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Mon Dec 12 2016 09:51:14

The eBay Seller Customer Service Dilemma

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
Occasionally I have buyers on eBay pay with PayPal, and ask me to not ship the item for a few days either because they are going out of town, or the item may be a gift and they want it to arrive closer to the gifting date.  

I am torn as to how to handle these customers. In PayPal and eBay's eyes, I MUST ship right away, otherwise I get dinged for non-compliance of my handling time with no exception, however, I would love to provide good customer service and comply with the customer’s wishes.  

Yes, I could just refund the customer and request they pay when they want me to ship it, but that is not very good customer service and may lead to poor feedback. 

I was wondering how other sellers handle this situation.
Thanks,
Daniel

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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for The eBay Seller Customer Service Dilemma   The eBay Seller Customer Service Dilemma

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Dec 15 10:51:19 2016

@spooky

Shipping delays don't affect your FB rating, only the FB left by buyers does that.  Are you saying that you comply to buyer's requests for a delay in shipment, you comply and they then leave you negative FB?  

Perminate Link for The eBay Seller Customer Service Dilemma   The eBay Seller Customer Service Dilemma

by: timeaftertime This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 15 12:03:16 2016

I have only been asked to delay shipping maybe two times, ever (?)

My understanding is that for TRS+ discounts, a Tracking # must be posted in my Sold list, within 1 business day after the bidder PAYS (not the date the auction ends).

AND, YES, ebay checks delivery status! I got dinged for an item that was too long during the process before it was scanned in as delivered.

If they have not paid when they ask for delayed shipping I am happy to comply, and mail within the required 1 bus. day after payment is made.

On Ruby Lane I can handling shipping however I want.  

NO - Stamps.com accounts are NOT FREE!!!  They run on a monthly subscription.  I hate to pay it, but I really think it is worth the time it saves me fighting with PayPal shipping, plus there are significant discounts on numerous classes of mail, so it offsets the monthly fee.

 

Perminate Link for The eBay Seller Customer Service Dilemma   The eBay Seller Customer Service Dilemma

by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 15 13:09:04 2016

If a buyer asks if I can delay shipping prior to purchasing, I offer to cancel the listing and relist it when the buyer is ready to take deliver.

If the buyer asks after making the purchase and payment, I advise that ''Evil Ebay'' does not permit this and if I delayed shipping, eBay would do harm to my eBay business.  I do offer to cancel the purchase and refund the payment and later relisting the item when convenient for the buyer to take delivery.

Similar situation when a buyer asks if I will be ok with their purchasing the item and making one or more delayed payments.  I advise that I will be happy to cancel the listing and hold til they are ready to pay.  Relist the item at that later time for them to buy and make payment.

A lifetime ago on eBay, I including wording in the description that delayed installment payments was ok.  A lifetime ago.  

Perminate Link for The eBay Seller Customer Service Dilemma   The eBay Seller Customer Service Dilemma

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Dec 15 16:42:16 2016

@timeaftertime

If you are an Ebay seller, Stamp.com does have a free account available for Ebay sellers.  You need to change your account type.

You are correct, Ebay does check tracking.  But having the time scanned as delivered is not the only way they confirm you shipped on time.  There are now three ways they confirm shipment.  Any ONE of the three ways will count as you shipping on time.  So it is possible to print the label late [for example, day 2 after payment was received] and still have you account show zero late shipments.

Any ONE of these three ways is all it takes.

1.  Tracking uploaded and scanned in within your stated handling time.

2.  Scanned delivered within the ETA stated on the purchase recorded.

3.  When the buyer leaves FB, they can answer a question if they choose to that states Yes it was received on time.  If they answer yes, then it records as an on time shipment.

Perminate Link for The eBay Seller Customer Service Dilemma   The eBay Seller Customer Service Dilemma

by: timeaftertime This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 16 09:30:58 2016

@ Marie

Thank you so much for the further info! I had no clue there was a free Stamps.com account open to eBay sellers. I will be asking them about it and see how it compares to a regular subscription account.

However, if one of the requirements is that I must have an eBay store, that will leave me out. I am not willing to get into an eBay store - I keep hearing the horror stories, not to mention it will mean having to give up exclusive status on Ruby Lane, which does have privileges.

Another consideration is that stamps.com charges are business expenses (except the few personal things I run through on rare occasions), which makes them a bit more palatable.  

Perminate Link for The eBay Seller Customer Service Dilemma   The eBay Seller Customer Service Dilemma

by: timeaftertime This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 16 10:13:11 2016

From the Stamps.com blog - the free account is for eBay shipping ONLY....

''Customers using the Free eBay program can upgrade to a paid subscription plan to utilize Stamps.com’s other mailing and shipping features, such as printing postage on envelopes, importing data from Amazon, Yahoo! Stores, Google Checkout or their own shopping cart in formats such as CSV, Excel or XML.''

Apparently the free program covers ONLY eBay transactions (but I didn't see any requirement to have an eBay store, which is great).

So that leaves me out - since I am actually shipping more packages from other venues. If I have to subscribe for those, I might as well just ship to eBay customers via the one single account because it won't make any difference; except I won't have the hassle of managing two separate accounts despite one being free.  

Perminate Link for The eBay Seller Customer Service Dilemma   The eBay Seller Customer Service Dilemma

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Dec 16 13:26:24 2016

@timeaftertime

Nope, they do not require you have a store.

I don't know about the those restrictions.  I can tell you for a fact that I've used it to ship a couple items from my Amazon sales.  

I'm not sure how they would know that unless I provided that information to them, which I didn't.  

I am a new user of Stamp.com and I don't have a whole lot of experience.  I can just tell you that I was able to do other transactions.  Hopefully someone here has more experience with this and can assist you.

Perminate Link for The eBay Seller Customer Service Dilemma   The eBay Seller Customer Service Dilemma

by: timeaftertime This user has validated their user name.

Sat Dec 17 14:10:05 2016

@Marie,

I have used Stamps.com since May 2015 and been very pleased. I hope you have the same experience.  It is not the easiest thing to learn, but once you get going, it should work well for you, and their customer service is some of the best I have ever encountered.

I am not going to pursue the free ebay account; the paid subscription is already worth the price in time and trouble that it is saving me. I do a lot of shipping from Ruby Lane sales, so printing eBay postage makes no difference and it's very handy to have the eBay link right there available on the same console.

How interesting that you could create Amazon labels from the free eBay account ?! Wonder if they offer Amazon labels also free?

I haven't checked for sure but apparently the free eBay account may be limited as to what services are provided (?) The full account lets me use any service provided by the USPS.

I got into Stamps.com after the USPS kicked all of us who do not use postage meters out of its Click-N-Ship-For-Business and I have nothing but good to say about it. Before, I spent wasted hours hitting ''SYSTEM UNAVAILABLE'' trying to print PayPal shipping labels.

Another serious plus for me is I can print 2 pages of monthly postage reports in .csv, when in the past I had to save individual receipts. A huge time and paper saver.  

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