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EcommerceBytes Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor
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Wed Feb 2 2011 13:22:11

eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
Dear Ina,
First of all, just want to say I really enjoy your newsletter and website...a great way to keep up on what is happening in the world of auction sites.

Haven't found anything on your site or anywhere else about this and just wanted to share it in case the power of your pen (keys?) can bring some light to this situation.

Since at least November the shipping information for an item displayed on eBay shows the same delivery time for regular first class mail (offered for free) and Priority mail as shown below:

Free shipping
United States
Expedited Shipping (USPS First Class Mail)
Within 3-4 business days

US $5.00
United States
Expedited Shipping (USPS Priority Mail)
Within 3-4 business days

Have discussed this with other sellers and we are all experiencing customer complaints that the product wasn't delivered as promised...even when shipping the next business day regular first class mail does not cover the country consistently in 3 - 4 business days (plus as eBay notes this includes seller handling time).

Customers are obviously not selecting priority mail as an option; why pay more for the same service? (Priority mail is a break even proposition for us, but it is an important option if the customer really needs the item quickly.)

This has been brought to the attention of the top seller support group 3 different times since November by me (whenever I call about a different issue I present this to the rep) and all three of the reps agreed this was wrong and were planning on reporting it. It seems to me that this misleading information sets up sellers to fail by showing a commitment that cannot be met each time.

One of my firm beliefs in selling on eBay is that each seller really represents all of the other sellers....buyers will walk away from the site entirely if they feel they are not getting treated fairly on eBay by someone.

Not sure if this issue warrants discussion by you in your newsletter or website, but to me it appears that a simple programming change can keep buyers from being disappointed for no reason. Sellers work hard enough to make a living on eBay and meet customer expectations....we do not need any misinformation from eBay adding to our challenges.

Thanks for reading my rant!
(please leave off my eBay ID and name)

Note from the Editor: More information about this issue is available on this AuctionBytes Blog post.




Comments (28) | Permalink
Readers Comments

eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message   eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message
by: Average Bowler
       
Wed Feb 2 15:12:18 2011
Things like this are among the MANY reasons that we small Sellers are unhappy with eBay and why we distrust eBay so much.

Of course something like this could be EASILY fixed and clarified... yet eBay does not bother to do it.

Why? Nobody knows! We're left in the dark trying to come up with explanations on our own.

Looking at all other scraps of evidence and clues laying around, we can conclude that this is simply a matter of sloppy programming and poor communication between programmers, designers, and policy-makers.

True, communication snafus happen in big businesses like eBay... but this has been going on for so long, and it's so prevalent, it makes one wonder why (after all these months) nobody has bothered to fix it.

Are they just lazy? Do they not care? Are they completely out of touch?

Other clues lead us to the conclusion that eBay is actively engaging in behavior that CREATES dissatisfied buyers. Of course (??) they don't want to do things that will permanently drive the buyers away... but maybe they want to create ''just enough'' dissatisfaction that the buyers will leave poor feedback/DSR's.

But why would they want to do that? Amongst ourselves, we theorize that eBay wants to increase their bottom line by denying sellers the fvf discounts.

But why would they want to do that? Sellers with less income will list less and therefore SELL less, and therefore eBay will get less in fvf's.

But why would they want to do that? That one is a mystery, but it appears that with fewer mom-n-pop small sellers, then that leaves more room for the diamond sellers and the purveyors of dollar-store junk.

As I try to figure out why eBay does certain things (and refuses to do other things) I feel as though I'm in a hall of mirrors, a garden labyrinth, or that I've fallen down the rabbit hole. Up is down and down is up.

Evidence of this can be seen in the quarterly reports. They beam with pride at a 4% increase, while the small sellers are looking at ever-decreasing traffic and sales...and increasing fees.

It's absolutely insane.
eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message   eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message
by: walter
       
Wed Feb 2 19:08:22 2011
They do it because it makes the buyers think they will get it extra fast. It's for the diamond sellers.

Sure a small seller will get knocked out but they don't care, that's what they want.

A diamond seller can do whatever they want. Get 3,000 negs, 4,000 dsr- 1 and 2's a month and get a certificate of excellence and front page space.

Amazon hasn't gained 40 million extra visitors in 3 years because Donuthole is doing a great job for Ebay. Amazon has grown because of the terrible job he has done. He has pushed sellers in any direction they can flee.

Even the Diamond sellers prefer Amazon. Ebay gets the Amazon rejected Diamonds. The cloudy ones that run out of stock.


At least Ebay announced there was a severe winter storm so customers should expect delayed shipments.

Also sellers should expect to receive low dsr's and most likely be indefinitely restricted because of the winter storm.

Nincompoop Innovation brought to you by Dononoodle and his noodlettes.  
eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message   eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message
by: Big eBay Seller
       
Wed Feb 2 20:24:27 2011
Let's not forget to add that the eBay shipping price glitch Ina reported on was never fully fixed. On domestic multi-item orders, eBay continues to default the more expensive shipping option first. Buyers who bought because of "free shipping" see that option listed second. It lists the $4.99 Priority Mail shipping first. But that's the price listed in ebay's form letters. So they buy free shipping and get invoiced for $4.99 Priority and it isn't clear how to change it (at least not for the buyers it seems). eBay's checkout and non-existent shopping cart is a mess - but this unaddressed bug that was publicized remains unfixed for no reason other than they're lazy. I guess they're too busy not enforcing the counterfeits from Asia to care about how bad the site has become to use.
eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message   eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message
by: Expediate This
       
Wed Feb 2 22:11:35 2011
Do you really believe eBay cares about buyers or sellers? They are only interested in moving money around within the company and of course their darling Paypal. Whatever gets them from quarter to quarter. Selling stock, buying stock, increasing listings .. whatever looks good and makes them short term money. Ebay has made me cynical especially over the last 3 years, can't you tell?

As to the expediated issue, it has become another dodging bullet done IMO to save FVFs. Changing the terminology of the US Post Office but still using the USPS is just beyond arrogance and meant to give buyers unrealistic delivery expectations.

I received my first 1 rating in DSRs for shipping time due to this expediated crap. I even mailed the same day as payment and mailed first class. Of course, eBay states the DSRs are only an opinion and we are not allowed to contact the buyer for the fear of being suspended, limited exposure or all their other threats du jour.

eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message   eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message
by: Linda
       
Thu Feb 3 00:51:10 2011
I completely agree with the original letter. Because I'm in California, I inform buyers First Class Mail takes approximately 3-6 business days. Priority mail takes 2-3. These are times based on the USPS website, depending how the buyer’s distance from California. How hard would it be to write a script and use my zip code and the buyer’s zip code to estimate an arrival date accordingly. Using eBay’s shipping widget, eBay estimates a delivery to a California zip code the same time as a delivery to Georgia. How can that be accurate? Very frustrating indeed!
eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message   eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message
by: Rick1313
       
Thu Feb 3 00:58:01 2011
eBay,inc.'s attempt at saying that it is sellers' EDT and not eBay's is actionable in a court of law.

eBay falsely represents the post office EDT's. They are not blanket estimates, as eBay would have sellers and buyers believe is the case.

It is also another case of breaching their site literature that they like to call a user agreement.

If you are affected, or will be in the future, keep your records in order and hard copied. If eBay refuses to correct the matter, then it is up to you to decide if legal proceedings are necessary to protect your business interest.

They have my registered letter (signature required as potential value may exceed US$250) on the matter (sent last summer) stating that they will be held liable if any unwarranted outcome would affect my account standing and billing.
eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message   eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message
by: Can't agree this time
       
Thu Feb 3 00:58:38 2011
I have been one of the most vocal critics of the eBay changes over the past 3 years but this is one complaint I cannot agree with.
I have found that 1st class mail gets delivered just as fast as Priority.
Priority is 1st Class that weighs over 13 ounces.
If you are having problems with 1st Class taking longer I suggest you investigate your local post office.
In the last 10 years I have shipped over 200,000 parcels with only 3 getting lost and very few delayed.
I might just be lucky but delivery times have NEVER been a problem with me
eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message   eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message
by: mo
       
Thu Feb 3 01:19:55 2011
Everyone needs to get out now and move on before it's too late and you wake up one day to find out one of your stars took a hit overnight and you're business is through. You can't pay the bills because of one mindless idiot. Well...two mindless idiots if you add in donutboy.

Boocoo.com

Move there tell your friends spread the word. We all built Ebay we can all gather and promote the new next best thing.

12 years on Ebay....I'm Top Rated on two accounts both with 100% feedback and I'm scared to list an item because I have 2 ones in item as described.

I have no idea who left them and all my feedback is GLOWING so bright I have to wear sunglasses to look at it.

Ebay is auto ejecting hundreds of small sellers under donuthole for these dsrs while he sits in his ivory tower stuffing bon bons in Megs mouth.
eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message   eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message
by: eBuyer Feedback This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Thu Feb 3 02:44:25 2011
''Can't agree this time'' is right about first class vs priority.  They are exactly the same service just at different price points.  I've been told this by countless postal workers and have even visited Post Offices where they don't even bother calling 1st class mail anything else except priority (they still charge 1st class rates for 13 oz or less though).  The only reason I will offer priority is because I can charge the actual postage on it (I give 1st class for free) so I make a little extra profit.  The buyer feels more in control and perceives their item arriving sooner.  So I make more money and have happier customers.

The real problem is that eBay uses a flat shipping time regardless of the distance between buyer and seller and then calls it expedited.  ''Expedited'' sounds like something I'd expect to receive in 1 or 2 days.  Then they let the buyer rate the how long it took for the item to arrive rather than using real data that is readily available.
eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message   eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message
by: Chris
       
Thu Feb 3 08:47:09 2011
I usually think of the problem like this: use First Class Mail for shipments which are 13 ounces or less. Use Priority Mail for shipments over 13 ounces. First Class to nearby zones should arrive as quickly as Priority. When mailing across the US I think First Class SOMETIMES takes an extra day or possibly two to arrive ?
eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message   eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message
by: Jo
       Web Site
Thu Feb 3 11:42:29 2011
I've had buyers tell me they dont need their widgets shipped next day they want them mailed priority mail and get a discount for the difference.Definetly alot of confusion out there.
eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message   eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message
by: Ab Reader
       
Thu Feb 3 11:48:45 2011
The common person is utterly clueless when it comes to shipping matters. But eBay buyers are a special breed.
eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message   eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message
by: bill
       
Thu Feb 3 18:04:08 2011
expedited shipping in ebay's mind is first class mail and priority mail note I said ebay's mind that should pput in in perspective. I also doubt that any programmer or engineer ebay has working on this is from the US so they have no clue about the USPS. Ebay has lost control and is unable to do anything but check the stocjk price and give judges and politicians campaign contributions
eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message   eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message
by: Rick1313
       
Thu Feb 3 23:58:25 2011
Wait until eBay changes the DSR for shipping time.

Since its inception, buyer is suppose to rate if the seller shipped out the item in their specified ship out time.

Many buyers do not understand or ignore this and rate that category by how long it took to get the package.

Sometime in 2011, this DSR will change to ''Did package arrive in seller's stated/estimated delivery time frame?''.

Watch what will then happen to the DSR percentages for that DSR category.

If it arrives outside eBay's (not sellers as they want the entire community to believe it is) EDT frame, how severely will buyers hit the seller?

Something to think about if one is looking to start or expand their use of an eBay selling site.
eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message   eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message
by: snowlady1
       
Fri Feb 4 01:52:59 2011
Just try being an eBay Seller from Alaska or Hawaii. The eBay shipping estimates are totally off-base. They post Media Mail as being 7-10 days, when it takes 2-5 weeks from here. I just got my 3rd 1 or 2 DSR for shipping because of that lie that eBay refuses to change. I do my best to educate Buyers, but most don't care or believe me. Even when I post the evidence (Deliv. Conf.) that I shipped the item the same day they paid!

So now I've had my Top-Rated Seller status revoked, and the only reason is the 3 low ratings for shipping. Even though I state all over my listings, checkout and Custom Page the correct shipping times. Even though I ALWAYS offer a very fast shipping method, as well. Bummer.
eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message   eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message
by: Judith Loebel
       
Fri Feb 4 01:53:53 2011
I try and make sure that I post in EVERY listing that ebay's ship calc is NOT accurate and that the buyer should contact ME in advance for both ship COST and TIME.  This does work if you are lucky enough to get a buyer who READS the listing.  I don't charge "extra" for the boxes etc (well I get most of them free and the big ones I buy for antique skis I count in the list price!)  and I have had a lot of comments on buyers appreciating this.  But with the bizarre "requirement" of being forced to have a Del Confirm on EVERY item---well I might have to change that.  I still do not add this unless the item is over a few $$$ as it just seems stoopid.  
And the PO web site SUCKS big time---try calculating something slightly out of the ordinary!  Like those skis---I have been shipping skis for YEARS and just was informed that there is now a "Balloon Charge" of possibly $50 to $75 on EACH package!!!!!   The website will "quote" you between $15 and $20 to ship----and this is WITH inputting the height etc.  And different PO's will charge this---or some form of it---and some don't.  No rhyme or reason.  And I highly doubt that ANY buyer is going to want to pay MORE than the price of the item---more than DOUBLING the cost---to ship the things.   But once again I think Donohole should be locked in a room with a PC and forced to play "The Ebay Game"  and make his LIVING using ebay.  My dream and his worst nightmare!!!!!!!!  
eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message   eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message
by: Quik Shipper
       
Fri Feb 4 10:45:09 2011
Buyers, especially those who do not understand the difference between SHIPPING time and DELIVERY time, will hold the seller accountable for everything. We ship immediately-most items leave the same day, everything the next business day, 6 days a week. We no longer show that we use Priority Mail OR First Class-everything is listed as "economy shipping rate".  This will allow a few extra days for delivery. We are on the far eastern coast - packages getting to CA or NV are going to take longer than 3 days, no matter what ebay tells these buyers. So the buyer then thinks the package is late if it arrives on day 4 which is pretty darn fast if you ask me. Change all listings to show the slowest delivery option. If the PO does it's job you'll look like a superstar because the package will arrive prior to the expected delivery date. The wisest advice yet? Stop selling on ebay.  Amazon is a much kinder platform and buyers have REALISTIC expectations.  
eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message   eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message
by: Rick1313
       
Fri Feb 4 11:09:54 2011
To Snowlady 1's post...

On the flip side of your problem is eBay,inc. telling sellers to block out Alaska, Hawaii and the protectorates if they are a ''problem'' with their EDT frames.

So they say to reduce your potential client base, but still pay the same fees.

All this, while still officially stating they are just a selling venue and do not take part in a transaction.

This exclusion option can be used to show that eBay,inc. acknowledges that sellers have been unjustifiably damaged by inaccurate buyer feedback and/or DSR entries.

It is something any affected seller can use against eBay,inc. in a court of law if they feel they have to protect their business interest.

Nothing like using their own words against them, I say.

There is such a wealth of such instances in their site literature, that it really is mind boggling how they leave themselves so wide open.

Guess their number crunchers say the payouts they will have to do for those pursuing proper compensation for eBay,inc.'s bad faith business practices, will be less than what eBay,inc. perceives will be their financial gain after all the changes are in place and the dust has settled.

The dust they are kicking up is pretty high and will not settle for quite a few years.
eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message   eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message
by: Jumpin Jimmy Jackson
       
Fri Feb 4 20:42:04 2011
yeah wait til ebay expands the retarded dsr system... next phase it will have probably 100-200 different ''ratings'' required to fill out, hoops to jump through. Ever see the movie ''Brazil''? it's endless BS foisted off by committees forever, complicating everything beyond hope and belief. just dump ebay, people, it is a hopeless mess. Incredible that the morons can't see the forest for the trees (ebay execs is whom I refer to here). incredible really. wow. you'd think they'd learn the basic lesson that simplicity=truth, and complexity=lies. This is why ebay succeeded originally, simplicity, and these idiots fail to understand that at all. amazing, stupid, shocking.
eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message   eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message
by: another side of the coin
       
Sat Feb 5 00:19:19 2011
Even though Priority and First Class are the same, Paypal does not call either ''expediated'' when making a shipping label. Also on Paypal First Class is considered Parcel with a longer ship time than Priority. Once again eBay is telling the buyer one thing and the seller something different. Wonder if the USPS knows about eBay's ''expediated'' shipping and delivery time changes?
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