Following strike notice by Royal Mail, eBay.co.uk has decided to temporarily remove the option for buyers to rate sellers on the time taken to dispatch an item.
This action was agreed as a way of supporting eBay sellers as their status and discounts on the site are wholly dependent upon their Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs) – of which Dispatch Time is one such criterion. The change will be implemented for the duration of the strike and a period thereafter.
eBay is also alerting buyers to this suspension through the site, as a small percentage have used the dispatch time DSR to express frustration with slow delivery times.
As many of eBay’s sellers rely heavily on Royal Mail, we are working with a number of alternative postal carriers to ensure sellers can provide the levels of service that are critical in the run up to Christmas.
eBay has also expressed its concerns directly to business secretary Rt Hon. Lord Mandelson, insisting that it is unacceptable that so many hard-working small businesses selling on eBay are victims of a dispute that is beyond their control.
Mark Lewis, Managing Director for eBay in the UK said: “Some 120,000 businesses are currently registered and making a living on eBay.co.uk.
“While they work with a variety of postal suppliers, many rely on Royal Mail for their deliveries and are understandably concerned that further postal strikes will continue to cause huge disruption at a time when they can least afford it.”
“Our businesses tell us that Christmas typically accounts for a fifth of their annual sales and despite the tough economic conditions, they’re successfully growing their businesses and investing for future growth. In fact, our sellers have already seen buyers hunting for pre-Christmas bargains with tinsel sales up 65% and Christmas tree sales up 112%.
“While we appreciate the complexity of the issues at hand, the Royal Mail, the Government and the Union must work to bring this dispute to a swift end.”
Notes to editors eBay.co.uk is also offering the following advice to both buyers and sellers: - There are millions of items for sale on eBay.co.uk today from sellers offering alternative postage options to Royal Mail. These are not affected by the industrial action. In addition, if you purchase from a seller offering Royal Mail as a postage option you will receive your item but there may be a delay, so please be patient. - We recommend that when buying an item you check the other postage options offered by sellers. To do this, when viewing an item click the P&P and payments tab. - Another alternative is to sort your listing by item location and see if the seller offers local pick-up. To do this, when viewing the search results page go to the ‘Sort by’ option and change to ‘Distance: nearest first’ - We also recommend that you stay in communication with your seller and when providing feedback on a purchase please bear this situation in mind. Advice to sellers - We understand the position you are in and the impact this industrial action will have on your sales on eBay. We are fighting your corner with the parties involved in the industrial action and taking your case up with Government. - We also appreciate this industrial action may have an impact on Dispatch Time ‘Detailed Seller Ratings’ (DSR). As a result we’re temporary removing the option for buyers to rate sellers on the Dispatch Time Detailed Seller Rating from the start of the industrial action. Full details of the length of this suspension will be announced shortly. - There are other actions you can take to mitigate the impact of this Industrial action - Firstly, if your item is suitable to be sent by another carrier we recommend you offer this as a new postage option as we are recommending to buyers that they choose sellers that can post using carriers that are not affected by the industrial action. - If your item is suitable for local pick-up offer this as an option to local buyers. - We understand that many items are suitable for postage by Royal Mail only and if that is the case please make sure you contact the buyer after purchase to inform them of potential delays. We also recommend that you state this in your listing description for the duration of the industrial action. Please remember that overseas buyers may not be aware of this industrial action so please make sure you communicate this to them also as the suspension of Dispatch time DSR does not apply to overseas buyers.