Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon June 3 2019 22:23:35

eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is limiting the number of shipping options shown to buyers, it announced today. The change, which it calls an improvement to the buying experience, impacts listing pages and checkout pages.

It seemed eBay did some time travelling in making the announcement - on June 3rd, it wrote that the change would go into effect on May 28th.

eBay stated in its announcement:

"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."

Some key points sellers should know:

- The first shipping option you designate will always be shown on the listing and in search and never removed.

- This change applies to ship-to-home services only. It will not apply to Buy Online Pick Up in Store (BOPIS) or Local Pickup.

- Shipping options with guaranteed by dates are prioritized if speed and cost is the same as a non-guaranteed delivery.

In an accompanying screenshot, eBay shows a listing where a seller offers free shipping via USPS along with three alternatives via FedEx. With the new change, eBay leaves the free USPS shipping option and the two most expensive FedEx options, but it removes the cheapest FedEx option - apparently since it has an estimated delivery date that is 5 days longer than the free USPS Priority Mail option. 

What do you think of the concept - take a look at the screenshot in eBay's announcement showing "before" and "after," and let us know if you think that provides buyers with a better experience than showing all options.

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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers   eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 3 23:26:30 2019

Once again Ebay feels the need to Micro Manage my business for me rather than focus on fixing the real problem, which is their platform and upper Managements  lack of knowledge on how to run their own company.  I wonder how long the cheapest method will be what Ebay shows the Buyer, as it is much more lucrative for them to show the highest shipping cost as that once again benefits Ebay since their 10% FVF just jumped with that change.

It's funny how so many businesses were doing just great on here and ebay was blowing away their competition due to allowing Sellers to run their own businesses.  But once they got an outsider who knew nothing about Ecommerce or how ebay ran, suddenly all the businesses that had built Ebay had no clue how to run a business  So it suddenly became a venture Capitalist from Bains job to teach us how to only plan for the immediate future and ignore the long term effects of all these new rules.  

Even the Monkey quit or was terminated from Ebay because it was impossible for him to get anything done with both hands tied behind his back as well as being blindfolded so he could not see all the theft that Ebay was allowing.  By blindfolding him they could continue to say they were just a venue and all issues are between the buyer and seller, until it suddenly wasn't.

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers   eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Jun 4 00:21:47 2019

How does showing only some of the shipping options benefit the buyer? Not everyone needs their items to arrive yesterday. Lots of people are very happy with something taking longer to arrive at a cheaper cost. Once again eBay, which knows nothing about the individual businesses on its "venue," thinks it knows better than one of its sellers (who may have been on the site for 20 years). When is this company going to wake up to the fact that if it would just stop meddling in every seller's business, it might actually show a growth above 2%.  

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers   eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 4 06:31:31 2019

''How does showing only some of the shipping options benefit the buyer? ''

It doesn't, of course.  It benefits eBay.  At buyer expense.  Just like every other 'feature baloon' they've released over the past decade.  Marketplace 101 - never assume what the buyer's needs, motivations, or wallet comprises.  

Lke that car shopper who tells the dealer he'll take that white car on the lot.  And the dealer says, ''Oh no!  You don't want that one, it doesn't have an engine.  Not for sale.  What you want is this red one over here instead.''  

''That's a shame then,'' says the buyer on the way out. ''Because I already have an engine.  I just wanted the body to put it in.''

You want to give buyers a better ''experience''?  Quit thinking you know better than they do what they want.  Give them MORE options that appeal to MORE buyers.  Limits do the opposite.  As in, if it doesn't fit, they will just quit.

Or like that notable line from the movie 'Pretty Woman', where Robert's character gets to go back to the store that dissed her because they assumed she was indigent the previous day, and after spending thousands 'elsewhere' and now wearing the 'appropriate' evidence of significant disposable wealth asks, ''You remember me from yesterday when you wouldn't wait on me?  You work on commission, right?''

''Big mistake! Huge!''



Perminate Link for eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers   eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers

by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 4 07:33:12 2019

And the hits just keep onnnnnn coming...

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers   eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 4 08:51:48 2019

Just plain STUPID in a long list of stupid things that they do these days.

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers   eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 4 09:30:20 2019

Streamlining shipping options is one thing, removing options because "YOU" dont think someone wants them is quite another.

Notice the CHEAPER option was removed (just cause eBay thought a day later delivery was too late).

The real question is - the same as always with eBay - WHY make theses changes? "who asked you to"?

If its not broken - dont fix it - theres 100000000 OTHER more important things that need fixing - why play?

All this shows is the lack of experience of "the CEO" on how to run a business. I dont know what embarrassing picture or email DW has on eBay - but it must be a whopper and mighty embarrassing for his to continue to keep his job when eBay shows flat growth on Stubhub, minimal growth on eBay and NO plan of action to grow the company besides more advertising in sellers listings.

What a bunch of dopes.

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers   eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Tue Jun 4 09:36:32 2019

Take away shipping options like they did with GTC and spin it as 'best value.'  

The ONLY thing this company does anymore is invent ways to get higher fees.

Remove the cheapest shipping option = higher fees.

David Wenig is a cancer and needs to be removed yesterday.

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers   eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers

by: lessthanthreerecords This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 4 10:01:48 2019

The fact that eBay announced this on the 3rd doesn't mean it's new.  I first noticed this weeks ago.  My Priority Mail options (which are offered at an extra cost) were not showing.  However, when I went to revise my listings to add it back, it WAS showing.  When I contacted eBay about it, they basically explained what was stated in this article.  However, they had no sufficient answer to my followup.  I ship many items in tubes.  Anyone who regularly ships tubes via USPS knows that they almost NEVER arrive by the estimated delivery date.  If 1 out of 100 arrives on time, it's a miracle.  For smaller tubes, I am able to make the weight cut-off for first class, so I offer that as a free option, and then Priority as an option at an additional cost.  For many/most locations, USPS estimates the same delivery date for first class and priority (maybe first class is 1 day later at most).  However, as already stated, tubes DO NOT arrive on that date.  It is not uncommon for a first class tube to be estimated to take 2 days, but actually take 2 WEEKS.  What I will say is that a tube shipped priority mail DOES tend to get there CLOSER to the estimate - still late, but maybe only by a few days.  So, despite the fact that USPS estimates are close or the same for first class and priority, does NOT mean that they are likely to actually arrive at the same time.  eBay should realize this, especially since myself and other sellers I am in contact with have brought it to their attention many times.  Let me illustrate dates as an example.  If I shipped 2 tubes separately today, June 4, one via first class, and one via priority, the priority one would likely be estimated by USPS to arrive on June 6, and the first class either June 6 or June 7.  In all likelihood, the priority one would arrive Saturday or Monday (June 8 or 10).  But the first class tube would likely take AT LEAST until the end of next week.  I am always the first one to tell a buyer that neither first class nor priority is GUARANTEED by a specific date, however, USPS estimates are MEANINGLESS for tubes, and many buyers know this.  So, to assume they do not want a faster service is ludicrous.

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers   eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Jun 4 10:23:19 2019

"Notice the CHEAPER option was removed (just cause eBay thought a day later delivery was too late)."

The cheaper option was removed because eBay doesn't make as much off cheap shipping!

This is a slap in the buyers face!

All it's going to do is make buying on eBay more expensive. . . .

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers   eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Tue Jun 4 11:19:41 2019

I initially read "shipping options" as "shopping options."  I would offer more than Priority if the USPS website offered more than Priority.

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers   eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Tue Jun 4 11:46:22 2019

Just an update. On Sunday, I deleted all 226 listings. Monday I did a sell similar on all of them, plus reissued some auctions.

In the past 24 hours I have had four sales and many questions. So, while this is not clear proof that GTC is not good for business (1 test study doesn't mean beans really), it my case it has made me pretty darn sure that it was killing my sales.

I am lucky because I have so many items I can list each month that I can shut down my items without cost. The one exception to that was I did staggered listings every 2 minutes. Yup, that cost me .10 cents each, but at least I don't have them all ending at once. We'll see how the rest of the week plays out, but so far so good. (Just heard another cha ching while I was typing this)

Dear Mr Wenig. In the hopes you would see more darn fees put on sellers with GTC, I think all you are doing is digging a deeper hole.

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers   eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 4 11:55:59 2019

Ebay's whole philosophy is telling buyers what they should want and need, not allowing buyers to make that choice. Its the very fundamentals of how they changed search, that Ebay wll show buyers what Ebay wants them to see, not what the buyer wants to see.

Ebay management is backwards, unintelligent, and incompetent

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers   eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers

by: b86fiero This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 4 12:06:41 2019

Is there a way for buyers to see the hidden options?  

If seller inputted six shipping options and eBay shows only four  is there a button / link to see additional options?

Or are those additional options arbitrarily removed from the listing never to be seen?  

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers   eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers

by: Ebay Little Shop of Horrors This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 4 14:49:27 2019

Is Ebay getting a kickback from Fedex?

Are they an advertiser?

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers   eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Tue Jun 4 16:12:44 2019

''eBay will now only show the most cost effective shipping services for a given delivery speed, hiding higher priced options.''

''eBay leaves the free USPS shipping option and the two most expensive FedEx options, but it removes the cheapest FedEx option.''

So ebay is ''hiding higher priced options'' yet the accompanying screenshot shows the removal of the cheapest FedEx option. How does that work exactly? And why on earth would ebay presume that's what the buyer wants?

How about leaving all of the seller's shipping options and simply changing the expected delivery date based on said chosen option.  

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers   eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 4 18:03:58 2019

Here we go again. Ebay knows best. But if they know best, then why is their business tanking?

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers   eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers

by: justchangecarriers This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 5 00:09:46 2019

Site is glitching out left and right for me for months, and this is what they are worrying about?

I hate this company so much.

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers   eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers

by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 5 01:11:31 2019

What a stupid change!

I tried to do a BIN listing today and ended up with a GTC. I'll leave that for a week or so and if the item doesn't sell, I'll end it and relist as an auction. I did get a bid on another item, so it will sell tomorrow! Yeah, I'm excited about that because it's been FOREVER since I've had a sale on eBay!

@RKTOYS - I rarely buy shipping labels on the USPS web site, mainly because there are less expensive places to buy them! PayPal.com/ShipNow and PirateShip are 2 shipping label sites I use; both are cheaper than USPS by about 20%.  

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers   eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers

by: alaska This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 5 01:54:38 2019

eBay will NEVER learn that One Size Does Not Fit All. I ship from Alaska. I need to give my customers the best options depending on price and how soon they need the item. For books, media mail from Alaska goes south on a barge, sits in Seattle for a while, and then goes east by train or truck. Average time is 3-4 weeks (30 years ago it was 7-14 days). To have eBay mess with my shipping options is the LAST STRAW.

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers   eBay Limits Shipping Options Shown to Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: DeathFromAbove

Wed Jun 5 01:57:50 2019

BOPIS ?

Once they start creating meaningless acronyms to go along with meaningless changes that match no industry-standard term, service, or process - it's time to board the life rafts.

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