Newsflash: eBay is introducing delivery confirmation for Local Pickup. It could be a game changer, since many sellers haven't wanted to take the risk of local buyers filing Item Not Received claims (INRs) with no way to prove the buyer took possession of the item.
eBay requires sellers to refund INR claims
unless they can provide a tracking number showing the item was delivered. But eBay is introducing QR codes that will serve as proof of delivery for Local Pickup orders.
eBay Engineer Maggie Donnels announced the new feature during an episode of the eBay for Business podcast
. She said without tracking information, "you could potentially expose yourself to a seller defect on your account," and then explained how the new feature worked through the use of QR codes:
"The buyer will now receive a QR code and a six digit code with their order confirmation email. They will present that to the seller when they go and meet to exchange the product and all the seller has to do is through the app. They'll scan that QR code which will generate a tracking number and will mark the item as delivered across all of our platforms."
Unfortunately, if a seller hasn't selected local pickup as an option, the new feature won't work if a buyer makes a request to pick up the item in person.
"I would hope that in the future we can solve that problem," Donnels said. "That is a huge problem with shipping. I know that. The buyer has selected shipping, but you realize that they live just down the street from you, so why not just drop it off? Dynamic shipping isn't available yet. I know that that is a big concern though for our sellers."
In addition to providing a QR code, eBay provides a numerical code that the seller can type into their app, she said - an option for sellers who don't want to give eBay permission to access their phone's camera.
The code also helps users adhere to social distancing - the buyer can read out the number to the seller, who can input it into the app on their phone. "All you have to do is relay the numbers to the seller," Donnels said. "They don't actually have to be within distance to scan the QR code."
The new feature is rolling out first to buyers and sellers in the US. "We're going to try to see how that works, and then soon enough we'll expand it to UK and Germany. I know that local pickup is very popular in those sites, so we're looking to expand to our big seven. So UK, DE (Germany), Australia and then France, Italy, Spain," she said.
The new feature could help eBay win back sales from sellers who have turned to Facebook Marketplace and mobile selling apps to sell locally rather than open themselves up to the risk involved in using Local Pickup on eBay.