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How to: manage (and prevent) overdue orders

On time order fulfillment is the crux of successfully selling online.  Late orders drives unhappy customers, bad reviews and costly refunds. 

It is particularly critical on Yumbles where excellent cusomer service is core to the Yumbles experience and what we ask of all sellers.  For that reason, on Yumbles your on time fulfillment KPI is a key determinant of your seller rating which in turn affects your visibility (and therefore future sales). 

This guide is to help you achieve strong on time fulfillment, and where order delays are unavoidable, how to the handle them to minimise costly outcomes.


First, how to minimise order delays

You are in control of your product availability and your delivery timescales using the settings available to you in the Seller Portal. We encourage you to be aware of these settings and update them as needed as much as you can to avoid receiving orders with delivery dates you cannot meet in the first place.

Here are the key settings to be aware of and make use of to minimise your customers experiencing delays to their orders:

  • each of your product listings has a status and a field for you to specify the quantity (number of units) available to buy. Use these fields to determine what and how much customers can buy from you at anytime.  Set the quantity to 0 if you need to make an item temporarily out of stock. Find out more about these availability settings here.
  • also in listings you can choose to make an item available for sale only on a pre-order basis. Find out how here.  
  • your shipping settings allow you to set what days you dispatch, how many days notice you need to dispatch and how many days for delivery. These settings calculate the estimated delivery times that customers will see. So it is key that these reflect the service you are able to provide. And this may change over time e.g. as you get busier you may need to add slightly longer dispatch times for example.  You can adjust your settings here.
  • going on holiday and pausing fulfillment? Then set your holiday dates ahead of time and your estimated delivery dates will be automatically adjusted accordingly. Find out more here.


3 steps to take if order delays happen

Despite your best efforts and updating your shop as detailed above, sometimes due to unexpected events you might still find yourself on occasion with orders that you cannot deliver in line with the estimated dates shown on those orders.

Here are the important steps to take to ensure that order delays don't end in costly refunds, unhappy customers and your account being suspended.


  1. Inform your customers immediately of any delay.  Most customers are happy to wait if you explain as early as possible (not when their order is already late!) and give them realistic  new timescales. Message them via their order by using the 'Contact customer' button.  



  1. Update the status or delivery date on delayed orders. Failure to do this could lead to your account being suspended.


a) Edit the delivery dates directly within the orders to reflect the new date and then save:



b) Use the Back Ordered status if revised timescales are uncertain





    3. Prevent issues for new orders. Using the settings described in the first section of this guide, you should do at least one of the following (unless the cause of the delay has ended and you are now back to usual fulfillment times):

a) temporarily make your products out of stock until you catch up on existing orders by changing the quantity fields to 0.   OR

b) make your products available only on a pre-order basis. If you have a supply issue affecting some products, then use the pre-order settings to specify when you will be able to ship new orders for those products from, OR

c) amend your shipping settings if you just need to factor in longer dispatch times than normal.


Account Suspensions & Refunds

To protect customers by preventing sellers who are not on top of managing their existing orders, from continuing to receive more and more orders, we have an automated system in place that monitors the status of orders.  Here is what happens:

  • If  new orders are not confirmed by you within 2 working days (by changing their status from Pending to Processing), or if orders are not dispatched by their estimated delivery date (i.e they are overdue) then you will receive automatic notification emails advising you that urgent action is needed to update your orders.   
  • If the problem persists for many more days, your account will be temporarily suspended - which means that your product listing will be hidden from the site to minimise any new orders. Once your orders are correctly updated this suspension is automatically lifted. We also reach out by phone and email to any account where a suspension has been triggered, to offer assistance.

If action is still not taken and we have not heard from you, or if account suspensions happen regularly, then we may take the following action:

  • issuing refunds for your outstanding orders. If we do this then a charge will be levied for each refund equivalent to our service fee.
  • reviewing you account and considering account closure.




See also:

Issue Resolution & Refund Policy

Inventory & availability

Going on holiday

Communicating with customers

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