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Fri Feb 19 2021 10:41:42

eBay Makes Promises to Buyers It Can't Seem to Keep

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I just had an interesting situation arise yesterday with a customer contacting us claiming that his item had not arrived. Not unusual in itself, given the situation with postage across the world at the moment. Until I check the order and it was made 2 days ago. 

The buyer used the fast and free postage option we have on all our listings, which is attached to a Royal Mail 24 standard service. Delivery was to the UK, and typically arrives within 1-2 days.

It was at that point that the buyer mentioned that it delayed his project, and that the delivery was guaranteed by today. Politely I mentioned the fact that eBay dates are estimates and that our services have never included a guarantee. In his response he sent a screenshot of an eBay search on his phone, and there clear as day it had the words "Guaranteed by xxxx" under the FAST & FREE Icon. Not to mention other listings saying the same thing underneath.

At no point have we ever offered a guaranteed delivery date for free, nor can we. The price difference in service is from £0.9 to £5.70 minimum.

Infuriated, it was a clear eBay is playing about with things again, and this time setting unrealistic expectations for buyers that sellers then have to resolve. Our number of contacts for late delivery are already up with the impact of the pandemic on the services, but this takes it to the next level.

I have contacted eBay to look for some sort of clarification. On a webchat, I must admit I was a little taken aback. Not least because I cannot imagine a single occasion in which it will be upheld, and no doubt it will fall on the seller as being at fault.

This is what was said when I said I was worried that it says guaranteed!

"I understand you. Nothing to worry since delivery is out of your control we can help you to late delivery to negative feedback. This will help attracting buyers to purchased an item and will do our best that buyer will received the item on the guarantee date"

"I perfectly understand you this disclaimer will normally appear if you have less than 3 days of delivery"

I then asked what to say to the buyer.

"Please inform the buyer that the delivery time and date is guaranteed by eBay shipping courier and inform them your dispatch time"

I am sure that this is all going to go down brilliantly with customers! Not to mention the sellers are going to have to deal with it.
All the best,
S.

Comments (10) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Makes Promises to Buyers It Can't Seem to Kee   eBay Makes Promises to Buyers It Can't Seem to Kee

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 19 11:34:42 2021

Its abit unrealistic to assume that:

1) eBay will actually have your back
2) eBay will care about the fallout - ie angry buyer who will never buy from you again because he/shefeels short changed
3) that eBay actually cares what you say (about anything)
4) that it makes a difference to them 1 way or the other

eBay lies to everyone all the time - its how they do business. If you go back a week or so, Ina had an article where eBay spokespeople openly said "eBay is not about the truth", and it isnt.

eBay doesnt ship anything, they have no control over any shipping carrier - so logic would say ... they have no control and therefore cant promise anything, but yet they do.

Its called FRAUD here in the good USA, but lots of bad actors here protect eBay from ever getting into trouble. eBay makes lots of political contributions, eBay brass and most stock analysts (people like Seeking Alpha) consort to help them run pump n dump stock schemes ("well eBay said they grew X amount and it HAS to be true - so they are a BUY. And even when people post that the numbers are "extremely massaged" they get ignored). So, basically - its all a scam. eBay reposts what ever ESITMATED times are on the postal websites - trying to APE AMAZON - and when/if it fails ... they just laugh and go to Walkers for a drink or go to the executive gym for a good work out and a happy ending.

Ahhh the lives of todays white collar criminals!

Perminate Link for eBay Makes Promises to Buyers It Can't Seem to Kee   eBay Makes Promises to Buyers It Can't Seem to Kee

by: lessthanthreerecords This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 19 11:50:24 2021

This happened to me (many times) a few years ago.  After extended complaints to eBay, I finally got them to exempt my account from the "fast and free" program which solved the problem.  I had numerous people tell me that was not an option, but then they finally did it.  I think they were giving too many worthless $5 coupons to my buyers because I ship a lot of tubes and even prior to the pandemic, they frequently take 2 weeks when they are supposed to take 2 to 3 days.

Perminate Link for eBay Makes Promises to Buyers It Can't Seem to Kee   eBay Makes Promises to Buyers It Can't Seem to Kee

by: COVID-19 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 19 16:10:48 2021

Have the courage to extend your handling time to the maximum allowed:  30 days!  

Amazon-trained buyers can just go shop elsewhere like.....well, Amazon!

Perminate Link for eBay Makes Promises to Buyers It Can't Seem to Kee   eBay Makes Promises to Buyers It Can't Seem to Kee

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Feb 19 18:26:28 2021

Amazon does the same darn thing.  And has been since about October or so of last year.  At least on my listings and they are still doing it.  So far on any claims regarding this Amazon has paid the buyer, not me.  But still it is quite annoying.

Perminate Link for eBay Makes Promises to Buyers It Can't Seem to Kee   eBay Makes Promises to Buyers It Can't Seem to Kee

by: Shanna This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 19 19:39:15 2021

Marie,

Amazon has contract with all major carriers to deliver Amazon packages in a certain time frame. That's why USPS will deliver an Amazon package on Sundays and holidays. Ebay has no such contracts with anyone. With their volume of shipments they certainly could, but that would involve actual work by their executives, so don't look for it any time soon.

Perminate Link for eBay Makes Promises to Buyers It Can't Seem to Kee   eBay Makes Promises to Buyers It Can't Seem to Kee

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 19 20:15:20 2021

“”This will help attracting buyers to purchased an item and will do our best that buyer will received the item on the guarantee date"”

Set aside the fact eBay makes many many ‘promises’ daily, of all sorts, and does not keep them. That’s how they ‘close out’ any issue - with an empty promise of action, booted to some nebulous and enigmatic ‘team’ deep in the bowels of their campus. Who apparently work in trouble report roach motels with no means of contact with the outside world.

Ignore also, the pidgin-English like response quoted above - it’s a typical eBay abomination which in this case is passed off as the majority of eBay’s English as a second language customer ‘service’. Apparently they’re trying to be reassuring that no bad FB will ensue - eventually - maybe. If they keep that particular promise...

Try to overlook as well, the fact that eBay, by the above, is practically admitting they are attempting to entice with terms they can not ensure, and worse, attempting to ensnare YOU into their ethics-free eCom culture.

No, ignore all that - focus on what they are claiming “...and will do OUR best that buyer will receive...”.

Just who is this “our” to whom they refer? Because in the meaning intended - that eBay takes ‘responsibility’ - it’s certainly not eBay that is any party to the effort of shipping. It’s eBay that has CAUSED the issue by making a promise (once again), that they have NO ABILITY to keep, and no business making in the first place. Hate to be made out as any part of any “our” where that emptiness represents anything claimed to be “best”, wouldn’t you?

And incidentally, when they advised to “ inform the buyer that the delivery time and date is guaranteed by eBay shipping courier...”, what exactly IS an “eBay shipping courier” in their delusional ham handed minds? eBay doesn’t ship squat. They can’t even manage to deliver information with any clarity or accuracy.

So, there’s all that. Still....even if you can phooey-away all of that, and there are plenty of the assimilated who out there who would - consider this:

eBay’s main reassurance here is “Nothing to worry...”. So why is the seller left alone to answer to, and mollify (if that’s possible) the buyer? FB or no FB, it was the seller’s listing they are assured is to be believed, and it is the seller who will remain in their mind next time. So, Wouldn’t clarifying all that to the buyer be eBay’s job? When the buyer is INEVITABLY disappointed by something eBay has done, WITHOUT the seller’s permission, sometimes even knowledge, where is this “our” they (try to) speak of? Apparently, on the other side of Earth, with a script. Lacking syntax.

Wouldn’t it be nice if ‘we’ could stop making promises and guarantees that ‘we’ have no business making? Now THAT would be reassuring.

Perminate Link for eBay Makes Promises to Buyers It Can't Seem to Kee   eBay Makes Promises to Buyers It Can't Seem to Kee

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sat Feb 20 03:25:15 2021

@Shanna

That is if Amazon is actually shipping the items, not for third party sellers that ship their own stuff.  I ship my own stuff.

Ebay can't have contracts like Amazon does because Ebay doesn't actually ship anything.  So the two just aren't the same.

Perminate Link for eBay Makes Promises to Buyers It Can't Seem to Kee   eBay Makes Promises to Buyers It Can't Seem to Kee

by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 21 01:25:35 2021

Ebay has been playing bait and switch on shipping commitments for years.

They think they are being clever by promising delivery estimates that rival Amazon. The buyer doesn't know the difference. Buyers just assume that eBay is big enough and functions like Amazon. The two are nothing alike. Amazon invests billions in infrastructure and actually knows a thing or two about logistics. Ebay can't even come close. In the end they are only hurting themselves.

Perminate Link for eBay Makes Promises to Buyers It Can't Seem to Kee   eBay Makes Promises to Buyers It Can't Seem to Kee

by: HardWorkingSeller This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 22 06:20:34 2021

You can opt out of Guaranteed Delivery on the Site Preferences page.  As I recall it was discussed on this site that eBay said a while ago that they would be turning on GD by default for some sellers and that you could decline to be part of the program by changing that setting if you wish.

I don't think that eBay ever implemented the part of the GD deal that make the seller responsible for the $5 late arrival compensation (in the 'handling time' flavor of GD), and has been covering that themselves.  At the last eBay Open the shipping team said there were no plans to change the current arrangement.

They do have an odd definition of ''Guaranteed'', as the guaranteed date seems to get adjusted every time USPS tracking indicates that the most recently promised date won't be achieved.  However despite the ever-moving goal posts, I did manage to claim my $5 on a recent purchase where the original GD date was missed but the third revision was achieved.   So it pays to keep a close eye on what they promise at the time of order acknowledgement and file any late delivery claims based on that commitment.  I could not file my claim until after the item was finally delivered.  Trying to claim the day after the original committed date passed resulted in an error message.

Perminate Link for eBay Makes Promises to Buyers It Can't Seem to Kee   eBay Makes Promises to Buyers It Can't Seem to Kee

by: Vox29 This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Feb 22 14:36:36 2021

The truth is that there are no guarantees in life. For eBay to "guarantee" fast and free delivery in a time when USPS is making unnecessary delays in shipping constitutes a definite fraud, because they cannot no matter what they say. They would like to look like other large supermarket sites but they are not even equipped with the kind of communications that are required to enforce their promises to both buyers and sellers. This is why I left just recently and am now happiy ensconced on my own site, where I do tell buyers that USPS delivery dates are estimates and not quarantees. If they can't handle that it's not my problem. But I do ship out the same day or the next so at that point it's up to USPS to keep their promises.



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