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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2790 - April 25, 2012 - ISSN 1539-5065    1 of 3

eBay Finally Fixes Expedited Shipping Misnomer

By Ina Steiner
April 25, 2012

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A year and a half after sellers told eBay that First Class mail should not be described as "expedited" on their listings, the online marketplace is making a change to its shipping designation. eBay is reclassifying USPS First Class Package service from "Expedited" to "Standard." It's unclear why eBay is making the change now, considering the negative reaction from sellers at the time it rolled out the change in 2010.

This AuctionBytes Blog post from September 2010 notes the response from sellers who were concerned that buyers would feel deceived when they realized an item advertised as offering "expedited" shipping was sent USPS First Class. One reader wrote of a colleague who had received an email from a buyer who wanted a refund due to "false advertising and inconvenience" because eBay had automatically changed "First Class Mail" to "expedited shipping" on the seller's listing.

eBay was unapologetic in its announcement that it would change the designation for First Class Package from expedited to standard, and said the decision was based on "historical data which shows that First-Class Package service fits the Standard, not Expedited delivery window."

eBay's reclassification of USPS First-Class service means it that rather than showing an estimated delivery time of 2 to 3 business days, it will show an estimated delivery time of 2 to 5 business days. In addition, the name will change from First-Class Mail to First-Class Package.

eBay also wrote in its announcement that the change would "set the right expectations for your buyers, which helps protect your Detailed Seller Ratings," an indication of the consequences that the misnomer may have had on sellers' feedback.

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 ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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