eBay Seller Metrics and Royal Mail Tracked 24 & 48 concerns

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We’ve heard from a couple of sellers in the past week, that eBay and Royal Mail‘s Tracked 24 and Tracked 48 services aren’t working as well together as might be hoped. There are a number of separate issues which added together can make it a tiresome pain point for retailers.

eBay Delivery expectations for Royal Mail Tracked 24 & Tracked 48

Firstly, a retailer was surprised to hear that they didn’t qualify for eBay’s premium service badge and were told this was because Royal Mail Tracked 24 isn’t a service which delivers on the next day. eBay say that to qualify for eBay Premium Service, you have to offer ‘1-day or same-day dispatch’ and ‘An express delivery option – offering delivery within 1 day’.

Whilst eBay display the delivery expectation on the postage section buyers as for Tracked 24 ‘1 day’, Royal Mail say of the service “We aim to deliver Royal Mail Tracked 24 the next working day but deliveries to certain postcode areas may take longer”. That doesn’t seem good enough to be classed as delivery within 1 day for eBay, even though perversely they tell buyers that a 1 day service is what they can expect.

Similarly eBay indicate to buyers that Tracked 48 items will be delivered within 2 days, not the 2-3 days which Royal Mail anticipate.

Are acceptance scans happening for Royal Mail Tracked 24 & Tracked 48?

The next issue concerns Royal Mail acceptance scans. Typically if you take your mail to a Post Office, Royal Mail will have an acceptance scan for each individual parcel. Not so for retailers who pay for a business collection, you bag up your parcels and the collection postie simply scans a collection bar code on a notice in your warehouse for the entire collection. Crucially, each individual parcel isn’t scanned on collection.

One seller looked at his reports and found Tracked 48 scan at delivery is being shown in the report as first scan and so its shows on eBay as late despatch / late delivery.

Are you seeing problems with your eBay On-Time delivery metrics?

We know that many Tamebay readers will use Royal Mail Tracked 24 and Tracked 48 services – we know that it’s well priced and a quality service compared to alternatives.

It’s worth bearing in mind that eBay have protected sellers from late deliveries when shipping with Tracked 24 and Tracked 48. Protection ended on the 1st of March, so you may only recently have had your eTRS status reassessed with these deliveries taken into account for the first time.

Let us know in comments below, if you use Tracked 24 and Tracked 48, if you are seeing any issues with your eBay metrics. We’d also be interested to hear from you if you do use these Royal Mail services and your metrics are fine.

19 Responses

  1. I don’t enter tracking into ebay anymore – too many “lates”, which I assume come from the buyer not being in and the parcel having to be collected (and signed for) later. Not entering tracking hasn’t caused me any problems – the fact buyers have to sign deters them from claiming non delivery.

    I take my parcels to the post office in bags, I didn’t know about this other issue (late scans of individual parcels). Another reason not to enter tracking. But I list less and less on ebay – I’m almost past caring.

  2. We use Tracked 48 and have a late delivery rate showing 0.00% on eBay so no problems.

    On the whole Tracked 48 is a good service. However we do have an issue with Amazon not accepting RM Tracked 48 as a tracked service for defending A-Z claims because they do not regard it as proving delivery, they used to accept it. The issue Amazon have is the changed wording of the Tracking, ‘Delivered to your address or a neighbour’ – they have a problem the word neighbour.

  3. Increasingly giving up on Royal Mail tracked items.

    We are constantly seeing messages to try again later on the online tracking, which often lasts for days, without any confirmation of delivery available.

    Have also seen defects given by Ebay even when item was delivered late, despite uploading tracking and being able to verify acceptance by RM same day as payment.

    Better to save the money instead of bolstering the dividends of RM shareholders.

  4. I sent one parcel two weeks before for 48 hours and the still on tracking its in delivery it is within Uk

  5. Ebay sellers and buyers also need to be aware of ” Royal Mail Signed for” deliveries. I purchased some silver coins over a peeiod of 3 months and they were lost by Royal mail. After complaining, Royal Mail stated that coins and other various items are not covered by the £50 insurance cover. So unless sent by special delivery, they may have well have been sent 2nd class Standard.
    Royal mail sent me 6 first class stamps in compensation.

  6. My problem is with Parcelforce 48 when dropped off at the local post office. Even if dropped in at 7:30am…………if the driver (who also does deliveries) collects it and gets back to the Gatwick depot too late the parcel misses the lorry to the national hub. So it sits at Gatwick for a day until the following evening’s lorry.

    So I get a 3 day delivery instead of a 2 day delivery.

    If I use PF24 it all happens as it should, ie next day.

    Though ebay booked Parcelforce prices are very competitive, so I just tell folks that PF48 deliveries will be 2 – 3 days instead of 2 days.

  7. It’s the same for standard rm48 and rm24. I dont understand the ‘not a 24hr service’ for rm24. Very few couriers guarantee delivery next and especially to certain postcodes, but still ebay classes them as next day. In fact i would say that RMs ontime delivery rate is better than most couriers!
    Seems to me that ebay know thata courier normally costs more, well for smaller items anyway, so they know they can cream more fees off you. Personally sometimes i just select ‘other 24hr courier’ as technically RM is a courier.
    On the subject of tracking…. oh hell we dropping adding that to ebay along time ago. We investigated our late deliveries and foudn that sometimes the courier wasnt updating for days even weeks and it showed as a late delivery (classic was one that was showing according to the courier as delivered 2 months after the customer left positive feed back for fast delivery…. yep, we got a late delivery for that!)
    By adding tracking we geta late defect if the courier tried to deliver but no one home…. however if we dont upload tracking then most customers accept they tried to delivery ontime and dont state it was late!
    The whole system is flawed and pointless. it should be POSTED on time. not delivered.

  8. This is classic of eBay., We use RM24 and RM48 and despite on Royal Mails own website they state they aim to deliver 48 within 2-3 days eBay still give the buyer a 2 day delivery date.

    I understand eBay wanting to up the standards of shoddy sellers, but the whole system sucks to the point I no longer buy on eBay.

    Sellers just put ridiculous despatch times to give them selves padding for eBays rules, they never upload tracking because of eBays poor system at recognising attempted deliveries. So when I search for something on eBay and it is giving delivery estimates for items sent from the UK as being 5 days or even 7 days, I dont know if this is accurate or if it will actually arrive the next day and the seller is just padding out the time for their own safety (who can blame them)

    I saw on a discussion board on eBay a seller posted about a buyer who wanted delayed despatch because they were on holiday. The fact the seller posted as he was worried about getting a defect for adhering to a customer request is the pinical of how eBay is now. Yes they could post late and then get the defect, then have to ring up to get it removed etc but the whole thing is hassle.

    Most websites have realistic postage options, and give buyers more accurate information as to when to expect it.

    Why would a buyer choose Royal Mail Special Delivery on eBay for £6 when Royal Mail 24 (or 1st Class) is giving them the same delivery date and for free. I literally can not understand why no one at eBay sees this as confusing for a buy and not exactly encouraging buyers to pay the extra money (which is good for eBay anyway) for next day delivery if required.

    Then if their 1st class item does not arrive on that day (the next day) they complain.

    I think the problem is eBay is a selling platform, they are not a retailer, they have never sold a thing and so whilst their ideas of the perfect selling experience are well intended, in reality it does not match the real world.

  9. I am sure that I read that RM applied a reference number to both 1st and 2nd class post as well as RM24 and RM48, rather than a tracking number which costs extra of course. I feel sure that eBay would prefer a tracking number! The whole point of this reference number was to be scanned by the post person at delivery point and then state posted when dispatched and then delivered on your listing upon delivery which eBay accept? This doesn’t seem to be working and I questioned this with RM who have acknowledged this issue but so far after 8 days have not responded. Its a bit of a nightmare as others have said and the danger is late delivery gets penalised by eBay and can have serious consequences on sales.

  10. the main problem was with tracked 48 which is classed as “non priority mail” when it reaches the Royal Mail platform. This category of mail was always scanned next day (the day after collection). This was what was causing the problems with “late dispatch” defects. Also Royal Mail have a different definition of “acceptance scan” – to them this is the scan of the barcode at the collection point – NOT the scan of the actual parcel.

    However, this has now all been fixed. Its a very long story which had a simple solution There should be no problem in seller metrics over the past couple of months and ebay were protecting sellers anyway from royal mail tracked numbers for over a year.

    As for the tracked 24 – this is a completely different problem. the reason it is not in the same category as special delivery in that it is not guaranteed next day. the “aim” is to deliver next day but the actual stats are far from 100%. In comparison special delivery is GURANTEED next day.

    However, whatever the case – whether you are sending tracked 24 or tracked 48 or special delivery- if you upload the tracking number showing that the parcel is dispatched on time – regardless if it arrives late – ebay should (and in my opinion and experience ) WILL protect you against all late delivery defects.

    If you get the occasional defect simply phone ebay and they will remove. All this talk about avoiding tracking numbers is the exact opposite of what sellers and ebay are trying to achieve – its about giving the buyers a better experience – buyers like tracking numbers. It also discourages sellers who don’t always have the item in stock.

    Some of the advice given out on these post by some sellers has a lot to be desired.

  11. I had an interesting conversation with our RM account manager yesterday.
    I have always been suspicious of her trying to help and coax me into DMO but she has never been pushy and leaves it up to me.
    I took the plunge with DMO recently and although being set up still, I can play with it and ask questions.
    As I have brainwaves that in my mind will save me time, I put them too her and see what she thinks.
    Yesterday she told me that any item from large letter upwards processed through DMO and/or with 2d barcode are scanned and althought there is “no tracking” if I get an INR claim she has an internal tracking that can see where the item is roughly.

    The last part that she divulged when I told her I had read of numerous ebay and amazon claim rejections for “Delivered or to a neighbour”, was that NEXT year the scanners will accept as to what neighbour they have been left with.
    Why they can’t do that now, I have no idea but at least it looks like they take these things on board.

    Although my account manager is very helpful, she still can’t get my DMO RM Tracked 24/48 to be put on our DMO account.
    Quite ironic that that is the one service we actually signed up for and wanted.

  12. I sold a laptop to a buyer from spain, and some how it was lost, the tracking showed arrived in spain but nothing else and all of a sudden 7 weeks later it showed delivered the buyer claimed back money and got a free laptop, ebay didnt do nothing and paypal just keeps calling me i’m not paying the negative balance its ponkers

  13. Hi I ordered 2 Renata watch battery’s surprised to receive e-mail from seller that they were returned as Royal Mail doesn’t deliver these to my address yet I can buy cards of different size’s from any pound shop (not the Renata type I need) very disappointed with Royal Mail .william

  14. I cant even find a way to track a package without downloading a program. I have use this service for years but being in the US I always track package to when it was turned over to US mail. Cant Now.


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