Hot Topics:

eBay Calls Out Longer Handling Times

New treatment meant to set right expectations, eBay says.

Sellers whose listings have longer than three-day handling times may notice their listings look a little different.

That’s because eBay will begin displaying handling times of longer than three days as “exception handling times” at the top of listings this week. These will display next to a yellow flag, noting an estimate of how long an item will take to be delivered and how long the seller will take to ship the product, eBay notes in its General Announcements.

eBay adds that in mid-September, the marketplace will clearly display longer than three-day handling times on the Item page.

“This new treatment of handling times helps set the right expectation for your buyers,” eBay states in announcement.

However, the marketplace adds that sellers can still specify any handling time they choose, noting that in some instances—like when buyers purchase a custom item—longer handling times are appropriate.

Still, eBay encourages sellers to “please” shoppers by shipping promptly.

Rebecca Miller, an eBay seller of more than 12 years, doesn’t think the new treatment is necessary. She says the item condition, handling time and shipping cost that currently display at the top of a listing already give buyers the right expectations.

“If eBay wants to set the right expectations for buyers and reduce the number of SNAD (significantly not as described) claims, why not encourage them to read the full descriptions before they commit to buy?” she says.

About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of TheOnlineSeller.com. In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

  • Krisc14

    I totally agree with Rebecca Miller.  I have more problems with buyers that don’t bother to read the listing than any other problem.  So even if I make sure that I have everything spelled out in my listings, if they don’t read it, it doesn’t matter.  Buyers should have to take a buying course before their first bid and then maybe get refreshers every so often.  All the responsibility should not be just on the seller.

  • Jan

    I agree with Rebecca Miller on this new item being displayed in ebay come September. I clearly have in my listings that my items ship within 5 days. The problem with most buyers is that they don’t read the descriptions or any part of the listings other than the price, which is what really sells the items. You could be 1 penny under the lowest price and it will sell. I’ve had so many buyers ask me questions that are clearly stated in the listing but no one reads it. Like the other day someone asked me if the TV was 3D compatible and it said in 2 different places that it was not 3D compatible. Then I had a man buy a motorcycle vest for his wife about 1 size too small, yet my listings say that this vest does run a little small. Left me horrible feedback by saying wasn’t described as pictured. How could it be if you order the wrong size. The vest looked just like the picture. So, I feel that ebay is wasteing their time by adding just another gimmick to hurt the seller because the buyer won’t pay any attention anyways.

  • Rodcustom

    eBay has lost so many sellers to there God like Rule over them they have had to add fee’s on everything on it .
    When will they
    WAKE UP AND SEE ALL THEY SHOULD BE DOING IS PROVIDING A SPOT TO SELL
           NOT LORD OVER EVERYONE WITH A PULSE ???????
    WE BOUGHT OVER 30,000 DOLLERS IN ITEMS TO RESELL AND HAVE TO STAY OR WE WOULD HAVE LEFT LONG AGO .
                       EBAY  WAKE  UP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Getting tired

    Another way for eBay to manipulate the backbone of it’s revenue – the Seller! Without us there would be no eBay!

    Why not display a big red flag beside a Buyer’s feedback rating for unpaid or slow payment, and let the Sellers post a Special comment (maybe not neagative) that lets us state “NON PAYING BIDDER”?

  • REGGAEFOUND

    MANY TIMES I OFFER THE BUYER A CHANCE TO INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF PIECES PURCHASED TO LOWER THEIR PER ITEM COST . NORMALLY THIS IS AFTER THEY HAD MADE INITIAL PAYMENT THIS TAKES AN ADDITIONAL DAY AND HURTS MY RATING UNDER THE “90%” GUIDELINE. I FIND THE “90%” RULE UNREASONABLE. ED

  • AKM

    Completely agree with Rebecca Miller – all the stuff at the top just make easier for buyers to skip reading the description and then they blame the seller when they missed something!
    Make buyers accountable for their own mistakes and stop making the sellers the loser – put banners up that reminds them to READ THE WHOLE LISTING!

  • Violetas214

    Yes I agree With Krisc and Rebecca Miller I have More problems with buyers that don’t bother reading listing and they if any problem want to Blame me as a seller. Never Pay attention and don’t read at all

  • Coinausjohn1

    eBay policies are biased against Sellers

    What does eBay do about abusive buyers?

    What does eBay do about non-payers?

    • Kn4fashion

      I agree, most eBay policies are biased against sellers!  That has been made obvious for quite some time now.   What does eBay do about abusive buyers…..in 99.99% of the cases, absolutely NOTHING!   What does eBay do about non-paying buyers….again, Nothing.  Oh, they say they give a “strike” and after a specified number of strikes the buyer is restricted/off eBay…well what is that strike number?  Must be a pretty big one because I see buyers I know for fact have received 3 and 4 and more strikes in ONE month and are still there buying and not paying!   EBay does not now and probably NEVER will do anything to help the seller especially if it means “offending” a buyer!  But have no doubt, eBay will continue to allow the buyer to “offend” as many sellers as they wish…over and over again! 

  • Yes if the buyer had to initial a little box upon checkout stating that they have read the full description would be great

    • Kiefferdc

      That would be GREAT, but What do you think the chances are of getting eBay to do that? They wont even let sellers leave negatives for buyers any more and you cant even leave any kind of feedback now for a Nonpaying Bidder – this is why ALL BUYERS who only buy and do not sell ALWAYS have 100% feedback.

  • David Heroux

    I could not agree with R. Miller more.  This is a serious problem for myself.  Buyers need to be more responsible for reading the product description.  Wish someone would address this  problem further.  Something like a disclaimer with a box you need to check before you finalize your purchase.  

    • Kn4fashion

      This is a serious problem for many of us sellers.  A disclaimer or box to check would be fantastic, but eBay will never go for that!  It is true, buyers DO NOT read the listings and then they DO blame the seller for their own failure to read what the hard working seller has detailed in the listings!  This has always been a problem and I do not see it changing any time soon.  After all eBay believes that the buyer is King and their satisfaction is eBay’s ONLY concern!. 

  • Kiefferdc

    I have thought about giving feedback that shows just how long the buyer actually took to pay – i.e., “Buyer paid INSTANTLY’ which I do now for most of my buyers because most are Great! or for the few ‘deadbeats’ I have had I will leave the feedback like ‘Buyer purchased on 7/5 & paid on 7/15 after 2nd request’ , etc., etc. The latter would not be ‘negative’ in words, but would show EXACTLY how long they take to pay rather than the usual ‘Prompt Payment’ for slow payers. I also have blocked quite a few buyers & pass those names and info on to other sellers I know and they do the same.  I have actually had 2 wann-be bidders email me to say they ‘just dont understand why it will not let them bid, ‘I always pay on time’. Then when I check my records it shows either I or another seller has had to file a non-paying bidder claim to finally get them to pay & sometimes they did not pay. Then I get to tell them EXACTLY why they cant bid.  Ah, sometimes revenge is sweet.

  • Kn4fashion

    I COMPLETELY agree with the majority of these comments and wonder why eBay is still getting away with their obviously one sided policies!  In most cases, sellers are completely at the “mercy” of the buyer.  There are buyers that have filed and LOST claims against a seller, yet they are ALLOWED BY EBAY to leave that same seller a Neg.  Why is that?   Many of us sellers are “trapped” and are not able to leave just yet, but there simply must be something we can do other than complain to each other, which helps but doesn’t accomplish anything!  Has eBay forgotten that it is us, the sellers, that provide the funds for their “paychecks”….not the buyers, and where is our “customer service”…after all, it is the seller that is eBay’s customer!!  Perhaps eBay should take a lesson from the sellers and learn how to provide acceptable “customer service” to their customers, The Sellers!

  • Kn4fashion

    Good idea, but eBay would never go for that!  Another option might be to initiate a DBR or “Detailed Buyer Rating” like the DSR now used for sellers.  Allow the seller to RATE the buyer on various subjects like payment time or any other subject appropriate.  However, since eBay has made it painfully obvious that it is ONLY the buyer that is their concern, it is doubtful that anything will ever be done to help the seller or keep “the eBay community safe” by allowing truthful feedback or comments about the buyer!

  • Kn4fashion

    You are absolutely correct, buyers DO NOT bother to read listing descriptions!  That is proven over and over again when buyers send emails asking questions when the answers are already spelled out in the listing description and/or item specifics.  A buyer’s course would be helpful, but again, eBay would not do such a thing because that may offend a buyer and would be for the benefit of the seller and we all know that does not happen!  Buyers will continue to avoid reading the listing through and sellers will continue to shoulder the blame for the buyers inability or refusal to read all the information provided for them.  That seems to be the “eBay way”. 



Newsletter Signup

Subscribe!