eBay announced Monday that starting in September items listed with a a handling time of more than three days will get an extra icon to alert buyers. The extra icon: a big orange flag to let buyers know that the item may take longer to arrive. I really don’t understand this move by eBay. If eBay wants shorter handling times then why not just eliminate the option to select one longer than three days. Now there will be orange flags next to many items, something that more than likely will not add to buyer confidence. Especially since many buyers will be unaware of what the symbol actually denotes. What will end up happening is that sellers will see that they are getting hit with this new orange flag alert and will change their handling time. However, the time it takes them to actually ship the item won’t have changed at all. eBay can only check the time at which postage was purchased online which will always give sellers a loop hole in which they can purchase shipping and deliver the package to the post office at a later date. This also will hurt sellers who make custom made items which cannot fit into eBay’s prescribed handling times.
Instead of focusing on giving certain sellers gold stars next to their listings and others big orange flags why not focus on improving the reputation of eBay as a whole. Buyers should feel confident about whatever seller that they are buying from and sellers should not feel like they are being punished for something that is clearly stated in their description. It is still the responsibility of the buyer to read the description, right?