eBay roll out Standardised Delivery Information

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eBay have rolled out the standardised delivery information which is now live on the site. Gone from display are the courier or mail delivery method and in their place are Express, Standard and Economy options.

eBay are basing the standardised delivery information on the couriers official transit time so Express is for next day deliveries, Standard is for 1-2 working days and Economy is for 3-5 working day transit times.

This doesn’t however take into account how many working days the seller has added in for handling time. It opens up the bizaare situation where a seller with 3 days handling time prior to despatch but using a next day courier will have an “Express delivery” shown taking 4 days, but someone with a 1 day handling time and a 48 hour courier will have their delivery labeled as “Standard” but only take 3 days to arrive with the customer.

eBay need to take into account handling time as 4 days (or longer) can hardly be considered an express delivery. Customers are rightly likely to be disappointed at longer delivery times if they’re led to believe their being offered a premium service.

If you haven’t already it’s time to go through your listings and update your delivery methods to take account of the new delivery information. If in the past you used options like “Sellers standard service” or “Other Courier” check what they’ve been mapped to. Consider changing them to “Other courier 24 hour” or “Other courier 3 days” to ensure that your items aren’t displaying an economy service when you’re offering faster delivery times. If you do have a longer despatch time but use a 24 hour courier it may even be worth displaying a shorter handling time but switch to “Other courier 3 days” to avoid displaying Express shipping and disappointing customers.

What do you think of the new delivery options now that they’re live? Do you like the new standardised delivery information or did you prefer the old method where the courier or Royal Mail service was displayed?

Edited to add: Oh joy of joys – have you seen what happens if you have two delivery options which take the same length of time but one’s tracked and the other isn’t?

They both show as “Standard” although in this case one is “Royal Mail 1st Class” and the other is “Royal Mail 1st Class Recorded”. I’m not sure how customers will tell the difference though, unless they’ve figured out to click the postage tab lower down the listing to identify the actual service being offered.

16 Responses

  1. I much prefer the old version. Special delivery is now tagged as Express. It may be, but this will encourage buyers to ask for it to be downgraded as they aren’t in any hurry – but for us Special Delivery is usually called for because of value not speed.

    And somehow, the changeover has led to free postage on collection being moved to the top of the pile on items that finished yesterday, with the actual delivery cost bearing no resemblance to the amount I put in. Most frustrating. I’ve taken collection off all my listings now just so that this can’t happen.

  2. Ebay needs to have more options with regard to dispatch time.

    I have a 2 day handling time mainly to protect me from having to go to the post office when I have one thing sent by the slowest manner such that I cant get a pickup and it is not reasonable to go to the post office for it, or for if I miss, or for any other reason that makes me have ONE DAY where I cant get to the post office.

    Unfortunately that 2 day time stops me from the protections because to get those you must agree to a next day shipping timeframe ALWAYS.

    Personally I would prefer if the options for shipping were….

    Same day before (fill in time) local time
    Next Day shipping guaranteed
    Next Day shipping 90%+
    Second day shipping guaranteed
    Second day shipping 90%+
    Twice Per Week
    Once Per Week

  3. Why oh why cannot eBays simply show:

    ‘Standard – Royal Mail First Class Standard’

    or as appropriate to expand the service offered on the listing?

    It will still fit with their ‘economy’, ‘standard’ or ‘express’ mantra but will give the extra info without the buyer having to go and look for it?

    Sadly very retrograde as it stands.

  4. We offer free postage using Royal Mail second class post with an optional first class upgrade, and also special delivery for times when something just has to be there the following day. eBay now displays our postage as economy 4-6 working days. It fails to take into account that if we receive an order before 4pm we will despatch it the same day (although we have a 1 working day despatch time as a safeguard in case anything goes wrong). We use franked mail and so the majority of our items are delivered within a couple of days even when sent second class. To say that our service is economy is totally misleading, and I’m certain we will lose sales as a result of this. It surely can’t be a coincidence that to be successful on eBay we are forced to offer free postage, which we of course have to include in the price. To have even standard or express postage we have to raise prices. Net result: we pay higher fees and eBay cash in. Thanks eBay. Good to know you value your best customers…

  5. this has reset all my listings from Royal Mail First Class Standard to Economy anyone got this problem?


  6. Another completely stupid & retrograde change that is once again simply trying to copy Amazon rather than see how they can actually improve what they already have.
    In fact forcing eBay sellers to specify their shipping options was one area where eBay scored against Amazon for many buyers.
    One exception was the much abused ‘sellers standard service’ option which should have been junked long ago and sellers forced to specify or use freeform text to inform buyers or exactly what they are getting for there money (e.g. RM Tracked).
    As to the continuing confusion regarding dispatch times and shipping times this is simply par for the course with these clowns.
    Introducing ANY substantive changes to the selling process on eBay should be BANNED in Q4 in the run up to Christmas – how difficult is it to understand that this is the time to concentrate on selling and not create work that does not increase either views or conversion rates – how hard is that to understand!
    Trust me you do not need an MBA from Harvard or to have worked for Bain & Co to work this out and present clear information to buyers that properly sets their expectations about the service they should be receiving for the money paid.
    Just wait for the DSR’s to start to fall and the email inbox start to fill up with questions and complaints.
    pip pip

  7. This is great because as part of the change, the bit where a buyer can select to upgrade the shipping is MUCH more apparent.

    I think this will help stop all those “Hi, i’ve just bought something from you , can I pay extra for 1st class shipping?” questions.

  8. I do not know how many buyers actually read the listings, let alone the P&P details.

    Last week a buyer ordered something @ 11.20PM on Saturday & we received an INR email @ 3pm Monday.
    I was polite, But condecending at the same time….

    Buyers just seem to expect it to arrive the next morning, no matter the postage paid.

  9. eBay at its best. In the ‘Good Olde Days’ eBay always led the way, they were, factual, inovative and always precise.

    Now they are sometimes very hit and miss.

    Wrong, wrong, wrong timing for all of this.

    eBay have not done the buyers any favours here, not really that easy to understand when to expect delivery at all whatsoever.

  10. On a similar note and of particular interest to me is the introduction of the Delivery Rate Table. I send pallets all round the UK. Until now I have to quote freight on just about every item as prices can vary wildly depending on where it it going. As the most common question I get is, “How much will it cost to delivery to xxxx”, I hope this will help with my sales. Also it should improve the P+P star and a percentage of people buy the unit and then ask the postal costs later. Leading to several low scores in the that area.


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