Monday, August 13, 2007

eBay Speaks About Seller Non-Performance.

Wow, it only took them most of the summer to address this issue openly. Philipp Justus,
Senior Vice President, Auctions announced today on the eBay announcement board.

"The vast majority of eBay sellers deliver consistently positive experiences to buyers. However, a very small minority -- just 1% -- of sellers currently cause fully 35% of bad buying experiences. This small minority not only damage their own reputations, but also indirectly damage all of the good sellers who benefit from a strong and vital eBay marketplace. To address this problem, we have begun enforcing our Seller Non-Performance policy in stricter ways than in the past by considering a seller’s buyer dissatisfaction rate."

Here are the new rules for sellers:

New enforcement of eBay’s Seller Non-Performance Policy

There are currently two types of input from buyers which we use to measure a seller’s buyer dissatisfaction rate: the percentage of negative and neutral feedback they’ve received and the percentage of Item Not Received complaints filed against them. Sellers who have demonstrated buyer dissatisfaction rates greater than 5% within a 90-day window are now subject to temporary 14-day restrictions in the form of selling sanctions or reduced listing volume. Sellers with dissatisfaction rates that are 10% or greater are now subject to indefinite restrictions until they improve their buyer dissatisfaction rates to less than 5%. In both cases, sellers are given instructions on how to resolve their open disputes and take other recommended actions to in order to regain their full selling privileges. (Please read Seller Non-Performance policy and our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.)

Today is August 13th and this crackdown has been going on since at least June. Why is eBay just now deciding to make this new policy public. I would have thought that the 1% of sellers who were causing the problems would have all been restricted by now.

While I agree that bad sellers need to be dealt with, I still haven't seen a viable reason for including neutrals in the calculation. As I've said before, I'm sure if eBay had not included neutrals, they never would have reached the desired number of sellers to restrict.

I'm glad they have chosen to publicly address this situation but they should have done this 3 months ago.


Anonymous said...

Sellers who have demonstrated buyer dissatisfaction rates greater than 5% within a 90-day window are now subject to temporary 14-day restrictions in the form of selling sanctions or reduced listing volume.


I previously received a 30 day restriction without any written notice of any policy. eBay can blame its sellers all they want for their marketplace stagnation but they need to look in the mirror too. They admit their lack of communication, yet they hold sellers to a higher standard than they provide sellers themselves?

Chris said...

An intersting point if a seller receives a sanction...

It only starts the next time you log into your eBay account! If you use third party tools to manage eBay and don't log in the sanction won't have started! If you get the email log into the site ASAP!

Anonymous said...

"1% -- of sellers currently cause fully 35% of bad buying experiences"

Why didn't ebay simply NARU those sellers. They have the data and calculations, it's all traceable back to the sellers. eBay should have just quietly whacked those sellers and left everyone else alone.

Seems quite simple to me.

Oh, and if Neutrals are counting as Negatives, then shouldn't 'No Feedback Left' be counted as a Positive?

eBay must be assuming that if the buyer went through the trouble of leaving a Neutral they were NOT SATISFIED with the transaction. The same logic would dictate that 'No Feedback Left' means the buy WAS SATISFIED. *Maybe include a minPrice so all the .01 sales don't get counted.*

Randy Smythe said...

The truth be told. eBay is trying to weed out sellers and their inventory. They tried by raising fees and that didn't work so now they are going after the bottom 1%.

Going after bad sellers is a good idea but don't cast such a wide net. Neutrals should not be considered in the calculation but since they are eBay needs to include all positive feedback not just unique.

Anonymous said...

I have cut and pasted here, an email message that went out late on Aug 15th, direct from EBAY to all sellers in good standing or better....

We're writing to tell you about an important announcement we've made concerning eBay policies and standards for seller performance. eBay is taking steps to protect the interests of good sellers like you and the consumer's overall experience on eBay.

First of all, we assure you that your current level of performance exceeds the standards. Congratulations and thank you.
Sellers are expected to perform in a manner resulting in a consistently high level of buyer satisfaction. If, over a 90-day period, a seller's interactions with buyers result in greater than a 5% level of buyer dissatisfaction as evidenced by negative/neutral feedback and/or Item Not Received complaints, that seller will be considered in violation of eBay's Seller Non-Performance policy. Note we're currently not including Detailed Seller Ratings in the enforcement of this policy since they're so new to the marketplace.

As a seller in good standing, you're well aware that buyer satisfaction is vital to your continued success -- and the continued success of eBay. Thank you for your solid track record and continued commitment to good customer service. We're confident that enforcing this policy will go a long way to keeping eBay a great place to buy and sell for you and for all our users.


eBay Trust & Safety

It includes links to the formal announcement also made this week....

ebay definitely has a plan in motion for their future, 2008 is going to be interesting year....volume sellers probably arent going to like it.

brent said...

Actually, I think it is a good rule if someone at ebay could actually count.

I really have no problem with the policy. I think it is good for buyers and is good motivation for sellers not meeting the standards to take a look. I was just a little shocked to get one on my account jillianleather.

It didn't matter how you sliced it, this account has no open disputes and has never had more than 5% negative and neutral feedback. I have larger accounts with gold powerseller support. I called to talk to my account rep, guess what. My account rep is no longer at ebay and for the last 3 weeks I haven't been able to get a new rep assigned. I was told ebay is restructuring this department.

So I talked to one of the useless T&S reps who could do nothing. He only suggested I follow the instructions from the email I was sent. So I played the game and started contacting the few neutrals and negatives I did have and got these buyers to agree to mutual removal of feedback. I have had several removed and now the account is less than 2% negative and neutral feedback for the last 180 days. I wrote to T&S to have the account reviewed and got the email pasted below.

These guys still allege the account has more than 5% negative and neutral feedback. It is amazing! How is it that everything with T&S is always this screwed up?

I called T&S again today to ask about the email. Once again, no help. This guy told me it would be another 60 days before the restriction would be lifted? 60 days? Why am I restricted to begin with and where is my gold powerseller rep?

My rant for today.

I enjoy your site.


Dear Brent,

Thank you for writing to eBay in regard to your account status.

We recently notified you that your account has been restricted because
it violated the eBay Seller Non-Performance policy.

The restriction that was placed on your account is a selling limit which
will remain in effect until your percentage of unsatisfied buyers is
less than 5 percent. The number of unsatisfied buyers is determined by
the percentage of negative and neutral Feedback and/or Item Not Received
complaints received over the past 90 days.

During the restriction period you will be able to sell up to 75% of your
average weekly listings. The number of listings is determined by taking
a daily average of your listings from the previous 90 days. The
restriction will be applied by activating weekly average selling limits.

Please refer to Feedback comments and Item Not Received complaints, to
see areas that need your attention.

In order to have this restriction removed, you'll need to improve your
Feedback rating and resolve Item Not Received complaints. Improvement
will be measured by:
- Newly earned positive Feedback- The number of Item Not Received
complaints closed
- The number of negative or neutral Feedback withdrawn after resolution
of complaints

We will reevaluate your account in 30 days to determine whether you are
eligible for full reinstatement of selling privileges, based on whether
your percentage of unsatisfied buyers is below 5 percent. If you are
eligible, you will be contacted by email when your selling privileges
are reinstated.

To improve buyer satisfaction, here's what you need to do:
- Review previous Feedback and Online Dispute Resolution comments to
understand which of your business practices result in buyer satisfaction
versus dissatisfaction. For more information, please visit:

- Complete all open transactions and make sure they result in positive
buyer experiences.
- Settle any open disputes with your buyers. To access disputes opened
against you, go to the Dispute Console in My eBay.
- Once you have successfully resolved issues, consider asking buyers to
use Mutual Feedback Withdrawal to withdraw negative or neutral Feedback.

- Learn more about the Item Not Received or Significantly Not as
Described Process at:

- Learn more about how to resolve Feedback disputes and use Mutual
Feedback Withdrawal at:

Your account will remain restricted pending the required improvement.

If the level of buyer dissatisfaction for this account does not improve
to less than 5%, we may be required to further limit or suspend all of
your eBay accounts.

For more information about our Seller Non-Performance policy, visit:

Thank you for your time.


eBay Customer Support

Original Message Follows:

Subject: IV=C11005 Blocked or suspended account [#US A11 ?01 ]

User Feedback: 5733
User State: ?01

Browser Info: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.0; en-US;
rv: Gecko/20070725 Firefox/

Suspension > Suspended and Problematic Accounts > Blocked or suspended

Message: My account was restricted due to alleged "seller
non-performance". Can this restriction be lifted? My feedback is
nearly 99% and I have less than 2% negative and neutral feedback for the
last 6 months?



Anonymous said...

I have had no complaints, nothing outstandings, no disputes with buyers or sellers. My feedback rating is 35 positive. I logged on to ebay and they say my seller account has been restricted for 30 days why? I have no disputes or complaints towards me I have nothing not a damn thing wrong and they restrict me can some one please shed some light on this for me thanks!

James said...


I agree that sellers need to be restricted if they handle their buyers in such a way to cause dissatisfaction. However I think that even some buyers are causing problems such as buyers from Italy have a reputation of high non receipt and sellers won't sell to Italy.
I think that it would be a good idea if sellers can give positive feedback 1 to 5 for quick payment, communication, ease of transaction. I think it would only be fair for both parties involved in the dealing.
Hope that something is done in the near future about this issue.