Improve performance by sending items promptly

When people buy things online, they generally expect their items to arrive quickly. While you can't control when a package will be delivered, you can set buyers' expectations by letting them know when an item will be sent and making every effort to post packages within your specified timeframe.

Sending promptly and managing buyers' expectations can help you avoid:

  • Cases where a buyer didn't receive the item

  • Negative or neutral Feedback

Setting expectations for dispatch time

When you provide the delivery details in your listing, it allows you to set buyers' expectations up front. This can help avoid misunderstandings about unexpected costs or your dispatch time.

Common problems Solutions

Forgetting to include details about when you normally send items can lead to buyer dissatisfaction.

  • Specify your dispatch time - the time between when buyer pays and when you send the item. Most buyers expect a dispatch time of less than 2 days.

  • If you don't send items on weekends, say so in your listing.

Not specifying who is responsible for customs fees or duties can lead to a misunderstanding.

  • Make sure all your international listings include a clear message to buyers stating that they're responsible for customs fees and may run into delays due to customs inspections.

  • If you include this message, eBay will remove negative or neutral Feedback resulting from customs delays or fees. Be sure to read and follow the requirements for this message.

Not offering an express delivery service can cause frustration for buyers who want their items quickly.

  • Even if you offer a free postage option, buyers appreciate the option to pay for an express service. When you list your item you can choose from several delivery options. We categorise each option as one-day, express, standard, or economy. The table below shows the delivery time for each service.

Postage service name Transit time

Royal Mail 1st Class Standard

1 working day

Royal Mail 2nd Class Standard

2-3 working days

Royal Mail 1st Class Recorded

1 working day

Royal Mail 2nd Class Recorded

2-3 working days

Royal Mail Special Delivery (TM) Next Day

1 working day

Royal Mail Special Delivery (TM) 9:00am

1 working day

Parcelforce 24

1 working day

Parcelforce 48

1-2 working days

Economy Postage from outside UK

10-22 working days

Standard Postage from outside UK

4-10 working days

Express Postage from outside UK

1-3 working days

Seller’s Standard Rate

3-5 working days

Other 24 Hour Courier

1 working day

Other 48 Hour Courier

1-2 working days

Other Courier 3 days

3 working days

Other Courier 5 days

5 working days

Other Courier

3-5 working days

When creating your listing, you can select any of these services. To help buyers see postage options consistently on eBay, services appear as 1-day, express, standard, or economy.

Specific information about your delivery services and estimated delivery times also appear in your listings.

Tip: If you offer free P&P and your item is likely to arrive within 3 working days, it may qualify to be promoted with eBay FAST & FREE.

Using tracking information

Many delivery services provide tracking information for packages, allowing you and your buyer to check the status of parcels. If the courier you're using offers this service, be sure to take advantage of it. This gives buyers peace of mind and shows them you care about customer service. It can also save you time because you won't need to answer questions about where their item is.  

Tip: Tracking information and Delivery Confirmation may also give you proof if you ever have to handle cases where buyers say they didn't receive your item.

Here are a few ways that you can provide tracking information to your buyers:

Printing postage labels on eBay

If you print postage labels on eBay, the tracking number is automatically added to My eBay.

Uploading your delivery info to My eBay

If you use a delivery service that provides tracking or Delivery Confirmation numbers you can upload the information in My eBay.

To upload delivery information:
  1. Go to the Sold section of My eBay.

  2. Select the item you want to upload a tracking or delivery confirmation number for, and then click the Add tracking number button.

  3. On the Add/Edit/Delete Tracking Number page, enter the tracking or delivery confirmation number.

  4. Click Submit.

Once you've uploaded the information, it appears below the item title in the Sold section of My eBay and on the Order details page.

We'll send your buyer an email with the tracking or delivery confirmation number. Your buyer can also find this information in the Won section of My eBay and on the Order details page.

Sending an email

Although uploading the tracking information in My eBay is ideal, you can also send the buyer a separate email through eBay messages, and provide the tracking or Delivery Confirmation number.

You’ll receive an automatic 5-star detailed seller rating for Dispatch Time when a transaction meets the following criteria:

  • Specify either same or 1 working day handling and upload tracking information within 1 working day of receiving payment. Tracking data then shows delivery within 3 working days or less.

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