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: spooky This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 20 10:38:09 2020

I am guessing but I feel probably accurate in that by far and away most eBay shipping is made by USPS. I had a UPS account for many years but I closed it a few years back when UPS made all packages dim weight pricing

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.

Thu Aug 20 10:51:30 2020

Echoing the others here:

the issue ISNT USPS - the issue is eBay

eBay wants to have it BOTH WAYS .... so just ignore them.

Sure they want happy buyers - we all do - but they "expect" sellers to shell out "extra" for it, but why should they?

eBay make ENORMOUS profits for doing nothing - actually less then nothing - let THEM pay to upgrade shipping on packages that they fell "will be slow".

Maybe wake up that sleeping Grifter, the one that wrote that stupid book on eBay - ask him his 2 cents.

On second thought - just let him sleep - "let sleeping dogs, lie".

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

by: thebobman This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 20 11:29:18 2020

>>GSP is a farce

What exactly are you shipping that GSP costs more - back in the day it did, but now  it can be significantly cheaper. We had this weird lab equipment item thats like 30lbs, 30x14x14 or so and it will cost us $121 via Priority mail to ship directly to Canada. Global shipping cost the buyer $74 (Including the USA leg), and its costing us $21 to ship UPS ground to Kentucky.

We saved the buyer $50, and we don't have to risk a lot of money to ship a heavy package overseas.

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

by: CaptJohn This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 20 12:05:46 2020

Trouble with using Pirateship or anybody else is all the extra work. Right now eBay supplies all the addressing when you create shipping on their site. Easy to mess up transferring that info. And then you will have to transfer the tracking info back to eBay.

USPS scanning has been terrible lately. I create scan form to speed things up. Carrier only has to scan one form that may contain info on 50 packages. So it shows up quickly as being in USPS possession. But lately, that is the only time many packages are scanned until they get delivered. If you check tracking it looks like the package is still sitting at my local USPS. Buyers keep bugging me to tell them where their package is located.  

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

by: 4yourinfo This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 20 14:21:52 2020

How about eBay asking buyers to upgrade their shipping choice before they checkout?? I want to know why eBay can't show the most economical price for shipping when a buyer views the listing? Sometimes USPS is more expensive than FedEx and vice versa -depending on the destination buyers don't get to see a better Shipping option until checkout (if their lucky that it shows up) also why won't they write you can receive it by x time of you choose an available priority shipping option? Would definitely attract more buyers..

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

by: railady This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 20 15:23:16 2020

@CaptJohn - I do not know about Pirateship, but you are misinformed if you believe Stamps.com involves a bunch of transfers and extra work. I got out of eBay shipping long ago because of all the extra work, mostly because it kept giving me error messages to come back later - HOURS of wasted time!

Stamps.com imports all the ebay winners' mailing information directly into my Stamps.com account - not only do I get name and address, there is their EMAIL address (not available directly even from PayPal any more!) and also a line description of the item they bought (so I can't mix orders up).  
After I've created the label/tracking number, the tracking number is automatically input into MyeBay Selling account.  I do not copy or transfer anything by hand. It is a huge time saver and I can use the account for ANY kind of mail, personal or business.

I have continued with Stamps.com despite its being a subscription service - it is one of the very few I've encountered that seems worth paying the money for.

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

by: railady This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 20 15:33:23 2020

They really think FedEx and UPS are cheaper and more reliable? I just had a huge problem with FedEx - driver scanned a package as DELIVERED/FRONT DOOR when he never showed up!!! We were home the entire time this supposedly happened. That was weeks ago, and no explanation from FedEx.  Meantime, we have heard they are having trouble with drivers. And the last couple of deliveries (thankfully we do not get many at all) have been using unmarked vehicles and a couple of rag tag looking guys. I'm not comfortable with this!

UPS sorting facilities are as bad as ever, probably 3 out of 5 packages arrive with massive damage.

I REFUSE to use these services - they cost more and are unreliable; not to mention the FedEx drop is 30 miles one way.

Besides - the latest political stunt is trying to blame USPS problems on the President. USPS has been affected by Covid the same as any other big business - it has been experiencing problems from Covid for MONTHS, and besides, it has never been a star performer during any kind of crisis. So many people at post office and levels below top management are afflicted, no wonder the have trouble.  

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

by: railady This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 20 15:42:21 2020

@The End - you said
'' USPS : stamps.com price = $44.36
Do it at the Post Office = $17.42  ''

What are you shipping and details? Just curious.  I had a half dozen packages I had to mail day before yesterday; my PC was down; I was unable to use Stamps.com ; I spent an arm and a leg on Retail prices at the Post Office counter...  I would have saved $xx using Stamps.com !!!  

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

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 21 04:34:13 2020

The reality is that most folks, on BOTH sides of the transaction, haven’t a whiffing clue how many small-medium packages shipped via UPS (and FedEx, though to a a much lesser degree) are then handed off to the USPS for last mile delivery. Because the other carrier$ can’t do it efficiently enough, even for what they charge.

Nor do most know how all too often, the buyer winds up calling their local PO - taking precious and unavailable time from the folks who could be sorting packages instead to explain that when UPS tracking declares ‘delivered’ (yay!) for that precious tchotchke, it means to the front door of the currently and presently additionally overstuffed local USPS delivery unit. Which is where UPS responsibility ends.

As in, Hey, my package says delivered. Where is it? I want my money back! USPS sux, etc., and so on. Alternately, I NEED it right NOW, so can you drop everything you’re doing to sift through the 4 giant containers of 300-400 packages tossed off the back of their truck an hour ago to be sorted for delivery tomorrow and let me pick it up?

It’s called UPS Postal “Innovations’ -aka UPS “Sure Post”. And just for fun, about 10% of the time on a consistent average, they like to plaster their little sure post sort stickers right over the USPS bar code, and or recipient address, where additionally and increasingly unavailable time consuming and usually futile attempts to peel it back and avoid obliterating what’s underneath are now required. Somehow mysteriously avoiding the other 90% of the box’s blank space where it would still serve purpose without harm. Imagine that.

One more thing - are you sure that buyer has provided their CURRENT shipping address - with apartment number and non-dyslexic zip code, etc.? Or is it the USPS fault they don’t keep track of every dwelling’s increasingly transient residents too?





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

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 21 17:00:25 2020

@CaptJohn

i'm not seeing packages get an acceptance scan for several days at best, several WEEKS at worst.  i ship from atlanta and often the first scan is the memphis distribution hub 400 miles away.  just had 2 packages take 2 1/2 weeks to get there, up until then it looked like a i hadn't shipped, even now it looks like i didn't ship on time because the mark it as received in atlanta the same day it got to memphis, 400 miles in an hour, uhmm i don't think so....

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.

Fri Aug 21 20:00:37 2020

It takes roughly 10 seconds to process a shipping label on Pirateship.

If you aren't getting acceptance scan use scan forms. Post offices are being instructed to delay mailing to distribution centers by 1 business day and are being told to scan boxes only when they are departing for the distribution center.  

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