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New eBay Listing Tool Lacks Priority Mail Small Flat-Rate Option

New eBay Listing Tool Lacks Priority Mail Small Flat-Rate Option

eBay is continuing to roll out versions of its new listing tool to additional sellers, some of whom took to the eBay boards to report a problem with shipping options.

One seller explained, “The new listing experience is lacking the ability to select USPS small flat rate box as a shipping option. All other flat rates are available from flat rate envelope to large flat rate box…..but no small flat rate box. I posted in the tech support section because I assume this is a technical problem or an oversight.”

Another seller who said they noticed this problem 3 months ago shared a workaround that added extra steps to the listing process: “I was chatting with an eBay representative about this issue about 3 months ago. Obviously nothing happened, but you can bypass the “glitch” by after picking one of your templates, leave everything blank and go first to SHIPPING. Miraculously the “Add services” window will offer the USPS Priority Mail Small Flat Rate Box.”

Yet another seller noticed others discussing the same problem in recent days and pointed to a separate thread on the eBay boards where sellers were discussing it.

An eBay moderator shared a response from the shipping team, which asked if the seller was listing the package dimensions within the maximum for USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Small Box (8.6875″x 5.4375″x 1.75″).

The seller responded that they believed entering package dimensions was not the problem and was certain that it was a coding issue, writing in part, “You don’t need an estimated package size to ship flat rate because “if it fits it ships” so the estimate is inaccurate and probably this is confusing the entire community. The estimated 7x4x4 8oz default package size shouldn’t prevent the option from showing up. However, the small flat rate box does appear to show up if a package size is manually entered.”

The eBay moderator replied, “Thank you for this updated information. I will be sure to share this with the Shipping Team and once I get another update I will share it with you!”

The original poster had also pointed to a second problem: “Also not an error but we still have no ability to ship Priority Mail Express padded Flat rate envelopes through eBay. eBay only supports the flats intended for documents (USPS doesn’t like those stuffed).”

It may seem to the outside observer that such problems are minor or only affect some people, but to sellers who can’t offer their customers the cheapest shipping options, it’s a major deal.

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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/.

2 thoughts on “New eBay Listing Tool Lacks Priority Mail Small Flat-Rate Option”

  1. Thankfully I’m still on the old listing layout (at least for now). However, I was having catalog-related issues months ago and an eBay rep recommended I try out the new layout. It did resolve the issue I was having, but it presented a series of new issues. Among them, USPS first class was often (though not always) not an option. It prevented me from listing some items, since it’s the cheapest option and using something else would require a significantly higher price. I don’t remember if the small flat rate box was there or not, as that’s not a service I use. Another issue involved removing a secondary shipping option. When doing so, I would get an error message saying that there was no secondary shipping option (that was correct, there wasn’t, but that shouldn’t be an error). I was trying to remove secondary shipping options from over 1,000 listings, and, while some listings went through with no problem, once I got the error, it would persist for days and I could not proceed with edits. It ended up taking several months to get those edits done. Thankfully, I’m back on the old system for now, but not sure how long that will last.

  2. Why do I feel the “Shipping Team” is not based in the US, has no idea what any US shipping options are, nor can the moderators even communicate in the same language with them.

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