Did you DSRs survive Christmas and the Snow?

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There’s only good news coming out from Royal Mail regarding deliveries at the moment. After the snow and Christmas they’re reporting no problems on their air, rail, road in their distribution centres. Deliveries took place were made in all areas yesterday and it’s expected that they will do so today as well.

They do say that they would like customers to be aware that mail volumes in parts of the network are higher than expected as a result of continued severe weather disruption during December and large seasonal mail volumes. This means customers may experience some delays to mail being delivered in some areas.

The big concern for eBay and Amazon sellers was how any delays due to the snow coupled with the Christmas rush would affect their feedback. Pre-Christmas it was probably too early to tell, as if a parcel was delayed the likelyhood of receiving feedback and the corresponding low DSRs prior to delivery was low. Now that all items have been delivered however, it’s time for the feedback to start rolling in.

Have you noticed an unusual number of low DSRs or non-positive feedback on either eBay or Amazon and did the steps you took to keep customers informed of delays work?

31 Responses

  1. on this ID we have low dsrs in December than we have had all year,
    on other ids no change ,if anything better ,it seems its what you sell , and who you sell too, that seems to matter rather than the weather
    though we sold little in December so were really looking at Novembers results

  2. … Now that all items have been delivered however, …’

    I think that they are saying something else. Current mail may well be delivered as ‘normal’ however what they go on to say implies that stuff from December is still far from delivered.

    Various threads on the PSB would seem to confirm this.

  3. We can tell from email contact from buyers that RM seem to persist with the last in first out process for mail. The backlogs appear to get stuck at the back of the mail centres and are last to be delivered.

    We have no doubt too that some buyers are fraudulant when it comes to claims of non receipt.

  4. There are still big problems with Royal Mail especially where new working practices have been introduced such as park and loop deliveries.

    Royal Mail has got away lightly with the shambles because they have the excuse of the weather to hide behind, a lot of the problems would have happened anyway.

    Our collection driver told us a large volume of packets entered the system on 4th January due online sales over Christmas and New Year and will add to remaining backlogs.

    Royal Mail are going to get their arses kicked by Amazon and other big customers for the amount of backlogged mail that was simply parked up in mail centres and the non-scanning of RM Tracked items. We still have parcels posted on the 6th December being delivered this week so RM’s advice of post early for Christmas is a load of rubbish.

    We lost our TRS on eBay for the first time and probably won’t get it back for 3 months we have been quite badly hit with neutrals and a few negatives for slow delivery on Amazon.


  5. Agree 100% with John.

    Just because they are delivering items order in last few days doesn’t mean that their shambles from December has been sorted.

    Our DSRs have been absolutely hammered despite us dispatching the item within an hour of receiving the order. But what happens? More low DSRs for “dispatch”, due to RM cocking up again.

    Can’t wait for the weather to heat up.

  6. I think its where you live that will make or break your DSR as some places where more badly effected by the snow than others. I wasn’t as badly effected as others were. It would have been fair for eBay to scrape the DSR because of the wheather, but if you lose your TRS its up to you to make your voice heard. Why not use eBays discussion boards, Tamebay and Auction Bits and get everyone who loses their TRS to keep complaining about it to eBay.

    I think that sales are going to be low with all the negative press about the cutbacks and, once people realise that the world keeps turning and life goes on they will start to spend their money again. Why let more sales go because of the loss of TRS which was due to the whether and no fault of your own?

  7. We should all contribute to a sales blog where everyone posts an item that they sell with links to either there eBay shop or website. So the blog features multiple sellers with links to multiple sites, so the concept would look like a shopping centre selling everything. That could work and promote everyones business a bit like a co-operative where everyone has an interest in the blog because the blog supports their business. Why don’t we all develope something like this? Everyone has to be equal and everyones input has to be valid.

  8. I think the worst is still to come, we are having a steedy stream of customers contacting us that have not received their goods that were sent in December.

    Also the extra bank holidays have added to delays as well don’t forget.

    We have had a few negs etc from customers about deliveries but most have been OK with it as they know everyone is in the same boat.

  9. I can guarantee our Dispatch time DSR will exceed the max allowed to get TRS status. Same thing happened last year when the weather went bad. Takes us 3 months to get shut, meantime sales take a hit and any progress made slips back again. This system is unfair.

  10. No problem with DSRs this year – built our own brand and website off ebay. 100% better life. You can get customers to your own website but it takes a lot of work. eBay makes you lazy in some ways!

    Performance of royal Mail has been ok, but courier brokers Interparcel and parcel 2 go have been truly abysmal. Some of the worst customer experience ever experienced.

  11. Mine survived as I only list on FLD’s. Can’t be bothered with the hassle, stress and agro ebay has become. Better things to do than pander to the constant changes and ever narrowing hoops to jump through.

  12. Surely the main problem was the Snow and how long it lasted and the disruption it caused. In a “Normal” December the RM “Post Early For Christmas” means that everything(or nearly everything) is delivered in time. So if December 2011 is “Normal” we want the customers to buy early and to get their goods in plenty of time. Remember in a “Normal” Winter the really bad weather starts after Christmas its only because it started over a month early this year. But RM and the couriers could and should have done better. But its not just Parcel Deliveries I saw a Council Boss from Exeter on the TV going on about how collecting the rotting rubbish was not important and blaming it on the snow.

  13. After a break of several months, I started again on Ebay using a brand new ID for private sales. In the past two weeks, I have sold 13 items, but not received a single feedback! Doesn’t bother me too much as no feedback means no DSRs either. On my business ID, I limit my sales of high value goods to less than ten every three months. In that way, DSRs never show.
    It looks to me like feedback is dying out! My business feedabck over several years is approaching 500 and before I started limiting sales, my DSRs were 5,5,5,5.

  14. Gerry – and I fear that you are right.

    Tonight had INR from a repeat customer in the Netherlands, packet sent 29/11. Despatch notice of the same date advised him of ‘bad weather likely to cause transportation disruption and delivery delay’. So he has been patient to wait till now.

    Feedback left percentage, both domestic and international, way way down for December compared with normal.

    Hope that we are both wrong.

  15. It’s not over yet.
    Packages I posted by 1st Class Recorded Delivery on 4 January are still “progressing through the network for delivery”.
    After the additional resources allocated to cope with the seasonal demand have been withdrawn, Royal Mail are left with a backlog of packages and no plan for dealing with it.
    It’s up to local Sorting and Delivery Office managers to set priorities, with 1st & 2nd Class and Recorded Delivery items last on the list.
    I have been told TODAY by Royal Mail that they expect to use the full 15 days of their terms and conditions of service in order to clear the backlog by MID-FEBRUARY in certain areas.
    With no snow on the ground and milder weather, I fully expect that some customers will vent their displeasure through the DSR ratings.

  16. A friend said that eBay DSR’s were just a ruse by eBay to increase their fee income. eBay mask this ruse by focusing the mind of sellers on the “benefit” of higher search ranking but I find that TRS or not sales are the same and sometimes better when TRS is lost.

    My DSR’s seem to have survived but I lost TRS status as a result of having a successful Xmas and moving from a 12 month to a 3 month assessment. If Xmas had been poor would still be TRS!

    Totally illogical system that rewards sales failure.

  17. Last year (or was it the year before?), there was a Postal Strike. At that time, eBay temporarily suspended the ‘delivery time’ DSR for that reason. Why then have they not suspended it this time round? The weather is just as beyond our control as the postal strike was!

  18. By the way, is the Royal Mail advert at the top of the page appropriate considering their poor performance?


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