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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.Image of 5 different coloured stars 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.


  • Use the new Seller Dashboard preview to see how your eBay business is performing against the new measurements. 

  • To see which transactions had defects, download a report.


  • 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:

RequirementMinimum for all sellerseBay Top-rated sellers
Defect rate
Maximum percentage of transactions with defects5%2%
Minimum number of unique buyers affected before seller status is impacted85
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 20.3% or no more than 2
Transactions and sales
Minimum number of sales transactionsN/A100
Minimum amount of total salesN/A£1000
Other criteria 
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.

What is a defect?

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. 

  • Detailed seller ratings of 1, 2 or 3 for item as described** 
  • Returns for item not as described
  • eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Buyer Protection cases for item not as described*
  • Detailed seller rating of 1 for dispatch time 
  • eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Buyer Protection cases for item not received*
  • Negative Feedback
  • Neutral Feedback**
  • Transactions cancelled by you due to stock out or item sold to another buyer

* 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 behaviour

We 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.

New extended returns period for November through December

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.

You can access your Seller Dashboard from My eBay by selecting the Account tab. To see which transactions had defects, download a report.

Find out more about the upcoming changes to your Seller Dashboard.

Frequently asked questions


Is there still a positive Feedback requirement? 


Why isn’t there a ‘standard’ account level anymore? 


Why are Communication and Postage & Packaging detailed seller ratings still collected, but not counted as defects? 


Open eBay Money Back Guarantee and PayPal Buyer Protection cases have never affected my seller standard. Why are we changing this now? 


As an eBay Top-rated seller, do I still need to meet PowerSeller requirements? 


What constitutes a defective transaction?


Will my defect rate be counted as a percentage of my total number of transactions? 


How is my look-back period determined? 


Is there still a grace period for eBay Top-rated sellers that fall below the new performance standards?


What is a ‘seller-cancelled transaction’?  


My buyer asked me to cancel a transaction. Will this count as a defect?


My transaction was cancelled because the buyer didn’t pay. Will this count as a defect?


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?


What is the timeframe during which opened cases and cancelled transactions count against me?


What counts as an open case?


Which cases count as 'closed without seller resolution'?


What should I do if my buyer opens an eBay Money Back Guarantee case?


Where can I find the estimated delivery dates eBay gives to my buyers?


If a buyer revises negative Feedback they’ve left for me, does this still count as a defect?


Will I lose my Top Rated Seller status if I don’t offer extended holiday returns on all my listings?

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Your Seller Dashboard
New and improved Seller Dashboard