Customer service and improving eBay Seller Standards

Customer service and eBay Seller Standards

Published in Customer Service

eBay is continually monitoring and assessing sellers to ensure that they offer eBay’s shoppers the best buying experience - a key part of keeping your seller standards high is offering the best possible customer service. We take a look at what eBay’s Seller Standards are, how they can affect your business, and some top tips about how you can improve your eBay customer service.

What are eBay Seller Standards?

eBay’s Seller Standards are a way of evaluating sellers and ensuring that they are complying with eBay’s policies and requirements. 

As an eBay seller, your dispatch times, customer service and any issues with transactions are being assessed - overall they’re looking at the buying experience that you offer shoppers. The monthly assessment determines which Seller Standard level you are: Below Standard, Above Standard or an eBay Top-rated Seller, and is based on your defect rate, the number of cases closed without seller resolution, and your late delivery rate.

Transaction defect rate: When eBay thinks a buyer will have had a bad buying experience - seller-initiated transaction cancellations, and cases closed without seller resolution.

Late delivery rate: eBay also monitors whether your items are dispatched on time, or if there are no tracking details to confirm dispatch, whether the buyer says that the item arrived late. If you fail to meet eBay’s late delivery limits, your delivery options and dispatch times may be limited.

How can you improve your eBay Seller Standards?

  • Quick dispatch: Get your items picked, packed and dispatched quickly, within your specified dispatch times. 
  • Better packaging: The more secure your products are, the less likely that they’ll get damaged during shipping and you won’t have to issue refunds. 
  • Accurate descriptions: The better your product descriptions and images, then shoppers will be more confident with their purchase, and less likely to change their mind when it arrives. 
  • Clear policies: State your payments and returns policies where relevant in your listings and whenever possible offer a 30-day returns policy. 
  • Streamline returns: Respond to return requests quickly and set up automatic approvals and refunds. 
  • Keep customers informed: Update them when their order’s been dispatched and when it’s due to be delivered.
  • Respond quickly: Getting back to your customers’ questions or complaints quickly will give them a better experience. 

How does customer service affect your eBay Seller Standards?

eBay is primarily concerned with a buyer's experience when they make a purchase - seller standard metrics are closely linked to the level of customer service that you offer.

Keeping in touch with your customers

Buyers and potential buyers will get in touch with you through eBay messages - this means that there will be a record available to eBay if any issues arise. Make sure that you keep on top of your eBay messages and reply quickly, this can help secure a purchase or reassure buyers about their order.

Handling returns and refunds

When customers want to return their item, whether it's because it’s unsuitable or there’s been a problem, you need to respond straight away.

You’ll be notified of new return requests in your eBay account, and by email if you’ve selected that option in your communications preferences. You then have 8 calendar days to respond by either:

  • Accepting the return
  • Refunding the buyer and letting them keep the item 
  • Offering a partial refund and allowing them to keep it 
  • Sending the buyer a message - if you want more information, or to resolve the issue without it being returned. 

If you don’t take action within 8 days, then the buyer can ask eBay to step in and resolve the return request - if eBay Customer Service then closes it in favour of the buyer your seller performance will be affected.

The same 8-calendar-day time frame is used for responding to an eBay Money Back Guarantee request. This is eBay’s policy that promises a refund any time an item doesn’t arrive or doesn’t match the description - if you don’t resolve the request on time then eBay can step in and this will also impact your seller standards.

Learn more about handling eBay returns here.

When it comes to improving and maintaining your eBay Seller Standards, the most important things is to keep your orders organised, dispatch them on time, and offer the best possible customer service by responding quickly to messages and return requests.


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About the author

Verity is a journalist and content producer at Zenstores.

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