Are eBay’s new Sellers Standards an improvement?

By Dan Wilson November 30, 2015 - 4:37 pm

There are three reasons for this post. Firstly, I’d like to get a sense of what people think of eBay’s new seller standards. (For more info on that check out this post we made a few weeks ago: eBay UK Seller Release: Objective Standards

Secondly, I wanted to experiment with the new Twitter Polls facility. So this seemed like a good question to ask and thirdly, while you’re over at Twitter it would be marvellous if you followed Tamebay, if you’re not already. We’re pretty good at following readers back if you say hello and introduce yourself. We’d love to expand our list

So the question I’ve posed is similar to the headline on this post: Are eBay’s new Seller Standards/Defect rules an improvement on current rules?

Click on the links and head to Twitter to vote or use the embedded widget below. The poll will last 24 hours.

  • Richard
    6 years ago

    If you’re only realistic and economic option is to use standard Royal Mail 1st or 2nd Class you’re at the mercy of buyers and Royal Mail.

    Judging your eBay performance on the only one you don’t have any control over is crazy. It’s winding me up that I’m being told a certain percentage were not sent on time when I know full well all of them were and in may cases earlier.

    I refuse to dance to eBay’s tune any more, getting very fed up with it.

    • Martin
      6 years ago

      Ebay estimated delivery time for items posted by Royal Mail Second Class is now 3 days, including my 1 day dispatch time. This means that Royal Mail have 2 days from collection to delivery. RM estimate 2-3 days for second class mail. To have a system of judging sellers based on factors outside their control is unjust. I have argued this point with eBay only to be told to consider using tracked delivery services. This increases my postage costs which I have to pass onto my customers by increasing my selling price total. This makes me uncompetitive in the marketplace. Not any concern to eBay of course, as it means that they will take a higher FVF from me.

      Come on eBay, be straight with us. You don’t like small Business Sellers and you don’t like giving FVF discounts. Just be honest and remove the 10% discount for Top Rated Sellers. I would then have more respect for your honesty than disgust of your devious tactics.

  • Gary
    6 years ago

    Poll only works if you sign up to twitter. Tesco and others have announced 5 day delivery delays due to black Friday/cyber Monday impact. And snow forecast. Seasonal spikes and weather now impact ebay seller performance. Buyers not bothered about snow or Xmas black Friday volumes. They mark according to what ebay tell them.

  • Jack
    6 years ago

    I won’t be doing a Twitter poll, but for me the new system is not an improvement. I have 100% on feedback/ratings (both shops). I cannot use tracking (margins too low) and I am already being hit by the delivery factor.

  • Stuart
    6 years ago

    I thought this was going to be an improvement until I found out that customers who say nothing are not counted.

    The big sellers here are sellers like us that sell low value products where we can not afford to send it tracked with free postage.

    If ebay counted customers they didn’t hear from we would be fine, however only 10% of customers have answered the yes/no feedback and that 61 people said no, so 61 people over three months have lost me my TRS status I have had every since it was introduced.

    Sadly it feels like one feedback has been exchanged for another.

    Also the few we do send track are dpd/interlink which isn’t supported with ebay currently anywway!

    We will cash in for Christmas then concentrate on another platform if the loss of TRS has that much impact.

    • Dave P
      6 years ago

      I dont think you are quite right on this

      “Deliveries will be considered late only when:

      You do not upload tracking information and your buyer states that the item arrived after the estimated delivery date.
      Tracking shows that there is no acceptance scan within your stated dispatch time and the item arrived after the estimated delivery date, plus your buyer either does not confirm that the item arrived on time or states that the item arrived after the estimated delivery date. ”

      So assuming you wont be offering tracking the buyer has to actively state it didnt arrive on time before it is a defect.
      Or if you are offering tracking then you should be getting the acceptance scan within your stated dispatch time otherwise you need to change this to something more accurate

      Hope that helps.


  • Also wound up
    6 years ago

    My late delivery rate is currently at 6% and I despatch same day! I changed the despatch to 3 business days (still despatch same day) and I’ve had no late deliveries as yet. Sales don’t seem to be affected either by the later estimated delivery day.

  • Whirly
    6 years ago

    Guy purchased two items from us. 1 bath. 1 light. All had different delivery estimates as we also sell the light as a kit which we send out same day.

    In this case the buyer wanted the light installed in the bath which we did.

    Delivery estimate for the bath 19th Oct, delivered 16th Oct.
    Delivery estimate for the light 12th Oct.

    Buyer marked the light as being delivered late.

    Buyers feedback for both items. Great item and communication – would recommend.

    We’re only allowed 6 of these a year so I’m not anticipating having TRS for very long.

    Bore off eBay management.

  • Andy R
    6 years ago

    It is fundamentally unfair to inflict the sins of the carrier on the seller, if they have despatched promptly.

    The “protection” of tracking is also unfair, because it penalises sellers of low value small items, where the cost of a tracked service is prohibitive.

    It continues the trend of Ebay trying to favour sellers of higher value branded goods with products identifiers etc.

    Unfortunately for Ebay, this market is already crowded and people have many marketplace choices.

    The strong selling point for Ebay was those items which you can’t get elsewhere, except with a lot of searching.

    These items are the ones that will be lost and Ebay will sorely regret it.

    But as ex-Ebay boss Donahue once said, sellers complaints are just “noise”.

  • Ian A
    6 years ago

    I’ve always sent tracked so thats not an issue but I seem to have lost TRS and keep picking up defects left right and centre for things like cancelled transactions – because the buyer in Oman was trying to scam me and didnt pay properly!

    I sell high value luxury goods so I have to put my business first before ebay’s games. Still managing to sell Rolex watches with 98.4% feedback so s*d it.

  • Ross
    6 years ago

    We send everything tracked or special delivery due to high value and are getting marked as late because the buyer isn’t in for the delivery. How is that our fault?
    Shocking implementation if they can’t handle missed deliveries either.
    Do we really have time to chase ebay to remove these non-defects? Bigger sellers would get hundreds of these, what a waste of everyone’s time.

    • tinker
      6 years ago

      same here
      surely ebay will tweak this before it goes live

    • 6 years ago

      If you’re sending tracked, and crucially do so within stated dispatch time, then it doesn’t matter if the buyer then marks it as late (due to missed delivery or for whatever reason).
      Your initial acceptance scan will effectively ‘over-ride’ the buyer; that’s why the new system is so good for those items that can stand cost of tracked service.

      As noted time and time again, it’s those Large Letter and/or low value items that will cause all the issues and, as an added bonus, still leave you open to the ol’ INR claims too.

    • Ross
      6 years ago

      Unfortunately we currently have 4 that show as Carrier says Late Delivery where the acceptance scan actually shows exactly the same time as the delivery scan, completely ignoring all the other scans before that on the detailed tracking and ignoring the fact the customer missed the delivery and then went to collect.
      If this doesn’t even work correctly for full tracked items then there is certainly little point any lower value sellers sending it tracked who are certainly worse off I agree

    • tinker
      6 years ago

      we have a defect because the buyer waited a week to collect after a delivery attempt , nothing to do with the buyer marking us down
      the defect was automaticlly applied by ebay because the item was only marked as delivered when collected

    • Gemma
      6 years ago

      The same happened to us – eBay is picking up scans when a buyer collects and item or arranges a delivery online as an acceptance scan and then a delivery scan when the buyer gets the item. We contacted eBay to query this as the acceptance and attempted delivery scans were on time, and they said that they would “look into the issue” and that until it was resolved we would need to contact them and request that each transaction removed individually…

  • Dave
    6 years ago

    The new standards will probably work for us, zero defects with the new system. I sell consumer electronics so use a tracked service (interlink) anyway. The problem for us is that people always send things back from time to time, maybe when they can’t figure out how to use it or change their mind. And tech stuff does fail, not exactly our fault if it packs up after a couple of weeks, we didn’t make the thing!

    I had TRS for 4 years since starting up until the managed returned nonsense arrived which killed that in a few weeks. Almost 8000 feedback running at 100% and £600k of sales didn’t count for anything when I had over a 2% defect rate. About 1 in 10 of the returns that actually came back to us were faulty (most were just resolved by offering tech support) which equates to about 8-10 items over the last 12 months.

    Glad to see the back of it, but its too little too late. I’ve moved mostly over to Amazon now and the stress levels have dropped massively.

    I can’t see how eBay can possibly win back the good sellers after the last 18 months of pain that they’ve dished out to us through their basic incompetence and lack of understanding of the retail world.

    The problems with eBay run far far deeper than a little tweek in seller standards.

  • Simon M
    6 years ago

    It gets worse.

    Item purchased evening of Friday the 13th.
    Dispatched Monday morning (16th)

    Item was signed by customer as follows:
    Your item with reference BUxxxxxxxxxGB was delivered from our COULSDON Delivery Office on 21/11/15

    Hence, there’s a defect on my account that says:
    “Carrier says late delivery”

    Wait? What?! I get punished for Royal Mail’s delivery time?

    What the f**k?!!!!


    • Simon M
      6 years ago

      As others have also said, the customer might have been out and organised a re-delivery? Why is that MY defect?


    • Claire
      6 years ago

      We have had a handful of these. Customer not in, ebay giving 2 days for 2nd class – all signed for and ‘carrier says late delivery. I rang eBay and said how can this be my fault as we’re shipping same day or next working day. She said don’t worry, it’s being tweaked. They’re going to be linking it with Royal Mail’s site and going forward it will pick up from the date the item is scanned in. I said if you use DMO it’s done on the DMO system, not RM site so there’s no incentive for me to log tracking numbers to which she agreed!

      Damned if you do, damned if you don’t!

      We had a customer buy under 4 different orders at once, all shipped together under one tracking number. Customer wasn’t in, marked down 4 times! I went mental and she removed it.

      We got an email saying late delivery is not going to be counted, we’re still being marked down for it

    • Simon M
      6 years ago

      I guess the proof will be in the pudding next year.

      I hope these tweaks do make the final cut, but currently that’s a glitch that really lets down an otherwise positive step forward.

      I’ll also contact them regarding my defect, time permitting, and report back – the more people who complain, the more weight it should get.


  • Richard
    6 years ago

    Mostly these changes are good. More specific feedback so we can see where to improve our services and less vague feedback which doesn’t tell us or other buyers anything more but effects our listings.
    Only problem is that we get a small percentage of customers that want to order then ask if we can hold off sending until they are back from holiday or they need to check if they really do have the right part they need or they want to change their address. All means holding off the order to have a better service or we can ignore these requests and send this anyway and please ebay. Maybe they didn’t account for every situation.

  • David Brackin
    6 years ago

    Perfect answer? Certainly not.
    A step in the right direction? I think so.
    There’s a lot more steps to take.

  • Jon
    6 years ago

    Mostly good. Should have been implemented many moons ago. The really bad part is this…Relying on the memory of our customers is asking for trouble. If they buy a lot of stuff & don’t leave feedback the day it arrives what is the chance of them remembering if it arrived on time 6 weeks after they bought it? Signed for delivery is impossible on low value items. No longer a level playing field. Fine if you use a courier for all your sales but useless if you sell low value items.

  • Jon
    6 years ago

    I buy & sell on eBay. This year I have been handed 2 signed for items by the postman who said he had forgotten his sign machine so I ended up not signing for them. I looked online & they were not signed for. Last week I got home & there was a signed for parcel laying in in the hallway. I looked online & it was not signed for. I reported these cases to Royal Mail every time but have not had any response. I went to the Postal Revue Panel who have been completely useless. Not even a reply! I spoke to a “which magazine” lawyer about RM lack of compensation for inherited collectibles who said I will never be able to fight Royal Mail & that I should go through my local MP!

    • Roger C
      6 years ago

      Yes, here is an example of your “local Postie” trying to do you, an eBay buyer, a favour but, without any malice, does so at the expense of the eBay seller . . . and in no way whatsoever was any of that the responsibility of that eBay seller!

  • 6 years ago

    Lost TRS and late deliveries at a whopping 9%

  • 6 years ago

    Here’s the solution ….

    wait for it …

    Use the acceptance scan for all post as it goes through the system!

    Ordinary post also has a 2D barcode so use that as the certificate of postage for non tracked items on the acceptance scan.

    Is that really complicated?

    As usual what is a really excellent set of ideas is implemented all too soon.

    If I buy from Amazon, on Prime I get it next day no question or I get it on or before I’m told I’m going to get it. With eBay it’s pot luck on delivery, this is a Royal Mail thing. When parcels are collected from the seller and the collection barcode is scanned OR accepted at the PO, THIS is where the acceptance scan should take place.

    On the GSP the acceptance scan at the hub is the point when I have fulfilled my side of the delivery. Why can’t this be so with Royal Mail as far as eBay is concerned?

  • steve
    6 years ago

    The big question we have to ask is wtf does delivery have to do with ebay anyway? its nonsense. Time they got thier head out of thier ass and made the platform fit for purpose.

  • james
    6 years ago

    Yes, definite improvement.

  • Kieran Collings
    6 years ago

    Personally i have mostly given up with ebay’s tinkering and interfering, all i do now is offer a good service to all customers on all websites as i have always done.

    We offer a good service and do try to improve off our own back, i have found that we automatically meet ebay’s policies by having this mentality but if for any reason we do not then i will not be heart broken and i will not bend over backwards to please them.

    If i can tweak what we do to meet eBay policy i will but other than that i basically ignore all of ebay’s meddling and get on with the day job of selling.

    We are always going to get fraud item not received claims no matter what we do so we just manage it as best as possible and write off the losses, no point sending most of our items with tracking because of the low value, plus we still get item not received claims with tracked items, and buyers can still sometimes win, so what is the point in wasting loads of money on tracking, it is far cheaper for us to take the losses than put tracking on everything.

    The late delivery stuff is all a load of rubbish from eBay and as with everything else we just ignore it, we cannot do anything more than dispatch same day anyway, there is nothing we could really practically do to influence the score we get from eBay so we just do not bother trying.

  • 6 years ago

    Does anyone know if you can assign the same tracking to more than one item on ebay?
    If a buyer buys multiple items from us but pays separately, we normally ship them together. It’d be annoying if we had to start sending them separately because we couldn’t assign a tracking number more than once.
    If you can assign a tracking number more than once then that could be a cheeky way to get round this…

  • 6 years ago

    I only sell low end poor quality stuff on eBay now! I have sold through my own site but that is slow. I tend to use Dutch curated auction site Catawiki now – it’s like eBay used to be when it was good back I the day but better organised

  • Roger C
    6 years ago

    I’m going to be unpopular here . . again.

    Months ago the argument about DSR’s often revolved around the difference between “dispatch” and “delivery”, many Sellers claiming being judged on when they dispatched, rather than when the goods arrived, was unrealistic.

    So eBay moved the goal posts again . . they’re good at that. Though “dispatch” still features now the emphasis is on “delivery”.

    Listens carefully . . strange, can’t hear the overwhelming applause? Is it, as has been said earlier, that all one can hear is “noise from sellers”? So, those of you that strenuously asked for this change, you got what you asked for surely?

    Facts are that the one and only aspect that an eBay seller is fully responsible for is the time they take to “get it out the door”, that is called “dispatch”. After that, there is NO way they can be held accountable for “delivery” as long as they can prove they’ve done their best. eBay MUST NOT hold ANY seller to task where it concerns a THIRD PARTY!

    Sits back and waits for the response . . more “noise”?

    • james
      6 years ago

      you’re only hearing noise from sellers of low price, untracked items here.
      for everyone else we’re so damn happy we’ve declined to comment for the most part.

  • richbkk
    6 years ago

    The ‘late delivery’ is not an objective standard for most sellers of low value items, it relies on accurate reporting of delivery time by customers, that is open to abuse.
    What’s more the 2-3 % die hard fraudster buyers on ebay won’t have to claim item not recieved at all. Now they will know ‘not received yet’ are the magic words.
    Ebay kicking the can as usual.

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