eBay sending mixed messages on delivery dates

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Here’s an example of eBay sending mixed messages to buyers and sellers in the checkout flow with the screengrabs taken today.


Exhibit A is the view Item page and the Fast & Free logo if the buyer buys now and pays up sharpish.

Elsewhere on the View Item page the buyer does indeed click and buy and opts for RM 1st Class.

The despatch stands every chance of making it to the buyer if despacthed by First Class today.

Indeed, all being well, the parcel stands a good chance of arriving tomorrow Saturday.

But here is the view in PayPal visible to the seller. (Bearing in mind that none of the time limits have been exceeded).

Here the seller is advised that expected delivery isn’t Monday as expected but Tuesday and it advised that the seller use a faster service to meet the buyer’s expectations.

I’ve certainly heard of seller’s getting Negs and poor DSRs because of discrepancies such as this. If eBay is going to issue advisory notices like this, at the very least they should be consistent and correct.


10 Responses

  1. The real world is complex, eBay is supposed to make just a very very small part of it simple and easy to understand.

    SNAFU – all this has been going on for far too long.

    eBay has been sending out messages to sellers this week headed ‘Are you delivering a great customer experience?’

    They should be mailing the CEO.

  2. There is a reason for this, and it isn’t eBay that causes it.

    Firstly, the buyer will not see the message in red when you are paying for the postage label. eBay’s estimate (as per the Fast & Free) also takes precedence and will be the only estimate shown to the buyer.

    It is Royal Mail that provide the estimate in exhibit B, and when you pay for and print your postage label, you will notice that it allows you until the following day to physically post the package. Therefore , if you paid to purchase postage on the Friday, it would give you until Monday to post the item. This date is displayed on the printed label. The estimate Royal Mail will give is always going to be 1 day later than the eBay estimate. You will always see this error message with same day dispatch. With a 1 day dispatch time, if you purchase postage on the same day as the sale, the message will not show. If, however, you purchase postage on the following day, you will see it.

    Buyer purchases Mon 24th, same day dispatch, eBay estimate Tues 25th. You purchase postage on Monday, label says “post by 25/2/2014”. The “use by date” means that Royal Mail will show an estimated delivery of Weds 26th.

    With a 1 day dispatch, buyer purchases Monday 24th, eBay estimate Weds 26th. If the label is printed on the 24th, your “use by date” is the 25th, and both delivery estimates will be 26th. If printed on the 25th, the Royal Mail estimate will become 26th or 27th, but eBay’s delivery date would remain the same, and the red message will show.

  3. The first image implies that the delivery by Monday is guaranteed, which it is is not.

    A range of dates along side details of how the item is actually going to be delivered would be a lot better.

  4. Perhaps most frustrating with all this messaging is the attempt to cram a nasty messy logistics forecast into a promise — and the inability (as someone with more knowledge than the developer who coded it) to change it.

    This promise affects customer relations and increases the chance of a bad buyer experience. It’s an over-promise and we know that never delights anyone. Worse: it’s an over-promise that the buyer thinks the seller is making but is in fact the marketplace.

  5. Perhaps eBay will sort this out as part of the Spring Seller Release due 11th March (email from eBay today).

    ‘Keep an eye out for details on our announcement boards on 11 March. We’ll be announcing a number of eBay updates in our Spring 2014 Business Seller News.’

    We live in hope.


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