As has become my habit, I made a number of test purchases on eBay and Amazon over the Black Friday weekend. Some of the purchases were genuine for Christmas presents, others were made purely to check the service and see how the two marketplaces compared and if they could maintain their normal service at the busiest time of the year.
I should emphasis that I purchased from a variety of sellers, many of whom were not a part of eBay’s promoted Deals program.
On eBay I made nine purchases over the period and wasn’t expecting any to be delivered before Tuesday this week at the earliest. Unlike Amazon who have their own courier it’s unreasonable to expect eBay sellers to despatch until Monday for purchases made at the weekend.
The surprise was the first purchase made on Friday arrived on Monday – one seller was working overtime and must have despatched the item on Saturday. Two other items (from different sellers but the same order) are yet to arrive.
One seller from Scandinavia has bizarrely managed to deliver quicker than many UK sellers, but another supposedly coming from Barking has a five day handling time plus a five day “Other courier” delivery promise. In 2015, 10 days to deliver an item seems more than a little excessive!
Of the remaining six items, only one arrived the following day (although that item was estimated to be 3-4 day delivery). Most had an estimated 3-4 day delivery promise but two lowered expectations to a 7 day and 8 day delivery estimate.
It would appear that eBay sellers are being overly cautious in their delivery promises and most (but not all) aren’t over delivering, they really are taking a couple of days to despatch and then using slow delivery service.
One thing that does constantly surprise me is the number of items highlighted on eBay deals which break eBay policies. Some are very obvious such as eBay’s picture policy which says “Don’t include borders, text, or artwork on the picture”.
Other Deal have bizarre terms such as “Postage and insurance charge is non-refundable for all items”. Outgoing postage must be refunded if an item is returned, although return postage may be the buyer’s responsibility. What makes this clause especially noteworthy is that the Deal comes with free postage so it’s not only illegal but also irrelevant.
eBay Black Friday delivery summary
It’s somewhat annoying to still receive emails regarding deals which break eBay rules, especially when it’s as obvious as text and decoration on images which can instantly be spotted.
Overall eBay sellers appear to have performed pretty much as expected over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. We didn’t expect eBay sellers to out perform Amazon as they don’t have access to the same delivery networks and generally can’t despatch at weekend, but deliveries have been trickling in, some much faster than promised and indeed faster than any reasonable buyer would expect.
Other sellers have long despatch and shipping times which appear unreasonably conservative, it will be interesting to see if this continues into 2016 and if it becomes the norm to eschew fast shipment and next day delivery in favour of more affordable services and an attempt by sellers not to over promise on service.
You can also read our Amazon Black Friday/Cyber Monday round up here.