Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Aug 18 2020 00:15:03

eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is steering sellers away from shipping via USPS, according to reports from several sellers. The messaging comes after the seller has made a sale when the shipping cost is already locked in.

A reader explained what he is seeing on his eBay shipping page:

"AFTER we've all setup USPS selections/rates (as recommended/pushed by eBay), after the sale is made, and we go to buy the shipping label. So, eBay is suggesting to sellers, after they've charged the lower/lowest USPS rate, to spend OUR money, and choose more expensive alternative shipping "to improve the buying experience.""

The seller included a screenshot of the message displayed on his shipping-label page:

"USPS is experiencing significant delays across their delivery network. Please consider using other carrier options that may provide a better buyer experience."

A seller on an industry board also wrote about the problem, saying he saw a "warning" at the top of the page when buying USPS shipping labels and asking him to please find another way of shipment.

Compounding the problem, according to another reader: eBay is hiding domestic shipping options he offers to shoppers - including FedEx shipping options. 

"On the eBay Print Label screen it says "USPS is experiencing significant delays across their delivery network. Please consider using other carrier options that may provide a better buyer experience."

"Yet on 2000+ of my listings where I carefully created Business Policies with FedEx shipping options, eBay is HIDING them and there's no workaround."

That could be due to a policy eBay implemented last year when it announced, "eBay will now only show the most cost effective shipping services for a given delivery speed, hiding higher priced options."

The practice was controversial when eBay announced it in June 2019, but now it runs counter to eBay's own instructions in steering people away from USPS.

Sellers are also discussing the longer delivery estimates eBay is showing to shoppers - and they are divided about the wisdom of this move and the potential impact to their sales and potential customer claims.

Some sellers believe displaying longer delivery estimates will help protect them from unreasonable expectations on the part of buyers, who are always anxious to get their items quickly.

But others believe it will put their listings at a disadvantage, pushing shoppers to other websites promise quicker delivery times - even if those sites can't actually "deliver" on those promises. 

eBay had advised sellers on August 11th that it would be automatically extending estimated delivery dates "as necessary" in order to set buyers' expectations, and advised sellers not to extend their handling times: 

"We are automatically extending estimated delivery dates as necessary to give buyers a more reasonable expectation of when their items will arrive. We recommend that you don't extend your handling time. Our extended estimates should give you enough buffer, and additional handling days could lead to the appearance of your items shipping slower than they actually are."

In that eBay Announcement Board post, the company said USPS delivery and scan delays persisted, and - as we previously reported - eBay said it was working on "other affordable, more reliable delivery options for sellers."

Comments (31) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale   eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale

by: ShortSeller This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 18 03:03:20 2020

As usual ebay wants to have our cake and eat it too. Hide the more expensive shipping options then tell us to ship using a faster method. Keen observers will have noted ebay has been ramping up the falsification of delivery estimates despite their claims of extending estimates. If they want to project the false image of having super reliable delivery dates during a pandemic they can provide us all with free shipping upgrades on their time.

Perminate Link for eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale   eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 18 07:24:11 2020

Why anyone would use ebay shipping is a mystery.....We offer 5 day processing and 5 day shipping. Never had a late arrival. Screw ebay and their money grabbing habits. You keep all your eggs in one basket don't be surprised if that basket doesn't fail.

Perminate Link for eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale   eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale

by: jimcooncat This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 18 07:27:26 2020

I've found the Fedex estimated rates to be $8 off or more from the actual charge. Are other sellers having this problem? Maybe I'm holding my mouth wrong.

Perminate Link for eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale   eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale

by: COVID-19 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 18 08:04:35 2020

That's it?  That's the solution?  How about eBay tells its idiot buyers that eBay IS NOT Amazon so stop it with the 3-day delivery unrealistic expectations already!

Perminate Link for eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale   eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 18 09:54:52 2020

Its simple - just IGNORE eBays suggestions.

Its not like they know anything - they dont buy items, they dont sell items and they dont ship items.

Adjust your handling/shipping times to what works for you.

If you "get that feeling that ONCE again - eBay is doing whats best for itself and not YOU" .... go to Pirateship or one of the other places ans ship from there.

That way YOU are in control and as an added bonus - eBay doesnt get a cut of the shipping.

Perminate Link for eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale   eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale

by: Shanna This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 18 10:46:49 2020

The problem with using Fedex and UPS is the charge you see when printing the label is only an estimate, they charge you after delivery, and after they add fees like residential delivery, fuel surcharges and the like.

If you do decide to use them, make sure to open your own accounts and link them to eBay. If you use eBay's accounts, and there is a problem, you have to go through eBay's overseas customer service to resolve it. Good luck with that.

Perminate Link for eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale   eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale

by: Ophelia1 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 18 11:08:20 2020

@pace306:
''If you ''get that feeling that ONCE again - eBay is doing whats best for itself and not YOU'' .... go to Pirateship or one of the other places ans ship from there.

That way YOU are in control and as an added bonus - eBay doesnt get a cut of the shipping.''

You're absolutely right! That is the best part!

Perminate Link for eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale   eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale

This user has validated their user name. by: Covid-20

Tue Aug 18 12:03:52 2020

@FROGGY

𝘞𝘩𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘦𝘣𝘢𝘺 𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘱𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘮𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘺.....𝘞𝘦 𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳 5 𝘥𝘢𝘺 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘥 5 𝘥𝘢𝘺 𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘱𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘨.

- You DO realize that Ebay will place you lower in search results due to this, yes?  A person who drops down one day handling time will always be higher in search . . . .

Perminate Link for eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale   eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale

by: Disgusted This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 18 12:06:03 2020

USPS has been slow for the 2-3 months. Nothing new.  I mailed a letter to the same city I dropped it off.  It went 120 miles away and came back to be delivered.  I think they look for extra work anyway they can.
I stopped selling on ebay long ago. The best thing I did in a very long time.  The other sites are a lot better.  

Perminate Link for eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale   eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 18 12:49:05 2020

It is what it is. USPS is slow, and thats all there is to it. Theres not a hell of a lot I can do about it. For a couple of days I sent all my usual first class items by priority. But that was killing my bottom line. If I send USPS, or FEDEX my prices must go up. Then who will buy...nobody! I cannot leave my prices they way they are and send by UPS or FEDEX....I might as well close.

Hopefully this will all blow over and things will go back to normal. If not then I guess my business is doomed. I cant not charge what the shipping costs. Thats just ridiculous.

Perminate Link for eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale   eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 18 13:19:31 2020

Priority Mail can be 3-4 days late.
ZERO complaints so far.
I ship a lot of 1st Class, which is the worst offender.
I put a note with my shipping confirmation that delivery can take up to 7 days or longer.
ZERO complaints so far.

Perminate Link for eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale   eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale

by: notfunanymore This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 19 13:02:45 2020

You guys are asking the question why would anybody use eBay shipping? I think the real question is why would anyone want to use eBay

Perminate Link for eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale   eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Wed Aug 19 19:07:03 2020

Ya, USPS : stamps.com price = $44.36
Do it at the Post Office = $17.42
Larceny being perpetrated at stamps.com.

Perminate Link for eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale   eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 19 19:58:53 2020

@covid20

We don't care where ebay puts us in search. We have been on ebay long enough that most of our customers know how to get to us via our website and email. Ebay is on our list of viable platforms last as our website and amazon are our mains. Besides I'm busy enough right now that I don't have time to worry about if I'm on the first page or the last. There are more important things to worry about. All our eggs are definately not in just one basket like most sellers.

Perminate Link for eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale   eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale

by: Windkissed This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Aug 20 07:55:22 2020

I ship alot of 1st class mail thru the USPS.  There is no other cheaper way to ship 1st class.  I have only used the USPS for the almost 8 years I have been on ebay.  What is ebay thinking?

Perminate Link for eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale   eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale

by: felyne This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 20 08:36:27 2020

USPS for me. I have not had a problem receiving pkgs, either. Wait an extra day sometimes? So what? Still cheaper and faster than taking it there yourself, And they don't grow your pkgs on the porch  and they cover ours with plastic if it's raining.  

Perminate Link for eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale   eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale

by: felyne This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 20 08:49:33 2020

Correction, 'throw' your pkgs on the porch.

Perminate Link for eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale   eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale

by: myfriendhenry This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 20 08:52:21 2020

Ignore the warning and ship USPS.  I'm finding that what used to take 3 days is extended to 5 for about only 20% of my shipments.  i found that 50% of my Priority mail is taking 5 days instead of 2-3 also, but I do so few of these my stats mean little.  I think MOST customers understand with the Chinese Virus and USPS situation right now.  Some don't, cost of doing business, right?

Perminate Link for eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale   eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale

by: Tobaccosand This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 20 08:56:41 2020

As a Canadian eBay buyer, I am quite satisfied with the performance of USPS.  However, the performance of the Global Shipping program, operated by Pitney Bowes has been atrociously bad.  

I find that it is best to use USPS for shipping to Canada.  Using eBay's global shipping program increases cost and delivery time.

Perminate Link for eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale   eBay Steers Sellers away from USPS after the Sale

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 20 10:27:48 2020

To echo Tobaccsand...GSP is a farce. Why add an extra stop to an already long journey?
Ever since USPS dropped the requirement that all intl. had to go over the counter, I simply hand my intl to the mailman along with my domestic, who then scans 'em.
Ezzy peezy.

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