Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Mar 20 2017 20:24:23

eBay Gives Conflicting Answers on New Shipping Program

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay announced a new program today, but it is scrambling to answer a simple question, but one that is crucial for sellers to understand.

As we reported in the previous post, eBay will roll out Guaranteed Delivery in the US this summer - at launch, eBay will guarantee delivery in 3 days or less on 20 million eligible items, millions of which will offer free shipping.

If a guaranteed item arrives late, the buyer can request to have their cost of shipping refunded. If the shipping was free, then the buyer will receive a coupon to be used towards their next eBay purchase. Alternatively, the buyer can also choose to return the item at no cost.

The first question we had upon learning of eBay's Guaranteed Delivery: who pays for the refund (or coupon) if the package arrives late. But eBay doesn't have a clear answer to this obvious question it should have expected, and representatives are giving conflicting responses.

eBay's Hal Lawton told Cnet that eBay and the seller would split the cost:

"Under the new eBay program, if a product doesn't arrive in the guaranteed time, both eBay and the seller will chip in to refund shipping costs. If an item was shipped for free, eBay and the seller will provide an eBay coupon, expected to be $5, Lawton said"

On the eBay Guaranteed Delivery FAQs, it's vague:

"What happens if an item does not arrive by the guaranteed date?
If a guaranteed item arrives late, the buyer can request to have their cost of shipping refunded. If the shipping was free, then the buyer can receive a coupon to be used towards their next eBay purchase. Alternatively, the buyer can choose to return the item at no cost."

On Facebook, eBay gave yet a different answer:

eBay Newsroom: So long as you meet your handling time, you are covered if an item arrives late. It will be eBay's responsibility, not yours. Let us know if you have other questions.

On eBay's special thread set up to answer questions, no response at all.

And no response from eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore to my inquiry.

Not only is it embarrassing for the company, but it's causing undue stress among sellers.

Update 3/21/17: eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore provided us with the following response last night: 

"As long as sellers meet their same-day or one-day handling time commitment, eBay will cover the buyer recompense for guaranteed items that arrive late (which is either free return of the item, or reimbursement of shipping costs). 

"If sellers do not meet their handling time commitment and an item arrives late, the seller will be asked to cover the buyer recompense. 

"eBay will protect sellers and pay the buyer recompense in the event of delays caused by major and unexpected weather events.  

"In all cases eBay will manage customer service for buyer recompense, so it will not cause a time burden for sellers."




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This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Mon Mar 20 21:08:03 2017

Before Amazon, eBay and the ecommerce revolution, ''Please Allow 6-8 Weeks For Delivery'' was the standard when purchasing anything from a mail order company.

And it was well accepted that you as a buyer would have to wait a while for your merchandise.

Fast forward to now. Amazon is eating eBay's lunch on shipping time, with two hour or less deliveries in large metropolitan areas. And the Bay is feeling the heat.

So, in their ongoing attempt to dazzle Wall Street with any kind of buzz (since their financials have failed to impress), they have to do something to gain attention.

Of course, it will be done on the backs of their sellers. I am not afraid of working a bit harder, but to be penalized for something out of my control is not only unacceptable, it is insulting.

If eBay has to pay a dime out of their pockets due to a perceived ''seller error'', there will be some type of punishment levied to their account, you can count on this.

Just like the Promoted Listings program, I will not opt into this. There are no benefits to me here, just stress and lost income.

My customers know I ship very quickly, and will be happy with my effort to get their item or items in their hands a.s.a.p..

Without a guarantee from eBay.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 20 21:38:54 2017

There are multiple answers because it's all a big scam.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Mar 20 21:51:56 2017

Per Hal Lawton's response: "[B]oth eBay and the seller will chip in to refund shipping costs."

Let me guess: eBay pays 10% of the shipping refund, and the seller pays 90%.

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This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Mon Mar 20 21:55:27 2017

If they can't get their answers in sync from the beginning, don't assume this program will get better in the summer when implemented.

How can you tell someone or a company is lying? When their stories and answers keep changing.

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by: Trying-My-Best This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 20 22:34:22 2017

My brain hurts.  

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by: dans parts This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 20 23:04:09 2017

I think Jack's got the right answer - eBay 10%, us losers the 90%

Since the items I sell have virtually no reason to be needing the item within minutes of ordering it, I currently have my handling set at 10 days.  I was thinking of changing it to 5, since I normally ship within 2 days, despite the 10 day lead time.  Now, I don't think so.

eBay can eat my shorts on this one...

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

Tue Mar 21 00:20:44 2017

Hippy Dippy Hal must have an IQ in negative numbers to put out such garbage (non) explanations.

Darden called. They want their MBA back.

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by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 21 02:26:13 2017

Awesome...just what we need. I am sure our seller dashboard will have the refunded shipping rate % in our dashboard along with the returns we can't control.

The site is horribly broken, old, outdated, and in steep decline. Maybe just worry about something that matters....Half the stuff on ebay is being dropshipped from Amazon or walmart anyway.  

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by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 21 02:30:27 2017

The reason there are no answers is because someone around the boardroom table blurts out idea for a pat on the back and someone else who knows nothing about selling on ebay says.....sounds good lets do it.

Return defects and last fee restructure brought the ebay comeback over the point of no return. Now they are just racing to the finish line.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Tue Mar 21 06:12:37 2017

Conflicting answers are nothing new at eBay.  Long after many policies are in force, eBay customer service gives conflicting answers to even the most basic questions.

When a company is run by executives and management who are more focused on cashing in shares of stock received as part of their compensation package than they are engaged in actually performing their job functions, this kind of corporate double speak is common - and without embarrassment.

I have no doubt that this delivery guarantee program starts as something that is harmless to sellers, the long term plan will turn out to be something that costs sellers money.

Based on past roll outs of new programs I can be confident in predicting a couple of things.

One, this program will roll out voluntarily as a test.  Within a year to 18 months, it will become mandatory for all TRS sellers to participate, and within three years, it will be implemented across the board and mandatory for all sellers.

Two, the program will roll out with eBay bearing the cost of the program, but over time, that cost will shift in increments and eventually become 100% the responsibility of sellers.

Remember that eBay currently tells you that you are responsible for a carriers failure to deliver on time because you selected the carrier.... This too will be their justification when they ensnare sellers in their latest anti seller snare trap.


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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 21 06:15:50 2017

Thats what you get when one asked stupid questions from Ebay.

The forked tongue is still working great.

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

Tue Mar 21 06:31:05 2017

Being micromanaged makes me Punchy.
F off ebay.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Mar 21 06:53:05 2017

No. HELL NO!!!  No

Just another program that sellers can't control and one where they WILL get screwed.

As long as you are dependent on a shipping company, and weather and a thousand other things that can go wrong there is not guarantee.

This company always finds a way to make me hate them more.  I think someone used the word micromanage above.

Thankfully, at least for now, it is not mandatory.

And how could Hal Lawton not have more definitive answers about every aspect of this program.  Like everything else they do, are they just figuring it out as they go along?

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Mar 21 06:59:07 2017

Off topic, has anyone else noticed an upsurge in 0 or 1 feedback buyers as of late?  I've had more than usual lately. One left negative feedback without contacting me first because he did not read the listing. Apparently he doesn't look at photos either; another one's address is about the biggest mess I've ever seen and when I contacted her she asked to just cancel the order.

I cringe every time I have to ship a package to someone who has 0 or fewer than 5 feedback and more often than not there is always an after sale issue.

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This user has validated their user name. by: blueribbon1844

Tue Mar 21 07:45:22 2017

I just spit out my coffee after reading the news flash and ebays concierge AI facebook messenger and updated homepage bs. People this is our money and fees they are wasting on garbage programs. Billboards.

Why Do they release news like this until they can show sellers the full details?

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by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 21 08:53:48 2017

How many irons in the fire and they can't handle any of them.
They need to stop all these new programs and clean up the old items that could/would help them and their customers (sellers).

I guess instead of the 1 Day service, I will set my shipping time to 3 days.
I am a TSR without fee discounts for over a year. I won't give them the 30 returns and such, but I do like to use them to get new customers to my eCrater accounts.

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by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 21 08:56:45 2017

Should we be writing to the Attorney General about this ? ?

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Tue Mar 21 09:17:25 2017

eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore responded last night, see update to the blog post above.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 21 09:32:48 2017

"In all cases eBay will manage customer service for buyer recompense, so it will not cause a time burden for sellers."

RIGHT - I TRUST EBAY TO BE FAIR AND IMPARTIAL  ...... NOT.

Who DOES trust eBay? eBay doesnt like paying for anything - why does anyone think they would GLADLY pay for this program? They will simply lie and say it was the sellers fault .... geez - is there anyone on this planet who doesnt know eBays abysmal reputation - that its a known liar.

Ryan Moore? More like Denis Moore ... (python reference)

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This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Tue Mar 21 10:51:08 2017

If what Ryan Moore says is true, as long as the package is mailed the same day (and scanned into the system), the seller will have fulfilled their end of the bargain.

We will see what happens when the first hurricane hits the southern US this summer, shipments are delayed, and eBay has to hand out vouchers & refunds.

If I opt I to this program, guess I can expect a lot of business from Florida and the other Gulf states this July through September!!

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