eBay Shipping Discount Promotion Glitch Stymies Sales

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


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eBay sellers say they are losing sales as a shipping discount promotion glitch confuses buyers during checkout.

$3 Flat Rate Shipping Promo isn’t applying to qualified orders
On Jan 12 I launched a “Buy 3+ Get $3 Flat Rate Shipping” promotion that included all items within 22 of my store categories. Over the weekend, two buyers should have paid $3 since their order met the threshold, but they were charged the regular shipping rate. I refunded them. This morning, I n…

On Jan 12 I launched a "Buy 3+ Get $3 Flat Rate Shipping" promotion that included all items within 22 of my store categories.

Over the weekend, two buyers should have paid $3 since their order met the threshold, but they were charged the regular shipping rate. I refunded them.

This morning, I noticed none of my store listings were added/included in the promo. The 12,000+ listings have the $3 Flat Rate Shipping header. So, from the Buyer POV, it looks like they'll get $3 shipping, but from my Seller POV, nothing has been added to the event.

I ended the promo and relaunched, but again, nothing in the 22 categories is included.

For reference, I'm including a screenshot. I ran a big sale at the end of 2023 and you can see where over 12,000 listings were included, but the recently ended promo and my current promo both show --.

Not sure what's going on--but considering the number of Watchers I've gained over the weekend, I suspect I have customers that want to buy but don't want to risk being overcharged for shipping.

Longtime community member Mcdougle4248 shared screenshots of what the issue looks like from the buyer side.

I first noticed this issue almost 2 weeks ago. I have reported it to eBay 3 times. From what I can see, the issue is that the shipping charges are not defaulting to the Promotion during checkout. The buyer must change the shipping option to the Promotional option to apply the discount. Buyers do not realize they have to select the Promotional shipping and are therefore being charged an incorrect amount.

Here are a few screenshots of the issue occurring when I added three of your items to the shopping cart.

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Another seller also noted the cart is not defaulting to the "free promotional standard shipping", showing paid shipping in the initial stage of the shopping cart and requiring buyers to continue to check out before seeing the free option.

Free shipping offer applied, but shipping charge shows at checkout
I have a promotion for free shipping for orders over $45 on all my listings. Recently I had a couple of buyers tell me that they are being charged for shipping at checkout for items that have this promotion. So I logged into another account to see if I could figure out what’s happening. When I am…

I have a promotion for free shipping for orders over $45 on all my listings. Recently I had a couple of buyers tell me that they are being charged for shipping at checkout for items that have this promotion. So I logged into another account to see if I could figure out what's happening.

When I am viewing my cart with an promotional item over $45 is in it, this is what I see. Of course, I know I can go to checkout and change it to free shipping to receive the deal. But the buyers don't know this, and they think they're being lied to.

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This seems to have been a recent change. At checkout, the default was free shipping. I've lost business because of this issue. And the people who do buy from me have to be refunded and that's some extra unnecessary keystrokes I didn't need, and it leaves a bad taste in the buyer's mouths.

An eBay community staff member has acknowledged the issue and says they have reported it to the shipping team.

Are you experiencing this issue with shipping discount promotions or other markdown or promotional features? Let us know in the comments below!

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of experience in online sales & marketplaces, providing expert commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Amazon, Etsy & more at Value Added Resource!