What is eBay Fast ‘N Free, and how does it differ from eBay Guaranteed Delivery?
If you’re confused about eBay’s fast shipping programs, you’re not alone. eBay operates a hybrid fast shipping tag model that confuses many sellers, but, once understood, can help you to achieve phenomenal sales.
In this guide, we’re explaining everything you need to know about eBay Fast ‘N Free, including its benefits for sellers and the easiest way to qualify for the tag.
What is Fast ‘N Free on eBay?
eBay Fast ‘N Free is a fast shipping tag that is automatically added to items that can be delivered within 4 days for free, and that protects both buyers and sellers should an item arrive late.
The green tag appears in the search results, alongside the date that eBay guarantees delivery by.
When a shopper clicks onto the listing, the tag is updated with a countdown timer, informing them how long they have to pay to receive the item by the guaranteed date.
If an item arrives late, eBay will resolve the issue with the buyer for you by providing a voucher for a future purchase or a free return label.
Additionally, eBay will remove any negative or neutral feedback left regarding late delivery.
How does Fast ‘N Free differ from Guaranteed Delivery?
eBay Fast ‘N Free is a fast shipping program that operates alongside eBay Guaranteed Delivery.
eBay Guaranteed Delivery is a different fast shipping tag, added to items that can be delivered within 1 to 3-days. Shoppers are guaranteed their delivery by a certain date and, if the item arrives late, eBay will resolve the issue with the buyer the same as with Fast ‘N Free tags.
The main differences between Fast ‘N Free and Guaranteed Delivery are speed and cost.
- Speed: Fast ‘N Free tags only appear on listings that will be delivered in 4-days or less. Guaranteed Delivery tags only appear on listings that will be delivered in 3-days or less.
- Cost: Fast ‘N Free tags only appear on listings with free shipping. Guaranteed Delivery tags appear on items without free shipping.
5 Benefits of eBay Fast ‘N Free tags
eBay Fast ‘N Free tags are helping eBay sellers increase impressions, clicks, and sales. Yet many eBay sellers don’t qualify.
If you’re new to the world of eBay or its fast shipping program, this guide explains all you need to know about the benefits of eBay Fast ‘N Free tags and how to get them.
eBay Fast ‘N Free tags are fast shipping badges added to listings that can be delivered within four days for free – great for shoppers and even better for sellers. Sellers with the Fast ‘N Free tags on their listings gain the benefit of increased consumer trust, reduced cart abandonment, a better customer experience, and more.
1) Increased trust
Trust is particularly tricky to establish on eBay. Not only is buying from an unfamiliar seller online risky, but shoppers often class eBay as a free-for-all platform. The fact that anyone can list pretty much anything on eBay can make shoppers more risk-averse (we’ve all been there with a second-hand top that looks nothing like the photograph).
The eBay Fast ‘N Free tag signals trust to shoppers, because of the eBay association and guarantee. It acts as an official stamp of approval that you’re a fast shipper, a vetted seller, and someone to trust.
2) Reduced abandonment
According to eBay, 43% of shoppers have abandoned their cart based on delivery time. This could be out of a need or want for expedited shipping, or simply because your competitors are delivering quicker.
Fast ‘N Free removes this source of cart abandonment, increasing your chances of getting shoppers over the purchase line.
3) Enhanced customer experience
The customer experience is inextricably linked to the delivery experience. In fact, more than a third of customers will never buy from an online seller again following poor delivery.
By qualifying for Fast ‘N Free tags, you immediately enhance the customer experience through fast and free deliveries. And, we all know that positive customer experience is the cornerstone of social proof and referral marketing.
4) Higher average order value
Ninety-three percent of shoppers are encouraged to buy more products when free shipping options are available – that’s nearly all of your customers.
Free shipping creates a sense of value that makes shoppers feel like they’re getting a bargain. This gives them more money to play with and ignites the reciprocity principle, whereby they spend more to say thanks for their freebie – increasing your average order value.
5) More sales
Finally, eBay Fast ‘N Free tags increase sales, there’s no doubt about it. At Deliverr, we’ve seen increases of 112% for art supplies after adding eBay fast shipping tags, and that’s just one category.
The above benefits, coupled with increased visibility in the search results, all feed into a positive customer journey, making it easier, more compelling, and more worthwhile to buy from you.
How to activate eBay Fast ‘N Free on your listings
To receive an eBay Fast ‘N Free tag, you must make your listings eligible for Fast ‘N Free delivery, by achieving eBay Guaranteed Delivery speeds and offering free shipping.
Achieving eBay Guaranteed Delivery
First, your deliveries must be fast, which is evidenced by achieving eBay Guaranteed Delivery.
eBay Guaranteed Delivery guarantees the delivery dates for listings when:
- You’re an eBay Store subscriber;
- You process 100+ transactions per year;
- You have a late shipment rate of 5% or less;
- You have a same- or 1-day handling time; and
- You deliver orders within 3 days or fewer.
It’s also recommended that you list items with an accurate location postal code and specific carrier shipping services, rather than generic. For example, USPS First Class Package, rather than expedited.
There are two main ways to meet the requirements for eBay Guaranteed Delivery;
1) In-house fulfillment
In-house fulfillment involves storing, picking, packing, and shipping eBay orders yourself, using your own facilities, staff, and shipping carrier.
When choosing in-house fulfillment for Fast ‘N Free, it’s crucial that you can maintain a same- or 1-day handling time and use an approved expedited shipping service.
Since warehouse and buyer locations are also used to determine your ability to fulfill orders within 4-day or fewer, it may be necessary to use multiple warehouse locations and shipping carriers across the country.
Once you achieve eBay Guaranteed Delivery, you must maintain a minimum 97% on-time handling and 95% on-time tracking upload on all Guaranteed Delivery orders.
2) Outsourced fulfillment
Outsourced fulfillment involves using an outsourced fulfillment partner, such as Deliverr, to store, pick, pack, and ship your eBay orders within the Fast ‘N Free requirements.
When choosing an outsourced fulfillment partner, it’s crucial that they use FedEx, USPS, or UPS, and that they have multiple warehouse locations enabling 4-day shipping to all 48 contiguous US states.
Further reading: eBay Guaranteed Delivery FAQs
Offering free shipping
Next, your deliveries must be free. This can be an expensive pill for many eBay sellers to swallow; however, the following cost-cutting tactics can help:
- Reducing your eBay seller fees, using zero insertion fees, annual subscriptions, and top-rated seller benefits.
- Using non-branded boxes to reduce your packaging costs and to streamline packing; and
- Adopting all-inclusive pricing to incorporate your shipping costs into the product price, without pricing yourself out of the market.
What does this mean in practice?
This means you need the tools, capacity, and margins to ship orders quickly, for free.
For in-house fulfillment, this requires a seamless pick, pack, and ship operation that delivers orders within 3-days, regardless of how busy you are or how much it costs. Manageable for a large eCommerce brand, but challenging for a smaller business with limited resources, cash flow, and profit margins.
Or, you can use Deliverr to make your listing automatically eligible for eBay Fast ‘N Free tags.
Deliverr’s new direct eBay integration directly connects with your eBay store or multi-channel system to import products, switch on fast tags, and download/update orders.
This powers you to:
- Deliver items and provide tracking information in-line with eBay Guaranteed Delivery requirements, to qualify for Fast ‘N Free tags;
- Save storage, packaging, and shipping costs through Deliverr’s economies of scale and all-inclusive fulfilment pricing, to offset the costs of free shipping;
- Surpass seller expectations by offering speeds of up to 2-day and next-day across the US, to outpace your competition; and
- Grow your eBay store, product selection, and sales channels without worrying about the additional staff, space, and requirements needed to maintain your Fast ‘N Free tags.
eBay Fast ‘N Free tags are small badges with a big impact. Aside from increasing visibility in the search results, Fast ‘N Free tags increase trust, reduce abandonment, enhance customer experience, increase order value, and boost sales.
Plus, you automatically achieve a Fast ‘N Free tag as soon as your listings qualify. All you need to do is ship orders fast and for free, either in-house or using an eBay fulfillment service. It couldn’t be easier.
Why you should be on eBay Fast ‘N Free
Meeting the requirements of eBay Fast ‘N Free can be challenging. However, there are four main reasons why Fast ‘N Free compliance is worth the effort.
1) Appearance in filtered results
eBay Fast ‘N Free listings appear in search results filtered by Guaranteed Delivery date and/or Free Shipping Delivery Options.
This increases the number of search result queries that your listings return in as well as placing you in filtered search results where the competition is less – making it easier for customers to find your products.
2) Search prominence
The Fast ‘N Free tag, alongside the delivery date estimation, makes your listings stand out in the search results among other listings.
Shoppers looking for free and fast delivery will immediately recognize the tag, while other shoppers will see the tag and subconsciously compare slower listings against your own.
3) Improve your conversion rate
eBay Fast ‘N Free provides shoppers with a guarantee of fast delivery, so they can shop with confidence. It reduces the risk of ordering from you and provides a set timeline for them to expect their items.
This helps with conversions with last-minute purchases and impatient shoppers. The proof is in the numbers; We’ve seen some merchant conversions double when they enable fast shipping.
4) Rank higher
While there’s no direct correlation between Fast ‘N Free shipping tags and higher search ranking, the tags can indirectly improve your eBay SEO.
Ranking high in eBay’s search results requires a combination of free shipping, fast handling times, positive reviews, competitive pricing, and SEO-optimized listings.
Fast ‘N Free shipping tags require fast and free shipping, which generate more conversions, leading to better customer reviews, and more profits to sustain competitive pricing. Together, this can boost your chances of appearing high in eBay’s search queries.
Merchants who use Deliverr for eBay Fast ‘N Free also get a competitive advantage when it comes to multi-channel selling, since they can also access fast shipping programs on other marketplaces to improve conversions across your business.
Challenges of eBay Fast ‘N Free
While eBay Fast ‘N Free comes with significant advantages and helps you to provide a better service for your customers, resulting in increased conversions, it can be challenging meeting the requirements – especially when it comes to shipping.
Reducing your handling time to 1-day or fewer, using multiple warehouses to expand your customer reach, and offering expedited shipping for free can drain your profits, time, and morale.
Fortunately, there are ways to overcome these challenges to make F’NF work for your store. These include:
- Using a fulfillment cost calculator to calculate the cheapest method for qualifying for F’NF.
- Reducing your eBay seller fees to cover the cost of free shipping.
- Using an outsourced fulfillment partner to meet the F’NF requirements for you.
eBay Fast ‘N Free FAQs
To round off this guide, we’re going to finish with some common questions about the Fast ‘N Free shipping tags and process.
How much does eBay Fast ‘N Free cost?
There is no additional cost for eBay Fast ‘N Free tags, beyond your regular eBay fees. However, offering expedited shipping for free is an indirect cost of the Fast ‘N Free program. To understand how much this costs your business, and whether in-house or outsourced fulfillment is cheaper, use a fulfillment cost calculator to help.
Which items are eligible for Fast ‘N Free on eBay?
If your listing offers free shipping and will get to the buyer within 4 days, eBay will show the Fast ‘N Free tag automatically.
How do I turn on eBay Fast ‘N Free?
If you’re a Deliverr merchant, you can opt in to eBay Fast ‘N Free tags in your seller portal to turn them on. Just go to Channels, and click on the listing tool you use to see your available fast tags.
Learn more about turning on fast tags here.
When does the Fast ‘N Free delivery period begin?
Your timer to fulfill begins once a customer has paid for their items.
What happens if your eBay Fast ‘N Free item is late?
If an item arrives late, eBay will compensate the buyer for you by providing a voucher for a future purchase or providing a free return label.
Additionally, eBay will remove any negative or neutral feedback left regarding late delivery.
Having eBay Fast ‘N Free on your listings gives you a competitive edge and helps to drive conversions. However, like all fast shipping programs, it comes with both benefits and challenges.
Ensure that you can meet the requirements in-house, or that you choose a fulfillment partner that you can trust, who has experience with eBay Fast ‘N Free, and who can scale with your business.
The easiest way to get Fast ‘N Free on your listings
The most straightforward way to get on eBay Fast ‘N Free is to use a fulfillment partner that guarantees delivery dates on behalf of your brand. You simply ship your inventory to their warehouses, for them to fulfill orders in a F’NF compliant manner for you.
Here are 3 ways Deliverr eliminates headaches for sellers who want to succeed on eBay Fast ‘N Free.
- Deliverr can provide rate tables, so that buyers see accurate delivery dates based on where the inventory is.
- Deliverr has a 95% coverage rate for fast delivery across the USA, which means more shoppers will see those fast shipping tags on your listings. (Note: See updated coverage during COVID-19)
- Deliverr has transparent pricing, so you know exactly how much your margins are from the beginning.
Background: When did it happen?
Back in November 2018, eBay first changed how their Fast N’ Free tag is designated. Instead of showing an estimated date, it now guarantees delivery date, which means eBay sellers must ensure their items get there on time under the Fast N’ Free shipping tag. It’s not on every listing, but this designation is starting to roll out throughout the marketplace.
The content below is from an older Deliverr blog that followed the eBay Fast ‘N Free update.
eBay’s fast shipping tags show up in search results, on listing pages, and in check-out to encourage a completed path to purchase. Getting these tags can increase conversions and help to avoid cart abandonment.
Listings are eligible for the Fast N’ Free tag when;
- Both you and your buyer are in the contiguous 48 states
- Your listing has a 4-day or less delivery time
- You offer free shipping as your default option
- Your listing isn’t in classified ad format
- You don’t have local pick-up or freight as your default shipping option
If you want to get the Fast N’ Free shipping tags, try the following:
- Offer free delivery and an expedited shipping option
- Offer same-day or one-day handling
- Upload your item’s tracking details
When eBay gives your listing the Fast N’ Free shipping tag, if your items don’t make it to the buyer on time, eBay will handle reimbursement. They may also provide a free return label or give the buyer a voucher.
Changing the delivery date from an estimated time to a guaranteed “delivery by” time just yet another of many indicators that consumers and marketplaces are placing higher value in shipping and delivery. Providing fast, reliable shipping options will help you capture buyers, increase conversions, and get shoppers through to purchase.