eBay Estimated Delivery Dates & Late Delivery Defects

Category: eBay News
eBay Estimated Delivery Dates & Late Delivery Defects

eBay have published a reminder of everything you need to know about their Estimated Delivery Dates and Late Delivery Defects that could impact your selling activities.

Perhaps the most important thing to note, is that your handling time should be realistic – adding in additional days won’t help as eBay will simply ignore them if you routinely despatch and deliver early. The marketplace no longer relies on flat calculations but adjusts estimated delivery dates dynamically as carrier performance changes.

How does eBay calculate estimated delivery date ranges?

The estimated delivery date range shown to buyers is dynamic and based on various factors. These include the time it takes you to pack and send items (your dispatch or handling time) and the delivery or courier services you offer. It also takes into consideration your past delivery performance (on the aspects of delivery that you can control) and other criteria such as carrier performance, the location of your item and your buyer’s delivery address. 

Why is the estimated delivery date shown to buyers including dates that are still within my dispatch time?

At peak trading times it can take longer for buyers to receive their items. At quieter times of the year parcels can arrive more quickly. Rather than using the same flat calculation throughout the year, eBay adjust delivery estimates dynamically to provide buyers with a more realistic range of dates. It’s possible you’ll see ranges of estimated delivery dates that overlap with dates that are still within your dispatch time, particularly if you’ve set your dispatch time to give you more time to process parcels. 

In the event your items arrive after the end of the date range shown to your buyer, as long as tracking shows you dispatched your items on time and used both the service and carrier you specified on your listing, you’ll be protected against late delivery defects. 

If your buyer opens an “item not received” case, you have 3 business days to resolve the issue. To avoid getting a defect for a “case closed without seller resolution”, make sure you respond to the case and explain to your buyer that tracking shows the item is on its way. 

When is an item considered fully “dispatched”? 

An item is considered fully dispatched when it’s either been dropped off with your carrier or the carrier collected the item from you – not when you printed the label, generated a tracking number, or marked it dispatched. 

When does eBay count a delivery as having arrived late? 

We use data provided by buyers and carriers to assess whether an item has arrived late, regardless of whether or not the buyer has opened an “item not received” case.  

If you’ve uploaded tracking details within 24 hours of dispatch, eBay will count an item as late when:

  • The delivery scan is after the estimated delivery date range shown to your buyer (i.e. the item is late if the date range shown to your buyer is 11-13 April and it’s delivered on 14 April or later) AND
  • There is no carrier scan within your dispatch time

If there are no tracking details available:

  1. When the buyer leaves feedback, eBay will ask them if the item arrived on time
  2. If the buyer confirms the item arrived after the estimated delivery date, it will be counted as late

Why should I upload tracking details? 

Using a carrier service that provides end-to-end tracking is the best way to avoid requests for “where’s my item?” and “item not received”. This allows your buyer to see where their item is without them needing to contact you – and makes it easier for us to protect you if they incorrectly claim it wasn’t received.

Please note that tracking details must always be uploaded within 24 hours of dispatch, not after a buyer opens an “item not received” case. 

When are delivery-related defects automatically removed from my account? 

If a delivery-related defect on your account is eligible to be removed, eBay will remove it automatically within 7 days. Until then, it will still appear in your seller standards dashboard before being removed automatically. Once the defect is removed, it can take up to two days for your predicted seller level to be adjusted. You don’t need to contact eBay. 

eBay automatically remove defects, adjust your late delivery rate, and remove Feedback for a number of reasons, including but not limited to when:

  • The delivery estimate shown in the listing was shortened and tracking shows the item was delivered by the carrier’s longest delivery estimate
  • The defect, Feedback, or late delivery was the direct result of an eBay site issue or programme error

In addition, to help reduce the impact on your business during times of disruption, such as adverse weather conditions or Royal Mail strike periods, eBay protect your performance, including:

  • Your late delivery rate, which will be removed for orders with estimated delivery dates between for the affected dates
  • Your “item not received” count in your service metrics dashboard will be automatically removed for the affected dates
  • eBay will also remove any negative and neutral feedback relating to or arising from late or non-delivery during the affected period

You can find the full list of circumstances that result in automatic removal of a defect in the Seller performance and Feedback policy


It’s key to make sure the handling time and carrier service stated in your listings are accurate. This helps eBay to manage buyer expectations, identify impacted parcels for carrier issues, and calculate an accurate estimated delivery date, so that they can apply seller protections accordingly. If you ever need to make changes to your listings, see the page on revising a listing for more information.

Should the carrier network ever be subject to unexpected disruptions or increased delivery volume, eBay will also take this into consideration when calculating estimated delivery dates. Examples of such disruptions include: severe weather, natural disasters, unscheduled events, peak seasons, or the ongoing impact of Royal Mail strikes.

11 Responses

  1. This has been the case for at least the last year. Ebay want to be the “seller” and the actual sellers are just their fulfilment agents. Yet sellers still have to display their own business details, and are liable for any problems with the transaction, which seems like Ebay want to have it both ways.

    Ebay should roll the site back to how it was years ago, hand sellers the control back to their own listings. That we pay handsomely for, by the way. Though I will say some changes like “send offer” have been good.

  2. The trouble is that the ETA just doesn’t work properly, whether that’s the algorithm or something else, the ebay boards are rife with sellers complaining that the Estimate delivery dates are all over the place.
    I find that Special delivery has an estimated delivery that can be a day later than 2nd class. Crazy!
    I don’t know why ebay don’t just leave it and the seller chooses the delivery time. That way the sellers are happy, the buyers get a true reflection of what to expect and if it’s wrong then the seller will be penalised for it.
    The way it is now, if Ebay’s algorithm is inaccurate the seller gets the blame, the buyer is annoyed as they purchased based on the EDD, the seller is rightly annoyed as they never said it would be delivered when ebay told the customer it would be.

  3. we dont take a blind bit of notice of this ,
    we sell it and send it if ,ebay want to play silly buggers thats their affair
    if we are restricted to the point ebay fails to be profitable , we go elsewhere

    1. The trouble is that after Ebay and amazon there aren’t too many platforms left to have a reasonable business online.
      Onbuy, for us, is a few sales a week if you are lucky and now they have axed the under £500 sales per month get free subscription, we will leave it.
      Ebid, used to work a little for us but never saw integrations to any websites.
      Fruugo has been fairly good.

      Without a centralised platform to handle the stock control of 5000+ items, it gets way too messy and time-consuming.

      All we want is for customers to be shown an estimated time for delivery that we choose. Outside that delivery and it should be ur problem.

  4. ebay want sellers to set realistic dispatch and delivery times for buyers. When sellers do this and something goes wrong, ebay punish sellers with defect which can damage a sellers account.
    Allow a day or two for late pick up scans or delivery and ebay tell buyers item will likely get there quicker. Buyer left disappointed if it does not get there on the estimated first day and has a bad experience.

    Whichever option you choose you are facing negative experiences, either defects on account or disappointed buyers.

    Maybe ebay need to rethink how they micromanage everything and let sellers run their own business and stop interfering.

    ebay keep claiming to support small businesses but fail to recognise their policy and processes have a negative impact. Small businesses are often one person or a small team, items may go out quicker one day if an order drops on the desk just before a courier collection. A week later order arrives the same time but something else is in the business is going on. Item still dispatched within the dispatch time but ebay tell the buyer they are likely to get it quicker due to past shipping data.

  5. That explains the stupid delivery estimate. I have it set to 3 days and 2nd class these days as it just a side Hustle these days. I have it set to 3 days as I can be on 12 hour shifts these days, and just don’t get a chance to get to my office and get the stock out. As far as I am concerned I am advertising correct. I often need the 3 days however.
    I often get it out earlier of course. Just eBay making things complicated again and actually misleading customers.

    1. And the worst thing about it all is that on one of the pages (to do with the late delivery metric) Ebay actually says something like: “so long as you dispatch by the time YOU have set in your listing then you have nothing to worry about”.

      Well firstly that is a TOTAL lie, because Ebay could have told the buyer its going to arrive BEFORE your last dispatch day, and secondly I am not going to be “worrying” about anything (in spite of Ebay’s obvious gaslighting) because it’s just not worth it. AFAIK angry buyers are Ebay’s problem, not mine. Ebay will continue to lose buyers til they revert back to the old system.

  6. If allowed to be grown up ,We would offer be something.similar to prime , where its just about certain delivery in 48 hours
    After that a “second class”
    7 to 14 days or before option

  7. Ebay is run by uneducated morons 🙁

    They should let sellers to set their own shipping rules – get their cut – and intervene ONLY if seller is repeatedly doing something wrong.

    They are trying to mimic amazon’s prime – without really helping sellers in any way – but making things even worse.

    They should rather offer buyers to filter by delivery time – and let sellers to compete in this department.

    If as a seller – I want to sell more – I’ll offer quicker delivery – for a premium – if buyer is prepared to pay for this a bit extra – it’s his choice – otherwise buyer can select slower AND more realistic delivery time.

  8. Fairly useless information release from eBay. I seem to remember that 20 years ago if you worked for eBay you had to operate an eBay account. Few I have spoken to recently would now how to do that. I sell collectable records and CDs as I was doing back in the late 90s. I have a five day dispatch setting because of the UK strikes and the EU customs constant delays in dealing with UK post by claiming eBay IOSS number is invalid of simply returning packages (some eBay CS Reps seems not to know what IOSS numbers are!) Despite the 5 day dispatch rules and second class mail I constantly see the expected delivery date is even before the 5 day setting is reached. How is that helpful to either buyer or seller? I have loved eBay over the years and prefer them to Amazon where I also sell but why will they not support sellers in a sensible way. All we have as sellers is increased costs, defects and warnings and hassle with little if any seller encouragement and support.


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