- Updated fees
- New site experience
- New seller standards
- Improved shopping experience
- International selling
New performance measurement to reward great service
New performance measurement to reward great service
We’ve conducted extensive research to better understand what motivates our
buyers and what drives them away. By measuring millions of transactions, we’ve identified what’s important for buyers and what impacts their decision to buy again, buy more frequently, or stop buying on eBay.
Based on these findings, we’re improving the way we evaluate seller standards from August. Meeting these new standards will help your business continue to grow by making sure we’re providing buyers with a retail-like shopping experience that will keep them coming back. The new standards also make it safer for your business by adding protections to prevent individual buyers from impacting your standard.
To help you to monitor your performance, we’re also improving the Seller Dashboard. This will help you continue meeting raising expectations to sell on eBay and be granted eBay Top-rated seller status.
What you need to do
Familiarise yourself with the new seller standards and begin making any necessary changes to meet them before they come into effect.
Your first evaluation cycle with the new measurements will come as usual on 20 August, taking into account the look-back period relevant to your account.We're not changing how we evaluate look-back periods, so this should be the same as it has been for your business.
New seller standards
Our new seller standards are designed to recognise and reward high levels of customer service and enable you to focus on what matters most to your buyers.
The benefits of this new performance measurement include:
- A better reflection of the shopping experience you provide and how your business performs in how we evaluate you.
- Built-in protection to prevent individual buyers from impacting your standard. This means more stability for your business.
- 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.
- A single measurement to compare your transactions without a recorded defect against those that have one. This will be known as your 'defect rate.' The more transactions you have without defect, the less any transactions that do have a defect will impact your standard.
- A transaction can only be counted for or against you once. This creates a clear distinction between transactions that went well and those that didn’t.
- A built-in allowance for your performance target in case things go wrong.
- A new and improved seller dashboard to monitor and analyse your performance.
- The ability to run weekly detailed reports on transactions.
- From late April, the detailed rating system will no longer be anonymous. That means you'l be able to see which transactions have low detailed seller ratings for item description and dispatch time.
From a buyer perspective, we’re not changing anything. We’ll continue collecting Feedback and monitoring buyers’ activities on eBay from pre- through post-transaction.
New performance measurement
Starting from August a new performance measurement, known as the ‘defect rate’ will be reflected in your evaluation cycle. This is in addition to the current requirement around eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Buyer Protection cases closed without seller resolution, which is already used to define the minimum standard required for all sellers.
Effective from August:
|Requirement||Minimum for all sellers||eBay Top-rated sellers|
|Maximum percentage of transactions with defects||5%||2%|
|Minimum number of unique buyers affected before seller status is impacted||8||5|
|Closed cases without seller resolution|
|Maximum percentage of eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Buyer Protection cases closed by eBay without seller resolution*||0.3% or no more than 2||0.3% or no more than 2|
|Transactions and sales|
|Minimum number of sales transactions||N/A||100|
|Minimum amount of total sales||N/A||£1000|
|Account registered as a 'business seller'||-||Yes|
|Active eBay member for a minimum 90 days||-||Yes|
|Member of the PowerSeller programme||-||No**|
*This isn't a new measurement - you're already being evaluated against this requirement.
** If you sell outside of the UK, DE or US, you'll need to register for the global PowerSeller programme.
A problematic transaction only counts towards your defect rate once. This is true even if there were several defects associated with the same transaction.
For example, if a buyer purchases an item that you no longer have in stock, opens a claim because the order is not received and leaves negative Feedback, this would count as 1 defect towards your total, not as 3.
A ‘defect’ is a transaction that’s considered to create a bad shopping experience for buyers.
We understand that not all transactions go well, and this is just a part of doing business. Still, these transactions can seriously affect a buyer’s likelihood to buy with you again. With the new performance measurement, we’ll be better able to reward sellers that provide excellent customer experience.
The new measurement will also improve our ability to identify experiences that may drive buyers away.
* 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.
** Our data shows that when a buyer leaves neutral Feedback, or a detailed seller rating of 3 for the item description means they weren’t satisfied with the transaction and they’re much less likely to buy again.
Look-back time remains the same
Your evaluation will continue to take place on the 20th of the month with the new performance measurement applied in August. It’ll be based on your performance over the same time period as it is today – 3 months for sellers with 400 or more transactions over the previous 3 months, 12 months for all other sellers.
Safeguards to protect you against abusive buyer behaviourWe have the following safeguards in place:
- Your defects must be from at least 5 unique buyers as an eBay Top-rated seller or 8 unique buyers as an above standard seller in order to affect your status.
- Buyers can’t open an item not received case before the estimated delivery date has passed.*
- We’ve updated our seller protection policy. From August, negative or neutral Feedback that’s been removed under the Feedback Removal Policy won’t count as a defect.
- As always, eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Buyer Protection cases escalated to us and resolved in favour of the seller won’t be counted.
- Each transaction can be counted towards your defect rate only once, regardless of how many defects may occur in the same transaction.
These safeguards will make the selling environment safer for your business when it comes to avoiding abusive buyer behaviour. We’ll thus be removing the grace period for eBay Top-rated sellers from August.
We’re here to support you with more information about how these changes may impact you and your business, and how you can continue performing well. We’ll be reaching out to you by email and through special Q&A sessions so you can ask questions directly to our team.
*If no estimated delivery date was given, the default estimated delivery date is 7 days for domestic and 30 days for international transactions.
For transactions completed between November and December, you’ll need to offer an extended holiday returns period to continue receiving your eBay Premium Service benefits. This includes accepting any returns until 31 January.
You’ll be able to update your listings to reflect this starting in September. We’ll let you know more later on in the year.
New Seller Dashboard
We’ve already given your seller Dashboard a new and improved look and feel. It’s now easier than ever before to view, understand and improve your performance. And, from 16 April, you’ll also be able to see a preview in your Seller Dashboard detailing how you measure against the new seller standards.
You'll also be able to run reports on your transactions. From the week of 16 April, you'll be able to see which transactions have:
- Returns initiated because an item wasn't as described.
- eBay Money Back Guarantee cases opened for items not as described or not as received.
- Seller-cancelled transactions and negative or neutral Feedback.
From late April, the detailed rating system will no longer be anonymous, and you'll also be able to see which transactions have low detailed seller ratings for item description and dispatch time.
Find out more about the upcoming changes to your Seller Dashboard.
Frequently asked questions
Is there still a positive Feedback requirement?
No. While we’ll continue to collect your Feedback and display it on the item page, we’re removing the requirement of 98% positive Feedback to qualify for eBay Top-rated seller status.
Since we’re assessing your performance based on other factors, we’ll assume that if you don’t hear from a buyer, the transaction went well.
Why isn’t there a ‘standard’ account level anymore?
We’ve re-defined the way we measure sellers’ performance. We now think of the standard as a line, and sellers are either above or below this line.
Why are Communication and Postage & Packaging detailed seller ratings still collected, but not counted as defects?
Our new performance measurement is based on research we’ve conducted on what’s most important to our buyers. While these seller ratings provide valuable information for you and your business, they proved less impactful on buyer behaviour than the criteria we’ve chosen to evaluate you on going forward.
We’ll still collect Feedback and include it in your Feedback forms so you can continue taking this into consideration when improving your customer service.
Open eBay Money Back Guarantee and PayPal Buyer Protection cases have never affected my seller standard. Why are we changing this now?
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.
As an eBay Top-rated seller, do I still need to meet PowerSeller requirements?
We’ve removed the PowerSeller requirements for eBay Top-rated sellers in the US, UK and Germany. However, to qualify for eBay Top-rated seller status in other countries, you'll still need to register for the PowerSeller programme.
What constitutes a defective transaction?
Having one defect associated with your transaction means the entire transaction is defective, even if you’ve met the rest of your buyer’s expectations.
Similarly, if you’ve met all of these buyer expectations, your transaction will be defect-free. If we don’t hear anything from your buyer, we’ll assume everything went well.
Will my defect rate be counted as a percentage of my total number of transactions?
If you’re an eBay Top-rated seller, you’ll maintain your status as long as you’ve received defects from transactions with fewer than 5 unique buyers. If you've received defects from more than 5 unique buyers, your defect rate can’t exceed 2% of your total transactions.
If you aren't an eBay Top-rated seller, you’ll still be considered ‘above standard’ if you’ve received defects from transactions with fewer than 8 unique buyers. If you've received from more than 8 unique buyers, they can’t exceed a total of 5% of your total transactions.
How is my look-back period determined?
If you’ve completed more than 400 transactions in the past 3 months, this will be your look-back period. For example, if on 20 August you’ve completed 405 transactions over the previous 3 months, we’ll count these 3 months as your look-back period.
If you’ve completed fewer than 400 transactions in the past 3 months, your look-back period will be 1 year. For example, if on 20 August you’ve completed 395 transactions since 20 May, the look-back period on which you’ll be evaluated will be from 1 August 2013 to 30 July 2014.
Is there still a grace period for eBay Top-rated sellers that fall below the new performance standards?
No. Since we're introducing safeguards to make the eBay marketplace safer for your business, we'll be removing the grace period for eBay Top-rated sellers from August.
What is a ‘seller-cancelled transaction’?
A ‘seller-cancelled transaction’ is:
- Any transaction cancelled on eBay or refunded through PayPal because the seller no longer has the item (such as in the case of an item out of stock), or
- A transaction where the seller has chosen not to post the item after it's been sold.
My buyer asked me to cancel a transaction. Will this count as a defect?
- A cancelled transaction will only count as a defect if the item was out of stock or it was sold to another buyer. If a buyer initiates the cancelled transaction, for example if they've changed their mind, it won’t count against you.
- Always use the eBay cancellation process and choose the correct reason for the cancellation. If the buyer contacts you to request a cancellation/refund, please start the cancellation request in the Resolution Centre indicating it was requested by the buyer. Please issue the refund only after you've submitted the cancellation request. eBay monitors cancellations to make sure any ‘buyer requested’ cancellations were in fact requested by the buyer.
My transaction was cancelled because the buyer didn’t pay. Will this count as a defect?
No. If your buyer doesn’t pay for the item and the transaction has to be cancelled, this won’t count against you.
My buyer returned the item and I’m not opted into Managed Returns. How should I process the refund so it doesn’t count as a defect?
- When a buyer returns an item and you have received it back and you are ready to process the refund you should go to the cancel transaction flow and select the reason “Buyer is returning item for a refund.”
- Then immediately following you should process the refund. This will ensure that the refund and return is captured correctly.
What is the timeframe during which opened cases and cancelled transactions count against me?
We count all transactions that occurred during your look back period, using the date that the transaction took place, rather than the date the case was opened. We’ll assess any defects that occurred for these transactions up until the date before your monthly evaluation cycle.
For example, if for your 20 August evaluation cycle your look back period is 3 months, this means we’ll consider transactions that took place between 1 May and 30 July. If on 5 May a buyer opens a case for a transaction that occurred on 25 April, this won’t count towards your 20 August evaluation.
If you’ve completed fewer than 400 transactions in the past 3 months, your look-back period will be 1 year. For example, if on 20 August 2014 you’ve completed 395 transactions, the look-back period on which you’ll be evaluated will be from 20 August 2013 to 20 August 2014.
What counts as an open case?
For the purpose of evaluating your seller standards, an open case is any case filed for an item not received or not as described through eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Buyer Protection. It must also pass checks for eligibility and buyer abuse or fraud.
Remember, buyers can’t open a case for an item not received until after the estimated delivery date has passed.
Which cases count as 'closed without seller resolution'?
A case counts as closed without seller resolution when the buyer opens a case and:
- You weren't able to resolve it,
- The buyer contacted eBay or PayPal to review it, and
- eBay or PayPal found you responsible for the issue.
You're allowed a maximum of 2 transactions that fall into this category, or no more than 0.3% of your total transactions.
What should I do if my buyer opens an eBay Money Back Guarantee case?
If a buyer opens an eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Purchase Protection case, respond to him or her through the Resolution Center. In most cases, you can resolve the issue to your buyer’s satisfaction without escalating the case to eBay. In the event that either the buyer or seller escalates a case, eBay will review the case. If eBay resolves the case in favor of the seller, the case will not count as an opened case toward your defect rate or toward your 0.3% maximum of cases closed without your resolution.
Where can I find the estimated delivery dates eBay gives to my buyers?
When an estimated delivery date was given to your buyer, we display these on your Sold Item page for each listing. If no estimated delivery date was given, the default estimated delivery date is 7 days for domestic and 30 days for international transactions.
If a buyer revises negative Feedback they’ve left for me, does this still count as a defect?
Yes. 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.
If you think a buyer has wrongly left negative Feedback, you can report a buyer to us and we’ll have a look at the situation. From August, negative or neutral Feedback that’s been removed under the Feedback removal policy won’t count as a defect.
Will I lose my Top Rated Seller status if I don’t offer extended holiday returns on all my listings?
No. Offering extended holiday returns is optional for eBay Top-rated sellers. To qualify for Premium Service between November 1 and December 31, your listings must include the new extended holiday return option, with returns accepted through January 31. Top-rated sellers who don’t offer holiday returns on a specific listing won’t earn the Premium service benefits for that listing, but won’t lose their Top-rated seller status and will still get an enhanced position in Best Match based on their low defect rate.