eBay selling limits: Everything you need to know

TrustA large number of Tamebay readers have been interested in selling limits, citing sales being throttled, rolling black outs and any number of reasons why their sales have stalled.

There were some interesting comments such as the people who always seem to sell roughly the same monetary value each month. Others claim to see strange sales patterns such as only selling the first two days of the week or no change if they don’t list any new products.

We asked eBay what the heck was going on and after a ton of phone calls and emails here’s what we now know:

Are there limits on my eBay account

Selling limits are very much a real thing and eBay are not shy about mentioning them on their help pages and in the Seller Centre. If you want to know about eBay Seller Limits then there is a ton of detailed information.

There are several different rationales for limits:

  • Because you are a new seller and eBay do not know much about you
  • Because your seller performance is poor causing lots of bad buying experiences
  • You are not complying with eBay policies and guidelines, eBay see you engaged in risky behaviour and your account is getting restricted

eBay Statement on Selling Limits

eBay have been kind enough to provide the following information:

eBay must have an advanced, automated system in place to help ensure our sellers and buyers can transact with confidence.

In some cases, this system will promptly trigger limits on a seller’s ability to list, for example when fraud or counterfeit is suspected. While generally referred to as “limits,” these are crucial controls that add a vital layer of protection for our community. Any time these limits are applied, sellers are notified when they list— (if not before).

In addition to these limits, to help sellers grow successfully, eBay also may place limits based, for instance, on performance or length of time on eBay. This type of limit is clearly visible to impacted sellers in My eBay (soon to be in Seller Hub).

It’s important to keep in mind that the overwhelming majority of current eBay sellers are not impacted by selling limits of any kind.

If you do receive a notification of a selling limit and would like to understand why—or believe it’s in error and would like to request to have it removed—just contact our eBay customer support team.

How do limits work?

We’ve checked, double checked and gone back to ask once again and have good news for you. The only selling limits you will ever see on your account will be quantity or value listing limits. eBay may at times restrict your ability to list either by quantity, the total monetary value of items, or the category you wish to list in, but they won’t hide live items from sale.

Specifically Best Match is eBay’s default sort order for search results. Limits is not a factor considered in Best Match. eBay’s best match search algorithm does not consider a Seller’s Limits nor does eBay funnel sales to a seller or group of sellers by adjusting either a seller’s limits, best match results, or both.

I’ve been around eBay long enough to know that conspiracy theories abound, but the truth of it is that it would be too technically demanding for eBay to check how close you are to a selling limit and decide on the fly when a buyer searches for a product to show yours and then thirty seconds later decide to hide your product because you’d just made a sale. Frankly eBay just aren’t going to try and program this.

The majority of sellers are unaffected by selling limits

Most sellers will never see a selling limit. Sure if you suddenly try to sell 15 pieces of Louis Vuitton luggage at £1000 a pop when traditionally you’ve been selling two quid mobile phone accessories it will almost certainly triger alarm bells.

If you just go about your normal day to day selling you’ll probably be unaffected by limits and hardly aware that they exist, except when you hear the few who are impacted complaining.

Everything you need to know about eBay selling limits in three sentences

So to round everything we know about limits up: You may at times be subject to limits which restrict your listing ability but once something is listed it’ll be in Best Match available for sale.

eBay do not throttle your sales, at most they’ll throttle your ability to list.

Most sellers won’t ever trade in such a way that they’re affected by limits.