Postage, Delivery Estimates & Tracking FAQs

Setting up postage options

I sell small low value items and cannot afford to ship my items in a tracked parcel. What should I do? 

If you are sending low value items that are small and flat, we still recommend tracking if that option is available to you. Below are three recommended options available to you.  

Option 1: Sendle 250g Parcel 

Using a tracked product always provides a better buyer experience, and if a buyer creates an Item Not Received claim, you will be protected if you have provided valid tracking. eBay has partnered with Sendle to provide sellers with an affordable tracked Express option. 

Sendle has a fully tracked, 250g Express Postage service on the eBay Labels Platform with pricing from $4.28 in the same city and $5.28 for different cities.^ If your item is eligible for the eBay Plus express shipping subsidy, for your items under $15, we will pay you  $2.50 to cover the upgrade from the current standard Australia Post letter you are using to Sendle’s 250g Express Postage service. This means you shouldn’t be incurring any additional cost. For more information see here.

^ To be eligible for this pick-up only service, the pick-up address must be located in an eligible postcode in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide or Brisbane.This service can only be used for orders with 10 or more labels within the same booking/manifest. For more information see here.

Option 2: Australia Post Tracked Letter service

Australia Post offers a prepaid tracked letter service suitable for small, low value items. These are available in 3 different sizes; small medium and large with pack sizes of 10 or 50. Tracking is easy to upload, by using the scan feature on the eBay app; just hover over the QR code on the letter. 

You can purchase these from the Australia Post eBay store  

Option 3: Australia Post Untracked Letter service 

If you are sending your items in Australia Post Regular Domestic Untracked Letters, please ensure that this service is selected on your listings or within your postage policies. This service more accurately reflects the length of time that a letter takes to be delivered to the buyer. 

It is important to select the most accurate shipping service for how you are sending your orders. If you select a tracked service for items that are actually being shipped in untracked letters, you may be at risk of buyers opening an Item Not Received claim because:

  • Buyers will not have received tracking information that they were expecting from a tracked service and will not have certainty that the order is in transit.  
  • Tracked services typically have shorter estimated delivery dates than untracked services. Buyers can only open Item Not Received claims once the estimated delivery date has passed*. 

*Buyers can only open an Item Not Received claim before the estimated delivery date if tracking shows the item has been delivered with a delivery scan

How can I set up different postage rates for different locations? 

If you would like to set different postage costs for a different location, you can set up rate tables which are accessible through postage policies. These can be found by navigating to Account settings → Business policies (under selling) → create a Postage policy → add a Rate table to the postage policy. Rate tables allow you to select regions and allocate a postage cost for sending to that region. You can then link a rate table to a postage policy and then link the relevant items to that postage policy. 

How can I offer discounted or promotional postage?

Discounted or promotional postage can be set up on the ‘Manage postage’ setting page: https://www.ebay.com.au/ship/prf. Depending on your current business policies, you can see up postage options for both flat rate postage and calculated postage. The promotional postage tools also allow you to determine rules such as offering buyers free or a capped price for postage based on how much they spend in your store.

Learn more about how to set-up your discount or promotional postage.

What Services and Restrictions are there for Posting Dangerous Goods?

As a seller on eBay, you are responsible for ensuring items that you list are not restricted or prohibited from being sold on eBay. You can review eBay’s policy on prohibited and restricted items here.  

While many of eBay’s prohibited and restricted items are also prohibited by carriers, some carriers may have additional restrictions in place. 

Before listing an item and selecting a postage service, please ensure that the item complies with the carrier’s terms and conditions.   

Helpful links:

Australia Post and Star Track: https://auspost.com.au/business/parcel-send-help-and-support/shipments/sending-dangerous-goods#tab1 

DHL: https://www.dhl.com/au-en/home/our-divisions/ecommerce-solutions/shipping/helpful-information.html

Allied Express: https://www.alliedexpress.com.au/client-shipping-tools/restricted-freight-listing-guide

Couriers Please:

https://www.couriersplease.com.au/service/dangerous-goods

Aramex: 

https://www.aramex.com.au/terms-and-conditions/conditions-of-carriage/domestic-conditions-of-carriage/

Sendle: https://support.sendle.com/hc/en-au/articles/205204738-What-can-t-I-Sendle-  

Handling times & Estimated Delivery Dates

How does eBay determine when an item will arrive with the buyer? 

For tracked services, estimated delivery dates are determined by using an algorithm to provide one delivery date to buyers, giving them certainty about when their order will arrive. The algorithm uses a variety of factors to determine the estimated delivery date including item location, buyer location, carrier and seasonality. 

How do I ensure that eBay provides the most accurate delivery estimate to the buyer? 

There are 3 factors you can check to ensure eBay provides buyers with the most accurate delivery date.  

  1. Item Location - when listing an item ensure you select the most accurate item location for your items. Postcode level item location is recommended. 
  2. Handling Time - ensure you set an accurate handling time for your items that represents the time it actually takes for you to pack and send your items.
  3. Shipping Service - ensure you have selected an accurate shipping service for your items. For example, if you are using Australia Post Standard Parcel to ship your items, ensure that this service is selected in the listing or your postage policies. Inaccurate shipping services can impact the delivery date we provide buyers. 

Are there extended estimated delivery dates for unexpected  events such as flooding or lockdowns? 

Yes, for any events that may cause items to take longer to arrive with a buyer, we will extend estimated delivery dates accordingly. Common events when we extend estimated delivery dates include weather events such as flooding or bushfires, as well as covid lockdowns. 

In addition to extending estimated delivery dates, we will add in seller protections. These may include, removing defects for late shipments or removing Item Not Received (INR) open cases in your service metrics. 

These updates are normally announced in the eBay community: https://community.ebay.com.au/t5/eBay-Announcements/ct-p/Announcements 

What happens if a carrier doesn't deliver the item on time, but I shipped within my stated handling time? 

If you upload valid tracking from an eBay-integrated carrier within your stated handling time and there is one valid tracking event, eBay will protect you from any Item Not Received claims even if the item arrives after the estimated delivery date*. 

If a buyer leaves neutral or negative delivery related feedback specific to the timing of the parcel on a transaction where we can see you have met your stated handling time, contact our customer service team and they can have this removed. 

*For orders over $750, signature on delivery is required. Please refer to the eBay Money Back Guarantee policy for details.

What happens to my late shipment rate if a carrier doesn’t scan within the same day I give them the parcel? 

We will only consider a shipment to be late if: 

  • We can see the item wasn’t scanned by the carrier within the handling time and it didn’t arrive prior to the maximum estimated delivery date. OR
  • A buyer lets us know the delivery was made after the estimated delivery date and there was no tracking or delivery confirmation to say it was on time 

As a reminder, late shipment rates alone do not cause a seller to fall Below Standard in seller levels. 

How does eBay set expectations with buyers about the time it takes for a parcel to arrive during peak periods?

During lockdowns, extreme weather events and peak shopping periods, we will ensure buyers are notified of potential parcel delays. In the past we have added delay messaging to the homepage of eBay.com.au as well as in My eBay. In the coming weeks we are launching  delivery notifications that will be triggered if a buyer's parcel is expected to arrive later than we originally estimated. 

Tracking your parcels

How can I upload tracking to eBay? 

There are multiple ways to upload tracking to eBay:

  1. Through your Integration Partner
  2. By linking your postage provider account with your eBay account 
  3. Directly in Seller Hub by either typing in the tracking number or scanning the barcode or QR code using the eBay app 
  4. If you purchase a postage label via the eBay Labels Platform, your tracking is automatically uploaded to your orders. To find out more, click here

The carrier I use doesn’t appear in the drop down list when I add tracking via the API. 

If you are using a carrier that isn’t listed in the eBay API, please just type in the name of the carrier. Please do not select a carrier you are not using. 

I uploaded tracking to my order but I can’t see any tracking updates? 

There are a few steps you can take to ensure the tracking events show to buyers. 

  1. Check that the tracking number you uploaded to eBay works on the carrier website. If tracking events are showing on the carrier website but not on eBay, please contact eBay’s customer service team
  2. Double check that the tracking number you added to the order doesn't have any typos or errors. 

Australia Post doesn’t always scan my parcels until it’s onboard for delivery or delivered to the buyer. What happens to my late shipment rate?

Australia Post will now include “inferred acceptance scans” on the day of pick-up (where applicable).

When the first parcel on the manifest receives a scan (either at pickup by the driver, or later that day when the first parcel is processed over the sortation machine) Australia Post will apply an inferred acceptance event to all other parcels on the manifest.

In the event that an acceptance scan is later than your handling time, eBay will continue to remove eligible Late Shipment Rate defects (like we do today).

eBay will also automatically remove any defects for Australia Post manually handled goods where the first scan appears in a different state to the item location. To be eligible for this protection, make sure you upload valid tracking to your orders.

Item Not Received requests

How does eBay manage buyer expectations around the amount of Item Not Received (INR) requests they can open?

Buyers can only open an Item Not Received (INR) request once the estimated delivery date has passed (unless a delivery scan has already been made). eBay has detections in place to track abusive buyer behaviour in regards to opening INR requests.

If a seller believes a buyer is being abusive in regards to their communication or eBay policies, they can report them here: https://www.ebay.com.au/help/policies/rules-policies-buyers/abusive-buyer-policy?id=4374