So, you ordered something off of eBay, and are now spending your days looking out the window, wondering when it’ll arrive. We have all been there. The wait can feel endless, especially if you don’t have an ETA on your precious package.
Let’s put your worries to rest by exploring how shipping on eBay works, and when you can expect your products to arrive.
How long does eBay take to ship your orders?
To answer this question, we first need to understand how shipping works on eBay. On eBay, the responsibility of shipping all the sold items falls on the seller.
This means that eBay doesn’t handle any of the shipping, so the exact time that it takes for your products to get dispatched depends on the seller you buy from.
The good news is that eBay does have a maximum time limit within which the sellers absolutely have to ship the order.
According to eBay’s policy states, sellers must ship their orders within a maximum of 30 business days after the clearance of payment. Once the 30-day mark passes, you can open an “item not received” claim on eBay.
While 30 days is the maximum handling time for sellers, eBay encourages everyone to ship their orders within 3 days.
Most sellers do dispatch the items within a week, with some even shipping it out the very next day. So you will rarely have to wait for more than 2 weeks to receive your package. But, of course, it all depends on your location and the shipping carrier.
Factors that can delay order delivery time
Sometimes, sellers may not have the items you ordered in stock, may have more priority orders they need to sort out first, or may simply need more time to print the labels, pack your order, and drop it off at the post office (hey! They are humans, after all).
However, even if the seller does dispatch your products the very next day, the final delivery date can be delayed due to several factors.
- Weekends and holidays. Public holidays (such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Independence Day) as well as weekends are not business days, which means shipping carriers usually don’t process any requests during these days. So, if you place an order on Friday or right before a nationwide holiday, your orders won’t be processed or shipped until the next business day.
- Shipping carriers. Shipping–particularly expedited shipping–is expensive. We all know this. Most people don’t want to shell out tons of money for shipping. So, most eBay sellers opt for an economical shipping carrier, like USPS Ground Select, to save you money. But the downside is a longer delivery time. If you want your order to be delivered quicker, ask the seller to upgrade to expedited shipping and pay the extra fee.
- Location. Your proximity to the seller really does affect delivery times. For instance, a package from New York to California will probably take longer to arrive than a package from New York to Virginia. If you live in a different country, the delivery will take even longer as the package will have to travel farther and go through customs.
For example, here’s the difference in estimated delivery times for shipping within the U.S. vs. international shipping.
- Payment issues. Online payment processing systems are not immune to glitches or technical issues, which means that sometimes the sellers don’t receive the money even if it’s been debited from your account. And shipping something before receiving the money for it is just a bad business move. These issues typically take a few days to resolve and are out of the control of the seller.
- Problems in transit. Shipping carriers can sometimes run into logistical or volume-related problems.
How to find expected delivery dates on eBay
Any eBay listing that offers shipping will have an estimated expected delivery date range, which you can check before you order. This is especially helpful if you need items within a certain date.
Once you order, eBay will calculate a more precise expected delivery date based on a few factors.
- Handling time and ordering time. Sellers on eBay usually specify their typical handling time. i.e. the time it takes for them to pack the item and drop it off to be shipped. However, this can vary depending on when you place the order. For instance, if you place the order at night or during the weekends, handling time can take longer.
- Shipping or courier services. Most sellers usually offer a variety of shipping options. These may include an economical shipping option with a longer delivery time, expedited or overnight shipping for urgent orders, as well as international shipping. You can choose the type of shipping you want based on your needs, but you may have to pay an extra fee for faster shipping or deliveries during the weekend. Let’s say that you have an essay due by Tuesday, so you placed an order on Friday evening for a book with quality self evaluation essay examples for your inspiration. Ideally, you would need the book to be delivered during the weekend. In this case, you need to make sure that you pick a seller that offers weekend deliveries and pay extra for fast shipping.
- Location of buyer and seller. The distance between you and the seller determines how far the package will have to travel. And if you live in a rural area, last-mile connectivity might extend your delivery date further. eBay takes this distance into account as well as whether the delivery is to a metro or rural area to calculate an expected delivery date.
- Payment clearance. Even though sellers can ship as soon as the order has been confirmed, most of them wait till the payment is in their bank account to start the process to ensure that there are no chargebacks.
Once you confirm your delivery method as well as address, eBay will take the above factors into account and come up with an estimated delivery time. You can view the expected delivery date range as well as track the order in your Purchase History.
To access your purchase history, click on the My eBay button at the top right corner and select Purchase History from the drop-down menu.
If you made the purchase as a guest, you will see the expected delivery date in your order confirmation email.
What to do if an eBay seller never ships your item?
If the 30-day mark has passed and the seller still hasn’t shipped your item, you can do one of two things:
1. Contact the seller
They may simply have forgotten, your order might have fallen through the cracks, or something could have happened that prevented the seller from shipping your item. Ask them what the delay is, and how long it will take to get resolved. They will either ship your item once you remind them, or refund you if shipping it is no longer an option.
But what do you do if the seller never replies to you?
2. Contact eBay
Open an “item not received” claim. eBay will investigate it and remind the seller to ship the item. If the seller doesn’t respond within 72 hours, eBay will rule in your favor and refund your money.
Before you start worrying about order shipping and delivery times, remember that sellers on eBay typically ship as fast as they can because they want to keep you happy and get good ratings. And who doesn’t love fast shipping?
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