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Seller tips

Preparing for Peak Trade: Shipping

By Darrah Gallacher   
November 09, 2022

Has your Peak Trade Panic set in yet? We are on the official countdown to Black Friday, but don’t worry, there’s still time to make changes to optimise your store before the real rush begins. So far in this series, we have covered prepping for Peak Trade through Inventory, SEO and eBay Advertising. Today we cover the all-important shipping methods.  

Take it from the experts... 


According to Chris Cook, Senior Marketplace Growth Specialist at Optiseller, if you have to prioritise one thing before Peak Trade kicks off, it should be shipping.  

He explains in the latest episode of The Optiseller Podcast, having a range of shipping options is more important now than in previous years. Due to Royal Mail strikes, “ensuring your dispatch times are achievable within your business, with the uptake in orders can you or your third-party cope? Make sure that you have backup options for delivery providers and perhaps give customers the choice in those delivery options, just in case prospective buyers reconsider purchases from sellers offering Royal Mail only.” 

Royal Mail Strike Key Dates 

You may have heard that there is industrial action taking place on Black Friday and Cyber Monday which will put a spanner in the works for processing shipments over this extremely busy time.  

Here are the Royal Mail strike dates that we know of*: 

  • Thursday 24th November 
  • Friday 25th November (Black Friday) 
  • Monday 28th November (Cyber Monday) 
  • Wednesday 30th November 
  • Thursday 1st December 

*Bear in mind that these dates are subject to change so keep an eye on the news for further updates. 

In the lead up to Christmas, these are all key dates for delivery. By having alternative delivery options for customers, they may feel more comfortable ordering gifts from their loved ones if they know they are more likely to arrive on time (or at all) through another courier. 

What eBay are doing to help sellers 

eBay have precautions in place to protect both buyers and sellers throughout the strikes. For example, eBay will protect your seller performance over this period until the 9th of December, therefore you will not be charged for late delivery over this time and your “item not received” numbers on your dashboard will not be impacted.  

Bear in mind: If you are offering Royal Mail, be as transparent as possible with buyers and manage expectations for delivery times as much as you can to avoid disappointment which could lead to negative reviews. 

The more options, the better!

There are a range of shipping options you can offer to buyers to encourage them to place an order.  They will be displayed as: 

  • Economy 
  • Standard 
  • Express 

You should consider offering different couriers for different selections. For example, you could select Royal Mail for Economy and Standard then opt for DPD for Express delivery during the Royal Mail strikes. 

Fast and Free 



Shipping Discounts 

Offering shipping discounts can work as a conversion aid especially for buyers that are considering purchases of multiple items, or looking for postage discounts on higher value items. This could be the push a shopper needs to convert into a paying customer. If you can’t offer free shipping on an item, discounts will work as an added incentive to shop your item over another that is offering standard shipping options. It could be the difference between you getting a sale or losing out to a competitor. 


Click and Collect  

This delivery option has become increasingly popular in recent years. It gives buyers more flexibility, as shoppers head back to offices and life is getting busier, customers can pick up their order whenever suits them. No more worrying if they are going to miss their delivery slot! Giving customers this option can increase satisfaction and ultimately result in a returning customer. 


Collect in person 

Since the pandemic, more and more shoppers are opting to shop local. So, if you offer a collect in person option for shoppers, those who are local to your business’ premises can collect directly from you. It will give locals a way to discover your business and this one-on-one interaction will build customer loyalty and give buyers the same flexibility as click and collect but with the added personal touch of meeting the face behind the business. Plus, it saves the cost of shipping for the buyer, and the cost of the logistics on your end too! It is certainly worth considering if you have the bandwidth to offer this delivery method. 


UK sellers, consider joining the Global Shipping Programme 

If you are looking to ship internationally this Peak Trade season, the Global Shipping Programme could be what you’ve been looking for! It opens your listings up to a global audience of over 60 million to whom you will be able to ship with ease. Simply select which of your listings are eligible for this and they will be made visible for international shoppers. When an order is placed you simply send the item to a UK shipping centre and eBay will take care of the International Shipping for you. The programme gives you an extra layer of protection on your listings through a range of benefits too! 

Please note: there are some categories who do not qualify for the Global Shipping Programme. 

Be sure to check out the eBay website for full details of prohibited items. 


Time to get started! 

Be sure to implement as many of these tips as you can to reap the benefits on Black Friday and beyond! We hope you are enjoying the Preparing for Peak Trade series so far. Stay tuned for the next blog in this series which will give you our tips on how to make the most of offers for your listings this Peak Trade season. 

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