eBay monitoring USPS delays and looking for low cost alternatives.

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We should be pretty grateful here in the UK that Royal Mail recovered rapidly from the Coronavirus pandemic impact and, with the exception of some sporadic local issues, is back to pretty much business as normal across large parts of the country. Yes, there are localised delays and they are still not collecting signatures due to social distancing, but it’s nothing compared with USPS delays in the US.

The US have failed to get a grip on the pandemic, although their deaths per million head of population are less than the UK (508 vs 688), their new infections are still being measured in the 10s of 1000s. eBay report that the USPS continues to be strained, and we realize the burden this puts on our sellers. Delivery and scan delays persist, and eBay are monitoring not only the USPS delays but also ongoing negotiations in Washington.

The situation with USPS delays is so dire in the US that eBay have announced that they are actively looking for affordable alternatives which can offer a more reliable delivery service for their American sellers and buyers.

“We are continually monitoring shipping developments and USPS delays. We are working on other affordable, more reliable delivery options for sellers. Stay tuned for important developments in this area in the coming weeks.”
– Marni Levine, VP of Seller Operations and Engagement, eBay

eBay steps to address USPS delays

Handling time

eBay are automatically extending estimated delivery dates as necessary to give buyers a more reasonable expectation of when their items will arrive. They recommend that you don’t extend your handling time as the eBay extended estimates should give you enough buffer, and additional handling days could lead to the appearance of your items shipping slower than they actually are.

Seller protections

Last month, eBay announced seller protections against shipping defects through to the 31st of August and they will continue to extend these protections as long as strains on carriers affect delivery dates.

“Item not received” cases

If a buyer opens an “item not received” case, and you provided valid tracking and shipped the item within your promised handling time, eBay will wait to evaluate the case until after the extended estimated delivery date.

  • eBay will recognize that you uploaded valid tracking and met your handling time commitment, and you can still qualify as a Top Rated Seller.
  • If the item shows up late because of a carrier delay, eBay will remove the shipping defect for late shipment.
  • If the item is delivered after the extended estimated delivery date, eBay will remove shipping-related negative or neutral feedback on your behalf.

10 Responses

  1. The problem with our US postal system isn’t because of COVID, it’s because we have a corrupt president who is trying to disrupt mail so that people can’t vote by mail. Because if they do, they are most likely to vote for his opponent.

  2. I have just received a return because Royal Mail took 9 days to deliver and the customer no longer wanted it. The return has just arrived having taken 13 days to get back here. Both journeys were 2nd class, but it is still not good enough! The claim that “Royal Mail recovered rapidly from the Coronavirus pandemic impact” is utter rubbish – they are still terrible far too often in my opinion.

  3. Still only two hours from 7am to 9am for picking item up from RM callers office in our town.

    Get the feeling that companies and banks quite like these reduced hours and will try to keep them after covid.

    Agree with Alan Paterson about patchy postal delivery times. Not the fault of posties who do a good job. But still not back to normal and nowhere near Ebay’s grotesquely unfair delivery metrics, which cannot be met without building in massive handling times to compensate.

  4. have to say ebays delivery metrics are a necessary evil,
    to compete with amazon et al sellers need to be on their game.
    pointless promising fast delivery s, then it taking a week or more,
    sellers need to be pragmatic and realistic
    if royal mail cant cut the mustard, use other delivery options

  5. I changed my handling time to 3 days months ago because ebay are so ineffective at reacting to situations.

    Sales haven’t changed much and I’m no longer on tenterhooks with ebays harsh on sellers punishments and metrics.

    I’ll be keeping it on 3 days for as long as i sell on ebay. I really cant be bothered with their bat crazy metrics anymore.

  6. eBay need to get their estimated delivery times correct !!! Telling a buyer who purchased on the 10th Aug that their parcel would be delivered in the US by 3rd sept.
    CRAZY, no wonder buyers are opening cases, as item not received.
    Parcels from Europe to the US are taking a minimum of 6 weeks, one took 9 weeks !!

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