Winter Storms Can Kill Your Feedback and DSR's If You Don't Protect Yourself

A lot of eBay sellers get hurt by late shipments caused by winter storms. Here’s what you can do.

This time of year can be treacherous driving in many parts of the country, but this same weather can be treacherous to your feedback and Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs) as well.

I was watching TV last night and saw a shot of a major highway in the Midwest that was closed by a snowstorm.  The trucks were backed up for miles –just sitting there covered with snow.  As the camera panned by the trucks I saw that many of them had names like UPS and FedEx on the sides. We had just shipped a weeks worth of auction orders the day before so I began to wonder which of those trucks contained my shipments.

UPS announced that they are seeing delays of up to two days on shipments. The US Postal Service and FedEx are saying the same thing. But people who buy your products on eBay are often oblivious to this happening. When their gift doesn’t arrive in time, they are likely to hit you with a low DSR score and if it gets their after Christmas you could even get a negative feedback.

About the only thing you can do about this is to proactively communicate with your buyers –In fact this is a case where it pays to overcommunicate.

When we receive payment for an order we first send the customer an acknowledgement and then tell them we will be sending them a tracking number as soon as we get it.  When we send the tracking number we tell them the UPS estimated delivery date –but we warn them that the delivery could be delayed by weather.  Then if we see that a major storm has hit, we look at our orders and try and determine if any of them are affected. If we spot likely candidates, we send an additional (very friendly) email alerting them to the possibility their package will be late.

That is about all you can do –but it has worked for us. We have already had a few shipments arrive a day or two late but in all of the cases the customers were very understanding and our feedback and DSRs have been fine.

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