5 min article

Seller performance policy

We always want to make sure buyers have a great experience on eBay. To help ensure this, we've put in place performance standards for sellers.

Standards overview

eBay expects sellers to consistently provide service that results in a high level of buyer satisfaction. This includes setting and meeting buyer expectations by providing excellent customer service from beginning to end.

You can see how you're performing both locally and across various international markets in your seller standards dashboard - opens in new window or tab. Specifically, you can view how well you're meeting buyer expectations with buyers from the United States, United Kingdom, German, and global markets. Learn more about our global seller performance standards.

As a seller, you're expected to:

  • Promptly resolve customer issues.
  • Ship items on time, within your specified handling time.
  • Manage inventory and keep items well stocked.
  • Charge reasonable P&P costs.
  • Specify P&P costs and dispatch time in the listing.
  • Follow through on your return policy.
  • Respond to buyers' questions promptly.
  • Be helpful, friendly, and professional throughout a transaction.
  • Make sure the item is delivered to the buyer as described in the listing.

For more information on meeting buyers' expectations, see our selling practices policy.

Keep in mind, too, that if you don't meet buyers' expectations, it can lead to:

  • Not meeting the late delivery rate requirements.
  • Exceeding minimum requirements for defect rate.
  • A bad experience for you and the buyer.
  • Low detailed seller ratings.
  • Negative or neutral Feedback from a buyer.
  • A buyer requesting a return or reporting that an item was not received.
  • A buyer asking us to step in and help with a transaction.

Transaction defect rate requirements

On the 20th of each month, we take a look at your recent transactions to work out your transaction defect rate. The transaction defect rate is the percentage of your transactions that have one or more of the following defects:

  • eBay Money Back Guarantee cases closed without seller resolution.
  • Seller-initiated transaction cancellation.

To meet our minimum standard, you can only have up to 2.00% of transactions with one or more defects over the most recent evaluation period. To qualify as an eBay Top-rated Seller, you can only have up to 0.50% of transactions with one or more defects over the most recent evaluation period. Only your transactions with UK and Ireland buyers count toward your seller performance rating under the UK seller standards programme.

The transaction defect rate won't affect your seller status until you have transactions with defects involving at least 4 different buyers as an eBay Top-rated Seller or 5 different buyers as an above standard seller, within your evaluation period. 

You can have a maximum of 0.3% eBay Money Back Guarantee cases closed without seller resolution over the most recent evaluation period. That means the buyer reported that they didn't receive an item or asked to return an item, you weren't able to resolve it, the buyer asked us to step in and help, and we found you responsible. The percentage requirement applies after the account has exceeded the maximum number of occurrences, which is a maximum of 2 occurrences.

Sellers with 400 or more transactions over the past 3 months are evaluated based on the past 3 months and sellers with fewer than 400 transactions are evaluated based on the past 12 months.

Buyers won't see your defect rate, but keep in mind that buyers will still be able to see your Feedback rating and all 4 detailed seller ratings.

Fair performance evaluation

To measure your overall performance accurately, we look at your performance as a whole, excluding a set number of low detailed seller ratings and cases based on the number of transactions you've had in the last 12 months. We also consider a buyer's pattern for opening cases and leaving low detailed seller ratings—and protect you when necessary.

What happens if your seller level is Below Standard?

If you don't meet our minimum performance standards, we may put limits on your selling activity until your performance improves.

The consequences of falling Below Standard can include:

  • Your items may be placed lower in search results
  • We may limit or restrict you from selling on your account and related accounts, or from registering a new account
  • Funds from your sales may be held
  • You may be charged higher final value fees. See our Fees for business sellers article for more information
  • You will be blocked from using the Promoted Listings tool, and will not be able to create new campaigns or edit existing campaigns
  • We may downgrade your eBay Store to the Basic level if you've been Below Standard for more than 60 days

Usually, we will only apply permanent selling restrictions when your account has been evaluated as Below Standard for at least 2 consecutive months. However, we may take action at any time if we have urgent concerns about your account; for example, if we've detected fraud or if your selling practices pose a threat to the buyer experience. The actions we take will be proportional to the nature of the issue we have identified and what is reasonably required to protect the interests of all eBay users and eBay as provider of the services.

If your account isn't meeting our minimum performance standards, you should:

  • Resolve all issues on the account before buying or selling with other accounts
  • Review your listings to make sure that you're describing your items accurately. Use pictures and include specifics in your listing so your buyers know exactly what to expect
  • Make sure that you respond promptly to requests from buyers

Learn more about using multiple accounts. For guidelines on meeting buyers' expectations, see our selling practices policy.

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