Nothing Simple About Simple Delivery As eBay UK Looks To Compete With Vinted

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


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eBay UK sellers are left with more questions than answers after a new section added in the latest user agreement update reveals a new feature called Simple Delivery, prompting speculation eBay may be looking to copy competitor Vinted on delivery services.

The new agreement goes into effect June 3, 2024 with this new language added under the heading of "Delivery Options."

Simple Delivery

We may add certain delivery options to your listings in order to help improve both seller and buyer experience for selecting a delivery label.

For listings that are eligible, you may see a simplified listing flow where you are not required to select a delivery option. In such instances, your buyer may be able to choose whether to have a standard or express delivery service or whether to collect in store and will pay the delivery costs to the delivery service provider on your behalf.

Once your item has sold and the buyer has paid, a delivery label will be provided to you.

By using the label provided to you or not opting out, you and your buyer agree that you purchase the label from the delivery service provider, and you agree that no further delivery costs are owed to you by your buyer.

Any delivery costs you owe to the delivery service provider to send your item are paid by the buyer to the delivery service provider on your behalf.

For this purpose, any applicable delivery costs are not credited to your account but deducted from the buyer’s order total and directly transferred to the delivery service provider.

You also acknowledge and agree that should the buyer request a return, you may be responsible for refunding the buyer any outbound delivery costs (including for express delivery) for the label provided to you, and that the outbound delivery costs will be deducted from your account to execute the refund.

In the event that you declare the size and weight of your item at listing, you will be responsible for ensuring you declare this correctly. Should we find that you have under declared the size or weight of your item and additional delivery costs are due to the delivery service provider, the additional delivery costs will be deducted from your account.

Unfortunately, eBay has not yet updated their shipping policy pages or provided any additional information about how Simple Delivery is supposed to work, leaving sellers with questions and concerns about how the update may impact their businesses.

Simple Delivery
As per today’s User Agreement update: “Simple Delivery We may add certain delivery options to your listings in order to help improve both seller and buyer experience for selecting a delivery label. For listings that are eligible, you may see a simplified listing flow where you are not required t…

...nowhere does it state whether the seller remains liable for INR cases or not if they don't opt-out of this. It would seem rather unfair to hold the seller liable when not only did they not have any control over the estimated delivery date shown to the buyer but also had no control over the carrier employed.

There's also no mention about how a seller would file a claim for compensation if the item they sent was lost or damaged in transit.

I'm pretty sure the "opt-out" button will be a popular choice unless eBay does a better job of explaining all this and explaining exactly what the benefits for sellers who don't choose to opt-out are.

ebay needs to provide clarification (specifically on how to opt out). What exactly makes a listing eligible? When is this going live? What make ebay think this is going to 'improve' a sellers experience? I think most will view it as another unnecessary interference.

Several sellers said it sounded like eBay is looking to go head to head with Vinted's integrated shipping offering.

This isn't a bad idea if the start out simple with Vinted style small / medium / large options to make it easy to understand. And offer competitive pricing.

In fairness to eBay they have to see that Vinted have nailed it with postage flexibility, it is what buyers want. There is no messing about on there with sellers marking dispatched and not sending unless you choose RM 2nd class, you pick a tracked service and it is there at a click of a button so everyone knows where they stand.

That would make sense, especially in the UK market where eBay is fiercely battling for a larger piece of the pre-loved clothing pie against competitors like Depop and Vinted, introducing fee-free selling for private UK clothing sellers last month.

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How integrated shipping works on Vinted

When a buyer checks out using the “Buy now” button and chooses one of the integrated shipping providers, they purchase a shipping label for the seller to send the order.

Once the buyer completes the purchase, the pre-paid label or QR code is sent to the seller to use to ship the item. Sellers can choose which shipping providers they want to offer for integrated shipping, preventing them from having to run around town to drop off at multiple carriers or ones that are not conveniently located.

If the package is lost or damaged in transit, sellers may receive compensation up to £500, as long as the shipment meets all criteria for coverage.

How shipping works | Vinted
One community, thousands of brands, and a whole lot of second-hand style. Ready to get started? Here’s how it works.

If eBay plans on doing something similar, it wouldn't be their first foray into this type of shipping arrangement.

In 2022, eBay introduced pre-paid shipping to the Authenticity Guaranteed program for sneakers, first in the US and then eventually to the UK market as well.

In that program, buyers are charged a mandatory flat rate $14.95 shipping cost that is paid to eBay and then eBay provides a pre-paid label to the seller to ship the shoes to the authentication center.

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eBay inserting themselves in the shipping process this way could also be in line with other recent efforts to try to control shipping costs shown to buyers and keep rate competitive across the broader ecommerce market.

eBay Defaults Calculated Shipping To Pass Shipping Discounts To Buyers
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Assuming Simple Delivery is aimed at competing against Vinted's offering, it's likely we'll initially see it available in clothing categories and possibly limited only to private sellers who qualify for fee-free selling, but eBay could always choose to expand the program at some point in the future as well.

If so, that would eliminate seller concerns about being charged fees on the shipping costs and whether or not they would need to bake some extra margin in to the product price to compensate.

I've reached out to eBay for comment and to request additional information about the Simple Delivery program and will update as soon as more details are available.

In the meantime, let us know in the comments below what you think of eBay Simple Delivery!

eBayShippingSeller Updates

Liz Morton Twitter Facebook LinkedIn

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