New eBay UK Seller Standards and Defects: have you tried Descoring?

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It’s been about a week now since the new Seller Dashboard was released on eBay UK. You’ll doubtless have had time to examine your new seller status and evaluate what the new rules (which formed part of the Spring Seller Release and come into effect in August) will mean for your eBay trading.

To say that we have been overwhelmed by emails and comments would be fair: it’s not often that an announced change on eBay has caused so much disquiet and inquiry to arrive in the Tamebay inbox.

Two things that I’ve learnt from such correspondence must be reported:

Firstly, it’s interesting to note that there is a “descoring” process available via the new Seller Dashboard that allows you to appeal the Defects. So, if you think one of your Defects is inaccurate, there exists a mechanism by which you can appeal. That’s good to know.

Secondly, we’ve heard from several sellers who have successfully used that process to significantly improve their seller status. The most notable case I’ve heard of is the seller who managed to have half a dozen Defects descored and thus restored his Top Seller Rating (TRS) from Below Standard.

We asked eBay for comment and they provided Tamebay with this statement:

“We advise sellers to use the information now available on the seller dashboard preview and the transaction defect report to identify root causes of any defects to prevent them occurring in the future. Rather than focusing on a single defect, sellers can use these tools to understand any trends or patterns in performance as this is what will benefit both sellers and their buyers going forwards.”

“Where sellers can see defects for cancelled transactions or unresolved cases we’ve seen this is most likely when the process flows on eBay haven’t been used. We advise sellers to always make sure the transaction is logged correctly and any communication with the buyer is through eBay. This way we can see what is happening which is really important.”

“The reason that we are making these changes is based on data that highlights what matters most to buyers and we’ve seen when such defects occur the buyer will shop less on eBay. This is why the new performance standards have been aligned with buyer expectations.”

It’s up to you and how your new status as a seller has landed to decide whether it’s worth your time and effort to wrangle with eBay customer support to get even a handful of Defects descored. But with single strikes having a huge impact on TRS benefits, it’s definitely something to be considered.

Have you successfully had a defect Descored? Do let us know.

56 Responses

  1. so where and how is this descoring process ?is there a button or a link where is it exactly ? or do you just contact customer support ?

  2. I was on the phone for about an hour on Tuesday to ebay CS about several of the markdowns as we are set to loose our TRS mainly due to customers contacting us to ask where their orders are(not sure how that is a defect).

    Anyway I was told that I would never be able to have anything removed as ‘other’ sites on give a 1% defect rate, ebay give a 2% defect rate to cover the ‘idiots’ that don’t do things right.

    Ebay need to have a clear line over this, can you or can’t you have things removed if they are indeed wrong. This is peoples businesses they are playing with which could cost jobs etc.

    Ebay..I just want to sell stuff please stop mucking things around.

  3. he reason that we are making these changes is based on data that highlights what matters most to buyers and we’ve seen when such defects occur the buyer will shop less on eBay

    Show us the data. If you can’t show us . then we don’t believe it is more than ebay b******t

  4. Sorry Ebay, but meeting customer expectations is no excuse in a professional business world for classing as defects something over which the seller is not at fault. Neither is it satisfactory to say you allow a small percentage for this, because it only needs a real glitch and these percentages can suddenly add up.

    Ebay can’t expect sellers to trust them and want to work with them when their system is against all natural justice. This is both ethically wrong and totally unprofessional. A very poor comment on eBay’s internal standards and attitudes.

    I just had one where a case was opened which means a defect on my part. And what was the issue? Buyer was telling me they asked for an item to be sent to the wrong address 25 days ago, and when it is returned to me by Royal Mail please could I resend it.

    How on earth can that possibly be a defect on my part?

    In any case on the current ebay regime, now a case is opened, I can’t work with the customer on this because they could escalate at any moment. If it is returned to me I really have no option but to refund them and ask them to buy again.

    Strange thing is that when I talk to customers as I do often, the general attitude is that buyers expect the process to be fair to BOTH parties, but that when there is a problem the seller puts it right. They don’t expect sellers to be demonised or damaged even when things go wrong providing they react correctly. And buyers mostly do understand that occasionally things can go wrong when you are buying online with mail order.

    I have said many times about eBay’s surveys and data – it depends on the question you ask.

    If you simply ask would you like free p&p, tracked and with no hassles, who is going to say No?

    If you ask would you prefer low cost free p&p or tracked and pay more, most buyers will express their view differently from the first question.

    Sellers like myself who offer tracked at extra cost and free p&p untracked will know that take up on tracked at extra cost is very very small, which completely undermines what ebay say about offering a tracked mail service as best practice, and shows the common and typical fallacies in the results of their surveys and data..

  5. Utter rubbish
    Spent ages on phone to CS to descore 2 genuine customer returns which attracted defects in error.
    Ebay admit they are wrong but refuse to descore
    So I lose TRS and would still be TRS if these were removed
    Its all about money

  6. I have got 4 defects for low scores for item not as described but don’t know which items these are. The one case opened for this reason was closed by the buyer because the case was opened in error and no refund or part refund was made. How do you tell which items/buyers caused the low DSR scores as these buyers will go on my banned list (the error buyer won’t)? Having acknowledged the buyer error and the buyer closing the case why is this a defect and do I have grounds for descoring? I don’t want to waste time contacting ebay if the end result is the score remains the same.

  7. is there a button or a link where is it exactly ?’

    It is hidden by the same magic cloak of invisibility as the:

    ask seller for invoice OR
    add to shopping basket/cart buttons, lol!!!!!!!!

  8. its all a thinly veiled cull , the figures have been analysed and acted upon, the individual human cost is incidental

  9. Poor old eBay – getting it in the neck again.

    They just want a system that kicks off bad sellers. Everything they have tried so far just pisses off good sellers.

    This time much more than ever.

  10. If ebay only wanted a system that just kickcd off bad sellers why are business seller discounts impacted by these changes?

  11. who says its just for bad sellers there must be millions saved in TRS discounts
    from perfectly good sellers

  12. I just wanted to say thank you! I have been stressing out quite a bit since we were able to see our new defect rates about how close I was to losing top rated seller. I had tried earlier in the week to find out about getting my unfair defects removed to no avail but I thanks to you I learnt the magic word to ask for of descoring!

    I went on live chat this morning and went through 3 agents who had no interest in helping me and kept fobbing me off with excuses like “oh no if you dont post it with tracking we can’t get the defect removed, as that is ebays preferred shipping method” – much rage & gentle persuasion later I got transferred through to Marck Joseph who was wonderful. I explained every transaction I had issues with and he went through and removed all the ones that were eligible so I managed to get 6 defects descored so hopefully that will make a big difference to my rating. We will see when the next evaluation comes up, fingers crossed.

    Unfortunately he told me there is no way to request him specifically so it is pot luck to try to find him again

    I just wanted to say you should persist as it is successful (maybe I shouldn’t speak before I have seen my new evaluation to make sure they are actually gone!!) and can be worth your while as long as you keep at it.

  13. If you go to your Resolution centre and sort by last 18 months and then click on the number of cases you can see all of them, find the offending ones and get on the phone to CS. I’m finding more success with CS lately on removing the (now) defects for past items I reported a buyer for previously but still on my record.

    CS contact is not the same IMHO as it was 6-12 months ago and has improved.

  14. Stuart,

    It’s up to you whether you thinks it’s with having them removed.

    But what is clear is that eBay CS are confused and not singing from the same hymn sheet. The tip to keep on plugging is the best one if you go down the descoring route.


  15. Ebay always write their explanations as if they are to responsible sellers. Their new policies, however, are in place to try to rein in rogue sellers. As with all the new sledgehammer/nut policies that eBay have been so fond of introducing over the past few years, the good sellers, which eBay want to have aboard, are the ones who are being most affected by this, and becoming the most disillusioned.

    Rogue sellers simply don’t give a toss about ‘providing a good service’ or whatever; they simply do their bad stuff, have their accounts closed and then move on with a new account.

    Part of the problem is how sellers can build up a good feedback profile by buying simple, cheap things and getting feedback as a buyer. Because the ‘buyer always gets positive feedback’ policy has now been in place for so long, this means that buyer feedback, and hence reputations built on such feedback, are meaningless. Rogue sellers can therefore soon be back in action after having been banned.

    So this leaves the good sellers like us being increasingly frustrated by eBay’s efforts to emulate Amazon, and make themselves into some sort of online superstore instead of the virtual shop window that they actually are.

    Sometimes I long for the ‘old’, simple eBay that it used to be before all these idiots took it over…..

  16. I’m reading conflicting statements too, one US ecommerce news site is saying that 12 month sellers will be given a grace period until March 2014 yet on the UK link from the TRS new dashboard it says August 2013.

    eBay can you please clarify this point? Conflicting reports only cause confusion and more mistrust.

    While I see you want to oust bad sellers, I’m all for that, you are also reverting back to the ‘Dolphins’ period of a few years ago when so many good sellers were caught wrongly in the nets, but this time under the false sense of security of sending the buyer problems to the resolution centre (which I was in favour of) to help clean up the site and then coming back and beating your good sellers with it.

    It’s time for one of those ‘We listened’ type announcements and put these wrongs to right because you didn’t listen to your sellers enough to start with.

    No to 3 for a defect, No to neutral feedback against a seller (you went back on that one years ago) No to a defect for ‘where’s my item’ queries for many reasons out of a seller’s control.

    Yes, to a better system, secretive preferably to mark a troublesome buyer of which I’ve personally had two this week that you act upon. This has cost me time money to fix and report, the buyer is free to go and do this again.

    Get around the table again with your sellers please and this time take notice of what they say and act on it.

    *rant over for a bit*

  17. There’s a quote on the UK Powerseller Board, which I will summarise, where a seller rang eBay CS and asked them ‘Do eBay ever de-score defects?’ and the answer was ‘no’.

    From reading 100s of comments, it seems to me like the majority of eBay CS staff are just winging it and have no idea of what the new rules are.

  18. This is going to happen if you like it or not.

    The question i always ask is.


    I think its going to be FREE returns for any reason. We are half way there already !

    On top of the 180 day return policy , as announced.

    Now based on that…..

  19. That for me at this point would mean hermes and some customers don’t like that delivery company. Ebay doesn’t have a scoobie. No wonder so many outlets left. Its very hard work atm, and ebay make it only harder but offer little rewards.

    Sales dead this weekend !

  20. ….and another thing, 2 cases opened against us in one day – yesterday:
    customer has just opened a case against us because the “axe I have bought for my 5 year old son to chop wood with is too heavy”
    Now two things come to mind,
    1) would I give a five year old an axe – answer NO!
    2) exactly why is this a “defect” agianst our standing.
    As we sell over 5000 different products on ebay we do get an awful lot of this type of “case” and the main reason is that buyers are “pushed” towards the “case process” when they try to contact a seller after they have received the goods.
    I and I am sure everyone who has commented on this have no problem with genuine “cases” but ebay need to review the encouraging a case to be opened process as many buyers do not want to open a case and in fact send an email afterwards apologising as they only wanted to ask a question about a product they have received.
    Case 2 yesterday:
    “I have not recieved my item ( purchased at 11:50pm on Wednesday – selected free delivery (RM48) case opened about 1 minute after the ebay “expected to arrive by date” because my party is otday and I need it now. – order defect!?
    I really do give up – we have sold on ebay for over 10 years with 100,000 pos feedback and the consistent introduction of new “rules”, changing goalposts and rubbish treatment of genuine sellers actually have made me not care about “ebays standards” anymore. It will not make me not sell on ebay, just we will play the system in the same way certain buyers do.
    ….and don’t get me started about Compulsory Returns, that one is a huge bomb which will blow up in eBays face!

  21. I turn over £100k on Ebay and was growing at 50%+ a year with projections of circa £500k turnover in 4 years.Amazon £50k last 12 months,website £45k.All products UK exclusive.70% of sales driven by google and with the EAN codes can pretty much direct sales to any of the 3 platforms.
    Just been on to CS to try to get a SNAD de-scored that was obvious a try for a free item sending out.Passed around 4 people then passed back to the person i started with then cut off.
    Shocking customer service.
    I will be pushing most traffic to the webby now and some Amazon.These are UK exclusive products.
    Iv also has 3 huge sellers phone me this week who supply packaging etc all guiding us to buy off Ebay on their sites due to “defects”.
    If Ebay dont launch a real appeal procedure for defects that works i fear for their future as a platform.They are going to take a huge hit on turnover id expect.

  22. Iam totally confused and quite frankly utterly downhearted right now.
    I telephoned Ebay regarding my ‘defects’, in particular a defect i have received for an INR claim, here’s what happened….
    Buyer opened case claiming INR, the item was sent 1st class signed for, when i checked the tracking info Royal Mails tracking confirmed that the item was received and signed for (signature was buyers name) 4 days prior to the case being opened. I added tracking info and comments to the effect that it appeared the buyer had received the item, surfice to say the buyer never ever added any further comments to the case nor did he escalate the case & eventually the case was found in may favour…..
    My assumption was that either the buyer has opened the case in error or he had forgotten that he had signed for the item and was simply “trying it on”, either way the claim for non-receipt was false.
    When i spoke to Ebay regarding this and pointed out that this particular case should not impact against me the CS Advisor very emphatically told me that under NO circumstances will ANY defects be removed even if you can prove that a case or return is instigated due to buyer mistake, remorse or downright fraud!!!
    To say that iam utterly appalled by this is an understatement and further to that iam also deeply concerned that it appears some sellers are getting defects removed but others are not..why?…is it just the usual case of ‘it depends who you speak to” senario or is there something more to this?
    Iam current a TRS but my projected status in August is Above Average however if this blatent false claim was removed then i would still be TRS in August….
    Is it any wonder iam totally disillusioned right now but more importantly highly suspicious!

  23. After a weekend of not dealing with eBay numpties I’ve just popped in to see what’s what on eBay – and having read all this I have to say I realise how silly it was of us to stop selling on eBay.

    You lot are so lucky still trading on that wonderful platform for professional sellers! 😀

  24. Can we not show our disgust with this and the other crap they have come up with lately by having a 1 day close your shop protest?

  25. Get with the program guys!!

    Come August we are all screwed. TRS will be a thing of the past (no 3 months grace period either – didn’t you know?), Defects will open the floodgates to bad buyers and enable them to get almost anything under £5 for free, CS will totally screw up administering Defects (like they already do with most things), seller discounts will go with loss of TRS (ha ha, they finally found a way!!), and sellers will have a huge workload as a consequence. Happy days!!

    I have one question: Do sellers on Amazon have problems like this?

  26. Well I just watched eBay’s webcast on seller standards, and they said they automatically remove some defects, but in general they don’t descore defects manually.

  27. after 13 years trs now removed turnover around 150k per annum thankfully i kept all other avenues open 30 years in business ,can now sleep soundly ,no more bullying from ebay and their customers still above standard oh thank you so much your so kind,no more dreading the emails will still trade but 1400 listings now down to 52

  28. They can’t descore cases made on paypal as it is, how will they ever descore these defects. My experience of trying to get some common sense or some sort of clarification from ebay has been just stress and anxiety. Im trs with perfect feedback so it came as a surprise to me when I was told I had an item not received case. I send all my items very quickly with full insured tracking. I eventually found the case in question after much searching and a lot of head scratching. It was a case for an item not received. The circumstances of this case were… I sold a phone and posted it the very same day special delivery. It was attempted delivery the very next day but the person was out. The person then contacted me saying “coincidentally” they had been given the very same handset I’d sold so wouldn’t be needing mine. Instead of sending it back he left it at the post office and it took 5 weeks to go through royal mails system. He kept demanding a refund and ebay told me not to until i get my item back. So he started a dispute on paypal and was awarded the refund as they said they could see the phone was coming back to me so couldnt allow me to keep the phone and the money but gave me the cost of postage back as a good will gesture. I then spent hours and weeks trying to get this case removed. I was told it had been descored on paypal and ebay and would come off of my dashboard in December. I rang back when it didnt and they told me it was a glitch in the system which only 16 people had so it wasn’t treated as urgent. I said it may not be for you but it is me which they were somewhat sympathetic. This week after this going on from July last year and spending hours and months of getting nowhere i was told they can’t descore paypal cases, even though they could see delivery was attempted the very next day.
    Sorry if this seems off topic and long winded but i dont believe they can descore cases on paypal even when they can see what you are saying it totally right.
    You get totally different answers from different ebay representatives. I must have spoke to around 15 at a rough estimate and it took almost a year to be told we made a mistake but tough. I’ve started using other sites like preloved just to vent my frustration. Its not the sellers who try to placate the most demanding sellers who they need to get rid of, its the sellers who sell stuff that doesnt turn up. Rant over

  29. Hi guys do over 500k a year on ebay with 100% rateing top rated seller etc.
    We will lose the top rated when the new Standards and Defects starts from poeple opening cases to ask question’s and by mistake and then closeing them.
    Tryed Ebay time and time again but ebay will not remove them this is turning into a big joke.

  30. its only been a year since I’ve been trading on ebay and have my TRS status but these new guidelines are just absurd. Dodgy buyers are going to scam the crap out of our small business. I was just told by ebay if feedbacks are revised by the buyer, it still counts as a defect ???

  31. What is so wrong with the current system? You accept the fact that a buyer can open a dispute and ebay hold back the funds whilst you resolve the matter with the buyer or more to the point answer their question on installation or how something works and then they close the dispute – you get your money back and everyone is happy. No need to wait in dread of a case being opened with no chance of getting it de-scored no matter the reason. Best one so far an item not as described case for a night light which does not work in the day – the clue is in the title! No help from ebay as their view is that the buyer is entitled to have the opinion that it should work in the day. Tamebay have a voice which would be listened to much more seriously than individual sellers. Would Tamebay be willing to represent the concerns of so many sellers and see if ebay will reconsider before it is too late?

  32. I wonder how many sellers (banned or otherwise) and interesting listings are disappearing. I seriously believe ebay will virtually ruin itself – surely a site that offers less hassle and fees (and doesn’t ban “bad” sellers because some parcels sometimes disappear in the Far East and suchlike) can’t fail to overtake them? Ebays simple and fun image is hopelessly destroyed.

  33. Anyone tried Facebook stores? Apart from Amazon, I’m now starting to look for alternatives to eBay following the whole defects clusterf***. I got a defect for sending a customer a replacement item on trust after first one got lost in the post and he opened a case. What other company penalises you for giving good customer service?!!

  34. How many times have you bought off ebay and it’s arrived late? You go to ask the seller for an eta and before you know it you’ve opened a case. How stupid is that?! The one time it happened to me I actually emailed the seller and apologised, explaining I didn’t mean to open a case but eBay are making this into a big deal, just ask your carrier where it is and all is well. This all goes against us sellers with this new system. I am currently a Top rated seller yet my projections and worryingly close to below standard, how the hell does that work? Really not happy with the eBay idiots at this time!


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