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You and the New (More Objective) eBay On-Time Shipping Metric

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Verified Blogger
Verified Blogger

Last year you said something like this: “The current seller performance standards are largely based on buyer opinion. We need more objective standards.” And “I feel like I’m being held accountable for things that are beyond my control.”

We heard you loud and clear.

That’s why, as of February 20, 2016, the new, more objective seller performance standards will go into effect. And one change in particular will protect you from unforeseen shipping issues. Let’s explore the new On-Time Shipping metric.

On-Time Shipping in a nutshell

Prior to February 20, your shipping performance was calculated using:

  • Buyer feedback
  • Detailed seller ratings
  • Requests for items not received
Well, that’s all changing. Now it’s going to be based on what you can truly control—getting your item shipped on time.

How will we determine if your package is on time?

We'll simply check objective tracking information to confirm one of these two things:

  • Whether your item was shipped within your stated handling time.
  • Whether your item was delivered by the estimated delivery date.
Yes, this means that if your carrier accidentally places your package destined for Ft. Lauderdale on a slow boat to China, you’re in the clear as long as you dropped off (or had your item picked up) within your stated handling time. And even if your buyer says your item was late (maybe because they just thought it should have arrived sooner), as long as it was scanned within your handling time, you’re solid. There’s that objectivity at work.

So when is a shipment considered late?

With these new metrics, your package will only be considered late when:

  • Tracking shows late delivery, and there’s no carrier acceptance scan within your stated handling time.
  • Buyer confirms late delivery and there's no acceptance scan within your stated handling time, or there's no delivery confirmation by the estimated delivery date.
Basically, as long as you hold up your end of the bargain, you should be OK. If you advertise one-day handling, just get your item scanned, or upload tracking within twenty-four hours of receiving payment from your buyer. And if your carrier doesn’t scan your item right away for some reason, you’ll still be fine as long as the subsequent scan (showing that your package is in transit) proves that you got your item into the delivery flow on time. Essentially, eBay is looking for any positive sign that you did your part. We want this to be ridiculously easy for you.

What can you do to ensure that your item is on time?

Here are three simple ways to make sure shipping goes smoothly for you every time: 


OK, what if there’s no tracking information?

If there's no tracking information, we'll just ask your buyer a simple yes/no question to confirm whether the item arrived by the estimated delivery date. If there’s no tracking, and no buyer confirmation, don’t worry, nothing will happen.

What else can you do to make things easier on your end?

  • Consider using eBay labels for automatic tracking upload, as well as discounted postage.
Does this all make sense? We hope so. If you have any questions about it, we’ve created an entire On-Time Shipping page dedicated to this topic alone. Between Kristi Diemoz’s video summary, the infographic, and the FAQs, you’re sure to find the answer. And if you have time, watch this on-demand webinar with eBays’ Griff, Kristi, and Prashanth for more benefits of On-Time Shipping. 

We’re excited to make things easier for you as a seller. If you haven’t already, take a quick look at this chart to see other ways we’ve simplified eBay seller performance standards.

Did your eBay life just get a whole lot easier? Tell us in the comments below. Also, feel free to share this article with your eBay colleagues via email, and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.