What eBay Fast ‘N Free Means to eBay Sellers

It may be hard to believe, but “eBay Fast ‘N Free” will celebrate its one year anniversary later this month. Unlike some of the other changes eBay has made over the years, this one hasn’t really drawn the attention like the other eBay promotions and changes they have made, but perhaps that is because this is one of the few times that sellers haven’t actually had to do much of anything to qualify for it. In fact, the only thing a seller does have to do to possibly qualify for eBay Fast ‘N Free is to offer free shipping.

Once eBay sees that you offer free shipping on an item, it checks the zip code of the buyer that is looking at the item and then estimates how long it should take for the item to arrive at its destination once it is paid for and ships. If it takes four days or less, your eBay listing qualifies and gets the Fast ‘N Free logo right on the View Item page.

As you probably know, however, when it comes to eBay, nothing is ever really that simple. There are, of course, some other conditions that must be met.

The buyer and the item must both be within the 48 contiguous states. Sorry Alaska and Hawaii, you are out of luck, but Fast ‘N Free does apply to buyers in the District of Columbia. You must list the item with free shipping. (That’s where the “Free” part comes in) eBay looks at both the performance of the carrier (USPS, UPS, etc.) and the performance of the seller to see if the item can reach the buyer within 4 days. This means that not only does eBay check to see if the post office (or other carriers) usually delivers to the destination in a timely manner, but they also check to see if you mail your items out in a timely manner too. (And now you know what those pesky little stars on your Feedback are really used for!)

You also need to know that if the 4-day shipping can’t really be estimated with confidence, eBay will not put the logo on your View Item page and the item won’t qualify for eBay Fast ‘N Free. It pretty much has to be a sure thing that if it sells and you ship, it will be there on time.

Keep in mind that the rules about payment still apply. Even though you are encouraged to ship within 24 hours (1-day) of an auction ending or an item selling, the clock still doesn’t start until the item is paid for. This means that if the buyer uses an echeck and there is a hold for 10 days, the time won’t start until the check has cleared and the money is in your account.

One final thing to realize is that different buyers who look at your item may not see the same thing. As an example, a buyer in Ohio may see the Fast ‘N Free logo because eBay is confident the item can get there on time, but a buyer in California may not see the logo because eBay may feel that it will take more than four days for the item to get there. Once again, however, there is nothing for you to do about this, the logo will either appear on your listing or it won’t.

This guest post is by Kat Simpson. Kat is a trusted eCommerce author, speaker, educator, and entrepreneur. Kat Simpson has been a successful eCommerce merchant for over 10 years; is an eBay Education Specialist and Gold Level PowerSeller, as well as a successful Amazon merchant. Currently Kat is the co-host of popular weekly eCommerce Podcast Thrifting For Profit.

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