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Mon June 29 2015 07:36:09

eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappointed Buyers

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
Good morning, once again I contact you regarding eBay, I feel sometimes like I need an eBay Shrink.

Is anyone else dealing with unreasonable expectations being set with the Fast and Free program and USPS Deliveries?

I just had a buyer open a case for product not delivered on time/not received. The product was ordered and shipped on 6/23. The post office is showing estimated time for delivery 6/27. The case was opened today 6/28. 

I talked to a CSR who said the case was able to be opened because the shipping delivery expectation was 6/27 the next day the case can be opened. I get it, but the USPS site even states First Class Mail is 3-5 business days, this was only 4 business days if you count day one (6/23) which no one counts.

The buyer stated he was very upset that the product did not arrive when expected. Which I do get, but I question why this is a major issue, anyone dealing with the US Post Office understands this. In fact I left my phone number on the message back to the buyer, he called me, and after spending 1/2 explaining his life story to me, he told me the post office in his area cannot find his address and delivers his mail to his neighbors all the time.

I have had to make a painful decision today, we are getting rid of our TSR status. I am changing my shipping time to 2 days instead of 1 on all of my products. I simply cannot stand to keep getting beat up by the eBay management decisions that are clearly not realistic. I have news for all, drones will not help either for delivery, they will have failure points as well. You simply cannot deliver a cost effective method and 100% guarantee that the Post Office will get things there on time, not going to happen, no way, no how, and no reflection on the Post Office. Some one at the Post Office management should address this with eBay, they are taking the blame for eBay's unreasonable expectations that are being set.

Over the last 4 years we have moved 60% of our business off eBay, which has been good for us, not eBay. I still like and have very nice customers on eBay and have very high ratings, I just cannot deal with a business partner that raises expectations beyond what is reasonable. If my sales drop further on eBay due to this so be it, I cannot continue to get beat up by a group of people that have no reasonable idea of what is right. Even the buyer clearly admitted that they have an issue with their local post office.

Has anyone else removed themselves from the TSR program this way? What has the outcome been?

Frustrated that folks in ivory towers make decisions to "make themselves look better" and then beat up a small business person to make it happen.

Thanks for listening once again.
Regards,
John




Comments (33) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo   eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Jun 29 10:29:58 2015

My TRS status gives a $200 a month discount.

I see no reason to give this up!

We work very hard for this discount.

It brings our FVF on sales down to 6.4% not counting Paypal.

eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo   eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Jun 29 11:36:29 2015

I hope that John Donahoe's handyman doesn't get hyponatremia from drinking the kool aid.

eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo   eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Jun 29 11:54:04 2015

A while back I spoke with an eBay CSR regarding the inaccuracy of eBay's delivery date displays.

According to the agent I spoke with, eBay is contractually obligated to show dates based upon USPS estimated time of delivery.  The estimated date displayed is allegedly based on the buyer and seller zip codes and current USPS average handling time frames.

The CSR all but admitted that the dates displayed are sometimes unrealistic but there was nothing eBay could do.

When asked if eBay is contractually obligated to show dates at all, the CSR had no answer.



With USPS cutting back staffing levels, closing facilities etc... it seems as though the USPS estimates are at times inaccurate and as such eBay's decision to display estimated delivery dates is ill advised as it sets unrealistic expectations for buyers and penalizes sellers for circumstances beyond the sellers control especially when weather related events cause mail to be delayed.

eBay's answer to this was that as the seller, we choose the carrier, thus eBay holds us responsible based upon our choice of carrier.

Bottom line is that:

1) eBay refuses to accept responsibility for setting unrealistic buyer expectations and pushed that off on USPS.

2) eBay does not care that buyers are disappointed by the display of what are commonly inaccurate delivery time frames.

3) eBay does not care that buyers are frequently opening cases for INR based on misleading and inaccurate delivery date displays.

4) eBay does not care that sellers are unfairly penalized when estimated delivery dates are not met - even if delays are related to storms or winter weather events.

5) eBay will not consider removing the estimated delivery display altogether even though they acknowledge the fact that dates are often inaccurate.



As a seller, we decided that it was necessary to reset buyer expectations and came up with a two step process to achieve this goal.

First, we send every buyer a shipping confirmation email to the email address as shown in PayPal.  In that email we state:

Please note that the estimated delivery dates displayed by eBay are just that - estimates, as sellers we have no control over the estimated delivery dates eBay chooses to display.

Delivery dates displayed by eBay do not take into account Federal Holiday closures, high holiday volume, or seasonal 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.

I also go to the USPS website and set up a USPS tracking update notification which is also sent to the buyers PayPal email address.

Granted, this takes additional time to process and may not work for sellers with very high transaction volume, however, we have not had one single INR case opened for delayed deliveries since we started this two step process.




eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo   eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 29 12:32:02 2015

Never was a Ebay Carrot Jumper.  Our family time comes before any buyer and we aren't inclined to visit the post office two or three times a day in order to pacify some buyer who wants their item yesterday.

Always had  3 business days for shipping. Never had a problem with delivery dates and this is over thousands of deliveries and  10 years.

When you get over the carrot jumping the pressure released is immense...Enjoy your family its not worth getting all bent out of shape over.  

eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo   eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 29 13:03:18 2015

I cant believe the OP believes that ANYTHING on eBay is fair, honest or above board.

I just got an email reply from the NY State Attorney Generals office about my complaints.

In it, Owen Grey - eBay legal Council said (and I can scan it if Ina wants to see it or post it for others) that eBay has the right to assign losses to sellers since taking losses is part of business and to be expected.

There you go - theres your eBay (and Paypal) for you.

eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo   eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Jun 29 13:21:01 2015

pace306 says "In it, Owen Grey - eBay legal Council said (and I can scan it if Ina wants to see it or post it for others) that eBay has the right to assign losses to sellers since taking losses is part of business and to be expected."

And yet the losses are never to eBay. But what else would you expect eBay legal council to say. When a system is in place that actually causes an abundance of losses to a seller's business, isn't something amiss?  What do you have to say about that Mr. eBay corporate counsel?

Did King Donahoe give eBay the right to "assign" seller losses? And don't even get me started on that user/manipulation/coercion agreement.

eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo   eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Mon Jun 29 13:55:33 2015

And what's the NY State Attorney General got to say about eBay's demonstrable facilitation and aiding and abetting, before and after the fact, of endemic wire fraud on consumers buying at nominal-start auctions?

Nothing, apparently ...

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid … http://bit.ly/11F2eas  

eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo   eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo

by: Deanie This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 30 00:47:02 2015

Before a purchase has been made the buyer sees a big red DELIVERED IN 3 DAYS. If you look at postage details, it says if delivered to same zip code as yours (sellers). Excuse me eBay, but how many buyers will go back and recheck after they made the purchase???

eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo   eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo

by: tb This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 30 01:05:59 2015

@Ric Regarding sending an email telling buyers that eBay is showing incorrect info, you're doing it after the fact (buyer made the purchase already).

I suggest putting  the disclaimer also IN the listing. Kind of a public eBay lashing and ridiculing. And the buyer will hopefully have read that ahead of time.

eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo   eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo

This user has validated their user name. by: Kitty Ninja

Tue Jun 30 01:18:10 2015

I closed my store (which I had opened in 2006) in November of 2014. I was tired of the eBay ''Carrot Jumping''!! It was MY business (eBay was just supposed to be the VENUE). They had imposed TOO many 'businesss' policies for me to continue to call it ''MY'' business.

But one thing I did do (when MY store was still open) to avert eBay's ''estimated'' delivery times.  I chose a 'handling' time of 5 days. I always shipped the same or next day, and stated that in the description. The packages always arrived way before their ''estimated'' dates. I never had any issues with INR because of it.  

eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo   eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 30 01:59:18 2015

@tb and @ric---There may be ways to add this to your listings;  however;  I have had several SLAPS for doing so.  Recently I got a big RED BOX WARNING telling me I could not list items after posting this sort of thing ON my listings;  I have it on some but it will not go thru on others!

What is "working"  today is something to the order of::: I ship same next day after payment is received;  I cannot be responsible after I drop the items at the Post office; I am not responsible for when the Post Office might deliver your package.  

I too am starting to send emails to my buyer---what few of them there are;  should not take more than a nano second per day!---that the item HAVE been shipped;  the tracking number;  and the fact that the PO might not get them there in EBAY'S overly optimistic time frame.  IF the buyer contacts me before the sale I also advise them of this.

So far I have been OK;  but I have noticed that it is the items I am sending closer to home that are taking the LONGEST time---to Alaska from Upstate NY took 3 days;  to England (granted this WAS a Registered Insured package with signature!)  took 7 days--while some of the  closer ones--to Florida--took well OVER ebays "time"  altho not overly long in the REAL world;  some however have wandered for a MONTH or more.  

Another ebay way to control OUR BUSINESS'.  

eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo   eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo

This user has validated their user name. by: Beanie

Tue Jun 30 04:49:24 2015

P*ss off the sellers.....P*ss off the buyers. That IS Ebay in a nutshell. I say P*ss off, Ebay. Keep on digging that hole and eventually the dirt WILL fall in on you and you will finally be dead and buried. Good riddance!

eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo   eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo

by: MLG Jewelry This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 30 07:12:33 2015

This is great, has been going on forever. We have a few items that we don't stock and are set up with 5 day handling time, ebay shows them to deliver sooner than the handling time.  I gave up on fighting this, we do put a disclaimer in our listings that Fast n Free times are overly optimistic estimates of ebay.  Total setup to fail.

eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo   eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Tue Jun 30 09:20:56 2015

I have noticed a lot of the sellers I buy from are doing the extended handling time.  The item almost always shows up way in advance.  

Also, I am getting the ''Did your item arrive on or before  -date-'' question at feedback 100% of the time now.
 
So... I guess that is permanent?


I send a shipping confirmation email very similar to Ric's.  Buyers seem to love that and on more than one occasion a buyer has replied and thanked me for that email - BEFORE the item has ever arrived.  



eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo   eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo

by: Runs.With.Scissors This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 30 09:54:17 2015

We experimented last year with handling times and shipping methods. (We ship mostly First Class USPS)

We found that the minimum combination for eliminating ebay's insane delivery date estimates was to:

1.  Specify 4 days (or more) handling time,
  (We actually ship 99% of our orders the same day.)
   and,

2.  Specify ''Economy Shipping'' instead of ''First Class Mail'', when setting up listings.

This resulted in a slight (but not significant) drop in sales volume, but it did also cost us a TRS FVF discount forfeiture of over $1,000.00 per year.  We've recently more than made that up by becoming Amazon Pro-Merchants, while continuing to sell some stuff on the dying ebay platform.

We've never regretted this move.  Our ebay stress level
has dropped 95%.  It's worth it to us.
Stress kills. (Amazon also has some stress potential ... especially the threat of being unfairly suspended or terminated.)  Let each seller evaluate their own situations and act accordingly.  Good luck to all.

 

eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo   eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 30 10:42:32 2015

@Deanie:
> Before a purchase has been made the buyer sees a big red DELIVERED IN 3 DAYS.
> If you look at postage details, it says if delivered to same zip code as yours (sellers).

It's giving you the delivery estimate to your own ZIP code, because that's where you're registered. Go to the Shipping and Payments tab for your listing, change your ZIP code field to someplace else (e.g. 90210 for Beverly Hills or 02134 for Boston), click the Get Rates button, and then refresh the listing. You should see that the big red delivery message has changed.

It may still be wildly optimistic, of course, but the point is that what you're seeing is the estimate to your own ZIP code by default, not necessarily the same as what a bidder on the other side of the country will see. (Basically, you would have to plug in their ZIP code in order to see your listing as they see it. Don't forget to refresh the screen after making that change.)

For example, one of my Free Shipping listings (for a First Class item) promises me ''Free delivery in 4 days'' to my own ZIP code in Chicago. If I plug in Boston (02134) instead and refresh the browser, that red line changes to ''Free shipping'' with no promised delivery date at all.

eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo   eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 30 10:53:59 2015

even the china sellers have been slapped into submission, they use to fight you for every INR, now they just refund,

Out of 100 purchases, we had to file 26 INR cases, which I can only assume is the normal average,

ebay continues to send us advertising to buy more stuff, even thou 26% of our ''china'' purchases fail and end in refunds, so they really don't care about shipping dates, and of the few that have actually been delivered, it's a total nightmare to contact and try to re-pay the seller, that most buyers won't even bother,



 

eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo   eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo

by: csmih731 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 30 10:56:39 2015

I've just recently listed 3 items on eBay after not selling there for a year.
As soon as I offered free US shipping and listed the items, there was a nice red notice under my title that read ''Free 3 day delivery''. I edited the listings to add (in RED) that the 3 (or 4) day delivery guarantee inserted by eBay may not be possible, depending on the shipping option I may have to use. One item, being very heavy, will be shipped parcel select (2 to 9 days).
I haven't sold the items yet but there are bids on 2 of them. I hope the bidders have read my disclaimer and don't have high expectations on receiving their items in 3 days!
I'll definitely email the winners to again clarify the shipping time.

eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo   eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo

by: ebaighsucks This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 30 11:01:00 2015

I believe it might be prudent for sellers to look at this sellers listings: zyxwvut ... as well as their feedback and feedback they have left for others! Checks, money orders!! This seller does NOT accept paypal, prints labels direct from USPS which avoids ebay/paypal partnership in his pocket, does not have to deal with low DSR's.
I bought from them and sent a check!

eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo   eBay Aggressive Delivery Estimates Lead to Disappo

by: Deanie This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 30 11:53:12 2015

(a-c- ) Thanks for the info! And of course you are right. If I open the shipping details, it will give me info for my zipcode. If a buyer opens details it will give them info for their zipcode. I never pay attention when I buy. When I get it, I get it. So I never realized. THANKS!!

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