eBay invoice problems cause merchant confusion

By Dan Wilson August 23, 2018 - 10:03 am

eBay has apparently been telling sellers that they owe money they have already paid and then sent reminder emails reminders to sellers. Did you receive an unexpected payment reminder from eBay?

eBay has since sent apologies for the erroneous emails and any seller who is worried should check their My Messages for proof. Basically, and this is generally good advice when it comes to emails from eBay, trust your seller account’s emails online, rather than emails in general, when it comes to money. On Facebook and other social media it is clear that a great deal of merchants have been affected in the UK, Europe and USA and elsewhere.

There has been anxiety that erroneous emails questioning whether merchants have paid up, or not, might lead to selling restrictions. We haven’t heard of that yet. Indeed, eBay has emailed all impacted sellers to say that there isn’t a problem with account deductions and rather just an email eBay invoice billing error.

The Tamebay message couldn’t be clearer. There has been a billing problem. If you need reassurance, it’s best to log into your account, using a new browser window ,and that will reassure you. We don’t think the problems extends beyond emails. If an eBay message related to your account isn’t in My Messages, ignore. If you are ever in doubt, be cautious and contact eBay directly. And, universally, trust your instincts.

On August 20, we sent you an email with the subject line ‘Keep your account in good standing – payment needed’, indicating that your payment was due. That email was inadvertently sent to you. We’re sorry for the time you may have spent reviewing and responding. We value your time and we apologize. Your account is in good standing and there is no action required by you.
– eBay

And here is the screengrab:
ebay, Bay invoice

  • Emily
    11 months ago

    eBay tell half the world they are in debt, before apologising, and it’s they who are going to be working out the new return rate Service Metrics, for sellers and “our peers’.

    Worried? Too right!

  • 11 months ago

    I too received an email with the above detail regarding unpaid fees. However, the week before this I also received an email to both my email account and My eBay messages account saying the following about an item that I did not sell. At first I thought it was a phishing email (which I normally ignore and delete) but as it turned up in the eBay message system too I was concerned.I rang twice to eBay. The first contact to the Ebay customer rep was unsatisfactory as they appeared to be a) unable to understand that I wasn’t the seller and then b) unable to give any explanation how this had happened or if it meant that my account or someone else’s had been hacked. They promised an email and phone call back – no follow-up response by the next day. When I rang for the 2nd time I was told not to worry and I had to insist that they send me an email to say that it was an error and I would not be liable for the item. Still no explanation. They did send me an email but managed to get that wrong as it said I had “never BOUGHT the item”. Don’t know if anyone else has had similar problems but maybe eBay systems has some problems that are just starting to surface?

    First email said
    Action required for eBay return 5091510524 by 08/17/2018- SR# 1-173165776489
    I’m contacting you about the return request 5091510524 filed for Newborn Rumparooz Kanga Care Lil Joey All-In-One Cloth Diapers – Unisex by 232879036383.
    I’ve reviewed the details of the request and found that the best resolution is to ask the buyer to return the item to you for a full refund. Because the item was not as described, we’re asking you to pay for the return shipping.

    We are giving you 3 business days from the opening date of the claim give you time to arrange the return shipping with the buyer. Please note that if you don’t resolve the issue by 08/17/2018, we’ll issue the buyer a full refund on your behalf without requiring the item to be returned.


    Mac S.

    Trust & Safety

  • northumbrian
    11 months ago

    yep we got the email and then apologies
    no harm done really
    we know we were in good standing
    the worry is that they decide to end listings in error . apologies would not cut the mustard then

  • 11 months ago

    I got the 2nd email but not the 1st one. Usual joined up thinking by Ebay, sending me an apology for something they didn’t do.

  • james
    11 months ago

    it’s like everything they do these days says”competent and trustworthy”, isn’t it?

  • Rob
    11 months ago

    Got the first email and checked Paypal and could see I had paid my last invoice. All the latest seller release are about sellers raising standards yet ebay’s is slipping more and more of late and communication about changes is shocking as no is ever able to give you a clear black and white answer as to what is going on.

    The new service metric is a prime example, ebay pages and policy says seller with less than 400 sales over a 3 month period will use a 12 month look back. Yet when looking at the service metric it uses from 1st June. Again no communication about if they have changed this or not and customer service don’t have much of an idea as to why the contradiction. It is at the point where it is embarrassing how poor communication is and the amount of errors and glitches they have.

    Shame we can’t open a not as described against ebay when we pay our fees.

  • Jonah
    11 months ago

    Got both emails,,,,, shock horror errors and glitches on eBay,,,,,,, who would have thought?
    The company who repeatedly ask sellers to raise standards yet have non of their own. You couldn’t make it up.

  • Emily
    11 months ago

    Due to the lack of information on the new metrics, I am closing my eBay store after the bank holiday weekend. I can’t afford the extra charges and can’t risk incurring any charges at the new rate, so moving off eBay is the best option. All my other metrics are really good, but this month I have had two misuse of returns and two SNAD cases opened. I resolved both SNAD issues, and the buyers closed the cases without any returns being required, but all 4 will count against me. My peers are less than half a percent so ebay will punish me even though I haven’t done anything wrong.

    Ebay make mistakes and think an apology is the answer. A seller is told they are a bad seller just by the number of return requests being opened, even though as my examples prove they don’t reflect the true picture.

    EBay send a sorry email for a real mistake.

    We get a penalty charge for doing nothing wrong.

    Typical eBay; they set poor standards and then go and invent poor standards for others.

    • alan paterson
      11 months ago

      @ Emily. I sympathise with you Emily BUT …….. IF you are in Concierge you might want to speak to them first before you decide to quit……… it may be a bit premature.

      Also…….. are you aware that these defects are now appealable? (they were not appealable at first but this was overruled).

      It may be a bit premature in deciding to pull the plug until we know more about these metrics and the impact it could have on your account. There has been significant changes and “roll backs” already. Nothing is set in stone.

      I do agree the implementation of the new peer to peer metics could have been better handled by ebay.

    • Emily
      11 months ago

      Thank you Alan. I spoke to customer services today. I sold less than 400 items over the last three months so a full year of returns will be calculated. My return rate over the year is only 2.6% but still classed as very high. I have been told all return requests are counted even if the return times out with no return actually happening. They even count returns that were opened and I resolved the query, and the buyer closed the case and happily kept the item. Misuse of returns also count, I have a case where the buyer agreed the item I sold was not faulty, he had been mistaken, but that counted too; in fact, this type of thing happened twice in the same month, and both counted against me.

      I was told today all sales from the 1st September will be billed at the penalty rate on my October invoice. I work on small margins so am taking my stock off before the 1st September.

      If there are changes, why are customer services not communicating this. Ebay themselves need to send a revision email if what you say is correct.

      I would appreciate contact details of the person you have spoken to.

    • Mike
      11 months ago

      @alan paterson “defects are now appealable” Really?!!

      If it is true, someone ought to officially tell sellers, and CS who are definetly not on the same page!!!

      And you say, “It may be a bit premature in deciding to pull the plug”. And who pays the price when nothing different happens? Oh yes, it’s the seller because, by the time it’s all decided, it is too late, the returns have come in and the surcharge charged.

      For me, Emily’s doing the right thing. I don’t blame her one bit.

    • alan paterson
      11 months ago

      @ Mike – yes – REALLY.

      And as regards Emily and your suggestion she is doing the right thing – it is folly to close your business based on something that is very much in flux at the moment. That is not good business advice and not good business sense.

      Off course if there are other factors that are causing good sellers to quit then I accept that.

      But to choose to quit your business over something that Emily freely admits is “lacking information” is not good.

    • alan paterson
      11 months ago

      @ Emily. DO NOT QUIT (yet). you do not have a grasp of this and this is probably not your fault. For example – your returns rate has NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.

      I sell in a category that gets huge amount of returns – my returns rate has been as high as 8% – yet it does not effect my peer to peer metric. You have been given incomplete information.

      All i am saying is – before you quit your ebay business over this be sure that you have all the facts. I know it is difficult to get these facts at the moment.

      This has been poorly implemented by ebay and even some of the Concierge staff are not up to date with the constant changes and “tweaks” they are making to this. Nothing is set in stone.

      I am not saying you WONT be billed at the higher rate – all i am saying from reading your post is that you don’t quite have a grasp of it. And even if you did it may well change again. Don’t quit while you are in a state of “limbo”.

    • Emily
      11 months ago

      Alan, when will the new details be communicated by eBay. I had a email in June and another in July from eBay saying my returns were very high and I would be charged the penalty rate. I haven’t received one in August yet. How can I not worry when ebay themselves are sending me emails stating my returns are very high. My peers are calculated at less than me on both emails. My peers have zero on one of the emails and just over one percent on the other. Two percent is deemed very high.

      When you look at market research done in the U.K. on returns the average is between 12 and 30 percent. Yet on eBay 2 percent is very high. How can that be fair.

      Add to this the market research is on actual returns, ebays 2 percent is calculated on return requests. So not all the actual requests they charge penalties on actually result in a return.

    • Mike
      11 months ago

      @alan paterson without any evidence to support your words, they are just words

    • northumbrian
      11 months ago

      Emily please quit!
      Paterson you often extol the virtues and methods of ebay
      yet when they attempt to improve the quality of service you encourage a seller who has issues to continue

    • northumbrian
      11 months ago

      we actually agree with paterson on whats bad for the platform is bad for us,
      we agree with ebay when they attempt to improve the quality of service ,
      we dont agree with ebay profiting by 4% as a method ,
      we have recently bought on ebay and is a frustrating experience waiting for items to be delivered with no communication ,
      ebay idea of a top seller you can trust and rely on is a sound idea ,
      a top seller badge should be a mark of quality only attained by the best,
      though thats not the case ,
      it poisons the ebay brand when its not regulated and reliable

    • Emily
      11 months ago

      @northumbrian Yes, I do have issues.

      I have issues with the fact that 83% of my returns or either bogus or malicious. This is why my returns are classed as “very high”. All of my other metrics are zero. Return claims is the only stat eBay can penalise me for, because I have limited control over it; especially when they open returns merely to answer a question and close it once they receive the answer.

      The real issue eBay should be tackling is the number of buyers misusing returns. Instead, they choose to penalise me, and others like me, who suffer from these buyers, by rating return requests, not genuine returns. They won’t do that because they only see a cost to doing so. The way they are handling it, they see revenue.

      But, the one thing we can agree on, leaving eBay is a good idea.

    • Rob
      11 months ago

      @Emily, I was in a similar position to you with the emails. If you look in your seller hub and look under performance you can see your service metrics in there.
      They are currently rating me from 1st June but I only have around 200 sales for this period. Yet when I read the service metric policies anything under 400 should be rated over a 12 month look back period. My worry is they will at some point go back to the 12 month period where I have a high number of returns opened for not as described to try get money off and never sent it back or never read the item condition, yet now we can’t appeal anything after 3 months.
      The communication with this role out and policy has been shocking, it is such an important policy with such a potential high fee increase if you don’t meet the standard yet every ebay person tells you something different or don’t know what is happening.

    • northumbrian
      11 months ago

      we agree the injustice is infuriating
      though we all have our crosses to bear, at the moment our big problem is international returns
      some buyers know its difficult and expensive to provide a return label they use it as a way in essence to steal the item

      we dont rely on ebay for anything .we dont expect any help. we sort it our selves
      if ebay help its a bonus,
      ebay works for us though we will be off in a flash when it fails to do so

    • Alex
      11 months ago

      @ Rob

      I tried to appeal some of my returns cases within the three month window. One customer service rep said I could and said two of my misuse of returns could be taken off as the customer in both cases took the item back, after I proved the item worked and it was another piece of their equipment that was faulty. My eBay status said a replacement had been sent which was wrong, the buyer had paid to take the original Item back. He said he would change the status. When I then contacted eBay two occasions later to change the status of two more returns I was told that could not be done and that the original status change I had been told on the previous cases would be reversed as I had been told incorrect information.

      They said only exception cases would result in a change of status and they were not allowed to tell any seller those circumstances.

      Like you people open returns on low value items hoping for a refund and just let the return time out when I say return the so called faulty item first before I refund.

      Also a lot of people buy the wrong item and it will not work with the equipment they have. They claim doesn’t work as a return reason. When it comes back it works but they have a free return. eBay told me in those case just report the buyer and give them a refund.

      This whole return request metric is wrong and like you I am concerned a year of returns will see me penalised by eBay. When months ago they suggested a lenient returns policy which I have been providing and now it will force me off eBay,

    • Sophie
      11 months ago

      I think ebay should send out a communication with an update on the returns penalty charges. It is good to hear that Thursday ebay meetings have discussed the returns penalty charges but we need to be told changes are happening.

      I agree that the best thing to do is to take stock off eBay for a month or so and move it on to other platforms like Amazon until there are clearer communications on the changes. I think once the October bills come out we will have a clearer idea of what impact the penalty charges are having on sellers. I don’t want to sell on eBay from September 1st onwards so I don’t have an October penalty charge.

      It would be good if the returns metrics would exclude return requests that didn’t result in a return due to the seller answering buyers questions and resolving the issue. If the buyer then gets advice on how to use the product and closes the return the seller shouldn’t be penalised for that.

      Also is a seller accepts a return, provides a label and the buyer lets the return timeout without a return that should not count either.

      Misuse of returns where the wrong drop down is choosen by the buyer, either in error or deliberately shouldn’t count either.

      Simple changes to the penalty charge would make the whole process fairer and just leave genuine returns to be measured against.

      I am taking my stock off at the moment so that by Friday evening, I can close my shop on eBay for about 6 weeks to see the impact and then access whether to just stay with other platforms, rather than eBay.

  • Mike
    11 months ago

    I’ve had a bad experience, with this scary email.

    But, it’s given me an idea, and I think this is the perfect opportunity for eBay to rethink their new service metrics penalty.

    Instead of increasing seller’s final value fees by 40%, every time a buyer opens a return request, sellers should be allowed to write an apology instead.

    After all, if it’s good enough for the goose, it’s good enough for the gander.

  • 11 months ago

    For last week every time I revise an item all my images disappear. I spoke with Ebay customer services they reluctantly admitted this was an issue yet I still have to re-upload my images every time I amend a quantity…Bad news especially as I have some listings with 40 variations :-(.

    Any other having this issue

  • 11 months ago

    The email was sent first and they picked up on it so managed to stop the internal Ebay message from being created which made it look very much like a spoof email.

    Good advise, only read and react to internal Ebay messages when it comes to money matters.

  • Stig99
    11 months ago

    I have been on ebay for well over a decade rising to top seller and I don’t trust them one bit. I agree with other posters who say that when we have an issue raised against us – justified or not – we are punished. When ebay mess up they simply apologise. They are push-push-push supposedly in favour of improving selling standards when in fact most changes are designed to elicit more money from sellers. The result is an unstable platform with hard-pressed sellers worrying what will happen next. And I would contend that some moves are counter-productive. For example, they are raising sub-title fees from £1 to £2 (+ VAT) a month. Well, I don’t know about anyone else but that has prompted me to remove all my sub-titles and thus they will lose fees. Of course, most changes do not give us any choice but to obey.

    To say that ebay regulations are unfair is an understatement. What happens if they remove some listings and apply 30-day loss of privileges to your account and then you win an appeal? Do they re-instate your listings complete with sales totals? No, they don’t. Do they restore your privileges? No, they don’t. You have to suck up the punishment even though you did nothing wrong. Shameful. Does it make any difference if you have 100% feedback and an exemplary record? No, it does not. They prefer to side with a dodgy buyer who has little or no feedback at all.

    So why do we stay with ebay? Because it is the biggest marketplace other than the even more restrictive Amazon. Yes, you can try to lure buyers to your own web site with cheaper prices but that has limited success as people behave like robots. Every time I win a direct sale I regard it as a victory over the American megacorps. I am tired of the master-slave relationship in which sellers do not feel valued. Wish there was an alternative but there is none on the horizon as yet.

  • 11 months ago

    Just had another email from eBay

    “Unfortunately, your account no longer meets 1 or more of the eBay Top-rated Seller requirements based on Global seller performance standards. This doesn’t apply to your performance in these regions: the US; the UK and Ireland; and, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.”

    My seller level shows as being above standard

    Transaction defect rate 0%
    Late delivery rate 0%
    Cases closed without seller resolution 0%

    Transactions 3

    To be an eBay Top-rated Seller, you must have at least 100 transactions during the past 12 months and be a PowerSeller

    I sell more than 3 items a day let alone in the last 12 months.

    eBay are losing the plot!

    • Robert C
      11 months ago

      I got that message too.

      I belive it’s because of the change to Global seller standards:

      “From August 2017, individual transactions will only count towards either your Global or your UK & Ireland seller performance standards – never both.”

      Now 12 months have passed, you have less than 100 transactions that count for the global seller standards (these are transactions from last august)

      It’s a very clumsy message making us feel like our performance has dropped – but it’s just a reflection of a change of seller standards policy.

    • alan paterson
      11 months ago

      @ Tyler, yes, I think that message that you received is correct.

      Its because you have dipped below 100 transactions for the past 12 months GLOBALLY.

      Be sure and make sure your dashboard is set to “Global” when assessing.

      Doesnt effect your UK standing. Im afraid ebay have it right with this one and not a glitch.

    • 11 months ago

      @alan paterson Sorry but I disagree.

      I am a business seller on eBay, I was not a UK seller or Global seller etc, I am just a business seller. What next, log into different sites?

      Are you really saying that anything that I did wrong being a Global seller would not effect my UK seller rating? I find that hard to believe and have been told that if I set up another business trading on eBay, anything I do on one will effect the other.

      I have just turned off the Global Shipping Program, I did not take that many sales a month let alone a week and just can not be bothered with the hassle of “eBay stupidity”.

      Unlike Emily, I would not shut my account down, unless it became unprofitable.

      Although my sales on eBay have increased in the last month, now 33% of sales on Amazon from 25%, my focus is aimed at off-eBay sales rather than on it. We have heard before from sellers that have shut their business due to problems on eBay with no back-up plan.

      Nobody really knows how well eBay are doing but we can see they are trying every gimmick they can think of to boost customers as well as milking as much as they can from sellers.

    • alan paterson
      11 months ago

      @ tyler – the option to select your metrics for “Global” / “Uk and Ireland” etc has been there and selectable for a number of years.

      You just haven’t noticed it (with respect).

      When you look into your seller dashboard page for your metrics you can select at the top of the page the different regions of the world. Off course being a business seller in the UK yours will – by default – be set on “UK and Ireland”. If you click it the other regions will be displayed including “Global” – this has nothing to do with the Global Shipping programme.

    • 11 months ago

      @ alan paterson

      I think you missed / ignored my point, as a business seller I should be judged on my “Global” business not per individual area / parts of the world.

      Please explain the below, there are three Regions:-

      1. Region: UK, Ireland
      2. Region: Germany, Austria, Switzerland
      3. Region: Global

      Why do both 2 & 3 show the same results for the metrics and yet 3 excludes the UK, is the UK not Global?

      How is the one sale out of the three (on my metrics) which was to Israel, included in the Region: Germany, Austria, Switzerland?

      One of the Region 2 sales was to Ireland.

      You also totally ignored the question of: Would I be effected on all sales if I messed up on metrics for Region 2, and not the UK?”.

      It has everything to do with the “Global Shipping programme” as the only way I am selling outside of the UK is through that. I do not have accounts on any of the other eBay sites or sell on them, other than through the GSP.

      And with the above in mind, I am still only shipping to the UK so should not have other region metrics.

      When you say “look into your seller dashboard page for your metrics you can select at the top of the page the different regions of the world”, what you really mean is when you look in the:

      Home > My eBay > My account > “Seller standards dashboard”.

      Not, as you would expect, on the “new” designed “Seller Hub”, I should not have to hunt for the information, it should be there on the Seller Hub dashboard, as is the UK metrics.

      And your right, I have not noticed it as I have only been using the GSP for a couple of months, re the above, it should not have been something I should need to have “hunted” for, especially as I was not aware it existed. A sellers dashboard should include all metrics

      Maybe, once they go bust, eBay could re name / invent itself under the branding “Algebra”, that never made sense to me either.

    • 11 months ago

      @ Tyler

      Just to advise, we do not use the global shipping program at all but we have metrics for global as we do export on the odd occassion to the rest of the world and yes we had a fit when “YOU ARE ABOUT TO LOOSE” your top rated seller status especially when the only reason why is because we only shipped 19 orders in the last 12 months with 5 stars and 100% positive feedback. Ebay know how to make you go grey quick.

    • northumbrian
      11 months ago

      a few years ago we blocked sales to germany
      as the germans with no intended malice ,tended to leave 2s and 3s stars for despatch etc
      we have no bother no were using GSP
      the global shipping service should give automatic 5s for shipping so somethings adrift

    • Dave
      11 months ago

      Yep, something is adrift. It always is on eBay……

      If you’re on the ‘Order’ page in Seller Hub, then the ‘Service metrics’ and ‘Sales’ links under Performance don’t appear. If you click on ‘Seller Level’ under ‘Performance’ from the orders overview page, you get:

      ‘We’ve missed you. Start selling again on eBay to see your seller standards dashboard.’

    • alan paterson
      11 months ago

      @ Tyler. no need to be rude, I did not “ignore ” your point. I was only trying to help. If I misunderstood what you were asking I apologise. I would refer you to ebay for your answer with this one.

      We are obviously on a different page or have our lines crossed.

      I dont mind giving advice but I do object to in-polite responses. I dont want to criticise you as I have always found your posts pleasant and objective. I would have a read at Ians response to you – he seems to be experiencing the same thing. This is a problem I am very familiar with and I am sorry you did not like my response, or if I have misunderstood.

      I am on here trying to make a bit of a difference and present the positive side of ebay which I do genuinely feel people need to adopt IF they need their business to move forward. My intention is also to help if I can.

      There is so much anger and aggression directed towards ebay now-a-days. When I say something positive about ebay this anger and aggression is directed towards me. If I was like (almost) everyone else and trashed ebay – I would not be a target.

      I network with a lot of business folk who have used Tamebay to assess whether they should sell on ebay or not. The answer is almost always “no” based on what they read. This is not only damaging to ebay (which I have no doubt most sellers on here intend) but in turn to their own businesses. (doh!)

      This is ebays party – it is THEIR platform. I feel like saying “like it, lump it or quit – but stop MOANING everyone!”). But I wont say that, its not in my nature. 🙂

      These new peer to peer metrics were introduced NOT to generate more revenue but to “penalise” bad sellers by impacting their profit and inefficiencies / bad customer experiences with financial penalties.

      Has it been implemented well? no. is there a reason / need for it?

      Well there are a lot of bad sellers out there and ebay are trying to exert an element of control. Are good sellers getting caught up? undoubtedly. its far from perfect. However, we should be looking at the bad sellers who caused ebay to implement these measures. we should be annoyed with THEM rather than turning our backs on ebay who – as always – are only trying to do the right thing – admittedly falling short of the mark this time (in my opinion) but their intentions are good.

      I am going to stop giving insight/advice on this one as much of the aggression is getting directed at me.

    • Katie A
      11 months ago

      @ Paterson.
      Please don’t stop contributing towards this thread . At Emily above , if you can find Paterson’s number phone him and he can talk to you about these return defects. They have been changing and feedback is fed to the Ebay customer sentiment meetings every Thursday. I know he spends a lot of time on this talking to the representatives that attend these meetings and spent a lot of time with me to help me understand what was happening. Don’t let them get you down Alan, there are people who appreciate your posts and people who are just trying to wind u up (I’m looking at you James). Keep up the positive posts.

    • Rob
      11 months ago

      @Alan whilst I agree with some of your points and yes it is ebay’s party. It appears ebay see them at the top, sellers below them with buyers at the bottom. I see it as a circle with each just as important as each other as without each part the other won’t survive. They seem to of gone back to the approach of 3/4 years ago where when things go wrong you will be punished again.

      I used to work for a big sports association before being made redundant in the summer due to a change of strategy, when I first started everything was great you were supported in your development everyone in the organisation was happy. Staff were happy work was done and people would be happy to do extra. The part I worked in expanded, middle management were brought in with more specific targets/objectives put in place. Management started doing random checks and if the slightest thing was out of place or a box had been missed to be ticked on a form people were getting disciplinaries or warning. Needless to say people were not enjoying getting up and going to work each day and no chance of doing extra work outside of your role in fear of doing the slightest thing wrong. People soon left through choice or forced to. Big changes at the top happened with new CEO and leadership team with realignments throughout the company and changes of how people went about work, people were trusted again to do their job and people were a lot happier. Staff bonuses were changed from look after yourself style of individual bonuses to a collective bonus where if the company does well we all do well approach.
      It is back to the days of fear when a message comes through of has something gone wrong with an order and now will this cost my livelihood an additional 4% . In the past when things have gone wrong I have either put it right and sorted it fairly with the customer without the need for ebay to step is as shown in my 0% cases passed to ebay even thou a 1/3 or returns opened were for the wrong reason. Now with ebay’s new metrics and policies I get hit with a defect, forced to pay for a return for not as described even when that reason matches the listing.

    • 11 months ago

      @ alan paterson

      I really do not think my response to you was rude at all, I was simply pointing out that you either missed or ignored my point.

      There is a lot of anger aimed at eBay as it continually messes with the system and fails to put the basics right. If you side with them all the time telling everybody how wonderful they are you are going to get involved in “their” arguments.

      Whilst I have no issue with you defending eBay all the time, you have to appreciate that sellers do have issues with the platform and the way eBay operate and your tone of “put up with it or get off the platform” does not endear people to you.

      I disagree with what you said about eBay not doing the new fines to generate revenue, that is so false.

      How many times we have heard politicians / local Councillors state that any fines introduced are there to protect you rather than to raise money. Why do they not then give the profit to some good cause?

      If there are bad sellers fining them does not mean they will go away, the really bad ones just see it as a small form of taxation, they still make money and continue to harm the eBay brand.

      They are not bothered about the arbitrage sellers, they are not hard to spot, yet they leave them on because they make money from them.

      Arbitrage sellers are also the ones that will pay eBay far more money to promote their listings so people buy them. How is that right? Again it is allowed as it makes eBay money.

      Look at how many Chinese sellers claim they are in the UK but when you go to buy an item that is located in Birmingham or Manchester it shows it is posted by Royal Mail and will take 10 days to arrive.

      Like many others, I have seen a drop in sales and watched as eBay introduce new gimmicks and put prices up. The recent change to placement of the “Buy 3 items and Save £5” moved from above the top of the main image to the bottom of the page, seriously how did anybody have the stupidity to come up with that?

      There are still many flaws in the platform that they just can not be bothered to fix.

      If people want to moan then let them, you should concentrate on helping those that need it.

  • Janet
    11 months ago

    We were told the returns service metrics would be working correctly by the end of August. Mine are still not allowing me to download a report and are calculating three arrived damaged in July and that doesn’t correspond with the reasons given against the actual returns. Over a full year I have only had one arrived damage claim.

    The September sales will be calculated at the new penalty rate on my account if these errors in the metrics are not corrected in the next three days. I also am moving stock off eBay as I have no confidence in the new system and fear a large fee bill in October calculated.

  • northumbrian
    11 months ago

    @Katie A
    if mr paterson was a little less sanctimonious
    and less personal with the insults. he may be tolerated a bit more by those of us not in need of his sermons

    • 11 months ago

      This is exactly the kind of comment I mean in my ‘keep it businesslike’ comment below.

      Keep your numerous comments valuable Norf. This ain’t btw.

      Best wishes,


    • Northumbrian
      11 months ago

      No problem
      Its all or nothing dan
      See ya

  • Harvey
    11 months ago

    Like so many people commenting on the new returns penalty charges. It seems so unfair that all your other dashboard metrics can be zero but if you go over the 2% returns rate you get hit by a 40% fee increase. I have 5 SNAD returns over the last three months one the buyer let time out without a return, even though I provided a label and accepted the return. Another the buyer closed the case as I answered a question about the product and they had no need to return the item as they had made a mistake on how it worked. Two of the five the items came back working even though they chose doesn’t work or defective to get a free return and the last one of the five returns the buyer broke the screen on an item. All 5 count against me and I am just a fraction of a percent off very high. Another return and I get hit with the 40% increase.

    Like so many other sellers on eBay without communication from eBay by the 1st September I am looking at other platforms to sell on to avoid this unfair penalty.

  • lotus nut
    11 months ago


    Dont beleive anything patterson says i think he sells on fantacybay!

    I am top rated but lost the discount even though there is free 2nd class, 1st class and next day delivery plus 30 days return, all because i have 1 day dispatch time not same day!!.
    These metrics are all about ebay gaining revenue by not paying sellers 10% discount on fees and they fully know it, no way is it about ebay trying to punish bad sellers as paterson claims. They also make good money on return postage too and back buyers all the way with the false returns they raise. Its opened the door for scammers who can claim anything they like if they dont like it or break it on purpose to get a discount and avoid paying return costs. Ebay are so desperate for buyers and revenue due to failed quartly targets and crashed stock value.

    Its due the past few years of ebays implementation and introduction of these metrics, returns glitchy platform bad implementation of features that sellers are so fed up with many have moved to other platforms as i have myself though still sell on ebay.
    You only have to looks at ebays stock price which is less than it was a year ago!!. Etsy has TREBLED amazon has DOUBLED yet ebays is flat. But they will keep plodding down the same route punishing sellers like litle young school children if delivery is a day late to to courier or weather etc.

    Time is overdue for major management change thoughout ebay, cant wait to see Q3 results.

    • 11 months ago

      @lotus nut,

      Possible work around for 1 day dispatch loss of 10% discount as advised by Ebay to me and it appears to do the trick. It might help but dependent on your business, you have to decide the risks.

      Keep 2nd class as it is, change to same day dispatch, change cut off point to 03:00 perhaps. That way people have to order by 3 am to get same day dispatch. It opens the BUT what if they order earlier / late delivery aspect hence you decide the risk. This has helped us..

      We are a low value short print run personalised printer and at the mo everything is becomming much harder to keep up with Ebay demands.

      Hope this helps some people.

  • 11 months ago


    We don’t mind robust discussion here at Tamebay. But please keep your points to the professional and factual issues and refrain from insults and personal remarks. We all want everyone to be successful in business. So let’s keep things businesslike.

    There’s a whole internet out there for slanging matches and ding dongs. ;o)

    Best wishes to all,

    Dan Wilson,

  • Alex
    11 months ago

    Just checked my eBay dash board for the return metrics penalty charge. The details haven’t updated yet, hopefully they will tomorrow as I was told the metrics would be correct by the end of August. From what they said sales from the 1st September will incur the 40% increase if your returns are high. I just want to see what my rate has been calculated at against my peers.

  • Jonah
    11 months ago

    Well I suppose it’s now down to how lucky or unlucky you are,,,,, if you sell high value lower volume items like antiques then you only need one odd ball plonker with multiple item purchases to do you real damage. Our eBay fees are regularly over 4K a month, we aren’t going to wear a final value fee price hike of 40% and like many of our peers will instantly close should this come to fruition. Shame really that 15 years of hard work trading on the eBay platform should come to this. It seems like eBay come up with more jaw dropping nonsense each year,,,, so what it’s going to be like in say 5 years time is an eye watering thought.

  • 11 months ago

    So a couple of comments on here are talking about the 40% increase. I thought the penalty was 4% on top of losing the 10% discount if you had achieved it.

    We currently pay 9% less 10% discount making the fees 8.1%, so I assume that would revert to 9% + 4%

    Which would be a 58% increase.

    Or have I got the above wrong?

    • james
      11 months ago

      well the discount is 10% off for top-rated (premium service) listings, you can lose that by being “standard”, with no additional charge, or any of your listings without the badge don’t receive the discount, even if you’re top rated.

      you’d need (or at least should need, might not work out like that IRL) quite a swing to go from top-rated, straight past standard, to below standard, and further still to get hit with the extra 4% punitive charge, so i probably wouldn’t calculate that full swing as a single sum.

      it’s not even as straightforward as a 40% increase for those going from 10% to 14%, since ebay charge VAT on their fees which nobody is calculating, so you’re now going from 12% (inc vat), to 16.8% (inc vat) in that case.
      more tax as punishment on top of your punishment?

    • Mike
      11 months ago

      My standard FSF rate is 9.6%, but with 10% discount for being a TRS, I pay 8.6%. Being a low volume seller, I am also running a fine line between average and very high with this new service metric.

      Add to that, I understand the rate is being calculated at category level, my so called peers are sellers with items nothing like mine; nor the likely issues to boot, as mine are electrical items, where my peers sell wood or hollow plastic. Slightly different issues and opportunities for buyers to raise return requests. Scammers? You bet.

      So, I’ll now run the risk of a 55.6% increase in FSFs, plus lose my TRS rating.

      Just what I need!!!

    • Alex
      11 months ago

      @tyler. You are correct, I underestimated the increase. I have looked at my figures and realise it is closer to 57%. Worse than I thought. I thought it was terrible before at 40%.

    • Kyle
      11 months ago

      @james We got hit from Top Rated down to Below Standard on our global ratings a while back.

      A buyer opened cases for every item in a large order and then we got that bug where you can’t refund the cases so had to ask Ebay to step in. Ebay then lied twice about removing the defects. By the time our account got hit down it was 90 days past the order date and Ebay support said it was impossible for them to remove defects that old.

      Fortunately we weren’t charged any extra fees.

  • Harvey
    11 months ago

    How do we know if the peer group ebay put us in is correct. I am in toys and games. I sell drones. The civil aviation authority class my stock as aircraft. Yet eBay class them as toys. My peers could be someone selling colouring books, who I imagine would get fewer returns. So up against them I would be very high every month and subject to 57% increase. It seems wrong the company that will take all this penalty charge money is the one deciding who your peers are. Creative analytics can make ebay a small fortune very quickly.

  • lotus nut
    11 months ago

    For some catagories fee increase can be up to 58.9%!!
    If your in 11% fvf and had 10% discount = 9.9% + vat = 11.88%
    With the penalty it becomes
    11% + 4% = 15% + vat = 18.87% fee – a massive 58.9% increase!

    And this is how Rob Hatteral is improving things for business sellers! – pha!

  • Samuel Yuok
    11 months ago

    I, this morning bought a NEW Dell XPS 15 9570 i7-8750H 16GB 512GB PCIe SSD FHD GTX 1050 Ti + Fingerprint thru Ebay seller; paid for it, good with this comment: “Thanks for another purchase Samuel! Your order is confirmed. We’ll let you know when it’s on the way. In the meantime, we have more things you’ll love at unbeatable prices!”. About 5-10 minutes later, I got an email from Ebay saying: “Your recent eBay transaction may be from a compromised account” with this quoted: “You were recently involved in a transaction for the following item:
    352446603241 – NEW Dell XPS 15 9570 i7-8750H 16GB 512GB PCIe SSD FHD GTX 1050 Ti + Fingerprint
    We’re writing to let you know that an unauthorized third party may have accessed the seller’s account to list this item. The item has been removed from the site, and the transaction was cancelled…”
    To me until now, Ebay still haven’t fix their S/W yet; hackers are still at large !!!

    • 11 months ago

      @Samuel Yuok

      Not sure what you mean by S/W

      I have had the same type of message about a buyers account being misused or compromised, not sure what the cause is but it happens so rarely.

      Sorry to say but some people do stupid things and don’t protect themselves online as much as they should and leave themselves open to having accounts compromised.

      But from what you are saying are you thinking the seller used it as an excuse for not supplying you?

  • Terry
    11 months ago

    I appreciate this message is not well aligned to the original article, but the replies seem to have deviated since then, so it seemed resaonable to put this here.

    I spoke to E-Bay CS a week or so about the new service metrics. I spoke to what sounded like a genuinely interested rep in the seller standards team (Dublin).

    I raised these points:

    a) The peer percentages are numbers which, whilst they may be supported by data, that data will never be made available to sellers. The rep said there had to be a degree of trust, to which I responded that there was no trust. I suggested that E-Bay should pick a fixed percentage that they deemed acceptable, and stick with that. Trying to give a veneer of respectability by linking it to invisible peer data does not promote trust, quite the contrary.

    b) Nobody likes to be held responsible for things that are not their fault, the argument that everyone gets fake SNAD’s and so on, and therefore they can count for all, is going to stick in the throat of EVERY SINGLE SELLER. I was told that these defects would be appealable, but I will believe that when I see it. How does kicking a seller for these things, whether valid or not, help with the ‘level of trust’ ?

    c) There is no scale on the side of the charts, whilst I can see my percentages, and those of my peers, I cannot see what percentage constitutes very high, high, medium and so on. I can infer what I think it might be from the chart, but without a scale on the side, I don’t know if I am 1 return away from Very High, or 20 away.

    d) The main issue with this though is that given this is based upon peer metrics, then the percentage which constitutes very high is going to move around all the time. So, in effect, we are all being measured against an invisible moving target (what is low this month, may not be next month, but we will never know why). Assume for a moment that this mechanism works, and the poor sellers either sort themselves out, or leave E-Bay rather than pay the 4%. The resulting ‘improvement’ will filter through into the peer metrics, which will mean that the ‘average’ will reduce over time, thus continually raising the bar on everyone. Taking it to an illogical conclusion, if everyone is perfect and has no returns, the average is zero returns, what happens to the first person to get one ?

    e) To sit alongside d), there is now the shift to automatically accepting not as described returns, and the highlighting of the ‘return this item’ button in the purchase history. Both of these measures are going to drive returns up. I believe therefore that sellers will be squeezed from both ends, first by buyers opening more returns than before, and second because the improvement in the peer averages is going to lower the targets for everyone.

    f) The download report function does not work, and the returns I am currently being assessed with do not tie up with the cases I can see in my resolution centre.

    g) How many of these alleged poor sellers are actually the casual sellers attracted by click it, list it, sell it message. They are going to skate underneath all this, yet I cannot believe that the percentage of problems they cause is lower than that of, lets call them professional sellers. A poor buyer experience is exactly that, regardless of who the seller is.

    h) It does not seem at all appropriate to compare against peers where one sells brand new items (and should perhaps therefore expect less returns), and one who sells used items, perhaps in some instances already with disclosed defects. The category is the same, sure, but are the returns rates in such circumstances the same, I suspect not.

    Despite considerable time dwelling on this, the fact that the penalty is financial says only one thing to me, and that is:

    ‘Its OK to be a poor seller on E-Bay, provided you pay the extra fees.’

    This just simply cannot be the correct message if E-Bay is going to have a rosy future.

    • Emily
      11 months ago

      @terry. A really well written message. That reflects exactly how I feel. I have had similar conversations with eBay customer services and now believe it is just financial. Ebay don’t care about fairness it is how much extra income this penalty will generate. I believe they will ease it in slowly and then at Christmas hit sellers with the you are very high emails to really capitalise on the increase in sales.

      Last day for me on eBay today due to this.

  • Terry
    11 months ago

    Thank you Emily.

    The CS rep I spoke to asked me if I understood why they had created this, to which I replied, yes, because you have some sellers who you deem are not of the required standard.

    I don’t think anyone (aside from bad sellers) would object to the principle of dealing with bad sellers, i.e shape up or ship out. So my question is, OK, you have some bad sellers, you obviously know who they are already, so why are you not dealing with them by forcing improvements or kicking them off ? Why, instead of dealing with the specific offenders, create this monstrosity of a mechanism which has single handedly ticked off every single seller you have on the platform, regardless of whether they are good or bad.

    I suspect they won’t kick these sellers off, not because of the loss of fees (buyers will buy from better sellers I would imagine), but because these bad sellers will take their stock with them, and E-Bay’s GMV figure may fall as a result.

    The Stock Investors have been hoodwinked into believing the GMV figure is meaningful when in reality, its at least partially hogwash. There are an awful lot of drop shippers on E-Bay listing stock from other platforms that they don’t physically possess, so there is an element of double counting going on here anyway. Profit and cashflow are what is important, not GMV.

    The route to propsperity for E-Bay involves doing many things, but a good start would be to improve or remove the bad sellers, and leave the good sellers to get on with selling rather than wasting hours fretting about service metrics.

  • 11 months ago

    In the Seller standards dashboard I see a Returns rate box that shows 0.10% for Transaction period: 01 Jun, 2018 – 31 Aug, 2018

    My one return was a delivery to Argos and it shows

    Reason: Buyer didn’t show up

    Would this count in the metrics?

    Are sellers going to get penalised for buyers not collecting items?

    If not then why does it show up?

    The one thing you can say about eBay is that you can not trust them to get it right.

    • 11 months ago

      I’ve got 8 for that period, 0.51% of transactions.

      4x doesn’t fit (not clothes and all measurements are stated in listings, so just lazy buyers not bothering reading)
      1x didn’t show up (argos click and don’t collect)
      1x ordered by mistake (yet used 2 items and returned the other 8)
      1x doesn’t work or defective (yet only returned 1 of 2 items, keeping the defective item…weird)
      1x arrived damaged (true)

      They are counting them and it should really be about 0.13%. Only the claimed defective and damaged should count. As for the rest, well that is not really my returns rate is it? That’s a measure of ebay buyers incompetence.

  • Harvey
    11 months ago

    My metrics for the return penalty charge are wrong too. It says I had three arrived damaged last month. When you go through all the individual return reason codes for the full 12 months. I have only had one arrived damage claim. The other two seem to be like the peer groups imaginary statistics created by eBay to charge 58% more in fees.

  • Sophie
    11 months ago

    From what ebay customer services are saying the first invoices with the penalty charges on will be the September invoice payable in October.

    So every sale from tomorrow onwards would be charged at the new penalty rate if you are rated as very high. If the metrics are wrong now how do we all know what rate September will be billed at?

    They update the metrics on the 20th of each month so I presume it will be the 20th September when we see what rate we will be charged. As June, July and August returns will be accessed on that date.

    For the very high sellers they will have already had 20 days of sales at the increased rate.

  • 11 months ago

    My returns metrics seem to have changed today, even though they’re for June/July/August which has clearly passed.

    Yesterday, I was at 2.95%, peers @ 3.32% – both in the yellow average band
    Today, I’m 2.6%, peers @ 4.24%. I’m in the green low band with my peers at the top of the yellow average band.

    How is it that my metric has gone down?

    Also, if someone opens a return on an item that was sold in August, is that added to the August period, or will that be on Septembers figures I wonder?

    And surely, if the average in my category is 4.24%, that should be smack bang in the middle of average, because thats the average!!!!!

    • james
      11 months ago

      where are you seeing the competitors return rates? i can see my own return percentage in seller dashboard, but still no comparison?

    • Kev. J.
      11 months ago

      Here’s a thought @Dave…

      What if eBay, noticing business sellers are mighty cheesed off with their new service metrics, have decided to box clever.

      They could keep everyone sweet, by lowering their ratings for a few months; choosing profile groups that help achieve it.

      Then, after everyone’s geared up for Christmas, with all new stock bought and ready for the festive season, the ratings change and everyone suddenly find themselves above their peers; new profile groups required for this one.

      It would then be too late for sellers to avoid the 58% increase. But, would herald a mighty big “Kerrching” for eBay and the exec.’s bonuses.

      It’s just a thought.

      Let’s wait and see, shall we?

    • 11 months ago


      If you look under the Performancetab in Seller Hub you will see:

      Service metrics

      Take a look at that, mine is showing “You don’t have any peer benchmarks.” under the Item not as described but under Item not received

      Peers = 0.59%

      You = 0.15%

    • Rob
      11 months ago

      @james, have you managed to look in the service metric where it shows you your rating and peers returns rate? If you go into your seller hub, hover over performance and then click service metric you will be able to see where you are rated and projected rates etc. If you click the category, you will see where you are rated for each one.

    • james
      11 months ago

      Thanks, though there doesn’t seem to be any way to access this info from the old style dashboard, which i’m still using.
      (i went back that often ebay seem to have stopped offering me the new style, and there’s no way i can see to manually enter the new dashboard without being asked specifically.)

      one of our other stores uses the new dashboard, they have 4,470 transactions and a benchmark score for “item not received”, but under the “not as described” tab there are only 4 total transactions, no returns, and no benchmark? for the whole quarter?

      think i’ll just be ignoring this half-baked nonsense for the time being.

    • james
      11 months ago

      okay i managed to get the new dashboard on our main shop (by manually entering the url from our other shop), and found the peer scores for both. thanks all.

    • 11 months ago

      I don’t get it… I’ve had no returns opened since my post a couple of days ago, yet the metrics have changed yet again!

      I’m in the Sound & Vision category. Today’s results:

      Peers = 4.49% (almost in High)
      You = 2.78% (further into Low than I was at 2.6%)


      Peers = 3.32%
      You = 2.95%


      Peers = 4.24%
      You = 2.6%

      Shame that the download report button doesn’t do anything so I could have a look to see whats going on….. Shambolic.

  • Alex
    11 months ago

    @ Dave

    I was told by eBay customer services that the month the sale occurred is the month the return is placed against.

    My metrics haven’t changed but maybe they are still working on them.

  • 11 months ago

    People here worried about the peer to peer metrics, there are solutions such as create a brand new account. I do think Alan Patersons advice is nonsence, bascially you are saying Ebay is not out to punish and rob the sellers, but they clearly are.

    Join Ecrater, the fee’s are so low there 🙂

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