EcommerceBytes Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor
Your emails to EcommerceBytes
For consideration, send your email to ina@auctionbytes.com with "Letters to the Editor Blog" in the subject line! Remember to include your name as you would like it to appear in the blog.
Wed Sept 12 2018 00:12:09

eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Daily?

By: Reader

Sponsored Link

Dear Ina,
I wish to ask a question of the users of this website as they are clearly familiar with the system and are not affiliated with eBay directly and thus may provide an honest response. 

THE QUESTION: Due to our circumstances and location we ship once a week. We always know the day we ship therefore our listings that say 5 day handling are incorrect 80% of the time. 

If I update the handling time on the listings everyday in a countdown manner - 4 day handling, 3 day handling, 2 day handling, 1 day handling - will the listings be punished? Or will they update accordingly with no delays or penalties? 

THE REASON: If we update the listings in bulk daily it would assure accurate representation of our handling times. This could potentially increase our sales (yay!) and potentially increase profits for eBay (yay for them!). 

Your input would be appreciated. eBay is a platform full of potential and following this site it is clear the true users of eBay understand how all sides (seller, platform, share-holders, buyers) can benefit.
Kind Regards,
Frustrated eBay Seller




Comments (22) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail   eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Sep 12 01:55:55 2018

A once a week shipping policy is a tough one to be sure.  I understand that for some people's lifestyles it is just something they must deal with.

You will be happy to know there is NO penalties for changing your handling time on your listings.  As you know you can be penalized for not meeting your stated handling times, but as for the act of changing them on your listings, you would be just fine to do so if that is what you think is best for you.

Just keep in mind to never change it to a time frame you are iffy about.  It is better to overstate and over deliver than it is to under state and under deliver.

My only caution to you is don't over do it.  Be accurate.  If it is 4 or 5 days, make sure you use 5.  If it is 2 or 3 days, use 3.  Don't set yourself up for problems.  Be realistic about your changes.  I hope it all works out for you.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail   eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 12 03:50:42 2018

Just Leave Bad Enough Alone.                 ODDS of this technique HELPING is relatively LOW, but ODDS of putting yourself on the spot to CHANGE, CHANGE, and CHANGE Again coming back to BITE you is both HIGHER and WORSE.  
Vastly BETTER action would be to MESSAGE Each and Every ONE of you buyers to advise THEM personally as to what you SHIPPING day would (should) be.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail   eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Wed Sep 12 06:54:35 2018

I am disabled and cannot drive. My husband is a school teacher and is generally busy most days after work. We set up Wednesdays as the ship date. We live in the country so prefer to have all our packages scanned at the post office as an added security. Unfortunately, our post office has been known to miss scanning more than a few.

We keep our handling set to 5 days as well, but the way we get around that one day (buying something on Wednesday's) that could throw us off, we change the handling to 10 days for that 1 day.

We always contact every customer to let them know when we are going to ship and why there's a delay. Never had a problem with a customer yet. Fingers crossed.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail   eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Sep 12 10:31:39 2018

@Frustrated eBay Seller - I wouldn't suggest you change your handling time on a daily basis. What if you change your handling time to one day, and then you get really busy and forget to change it back? All your buyers would be expecting a one day handling time. I think it's best to leave it at five days, and, as has already be suggested, message your buyer(s) what the actual ship date will be. You could even explain the reason for the long handling time for those buyers who will experience a four or five day handling time.  

Perminate Link for eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail   eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail

by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 12 11:22:37 2018

There is no penalty for changing the handling time on your listings - THAT YOU KNOW OF.

EXCEPT... Ebay has stated that handling times that are beyond the normal 1-2 days they consider acceptable will be penalized in Cassini.

Keep in mind that the Ebay ecosystem is grossly overloaded with listings, and Ebay is ALWAYS looking for reasons to 'thin the herd' when they decide whose listings to surface in search.

They calculate EVERYTHING, from the words in the title to the sellers violation history when Cassini decides who comes where.

Handling time is definitely a factor.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail   eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail

by: NDrosos This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 12 14:26:38 2018

I want to be clear, some of the information here is not correct based on our own testing.

As of the Spring update in March, handling time DEFINITELY has a substantial affect on search placement!

I do think changing it regularly would be beneficial. The hard part is having to do it manually, as we have experienced other problems with our bulk updater.

In our case, we updated our software to handle this type of thing for us. Basically, if we have stock at our main warehouse, our software ensures the item is 1 day handling time.

If stock is not at our main warehouse, we can usually ship same day as long as the order is before 2PM, but our software sets it to 2 day handling time, just in case.

I do not recommend setting above 2 day handling time if it all possible.

Based on how eBay works, if there's any way you can work out at least 2 shipments a week, this would be best.

You may be able to arrange pick up multiple times a week? This would definitely help you out.  

Perminate Link for eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail   eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail

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

Wed Sep 12 15:13:59 2018

That's a challenge to be sure.

You can change your handling time any time you like. I think there might be other challenges that could come into play.

Buyer sees your item on day 4 of your 5 day cycle, one day handling. Places it in the cart for two days, now day one of the cycle, 5 day handling. Can be frustrating for the buyer and a real problem for you if he doesn't notice.

Given the problems that eBay does have with keeping the site running smooth. You sit down to change your handing time, only to find that you can't get the change to stick. Now you get to hope nothing sells or you have a problem when something does.

I have also noticed sales that occur between 12-1 am seem to register as a sale for the previous day. Not sure why that is. But if this is how eBay's clock works that can be a problem for anyone, let alone your moving handling time.

Then there is human error, you just plain forget.

I guess it depends on what you sell. If there are a high number of sellers I think you have other issues to consider. If your item is unique, you might just leave it alone. It's a bummer that Cassini's algorithm is designed to surface commodity items.

I agree with Marie. Whatever you do, under promise and over deliver. Hard to go wrong with that.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail   eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 12 16:18:32 2018

We have never had anything but 5 day shipping on all of our listings over 5 stores. Sales are fine, where we will probably clear about 400k this year up from 375 last year. Ebay is more threats and hot air than anything else.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail   eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail

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

Wed Sep 12 16:37:15 2018

OP, this is an interesting scenario. Although we don’t have this issue day-to-day like you do, I actually did some experimenting with this last year over the holidays after eBay updated the working days/cut-off times tool.

There may be another alternative solution to better suit your requirements other than manually adjusting handling time every day.

Assumption: All other factors being equal, eBay considers shorter handling times and delivery ETA as “better”.

Firstly, determine what your *true* handling time(s) is/are for your items.

By that I mean mentally “decouple” your weekly shipping day from the actual lead-time needed to pick and pack an order. For example, do you require 2 days to carefully pack OOAK items, or are you reliably able to pack-out your and have orders ready the next business day (or even within a few hours)?

Let’s pretend for this example you are able to receive orders over the weekend and ship them Monday (your weekly shipping day in this hypothetical example) - an eBay “1 business day” handling time. If your true item handling times vary by product/item, you should consider setting the handling times accurately by item (or default to the longest lead-time for everything for simplicity/safety.)

After your handling time(s) are set, then adjust your “Working Days” to reflect the actual shipping day (uncheck all days other than the day you ship each week. In our made-up example this would be Monday).

COPY/PASTE LINK ➽ http://www.ebay.com/ship/cutoff

Now, if all are set correctly, eBay should much more accurately estimate buyer’s delivery ETA (and your item placement) based on 1) your actual handling time, 2) your weekly shipping day, 3) Buyer location, and 4) eBay’s “proprietary [delivery estimate] method which is based on the buyer's proximity to the item location, the shipping service selected, the seller's shipping history, and other factors.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail   eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail

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

Wed Sep 12 16:55:32 2018

Another thought can be to shut down your shop on days that require a 3-5 handling time, thereby always being at two business days or better.

If your shipping day every week is Tuesday, you just close up shop on Wed and Thurs. Leaving handling time at 2 business days or better. That way you get the exposure through the weekend.

If the ship day is Thursday, then it probably won't work since you would need to be closed through the weekend for this to work.

If your ship day changes every week....manually determine.

This plays out best if you ship Monday or Tuesday every week. Beyond that you would really lose the weekend which would likely hurt your totals.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail   eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Wed Sep 12 18:39:44 2018

It would be pretty trivial to program an optional set of shipping options.  Alas, H1Bs.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail   eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail

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

Thu Sep 13 01:16:13 2018

If you get USPS service at your home or company, why not have them do pickups daily? Use a SCAN sheet to have the postal employee scan everything in with the sheet so there is no chance of orders not getting scanned. This way you will always be up to date with your shipping times and no fiddling around changing your shipping dates daily.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail   eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail

by: Eliot This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 13 01:21:52 2018

If you ship one day a week, why is the 5-business-day handling time a problem? That's one week, because business days are Monday-Friday. If a buyer pays on Monday, then you have until next Monday to ship. I know because I do mostly 5-business-day handling times. I don't make sales every day, and there is no way I'm going to upset the mail carrier by making him pick up one small package on a frequent basis; plus some of my items are heavily labor-intensive to prepare for shipment. And don't say that mail carriers have no right to get mad; they're human like everyone else, and their schedule is really tight.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail   eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail

by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 13 01:48:16 2018

In one store I have handling time set at 3 days but I generally ship within one or 2 days.  I get plenty of FB about prompt shipping since deliveries usually beat eBay's estimates.  I think your buyers will be happy when their items arrive early and the others ok with the wait.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail   eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail

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

Thu Sep 13 05:12:09 2018

Why not just call eBay on 5 separate occasions and explain the situation. If 5 out of 5 reps say it's all good then it's all good.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail   eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail

by: HardWorkingSeller This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 13 06:51:47 2018

Yes that's what you should do.  And that's what many people do when they go on vacation.

It's a hassle to bulk edit your listings every day but it can be done.

Just be aware that 5 business days shipping really sometimes means only 6 calendar days.  So if an order comes in on a Friday after you've done your shipping for the week - and before midnight Pacific time - then that item needs to be shipped by the next Thursday as that's day 5.  So you need to set 10 days for that first evening as there are (annoyingly) no options for 6-9 days handling.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail   eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail

by: Disgruntled_Seller This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 13 09:58:07 2018

The penalty for 5 day handling is very real compared to others that have less time. It is part of the equation. However, it also depends on what you are selling, if you are the only seller in the game for that item it really doesn't matter. If you are one of a 100 sellers for the same thing, your boat just sank.

You would be far better to change your shipping to two or three days a week rather than suffer from the penalty you are getting from using 5 days handling. If you can.

If you can't ship more often and you are changing the handling, you are going to get caught up in the constant changing of your handling time due to error, malfunction or whatever that will kick you in the teeth when you miss it or it fails. Far better to leave it at 5 days than change it constantly and miss it for whatever reason.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail   eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail

This user has validated their user name. by: FEEbay

Thu Sep 13 10:32:25 2018

I realize that you are not in a position to ship every day, but the reality is this:
EBAY DOESN'T CARE.... they want all sellers to ship within 24 hours with uploaded tracking, and if you don't play ball, they will bury your listings. I know, because we decided to not carrot jump on that site any longer and set 3-5 day handling times for everything.... Our sales have plummeted as a result.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail   eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail

by: Linda This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 13 15:22:40 2018

@Feebay - My sales have plummeted to almost 0.00 since I refuse to offer free returns. Does not matter who you are, I have been on ebay as a since 2002 & this is the worst I have seen it. There is no rewards on this site for carrot jumpers, carrot jumpers only create more demands from ebay. Right now eBay is even with Bonanza when it comes to sales and I expect Bonanza to do better than eBay now. So, does that tell you how bad sales are on ebay or what?!

Perminate Link for eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail   eBay Seller: Should I Update My Handling Time Dail

This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Thu Sep 13 16:54:12 2018

I just changed the handling time on 100 listings in bulk.  Took about a minute.  So if you do that each day, really not a big deal.  Maybe set your phone with a calendar reminder.   Hopefully Search reacts to the change quickly.  

The suggestion by Moonwishes to have the post office pick up, even once a week to cut the number of days between shipping, sounds like a good solution, if it's possible where you are located.  Then you could go to 3 days as a constant.

Click to view more comments
1 2  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.