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.

Comments (48) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

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 02:01:37 2019

Also, if they decide to randomly and unknowingly remove the lowest cost option, that will just kill sales, straight out.  The ebay demographic buyer is getting cheaper and more insane by the month, and often literally one dollar will make or break a sale.  If they eliminate that option based on "guaranteed delivery" dates that NO ONE CARES ABOUT, NOT EVEN THE BUYERS, sales will be LOST.  EVERYONE loses.

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

by: val2525 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 5 02:19:03 2019

@Sierra, all FP listings are now GTC.  This went into effect about a month ago. It's old news.

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

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 5 02:32:25 2019

if EB wants to limit shipping options, they should do like Posh and give sellers (and buyers) prepaid postage.

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

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 5 02:33:31 2019

Hmmm....another "policy" change...how many does this make in the year?  I never get these many rapid fire policy changes from Amazon.

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

by: Windkissed This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Jun 5 04:39:12 2019

When I first started on ebay I used economy shipping all the time.  After talking with my local post office, they tell me there is no such thing as economy shipping.  They consider priority economy.  I have been toying with the idea of emailing packing slips since I ship so many things 1st class and I try to keep the weight down as much as possible to keep from throwing it into priority.  It makes a difference in my sales and whether I can offer FREE shipping or not.  1 oz makes that much difference.  I have gone to vinyl sleeves for everything I can ship in them that doesn't run the risk of damage.  Bubble wrap and vinyl sleeves are #1 in weight next to a heavy USPS box.  Most customers on ebay want cheap shipping or FREE shipping and in order for sellers to continue to offer these things we have to be creative in shipping.  

I advertise on my packing slips so if it means the difference in shipping 1st class and priority by 1 oz, I will do it.  And if I can send an advertisement along with it that is another plus for me and my business.

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

by: DevilishlySarky This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 5 05:25:43 2019

I swear , its getting harder and harder to write a reply to this mounting insanity without profanity in it .
Last time I looked ebay didnt actually post anything  let alone know what MY buyers want......
What do you do when a buyer messages you  two days after they first bought an item with another two they have just purchased asking for combined shipping, but hang onto it for another three days as they are going to be away till next Monday?
What postage option do you recommend then , Mr Winge , sorry Mister Wenig (must be a touch of Dyslexia around at the minute)

One that keeps the buyer happy , keeps me from getting a late delivery blob  , and sends the articles on their way with tracking and a signed receipt
If you stopped trying to run my business , and concentrated on running your own to its best advantage instead of trying to find new corners of my bottom line to shave a bit more off
WE WOULD ALL GET ALONG A LOT BETTER and both be a lot richer

Why is it that people are never happy with doing more to get more , why is it with corporate shyster lawyers  they always want more for doing nothing ?

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

by: hawk This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 5 05:45:32 2019

these dictators and commies have already killed off a lot of sellers , now they are gonna kill off a lot of buyers choice. what's the next move for dictators ? oh ya , execute anyone that don't pay or do as we say. any of the older more experienced people see anything familiar here ?

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

by: frustrated This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 5 07:00:25 2019

Idiotic. The WHOLE POINT of offering 2 options is for the buyers benefit. DOOUUUUUHHHHHHHHHHHHH.. There is something else going on here, don't know what yet, but this has nothing to do with being buyer oriented.

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: Don Wagner

Wed Jun 5 07:05:25 2019

They're steering the boat with clueless management decisions instead of hiring a talented crew of subject matter experts to navigate. They'll never be another Amazon.

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

by: Evenger This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 5 07:44:51 2019

This is mind blowing!  Taking away the least expensive option for shipping!! Also, why even let sellers add that option when it is going to be hidden from buyers anyway?!

Reminds me of when I was able to include in listings a return policy (returns excepted only if item is not as described, you must contact me and item must be posted within 3 days of delivery)  and then started receiving automatic returns with no contact from buyers, only eBay's email letting me know a return was on its way.  I never had as many returns.  And returns were for reasons like "just didn't like", "didn't fit", etc.  I was on the phone with eBay for about 30 minutes, going in circles, to finally realize, I was misled by eBay.  It didn't matter that they let you create a return policy, if you accepted returns, any return any time, any reason was going to be automatically returned!

So now they are letting sellers think they are offering  a variety of shipping options so buyers can CHOOSE the shipping that fits their budget, but buyers CANNOT choose the lowest price.  Truly insane.

Only beneficiary of this policy is eBay who will be making more money from the FVF on shipping.

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

by: InspirationPlus This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 5 07:49:29 2019

I agree with @frustrated. This is just the beginning of another "brilliant" eBay plan. So tired of this. Who in their right mind would want their choices limited and someone else telling you what they think you want?  

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.

Wed Jun 5 07:57:51 2019

Like with every other eBay scheme - theres got to be "back end money" SOMEWHERE - we all just dont know it.

Flying DWs Lear Jet is expensive, as is running the bar - and someone has to pay for it.

They have socked sellers with tons of extra costs - now its time to soak the buyers.

Most people (even eBay buyers) can read and understand that you could save $5 or so - if wait one more day - and most would.

Its eBay that cant wait.

Who is benefiting from this change - with eBay - you always follow the money, find out whos getting a raise/whos being promoted/what other bars are being built, what other perks eBay is handing out to its do nothing employees - and thats the answer.

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

by: longtimepowerseller This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 5 08:30:36 2019

Hey @lessthanthreerecords
After dealing with USPS' inability to handle first class tubes, I found a solution that is working for us. Search for MTM218 tubes, they are triangle shaped, the ones we use are 18.5'' but you can get in different sizes. U-Line also carries a version of these. Cost is less then a traditional tube for us when we buy in bulk and the final package weight is comparable (or less depending on size).
USPS actually gets these where they need to go on time or close to it.
When we used round tubes we had the same problem as you. May be worth investigating. It has cut down on customer complaints on transit time/lost mail by 90%.

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

by: JohnGermaine This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 5 09:28:04 2019

The insanity continues!

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

by: DRA This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 5 09:33:14 2019

Is it just my perception?....or do MANY of the changes eBay makes to eBay for both the Seller and Buyer experience, exude the message to all that eBay believes you are not very smart.  It seems to me that eBay is always trying to make everyone's choices FOR them..because they are so smart.  I, personally and professionally, find this Corporate practice demeaning and an insult!  eBay, PLEASE let people make their own choices and get out of the way!  Who are you to tell us what is best for us...YOU are not US.

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

by: wellspring This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 5 10:17:32 2019

This is one step (push) closer to “Free Priority Shopping” as the only option.  

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

by: wellspring This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 5 10:18:31 2019

I meant to say one step closer to “Free Priority Shipping.” (Not shopping)

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

by: Mark4 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 5 11:47:58 2019

So Stop me if I am wrong but doesn't ebay tack on an additional % seller fee for shipping costs? If so does anyone really think ebay will give buyers the "least" cost shipping option???    

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

Wed Jun 5 12:31:17 2019

As Pace306 said, this is about money. Always about money with ebay. They don't buy a cup of coffee unless there's a profit at the end of it. Whether it comes from buyers or sellers is totally irrelevant.

And each time they come up with a new policy (what does that make, over 100 just this year) the customer suffers.  

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

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 5 12:34:55 2019

Don't get TOO deeply invested in the  *CONSPIRACY THEORY* that eBay "dropped out" that cheapest shipping example to INCREASE their cut of the shipping costs.  NOPE.   It was just as Silly, Just as Stupid, Just as POINTLESS, that they were / ARE going to drop the SLOWEST shipping choices in the VAIN HOPE that eBay sellers will be FOOLISH ENOUGH to sign on to their GUARANTEED Delivery program.  
I am TOTALLY OPPOSED to that "Rainbow Stew" FAKE PROMISE from eBay to PROTECT sellers who join that Guaranteed Delivery Scheme is a HOLLOW PROMISE and SURE to result in PAIN, LOSS $, and HEARTBREAK for unwary eBay sellers.     When has ANY eBay "Promise" of Protection worked smoothly for EVERY seller?  .... hint ...  Correct answer is NEVER.

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