Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Dec 8 2015 22:43:38

What Are eBay Estimated Delivery Date Extensions??

By: Ina Steiner

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On Monday, eBay announced changes to the way it calculates estimated delivery dates that are displayed to shoppers on seller listings. But it may not have realized when it announced it was eliminating "extensions" that sellers didn't know of their existence in the first place.

eBay started off explaining, "To improve buyer satisfaction, eBay adds an extension to estimated delivery dates for sellers who consistently miss their handling times. Currently, this extended delivery date is also used to determine a seller's on-time shipping rate (an important part of our more objective seller standards)."

One reader told us, "once again, eBay imposed a process without informing sellers."

eBay continued, "To be fair to all sellers, starting January 1, eBay will no longer extend the estimated delivery dates for those who miss their stated handling times. Please note: Until affected sellers improve their handling-time performance, we will continue to display the extended date to buyers. In the days to come, we will contact sellers who are affected by this change with more information."

Sellers have complained about the estimated delivery dates displayed in their listings for a long time, especially about the fact the estimates could set unrealistic expectations about when buyers should expect to receive their package.

We have also written about several known incidents in which glitches caused eBay to display inaccurate shipping estimates.

The reason Monday's announcement is significant is due to the changes coming in the New Year in which eBay makes a seller's on-time shipping metric crucial to how it measures their performance.

We've written more about Monday's announcement from eBay in EcommerceBytes Newsflash. Let us know what you think!




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for What Are eBay Estimated Delivery Date Extensions??   What Are eBay Estimated Delivery Date Extensions??

by: XebayX This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 8 23:55:58 2015

For items purchased from me over the weekend (after USPS closed on Saturday), I shipped as I normally do, printing labels on Sunday night for pickup by my carrier Monday mid morning.
I got a message from a buyer this morning (Tuesday) asking if his item had shipped. I checked the tracking at both eBay and USPS.com, and no scan. I replied confirming that the item had shipped Monday morning, and I signed up on USPS.com for email updates on that package and checked the other 13 packages shipped that morning. None had been scanned.
Lo and behold, I got an update that my package had been accepted at my local Post Office at 2:43 PM (Tuesday), more than 24 hours after my carrier picked up.
Just weighing in on my experience here.
Not looking for any advice about scan forms (I don't always print all of my labels at once and have several PayPal accounts for different user names, so multiple scan forms won't work for me),or suggestions about package pickup (which has to be scheduled for the following business day).
My local Post Office will not accept pre printed postage at the counter and has a large bin for it in the lobby. If I deposit into the package receptacle, it won't get scanned until graveyard shift (or at least the scans will show as midnight).
eBay, as usual, has lied and is imposing worse penalties for USPS behavior instead of ''changing the metric to help sellers''.
I wouldn't expect any different.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Wed Dec 9 00:54:00 2015

I checked my metrics today and I had 1 bad scan. That goes back to November 11th when all post offices were closed but I put it in the receptacle and of course it got scanned the next day so I was late. How the hell can you get a scan when the Post Office is closed because of a holiday and why does eBay not recognize this?

eBay is run as, I have said many times before, by a bunch or morons or complete dope heads.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Dec 9 03:03:29 2015

@xebayx

Many sellers have the same or similar problems as you do with their local POs.  Fortunately with the changes coming on Ebay in February for sellers it will really help this problem.

************************

I have never heard of the "extension" thing either.  

FYI In the main article on this subject a seller mention that they were unable to see the estimated delivery dates on purchases.  Sellers can find that on the Order Detail Page that can be accessed from the sold item.

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by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 9 04:14:27 2015

At the three post offices I use at least occasionally, never has a clerk refused to scan a prepaid package nor refused to add tracking to a package with stamps on it.  I typically arrive at the counter with 20 to 30 packages and no problem getting scans on the spot.  

Clerks who refuse to scan prepaid packages are not doing their job and if the manager or postmaster won't help then your nearest customer service center should be called.

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by: geministuff28 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 9 06:54:36 2015

I'm at my wits end with EBAY's policies...

How can EBAY even expect USPS or any other carrier for that matter, to guarantee delivery of a package to a buyer ''on time''

Even before Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday & Cyber week, I've had more issues with package delays that I have absolutely no control over...

Unless you physically go to your buyer's house, ring their doorbell, possess a hand held scanner, scan the package & hand it right to your buyer, forget it.

EBAY is unrealistic with this crap. They should be punishing the shipping carriers, not their sellers...

I've had so many packages that have toured the country before actually getting delivered!

A few examples:
I'm in PA.

I shipped a package to a buyer in NY. Priority... should have arrived within at least 3 days...

It wound up going all the way to CA. & hit just about every stop on the way.
I kept the buyer informed & TG he was so OK with it. He knew it was not my fault (some buyers will blame you no matter what)

It finally made it's way back to the east coast (MD.) & 11 days later, he got his package.
This was before EBAY's unrealistic delivery date demands were put into the endless rules of engagement!

In the past few weeks alone, I've been having a HUGE issue with the 1st stop of my package shipments.
The 1st stop for me is Philadelphia.

I know they are super busy but the 1st example was a package shipped a week before Thanksgiving, going to CA.
It made it to Philadelphia the same day it was shipped (as happens 99% of the time)
But then it sat in Philadelphia for 6 days before finally dislodging. Then it took another 4 days to finally reach CA. & another day to be delivered.

Since then I've had 4 more packages (2 to FL. 1 to IL. & 1 to TX) got stuck in Philadelphia for 3-4-5 days before dislodging.

I did file a formal complaint with USPS to investigate why 75% of these delay issues are a ''Philadelphia'' thing..

I shipped 14 packages on Sat. that so far arrived in Philadelphia.
Only 2 left there so far...
I'm holding my breath.

4 more went out Monday
2 on Tuesday & 5 going out today..

When there are delays, I always contact my buyers & apologize on behalf of USPS's ''pony express'' & keep them 100% informed.
Most buyers are OK with it & always leave pos. FB & 5 stars, but there's always that % that could care less & will blame me regardless..
They want their packages yesterday!

I'm lucky I have the best carrier who has a hand held & scans every package before he even steps off my porch.

But again, after that is a complete crap shoot with EBAY & buyers holding all the cards & ultimately controlling your destiny!

Perminate Link for What Are eBay Estimated Delivery Date Extensions??   What Are eBay Estimated Delivery Date Extensions??

by: tango This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 9 07:00:48 2015

I believe some may confuse the different issues:
- if you state xyz handling time, you are expected to ship within that time (after hours / holidays / weekends considered)
- you have 24 hours after Purchase Date/time to upload tracking to ebay to meet ''Tracking Upload within stated time''.  (evenings - after hours / weekends / holidays considered)
- Total time, from order placement to delivery is calculated:  sellers handling time + carriers time to specific zip code (off hours / weekends / holidays are usually correctly considered by ebay).
- this does NOT mean the item has to be scanned at that time (at drop off at the carrier)
-  only 1 scan is needed to verify and that scan has to be within the expected delivery time (your handling time + travel time).  this scan can be the delivery scan.
-  if tracking is loaded and NO scan, then ebay will query the buyer as to on time delivery.  
- On time delivery = delivery scan by carrier on or before expected date

none of our packages get scanned at drop off.
we do upload tracking within the required time
out of 2500 total shipments, ONLY 3 were delivered late - ONLY 1 had no scan at all and the buyer was queried.

Basically - if you do what you state you will - then follow thru on the upload and do that timely - no one should have any significant issues.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Dec 9 07:08:57 2015

People still wait in line at the post office?  

It's business as usual on my end. Will still ship quickly, drop off at post office or USPS bin but I will not wait in line for items to be scanned.

Enjoy your policy making eBay. Your policies change like the wind.

eBay want to blame sellers for USPS's failures and I'm not getting pulled into that no-win vortex.

Wenig states that he sells on eBay. (LOL)   Does Wenig wait in line at the post office for a package scan? No. I'm guessing the over zealous out-of-touch MBA's who make these policies don't either.

Perminate Link for What Are eBay Estimated Delivery Date Extensions??   What Are eBay Estimated Delivery Date Extensions??

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 9 07:19:33 2015

We are not carrot jumpers so what ebay does or doesn't do about the tracking update scans is of no concern to us.

Not being carrot jumpers we have 5 day shipping on all of our auctions. This allows us plenty of time and the post office plenty of time to process any package we send.

A problem that we currently know of is if the carrier is late getting back to the post office and misses a truck pick up the packages will sit there until the next day. This happens daily during heavy mail days like the holidays. Five day shipping keeps us covered.

Our small post office has neither the time or the employees to scan each and every piece of mail we send. And no we don't have scan sheets as all mail up to 13 oz has regular postage stamps and a tracking label on it.

Also of the hundreds of packages with tracking mailed each we non of the tracking numbers are uploaded to Fleecebay. Our thoughts are that tracking is for our protection not for the buyer to sit in front of their computer watching it move and then whining to us about why the package has been sitting in the PO for 20 minutes.

On a side note its hard to fathom why sellers jump for Fleecebay everytime they change something. Can't believe the few dollars you might get as a little bonus is that important. I would think that if you need those few dollars you need to rethink your business plan.

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

Wed Dec 9 07:52:02 2015

WENIG refuses to acknowledge Ebay's true place in the eCommerce chain.
EBAY : Sticking its nose where it doesn't belong...AGAIN.

Perminate Link for What Are eBay Estimated Delivery Date Extensions??   What Are eBay Estimated Delivery Date Extensions??

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 9 08:27:40 2015

My po has got to be the worst on the entire planet - we have a new manager - first time I met her at the counter she said "what do you want" ah duh - not dropping off my laundry. If I take my packages to my post office there is an automatic 1 day delay in shipping even though it's scanned because the package then moves to the main post office then the next day leaves town. I've started driving across town to the main post office and that's cured that problem however it's a 25 minute drive and a pain in the butt. I've often noted that on ebay it shows a different shipped date than on my postal receipt sometimes 2 days. Not sure where the exact problem is but it knocks me out of the fee discount. Does ebay do that on purpose?
Additionally - if you offer same day shipping and the buyer doesn't pay till 4:45pm - how am I supposed to get it to the po in time or does it automatically roll over to the next day to qualify?

Perminate Link for What Are eBay Estimated Delivery Date Extensions??   What Are eBay Estimated Delivery Date Extensions??

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 9 08:56:41 2015

I think, The secret delivery date extension  for Chinese sellers was put in place around July of this year,


Before July about 25% of all china items we made ended in an INR case, but after the secret extension ebay added, we noticed quite a drop in INR, which are now at about 5% , ebay is ABSOLUTELY adding extended time for china sellers, but no one else.

I can only imagine they probably got a warning from head office in Beijing, when a lot of buyers do not re-pay when the item shows up, so once again ebay secretly changed the rules to suit what's best for them and their best customers, which are Chinese.

ebay really is a very devious company, I would say for sure they would rank in the top 10.

This is all too funny, but eventually ebays day will come, they are betting the farm on china which is a very risky gamble, they will surely loose one day,

 

 

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by: whipnet This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 9 09:04:22 2015

All of my mail goes through the notorious North Houston Sort Facility.  In others words, I am EFFED!!

*

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by: XebayX This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 9 09:54:55 2015

@Marie
Perhaps you chose to ignore that my post is in reference to the proposed changes coming in February (which are already here apparently).
The point being that eBay spun a change to a failed metric used to discriminate against sellers (who are in areas where USPS refuses to do it's job consistent to it's PR) and made it even more damaging by using the more detailed (but faulty) data to limit these seller's visibility.
The old Shipping Time DSR (which clearly should never have been used, and eBay admits that) was far less damaging, and impacted a seller's TRS rating alone if enough buyer's complained.
The new policy, no matter how ''buffered'' by eBay's algorithm, will impact seller visibility without any input from the buyer.
Shipping Time metrics cannot be reliably measured by any of the methods eBay has put in place so far due to inconsistencies in the USPS process , and the data STILL represents something that is out of the seller's control.
Shipping Time by eBay's definition should never have been used to judge sellers, and this ''improved'' process serves to damage sellers for no good reason, despite eBay's predictable pronouncement that the change is being implemented to help sellers and right the wrong that eBay did using the old metric.

In this case it seems like ''You spoke, We listened'' translates to a statement that sounds like an abusive parent or domestic partner: ''You think you have it bad now? We'll give you something to cry about''.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Dec 9 10:21:45 2015

@maxmad

Where are you getting your numbers?  How do you know what percentage of INR other sellers are getting?

Since the extension policy was never announced, how do you know when they put it into play?

@xebayx

No I wasn't aware you were speaking to the upcoming February changes, I thought you were responding to what this article is about.

To my knowledge changes that are suppose to come in February are not implemented yet.  This article does not say anything to the contrary.  Nor are sellers being eval'd on the new policy.  According to my dashboard I'm still being eval'd on DSRs and all the other things we have been dealing with for the past few years.

The upcoming changes certainly aren't perfect, I completely agree.  But they are better than what we are currently dealing with and it will help many sellers.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Dec 9 11:06:24 2015

I'm good with the "old" standards!

The new standards have me on the border line with on time shipments.

I LIKE THINGS THE WAY THEY ARE!

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by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 9 11:36:26 2015

@Marie

The Data I am referring to are MY ACTUAL INR Cases, that I have personally opened against Chinese ONLY Sellers this year,  

Before July I was opening about 25+ cases per 100 items I purchased from China,

Around the middle of this year I starting noticing my cases for INR has gone down to approx. 5 INR cases per 100 items, after reading this article, it kind of all made sense, as the dates appear to have been extended, to allow more delivery time, before a case can be opened, I have no other explanation for it,

ebay really had to do something the delivery dates are as fake as they get, fortunately for my purchases from these sellers, I have complete integrity and honesty, and will re-pay if an item shows up, (I might also add, that I even wait a week after eBay's fake delivery date, before opening a case) but I am sure this is not the norm, and is simply an open invitation for every scammer on the planet to get free stuff.

And in my opinion, quite a nice promotional tool for ebay, for the cost of a FVF, to give away items at the sellers expense  

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by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 9 11:40:35 2015

@tango:

> - you have 24 hours after Purchase Date/time to upload tracking to ebay
> to meet ''Tracking Upload within stated time''.
> (evenings - after hours / weekends / holidays considered)

It's worth clarifying that if you're printing your labels through eBay, the tracking number is uploaded automatically anyway. Only those folks purchasing labels elsewhere will have to upload the numbers manually. I print my labels at home and drop off the packages at the PO on my way to work the next morning. If I've got an unpaid item still pending, I'll generally bring it to work in packed and pre-weighed form anyway, so that if the payment comes in during the day and I have time to deal with it, I can just print the label at work, slap it on the box and drop it at the downtown PO on my way to the evening train.

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

Wed Dec 9 11:44:14 2015

eBay needs to get with the program.

USPS has reclassified "First Class Packages" as "Parcels" that now rank somewhere between Media Rate and First Class Envelopes with "delivery within 5 Business Days - usually, sometimes, well, once in a while maybe".

USPS has revamped its holiday pick-up and delivery - so now "Tracking" has reverted back to "Delivery Confirmation". And still there's no guarantee that the confirmation scan data will be successfully uploaded to the Internet.

And once again the "temporary seasonal employee" has joined the automated sorting equipment as the USPS excuse for mysterious handling of packages by local retail centers. If only it would snow or an ice storm would blow in from somewhere then we could have a truly "traditional holiday season" with packages arriving the day after Christmas if then.

Meanwhile, Amazon Shipping shows delivery by "standard mail" within 3 weeks. I received a new set of DVDs yesterday with an Amazon Prime Fulfilled projected delivery date of Dec 21.

eBay could simply show the USPS Tracking Number and refer itself, the Buyer, and the Seller to the USPS Tracking web site for a more accurate and up to date delivery status but it prefers to send out bogus eBay messages re-assuring all Members that the eBay's lights are on but nobody's home, a/k/a "bonkers".

Meanwhile, USPS is in the package delivery business; eBay is not.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Dec 9 12:16:26 2015

@toolguy

That isn't possible.  The changes for next year encompass the current rules on verification of a shipment plus a couple more.  So if you are doing fine now, you'd have to be fine next year.

@madmax

Oh, sorry I didn't get that before.  Thank you for the explaination.  But do keep in mind that we have all these Chinese sellers because there are buyers willing to purchase from them.  As long as there is a market for what they sell, they will be here.  And you purchase a good amount of items from them.  

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by: XebayX This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 9 12:27:05 2015

@Marie
I guess the statement in this article ''The reason Monday's announcement is significant is due to the changes coming in the New Year in which eBay makes a seller's on-time shipping metric crucial to how it measures their performance.'' isn't what the article is about? The way I read it, it is a closing statement explaining the significance of the article.
In reference to the original article, to which the blog post was published to respond to, eBay's statement about eliminating the extensions is in itself an admission that it has already been manipulating listings based on the data it is collecting from regarding sellers meeting handling times under it's new standard.
To quote eBay:
''To improve buyer satisfaction, eBay adds an extension to estimated delivery dates for sellers who consistently miss their handling times. Currently, this extended delivery date is also used to determine a seller's on-time shipping rate (an important part of our more objective seller standards).''
and
''Please note: Until affected sellers improve their handling-time performance, we will continue to display the extended date to buyers. In the days to come, we will contact sellers who are affected by this change with more information.''
eBay is already collecting this data and displaying it to sellers. They have been displaying the data to sellers since November.
They have admitted they are already using it. The February date is meaningless, and eBay's contention that the new standard will help rather than harm sellers is untrue. I would bet that eBay's preferred sellers will be exempt form the practice if history is any indicator.

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