eBay is opening up its currently gated Guaranteed Delivery program beginning in May, as we reported this evening
. It sent the following email to sellers on Friday:
Dear (User Name redacted),
We're contacting you today to share the exciting news that you have earned a spot in eBay Guaranteed Delivery because of your consistent on-time handling performance. Between May 1 and May 31, your listings that already meet Guaranteed Delivery requirements will feature a guaranteed delivery date backed by eBay. We'll contact you again in May once this change takes place.
As you may know, eBay Guaranteed Delivery is the program that lifts listing visibility and sales potential by allowing buyers to filter for listings guaranteed to arrive in three days or less.
To learn more about eBay Guaranteed Delivery and how it benefits all eBay customers, visit Seller Center and register for the live eBay Guaranteed Delivery webinar, March 28.
No Action Required
You don't need to do anything to take advantage of your new status. With eBay Guaranteed Delivery, eBay guarantees the delivery dates and makes it right if a buyer ever experiences a late delivery - no matter the reason. Simply keep meeting same- and 1-day handling time on the listings you've set those times for.
Opt Out Any Time
We want you to know you're always in control of how you sell. To remove yourself from the program at any time, visit Site Preferences, select eBay Guaranteed Delivery Setting, and click "I want to opt out of eBay Guaranteed Delivery."
Thank you for your consistent on-time handling and thank you, as always, for selling on eBay.
One of the readers who forwarded the email said they thought it was interesting but wasn't sure if they wanted to participate. "I have 99.75% on time mailing record. When an eBay lady called me last week to opt into this I said no simply because of the added pressure and the fact eBay does not often take weather problems into consideration such as the storm last week we had. So not they just go ahead an opt me in anyways? I wonder if it will help me with on-site visibility? My items are most often one of a kind with no others listed so not really needing any help with competition."
The eBay website states that the program provides participating sellers increased visibility for their listings; it offers shoppers the ability to filter out listings from search that don't offer a guaranteed delivery date, and it presumably provides greater exposure to listings offering Guaranteed Delivery in search results.
And that's exactly why some sellers have been impatiently waiting to get into the program.
But others were irked that Friday's letter implied they would be opted in to the program and would have to opt out if they chose not to participate. "I thought GD was supposed to be an opt IN program anyway? Maybe as per eBay SOP when they can't get enough takers they just shove sellers into it anyway? (remember when they first started GSP?)"
That's a reference to the Global Shipping Program, which for a long time eBay repeatedly opted some sellers into without their permission.
Meanwhile some sellers think the Guaranteed Delivery program has the potential to harm them. "eBay guarantees it, but what about the PO? I'm not going to guarantee anything I don't have complete control of." For the handling-time option, sellers are "financially responsible for any late delivery if you fail to meet your handing time commitment and if you do not upload tracking information."
Another seller asked what the downside was: "They are the ones guaranteeing it, not us. We're just guaranteeing the handling time. To be honest, I don't believe any of my items are "time sensitive". Therefore, I doubt if sales will increase."
One seller was concerned that the program requires "immediate payment," which would create a problem for their customers who buy multiple items and want a combined invoice.
Note: These are the requirements for a listing to be eligible for Guaranteed Delivery's handling time option:
- Be an item physically located in the United States.
- Be listed on eBay.com.
- Not be in a restricted category.
- Offer same- or 1-day handling.
- Require immediate payment.
- Be a listing for which returns are accepted.
- Include the item location postal code.
- Use an eligible carrier service.
(eBay also offers a door-to-door option with different requirements.)
We'd like to know what you think of the concept of the program and how you feel it benefits sellers. And how well do you think eBay is implementing the program?