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Sellers Call for Transparency on eBay Estimated Delivery Dates

eBay is making changes to how it measures seller performance as part of the Fall Seller Update, and on-time shipping is a critical factor. But if a seller cannot prove through tracking that they shipped on time, then on-time delivery is what counts. But, as a seller pointed out, eBay does not keep a record of estimated delivery dates that sellers can refer to – for those unfamiliar with the system, eBay sets the dates, not the seller.

Sellers are not happy that eBay determines the estimated delivery date in the first place, feeling the estimates often create unrealistic buyer expectations. But soon, in cases where there’s no proof of on-time shipping, eBay will rely on buyers to report whether an item was delivered by eBay estimated delivery date.

“If we are going to be held accountable for a buyer saying they did not receive by the estimated date, then both sets of dates need to be shown to the seller the buyer and eBay,” an eBay seller told EcommerceBytes.

Sellers are generally unable to determine the estimated delivery date eBay displays to buyers, since eBay varies the date depending on the buyer location in relation to the seller.

eBay spokesperson Karen Crocker Snell had some good news, telling EcommerceBytes, “Starting November 5, 2015, sellers will have access to a preview in their seller dashboard based on the new seller standards. We’ll also include a shipping performance report with details on transactions with late shipments. The report will include details on why the shipment was considered late and specify if it was based on a late delivery confirmation or buyer response.

However, she failed to respond when we followed up and asked if the new report would disclose the estimated date that eBay displayed to the buyer.

For sellers wondering what happens when there’s no tracking information available on the transaction and no response from the buyer, eBay says the transaction will not be included in the on-time shipping calculation. See more information on the eBay website.

Comment on the AuctionBytes Blog.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.