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Wed Feb 12 2014 16:39:28

eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Delivery Dates

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
Today, Wednesday, Feb. 12, due to the winter weather, I changed all of my listings from a 1 day to a 3 day handling time.  Everything is still estimated to arrive in my zip code on or before Saturday, Feb 15, even the books going by media mail. 

I looked at some of my listings, and changed the ship-to zip code to the opposite coast, and they're estimating first class items to arrive on or before Tuesday, Feb. 18.  Monday is a postal holiday.  If Saturday is not a business day, then a 3 day handling time would have me mailing it on Tuesday. 

Is there any way to convince eBay to pay attention to handling times and postal transit times, instead of giving our buyers unrealistic delivery expectations? 
Thank you.
ED




Comments (29) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del   eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 12 17:27:45 2014

The feeble minded Ebay management thinks it is always 80 and sunny....It probably is in their world.

eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del   eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed Feb 12 17:30:40 2014

Unfortunately, seller complaints about inaccurate delivery dates displayed by eBay fall on deaf ears, as eBay customer service has been purposefully desensitized to what John Donahoe refers to as "noise" from sellers.

The inaccuracies were intentionally built into eBay's system so that they can appear to be going through the motions of competing with faster services such as Amazon Prime and so they can bamboozle Wall Street analysts to that end.

eBay KNOWS their delivery date displays are wildly inaccurate, but they do not care since they are not taking the heat from buyers - sellers are in the form of DSR scores.

When buyers complain to eBay about the inaccuracies, they are likely told it is the sellers fault since eBay makes no allowance for slow handling by carriers due to weather or high holiday volume, and completely dismisses any suggestion that it is their information which is to blame.

eBay needs to get out of the business of making promises on behalf of sellers when they know those promises establish completely unrealistic buyer expectations.

I have no doubt that eBay is going to continue to mislead buyers right up to the point that 11 Main opens and pulls the rug out from under eBay.

eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del   eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Wed Feb 12 19:41:40 2014

"The inaccuracies were intentionally built into eBay's system so that they can appear to be going through the motions of competing with faster services such as Amazon Prime and so they can bamboozle Wall Street analysts to that end."

Brother, you said a mouthful...

eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del   eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del

by: PowerSeller2007 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 13 00:20:00 2014

Definitely, items are arriving late, lost, damaged and returned.  

Ebay has the information when label are printed, when the post office received the item and when the items were delivered or lost.

Ebay also has a list of all REPEAT THIEVING BUYERS.

In both case, ebay choose NOT TO LIFT A FINGER.

It is either seller or buyer fault.  
Ebay is the arbitrator and will NEVER find itself at fault.

eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del   eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del

by: PowerSeller2007 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 13 00:25:38 2014

OP.
  Don't change to 3 day.  I think that could disqualify your for the 20% discount.  
  Also, always tell buyers it is ebay who posted the erroneous / misleading date.  We complained but ebay did not care.
   We all called ebay to correct it.  But ebay always act like a Tyrant KING!  

eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del   eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del

by: blaumann2 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 13 02:02:55 2014

I contacted the buyer I had today. I told him we are expecting a blizzard. I may ship next week. Ebay can fly a kite.

eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del   eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del

by: DonC This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Feb 13 03:09:52 2014

"Is there any way to convince eBay to pay attention to handling times and postal transit times, instead of giving our buyers unrealistic delivery expectations?"
Sorry Edd, aint happening.


Typical Ebay incompetence. On occasion Ebay even calculates the ETA before your handling time expires.

eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del   eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del

by: Cloud This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 13 03:14:37 2014

Not that it has helped much here but when I get complaints about a package not arriving by the estimated date I tell the customer that those dates are given by eBay against sellers wishes and that they do not take into account, date of payment, date of shipment, type of service and carrier used, weather delays, holidays or any other event that might delay delivery. I then tell them that if they have an issue with the estimated delivery dates given that they should complain directly to eBay as we have no control over that error. I then state that perhaps if enough buyers complain about the inaccurate dates perhaps they will finally listen. So far its satisfied the buyers on the shipping delays, though I can't say if any of them have actually made a call.

eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del   eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del

This user has validated their user name. by: baconsdozen
Web Site

Thu Feb 13 04:59:49 2014

Here in the UK large areas are under water some have been for over five weeks.
Our goverment like ebay thinks they only have to waffle for long enough and everything will be fine.

eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del   eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del

by: cosqueen This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 13 06:40:07 2014

As a seller, I have been battling this issue since early December when both the weather and USPS backlog, cutbacks and downsizing hit sellers hard.  This is now the reality of first-class mail delivery.  Both Ebay and Amazon have held sellers accountable for something completely out of our hands and estimated delivery dates SHOULD NOT BE POSTED because even God doesn't know when mail will be delivered.  I have spent hours on this issue educating both channels, calling my USPS supervisor, the 1-800-Ask-usps number, etc., etc. They tell me sorting centers are backed up and mail can sit there for days.  I have seen this first hand and am taking a beating for it every day.  I educate my buyers in an email but they don't read because they don't have time.  Everyone wants their orders next day but no one wants to pay for them.  They expect to be refunded if it is a day late and refunded it is scannerd as delivered but ''they didn't get it,'' refunderd for any reason.  So far, nothing has been done.  Do Ebay and Amazon also know that humans drive the delivery trucks on the treacherous roads,  fly the planes and deliver the mail in subzero weather risking their lives?  Ebay, Amazon and buyers need to get a grip on reality here in the US, especially in light of the recent weather that hit the southeast essentially shutting down the states.  I am exhausted from preaching and wish something would be done.  The mail situation will only get worse and buyers need to stop being given unrealistic expectations.

eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del   eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 13 08:46:14 2014

ebay looks at the bottom line - the FVF. Does it matter to them if it is late for any reason _ NO. They still get what they set out for - more money. Seller gets the heat and ding marks. That is an added bonus to ebay - no more TRS bonus money paid out. They love it there in San Jose.

eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del   eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del

This user has validated their user name. by: thehosst

Thu Feb 13 10:10:43 2014

Hello Ina, a few days ago a sent an email to you about the USPS changing the "acceptance delivery date" to 3 to 5 days after the real date when we drop a package.

As of last week is now plain 5 days late, meaning, the tracking codes we give to customers show no update at all, but then, after a few days, it shows as if we drop a package 5 days later. As you can imagine, customers are upset and many open cases for getting "fake" tracking codes or for "shipping very late".

Some eBay staff has been very helpful with some of the cases but I have to say that is just a handful of eBay support staff which brings me to a big topic that I never seen covered in your blog:

What can sellers do when an eBay support staff interpreters the written eBay policy his/her own way?  

The eBay announcements clearly show that eBay recognizes and supports sellers with transactions affected by severe weather issues, however, 1 in 10 customer support members will do the "transfer move"  or will simply deny that eBay policy applies to you.

I think that a lot of eBay sellers are frustrated by those "support" members and it will be interesting to see what sellers do to handle a situation involving a support member unwilling to apply the eBay policy.

I also would like to see more about the USPS changing acceptance delivery dates, a lot of sellers are not aware of this because they simply don't randomly tracking packages from A to Z, but if they ever do, they probably agree with this. Some of the states having this issues, as I have learned in the last few weeks: New Jersey, Florida, New York, Illinois and Texas.

The USPS announces same day delivery for the San Francisco area, if they are going to upload status as accepting a package 5 days later, well, they can easily claim same day delivery 5 days later.

They are also considering Banking services in most USPS facilities, just imagine scanning a paycheck 5 days later?

After the recent price changes, the very least they can is to better their services.

My last comment is, during the holidays UPS and Fedex got a lot of heat because of late deliveries, it was all over the news, but did you see anything about the USPS? Of course you didn't, because they changed the acceptance delivery dates, you can only tell by your DSRs and yes, I know, you can have them scan one by one in front of you but not if you have hundreds a day, they will never do that. Very good article. Thank you/

eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del   eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Feb 13 11:23:30 2014

In southern US cities shut down by snow and ice eBay and amazon packages are either sitting in one of those blue box containers on the street or elsewhere.

They need to remove the inscription "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds" from the James Farley post office in New York.  I haven't seen a mail truck or postman in days.    Yet, customers still see that estimated delivery date of two or three days.

eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del   eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Thu Feb 13 11:46:44 2014

"...estimated delivery dates SHOULD NOT BE POSTED because even God doesn't know when mail will be delivered."

God and Donahoe even mark the sparrow's fall...

eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del   eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Feb 13 12:21:29 2014

I received this e-mail from eBay:

As you know, inclement weather conditions have severely impacted many parts of the United States, disrupting shipments and hindering communications. Your recent purchase may be delayed if the package was sent from, routed through, or shipped to an affected area. While basic services are being restored, we ask that you please be patient and consider these special circumstances when leaving feedback for purchases.

If you haven’t received your package, you can check the shipping status in the “Purchase history” section of My eBay. Most sellers enter a tracking number you can click to see the package’s shipping status. And if your item doesn’t arrive, please know that virtually all purchases are covered by the eBay Money Back Guarantee.

Thank you in advance for your understanding and, as always, thank you for buying on eBay.

Sincerely,

eBay Customer Support

eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del   eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Thu Feb 13 12:50:22 2014

As  iheartjacksparrow  points out, eBay OCCASIONALLY sends out advisories to buyers, however, the circumstances under which eBay decides to are mysterious at best.

It seems as though entire regions of the country need to be impacted before eBay acts. Smaller, more localized storms get zero notice from eBay as the company simply does not care about proactively protecting their sellers unless there are widespread adverse weather issues which are too big for them to ignore.

To manage buyer expectations better than eBay does, we send every buyer a shipping detail confirmation after printing their shipping label. To avoid redundancy, we turned off the item shipped notice in our eBay settings as we prefer to control the setting of buyer expectations.

At the start of the holidays, we added the following to our shipping detail confirmation emails:

''Delivery dates displayed by eBay do not take into account Federal Holiday closures, high holiday volume, or winter weather complications which can result in delays in delivery by the Postal Service. We apologize in advance if eBay's estimated delivery display fails to accurately represent the actual date of delivery by the Postal Service.''

When we know bad weather is expected we also cut and paste this:

**** (Insert Date) Weather Advisory *** ''Please note that your order ships from New Jersey where we are expecting a serious winter storm in the next 24 - 48 hours. The effects of this storm may delay timely processing of your package by the US Postal Service. We appreciate your patience and understanding with regard to potential weather related delays.''

Our lowest DSR score is 4.97 on a 12 month view and 4.98 on a 3 month view, so these confirmations certainly seem to be setting better expectations for buyers compared to the tersely worded shipping notices eBay would send had we not turned them off.

eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del   eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del

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

Thu Feb 13 13:31:56 2014

In 14 years, I have had only one or two packages arrive sufficiently late that a customer complained.  After being cussed out by a lady in Las Vegas complaining that I was cheap sob using Parcel Post and not Priority Mail.  

I figured she was correct and start to use only First Class and Priority Mail.  When the package did show up, she returned the refunded payment to my Paypal account and asked asked if she could buy from me again.  Sorry, all foul mouth whiners end up on the “forbidden to buy” poop list.

Since day one on eBay, I always send out an E-Mail (not through eBay) to a buyer confirming that their order was mailed, what service, and when to expect delivery.    The delivery dates are what I expect considering distance and weather not what eBay advises.   No complaints.  

eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del   eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 13 16:28:02 2014

I think the fact that Ebay notifies it buyers and sellers that harsh weather may slow delivery down is good. That they still state for the buyer that they will receive their package within 3 days, despite weather, weekends and Holidays, is not good.

eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del   eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 13 20:10:55 2014

I had a package shuffle thru SEVEN  USPS "Sort Centers"  for a solid MONTH---3 Jan to 3 Feb---and only showed up at the buyers house AFTER I sent a replacement.  Showed up in the SAME mail delivery in fact!

Trying to get info from the USPS is HARDER than getting straight answers from ebay in my book.  At least ebay eventually answers the phone. Neither one tells the truth or has the slightest concern for YOUR BUSINESS but---hey.  

The USPS guys here are making something like $30 an HOUR while their retirement and health care is FULLY FUNDED for the next billion years.  Sweet deal eh.  

Meanwhile the CARRIERS here in Cow Country are lucky if they make above minimum;  must supply their OWN vehicles; must trek thru the literal cold snow sleet freezing rain and random deer attacks to GET the mail to us---many modify their cars to have wooden "plows"  to even be able to GET to our mailboxes.  

I have tremendous respect for our mail carrier who sits on a few pillows on the center console of her CRV--I have the same car;  can't be comfy;  and DELIVERS EVERY DAY REGARDLESS OF THE WEATHER.   vs the people who sit in the ACTUAL PO and beeeeeatch every time we bring a package thru the door;  send our packages to the wrong address' in and out of the country;  claim they CAN'T ship to Hawaii because it is NOT A PART OF THE USA--

Any wonder why I hate the USPS and ebay equally?  

eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del   eBay Ignores Storms and Holidays in Estimating Del

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 13 20:12:00 2014

Ohg and wait--I ONLY got the ebay weather warning of delayed delivery on my SOLD items page--and I HAVE several items where I AM the buyer!  

So--WHO are they sending these things TO????

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