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eBay handling and dispatch times updates

By Chris Dawson November 10, 2020 - 9:00 am

eBay have added the option to manually set your handling and dispatch times for each day of the week rather than having a simple blanket policy across the board.

What did we get?

The main changes are that you can now:

  • Set same day cut-off times for each day of the week
  • You can now have a 2pm cut off on week days and 10am on Saturdays

  • Choose your working days for each day of the week
  • Don’t have a courier collection on Sundays? You’re not the only one so you can now specify it as a day off. However if you’re one of the few that do have collections on Sunday then why not offer Monday deliveries for weekend purchases?

The changes will be applied at account level from mid-November, to see these go to your Postage preferences settings. In the mean time, your default options will remain active until the new features are manually activated in your account settings. Any changes can take up to 24 hours to be reflected in buyer-facing delivery estimates.

The default cut-off time is 2pm (Monday – Friday). Saturday and Sunday are automatically considered non-working days unless you manually change this.

What did we want?

We’re liking this, if by any chance you knock off early on a Friday for pub o’clock work drinks (yeah I know, the pubs are all shut during lockdown at the moment) then you can have a late cut off time but shut up shop earlier on a Friday.

However, although it’s a start, and shows eBay are looking at cut off times, what we’d really like to see are two additional changes, namely:

  • The ability to vary cut off times by carrier & service
  • If Royal Mail collect from you at 3pm you might want a 2pm cut off but if your courier doesn’t collect until 5pm then why can’t you carry on selling until maybe 4pm for these items? One size doesn’t fit all as all carriers don’t turn up at the same time!

  • The ability to very handling times by destination
  • While it makes sense to have a cut off time for listings offering next day delivery, if an item is going to take two or three weeks’ transit time to Australia then how quickly you pick and pack the item is totally irrelevant. What might however be relevant is that you need to book an International Courier for overseas shipping and that might add a day or so to your despatch times.

What sellers need is more flexibility and be able to offer latest same day dispatch times and handling times by carrier, by service and by destination…

…and what sellers really really want, having specified next day shipping if you order by 2pm, is for eBay to then offer a search option so that buyers who want items in a hurry can actually find them! (Hint for eBay… If you added a search filter for eBay Premium Service listings then all the listings returned would have an option to upgrade to next day shipping.)

Postage Rate Table updates

Alongside this change, eBay are also launching a new Seller Postage Rate Table by the end of the month. This will let you create up to 40 postage rate tables for specific regions in your postage settings and easily manage multiple postage rate tables through the new user interface..

  • victor
    3 weeks ago

    total waste of time and effort when ebay shows the following estimated delivery time on our listings
    Australia
    Royal Mail International Tracked
    Estimated between Thu. 21 Jan. and Fri. 5 Feb.

  • 3 weeks ago

    eBay needs to address the shipping change that came in in March 2020 that automatically counted Saturday as a delivery day for all shipping options and sellers.

    Granted, this is fine for those selling small items through the usual carriers but sellers of larger goods (e.g. furniture, beds) are now having to put up with a deluge of confused and understandably cheesed off customers who eBay have told that their item would arrive on a Saturday when all ugly goods carriers are Mon-Fri.

    Any complaints about this to eBay have fallen on deaf ears, and instead we are told to increase the handling time manually on a Thursday to botch their system, another example of them going completely backwards which is why we’re putting resource into other selling channels instead.

    • 3 weeks ago

      I noticed this a few months back, but only by chance.

      I had the courier option set as other 24 hour courier for many items that are too big for the post. It was showing on Fridays that these items had estimated delivery dates of Saturday. I tried changing it to DPD Next Day, as they are the main courier. This seemed to solve the problem and the delivery dates I was looking at immediately changed to Monday.

      This might help if you use DPD, or you could change it to a longer delivery courier option, but we shouldn’t have to run around fixing ebay created problems.

  • Toby
    3 weeks ago

    All sounds good, but still too many issues with the system. I guess it is a start?!
    The one thing i’m really after is the ability to easily set different rates on set items for postage to different UK regions… I could be wrong, maybe they have already done this and it is just lost int he mish mash system they have, but i gave up on it sometime ago…
    If i sell an item that needs a courier service other than royal mail, then the cost to me for sending to mainland uk is very different to that of sending to say the highlands or the isle of wight. Yet on my listings there is no way to do this. You can add a big warning to buyers to ask first in the listing, but they don’t read that. Instead you have to message them, then wait for a reply, then watch as dispatch is now over due… only for them to say no to the extra and have to refund.
    On Onbuy I can easily set this, so mainland uk is one price and other regions that attract a premium are set differently… it is lovely and simple. On ebay, i have now taken to blocking the highlands and non mainland uk from any coruier only listings. Sadly i don’t have that ‘luxury’ when i have listings with royal mail… but also a next day courier option too.
    I will take another look at the postage tables, but my previous experience of these was less than good.

  • victor
    3 weeks ago

    and how about this one
    United States
    Royal Mail International Tracked
    Estimated between Fri. 8 Jan. and Tue. 26 Jan.

    the US is not going to be in a rush buying christmas presents in the UK

  • David clifford
    3 weeks ago

    I can beat that. Italy 27th Jan to 18th Feb. International tracked and signed.

    • victor
      3 weeks ago

      the global shipping service having much shorter international delivery estimates
      than royal mail
      is a little suspicious

  • Mark
    3 weeks ago

    I am confused i think you are talking about eBay and that is what confuses me.
    Nowhere does it say they are introducing but do not expect it to work until about 2025.

    The rate tables i have rung and rung and rung about it for years so i guess them introducing it just before i retire is godsend because i wount have all the teething problems.,

    Overseas shipping Israel has been told an item will arrive between Feb 19 and April 24th fortunately he messaged to ask.
    so we could explain “just ignore what ebay says”

  • Mark
    3 weeks ago

    Hi Toby join the club.
    we add to the description the postcodes that need to contact us. But of course now ebay take the paypelk payment we cannot even do that.

    If you set up a rate table it has 3 options
    Economy, Standard and Express

    once you put free in economy and £1.99 in standard and £19.99 in the express that is great for smaall items by royal mail when an item can only go by courier the customer in a BT postcode just selects free economy and yep we have to cancel.

    The system I think was worked out by a chap called Noah

    • 3 weeks ago

      How heavy are your courier items Mark?

      I’ve got things set up in a similar manner, with free P&P on courier items for “most of the UK” (as per the item descriptions that no one reads) so have the same issues occur now and then. It’s mainly parcels in the 2kg to 10kg range and I found Hermes reasonably priced for the N Ireland courier deliveries. They’re not as reliable as DPD, but if DPD want 4x as much to deliver a 2kg parcel there, there’s no chance of that happening.

  • Mark
    2 weeks ago

    Hi Gav

    the itemsa are up to 30kg so hermes will not even come close or interested in carrying them. Plus we avoid Hermes and Yodel at all costs due to previous experiences and then after 3 years we had one we shipped with them again and yes it got lost again.
    I had to go home yesterday from work as Hermes dropped 3 parcels in our front garden in full view of the road on Friday morning at 9am and never left a card so i found them tuesday morning after phoning the supplier and being told thay were delivered on the friday to find them all soaking wet but fortunately still there.

    Its the table issue that needs sorting if i have an item and use the table to work its great but then every other item has to apply the table they cannot understand different things may not weigh but may be too big etc and so on.

  • Mark
    2 weeks ago

    I would not hold breath over rate tables the shop links are not working this morning click on the door and all you get is oops. Chrome Firefox and microsoft what a joke site it is.

  • NorthCrystal
    2 weeks ago

    Good change from eBay, as usual more complains over here than comments.

    Now eBay, split the ‘dispatch same working day’ into groups, so I can have same day for smaller items and next day for bigger items? Priti please? Currently all in one bag, and it doesn’t fit well.

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