Both eBay and Etsy offered advice to sellers impacted by the shipping disruption that hit UK’s postal service midweek last week. According to the BBC, the incident was caused by a cyber attack known as ransomware, describing it as “malicious computer software that encrypts data and locks up systems.”
Incredibly, Royal Mail advised UK residents and businesses not to send international letters or parcels until it resolves the issue. As of Sunday evening (Eastern time), the last update about the incident was posted on Friday.
Online sellers in the UK are impacted. Etsy issued an announcement on Thursday and it added an update on Friday, telling sellers, “We know this has impacted some Etsy sellers, and we support you.”
Etsy also addressed an issue that could compound trouble for some sellers – the impact of delayed shipments on their Star Seller Status – it said it was looking into ways to mitigate potential Star Seller impacts for February.
In the meantime, Etsy advised sellers:
While Royal Mail works to fix the situation, affected sellers can take the following actions to minimize impacts on their day-to-day operations. We recommend:
- Determining what alternative carrier is the next best fit for your business while resolving this issue so you can continue to ship orders on time.
- Messaging buyers proactively if their orders may be delayed. If there’s an order you don’t feel you can fulfill, you always have the option to cancel it and let the buyer know about the situation.
- If you already purchased a shipping label through Etsy and haven’t shipped the item yet, you can request a refund for the label and seek an alternative carrier option.
Once regular service is restored, UK sellers can resume purchasing and printing Royal Mail postage labels directly from their Shop Manager.
eBay also advised sellers through an announcement on the eBay UK Seller Announcement board:
We are monitoring the situation closely and to mitigate any delays that may arise, time has also been added to the delivery estimates we display to international buyers whilst the carrier is remedying the situation.
Until the issue is fixed, to help ensure you are not adversely affected, please use alternative carriers such as UPS or DPD via eBay delivery powered by Packlink. You can also use eBay’s Global Shipping Programme (GSP) to send your items.
To help reduce the impact on your business, eBay will automatically protect your performance on transactions between 4 January until 16 January 2023 for items listed with Royal Mail International services.
It’s unknown how long UK’s international mail will be impacted.