Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Jan 6 2014 09:23:45

Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays

By: Ina Steiner

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Over the years eBay has issued warnings to users when major events (such as storms and hurricanes) impact sellers' ability to deliver orders in a timely manner. eBay generally asks sellers to communicate with buyers if they expect any delays, and has sometimes offered to protect any resulting negative feedback.

This year, Amazon came in first in issuing such a warning to sellers. On Sunday, Amazon posted a notice to sellers with the headline, "Fulfillment of Orders May Be Impacted by Winter Storm Hercules."

With 40% of Amazon's total paid units generated by third-party merchants (the percentage is likely higher when counting only physical goods), Amazon relies much more on sellers to fulfill goods these days.

In Sunday's "Technical Notification," Amazon advised sellers:

- If you anticipate that you will be unable to meet your shipping service levels, consider temporarily setting your seller-fulfilled listings to inactive. See  Listing Status Settings.

- For seller-fulfilled orders to be shipped within areas potentially impacted by Winter Storm Hercules, contact buyers via the Buyer-Seller Messaging Service about the status of their orders.

Amazon also said sellers with their products in the FBA program (Fulfilled by Amazon) would not have to take any action: "No action is required for products fulfilled by Amazon, and Amazon will handle messaging for all FBA orders impacted by Winter Storm Hercules."

As of this writing (Monday morning), eBay had posted no notice about Winter Storm Hercules on its announcement boards. eBay sellers have observed differences in the level of support provided on weekends versus weekdays, so it's interesting that someone at Amazon responsible for 3P orders was working on Sunday.

It's also interesting to note that eBay no longer makes promises to protect affected sellers' feedback - instead, its messaging generally reads, "We will continue to monitor these conditions and will reach out as necessary to eBay members who may be affected."

That doesn't mean Amazon will protect a seller's performance metrics, so wherever you sell, it's important to let buyers know if they should expect any shipping delays. Customers may be particularly sensitive to delays given the recent headlines about packages not arriving in time for Christmas, and when they receive their orders, they may be looking to provide feedback irrespective of the temperature outside.




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Perminate Link for Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays   Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 6 09:47:36 2014

Ebay doesn't care about the weather. Their only concern is their bottom line....Rain, Snow, Sleet etc effects the seller not Ebays bottom line.

Perminate Link for Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays   Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays

by: Orwellwasright This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 6 11:22:21 2014


Ebay could easily have sent a e-mail notification to their entire user base, informing buyers that inclement weather and systematic failure of both Ups and the usps resulted in nationwide delay, and encouraged buyers to be understanding and not penalize sellers for any delays

They could also simply inform sellers that ANY 1's or 2's posted in December or January would be summarily removed or even better blocked

BUT such actions would be taken by  a business partner who respects their associates in a fair marketplace

The sad fact is ebay benefits from seller suffering. If 1000's of sellers drop from above to below standard all the better, Higher listing fees, NO discounts, NO access to listing specials and payment holds all benefit ebay

Not to mention lowered visibility and the excuse to scythe through the base and eliminate competition for the favored sons .

Only in the backwards upside down pathologically abusive world of ebay selling would diminishing the reputations of sellers benefit the host

 

Perminate Link for Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays   Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Mon Jan 6 11:45:51 2014

eBay s just getting around to announcing that Admiral Dewey has taken Manila...

Perminate Link for Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays   Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Jan 6 12:51:27 2014

There is a simple explanation as to why Amazon is proactive when issues like this arise and eBay is woefully reactive and consistently late to the dance.

Amazon sells merchandise. Amazon works to set realistic buyer expectations in order to have buyers return again and again because they have had realistic expectations set and met.

eBay on the other hand, does not sell merchandise. eBay's management does not sell on a regular basis - many have never sold on eBay at all. While eBay claims to care about buyer satisfaction, they do not care enough to achieve the goal or establish and set realistic buyer expectations.

eBay's corporate cop out is always to blame the individual seller - even when it is clear that eBay has set expectations that are impossible for the seller to meet due to carriers failures.

To boil it down for eBay's MBA's in terms they can understand....

Amazon: Realistic buyer expectations, satisfied customers, repeat sales, exploding sales growth.

eBay: Completely unrealistic buyer expectations, disappointed buyers, fewer repeat sales, elusive and inconsistent sales growth which seriously lags behind the rest of the industry.

eBay's leadership sees to it that eBay remains their own worst enemy.
They busy themselves spewing public relations drivel which fails their buyers, fails their sellers, fails their investors, and fails to achieve the goal of growing sales.




Perminate Link for Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays   Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays

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

Mon Jan 6 13:58:53 2014

@ Puck:

Bwahahahahahahahahahahahhahaha!

Perminate Link for Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays   Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 6 16:21:56 2014

Ebay was DOWNGRADED by MORGAN STANLEY this am and the stock has taken a NOSEDIVE today! Down $1.40 cents today- 2.7%.
If it continues and again falls below it's 200 day moving average- ebay and JD are SCREWED!!

JD must be having a ''thinking day'' but Bezos is working.

All sellers get your stuff out QUICK- use 24 hour kiosks at your local post offices so you can prove it was the storm and not YOU.

JD: With a storm named ''HERCULES'' doncha think you had better make an ANNOUNCEMENT smart guy??- LOL!!
Mass Howler- GIDDY!
PS: Stay warm friends.

Perminate Link for Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays   Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 6 16:26:16 2014

Puck- Dewey- Manila-LOL!
(That dude Puck is gifted).
MH

Perminate Link for Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays   Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 6 16:41:20 2014

@ Massachusets Howler

I wouldn't consider a 2.7 percent a nose dive...More a drop in the ocean.

Perminate Link for Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays   Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 6 17:29:09 2014

We have been around a long time.
Pump and dump works for a while but smart investors know that when it is this obvious the stock starts getting bought by the public- then the big hedgies leave, along with other larger investors- the stock drops and the people holding the bag are the PUBLIC.
That is what we are beginning to see- 2 weeks ago ebay fell below their 200 day moving average- if this happens again, this or next week, what we have been waiting for will happen.
Ebay reports on the 18th I believe- time will tell.
And, 2.7 % in 1 day, after what is supposed to be the high point of the year, is not good for ebay.
Let us talk again in 2 weeks.
With respect to all,
Massachusetts Howler
PS: the cost of the lawsuit settlement WAS a drop in the ocean but this will not be.

Perminate Link for Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays   Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Jan 6 22:25:57 2014

Ric writes: "eBay: Completely unrealistic buyer expectations, disappointed buyers ...."

Since a lot of buyers scam and threaten their way to free or discounted items, I'm not sure how many buyers are actually "disappointed."

Perminate Link for Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays   Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Jan 6 22:42:17 2014

iheartjacksparrow observes: " Since a lot of buyers scam and threaten their way to free or discounted items, I'm not sure how many buyers are actually "disappointed."

The scammers stay because eBay continues to make it easy to get something for nothing.

The legitimate buyers who ebay has disappointed are likely the ones who are contributing to Amazons consistent double digit sales increases because eBay is no longer on their map.

Perminate Link for Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays   Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays

This user has validated their user name. by: Bijoux Dragon
Web Site

Tue Jan 7 00:33:00 2014

Have to see the humor in this - What both companies need to do is notify buyers that their sellers are in an area that has had massive power outages and that shipping might be delayed.  Then do not hold a late shipment against them if their power was out.

Perminate Link for Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays   Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 7 02:26:18 2014

When our weather gets bad, and we are in the middle of it all,  in my shipping notifications I do send a note at the top of the email telling the customers that while we get the mail out to mailbox for pickup in less than 24 hours, once it is in the PO hands, though things can get delayed. Currently Interstate 90 from the PA line to Buffalo NY is closed due to the storm so if the mail isn't moving due to major highways closures, it can't be the sellers fault for any delays. But the buyers still needs to be informed of the possibility that things may be slower. It would be hard for someone sitting in the FL sunshine to even imagine what we are going through up here in the land of Lake Effect snow!

Most normal buyers I think can understand if they are told ahead of time that their might be a delay. No matter how great the modern world becomes, we still can't control the weather.

Perminate Link for Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays   Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Jan 7 07:37:50 2014

Ric, your post is 99% accurate. Would be 100%, but there is no "leadership" at eBay.  Just some highly overpaid C-level officers.

Perminate Link for Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays   Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays

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

Tue Jan 7 09:03:08 2014

Apparently they do name cold weather -25 here actual temp.

Perminate Link for Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays   Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays

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

Tue Jan 7 21:42:28 2014

I like that I can contact my seller on Amazon if I'm buying something and I don't have to worry about Amazon shutting down my seller for me communicating with him about my order. You have to walk on egg shells when sending someone an email through eBay messages, it could get you suspended from eBay and worse, may get your seller's business shut down.

It's a poor way to run a business but when you're dealing with a company that wants all your customers you have to expect that you'll get the shaft at some point.

Perminate Link for Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays   Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Wed Jan 8 00:27:52 2014

Ebay profits from ANY sort of seller problem in which a buyer can ding DSRs.

Unavoidable shipping delays due to weather? Ebay loves 'em; more sellers they can purge and discounts they can eliminate!

That's despicably amoral the sociopaths who run ebay are.

Perminate Link for Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays   Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays

by: arrjay This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 8 02:28:11 2014

I sell on both sites. I live in Michigan, so yes, trying to get my shipments out in 18'' of snow and wind chills of -40 was a serious challenge (I almost didn't get it done).
I immediately got the message from Amazon - never heard a word from Ebay on it until I read this story a few minutes ago.

Perminate Link for Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays   Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays

by: arrjay This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 8 02:32:01 2014

I should have added to my above post, that I 'did' contact all of my Ebay buyers about the situation, explaining I would do my best and that there were possibilities (since Chicago's Ohare was also snowed in) there would be additional delays.
Like another poster said above me, I feared writing those messages thru Ebay because of their ridiculous rules and, instead, wrote each buyer personally, using their email address in Paypal.

Ebay's childish rules about 'communication' made me jump through hoops that were unnecessary.

Perminate Link for Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays   Amazon Beats eBay to Punch in Warning Sellers of Weather Delays

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Thu Jan 9 18:36:43 2014

"Ebay's childish rules about 'communication' made me jump through hoops that were unnecessary."

"No communication is the best communication"

Corollary One to eBay Communication Rule As Applied To Seller Shipping & Handling Time:

"Never shipping is the best shipping."

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