Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Dec 21 2014 21:15:53

eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong

By: Ina Steiner

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You may be used to hearing complaints from sellers about the estimated delivery dates eBay displays to its buyers for their listings. Now, sellers are upset over the way Amazon is displaying dates too, but for different reasons.

Sellers say eBay has a chronic problem of displaying overly optimistic delivery dates, setting up buyers to be disappointed when they don't get their packages by the date eBay has promised, and leading to negative feedback and low DSRs for sellers.

On Friday, sellers said Amazon began doing the opposite - displaying dates that showed delivery after Christmas Day for packages that they estimated would arrive in time for Christmas. Sellers said they noticed a slowdown in sales as a result. See Monday's EcommerceBytes Newsflash newsletter for details.

What's your experience with marketplaces' estimated delivery dates? And is Amazon right to be conservative when it comes to 3P merchant orders?




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Perminate Link for eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong   eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong

by: 1beck3 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 21 22:18:42 2014

After last year, I'm guessing everyone (ebay, amazon, USPS, UPS, FedEx,etc) was pretty nervous after the crap show shipping turned out to be last December.

Just like there's no way we, as sellers, will ever make 100% of our customers happy, there's no way a marketplace will make all their sellers happy.

Like a random sale I had today.  The Order Details say shipment is to be expected between December 24th and December 30th.  But some buyers, no matter how clearly you spell things out, will bitch and moan (and maybe even leave you with a defect) because all they see is the December 24th date.

Can't change what ebay does, can't change what my buyers do..what are you going to do?  You can't worry about it, just consistently do your best to exceed expectations.  

Perminate Link for eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong   eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong

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

Mon Dec 22 00:20:03 2014

I'm an Amazon Pro-Merchant, I ship within less than 24 hours other than holidays and weekends, ship Monday through Saturday otherwise and I have expedited delivery available as well so it has been odd to see my estimated delivery dates showing 25 DAYS out while other sellers are showing 9-25 days for delivery and I didn't notice that they were FBA merchants either. I'm not sure why they are doing this as every package I ship from an Amazon order has the tracking number inserted and it is obvious that I have quick first class shipping, so absolutely no reason to show that if someone buys from me it will take over 25 days to get it! Most of my feedback is about the quick shipping I have and you sure don't get that by taking 25 days for something to arrive.

I don't know what all these dates are about as when I have looked at them there has been no reason for why delivery times are so big compared to some others but even 9-25 days is a huge lag time even at this time of year.

Perminate Link for eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong   eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Dec 22 01:22:06 2014

eBay has been getting estimated delivery dates wrong since they first started placing them on sellers listings.  Sellers have been bitching about the inaccuracy from day one.

If you are a seller and are still relying on eBay to send shipping confirmations for you, then you have only yourself to blame since eBay refuses to change their estimation system.

You can not control what eBay displays on your listings in terms of delivery promises. You can not control carrier shipping errors, delays and miss routing errors.

You CAN stop eBay's messaging to your buyers, and you CAN make the effort to reset buyers expectations to something more realistic.

Take the control away from eBay!!

Go to eBay preferences and turn off eBay shipment notifications, then compose your own shipment confirmation email and send them out yourself.  

The extra time it takes is well worth the effort, and buyers seem to appreciate the personalized communication from their seller over the sterile and poorly worded messages eBay sends.

In your email, take the opportunity to reset your buyers expectations by pointing out how eBay's systems get delivery estimates wrong and lay the blame squarely on the shoulders of eBay and carriers that fail to achieve timely deliveries.

I started sending our own shipping confirmation to every buyer right after eBay started making unrealistic promises on listing pages. Also, I take the opportunity to encourage buyers to contact me directly in the event there is any kind of issue with the merchandise they receive in order to keep buyers from opening a claim.

I set up a form, cut and paste it into an email, and fill in blanks for the transaction specifics. The process takes about 2 minutes per transaction to complete.

To date, I have sold over 5700 items on eBay. My feedback is 100% positive, my defect rate is 0.32% despite the fact that I sell in the Computer category where compatibility issues are a potential for many of the items I sell.  I have maintained Top Rated seller status without interruption since qualifying shortly after the program started.

I attribute our ability to clear eBay's many seller obstacles and roadblocks on the fact that we invest the time it takes to explain how eBay is misinforming our buyers, and then resetting their expectations to a more realistic level.



Perminate Link for eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong   eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 22 01:31:20 2014

this might explain the lack of amazon expedited orders last week.  usually i have a whole bunch the week before christmas, this year there were practically none.

Perminate Link for eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong   eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 22 02:44:23 2014

Possibly it is just a way for Amazon to create more sales for Amazon rather than 3rd party sellers not on FBA.

Perminate Link for eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong   eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong

This user has validated their user name. by: baconsdozen
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Mon Dec 22 07:03:34 2014

Why is anyone surprised that anything ebay does ends in disaster?. It cannot resist tinkering and altering things,if it ain't broke don't fix it.

Perminate Link for eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong   eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 22 08:02:38 2014

Take the ball out of their courts and contact YOUR CUSTOMERS, you will find that directly communicating with your buyer takes the hostility out of the transaction that ebay and amazon have created convincing buyers that either going to be screwed, or their packaage is going to arrive much sooner than the sellers handling and delivery time, for example ebay shoes a buyer that the package will ship in 5 days on their mobile app not five business days,business days and days are two different things, however ebay does not care and Amazon does not care they are after fees and lying to your buyers to get them is on you not them. You are not their employee so get your customer back on track with you

Perminate Link for eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong   eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong

by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 22 10:44:39 2014

Sales for me the last half of November and up to middle of December were Christmas Season normal - up.  

Then around the 13th of December, sales on eBay stopped for a week.  What should have been a great week was nothing.  

I suspect that I hit my super secret eBay sales limit.

Also, as I list 1 to 2 days shipping, I am wondering because I am not playing along with eBay’s 1 day shipping goal, eBay’s computers chose to hide my listing in searches at the end the searches.

A sorry end to the best sales season of the year.

Happy Holidays to All!

Perminate Link for eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong   eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong

This user has validated their user name. by: Shop and Ship

Mon Dec 22 10:51:32 2014

I've often wondered why eBay avoids using standard shipping terms, like "FOB", or standard grading terms as have been used for centuries in books, dishes, etc., and then tries to re-invent the wheel, again, by 2nd guessing the USPS estimates which are based on decades of USPS experience actually delivering packages across the USA. USPS clearly states that HOW the package is transported from one place to another is confidential - especially after 911 - and that it is reasonable to expect delivery at the back end of the delivery window even though more times than not USPS beats its own estimate PDQ. It's arrogant for eBay to assume that USPS is lying and that delivery will always be sooner than USPS estimates.  

Perminate Link for eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong   eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong

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

Mon Dec 22 11:38:01 2014

Mamazon appoears tobe on the same destructive anti seller as ebay has taken, and the ultimately the results for 3Ps will be the same: declining profits because of Amazon coerced higher operating costs that increase their bottom line at 3P expense.

Amazon is just the flip side of ebay. They can't be trusted except to take more and more of your money if you sell there.

Perminate Link for eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong   eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong

by: 1beck3 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 22 12:05:13 2014

@Ric When you have 75 orders a day, 2 to 3 times that during the holidays, it's not realistic (or time well spent) sending out emails to every customer.  I just don't understand making more work for myself when I don't have to.  It's good you found something that works for you. Congrats on your 100% Feedback, it's something to be proud of.

As a customer, I want to know when I should expect my purchase before I complete payment.  I may take the time to ask the seller but, if I'm busy or, quite frankly, if I don't want to wait, I'll just find someone else who has the information I need to complete the transaction.  

But there's always going to be that customer out there that finds a problem where there isn't one no matter what you do.  I'll keep shipping within 24 hours of payment, which I can control, accept that there will be the rare shipment that doesn't meet eBay's shipping estimate and take all the extra time I have to list more product and complete more transactions.

Perminate Link for eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong   eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong

by: RichieC This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 22 12:33:06 2014

Funny when you contact the USPS, they always say it is an estimate, not guaranteed!

Had a 2-Day Priority take 9 days, luckily it was a seller that made the purchase! Very understanding of the P.O. :)

Perminate Link for eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong   eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong

This user has validated their user name. by: Shop and Ship

Mon Dec 22 12:35:15 2014

OK. What I actually do is add a standard Comment or Message to the eBay Shipping Notice that tells the Buyer than their item is being shipped today, by USPS, at what rate, and where to find the USPS tracking link for updates in My Purchases. I noticed that USPS modifies its own estimates until the package is actually delivered, so it seems to me that the best policy is to point the Buyer toward the blue hyperlink and to the USPS Tracking web site so that they'll know when to actually expect delivery. Trying to negate eBay's misfires sends the wrong complaining tone about something that is not in our control and may not matter to Buyers like me who are happy just to see the item arrive sometime in the next week or so. Otherwise, as pointed out, it's a personality quirk with the anal-retentive Buyer who spends too much time re-organizing the magazine racks at the grocery store check-out stand and now has his stop-watch aimed at the mail carrier.  

Perminate Link for eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong   eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong

by: balloo This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 22 17:08:43 2014

Well , I ship things myself , & in my add I state I hand write labels (Printers hate me) I put in my add my  Day of shipping & delivery. I end on Friday , & ship on Monday. Thur. if your payment is not on time. Have not had serious defects my way. A lot of work , though better results for me. Now all I need is bids , & buyers who pay. Very Few sales !

Perminate Link for eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong   eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Dec 22 17:18:52 2014

I have a similar procedure to what Shop and Ship has. I send an e-mail stating the buyer's package was mailed that day, the estimated delivery date, provide the tracking number, and advise them that any revisions to the delivery date can be found on the usps.com page.

Perminate Link for eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong   eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong

by: Ebay Seller-Ebay Buyer This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 23 03:03:18 2014

I think it's better to be conservative with dates so if it arrives late, buyers aren't mad.  As a buyer I know how long things take and don't look at ebay's expected date of arrival

Perminate Link for eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong   eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong

by: Donkey This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 23 12:30:48 2014

Ebay has set up buyers with unreasonable expectations.

Estimated Delivery dates this time of the year, are off even more than usual.

Guess who get the blame, defects, and loss of the TRS status-The poor sellers.

It takes at a minimum five weekdays for a package to arrive. Not two or three.

Perminate Link for eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong   eBay and Now Amazon Get Estimated Delivery Dates Wrong

by: expertbenefits This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 23 15:20:30 2014

So far USPS seems to be shipping priority mail within the 2 to 3 day range EXCEPT for this week, where a few are later than expected. Also noticed that they clocked one of my express packages at the time they loaded on the truck instead of the scanned & accepted time to the post office (way before the cut off for overnight) converting it to a , 2 day express rather than 1 day as stated on the label.
Oh well it's Christmas! Let's see what happens tomorrow. For packages that require a signature it will be a bit trickier. Some sites send $2000 packages FEDEX HOME or Parcel select uninsured without signature on doorsteps so signature requirements these days seem to be old school thinking. As a customer, I am waiting for 4 Amazon packages, 2 Macy's packages guaranteed for Christmas at this time. Ebay & Groupon Australia made it on time.



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