EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2844 - July 10, 2012     1 of 3

eBay to Flag Listings with 3-Day Handling

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Beginning in September, eBay will begin calling attention to listings that offer handling times greater than 3 days in an attempt to warn shoppers of longer delivery times and help "set the right expectations" for buyers. Interestingly the announcement comes just after Yahoo Small Business Advisor featured a seller of custom parts who said eBay's new policies were making it difficult for sellers of custom goods to compete on the site. Such sellers need longer handling times in order to customize products to buyers' specification, but eBay is pressuring all sellers to ship "fast and free."

eBay announced the latest change on Monday (July 9), telling sellers, "Buyers like their items to be shipped to them soon after purchase, so make every effort to ship items as promptly as possible."

While buyers won't see any change until mid-September, sellers will start seeing a change immediately. Starting the week of July 9, eBay will begin displaying handling times greater than 3 days as "exception" handling times in the "sell your item" flow.

"You may still choose any handling time for your listings," eBay informed sellers in its announcement - "sometimes longer handling times are appropriate, like if you're shipping custom items - and this new treatment of handling times helps set the right expectations for your buyers."

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About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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