Last Sunday I made two online purchases and with the choice of eBay vs Amazon I had a decision to make. I ended up spending £50 on Amazon and only £7.99 on eBay.
I checked out the price of the £50 item on both eBay and Amazon, but as I wanted the item relatively quickly and there was only a 26p difference (eBay was cheaper) I opted for Amazon, even though delivery times were roughly the same – an expected delivery date of Tuesday. Both items had free carriage but, to be blunt, I didn’t trust eBay to deliver on time and I definitely wanted the item on Tuesday. Amazon delivered on time.
Before you shout that you are a great seller and if you say it will be delivered on Tuesday that it will… I believe you! It’s just that so many sellers have let me down in the past and Amazon (almost) never does.
The second item wasn’t so time critical so I purchased it on eBay without even checking the price. The delivery estimate was Tuesday to Wednesday but even here eBay give pretty lax information.
The delivery service was offered as a 48 courier
The delivery estimate was Tuesday to Wednesday
… but when you looked at the tracking on eBay it said there was no chance of getting the item on Tuesday and it would definitely arrive on Wednesday. What was even worse is that the seller uploaded a fake tracking number which was no help whatsoever. This looks like a failed attempt to keep eBay happy by uploading tracking but as a buyer I’d be better off without it and certainly it was never going to get an automatic tick for their On Time Delivery metric.
Needless to say the item failed to arrive on Tuesday and it didn’t arrive on Wednesday either. Late on Wednesday I contacted the seller and they told me it had been shipped by Royal Mail 2nd Class which Royal Mail describe as a 2-3 day service and sure enough, having been posted on Monday, the item eventually turned on on the 3rd day but this was Thursday.
eBay vs Amazon
As a buyer this has just reinforced the notion that if you want something delivered on time then Amazon is the place to buy. Why would a consumer trust eBay if a delivery promise isn’t met. Why do eBay suggest an item might arrive on Tuesday if the seller has clearly specified a 48 hour delivery service which pretty much guarantees that it was never going to arrive before Wednesday. Finally, why would a seller cross their fingers that 2nd Class post might deliver within 48 hours when it’s a 2-3 day service?
Just to rub salt into the wound, when I was gathering the screen shots for this article, I stumbled upon the same product on Amazon… offered by the same seller. If I had purchased on Amazon I could have bought it for £3.49 instead of the £7.99 I paid on eBay. That’s probably an anomaly but it didn’t make me feel any better about eBay.
I find this incredibly sad. I like eBay and I feel guilty when I don’t purchase on eBay. All I want is a delivery promise that’s kept and to be secure in the knowledge that if eBay indicate an item will arrive by Tuesday that it will arrive by Tuesday. Is that too much to ask?
The net result is that eBay lost out on about £5.00 in fees. A fiver isn’t much, but they soon start adding up. I’d love eBay to put proper delivery options in place that I could trust and stop me buying on Amazon. In the battle of eBay vs Amazon, I’m sure I’m not the only consumer that thinks this way.