eBay USPS shipping delays frustrated woman

My View: What eBay Still Doesn’t Understand About Seller Frustrations Regarding USPS Shipping Delays

Yesterday, eBay posted a video by Rebecca Michals, Directory of Community and Engagement at eBay on the eBay for Business Facebook page. She genuinely is trying to reach out to eBay sellers about what videos the company should produce for sellers to help them succeed on the marketplace.

Unfortunately in the video, she highlights eBay’s seller help landing page (ebay.com/sellerhelp) and suggests sellers can reach out to eBay support via chat or call back.

What occurred next is probably what eBay didn’t expect, a barrage of sellers complaining about how the company is letting them down, especially with delayed USPS shipments. Sellers are also blasting eBay for continuing to show unrealistic delivery times to buyers, making the situation worse.

“What’s happening on ebay is you are giving buyers unrealistic delivery dates and letting them open up cases against sellers and putting our money on hold and refund them when it’s still in transit. That’s what happening on ebay and I’m about sick of it. Why don’t I just list stuff for FREE with FREE shipping because that’s what’s happening.“

eBay Seller Comment on eBay for Business Facebook Page

In response to the above comment, eBay posted the following answer which just angered more sellers on the eBay for Business Facebook page.

“Hi all- We appreciate the feedback, and know there have been some difficult situations. If there are recent tracking scans, we can give the case more time. Ultimately, a seller would need to refund their buyer if the package is lost and work with the carrier for possible insurance coverage. Our shipping team is constantly monitoring shipping.”

eBay for Business Response

Along with its response, eBay provided a link to the snowstorm community forum notice, that while it also included information about how the company was protecting seller performance ratings, was specific to the storm in the Northeastern US. But most sellers are complaining about delays dating back to well before the storm, to early December.

In addition, the issue many sellers have is that eBay is not really extending Item Not Received (INR) claims as the company said in not just one, but two seller notices about shipping delays it posted in December. Furthermore, one seller took offense to eBay’s response because the company is trying to take the easy route and tell sellers they should file for an insurance claim, ignoring the real issue is with USPS delays.

“Lost packages are not the issue. Late delivery after Ebay has refunded the buyer is the problem. USPS insurance is not going to cover that. This is theft on the part of the buyer but accommodated by Ebay.”

eBay Seller Comment on eBay for Business Facebook Page (in response to eBay’s comment above)

USPS Delays Continue to Frustrate Sellers and Buyers

There are many other comments under this video that are similar in content or tone involving issues with USPS shipping delays where eBay allegedly refunded buyers because the tracking had stopped.

Yet, sellers are saying, including in our Facebook Group, that some shipments are still delayed and well beyond the eBay provided estimated delivery time with no new USPS tracking scans. Most sellers believe shipments are not lost as some sellers report deliveries in excess of 30 days on some orders and are just asking to allow the situation to play out.

Shipping Volume at Unprecedented Levels During Holiday Season

“This holiday season was absolutely unprecedented. The industry is known for handling 55, 60, 69 million packages last year. This year there were days when they were handling 88 million packages. During Thanksgiving to Christmas, it was three billion packages.”

ShipMatrix President Satish Jindel

Furthermore, Jindel believes, “I would say system-wide, for all the carriers, there are probably over one million packages still finding their way to the destination.” and he hopes by the end of this week they will be mostly caught up.

Considering the shipping chaos of the holiday season, eBay’s response to this issue needs a little fine-tuning. USPS tracking is not the same as UPS and FedEx and perhaps you get what you pay for.

But for many micro and small business sellers, USPS is the only real choice. Even eBay added a new service recently that relies on the US Postal Service. So, they should understand that USPS is often the best choice for most sellers to ship at a reasonable cost, especially if they have to offer free shipping.

Given the issues with USPS, eBay should look at how it can keep sellers and buyers happy during this unprecedented situation and may offer some relief to both.

Seller complaints about eBay displaying unreasonable delivery times to buyers are a legitimate complaint that was also outside of a seller’s control. There has to be some give and take here and it just can’t be put all on sellers to solve.

Finding reasonable accommodations in select circumstances could go a long way to rebuilding trust with sellers and signal there really is a new company direction at eBay. It would be in the best long-term interest for all.

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