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eBay UK Adjusts Delivery Estimates for Christmas

eBay is adjusting the way it displays delivery estimates in the listings of its UK sellers to account for the policies of independent shipping couriers in the run-up to Christmas. eBay UK also said it would monitor service levels as the holiday approaches.

Last year, eBay UK had extended delivery estimates shown to shoppers in mid-December as couriers became overwhelmed with holiday orders, a predicament that was widely publicized in the press.

eBay UK announced on Monday: “From 16 December delivery estimates on eBay.co.uk for Royal Mail, Parcelforce, Hermes, DPD and CollectPlus services will be adjusted in accordance with each courier’s recommended last posting dates for Christmas deliveries.”

eBay’s practice of displaying delivery estimates in listings is quite controversial – and the methodology it uses to determine dates to display is a secret. Last week, eBay revealed that it used an extension of estimated delivery dates on the listings of sellers who consistently miss their handling times – “To improve buyer satisfaction,” it explained. It then went on to announce a change to these extensions.

eBay UK is only now starting to integrate tracking information into sellers’ accounts for couriers – it added UK Mail and Hermes in late November, and said it would support additional couriers in the New Year.

Hermes issued its own announcement on Monday, with a spokesperson telling EcommerceBytes it was expanding its delivery resources to meet the significant increase in parcel volumes across Europe during the holiday season. It expects parcel volumes to be up 32% in the UK compared to non-peak times, and it said in Austria, parcel volumes are already up 15 percent.

Measures it is taking include increased staff and vehicle numbers and Saturday deliveries in certain countries.

Hermes also noted that cutoff times for its BorderGuru service for US merchants fulfilling orders to Europe was December 17th for deliveries to Europe, Australia and Canada, and December 16 for deliveries to the rest of the world.

eBay UK’s announcement about delive

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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). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.