eBay Guaranteed Delivery

eBay Guaranteed Delivery: The ultimate guide

When people buy online, they want their stuff fast! Data from late 2019 suggests 40% of US customers expect to receive items within just two days, and 18% demand delivery the very next day.

eBay Guaranteed Delivery offers customers the speed and security they crave, as well as greater flexibility for sellers. Read on for everything you need to know about the program, and how to get started.

What is eBay Guaranteed Delivery?

eBay Guaranteed Delivery is a promise to customers that they’ll receive their purchases by a given date, usually within one to four days of purchase. If not, the customer is compensated for the inconvenience. The program is currently available in the US and Australia.

What are the two types of eBay Guaranteed Delivery?

Sellers have the option of signing up for two types of eBay Guaranteed Delivery; handling time and door-to-door.

1. Handling time

With handling time, sellers only have to prepare and ship an order within one day, through an eligible carrier service using eBay tracking labels. eBay themselves then work out an exact delivery date, handling refunds and returns if anything goes wrong.

This is more convenient and less risky for sellers, but limits what carrier services you can use and doesn’t put that nice ‘fast shipping’ tag on some of your listings.

2. Door-to-door

Door-to-door places more responsibility on you, the seller. You’re solely responsible for setting delivery dates (within four days or less) and ensuring you meet them on time. If something does go wrong, returns and refunds are up to you.

This option could be better for larger sellers with the infrastructure to consistently meet deadlines. In return, all your listings will be given the ‘fast shipping’ tag, which boosts customer confidence and leads to more sales.

Fast 'n Free Shipping label for eBay Guaranteed Delivery sellers
The ‘Fast Shipping’ tag helps to convert customers and is available for sellers who offer eBay door-to-door Guaranteed Delivery.

What are the benefits of eBay Guaranteed Delivery?

Customers want fast delivery and peace of mind. Sellers want greater visibility for their products and more positive feedback. Guaranteed Delivery helps both parties, with eBay serving as an impartial mediator in case of any problems.

That greater visibility comes through eBay’s search function. Customers can filter by one, two, three, or four-day shipping to narrow their search. We’ve already explored today’s tight consumer expectations for delivery, and the more of those filters you show up in, the more likely your products are to be seen.

Sellers also enjoy extra protections from eBay. They will remove negative or neutral feedback relating to late delivery if the seller meets their obligations. This is proven by use of tracking labels. eBay will also handle most customer service, and even refunds in the right circumstances.

What are the negatives of eBay Guaranteed Delivery?

Of course, there are downsides which need to be considered. Delivery is up to the carriers, who can make mistakes. An order may arrive late through no fault of the seller. Even eBay removes your negative feedback, that’s an unhappy customer who’s unlikely to come back.

You also need to pay special attention to your processes, or even revamp them to make sure you can keep up with demand. Guarantees increase expectations, and customers who expect perfection are more easily disappointed. 

What items are eligible for eBay Guaranteed Delivery?

For your listing to qualify for Guaranteed Delivery, it needs to meet these requirements:

  • The item must be fixed price
  • Same-day or one-day handling time. Sellers offering same-day handling should consider setting a reasonable daily cut-off point
  • The listing must include a named eligible carrier service from eBay’s approved list
  • A postal code for the product’s location must be included in the listing

eBay keeps these requirements nice and simple to help sellers. But if you’re a large-scale business selling hundreds of items, it’s still tough to make sure everything qualifies.

Thankfully, sellers get yet more support from eBay here. They provide a Guaranteed Delivery bulk editing tool which shows you all your listings in one place.

From there, you can clearly see if any listings are missing information which might qualify them for Guaranteed Delivery. You can then update them in bulk, rather than one at a time.

How do I opt in to eBay Guaranteed Delivery?

Opting into eBay Guaranteed Delivery is straightforward, with slight differences depending on whether you prefer the handling time or door-to-door variants of the program.

For handling time, you need to be making at least 100 annual transactions, with a late shipment rate of 5% or lower. If you meet those requirements, all qualifying listings will be tagged for Guaranteed Delivery as soon as you opt in.

Sellers who prefer the door-to-door option need to create custom rate tables which clearly show shipping speeds and costs across all the regions in which you operate. You must link all listings to your rate table.

Both variants of Guaranteed Delivery also require 97% on-time shipping and 95% on-time tracking as a performance standard for all sales once they’re opted in.

How do I opt out of eBay Guaranteed Delivery?

It’s possible that you might decide to stop using eBay Guaranteed Delivery due to a change in your circumstances. You might be scaling back your business or need to reassess logistics. If this is the case, you can opt out at any time.

Just follow these steps:

  1. Go to your account settings
  2. Find ‘site preferences’
  3. Select the eBay Guaranteed Delivery setting
  4. Click ‘show,’ then ‘edit’ 
  5. Select ‘I want to opt out of eBay Guaranteed Delivery’
  6. Select ‘continue’

Opting out doesn’t harm your standing with eBay. In fact, you can opt in and out as many times as you like, as long as you and your listings still qualify for.

What if my eBay Guaranteed Delivery is late?

If an item arrives later than the specified time, your customer has 30 days to submit a claim. From there, they have options depending on which version of Guaranteed Delivery you’re using.

With handling time, customers can:

  • Return the item for a refund, with eBay covering outbound and shipping costs
  • Keep the item, with eBay refunding shipping costs
  • Keep the item and receive an eBay voucher if shipping was free

With door-to-door, their options are:

  • Return the item, with the seller refunding everything
  • Keep the item, with the seller refunding shipping costs
  • Keep the item, again receiving a voucher in the case of free shipping

Who handles the admin for late eBay Guaranteed Deliveries?

eBay handles all the customer service for returns on their platform, which sellers can track via the dashboard on the Seller Hub.

Late deliveries can, of course, happen for all sorts of reasons. As long as you meet all your obligations as a seller, there are no penalties other than an annoyed customer.

If you fail to meet those obligations, your late shipment percentage will take a knock. You need to be making at least 97% of your shipments on time to continue to qualify for Guaranteed Delivery.

Final thoughts

eBay Guaranteed Delivery is the definition of a win-win for sellers and customers, and a testament to the lengths eBay will go to in support of their community. With only minor adjustments to the way you list your products, you can enjoy a big sales boost and greater peace of mind.