eBay UK Seller Release 2014: New seller performance requirements

By Dan Wilson March 11, 2014 - 2:23 pm

eBay is changing how it measures seller performance and allocates Top Rated Seller Status. These changes will come into force in August.

Part of monitoring this change will be new Seller Dashboard, which we wrote about last month and which launches on April 16. Read about the new Seller Dashboard.

It’s reasonably straight forward but do take some time to check out the criteria and what will represent a “defect” under the new system. Basically you can have a certain amount of defects before your performance comes under scrutiny. eBay has also published what will now be considered a “defect”.

eBay has published full details here. It will affect different sellers in different ways but there’s no doubt that these are pretty tough criteria and represent a significant attempt by eBay to coax sellers to provide top notch service.

And if you combine this with mandatory Managed Returns also coming in August, this could represent significant headaches for sellers.

eBay notes that some safeguards have been put in place to protect sellers:
• Defects must be from at least 5 unique buyers for eBay Top-rated seller or 8 unique buyers for an above standard seller in order to affect the status.
• Buyers can’t open an item not received case before the estimated delivery date has passed.
• An updated seller protection policy. From August, negative or neutral Feedback that’s been removed under the Feedback Removal Policy won’t count as a defect.
• Cases escalated to eBay and resolved in favour of the seller won’t be counted.
• Each transaction can be counted towards the defect rate only once, regardless of how many defects may occur in the same transaction.

But, in many sense, none of this really matters either way. The problems that most sellers resent most are the unfair complaints, DSRs, returns and dodgy buyers having a go. Most sellers will put their hands up for a genuine mistake, but it’s a kick in the teeth to suffer at the hands of a bogus buyer when eBay is unwilling to listen.

These new stringent performance measure must be matched by massive improvements in eBay customer support when it comes to adjudicating buyer/seller disputes. The current system which universally finds in favour of the buyer will be intolerable with these new rules.

Updated: 14th March. eBay have issued Tamebay with this clarifying statement:

“The new seller standards will be a requirement for all eBay business sellers as of 20 August 2014. The new performance measurement will be the same for every seller and we’ll continue to support sellers as we’ve previously done through customer service or account management. We’ll also be sending out a monthly email with projected status details until the changes come into effect. Plus, the seller dashboard preview will be available from 16 April for all sellers to view and understand their projected performance.”

SR seller reqs 1

SR seller reqs 2 

  • Sparta
    4 years ago

    As usual, high volume sellers will be fine as they will be able to dilute these “defects” down easily, but small, low volume sellers are gonna struggle with just a small run of bad luck or unreasonable customers. I note they have edged the low score up from 1s or 2s to now include 3s- most people choose the middle ground on surveys and scoring systems as they think; it was fine, not brilliant but not bad, so the middle will do” bang, the seller is in trouble….

    • 4 years ago

      It’s only the description DSR, don’t forget. Not all of them.

    • Sparta
      4 years ago

      True, but this also happens to be the DSR which can go below standard the quickest with only 1% tolerance compared to all other DSR having 2%. It’s hitting low volume sellers disproportionately and plain unfair; but lets face it, low volume sellers and the auction format do not figure in ebays long term plans…..

    • j ether
      4 years ago

      i have just recieved a message today stating i will fall bellow standards under the new rules even though i have been Top rated seller for over a year as i have defect rate of 7% how can this system be fair, i always refund unhappy buyers immediately whether its to big to small or even if they change there mind. i have all sizes of my clothing and good pictures of my items.

      i always reply to messages from buyers within 3 hours, i always side with the buyer, i always list as accurately as i can.

      So how do i improve my customer service when i already bend over backwards to help??

      i have 4 neutral feedback and 100% positive and TOP RATED SELLER but now im told i dont even meet the standards and im below there criteria??

      i have opened cases all of which i refunded my buyers in full usually because an item of clothing did not fit. i also had 3 people from europe open cases against me saying they had not received the item only 5 days after i sent it when royal mail say it can take up to 15 days, I also sent these buyers a replacement straight away! so now i have no choice, i will not be selling abroad again!

      So what am i supposed to do now, this will kill my business even though i do 110% to look after customers, im as fair as i can be. i have worked so hard to get top rated seller now how do ebay repay me?? They kick me in the teeth and tell me im not even average??

      Also, since when did 3 stars out of five constitute bad? i always thought this was average?

      Is there any other sellers out there in the same situation as me, im very worried, i dont know how i can improve when i already do everything in buyer favour. is this just a sneaky way of ebay not having to pay the discount to top rated sellers? Across the pond selling on the river bank sure looking more appealing every day…. Please anyone else in same boat share your views, we need to stand together and vote with our feet.

    • aaron
      4 years ago

      I had the same thing last week my top rated seller status was at risk and i like yourself bend over backwards to please my customers, i had 3 low dsr ratings for dispatch time even though i dispatch all my items next day without fail, the sellers in question received their item 1 day late due to courier company so thought it fit to leave 1 star, the ebay system is totally unfair and flawed for good honest sellers, when these new rules come in to play it will only be worse so i am concentrating on websites etc and other avenues to sell my products as i am going to write ebay off hell i am paying them just under 1000 per week in fees

    • shaunytron
      4 years ago

      Looks like they are favouring high volume sellers only! Look at the Argos outlet. they have the worst volume of negative feedback ive ever seen but remain Top rated due to volume dilution. EBay forgets its globally a house hold name as an online auction! and yet they are trying to convert to eCommerce with high street retailers being the bread and butter. How long before the Auction feature disappears

    • grn
      4 years ago

      to rite, its a joke im TRS I am under standard now with new system. people selling clothing at a big disadvantage due to sizes etc. obviously shops have changing rooms, we have to relay on things fitting. Looks like clothing sellers are I for a real hard time under these guidelines

    • Rich
      4 years ago

      I operate on a few international sites. On a couple I am in the low seller bracket. As far as I can see then on these domains the ratings will be backdated 12 months from launch. If so that’s a bit unfair as none of us knew what was being planned.

  • northumbrian
    4 years ago

    every return we ever get via ebays return system is not as described so we pay the return postage, we will get enough defects to sink a ship

    • g n
      4 years ago

      to rite, its a joke im TRS I am under standard now with new system. people selling clothing at a big disadvantage due to sizes etc. obviously shops have changing rooms, we have to relay on things fitting. Looks like clothing sellers are I for a real hard time under these guidelines

  • David Brackin
    4 years ago

    We’ve been using the managed returns process for a number of months since being asked by the product manager to try it out and give feedback.

    It’s a great idea and we like it, but it’s not really finished yet and there’s still a lot more to be done before it’s half way as good as not using the managed returns process. We gave our feedback but had no response whatsoever from the product team — as is usual at eBay, a few months have elapsed so you are never sure if they are still excited about / working on this product or indeed still employed by eBay.

    The prices negotiated by eBay for the returns are a joke. This is an organisation that is considerably better at writing a powerpoint presentation than it is at arm-wrestling a decent deal out of a courier. They should be ashamed. And then to have a system that uses a more expensive Royal Mail service for smaller items than the cheaper box courier service. Well that’s just sloppy coding.

    The inevitable problem is buyers learning the system (if you lie and claim SNAD then your postage is paid — otherwise you pay it). There is an option in the product flow for sellers to report this. Nothing happens if you do: you are still charged the postage and everything goes the buyer’s way.

    This is a great idea. It’s just not been built yet. Forcing people to use it should come after it has been finished.

  • David Brackin
    4 years ago

    Oh no not again.

    The ecosystem that grows up around eBay is like a coral reef. A delicate structure that requires stability to grow and prosper. If it is left to flourish then it can be a bright, exciting and vibrant marketplace.

    However, every change distracts from the rather important business of selling stuff to customers. I just went to look at our seller dashboard and I can’t recognise anything that is going on there. It is full of garish infographics which take up page space but convey little information. I’m just not clever enough to understand what it is that that dashboard is trying to tell me.

    On the bright side, the TRS discount is so small these days that losing the status is not that big an effect any more.

    • cackonmyleg
      4 years ago

      Perfectly said David Brackin.

      Ebay are the equivalent of poundland, lidl and TK MAxx demanding their suppliers rebrand and repackage their goods with quality packaging and ingredients to “improve buyer experience” but at the same cost price.

      Spectacularly missing the point once again of what makes ebay ‘ebay’ and putting lipstick on a pig.

  • Danny
    4 years ago

    This is how I see it…

    The “Good” news:
    – No longer have to keep DSRs below 0.5% (1 in 200) – however the only one we are ever worried by is Item as Described which is still going to be measured
    – A unique buyer can only give you one defect – need clarification that this is regardless of how many unique transactions they’ve had in performance “look back time”?? At present if a buyer leaves 3 low DSRs they count as 3.
    – 2% is actually quite a lot?

    The bad news:
    – No grace period – never quite gone in to it but was nice to know it was there.
    – Negatives and neutrals will be a defect EVEN if feedback is removed/revised.
    – 3* Item as described will be a defect.
    – Open cases will be a defect.
    – Returns not as described will be a defect.

    Questions I’ve got:
    – Will open cases count even once closed? Is it “currently open” or “opened at all”.
    – Will we still have reporting feature to see which buyers (sorry, I mean *listings*) left low DSRs (sorry, I mean *need there descriptions improving*) Wink nudge.
    – Presumably we will be able to see how many 3*s we have like we can 1*s and 2*s?
    – Surely 1* dispatch time can be over-ruled if you’ve used a tracked service – prove when dispatched?
    – Communication and P&P charge DSRs now completely defunct?
    – Item not as described returns – how will this be measured? Some people phone and say they want to return, others send an eBay message, few actually open a case? Where will it be measured? At point of refund?

    On the assumption that we all ALREADY do the very best we can (I’m not going to suggest we “describe our items better”!!) and the assumption that most buyers will claim not as described in order to get a free postage refund, then to limit defects you’ve got to take the communication off eBay… “For a return and refund call us on xxx” That way fewer open cases, fewer return not as described visible to eBay. And if you ever have to cancel a transaction from your end select “Buyer made mistake or changed mind”… the buyer never reads it anyway!!


    • northumbrian
      4 years ago

      a pre paid return label will go in all our packages if this managed returns thing fails to work right

  • cackonmyleg
    4 years ago

    One positive nugget is that P&P ratings no longer count.

    So to me that means go back to charging shipping separately and ditch free p+p to bring item price down.

    TRS discounts are so minor and irrelevant they are not worth the hassle of pursuing and not visible on mobile platform searches anyway.

    And all sales with no feedback count as a positive (FINALLY!) on the assumption all was good so go for quantity, not quality to wash out the whingers and malicious free loaders who bother to leave neg FB.

    I’m sure its not what ebay intended but the only way these days seems to be to get around ebay systems rather than to engage with them directly as any good faith in them being set up for our benefit or even well thought out expired long ago.

    Trust your own instincts, and do not under any circumstances take these official guidance releases at face value. It’s just an office clerk with powerpoint , a handycam and no direct business/sales experience of their own.

    • Danny
      4 years ago

      If there’s a nail then you’ve just hit it. Right on the head…

      “I’m sure its not what ebay intended but the only way these days seems to be to get around ebay systems rather than to engage with them directly”

    • cackonmyleg
      4 years ago

      Thankyou Danny.

      I would clarify that by ‘get around’ I mean legitimately but in full ignorance of future ebay guidance on ‘best practice’.

      Last time I remembered I quit my job 7 years ago to become my own boss through being fed up of listening to inconsequential initiatives and projects from middle management.

      I am not the put upon man-servant of an overweight overindulged landlord who appears incapable of tying his own shoe laces yet deems fit to ever increasingly tell me what to do, where and when to do it with my own customers, suppliers, carrier and products.

      I’d rather go back to those meetings, which is the most depressing thought I have had for 7 years and the most damning indictment of ebay as a platform I could ever give………..

    • Danny
      4 years ago

      Well I only quit employment 2 years ago.. so my memory will be fresher than yours.. I assure you… the grass is greener here! (Despite all of the above)

    • northumbrian
      4 years ago

      P&P dsrs no longer count? is this the writing on the wall to free postage being mandatory

  • Gareth
    4 years ago

    @Danny – in small print (asterix), eBay states that cases closed isn’t a new measure – they rate it the same as the previous time. They also note:

    * If an eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Buyer Protection case opened for an item not as described or not received is resolved in your favour, this won’t count as a defect.

    Presumably then, if you refund or sort out the case for your buyer, this isn’t going to count as a defect. The alternative would be ridiculous, as eBay positively encourages buyers to open cases simply to ask where their goods are for example. On international orders, there has been a bug that has existed for months, that often gives totally the wrong estimate dates, or domestic shipping may be a day or two late. As we know the postal services don’t always deliver on time.

    • cackonmyleg
      4 years ago

      When I boarded this train 7 years ago I understood I had free travel and self determination as to my destination.

      Now I find myself strapped in a childs seat in 2nd class, doing 10mph, in a black tunnel, whilst continual ‘improvement works’ obstruct my journey, hooligans are left to run riot in 1st class without paying for tickets whilst the ticket collector ignores them and threatens the well behaved passengers, who have been on since the start, to give up their seats at the next stop so more hooligans can get on board.

      And if you dont, or complain, you get shoved in the cattle truck with no air, water or food until you choke.

    • Danny
      4 years ago

      Hi Gareth,

      Yes I’m aware “closed against seller” would count against you (as it does already) but that doesn’t worry me… I don’t leave it for eBay to decide, I’d rather give up and full refund earlier on!

      As long as we deal with and close cases ourselves (will have to nudge buyers to close them once satisfied) then it should be fine. As you say… “the alternative would be ridiculous”… my only concern is that the wording does verge along those ridiculous lines..

      “Our research has shown us that SIMPLY HAVING TO OPEN A CASE is a top predictor of buyer churn and reduced purchasing. We’ve thus decided to take open cases into account as a strong indicator of buyer satisfaction.”

    • cackonmyleg
      4 years ago

      The rub may comes when several customers open cases on the same day through bad luck. My guess it will screw your search presence until several or all of them close which can be weeks if the buyer buggers off once received goods in INR cases (as too often happens).

      A simple solution is a ‘cooling off’ period whereby a seller could challenge negative/low ratings for 7 days before they went ‘live’ against your account or on display to buyers.

      It seems absurd that Ebay are happy to allow 45 days for feedback to be left with no rush, yet when it is left it is instant, immediate and irrevocable.

      If malicious/kneejerk buyers knew their tantrums would not be instant and subject to review/challenge for 7 days I guarantee a more measured rating system would follow.

      It’s the biggest hole in the system in my view and encourages abusive practice.

    • Gareth
      4 years ago

      I have just reread, and misunderstood. It does seem open cases simply for people enquiring where their goods are count against us. This is VERY concerning. My account is in excellent standing (no negs/neutrals and only one low DSR for dispatch), but 90% of my customers are in the US, and the international delivery estimates for eBay are simply wrong and inaccurate. Couple that with bad weather in Feburary, and as a low volume seller, come August, my account is going to be close to below standard simply because eBay encourage buyers to open a case for asking where goods are!

    • Cambridge_Blue
      4 years ago

      Indeed Gareth and if true then international sellers are basically stuffed.
      Our experience of open cases gives cause for great concern.
      We have a return requested & case opened (INAD as usual), item returned on a working day and we schedule to check it and make a refund the next working day as usual.
      The item is of course is exactly as described in the listing.
      Buyer escalates the case that evening (item was sent recorded delivery) and under 12 hours later eBay rule in the buyers favour and we get a strike.
      That is before we have even started our next working day and had a chance to check the return!
      The acid test is that if sellers are more concerned about their dashboard and dealing with this daft system rather than actually providing good customer service then you know it is all wrong.
      Good luck everybody.

    • Gareth
      4 years ago

      I was having a good day, but this has really got me down. I’m actually closing my shop and closing my account (hopefully they will close it before August) to concentrate more on a secondary account, that has none of the feedback, history or subscribers, but also doesn’t have open cases and so won’t put me below standard in August.
      Quite how a seller can go 10 years with an exemplary account, to this is beyond me. The irony is until last October I haven’t had any open cases for a whole year, but then eBay did something to encourage buyers to open cases, and then over winter some parts of the States were hit by very bad weather. eBay said they’d help sellers in those situations with their DSRs and feedback, but are they going to help retrospectively when it all gets counted on August 20th?
      I also have one case that was opened and closed within a hour, because the buyer (who left positive feedback three days previously), didn’t realise her daughter had picked up the delivery.
      Just makes a laughing stock of the whole new system.

      Cambridge_Blue – crazy that eBay can rule in just 12 hours. They probably have an automated system that deals with these cases.

    • northumbrian
      4 years ago

      yep we too
      no chance to refund ,a seller protection ding, overnight,no response to email appeal more than 2 weeks later

  • Danny
    4 years ago

    Can we have a poll please for “best analogy of the day” … I’m 50:50 between Cackonmyleg’s train journey and David Bracken’s ecosystem!

    • cackonmyleg
      4 years ago

      Haha, i like the ecosystem.

      Although ill throw in one more analogy for good luck.

      Its the equivalent of when Heston Blumenthal was having his food critiqued by little chef management as ‘too salty’ and to change it in that tv show couple of years back.

  • Hereford United fan
    4 years ago

    Each Christmas I sell loads of watch gift sets. They are £9.99 – £12.99.

    They include Gift box, watch, earrings/necklace, bracelet and ring.

    This price includes VAT, postage, eBay fees and paypal fees as well as packaging costs.

    I get people writing to me saying ‘please can you confirm it is Sterling silver’ or ‘ Please can you confirm it is 18ct gold’

    I get quite a few negatives as a result of outrageous customer expectation.

    These are now counting against me and having been nowhere near losing my TRS status since it began I am now forecast to be above standard.

    I guess I will have to stop selling them. I wonder if this is what eBay want the effect to be?

    • 4 years ago

      Put me down for one for my wife Hereford.

    • northumbrian
      4 years ago

      yes we will have 2 of the 18ct jobbies

  • Gerry007
    4 years ago

    Re; We assume that when a buyer doesn’t leave Feedback, the transaction went well. This will be counted as a positive transaction toward your performance standard.

    So how’s this gonna work, after a certain period an automatic + feedback will appear + I hope that will also generate a 5* across the board DSR rating……

  • JD
    4 years ago

    But what about all the ‘defects’ caused by eBay? There is no evidence whatsoever that eBay are taking any action on the following, can we please have an update on exactly what is being done by eBay with respect to:

    Buyers being required to buy items one-at-a-time? Rather than buy, receive invoice and pay for all together? This requires sellers to consider p/p refunds and lose fees already taken by eBay. Fee refunds should be automatic.

    The introduction of an International shopping basket. So that buyers in, say Turkey and other non UK places can avoid having to pay for all their items one-at-a-time?

    The introduction of a basic address validation system by eBay? So that sellers are not in receipt of orders to non-existent or simply wrong addresses entered at checkout?

    Seems that some of eBay’s systemic defects are not being addressed at all.

    • Danny
      4 years ago

      ADDRESS VALIDATION! The number of buyers who in the “Street” field put their street, and there won’t be a house name or number anywhere. Address validation really is basic stuff that should have been in place 10 years ago!

  • Alan Wright
    4 years ago

    How long before buyers learn that “Item not as described” means their return is free? Once they do surely most returns will come back that way? Bad news for the seller. I suppose a way round this is to offer to pay for the return of the item even if it is merely a change of mind (something Amazon do not do)..

    Also there was an article on Tamebay very recently that said that ever more ebay business is taking place on mobiles and that fewer and fewer buyers will be reading descriptions “It’s all about the picture”. Yet ebay don’t seem to have noticed this and are making the free-text description ever more vital.

    Now that Amazon is moving away from free shipping on everything I wonder if ebay is losing interest in free shipping also? I am very tempted to stop offering “free shipping”. and give up my TRS. The only thing that makes me hesitate is not knowing whether it is helping me in searches. I only offer “free shipping” it because it was one less rating to worry about, but now that doesn’t seem a factor any more. My items are low’ish cost and I would like to bring the headline price down plus have some room to offer the odd discount.

    Is it true that open cases count against us even if it is merely for buyer’s enquiring where their goods are?! If so, that makes international selling less appealing, especially outside the EU.

    I need to have another look at all these changes.

    Let’s hope for rivals to ebay to pop up, these changes only emphasise how important it is not to have all your eggs in one basket.

  • naughtyboy!
    4 years ago


    if I was REALLY a naughty boy ….. come august

    I would buy loads of stuff of all my competitors

    with several buying accounts

    claim them all to be not as described

    send them back at the sellers cost

    get a refund from ebay

    and scupper my competition really easy

    OK I am being a ‘joker’ saying this

    but what I say in jest – I guarantee it will be done for real by some

  • Abi
    4 years ago

    Emma has disappeared, how unexpected!

    If “Emma” returns, I would LOVE to hear about hmm let’s not be greedy, ONE example, of a seller winning an item SNAD case? I always understood pictures were not accepted as proof, now suddenly a seller CAN appeal with photos? Yes, I have hope (not)

    Why is it that a seller can have ten years history and amazing comms, a buyer can just walk in deliberately thieving, yet the buyer is the winner. Oh why am I wasting my breath howling into the wind! Silly me. Ebay couldn’t make it clearer they are only after the cheap bulk outlet sellers if they hired every billboard in the country to proclaim it.

    It’s sad. I always said I wanted to leave ebay but then when google discontinued the free shopping product insertion, my website became all but invisible. Still, at this rate it might be worth my investing in a web optimisation specialist and concentrating on that. Because, however much this does genuinely terrify me and upset me, as a seller in clothes shoes and accessories, returns happen but up to now it’s been fairly simple to discuss with buyers an option for exchange, partial refund (you’d be amazed how many buyer suddenly don’t want to return, if offered £5 off!) or at least agreeing that they pay return postage as by their own admission it’s just that it didn’t fit. Now ebay are actively encouraging them to claim SNAD to win free postage! And to top it off, 3* is now bad?! It reminds me of the days when neutral feedback and negative feedback both lowered your percentage. Does anyone remember that? At some point someone kindly pointed out that neutral is, well, neutral. Now once again no, neutral is negative! Great. Some people will clearly think item as described: “yeah I guess, well I thought it might be a bit brighter/shorter/tighter [some other unreasonable personal impression] but yeah it was about right – here’s a 3* for ya” – not knowing it’s as bad as a 1* in terms of damage. I lost an account for LIFE which I can still use for buying mind, but anyway it was 100% pos. yet a few impatient people marked me down for slow postage even though it did arrive within a matter of days. As we know, when a buyer is annoyed about one thing, they’ll sure as hell mark you a 1 on everything, even comms even if you write to them every day etc. So as I was saying, though this terrifies me and upsets me, I can see that the decision to leave ebay will be made for me, because in clothes and shoes I’ll certainly get returns, and they’d be daft or saints to opt to pay their own post if they can get muggins to pay for it instead. So looks like my time is up… How very depressing.

    So ebay, Emma, any description and tips of how exactly an honest seller can prove SNAD is untrue? I’d love to hear and learn.

  • Abi
    4 years ago

    Almost forgot to add that now even if a seller makes things right, it is still going to count against you, sorry!

    Sloppy bulk sellers of cheap tat only!

    Small volume specialist good honest sellers are not what ebay is about. Those days are literally longggggg gone.

  • Jester
    4 years ago

    Is it me because I thought if a case is opened up as “item not as described” it will count against you other cases are not counted.
    yes they will get free returns but that’s the only case status that will effect us?

    I just called eBay and they claim the “managed return” process will take over the INAD return excuse, it will be a little option box next to your purchase, if you opt in they return it print out the postage info and price, PayPal then take the money from you and return it to the buyer and it comes back.
    I guess the trick is to include CLEAR instructions in returns so they stay away from case opening ……. HOWEVER

    in my experience though the item not as described case opener is always their first point of call even if it’s a question about the item.
    Once opened even if you get them to close the case their end will this count against you????

    Can anyone clarify please?

    • Danny
      4 years ago

      I’m fairly confident ANY case opened counts as a DEFECT regardless of your resolution. The small print reads:

      “Our research has shown us that SIMPLY HAVING TO OPEN A CASE is a top predictor of buyer churn and reduced purchasing. We’ve thus decided to take open cases into account as a strong indicator of buyer satisfaction.”

      .. “Simply having to open a case”….

      I had someone open an INR case this morning and he’d closed it 30 mins later after ringing his wife at home. That would be a DEFECT!!

  • steve
    4 years ago

    You know what we are all forgetting is this.

    Most of us have been selling on eBay for YEARS which means we have a good product and we are pretty good business people with good business models.

    We have all been conditioned to think that without eBay we lose our spines and our brains, bare in mind these eBay gangsters take a huge chunk of your profits via your sales and not to factor in the money on refunds where you have been cheated that accounts for THOUSANDS of pounds every year (in my case £24,000 a year they take from us with their high fees.

    I know it’s all about the exposure but the worry of the DSR’s and now this has led me to close my business as of today I won’t be trading with them.

    Tomorrow I’ll be opening a website building on what I have learned and keeping those fees for myself.

    I have 100% feedback and 1 neutral in 12 months will be able to offer my product 10-12% cheaper and not have them breathing down my neck giving me panic attacks every time I get an item not as described.

    I may sell half the amount but I’ll also save half the fees and still have enough to advertise and build my site.

    eBay is not the be all and end all.

    Your successful because of YOU not them.

    I’m out.

    • Danny
      4 years ago

      Seems like a bold move. Best of luck!

      Keep us posted on how it goes.

    • cliff
      4 years ago


  • admiralhardinge
    4 years ago

    Is this the longest outpouring of grief yet? Ebay have failed to fundamentally understand that they need not only buyers to be happy with the purchase and process, they also need sellers to feel the same way. Sellers are customers too, and right now I don’t know how I will move forward with ebay.

    The above contributors may have missed that right now a buyer can not send a message about INAD or non receipt without a case automatically opening. And this counts as a defect.

    So now sellers are responsible for the following “defects”

    1. Buyer did not read description but does not escalate to claim
    2. Buyer was not at home when delivery was attempted
    3. Royal Mail did not leave a card
    4. Buyer did not check the special place the postman always leaves the package before sending a message (happened to me with a customer last week – the item was there all along)
    5. Buyer can’t be bothered to arrange redelivery or collect package from sorting office if they were out.
    6 Item delivered on day case opened, because buyer bought early in day and can open claim before post delivered.
    7. Buyer asked for delivery to an office address which was closed on a Saturday (so arrived on Monday – 1 day late) Again I had this with a customer last week.

    Perhaps we should be held responsible for the Russia/Ukraine situation, Middle East peace etc too

    NB Seller closed cases also count as a defect if they select out of stock or sold to another buyer. Hmm, wonder who will voluntarily select that reason now? Ebay kindly ask you put the correct cause in so they know what happened. What kind of garbage process is that?

    Ebay of course rely on their surveys of customers. The bit they always forget to ask is “Are you prepared to pay for this?” I would say I want the world as well, but if I’m asked to pay, no way. It is a fallacy for ebay to design processes around improperly interpreted surveys and results.

    Try the ever requested tracked mail. I offer free p&p or tracked on all my items. And what do these customers who desperately want tracked services choose? Free untracked of course (Over 99.5%) . Proves ebay don’t draw the right conclusions from their surveys, and therefore design in faulty processes and requirements.

    And on the subject of surveys – when was the last time you were asked to complete a satisfaction survey on ebay customer support when you clearly were not happy with their response? For me, in 10 years, never. When they do it right – all the time. Very odd.

    • Abi
      4 years ago

      Exactly, when I offer free untracked or at cost tracked, it’s very rare any of them are prepared to pay for it. Yes if they buy from a major website they can expect free postage and hassle free returns, but it’s not at cut price like they expect from ebay. I guess we’ll be forced to jack up our prices but really I’ve already had to do that to factor in increase in fees, increase in shop cost, charging on post cost, now this. I don’t think I can jack them up any more?! Ebay are squeezing sellers like a python squeezing its victim. We already have our head in the noose, just hoping ebay don’t tighten it too much… but they do. I cannot believe 3 star is enough to get you in serious trouble. The whole star system should be abolished. If buyers are that upset they can leave neg but really what is the point of being able to leave positive yet put in a hunch of 3 stars meaning yes it was positive but not spectacular, just averagely pleasing thank you. This is just horrible. I wish ebay had a competitor,[sigh] one day. That day, they’ll see most of their sellers flee. Then they’ll realise we too are customers. I hope we get the last laugh! Wishing

  • steve
    4 years ago

    It’s frightening how one sided this is and it’s genuinely filled me with horror.

    As mentioned above ALL of our returns come back as not as described we deal in second hand mechanical items and if handled in the post they will break or perhaps fail in some way.
    Not a problem, we will ways refund without question but I’m not living life on thin ice anymore with eBay.
    It’s actually very draining having to live up to their crazy expectations it’s like having a pushy parent who expects you to over achieve all the time and all you want to have some breathing space.

    As a seller we are not allowed to be given the benifit of the doubt, and as the guy/girl above said, we are to be held accountable for every failure point from it leaving our premises to it arriving.

    And couple that with some of these professional complainers that exploit the system and it’s one sided views the seller always ends up in the prison yard with his pants down with eBay stood behind him yelling:

    “PICK UP THE SOAP” !!!!!!

    Well I’m taking my chances with my own site, I’ve paid them a lot of money over the years they earned more than we did in fact !

    I wish you all the best of luck I genuinely mean that because unless they change this horrific one sided seller testicle stomping procedure then every seller out there will be living in fear and quite frankly I’ve had enough of the stress.

    I’ll be working on my own site in the next few months.
    I’ve already closed my account today and will be putting all my focus on moving forward.

    Good luck to the rest of you I really hope they see sense, the amour they take off us in fees you really would expect a little more of a balance in the way they make or break your business.

    Its tragic 🙁

    But this could be the push we always needed 🙂

  • john
    4 years ago

    Everytime we have had major “seller stomping” we have had the crowd that bail out. Just one of those things.

    Ill keep going until its no longer do-able.

    • 4 years ago

      Absolutely John.

      Where as in the past we actually enjoyed trading on eBay and at times we put up with what we considered to be BS, now it is simply about economics.

      We are just a number that nobody at eBay gives a **** about, the second it becomes anything else, we leave.

    • john
      4 years ago

      I really don’t know why they even bother engaging sellers anymore.
      Unless they are scared too many bail at the same time.

      They never take on board there thoughts. They often discourage direct communication.

      At least when we had account managers we could have a good moan lol

      I have always avoided amazon due to the hassle. but it is looking more and more attractive, as an addition to ebay.

    • 4 years ago

      I’m not sure either tbh, we make a profit, but that’s it, no enjoyment, no loyalty, it’s a brand I used to love, now I couldn’t give a ****, the day we don’t make a £ is the day that we leave. It’s not a platform we would invest in.

      Re. Amazon. We took a look last year. Punter asked us a question about an item, we replied, customer thanked us for replying so swiftly.

      End of.

      But no.

      A couple of weeks later we got a policy violation for not responding to a customer thanking us for responding quickly.

      We left.

      Life is far to short.

  • Hereford United fan
    4 years ago

    I agree with Whirly. I used to love eBay now it just annoys and often shocks me.

    I even used to have C of E as my religion on facebook – Church of Ebay!

    I will be gone a soon as profit dips.

    • 4 years ago

      My first memory of eBay.

      I was sat in a shitty warehouse in Cornwall, it was 9/11, I’d just faxed every branch of Jewson’s in the UK a special offer and I was sat at my desk totally dumbfounded watching the news unfold on Yahoo, on dial up.

      In the meantime, someone in Cardiff bought a Jacuzzi 48 hours after I advertised one on something I had never heard of but thought it might be a thing to watch.

      Sad really that it’s thought of with such low regard now, it’s never not made a profit so you have to wonder why we loath it so much.

  • northumbrian
    4 years ago

    our first memory of ebay is selling a beanie baby we bought for a quid for a hundred quid to a buyer in Hawaii , since then we have sold over £2.000.000
    of transactions , and we still get treat like shit on a shoe from ebay

  • pauljones
    4 years ago

    any not as described case and any not received case (including just requests – “wheres my item?” that are worngly opened as item not received cases) will be a defect.

    you refund in full take the losses, be polite, the case is closed the buyer shuts the case – all is well


    the fact that it was opened at all makes a defect – that’s there for good

    also 1 2 and 3 on the DSR for item as described – that’s a defect.

    run out of stock and cancel – that’s a defect too.

    show that you posted the item and the delivery services lost it – well that’s OK at least.


    you chose the courier, it’s your fault DE – you guessed it – FECT

    buyer had item all along, it was with his wife, in plant pot, behind the mat. – well that’s OK at least.



    and so it goes.

  • john
    4 years ago

    We started on YAHOOAuctions. We only used ebay for overstocked items. Then after they closed shifted our inventory over to ebay totally.

    Ebay has never had good custard support even when the forums were up or we had account managers.

    However I do agree we are now treated with disregard.
    To even attempt to justify/smooth over some of these policies as a benefit to seller or sometimes buyer is insulting.

  • Jon
    4 years ago

    What is happening is that the GIANT big time sellers are complaining to eBay that there are a lot of small & medium sized business sellers with very good DSR ratings. The GIANTS want to look as good as a 100% feeddback 5 star DSR seller. The GIANTS can get away with 180 negs & low DSRs a month & not even a reply to any of the negs because they don’t even touch the sides when they are selling 3000 toothpicks a month. A small business has to work very hard to keep a good DSR rating & no neg feedback. The GIANTS are very upset that small sellers can still look as good as them or even better. This is why eBay keep making it harder for small sellers. They want the TRS badges to be on the GIANT sellers accounts. eBay loves GIANTS because eBay is a GIANT. As far as I am concerned a GIANT seller with 100 negs a month but still 99% positive who does not bother to reply to their neg feedback makes a mockery out of the entire feedback system. DSRs are there just a tool to slowly divide sellers so there is a very GIANT SIZED divide between small business medium business & the GIANT sellers eBay are so very deeply in love with. In the end ebay will be full of chinese sellers offering free postage for Garlic presses at 99p a go until they sell out then put the price up to £199 until they get them back in stock again & reduce them back to 99p so they keep their place in the system. There are still people selling used socks & underwqear every day. I can find them but eBay can’t It’s utterly ridiculous how ebay are unable to filter out obvious bad sellers. I predict in the next decade they will be electing supreme leader & issuing us with uniforms, membership badges & little red books. As for the supposed reduced postage rate eBay say they have negotiated with Royal Mail for signed tracked delivery…I’m reckon about 10% discount max which will not change anything. It’s still a complete con & always will be. I have to say I am not anti Chinese..just Anti stupid.

  • Sol
    4 years ago

    I am TRS for 3 years, I received an email saying I will be below standard in August. I am a low volume and specialist item seller.
    I was considering changing my business to high volume cheap tat cheap prices last week.
    These changes make it virtually impossible to sell anything of specialist or of high value.
    Volume is king now, I dont think I have the heart for it anymore, Im not investing in stock just for ebay to knock my business down in one month over a few nasty vindictive buyers.
    I do have a website, and its generating a good albiet small income. If I put the same amount of effort in to that then ebay, Im sure I can build something to rival my ebay income.
    Ebay sucks full stop, its like an abusive husband who is gangster but you stay with just because they give you some moolah to play with.

  • Andy
    4 years ago

    We have just had a predicted defect rate through from ebay and we will be running at 9.5% and will be moving from top rated to below standard in August unless things improve. We sell a lot of footwear online and a lot of it comes back, a lot of these buyers open cases “item not as described”, we always take the footwear back and swap it or refund if that’s what they want.

    Not really sure what we can do when opening a case is so easy for the buyers, it’s the first thing they do before sending a message.

  • loose-action-figures
    4 years ago

    well what a shambles

    I have just had an email giving me my predicted standing


    based on :

    ‘Your predicted defect rate is 2.4% and your cases closed without seller resolution is 0.3%.’

    my other account is


    based on :

    ‘Your predicted defect rate is 3.4% and your cases closed without seller resolution is 0.3%.’

    anyone care to explain

    • Andy
      4 years ago

      I want to know how we are supposedly running at 9.5%. We have done 1000’s of transactions and everything is OK at the minute. We do get cases open against us but I virtually always resolve these. Looks like my eBay sales will be dropping even lower than they already have recently. Brilliant….

  • john
    4 years ago

    We just got ours ..comes out at 1.6%…. but that will rise over coming months due to dishonest buyers. As soon as this goes live there will be some sort of increase in snads.

    There are loads of small sellers kicking up a fuss on the ebay forums.

    I assume ebay Representatives are here and on the ebay forums to inform rather than discuss or get opinions.
    From what other people have said they have been fully aware of sellers concerns previous to the release of the changes.

    • northumbrian
      4 years ago

      as whirly said ebay are aware and will give you a link to close your account if you dont like it,
      or theres always a nice report a buyer button to play with. to keep your mind off it

  • Unmanaged Returns
    4 years ago

    Our defect rate is estimated at 0.6%, with no unresolved cases ever, so we’re exactly the sort of seller that eBay would like to keep on board, but we’ll be leaving because the managed returns programme would be disastrous for us. Shoot yourself in the foot much, eBay?

  • Abi
    4 years ago

    Ok I’ve decided I’ll list as much as I can until this managed returns comes through (any updates on that or are we still waiting with our necks poised in the noose until ebay shout “now”)?

    Once the returns comes through I’ll cancel my shop and just do loss leading auctions not buy it nows, as promo for my website and basically have all my stock there.

    I hope ebay spies don’t stalk here [of course they do] because next thing is they’ll say you’re not allowed to even hint that you might have an online presence or you’re banned.

    How much notice do I need to give to cancel shop and not pay extra month? I’ll have to look into the logistics but that’s my plan. I’ll invest in search optimisation coupled with loss leading auctions for an extra boost.

    Ebay will become a horrible place to shop too at this rate, with no small sellers offering individual lovely items, it’ll all just be Chinese sellers or uk resellers selling cheap tat. Anything else it’s just not worth the stress. I completely identify with the poster above about getting a panic attack very time a dishonest buyer cries wolf. Any reputable department store would fail ebays absurd unrealistic levels. The only only way to keep up with those levels is to drown every neg with a thousand pos, and only a bulk cheapie seller can do that.

    Oh well this is my plan, any advice how to organise this and play it greatly appreciated folks!

  • A+
    4 years ago

    Not saying the current evaluation process is particularly good, but was there really a need for a change? Seems pointless to me, Some people at ebay have too much time on their hands.I can’t see how this is going to improve the customers’ experience.

    On the other hand, what about people at ebay invest their energy in coming up with solutions to make it easier to list products internationally like on Amazon? For example having the possibility of managing the quantity of a same product across all international websites? Or being able to replicate the exact same listing from the UK site to the Australian site or At the moment, sellers have to list every single item one by one even if the title and description is exactly the same.

    That’s the kind of things that might actually increase sales and ebay revenues. Ebay’s decisions are the type of wasteful and counter intuitive decisions you would expect from a bureaucratic state, not a corporation.

    Ebay, the next Kodak.

  • john
    4 years ago

    I would much prefer if the Neutral rating was scrapped.

    It has already been discussed over the years , regarding the redefinition by ebay. Now ebay is stating the buyer is confused with the meaning of Neutral. So why no just make it neg or positive then there is no confusion/trickery or deception.

    Again this avoids ebay having to educate buyers or put any effort into explaining ratings in a fair manner.

    • DS2987
      4 years ago

      I agree about Neutral feedback. We have just received some which states “Nothing against the seller they did a great job but the product was thinner than expected”. The customer purchased a liquid which we never described as being thick it is what it is. We have also contacted them to offer a return but they do not want that either.

      Having contacted eBay their advise is for us to contact the customer and ask them to consider revising their feedback to hopefully reflect a positive seller experience but we all know this is not going to happen as they want to have their say on the product.

      Amazon would remove this feedback as a product review.

      With the new eBay standards even if there is a miracle and the customer revises a negative or neutral feedback it will not remove the ‘Defect’ as eBay consider “Our research has shown that even if the situation is made right by the seller, buyers have still had a negative experience on eBay and buyers in this situation are less like likely to shop on eBay again”.

      So not only are we all going to be measured against the published performance standards we are at the mercy of our customers to be sensible with product reviews.

      It is also of interest that the eBay official term is Seriously Not As Described (SNAD) yet in reality the customer can have any issue and claim Item Not As Described even if it their personal opinion not supported by the item Title, Description or Image.

  • Gareth
    4 years ago

    As it stands I’m counted on a 12 month look back. I have one low DSR (a netural with 1 low IAD – though it’s one buyer so counts as one defect), and 100% feedback. I’m currently a million miles from being below standard, yet over the winter I had 10 cases opened (plus an additional one yesterday due to bad weather in NY).
    The Irish office and another eBay employee have said they will evaluate all these cases for descoring, but I have not heard anything back as of yet.

    I have not received an email with my predicted status, and what I am still failing to understanding is all the misinformation and contradictions about retroactive penalties.

    So far this what I’ve been told.
    A pink in the forum stated we would be protected until February 15th 2015, if the new criteria puts us below standard.

    A polite conversation with another eBay employee (not a clueless livehelp job!), explicitly told me :

    “We will not penalize you for something you didn’t know would be a problem! ”


    “We were not holding you responsible for these defects when they happened, so we will not retroactively hold you to them. These will only count starting May 1st and moving forward. ”

    I asked for clarification as I told her I was on a 12 month look back, not a 3 month one, but she understood my query and came back to confirm that it is from May 1st onwards for those on 12 months.

    I also had a response from a supervisor on livechat, who told me there is no retroactive punishment, and the new criteria is only counted from August 20th onwards. They also said accounts will be protected for 5 months when the new system is implemented.

    How on earth are we supposed to make any sense of these changes, if eBay themselves do not know what is going on? Three different responses, and I’m sure other people have had different things told to them too.

  • jodie etheridge
    4 years ago

    i have just recieved a message today stating i will fall bellow standards under the new rules even though i have been Top rated seller for over a year as i have defect rate of 7% how can this system be fair, i always refund unhappy buyers immediately whether its to big to small or even if they change there mind. i have all sizes of my clothing and good pictures of my items.

    i always reply to messages from buyers within 3 hours, i always side with the buyer, i always list as accurately as i can.

    So how do i improve my customer service when i already bend over backwards to help??

    i have 4 neutral feedback and 100% positive and TOP RATED SELLER but now im told i dont even meet the standards and im below there criteria??

    i have opened cases all of which i refunded my buyers in full usually because an item of clothing did not fit. i also had 3 people from europe open cases against me saying they had not received the item only 5 days after i sent it when royal mail say it can take up to 15 days, I also sent these buyers a replacement straight away! so now i have no choice, i will not be selling abroad again!

    So what am i supposed to do now, this will kill my business even though i do 110% to look after customers, im as fair as i can be. i have worked so hard to get top rated seller now how do ebay repay me?? They kick me in the teeth and tell me im not even average??

    Also, since when did 3 stars out of five constitute bad? i always thought this was average?

    Is there any other sellers out there in the same situation as me, im very worried, i dont know how i can improve when i already do everything in buyer favour. is this just a sneaky way of ebay not having to pay the discount to top rated sellers? Across the pond selling on the river bank sure looking more appealing every day…. Please anyone else in same boat share your views, we need to stand together and vote with our feet.

  • sameold
    4 years ago

    Ebay is just another faceless…greedy,irrational spoilt brat of a corporation…

    No wonder they actively encourage buyers to act likewise,…makes them feel all warm and fuzzy…

    I trade on both amazon and ebay (amazon isn’t any better,trust me….their arrogance sometimes beggars belief)…and to be honest,i don’t care any more about TRS (yes,im TRS for the moment)…this doesn’t mean i will treat my customers any differently…i’m just tired of dancing to the tune of yet another aborted policy shift….i can’t be bothered anymore…there is more to life…

    Seriously Ebay,if you are reading…go xxxx yourselves…with all due respect…you will ruin many peoples businesses with your idiotic and wildly misguided “overhauls”…i have nothing but contempt for you now….

  • Sparta
    4 years ago

    It ironic, but last August ebay started culling sellers who had fell “below standard” on the DSR’s; applying lifetime bans and linking accounts together, no appeals; businesses destroyed overnight. A lot of other sellers just ignored what was happening; hey it’s alright, it not me attitude. Some of the more vocal sellers on the official forums were very unkind with a “serves you right” attack on upset sellers venturing onto the forums.

    What they all failed to realise is that after these waves of ban hammers, yes ebay looses the bottom 1% and they think, great, less competition, BUT, after each wave we are all 1% closer to the bottom as well and that ban hammer could be catching up with you soon enough as ebay needs to keep the money flowing to the big sellers…..

    • john
      4 years ago

      big problem that has happened with naru’d sellers, is ebay assumed they would be replaced. its not happened you can no longer find everything on ebay. So shoppers have gone elsewere and it will not just be for missing inventory on ebay.

  • Dan
    4 years ago

    it all started with the removal of sellers being able to leave feedback on the buyer too.

    what i’d like to see is that old system come back AND a DSR system for sellers to rate buyers, like we get rated on 4 different aspects.

    i can only think of one rating currently though “prompt payer” or something like that

    anyone got any other suggestions?

  • Gary
    4 years ago

    This new policy discriminates against disabled and partially sighted sellers who will very clearly generate more of the issues classified as “defects”. Something I have been thinking about and not entirely comfortable with the situation.

  • shazia j
    4 years ago

    Hi There,

    Does anyone know any third party service provider to run deals for us on ebay? As now it is necessary to have managed account and offer ‘click and collect’ service to run deals on ebay. As we are looking for someone to manage our ebay and amazon stores, and have capability to run deals on ebay too. We are also top-rated sellers but unfortunately don’t have an account manager.

    Kind reply highly appreciated,

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