How to Set Processing Times and "Ship By" Dates

Processing times and “ship by” dates help buyers know when you’ll ship items in your shop. Buyers can see the processing time for an item on the listing page under Shipping & returns. The “ship by” date appears on the receipt after the buyer purchases an item.

For eligible listings, customers may see the estimated delivery date instead of the processing time.

Processing times and “ship by” dates are determined using business days and don’t include weekends, but may include holidays. If a “ship by” date falls on a holiday, you can update the date once per order.

What is the processing time for an item?

The processing time is how much time you need to get an order ready to ship. The processing time helps set expectations with buyers before purchasing an item, and accurate processing times help you reliably ship your orders.

If an order is custom, this will include the amount of time it takes to create the custom item. If an order is already made, the processing time is the amount of time you need to package the item and bring it to the shipping service.

The processing time also affects when the buyer can open a case about an order and when they can leave a review.

What is the “ship by” date?

The “ship by” date is the date that you commit to ship an order to the buyer. This is the date at the end of the longest processing time for an order.

For example: your processing time for an item is 3-5 days. A buyer orders the item on September 1. The “ship by” date for this order is September 6.

If you don't set a processing time

If you don’t specify a processing time for an item, the buyer won’t see a "ship by" date during the checkout process. If the buyer places an order for multiple items and one doesn't have a processing time, then the whole order won't show a "ship by" date, even if other items in the order do have processing times.

How to set the processing time for an item

To set the processing time for a shipping profile:

  1. Sign in to
  2. Visit your Shop Manager.
  3. Go to Settings.
  4. Go to Shipping settings.
  5. Go to Shipping profiles.
  6. Select Add profile or select a shipping profile you want to update.
  7. Fill out the shipping profile.
  8. Select your Processing time from the dropdown. You can choose a processing time between from 1 business day and 10 weeks.
  9. Select Create profile.

Next, you can choose this shipping profile for your listings:

  1. In Shop Manager, select Listings.
  2. Find the listing you want to change, or create a new listing.
  3. Find the gear icon and choose Edit.
  4. Scroll down to the Shipping section.
  5. Select the shipping profile with the correct processing time.
  6. Choose Publish.

You can edit the processing time for an item using these same steps.

How to update the “ship by” date for an order

You can edit the “ship by” date once, as long as the original "ship by" date hasn't passed, and the buyer has agreed to the new date.

To update the “ship by” date for an existing order:

  1. Sign in to
  2. Go to your Shop Manager.
  3. Select Orders & Shipping.
  4. Find the transaction you want to change.
  5. Choose the (ellipsis) icon.
  6. Choose Update ship by date.
  7. Select your new ship by date. The new date must be within three weeks of the original “ship by” date.
  8. Add a note to the buyer explaining the new ship by date.
  9. Choose Update & notify buyer.
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