eBay Tracking Policy Update for INR Protection

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eBay recently put out an update on the eBay tracking policy. Put simply, as of the 26th of September 2018 sellers are required to upload tracking to eBay before the estimated delivery date. This means if you’re shipping via a next day service tracking has to be uploaded on the day of shipping. Opt to ship via 48 hour services and you’ll need to upload tracking by the end of the day after you ship.

eBay say that this is so sellers will be protected if buyers open an Item Not Received (INR) claim. Uploading the eBay tracking after the buyer has opened a claim will impact your seller metrics but if you upload eBay tracking prior to the delivery taking place eBay will be able to see (on supported carriers) that the item has been despatched and delivered. On carriers with whom eBay don’t have an integration, eBay support staff will be able to at least check on the relevant courier website that the item has been despatched and delivered.

eBay specifically point out that sending buyers tracking numbers via email won’t protect you from INR claims. For most sellers using software solutions to produce their shipping labels (or using eBay Delivery Powered by Shutl) tracking numbers will automatically be uploaded when the label is produced.

eBay INR Tracking Policy Update announcement

We want to make selling and buying on eBay a fair process so we’re updating our tracking policy. Starting September 2018, you’ll be required to upload tracking in the structured data field before the estimated delivery date has passed. This is so that eBay can protect you if a buyer claims they haven’t received the item. Sending the tracking number to the buyer via email won’t protect you from a claim. We always recommend you upload tracking information as soon as you have dispatched the item.
The eBay team

Cynical sellers might say that the reason for this is more to track late deliveries rather than protection from INR claims. Indeed, eBay will be able to see if an item is despatched late if you upload tracking but in reality it’s more likely you’ll get an INR claim on untracked items which are impossible to defend against and certainly you’ll be able to communicate with buyers more easily if you have surety that the item has been delivered than for untracked items.

It’s worth remembering that for sellers with a very high number of INR claims for a particular postage destination when compared to their peers, eBay may extend the estimated delivery time for that postage destination.

17 Responses

  1. Oh dear, and all for an extra 0.01-0.02% points profit…..

    Ebay shareholders made a ton from freeing Paypal into a separate Co, now the real price is to be paid by all the others…

    Disgraceful, but expected in today’s money grabbing Corporate institutions……

  2. Prime App? I don’t believe you need a Prime subscription to shop at their Go stores. You just need a standard Amazon account and their Go app

  3. One of our client companies have been approached to produce a significantly large range for an Amazon Own-Brand via Amazon Business / Exclusives.
    The Amazon offer to them is pretty strong, as the benefits to sales potential appear to be quite advantageous in competitive categories. Some of the services normally associated with Vendor/Retail are included.
    It looks like they will take up the offer for two main reasons;
    1) They fear what might happen to their own own-brand if they don’t
    2) Amazon have stated there is no risk to them ‘stealing’ the factory in future. It’s more like “an Amazon Franchise”.
    All in all it looks like a good deal. It is yet another fascinating change of tactic from Amazon, which could have huge knock-on effects to many.

  4. I am surprised that Etsy still don’t have have a system to import listings from eBay. What with so many sellers leaving eBay it would be my No 1 priority if I were Josh Silverman. I downgraded my eBay shop from Featured to Basic a couple of months ago but I simply don’t have time to list 3,500 items on Etsy one by one.

  5. So what they are saying is the current system is not geared to protecting sellers against inr claims…. so the best way forward is to add further further constraints on sellers and add the side effect of making it more likely that they will lose the last remaining discounts they get in the process!
    The signs of blind, dying company are really showing through now. They will go on though…. this is a very long painful slip from grace.
    The funny thing is they still class it as dispatched on time… yet they measure it by when it is delivered! If i add tracking showing i dispatched on time, then the date it was delivered is irrelevent.

  6. tired of speed and ease?
    enjoy repeating yourself?
    like shouting?
    and mistakes?
    then this is the system for you!

  7. They may also be tracking clusters of fraud by buyers. In my trade specific zip codes have high levels of package theft and high value items going to those areas have to be shipped differently.
    I’m betting not only are we looking at eBay tracking sellers but also rings of fraudulent buyers. It would not surprise me if law enforcement wasn’t involved at some level. INR claims with tracking are probably a huge money sink as eBay is refunding items with delivered tracking. This may be 2 fold and I guarantee they will see clusters of fraudulent INR claims

  8. I think this could terrible idea for manufacturers as Amazon will use your skills and money to develop a product that once it takes off may source from another manufacturer who can produce it for less. This is once again giving Amazon too much power and the power to destroy your whole business just like that!

    “It is also possible that Amazon will commission other manufacturers to supplement the product lines that you supply – they own the Private Label and can switch manufacturing between suppliers should they choose to.”

  9. @Dumbo not so Dumb after all…

    We use Royal Mail Click & Drop and we currently run at a massive 0.23% Late Delivery Rate, we are not the biggest sellers on eBay so this is based on – 2 of 875 transactions in the given period.

    We put a “Royal Mail Priority Mail” sticker on all our boxes, but I guess everybody does the same?

  10. I had a customer in the US who wanted me to postpone the sending of the auctions he was bidding on, so he could continue bidding and have them sent in one go. I do this for nearly 50% of my customers (many insist on paying without waiting, some because they don’t like the automated payment reminders).

    Only eBay make it difficult, because they impose when items must be sent, which they never used to do, so I have to mark goods shipped and tell the customer to ignore the shipping messages as I continue to hold as per their request.

    So I checked my dashboard recently to discover I suddenly had 8 late shipments for the US and my late shipment rate was about 8%… Turns out it was all for this one customer whose post I had been holding for around 3 months. It was an expensive order that I sent tracked and insured, and I learnt I should not add tracking in these situations through eBay’s system because they use it against you! I did manage to contact eBay, and got 7 of the 8 removed, but they cannot remove any over 90 days old. It’s a really ill-conceived system, that makes life much more complicated, especially for auction sellers trying to oblige their customers.


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