Not only are online orders arriving late, but sellers report scanning has become erratic. Some are begging marketplaces to advertise more realistic delivery dates, but one reader says not so fast!
"Amazon has added several days to estimated arrival dates on listings and has given no notice to sellers," the reader wrote. "I noticed and called and they admitted to it."
Why does he object when so many other sellers actually want marketplaces to extend estimated delivery dates? Because Amazon is displaying his offers with delivery well after Christmas, which is having a negative impact on his sales, he said.
"With 1-day handling and 2-4 days shipping time, how can earliest arrival date be 12/30," he wrote.
He said his Chinese rivals offer items cheaper, with delivery delays; "If my item shows similar delays, I will sell nothing as my price is higher!"
His is not the typical complaint from online sellers dealing with shipping gridlock. A seller on the Amazon discussion board
pointed out that customers are now requesting refunds on orders they have yet to receive due to the shipping delays.
As a result, he changed all his remaining in-stock items to 5-8 delivery so they read as "likely won't arrive before Christmas." He and others say Amazon is displaying worrisome messages to buyers. "I'm just wanting Amazon to step up and stop notifying customers that their orders are lost, they are not lost, they are stuck in trailers, containers and hubs, they will arrive, just not when expected."
One of his colleagues showed a screenshot of a message Amazon is reportedly displaying customers impacted by delays. It reads:
"Your package may be lost. We're very sorry your delivery is so late. Although it may still arrive, you can request a refund now," with a link to "Contact seller."
The EcommerceBytes reader who wrote to us about Amazon extending estimated arrival dates wrote back and said he noticed a discrepancy on a sale he had just made.
On his private Amazon seller dashboard it states, "Ship by date: Dec 19, 2020. Deliver by date: Dec 22, 2020 - Dec 24, 2020."
But on the public-facing listing it states: "Arrives Dec 30 - Jan 4. Arrives after Christmas."
"So basically, I am being held by Amazon to a tight timeline, but on the public website Amazon is showing a very extended time (thus making me no better than the Chinese sellers who give the product away)."
Amazon sellers are not alone in their concerns about marketplaces refunding buyers for delayed packages. eBay and Etsy sellers worry buyers may get their money back and keep their item once it finally arrives from the carrier. One seller advised colleagues to let such buyers know they would be reporting them for mail fraud to deter such behavior.