVTN, Chinese dont need to do managed payments, Chinese dont need to pay VAT.

      What else do Chinese dont need to do?

    • 4 weeks ago

      “What happens if the buyer claims they only received one item?”

      For this scenario to happen:

      buyers have to be scammers rather than genuine buyers
      they need to order multiple items separately
      they need to be sure items will be bundled into one parcel and not dispatched separately
      they need to be sure Royal Mail will be used, not some other courier which is not part of the eVTN
      they must be able to work out an eVTN from a Royal Mail 2D barcode
      ebay must reject valid royal mail tracking numbers/delivery confirmation if items are ordered separately, but bundled together for shipping

      How likely does any of that sound?

      More to the point, why would a scammer bother going to all that trouble when they can already just say “I didn’t get it” or “some of the items were missing”?

      I sell items that are not attractive to scammers, so very rarely get any. Those that have popped up over the years, have always been seriously thick and bone-idle lazy. None of them have been smart enough or hardworking enough to be doing what your scenario suggests.

    • Jack
      4 weeks ago

      I’m talking about scammers. They do exist Gav. I get one every month. It depends what you sell. Ask someone who sells wedding dresses, watches, jewelry or suits.

      Also my customers can not buy multiple items without paying postage on every item. When they put more than one item in the cart and request an invoice they get a pop up saying “This seller does not accept combined purchases” so they are forced to buy and pay postage on every item and then ask for a refund or they just walk away. I have encountered this many times as I buy and sell on eBay.

      I use royal mail tracking which is not 100% perfect but more reliable than an eBay eVTN. So yes, my scenario is quite feasible in my case. Buyers can clearly see I use Royal Mail. You make it sound like all scammers are idiots but unfortunately they are not.

    • 4 weeks ago

      @ Jack

      If you get a scammer every month despite Royal Mail tracking, then they’re already a problem and they don’t need eVTN to help them.

      Various possible reasons exist for the message “This seller does not accept combined purchases” appearing in carts, but I build “free P&P” into every item, then offer various stages of multi-buy discounts over most of the products. Perhaps that’s why I’ve never had the problems you describe.

      No, royal mail tracking is not 100% perfect, but it is running alongside eVTN, not being replaced by it, so it is neither more nor less reliable. I know this, because I’m already doing it the way ebay want. I’ve integrated the click and drop account with ebay. The eVTN is being generated and going into the 2D barcode. When it manifests at the end of the day, all the info goes over to ebay and the orders update with the Royal Mail Tracking Number, not an eVTN, which is not even visible to the buyer.

      For items being bought separately with different eVTNs, but shipped together, it’s simply a case of deleting duplicate labels and copy and pasting the tracking number over to the multiple orders. For the number of times it happens, it’s not really a difficult task.

      If you’re already using tracking, already have X amount of scammers, this eVTN business isn’t going to help them one bit.

    • Jack
      4 weeks ago

      @ Gav You may be right you may be wrong. Unless you have been scammed by someone using an eVTN you wouldn’t know for sure. Anyhow I don’t use click & drop so it wouldn’t affect me unless we are all supposed to use the eVTN regardless of what service we are using.

  • Jack
    4 weeks ago

    The eVTN code is more trouble than it’s worth for multiple purchases. Totally wrong headed thinking by eBay.

    I think this is a daft experiment by eBay that will be more trouble than it’s worth. It can not be applied to any other service other than click & drop so what’s the point?

    If we remove the eVTN are making matters worse in the event of an INR case?

    They remove the email address of buyers and sellers yet they display the buyers phone number in the address field.

    The more draconian they become the more militant sellers will be. eBay should try fixing what needs fixing instead of putting so much effort into breaking what works.

    Hey eBay… have you forgotten that what works best for business is a good customer relationship? Your customers/sellers no longer respect or trust you. eBay has become a necessary evil. Dealing with eBay can be psychologically damaging. That’s why I no longer jump through the hoops.

  • sam
    4 weeks ago

    Dont get it.
    Is it a part of the address if you put your own label on and post at post ?

  • 4 weeks ago

    after speaking to somebody at ebay they tell me it is to catch the ebay scammers whenther it is or has been delivered so is this going to be the end of the scammer days according to ebay they are saying this is to catch the scammers saying they have niot receaved the goods.and have given me a website they use to check

    • Jack
      4 weeks ago

      @peter lennon That is interesting. Can you please tell us all what website they gave you?

  • SMc_UK
    4 weeks ago

    The only way this makes any sense to me is that the eVTN is an idea from Ebay to get around the problem that both Amazon and Ebay have with Royal Mail 24 and 48 deliveries that have got a long tracking code that provides only “Scanned Proof Of Delivery”.

    The problem is that for commercial reasons, the Royal Mail tracking API does not expose the result of the Scanned Proof Of Delivery. Therefore both the Amazon and Ebay internal tracking systems cannot see whether the item has been “Delivered” or not so cannot inform within their platform.

    Currently Amazon has no solution to this and its internal tracking just displays to the buyer that the item has not yet arrived and then eventually says the item must be lost. However, if you look up the long tracking ID on the Track n Trace website you see it has clearly been delivered.

    Assuming Ebay has this same problem this eVTN may well be Ebay’s attempt to get their own tracking number integrated with Royal Mail so they can detect when the package has been scanned and update their own internal tracking system.

    If you are using the much more expensive Royal Mail Tracked service, there is no problem because then the normal full tracking number is available to be seen programmatically via the Royal Mail API.

    On the basis this API exposure limitation is in the commercial interest of Royal Mail, I cant understand why Royal Mail would participate together with Ebay and the eVTN number to get around this. Perhaps Ebay had found a loophole and now Royal Mail have decided to close the loophole by automatically removing the eVTN. If this is the case then the eVTN will quietly fade away.

    However, the alternative is much worse if Ebay decide on the Amazon solution to the same problem which is to simply put the onus on sellers by insisting that ALL items are posted with a full tracking solution. They have just introduced a new metric system showing this information with a note saying this will not YET affect your seller status…..

    • 4 weeks ago

      @SMc_UK You seem to mixing up the ‘QR code’ on Royal Mail 24/48 Parcels and Large Letters with the ‘eVTN’. We use RM 48 Parcels and Large Letter along with Tracked 48/24 and Special Delivery.

      Regrading 24/48 Parcels and Large Letters: If you select the correct service the label prints a QR Code with a long number. We upload these along with Tracked and SD and all are compatible on eBay. You get nothing until 48/24 Parcels and LL are confirmed delivered (thats all this service gives you) but eBays system shows delivered almost (ish) at the same time RM mark is as delivered, that’s when eBay/RM are working correctly. You have to make sure you upload the correct tracking code though!

      So the QR code is different to the eVTN. eVTN is an eBay addition and the QR Code is Royal Mails Tracking Bar Code.

  • 4 weeks ago

    For people who just print Invoices/Labels directly from eBay there is no issue with the eVTN because eBay remove it before it generates the print view. I checked this the other day.

  • Charlie
    4 weeks ago

    I have just been checking an have received a late defect already since the new eVTN number has been in use. It was stated on the policy page that all orders automatically tracked with this eVTN would be protected against any late defects. Seems that is not the truth here.

    • 4 weeks ago

      Charlie, there has always been a time lag in the late delivery report. It should change from an orange “transactions that weren’t dispatched on time” to a grey “transactions removed” in about a week or so.

      When I look at my report, there are no lates on from last week, though surely there will be many and they just haven’t made it on to the report yet. From the week before that, the lates are all still orange, but almost everything older than that has been removed from the count, including some of the earliest eVTNs, so they are removing them.

      There’ll always be a few the system manages to miss, but not in enough number to worry about.

    • Charlie
      3 weeks ago

      Thank you Gav,

      I do appreciate your response. It’s good to know that they are removing them with this eVTN. I will keep an eye out as this will save a lot of hassle in the long run with late deliveries that are always dispatched within the handling time, but occasionally delivered late by the royal mail.

      Thank you,

  • David
    3 weeks ago

    Mmm I trade in collectable postage stamps and send using Royal Mail letter post. I hand write my envelopes and avoid any reference to Ebay to make them look innocuous to avoid in-post theft. I take advantage of certificates of posting (compensation £20.00) and utilise “signed for” services only on high value items going overseas. My incidences of lost post is very low. I see these codes as more of a hinderance than a help and will continue to disregard them.

    • 3 weeks ago

      I don’t think in-post theft is much of a thing anymore. It’s not like the 1980s when you could be sure that the birthday card from your Gran or Auntie would somehow be missing the 2x £1 coins that had been sellotaped to the middle of the inside of the card.

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