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Fast ‘N Free badge dumped by eBay starting in the US

By Chris Dawson February 19, 2021 - 2:19 pm

eBay Fast 'n FreeHang the bunting out and sound the trumpets! eBay are scrapping the outdated Fast ‘N Free badge and we can’t wait to see the back of it.

If you talk to eBay about what buyers want, the phrase you’ll most often hear is ‘Retail Standards’. That’s why it’s fantastic news that eBay are dumping the Fast ‘N Free badge, which signified 3 day shipment time in the UK and 4 days in the US. In reality, if you see the Fast ‘N Free badge today on Friday, in eBay terms that means delivery any time up until next Wednesday, so not particularly fast!

The fast ‘N Free badge might have been good back in 2012 when it was first introduced, but today a 3 day delivery is considered economy (in other words slow!) by anyone’s standards. That’s why we’ve been calling for years for the badge to be updated and it appears eBay have listened, or at least come to the same realisation.

Starting on eBay.com in the US, and we hope spreading to other country sites soon, a new message will replace the Fast ‘N Free badge on eBay that shows shipping speed up front, making it easier for buyers to identify listings with the fastest arrival. Rather than a meaningless promise that the old badge displayed, now new messaging will include other details that buyers want to know such as how many days the item will take to arrive and the expected calendar date of delivery.

In even better news for sellers, there’s no work for you to do as the changes will be made behind the scenes by eBay. Also, eligibility criteria are not changing. If your listings show the Fast ‘N Free badge, you’ll start to see them automatically update to the new message.

eBay.com Fast ‘N Free badge qualification

  • Offer free shipping
  • Offer same-day or 1-day handling
  • Upload your item’s tracking details
  • Estimate arrival within 4 business days

Naturally in the UK, the ETA needs to be within 3 business days and we really really hope that the same change is implemented here. Then all we’ll need is the ability to search by items that can ship fast, but in the mean time at least we’ll be able to visually filter out the slow ones in search rather than the badge promising a fast delivery.

  • Rob
    1 week ago

    Love it when ebay use the words ‘retail standards’ yet fail to go after any of the private seller accounts who offer little in the way of retail standards that a business should provide such as returns and contact information.

    I have one competitor https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/entertainmentspecialist who has a number of accounts selling the same stock, often spams listings with a * – ! at the end of the title. Over 1500 listings yet is not a business account

    Yet ebay have no interest in these sellers who offer little in the way of standards to customers

  • Toby
    1 week ago

    Yet eBay are still misleading people. The get it in 2 days is displayed in UK already… For RM48. Which is a 2 to 3 day service!
    It is bad enough that the 48 suggests 2 days, but as buyers see 2 days by eBay as well, they expect it in 2 days. Once they have paid it shows 2 to 3 days… But no one sees that.
    If it is a 2 to 3 day service… Just bloody put it as that.
    Funny that they regard rm24 as a 1 day service… Yet it doesn’t count as express delivery like a 1 day courier!
    eBay… You can’t have it both ways. I guess in one way you want to make things look faster, in the other you want more fees for more expensive postage to cover your trs discount!

  • Amanda
    1 week ago

    3 delivery is not slow.
    If buyers want super fast delivery they should pay for it, but they won’t. They want immediate delivery without paying extra. Small businesses cannot compete with the likes of the river. The river and the bay are just bullies who are engaged in a race to bottom, and they’re taking small businesses with them.

  • Lee
    1 week ago

    These thigs start with something like “We have surveyed our customers and they want Fast & Free delivery”

    I bet the questions asked in the survey were:

    Would you like fast shipping?
    Would you want to pay extra for it?

    I do not need to put the answers, as its pretty obvious.

    We sell Beanie Babies:

    On Amazon, they are priced at £8.95 as they include next day shipping (Amazon Logistics) we are SFP
    On eBay, they are priced at £7.50 and will be sent RM48, but the option to upgrade to T24 for the princely sum of £1.95

    We sell more beanies at £8.95 than we do at £7.50.

    Very rarely, do we get someone upgrade their shipping on eBay, although we do get a few messages asking to ship straight away as they need the item quickly!!

    On eBay, we offer a multi buy discount to take into consideration the combined shipping, but not on Amazon.

    It all down to the customer thinking that they are getting next day shipping at no extra cost (Free!!), but as we know, its just included in the price, because the marketplaces of this world have decreed the P&P is bad.

    It means that customers are paying for Next Day shipping whether they need it or not, plus its creating a type of customer who will place an order for a valentines product late on the Thursday night before Valentines Day on Sunday, whilst they were looking out their window at all the snow lying around, glad that they didn’t have to trudge into town if it had been open. Parcel shipped on Friday delivered Monday, returned Tuesday using free returns label as it did not arrive in time. No doubt, bemoaning to their loved one, that the marketplace let them down and didn’t delivery in time!!

    It seems that we have taken away any thought process or research ability by the customers to make a purchase!!

  • Boyd Davies
    1 week ago

    Very worrying chat with customer support level 3 today. Why the huge difference in these figures, 855 transactions not counted?
    Transaction defect rate
    0.08%
    2 of 2,592 transactions
    Late delivery rate
    0.29%
    5 of 1,737 transactions

    This is apparently because customers have not said they have received their item and or arrived on time.
    1. if customer indicates item was late it goes against you!
    2. If they do nothing its not counted as a transaction and goes against you!
    3. If they say it arrived on time its counted as transaction!
    Thoughts anyone how they get away with this crazy measure of performance?

    Maybe Tame bay could run an article shaming them!

  • NorthCrystal
    1 week ago

    @Toby
    unfortunately most eBay buyers think the delivery starts after they paid… pandemic or not, it “says it will be delivered by X” date.

  • Toby
    7 days ago

    Spot on. I had a buyer complain that an item had not arrived… i checked and they hadn’t paid. I told them this and they replied, ‘ it was urgent hence i opted for faster delivery. You should have seen this and dispatched imediately, then reminded me to pay. I’m only human…’
    I pointed out that 2 payment reminders had been sent, one each day. The reply? ‘I don’t have time to checks several times a day….’
    I rest my case. You cannot win with some buyers. They read what they want to read, believe what they want to believe and any issue, it is always someone elses fault.

  • Andy
    6 days ago

    eBay have never got the concept of this.

    There is “fast” and there is “free” but there is no such thing as “fast and free”

    We offer Special Delivery for £5 which is a guaranteed next day service.

    Hardly any buyers choose it.

    eBay show Royal Mail 48 as “on or before” and show Special Delivery as “estimated by”

    Why now push buyers to choose Special Delivery, (or at least show the benefits of it) up sell it, make it obvious that if a buyer chooses it then it’s a guaranteed service or if the buyer is in no rush then present the free option (Royal Mail 48) as a more realistic estimate.

    eBay would make more money as they get the fees on the postage, the buyer would get a better guaranteed service and the sellers would possibly generate more sales.

    eBay could introduce an “eBay Premium”. Where sellers who can offer guaranteed next day delivery can be filtered or highlighted for buyers who want the next day service. Obviously the Special Delivery is a chargeable service, but allot of buyers want that so at least allow them to search for it.

    What is happening now is eBay are presenting unrealistic optimistic delivery estimates for a free service and so buyers are under the impression their items are arriving late. How long will be before buyers get fed up with all their items arriving “late” and go shop elsewhere.

    All we want is eBay to stop over promising to our buyers as it only leads to these buyers being disappointed.

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