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Good News: eBay Stops Hiding Shipping Options from Buyers

eBay
Good News: eBay Stops Hiding Shipping Options from Buyers

eBay acknowledged yesterday that a policy it implemented 2 years ago was not so great after all and said it would stop hiding shipping options from buyers.

“We listened to your feedback,” it wrote in Tuesday’s announcement, though it didn’t explain why it took so long to act on that feedback.

EcommerceBytes reported on the new policy in June 2019, resulting in 50 comments on the blog post. “How does showing only some of the shipping options benefit the buyer?” was typical of sellers’ reaction at the time.

The eBay announcement from 2019, explained, “Until recently, shipping options outlined for the buyer did not always promote the best value. eBay will now only show the most cost effective shipping services for a given delivery speed, hiding higher priced options” and said it was implementing the policy “to enable buyers to quickly choose the shipping service that best meets their needs.”

In a comment on a letter to the editor decrying the policy in June 2019, a reader theorized the policy was to improve the buying experience for shoppers using mobile devices.

In this week’s reverse-course, eBay acknowledged that some customers walked away from sales because not all shipping options were shown:

“In 2019, we announced available shipping options in a listing that were not the most cost effective for a given delivery speed would be hidden from buyers. We heard that the hidden shipping options created challenges for some sellers, including buyers not seeing the shipping service they wanted and concerns buyers were not purchasing their items because all options were not shown.”

In Tuesday’s announcement, eBay continued:

“We listened to your feedback and we’re again showing all shipping services you offer in your listings. Now buyers can select their preferred carriers, shipping costs, and estimated delivery dates from the options in your listings. We expect the expanded shipping options will create greater efficiencies for sellers and improve the buyer experience.”

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
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.

4 thoughts on “Good News: eBay Stops Hiding Shipping Options from Buyers”

  1. Excellent news. One of those ideas that makes complete sense to people who have never sold anything online for a living, but flies in the face of the experiences of anyone who has done any selling themselves. Unfortunately eBay hires in their own image and recruits whizz-kid programmers who can analyze terabytes of shipping rate data to figure out that ‘eBay knows best’ when it comes to shipping choices and that trumps doing what makes the customer happy.

    Now that they’re sitting in the confessional, perhaps we can ask that they recognize that 500 character feedback is massively asymmetric, to the detriment of sellers? No one is going to write an essay on why you’re a great seller, but some ill-informed buyer will cheerfully fill all available screen inches with a rant on why you should be chastised for USPS delaying their package.

  2. When a buyer selects a higher priced shipping option, say Priority Mail instead of 1st Class, who profits the most?

    A. The Seller
    B. USPS
    C. eBay

    The correct answer is C.

  3. ““We listened to your feedback and we’re again showing all shipping services you offer in your listings. Now buyers can select their preferred carriers, shipping costs, and estimated delivery dates from the options in your listings. We expect the expanded shipping options will create greater efficiencies for sellers and improve the buyer experience.”

    Can someone tell me when eBay was asked to make the change in the first place?

    Be “just the venue” you told the courts you are and be nothing else (like being a greedy lieing cheating SOB not asked for partner).

    We ALL told you it was wrong in the first place … maybe listen to your customers? (you know the ones who actually sell things all day !)

  4. eBay doesn’t know what my customers want. Most of my stuff will ship First Class Parcel but, on those rare occasions when a customer is willing to pay $8+ Priority Mail postage to ship a $7 item, the customer should have that option. And now they will. 🙂

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