A major advantage to shopping online is that it doesn't matter where an item is located - the seller will ship it right to your front door. Small businesses in rural areas can compete with mega-merchants and retail chains.
But eBay's search engine uses item location as a factor in the sort-order of search results, one of a number of criteria it uses in its algorithm, including relevancy, price, return policies, sellers' track records, and the popularity of the item.
On its help page
explaining how to optimize listings for "Best Match" search, eBay states, "Ensure your item reaches your buyer on time and use tracking where possible."
Sellers have control over which shipping carriers they offer, often leaving it up to the buyer to choose if they wish to pay more for faster service.
But once the seller places the package in the carriers' hands, delivery is out of their control. With the current challenges facing carriers, it's easy to see how seller location might advantage some sellers over others.
eBay clearly understand the importance of delivery speed and filed a patent
, "Systems and methods for prioritizing local shopping options."
Are you getting more orders from local buyers (and since when), or is it still a mix from around the country?
What could eBay do better to help speed delivery while managing buyer expectations?
Any predictions about the upcoming holiday shopping season?