Shipping and delivery issues were top of mind for eBay sellers in the runup to Christmas, but many of their concerns are not likely to evaporate on December 26th – nor are sellers on eBay unique in their concerns over on-time delivery.
During eBay’s weekly chat session on Wednesday (December 15), questions for the marketplace reflected the pressure sellers are under to ensure their packages arrive on buyers’ doorsteps in a timely manner.
“If a buyer purchases something from me a 1 am on Monday and I have a 1-day handling time can that item ship out anytime on Tuesday,” a seller asked – “Also, do weekends count?”
An eBay moderator replied, “If you offer a 1-day handling time, it’s not based on 24 hours – it’s the end of the next business day. If an item is purchased on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday though, it will need to have an acceptance scan by Monday 11:59:59pm.”
Since Christmas falls on a Saturday and most federal workers have Christmas Eve off, it wasn’t surprising to see one seller ask if eBay would extend protections to sellers if their local shipping carriers were not offering pick-up on December 24th.
“We’re receiving a run-around with USPS in trying to figure out the Holiday hours for Christmas Eve. Our postman has confirmed that our station will be running on Holiday hours and pick ups may not be available, but he doesn’t know off hand what those hours will be as he won’t be working that day,” the seller explained. “Will eBay be providing any assistance or protections to sellers if their local shipping services are not available for Christmas eve? Or will we be out of luck if options are not available?”
An eBay moderator didn’t know but offered advice, including the following: “If you find that your regular carrier won’t work out on Christmas Eve, see if there is another carrier that will. You could also add additional handling time once you hit that window or consider canceling the sale if that’s going to be easiest and your metrics are in good shape.”
The moderator responded a second time, linking to a response from a moderator on eBay’s shipping team in a separate thread that offered the following response to such concerns:
“We are aware that some post offices and areas will have reduced hours or pick up on December 24th. For sellers impacted by shorter hours, you will be protected for late shipment as long as the package receives an acceptance scan by end of day Monday, December 27.”
Readers should note that the Post Offices will be closed on December 25 and may have either reduced or extended hours on the 24th.
Another participant on the chat board asked if eBay would extend protections for sellers impacted by USPS weather-related delays.
The eBay moderator said eBay historically protected sellers over shipping delays caused by severe weather conditions. “Keep an eye on our Announcements board and if weather is that bad, it’s usually newsworthy, so you can work towards appealing any defects you may receive by making that known to Customer Support.” The moderator also recommended reviewing the Seller performance and feedback policy help page to get more info about when defects could be removed.
Another issue sellers encounter especially this time of year is when a buyer makes a purchase but requests a shipping delay, such as someone travelling for the holidays who would not be home to receive the package. “When is eBay going to recognize that buyers sometimes wish to delay delivery after buying an item? How can a seller respond to buyer requests that will result in a late shipment according to eBay? Who is right – the buyer or eBay,” the seller asked.
A moderator offered this response: “a late shipment ding can be appealed by Customer Support if the buyer requested you to delay shipment after they paid. Just make sure that the conversation happened in eBay messages or as a note to you when they checked out (CS will need to be able to see the message from the buyer).”
Sellers had questions about other topics, including payment disputes, and one seller said they encountered an issue where eBay was forcing them to spend $2.99 to advertise a listing.
And, remember that issue where eBay was contacting some sellers requesting they file an IRS Form W-9? A seller said last year eBay prevented his wife who operates a single-member LLC from using her Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) when migrating to Managed Payments, forcing her to use her social security number instead.
eBay recently informed her she was required to submit a W-9 form, but after doing so, the information in her account has yet to be updated with the correct information.
“This isn’t something we have additional information to provide publicly,” a moderator responded. “I will need to point you back to the Payments team to get answers to your questions. I will pass your feedback on as to having more information made publicly available though, as to how this all works.”