As reports of some shipping delays continue into this week, sellers are reporting another problem - not all of their packages are being scanned by carriers, which is the only way sellers can prove to marketplaces like eBay that they shipped their orders on time.
A Top Rated eBay seller informed us that she's being penalized for packages that the USPS failed to scan between November 15th and November 30th. She was told by an eBay representative that it was a known glitch.
However, the rep said eBay would only act to protect those sellers who contact the company proactively. "They said they were writing tickets up to exempt those that contacted them about the problem," the reader said.
She was writing to us to advise readers to check their Seller Level Forecast for the month of December at the top of their eBay Seller Hub page.
"I have been a top rated seller with 100% feedback for several years and mine popped up last week saying I would be dropping to above average. When I checked it showed we had nearly 20 packages that were not scanned between November 15th and November 30th."
The consequences of being demoted from a Top Rated eBay seller to Above Average are significant
, impacting listing visibility and selling fees.
Shipping and scanning problems are not isolated to eBay. A seller on Etsy said the Postal Service was not scanning their packages, and the comment was left in a thread on the Etsy boards
about postal delivery delays.
"OMG this has been the worst week by far," wrote another Etsy seller. "I mailed several packages Priority Mail over a week ago and only a few have been delivered. One of them was going to a city 2 hours from me and it still has not made it there!!! It’s been over a week. I could have walked it there faster! One customer left me a one star review saying she never got her package even though tracking showed it was in her town but had not been delivered yet."
Another wrote, "It's that season! I've been pleased that only in the last few days I've been seeing longer delivery times and less scanning...it might get worse before it gets better!"
One seller pointed out that Canada Post is warning its customers with a prominent message on the top of its website: "High seasonal volumes are delaying some deliveries. We apologize. Please track your package using our tool on canadapost.ca."
As we reported on Wednesday
, even Amazon, which has robust logistics operations of its own, was experiencing some delays after a "record-breaking start to the holiday season" and winter storms that "extended delivery times in some areas."
It's early in the season for carriers to be experiencing delays, and sellers may well be wondering if things will get worse in the run-up to Christmas.