Thursday, December 18, 2014

ASK THE EBAY QUEEN: Am I out of luck on eBay shipping and handling?

By SUZIE EADS, Ask the eBay Queen | 3/27/2014

Dear eBay Queen: I read your column from March 13 on The Ottawa Herald’s website, and I have a few additional comments and questions about the Spring Seller Update.

If I sell something Saturday night, and can’t get an acceptance scan until Monday, am I out of luck? I’m hoping eBay is still counting business days, and not weekends. I ship three days per week. That verifies I ship within the max one-day handling time. 

This scenario happens quite a bit with my business:

Someone buys something on Monday afternoon. I pack it Monday night, make a label, and ship it Wednesday. I guess now eBay will be checking my tracking Tuesday? I packed it early because I had time. With this new policy, should I just wait?

When I read over the Top Rated seller requirements, it seems ludicrous with “defect rates.” Canceled transactions initiated by the seller now count against you. Opened cases with items not described count against you, negative neutral count against you, one star shipping time counts, and one, two or three star item as described, or returns based on the eBay buyer protection.

All these instances now go into a defect rate of transactions which is 2 percent of your three month evaluation. This makes the DSR rating thing look fabulous. Because now that DSR rating is still there, but used against you in even a worse way.

My biggest gripe is the cancelled transactions initiated by seller. That doesn’t make any sense since the only time a transaction is cancelled is upon the buyer’s request because they can’t pay, refuse to pay the international shipping, change their mind, or have a wrong address. I’m calling about this tomorrow because it’s the buyer who asks for the cancellation — so let’s make them mad by not cancelling? That is a huge problem. — Louis K

Dear Louis: If you wrap the item on Monday, why don’t you send it out Tuesday? My rural carrier picks up daily, and it costs nothing to have her do it. I would contact the post office to see if your carrier can do this for you also. Like you, I am pretty concerned about how eBay is validating tracking numbers. I did a little research, and found this information:

• When a tracking number is uploaded to My eBay, eBay will automatically check for carrier scan information indicating that the item is either on its way or delivered. Today, only tracking numbers from USPS, UPS, FedEx and DHL Global Express will be validated with scan information.

• If eBay is unable to validate tracking information then the uploaded number will not count toward the 90 percent tracking requirement for Top Rated Sellers if you used a carrier other than USPS, UPS, FedEx and DHL Global Express or the tracking number doesn’t match the carrier selected or cannot be validated through scan information.

• Starting the week of April 16, you’ll be able to see the percentage of your transactions that did not meet the valid tracking requirement in your seller dashboard preview. Then, starting the week of Aug. 20, you’ll be able to see the percentage and you’ll also be able to create a report to see which transactions did not meet the requirement.

• If your carrier doesn’t scan your package at any point, then the transaction will not meet the tracking requirement. Note that any scan indicating that the item is in transit or delivered is sufficient to validate the tracking. It doesn’t have to be a scan at the point of drop-off or pick-up. It can be any scan within the delivery process, including the final delivery scan as long as it is within your evaluation period.

I talked to an eBay representative about this. She said this policy came about because sellers were just uploading random numbers into tracking to show the item was sent when it in fact had not been sent.

eBay item of the week: eBay item No. 221356371557. Faberge eggs are highly sought after. I found this beautiful piece, but I wonder ... would it have sold at a higher price with more pictures and a more detailed description? Check out this “Faberge The Bouquet of Lilies Clock Egg brand new certificate of authenticity.” It sold for $5,500 at

Suzie Eads is a nationally known eBay marketer and eBay trained education specialist. She lives in Rantoul. Have a question for the eBay Queen? Email the eBay Queen

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