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Shipping Updates

Stand out with great shipping services
By reclassifying USPS® First-Class Mail as a standard rather than expedited service, you can still take full advantage of the great savings with this popular service, while setting the right expectations for your buyers.


Setting the right buyer expectations for USPS First-Class service

  • Starting the first week of May, based on eBay’s historical tracking data, USPS First-Class service is being reclassified on eBay from Expedited (with an estimated delivery time of 2 to 3 business days) to a Standard shipping service (with an estimated delivery time of 2 to 5 business days), and the name will change from First-Class Mail to First-Class Package.

  • Also starting the first week of May, eBay will reclassify the service and automatically update the name on all listings that specify First-Class Mail as a shipping service.

  • This change will allow you to take full advantage of this great, time-honored, cost-effective service from USPS and, at the same time, help set the right buyer expectations and protect your ship-time DSRs.

Note: The new same-day handling time option that was originally announced in our 2012 Spring Seller Update has been delayed to late 2012.

Take Action

Starting now:

  • If you use First-Class Mail, eBay will automatically update the shipping service classification in the shipping information for all your listings (the first week of May). However, you’ll need to update your listing description before the first week of May if you mention expedited service based on First-Class Mail.
  • If you want to continue to offer a true expedited option, start updating those listings offering First-Class shipping to include a current expedited shipping service.

Review these Tips and Tools to help you edit your live listings in bulk.

Best practices

  • Upload tracking information for all shipments. That way, both you and your buyer can check the status of a package at any time. If you purchase and print shipping labels on eBay, tracking information is automatically added to My eBay when it's available.

  • As a best practice, specify 3 days or less handling time on your listings and use longer handling time for exceptions.

  • As a Search best practice, make sure your items still have an Expedited shipping option to help boost sales by giving buyers a chance to choose their preferred shipping service.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why has the same-day handling option, originally announced as part of these updates, been delayed?
Due to technical requirements for a solution that works as expected for both buyers and sellers, the introduction of a same-day handling time option is being extended to late 2012.
Why is eBay reclassifying First-Class service from Expedited shipping to Standard shipping when some of my items get delivered in 3 days?
In general, buyers do not perceive USPS First-Class as an expedited service. Packages don’t reach buyers consistently within 3 days since delivery time varies based on distance and season. Based on eBay’s historical tracking information, the majority arrive within 2-5 days, which is more consistent with our classification for Standard shipping. This change will make delivery estimates more accurate and help protect your DSR for ship time.
Do I have to relist items that offer First-Class Mail?
No, your listings will be updated automatically to reflect the new name and new shipping service standard. However, to attract more buyers, we recommend you add an Expedited shipping alternative to these listings if you don’t already have one.
What if the shipping information in my item description doesn’t match the new shipping reclassification?
If you state in your listing that you offer free expedited shipping and ship using First-Class Package, your listing would be in violation of the Selling practices policy and subject to removal.
When will these changes go into effect?
The classification and name change will take place in the shipping service menus and your listings will be automatically updated with the new name and shipping classification starting the first week of May.
Can I make changes in bulk?
All of our tools for bulk editing allow sellers to update shipping services. Review these Tips and Tools to update listings.
If I don’t offer an Expedited shipping option, how will it affect my seller ratings?
At this time, your seller rating will not be affected if you don’t offer Expedited shipping; however, it’s still essential to review your listings to ensure that you are comfortable with the level of shipping service you are providing. Note, best practices for Search and Best Match recommend offering an expedited shipping service to give your buyer options.

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