Once upon a time, buyers came to eBay almost exclusively for one-of-kind, hard-to-find treasures. Think, Pierre Omidyar’s broken laser pointer and those ultra rare Beanie Babies.
Back then, shipping and handling times were loosey-goosey. Mark Fraser was probably just happy to find that rare pointer and likely didn’t expect it to arrive in less than a week.
But that’s history. Now you can buy pretty much anything on eBay—antique, vintage, new, consumable—and you can get it all in a matter of days. In fact, that’s what customers expect. Why? Because some online retailers are touting “two-hour” handling times.
So how do you keep up with the increasingly aggressive standards set by consumers and the larger online retail world? Outside of offering expedited shipping, you might want to take a second look at your handling time.
1. Select your handling time with care
Handling time on eBay is defined as the number of business days (that’s right, weekends and holidays don’t count) between when you receive payment and your package is scanned by your carrier. It’s something you set every time you list an item. The general rule of thumb is to pick a handling time that you can easily meet. But if you can swing same- or one-day handling, it’s in your best interest. Take it from Griff.
2. Learn to love that little green truck
Buyers want their stuff fast. But did you know that same- and one-day handling can actually help you sell more? If you offer free shipping in conjunction with one of these handling times, and the buyer can expect to receive their item within four business days, the Fast ’N Free badge will automatically appear on your listing. You’ve seen it. It’s accompanied by that speedy little green truck and an estimated delivery date. That logo is your friend. eBay data shows that it can result in a 11%* lift in sales.
3. Up your shipping game
Once you sell something and get paid, it’s like a race to the scan. And if the path to your shipping station resembles a Warrior Dash obstacle course, it’ll be increasingly difficult to honor your same- or one-day handling time as your business grows. Plus, you could break a leg. So here are some tips for optimizing your space to meet your handling time commitments:
With some the handling time window narrowing for big online retailers, expect this subject to come up often. In the meantime, roll with the changes (refer to Habit Seven) like the eBay boss that you are.
Do you have any tips or tricks for meeting tight handling times? Tell us in the comments below.
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*Percentage calculated is based on sales of listings that converted to Fast ’N Free. Individual seller results may vary. Percentage increase in sales depends on, among other things, item price, inventory, shipping cost, shipping speed offered, and historical performance of seller. Calculation assumes that sellers don’t increase the item price while making these changes.
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