eBay have announced today that they will be making uploading tracking mandatory for items shipped via a trackable shipping service. This change applies to all sellers including business sellers and private sellers.
As of 4 March 2019, you are 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 shipped the item.
Do you always get an acceptance scan for your on-time delivery metric?
It has always been recommended that uploading tracking at the point of shipment is best practise. Certainly uploading tracking before the estimated delivery date helps buyers but some sellers took the decision to only upload tracking if a buyer complained that the delivery didn’t arrive – this was in an attempt to avoid being measured on eBay’s on-time delivery metric.
We still regularly hear complaints that eBay’s on-time delivery metric only really works with Royal Mail for small sellers dropping parcels off at a Post office. Larger sellers who have bulk collections miss out on the acceptance scan or receive an acceptance scan at a later time (often a later date) than they day they actually despatched leading to their on-time delivery metric suggesting that they shipped late.
With the mandatory requirement for uploading tracking, let us know in comments below when (or if) your shipments routinely receive an acceptance scan on the day you ship. It will be interesting to gauge how many sellers still don’t see the first scan on the day they ship.
It is relatively unusual for eBay to announce a change like this outside their regular seller releases, but we’re guessing eBay don’t think it a major enough change to wait for the first seller release of the year to announce. We have no confirmation as to when a seller release may be forthcoming, but in previous years the first of the year has generally been towards the end of February.