February 28th, 2008
Like a lot of sellers, I believe eBay did a questionable job in creating the Detailed Seller Rating (DSR) system. The Shipping Time score is open to a lot of buyer interpretation. Are they supposed to rate us on how quickly we get the package to the carrier after receiving payment, did we ship on-time based on our promises in the listing, or are they supposed to rate us purely on how quickly the package arrives?That said, I take minor exception to so many sellers saying they have absolutely no control over how fast a package is delivered by the carrier.
I firmly believe there are things sellers can do to influence transit time. Here are two lists of packaging traits, guess which group’s packages will arrive faster?
Group A Packaging Traits:
- Handwritten addresses
- Addresses using improper abbreviations
- Addresses poorly formatted
- Non-validated addresses
- Frankenstein school of box building (i.e. irregularly shaped parcels, 2 or more pieces taped together, frequently created from re-used boxes, many with other labeling on them)
- No indication of carrier service class
- Packaged in other carrier’s free supplies
- Poorly sealed
- Fluid stains or excessive rattling
- Wrong class of postage used (i.e. Media Mail rate for non-qualified items)
- For International, wrong Customs Forms or improper information on forms
Group B Packaging Traits:
- Computer printed shipping labels
- Fully validated and properly formatted addresses
- Clean, new boxes in standard shapes
- Labels on multiple sides of the package indicating class of service (if appropriate)
- Concatenated Delivery Confirmation Barcode (USPS trick, adds the destination ZIP Code to the barcode information)
- Well sealed with appropriately sturdy tape
- Proper void fill and cushioning
- For International, appropriate Customs Forms accurately filled out
I agree that once we hand off the package it is an act of faith. But if you give the carriers good raw materials, they have a better chance of delivering great service.
Yes I have had my share of wacky delivery delays. Fortunately those are the rare exception because of how I package and label my shipments.
Submitted by Chris of sun-bits