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Best Practices for eBay Guaranteed Delivery

If you haven’t leveraged eBay Guaranteed Delivery yet, now’s the time. Consumers are expected to spend more online than in-store this holiday season. And with eBay’s promise of purchases arriving in three days or less, 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. In the rare instance that a shipment is delayed, eBay will handle responses and refunds on behalf of sellers to ensure customer satisfaction.

At a time when 89% of consumers believe that “fast shipping” means four days or less, 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.)

Participation in eBay Guaranteed Delivery is optional, but it can take awhile to be accepted into the program if you’re still fine-tuning your fulfillment processes. While some sellers may not be able to list products for Guaranteed Delivery filtering right away, there’s no reason you can’t set things in motion today. eBay will keep an eye on your shipping performance and update you once you’ve met the required seller standards.

#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 fulfillment 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 at ebay.com/ship/cutoff 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 fulfillment. Following the best practices above will help ensure you’re getting as much out of the program as possible.

Looking for more eBay Guaranteed Delivery tips? Check out our webinar: eBay Guaranteed Delivery: Sell More, Faster.

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