eBay is expanding its Guaranteed Delivery program that it launched on a small scale last year as part of its efforts to appeal to buyers who want speedy delivery of their packages. On Friday, it announced it would soon expand the program (currently gated) and would open it up to sellers who sell at least 100 items a year and who have a late-shipment rate below 5%.
Guaranteed delivery dates only appear in listings that meet the program’s requirements. That includes same-day or 1-day handling time; specifying eligible carrier services; and including a postal code to the listing location.
A moderator explained why eBay created the Guaranteed Delivery program in an online post last summer: “Fast delivery is important to today’s buyers, and more than two-thirds of eBay items are already delivered within three days, but many online buyers are not aware of that. Adding the benefit of a guarantee will help change that perception and bring more buyers to eBay.”
Many believe it’s part of eBay’s efforts to compete with Amazon, which has raised the bar for delivery speed and cost for all retailers.
eBay will expand the program between May 1 and May 31, at which point sellers who become eligible will see their listings that meet Guaranteed Delivery requirements begin featuring a delivery date guaranteed. eBay notified newly eligible sellers via email and eBay Message Center.
Some sellers have been trying without success to join the program since the fall. One of the selling points: eBay has a filter in search that allows shoppers to exclude listings that don’t guarantee delivery dates. But others see the program as potentially harmful – for instance, in cases where the shipping carrier fails to scan their packages in a timely fashion – the only way to prove they met their handling-time requirement.
The fact that eBay is opting in sellers who will then have to opt-out if they choose not to participate is not sitting well with many sellers who received Friday’s notification. You can read more on the EcommerceBytes Blog, where you can let us know what you think of Friday’s development.