eBay Guaranteed Delivery - A Guide for Sellers

Nahar Geva

14 Apr 2019

What is eBay Guaranteed Delivery?

eBay has introduced a delivery guarantee where customers will receive their purchase within three business days while sellers receive a visibility boost on their listings. That is, if the sellers are able to deliver the package on time.


The eBay platform has added a filter for customers who are looking to receive their packages sooner than 7 days. When combining the filter along with other practices, the chances of sellers jumping from the bottom to top 5 increase significantly.

How to offer Guaranteed Delivery as a seller?

Sellers looking to opt in have to qualify first. When deciding who can participate in Guaranteed Delivery, eBay measures a seller’s overall performance and transactions. Currently, there are two qualifiers for eligibility:


  1. Sellers must have a minimum of 100 transactions annually;

  2. And they cannot have more than 5% late shipment rate.


Sellers can choose individual listings, but certain product categories are restricted from participating in eBay’s Guaranteed Delivery:


  • Business & Industrial

  • Computers/Tablets & Networking

  • Consumer Electronics

  • Health & Beauty

  • Home & Garden

  • Sporting Goods


When it comes to listing the products with guaranteed delivery, there are three ways to do so:

  1. Single Listings

  2. Bulk Listings

  3. Business Policies

Regardless of how the products are listed, it is important that sellers mark each one for immediate payment. In other words, add the “Buy It Now” button to all of listings. Additionally, sellers need to accept returns, as eBay wants to provide a smooth customer experience for all of their buyers.

How does eBay Guaranteed Delivery work?

Once qualified sellers are using the eBay Guaranteed Delivery, they have two methods to choose from:


  1. Handling Time

  2. Door-to-Door


Once a seller decides on a method that will fit them, it will be applied to all of the guaranteed product listings.

Handling Time vs. Door-to-Door Guaranteed Delivery - What’s the difference?


The platform gives delivery options because not every size fits all. Depending on how each store operates, the seller can compare and choose which method is best for them.

Handling Time

Option one is Handling Time, which refers to the amount of business days it takes a seller to prepare the purchased items for shipping after receiving payment.


This method requires each listing to have same-day or one-day handling time, a postal code, and the carriers chosen for the product delivery. Sellers are encouraged to update their working days calendar to include cut-off times for handling.


eBay handling time schedule


Eligible carriers consist only of USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL for domestic deliveries. Reason being that eBay calculates the guaranteed date for the customer after all of the information is provided by the seller. The listed carriers have the most reliable tracking information for eBay.


Door-to-Door

Option two is Door-to-Door delivery. Unlike Handling Time, sellers under this method are responsible for providing the guaranteed delivery date to the customers. The costs will vary in every regions, so each product listing has to include shipping rate tables.


eBay shipping rate tables


What happens if an eBay Guaranteed Delivery is late?

This depends on the Guaranteed Delivery method that the seller chose.

Handling Time

If the product arrives late for reasons outside of the seller's control, eBay will implement their Late Delivery Protection. This protection gives customers access to a future purchase voucher or a free return if applicable to the seller.


In addition, eBay will make sure any negative feedback regarding the delivery is removed from the seller’s reviews. The Late Delivery Protection will only be applicable if the seller meets their same to one-day handling time.

Door-to-Door

Two things will determine what happens if the customer receives their purchase after their guaranteed delivery date:

  1. Paid Shipping

If the customer decides they want to keep the item(s), the seller just has to refund the shipping costs. Should they not want to keep the item(s), the seller must refund the shipping costs and provide them a return label.

  1. Free Shipping

If the customer did not spend money on shipping, eBay will provide them a voucher if they decide to keep the items. If that’s not the case, eBay will handle the returns and refunds experience to keep buyers satisfied.


Either way, the seller will have to deal with any reviews that come their way.

Pros and cons of offering Guaranteed Delivery on eBay

Overall Advantages

  • Product listings will have more visibility which will drive sales and traffic to the seller’s store.

  • Higher customer base since people love having things fast and efficiently.

  • eBay will take care of the customer service related to late deliveries.

Overall Disadvantages

  • Sellers will have additional competition for visibility.

  • Sellers are obligated to accept returns in order to participate in the program.

  • There’s more pressure to perform well and stay with in the qualifiers. If a seller falls short, they can’t offer this delivery option.

  • Sellers have to use the platform’s label and precise carriers. Dropshipping or retail arbitrage will not work.

  • There are several product categories that are not able to participate.

Handling Time Advantages

  • Sellers don’t have to worry about calculating every delivery date on listings. eBay does the work for them!

  • eBay provides sellers with Late Delivery Protection (when handling time is done well) which covers return labels costs when needed!

  • More sales and higher ratings because eBay also protects sellers from uncalled bad reviews under the Late Delivery Protection

Handling Time Disadvantages

  • eBay chooses the listing’s guaranteed delivery date, so seller’s have a deadline to their handling time.

  • Though eBay covers the costs, the seller still has to take back products if the customer decides to return the item(s) due to late delivery.

Door-to-Door Advantages

  • Sellers have the freedom to select the guaranteed delivery date (so long as it is between the 3 business days window). They create their own deadline.

  • Ebay provides sellers the shipping tools necessary to list their products - like shipping rate tables.

Door-to-Door Disadvantages

  • All sellers are obligated to add shipping rate tables to each product listing.

  • Every seller is responsible for providing a delivery date on their listings.

  • Sellers are required to accept returns due to late delivery at their own expense.

  • Sellers run the risk of lower ratings if there are any bad reviews due to late deliveries. eBay will not offer their protection on this one.

Should sellers offer Guaranteed Delivery?

Looking at it from all angles, there are a lot of benefits to eBay’s Guaranteed Delivery. For as many cons as we could list, the fact of the matter is that sellers need to make sales. This option opens up a need for millions of people who want their purchase as soon as humanly possible.


If the seller is someone who can’t work under the pressure of being perfect all the time, then the Guaranteed Delivery would not be for them. This program is made for high functioning companies who can maintain their top level performance. Perhaps they would be better off sticking to the other shipping options eBay provides.


However, as a seller, one has to ask themselves, “Do I want the responsibilities that come with the program?” If sellers are organized enough to stay on top of their performance, keep customers satisfied, and mind their handling time - there is no reason why they shouldn’t offer Guaranteed Deliver. If they do, Handling Time definitely seems to be the favorable option.