eBay has announced that Guaranteed Delivery will be launched in early 2018. If it isn’t part of your new year strategy yet, now’s the time to plan. With eBay’s promise of fast delivery, there’s a good chance more shoppers will be turning to this ever-growing marketplace.
To recap: eBay Guaranteed Delivery lets its 168 million active shoppers filter out search results to show only items that are guaranteed to arrive in three days or less. There’s no cost to consumers (or sellers) for using the program.
If a guaranteed item is delivered late, the buyer can:
- Keep the item and get a refund of the postage cost (paid for by the seller). If postage was free, the buyer can get a $10 eBay coupon instead (paid for by eBay)
- Return the item for free and get a refund on the postage costs (paid for by the seller)
Until June 2018, if a guaranteed item arrives late, eBay will compensate the buyer by offering a return postage label or by refunding the cost of the postage. This is only applicable to sellers who have completed the required steps for eBay Guaranteed Delivery.
At a time when shoppers are 45% more likely to purchase if they have confidence the item will arrive within 2-3 days, this program is a must. Here are four essential tips and best practices to follow as you get started with the program.
#1. Opt in (Right now. Over here.)
eBay has now opened the opt-in for participation in eBay Guaranteed Delivery. The opt-in is open to sellers who’ve met all the necessary requirements. If you’re unable to opt-in just yet, you can still register to be a part of the program. eBay will be in touch when eBay Guaranteed Delivery is ready to be switched on for your account. This is a great opportunity to set things in motion prior to launch to ensure that your shopping performance and seller standards meet the following requirements:
- Above Standards or eBay Top Rated seller,
- Offer 30-day returns on your listings’ structured fields. (See recommendations for best-in-class returns),
- Offer ‘Immediate Pay’ on the listings you wish to make eligible.
#2. Set realistic expectations
eBay offers two options for sellers, and success will hinge on your ability to meet expectations for the one you choose when opting in.
While high-volume sellers may choose to join eBay’s “door-to-door” option for full control over guaranteed delivery date calculations, this option is not for everyone.
If you want to guarantee delivery but don’t have the resources to calculate arrive-by dates, a more realistic choice may be the “handling time” option. You’ll need to meet fast handling times — same-day or one-day on at least 97% of eligible transactions — but eBay will figure out delivery dates for you and back its guarantee to the customer in the rare event a shipment is delayed.
Another reason to consider joining the handling time option? Normally, sellers are required to use eBay shipping labels for 95% of Guaranteed Delivery transactions. That requirement has been waived through the end of the year. So any special arrangements you’ve made for fulfilling holiday orders can be leveraged when guaranteeing deliveries throughout the season.
#3. Up your game
To be accepted into eBay’s Guaranteed Delivery Program, you must meet and maintain specific requirements for fast, consumer-friendly shipping and handling. eBay will be monitoring your fulfilment performance from the moment your application is processed to watch for:
- On-time handling (for the handling time option) or deliveries (for the door-to-door option) for at least 97% of transactions
- Uploaded, on-time validated tracking for at least 95% of guaranteed transactions
- Use of eligible delivery services
If these standards seem high, remember that you don’t have to include all of your products in Guaranteed Delivery. Decide which ones will be easiest to fulfill quickly and efficiently, and build from there. Once you’ve decided on the eligible listings you wish to guarantee using the handling time option:
- Set a same-day or one-day handling time on those items and offer returns.
- State-specific carriers and services in listings. Using generic terms like “standard,” “economy,” “expedited” and “flat rate freight” will not meet this requirement.
- Include a postal code with your listing location so eBay can determine the guaranteed delivery date.
- Use eBay’s working days calendar to set your business days and same-day handling time cutoffs.
- Set up immediate payment. (You can do this by checking the boxes for “PayPal” and “require immediate payment with Buy It Now” under “selling details” > “payment options.” For listings under $100, eBay will do this for you automatically.)
#4: Remain vigilant
eBay will be reviewing your performance and you should be, too. Keep a close eye on your status in the Guaranteed Delivery dashboard, and address any handling, tracking and return issues as they arise. eBay evaluates seller performance every two weeks to ensure those in the program continue to meet all requirements for continued participation.
eBay Guaranteed Delivery can be an excellent way to meet consumers’ increasing expectations for fast fulfilment. Following the best practices above will help ensure you’re getting as much out of the program as possible.
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