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Strikes and Holidays Can Harm eBay Seller Feedback

eBay told sellers in Ireland and the UK that it would protect their accounts from any negative consequences of delayed mail resulting from a postal strike in Ireland. But it may be unlikely to do the same when packages are delayed due to a 4-day suspension of mail over the Christmas holidays.

eBay told sellers on Monday its feedback-protection policy would go into effect over the Irish postal service mail strike:

“You may be aware of the recent An Post workers strike in Ireland from 1-6 October. We want to let you know that we’re protecting any transactions affected by this across eBay.co.uk and eBay.ie. That means you’re protected against any defects for late deliveries, negative or neutral feedback or item not received cases.”

In this instance, eBay will also protect Irish and UK sellers “even if you didn’t use a tracked service for the transaction,” it announced.

eBay UK also informed sellers that it would adjust the estimated delivery dates for international orders on eBay.co.uk to take into account the holiday delivery schedules of Royal Mail and Parcelforce. eBay displays estimated delivery dates using its own calculations rather than seller-provided information.

Interestingly there will be an unusually long break in mail delivery in the UK this year, as the Boxing Day holiday will be celebrated on Monday December 28th, since the 26th falls on a Saturday – Royal Mail has received permission to suspend mail delivery on both days.

That means if a package you send to a UK customer doesn’t get there by December 24th, your customer will have to wait until the 29th to receive it at the earliest.

Whether customers will take out their frustration on merchants over Royal Mail’s 4-day Christmas holiday break remains to be seen, and if that’s the case, it’s uncertain whether eBay would protect sellers from the resulting fallout.

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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/.