How to improve your eBay Seller Performance Standards

How to improve your eBay seller level

Published in Metrics

To sell on eBay you have to maintain certain levels of customer service and meet eBay’s Seller Standard metrics. If you fall below these standards eBay can place restrictions on your account that can lead to lower sales. We take a look at what aspects of your transactions eBay is assessing you on and how you can improve your seller standard to increase sales.

What are Seller Standards? 

eBay’s Seller Standards are designed to monitor the buying experience that you give shoppers. By measuring your dispatch times, customer service and any issues with your transactions, eBay determines which one of three standard levels you meet: Below Standard, Above Standard, or an eBay Top-rated Seller. Sellers are evaluated on the 20th of each month on their defect rate, cases closed without seller resolution, and late delivery rate.

Seller Standards on eBay

What are the limits?

For each of these metrics there’s a minimum level that sellers must stay above, and there’s another threshold to be classed as an eBay Top-rated Seller. While your seller level is re-assessed every month, the metrics are calculated for the previous three months if you’ve sold over 400 items in that period. Or, if you sold less than 400 items in the last three months your metrics will be calculated over the past 12 months.

If you fail to meet the Above Standard level and become Below Standard, it can have a negative impact on your account. Your listings may appear lower in search results, eBay can withhold funds, and you can lose Featured and Anchor Shop privileges. However, from October 2016 eBay started to defer placing selling limits or restrictions on accounts for three months, this gives you a chance to improve your Seller Standards. You’ll also be offered advice on how to tackle issues that may be causing your low standards and how to work your way up again.

eBay seller levels table

Transaction defect rate  

Your defect rate covers instances where eBay thinks a buyer would have had a bad experience:

  • Seller initiated transaction calculation: When you cancel a transaction or refund your buyer through PayPal, for example, if you don’t have the item they’ve bought in stock.
  • Case closed without seller resolution: When a buyer has asked eBay or PayPal to step in and resolve their issue and eBay then decides that the seller is responsible for the issue.

  Defect rate standard for all sellers (in the last 3 or 12 months):

  • Maximum 2% of transactions with defects
  • 4 unique buyers affected

eBay Top-rated Sellers (in the last 3 or 12 months):

  • Maximum 0.5% of transactions with defects
  • 3 unique buyers affected.

Cases closed without seller resolution for all sellers and eBay Top-rated Sellers (in the last 3 or 12 months):

  • Maximum 0.3% of eBay Money Back Guarantees or PayPal Buyer Protection cases closed by eBay without seller resolution.
  • 2 cases.

To avoid defects you should always make sure you have the correct amount of stock listed on eBay, especially for items that customers often buy in multiples. If you do run out of a product, make sure that you use eBay’s out of stock settings to avoid having to cancel any transactions.

You need to store your stock safely to avoid finding items are damaged or missing after an order has been placed. It’s also important that when buyers contact you or open a return, that you respond quickly, delays can lead the buyer to request eBay’s help. If the problem is your fault (and even sometimes if it’s not) you should take responsibility straight away, and offer a return and/or refund when appropriate.

Occasionally, you might need to offer a refund in a situation where the problem wasn’t caused by you so that the customer has a good experience and you don’t unnecessarily damage your defect rate over a small amount.

Late delivery rate 

Sellers are only assessed on whether they dispatch items on time, not whether they arrive with eBay’s estimated delivery time frame, as long you upload tracking information to eBay.

Your deliveries will only be considered if you don’t use a tracked service or you don’t upload your tracking information to eBay and the buyer leaves feedback that the item arrived after the estimated delivery date. If there’s no tracking information and the customer doesn’t say that it arrived late then the delivery will not count towards your on-time delivery rate.

If you don’t meet eBay’s late delivery limits, they can restrict the delivery options you’re able to offer and the dispatch times that you can display in your listings. However, if it’s the only performance metric that you’re not meeting your seller level won’t fall Below Standard.

Late delivery rate standard for all sellers (in the last 3 or 12 months):

  • Maximum 9% of transactions dispatched late
  • 7 transactions dispatched late

eBay Top-rated Sellers (in the last 3 or 12 months): 

  • Maximum 4% of transactions dispatched late
  • 5 transactions dispatched late

To improve your late dispatch rate you should use tracked services whenever possible - as long as you can prove that you dispatched your items on time you won’t be responsible for any delays in delivery. You can avoid late dispatches by making sure you have an efficient picking and packing process, and by using shipping software such as Zenstores Dispatch to print labels and automatically update eBay to mark orders as dispatched with tracking details.

eBay Top-rated Sellers

If you become a Top-rated Sellers your listings will appear higher up in search results, but there are additional requirements; you need to have at least 100 sales transactions, £1,000 total sales, be registered as a business seller and have been an active eBay member for over 90 days.

eBay Top-rated Seller

Once you’re a Top-rated Seller you also have the option to add the eBay Premium Service badge to your listings which means:

  • Maximum visibility in search results
  • 10% discount on final value fees on eBay.co.uk or eBay.ie
  • eBay Top-rated Seller displayed on your Feedback profile.

To take advantage of the Premium Service, there are further requirements to meet:

  • You need to offer at least a 30-day returns policy
  • 1-day or same-day dispatch
  • An express delivery option that offers delivery within one day
  • A free domestic delivery option.

If you notice a drop in eBay sales then it could be because your seller level has fallen, and eBay has placed restrictions on your account. To keep track of your sales on eBay, and other ecommerce channels, you can use Zenstores Insights. It will also enable you to keep an eye on which are your best selling products and who your best customers are. Find out more about Zenstores Insights here.  


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About the author

Verity is a journalist and content producer at Zenstores.

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