2 min article

Estimated delivery dates for sellers

For buyers, knowing when they can expect an item to arrive is an important factor when making a purchase. That's why we always show an estimated delivery date on eBay listings.

The estimated delivery date shown to buyers on your listings is based on various factors. These include, but are not limited to, the time it takes you to pack and send items (your dispatch or handling time) and the delivery services you offer. It also takes into consideration your past delivery performance (on the aspects of delivery that you can control) and other criteria such as carrier performance, the location of your item and your buyer's delivery address.

The calculation of the estimated delivery date is dynamic and allows for a better estimate of the delivery date. To help manage your buyers' expectations, make sure the handling time and carrier services stated in your listings are accurate and that you can reliably meet them. If you need to make changes to your listings, see our page on revising a listing for more information. 

We recommend that you state the delivery service you're using in your listing to provide the most accurate delivery estimate to your buyers. There are generic delivery services in the Add services menu in the listing (e.g. Other 48h Courier), that you can select if the specific delivery service you're using isn't listed.

Time may be added to the estimated delivery dates to account for any delays in the delivery network due to unexpected disruptions or increased delivery volume (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, unscheduled events, peak seasons, etc.).

Learn more about estimated delivery dates and related defects

Handling and dispatch time

We define handling time as the time it takes you to hand over the item to the delivery service provider after the buyer has paid.

Buyers want their purchases to arrive quickly so we recommend setting a dispatch time of no more than 1 working day. Shorter dispatch times are always better if you can reliably meet them.

You set your handling time when creating a listing.

Tip
Always make sure to dispatch your items within your stated dispatch time or your late delivery rate may be affected. Learn more about monitoring and improving your seller performance.

Working day calendar

You can show customers what days you work by updating your working day calendar in your Postage settings. Default working days are Monday to Friday, but you can set your own, including weekends.

From your postage settings page, simply check the boxes beside the days you process orders. Remember eBay only uses the working days you’ve selected when calculating the delivery estimates shown to your buyer.

If you offer 1-day handling, remember the time frame isn't based on a 24-hour period but rather from the end of the next working day. For example, if a buyer pays for your item on Monday, it needs to be dispatched and scanned as received by your delivery service provider by Tuesday, 11:59pm.

Cut off time for same day dispatch

If you provide a same day dispatch service on your listings, you can select a cut-off time here that gives you sufficient time to get your item to your delivery service provider that same day. The cut-off time is the point in each working day by which purchases need to be made for same-day dispatch to apply.

Simply select the cut off time for each day you want to offer same day dispatch in the dropdown menu in your postage preferences. We recommend setting your same-day cut off time no earlier than 2pm to give buyers enough time to purchase.

If you don’t want to offer same-day dispatch on a given working day, just select Not Offered from its dropdown menu.

Manage postage settings - opens in new window or tab

Tip
When creating the listing, provide the location of your item so postage charges and delivery times can be accurately calculated.

Free 1, 2 or 3 day postage message

A great way to stand out and attract buyers is by offering free delivery within 3 days. We'll automatically add the Free 1, 2 or 3 day postage message to your listings whenever you meet these requirements:

  • Both the buyer and item are in the UK
  • You offer free postage as your first (default) delivery option
  • We can estimate the item's delivery date as 3 working days or less based on your dispatch time, the delivery service you've offered, your location, and the buyer's delivery address
  • You don't offer collection in person or freight as your first (default) delivery option

List of all services offering delivery within 3 days

Express 1 Day

Standard 1-2 Day

Economy 2-3 Day

eBay Delivery - Packlink (1 working day) 

Royal Mail 1st Class (1-2 working days)

eBay Delivery - Packlink 2-3 days (2-3 working days)

Royal Mail Special Delivery 1:00pm (1 working day)

Royal Mail 1st Class Signed for (1-2 working days)

Evri Tracked (2-3 working days) 

Royal Mail Special Delivery 9:00am (1 working day)

Royal Mail Tracked 24 (1-2 working days)

Royal Mail 2nd Class (2-3 working days) 

Parcelforce 24 (1 working day)

Parcelforce 48 (1-2 working days)

Royal Mail 2nd Class Signed For (2-3 working days) 

Other 24 hour courier (1 working day) 

Other 48 hour courier (1-2 working days)

Royal Mail Tracked 48 (2-3 working days) 

Yodel (1 working day) 

Yodel 48 (2 working days)

Royal Mail 48 (2-3 working days) 

UPS Next Day (1 working day) 

DPD Two Day (2 working days)

Royal Mail Second Class Letter / Large Letter (2-3 working days) 

UPS Adult Signature Required (1 working day) 

Royal Mail 1st Class Letter / Large Letter (1-2 working days)

Other courier 3 days (3 working days) 

DPD Next Day (1 working day) 

Royal Mail 1st Class Parcel (1-2 working days)

Royal Mail 2nd Class Parcel (2-3 working days) 

   

Collect+ Standard (2-3 working days) 

How to qualify for a Free in 1, 2 or 3 days postage message

If the postage message isn't showing on your listings, here's a few things you can do to help you qualify:

  • Offer free postage and a faster delivery option
  • Offer same-day, or 1-day dispatch time
  • Specify the exact item location postcode in your listing
  • Include the exact delivery service or services offered on your listing

Next day delivery on eBay

To appeal to buyers who need items quickly, consider adding express delivery services such as next-day delivery to your listing.

To offer Next day delivery, go to the Postage details section when creating a listing and select a 1 working day delivery service from the Add services menu, then add a same-day dispatch from the Your settings menu under Preferences

If you select Offer free postage for this service, your listings may qualify for the Free next day postage message.

The estimated delivery date shown on your listings reflects a range of factors including your dispatch time, and the delivery services you offer.

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