Have you successfully appealed an eBay defect?

No primary category set

We’re hearing from lots of sellers that they’re racking up defects on their eBay Seller Dashboard, many of which they consider to be unfair.

In some cases we agree that something went wrong and ‘sorry’ but the transaction was less than perfect even if you as a seller think otherwise. In other cases it’s hard to see what the seller could have done differently or better, it’s simply a customer who is hard to please.

For instance what about the buyer that asks where their item is when delivery has already been attempted? What about the buyer that simply orders the wrong item and then says it’s not as described when in fact it’s perfectly described and they just can’t read?

Are these fair defects or should eBay remove them. Have you personally tried to use the appeals process and was the outcome satisfactory?

What’s the definition of a defect

When considering what is a fair defect, eBay say “A ‘defect’ is a transaction that’s considered to create a bad shopping experience for buyers. We understand that not all transactions go well, and this is just a part of doing business. Still, these transactions can seriously affect a buyer’s likelihood to buy with you again. With the new performance measurement, we’ll be better able to reward sellers that provide excellent customer experience“.

How do eBay measure defects

eBay consider the following to be defects:

  • Detailed seller ratings of 1, 2 or 3 for item as described
  • Returns for item not as described
  • eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Buyer Protection cases for item not as described
  • Detailed seller rating of 1 for dispatch time
  • eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Buyer Protection cases for item not received
  • Negative Feedback
  • Neutral Feedback
  • Transactions cancelled by you due to stock out or item sold to another buyer

Your first seller assessment which will include defects

The 20th of August is fast approaching when any defects on your dashboard really will matter and affect your account status. What is your experience to date, is your account and Top Rated Seller status safe or are you about to be downgraded?

Tamebay reader Liz has some concerns. She wrote to us asking if anyone has had any luck getting defects removed or at least disputing them and would love to hear your experiences.

Here’s what she had to say:

Have you heard from any one who has had success with getting defects removed or at least disputing them? I was bounced around the call centre for over three hours yesterday (before someone accidentally cut me off) and another two hours on live chat attempting to do this, still with no success!

I just wondered if you know of anyone who has managed to speak to the right department and secondly managed to get defects removed?

The irony is the fact that eBay think they are measuring my customer service, when their own is so shockingly poor!


46 Responses

  1. I had the same experience when trying to appeal.
    It seems the “Appeal Team” is via Ebay.com
    I was transferred to this team and after being in the waiting queue for 45 minutes I was also cut off.
    I went back and started the whole process again.
    My main issue is that the Team who deals with this seems to sit in Ebay “International” as far as I know in Manilla. The person I spoke to had problems understanding me. Furthermore they were unable to check tracking as they are not aware of anything other than USPS tracking.
    I have now passed this case to Ebay UK and asked them to solve this for me.

    If such a seller unfriendly system is introduced then Ebay UK needs to get a Team sitting in the UK or Ireland to deal with these problems and not simply forward us to the Support Team in the Far East or in the USA.

    My defect was also due to a case opened where the item was actually sitting at the Post Office but the Buyer did not get a notification card.
    The main problem is that Ebay makes it much too easy for a Buyer to open an INR Case.
    Just go to Ebay and then Help and Support
    The first thing you see there is “item not received”
    If you click that it goes right into “open a case”. This is wrong, it should have some restrictions such as a link to email their seller first or if a tracking number is uploaded then it should verify this tracking information before the Buyer is able to open an INR case.

    The people who added INR opened cases to the defect list have obviously never been a buyer or seller on Ebay, I assume they have just come from University and rely on their paper statistics.

    We seriously need some help from Tamebay and other sellers to push this case to Ebay that opened INR Cases which are solved to the customers satisfaction are not counted as defects.

    In this particular case I have had to beg the Buyer NOT to close the case on Ebay as the item was received 2 days afterwards and the Buyer is very happy and gave me great feedback.
    The buyer is happy and would usually close the case as solved, now we have to beg them not to close the case so we can escalate it to Ebay.
    The Customer will think we are crazy.
    And all this should help to give a “Better Buying Experience on Ebay?????”

    Tamebay and other sellers, please let us work together to wake Ebay upto this error in their way of thinking.

  2. No success here, we are now showing as below standard for USA sales, when we don’t list in the USA. This was due to several buyers buying items that we could not ship there and we cancelled the transactions because of this. I can’t for the life of me see how this is a defect and it’s no stopping us even considering selling in the USA.
    The whole thing is a mess and it’s sadly showing ebay is trying way to hard to solve a simple problem, if the defect is the seller then yes we should be penalised, if the defect is a product this should not be penalised, like Amazon don’t. Why should I suffer over negative feedback like ‘Item smaller than expected’ when I give all the details in the listing!

  3. We had a customer open a not-as-described case accidentally because they wanted to no-quibble-return it. We hadn’t set up eBay’s Managed Returns yet so when a customer goes to contact the seller eBay guide them to opening a dispute, without them usually even noticing.

    I asked if this defect could be removed but they said that mistakes have been taken into account with regards to the 2% defect rate for Top Rated.
    I was not told about any appeals process?

    Can someone also clarify what we’re supposed to do if someone wants to cancel a transaction before we’ve shipped it? If we refund without shipping first does eBay count that as having no stock, even if the buyer initiated?

  4. The whole process of appealing to defects the way you have to is just pathetic! Most of the time margins are tight anyway and by the time you’ve sorted out returns and refunds after a seller has made a mistake spending even more valuable time appealing to individual ratings is just unrealistic.

    The fact I’ve lost my top rated status, discount and probably search rankings, with even more costings being thought up by eBay, cancelling my sellers subscription and waiting for the next ‘Facebook’ is the best thing I could have done, hopefully eBay will go the way of Bebo sooner rather than later and I can carry on selling, but for now FBA seems the smallest headache and worth the little extra hit on margin!

  5. I think the LEAST eBay should do with this new system is TELL the seller when “defects” are awarded.

    I went to my dashboard and found I had collected 3 defects – ALL relating to description.

    I had absolutely no knowledge that this had happened, no way that I could see of finding which transactions these related to and no way of protesting.

    BTW, my descriptions are VERY comprehensive and I’m convinced that these 3 occurrences are down to lazy and/or illiterate buyers – who just can’t be bothered to read.

    IMHO this is “classic” eBay – when will they LEARN that we sellers are THEIR customers and buyers are OUR customers.

    “Maximise profit – minimise effort”

  6. Yes, but only through the Manilla Resolution Team. The Dublin CS can’t do anything so you need to keep calling until one agrees to transfer you to the Resolution Team who have removed every unfair/incorrect defect I have asked about except the 2 Cancelled Transaction/Out of Stock ones. They were actually a partial refund to correct overpaid shipping on 2 items when eBay’s automated discounts failed. It also should only be one defect as it’s one transaction, so another eBay fail. Those cannot be removed at all, ever, no matter what eBay system error caused them.

  7. I did get some defects removed very early on (April ish I think) when they first announced this new system. Like everyone else it was people saying item not received when it wasn’t even past the expected delivery date. I even had once case opened as item not received when the woman hadn’t even paid for it yet, I’m not sure how she managed to do that!
    Anyway, I was on live chat getting bounced from agent to agent and eventually got transferred to a lovely agent who removed all the defects I had a query with. The problem is that there is no set system in place by ebay to tell the customer services what to do so they do not know what to tell us and we are the ones that end up feeling frustrated with the whole situation when none of it is even our fault.

  8. Any long-time seller new this was going to be badly implement. And its always been hit or miss regarding CS as EVERYTHING can be put down to buyer opinion.

  9. I’ve given up bothering. I said right from the beginning this was a disgraceful process.

    Any company that gives their “customers” defects when they are not justified has no ethical basis. It simply isn’t enough to say they allow for this in the percentages. It says to me ebay have no respect for their “customers” and no intention of dealing with them equitably.

    Like many I had a case opened for INR. The item was returned to me by Royal Mail. In an ebay message the buyer had refused to check the sorting office when I asked them to do so, and ebay could see this. The package received back was marked D/L by Royal Mail with a date 1 day after posting. D/L means Docket Left – in other words a card was put through the addressees letterbox. Royal Mail attempted delivery within the estimated time. In other words I did everything right, and Royal Mail did everything right – but apparently it is my defect that my customer wasn’t in or didn’t hear the knock/bell.

    Ebay weren’t interested. This is just 1 example of many – customers who just want clarification of delivery date use INR so case opened, even when it is within estimated delivery time.; customers don’t read instructions and then claim item not as described etc.

    It is crap process, in my view extremely damaging to eBay’s reputation, and guaranteed to leave a bad taste in the mouth of every Seller “customer” who undeservedly falls foul. Will ebay ever listen?

    As Paul Rutherford says : when will they LEARN that we sellers are THEIR customers and buyers are OUR customers.

  10. looked at my defect dashboard and found 1 for Detailed seller ratings of 1, 2 or 3 for item as described. Looked up the item and contacted the buyer to find out why as they has left pos feedback saying item was great. Buyer replied apologising stating that she hadn’t realised she had left low mark and didn’t intend to, although she remembered that it was difficult to leave feedback via her mobile. I spoke to ebay CS stating my concerns and they read the messages from buyer, consequently they removed the pos feedback but i see that the defect still remains. I didn’t want the pos feedback removed just the incorrect defect. Why can’r ebay get a system working properly before implementing it? bunch of idiots

  11. eBay has created a monster to use for 2 purposes:

    1) to decide just who can remain a seller on eBay
    2) to help decide on the allocation of both sales and of a possible seller discount.

    It has done this under the guise of the importance of not creating a bad buyer experience.

    Surely it would be much less convoluted to actually ask buyers one simple question about their buying experience? and to apply a net promoter score 1-10

    As a result of your experience with this seller how likely are you to buy from this seller again?

    It might be reasonable to ask a second question as a ‘control’

    As a result of your experience with eBay how likely are you to buy using eBay again?

    eBay might, of course, not like the answers to the second question.

  12. Buyer opened a item not received case at 12.06 today, at 12.17 I get a message from the buyer saying it’s arrived and to ignore the first message, great!

    I call customer service to complain about receiving a defect for that to be stuck in a queue for 30mins with the repeated message the call will be answered shortly, I gave up waiting.

  13. I got a defect this week after a buyer started a Not As Described case. This is what happened.

    I immediately phoned the buyer, and after asking a few questions discovered that what he had purchassed was not compatiable with his existing equipment and after explaining this the buyer was totally apologetic and HE then sent me a eBay message to say:

    a) He had ordered in error
    b) What I supplied was correct and this problem was incompatibility with his equipment and everything was in fact absolutely as described.
    c) He apologised for wasting my time
    d) Thanked me for phoning him and providing great service

    Then, 30 minutes after receiving his message he left me positive feedback which read “Good seller, very good comunication and atention with buyers, thank you”. Unfortunately he has not yet closed the case.

    Now you would assume that if you then called eBay and asked for the case to be closed and the defect removed they would be able to do this, wouldn’t you?

    Wrong. eBay told me that I must wait either for buyer to close case or I escallate case on 8 August, and then I must phone eBay again and request the defect is removed.

    Utter madness and its not even the end of July. It will be total chaos come 20 August.

  14. Have a couple of issues with this type of thing and defects. 1. Buyer leaves Neutral “Love the purse, Co worker loved it more….Sold it to her!!” No one would remove this and the buyer never replied when we attempted to contact her. 2. Buyer bought a shirt XXL but it didn’t fit and left a negative without contacting us at all so we could refund, (measurements also provided). eBay would not remove, some kid saying “We cannot remove a negative just because he says it isn’t an xxl”. Some buyers are larger than they appear and do not want to admit it or they just don’t read. 🙂 But, eBay has made it all too easy to leave poor feedback and nothing for the seller to do but bend over. Donna

  15. 99.8% positive, one negative in 12 months, 2500+ feedback. I will lose trs discount August 20th due to defects. All problems resolved all customers happy. Margins are already negligible and eBay less profitable than ever due to high postage and fees on international postage which I already resent. I need to put in more hours elsewhere to make a living so I’m selling off excess stock and plan to leave my business account after 2/3 years trs success. An hourly rate has become more preferable to this nonsense

  16. We can’t bothered wasting our time with this nonsense from eBay and will not be told by them how to run our business.
    We have reviewed the product & pricing to ensure we can survive losing our TRS status when (not if) that occurs.
    We are cutting back the product offer in August to ensure those products listed are worth the costs of being returned.
    Most stuff under £30 cost is going to get delisted.
    It will be interesting to see how much stuff simply disappears from the eBay site by Q4 this year.

  17. I have just appealed a low DSR from a buyer who left the rating ON THE DAY OF PURCHASE – why the hell are they even allowed to do that? – so he could not possibly know if the item was as described or not because at the time he left the comment it hadn’t even been posted.

    This is what they said:

    EBAY: After looking to your transaction, I have confirmed that buyer was indeed left a low DSR for as described rating, but left a positive feedback.

    As we could not remove a positive feedback I’ll take the initiative to report this buyer to our Trust and Safety so that they will monitor this buyers account.

    US: Ok, but can we do anything about the low DSR rating he left?

    EBAY: In a week time, once the buyer has confirmed in breach on our policy all feedback and DSR they left will be removed.

    So it sounds hopeful in this case. I only noticed this because I am on the brink of losing DRS with 7 low DSRs left for Not as Described in the last three months, more than i have ever averaged in an entire year. I have looked through them and five of the seven left positive feedback while one other left a low mark for an item that we didn’t send (unfortunately got broken during packing), but how can an item not be as described if they didn’t get it?

    If we get this first one removed I will appeal the others’ one by one.

  18. I just got a defect removed.
    A buyer bought the wrong size of shoes for her child.
    However instead of returning them unused, she let the child use them until they were clearly worn. The child got sore feet but she claimed the shoes were defective instead of coming clean about ordering the wrong size.
    The buyer asked us to accept them back for a refund or else they would leave negative feedback (a bit of blackmail there). We declined so they opened a case, left negative feedback and low DSR’s.
    We replied to the case but the buyer left the case to close automatically. She then listed the shoes herself and in the listing admitted in the listing that the reason for sale was because she had ordered the wrong size and that they were not defective and of good quality.
    I demonstrated to eBay Ireland that the customers own listing disproved her claim that the shoes were defective so they removed the negative, but they didn’t have the power to change the low DSR defect. But they did put me in touch with the Trust & Safety team in the Philippines who saw sense and removed the defect.
    But what a lot of effort to get this stage. Must we all turn detective to snoop out such information to right the wrongs? And is it worth it in the end? After all my competitors will be in the same boat so if we all sink at the same rate it’s not as if I will be losing an advantage (just my FVF discount).

  19. Just had one for Item Not as described so I asked the customer as to why he thought that, after the selling page has a very full and precise description. He said that he was delighted with the item and he DID leave 5 stars for everything and that he would take this up with eBay as he felt this wasn’t right.
    We had another one last week (Item not received) where she said she hadn’t had her item from…wait for it…7 WEEKS AGO !
    Sent her a replacement telling her I would get Royal Mail Protection to investigate for her then to get in touch after she got the replacements to say she had “Found” the original packet….so 2 defects for nothing to do with me.
    I reckon eBay should fine the INR one £20 and pass it onto me for the time and trouble this stupid woman has caused.
    All of this crap eBay have introduced has alienated seller against buyer and the goodwill has gone and this is the trouble you get when eBay employ numpties to think of all this up, numpties who don’t actually use eBay

  20. I’ve given up on bothering there are too many new rules that are unclear, I’m focusing my efforts on other sites where I think it will be more a productive use of my tim. I’m actually hoping a big competitor will come along and force eBay to think more carefully about its decisions and put more effort into keeping its sellers happy, currently it seems they are pretty free to do as they please. I’d be very interested in a regular seller opinion poll on their sentiments with eBay to see how this evolves over time.

  21. .
    How to learn to become a ‘little Hitler’…….

    Open an ebay buyer account, and you get a certificate to prove you’ve passed, it’s called a dashboard….

  22. .
    How to learn to become a ‘little Hitler’…….

    Open an ebay buyer account, and you get a certificate to prove you’ve passed, it’s called a dashboard….

  23. yes I have. I would like to share my experience
    The fact is this buyer moved to a new address. Luckily, I take a photo of all parcels after I paid the shipping cost at a Thai postal. Then, a package returned to me. I gave a buyer partial refund. I minus the shipping cost. She was angry because she wanted a full refund .
    2) Buyer said a product is too small and give neutral to me
    I said it is a small product. I stated about the size in the Title, photo and product description. Also, I take a photo of this product with a ruler
    3) A buyer gave Neutral . Said slow delivery
    I sent a parcel after 1 day payment. Ebay said
    Feedback Policy
    Please look at eBay DSR’s guide before leaving a feedback
    How quickly did the seller ship the item?
    • Rate the seller only on the time it took to mail the item, not the time it took you to receive the item.
    Ebay believed in my evidence because of the photo of a parcel

  24. Just called eBay to remove 4 defects of cases opened in last 5 days. 3 for item not received but when pointed out the tracking (tracking numbers already submitted in transactions),

    One found parcel in a mail room of a large furniture company mail room,

    Second received by son but went on holiday without telling mum,

    Third, tracking shows left with neighbour so collected.
    Fourth, bought matt black instead of gloss by mistake but opened a dispute of not as described.

    All 4 resolved, closed and left positives so thought this is a no brainer and defects will be removed so called eBay.

    Flat refusal to even consider removing them as these have been “factored in 2%. Apparently these mistakes have been taken into account of 2% allowed allowance.

    My concern is, that eBay is deliberately channelling all inquiries to resolution and with the current rate of disputes, even with over 1000 feedbacks a month we will be gone with wind in no time.

    On top of that, seller support are no longer friendly and despite trying to be very friendly and polite, I was treated like as if I am a nuisance and a time waster. They almost tried to hang up on me and clearly told me they wouldn’t even waste time looking in the issues as defects will stay!

  25. See our latest defect, one of many questions in silly disputes being opened almost every day:

    ” Unfortunately I havent recieved my item, as the delivery left “sorry I missed you” card ! What should I do? ”

    I have been told the same, its built in our 2% so cant remove. We are now very near our 2% with these kind of defects.

    eBay how about issuing sellers a defect each time it rains in their area? It will certainly achieve your target whatever that is.

  26. I got the same crap 2% bull. Sent a parcel, signed by a Mr mister on time, but the recipient contacted me via Resolution Centre saying not received . Checked the signature online and it was signed by Mr Who knows. Sent another another one, customer very happy but Ebay wont remove the defect.

    Now this is how crackpot Ebay are. If the customer had contacted me via Ebay Messages and it was resolved in the same way, no defect !!

    In the 2% built factoring rubbish, did they factor in that the buyer may or may not contact you via messaging or Resolution Center !!!

  27. eBay are becoming more and more dismissive of Seller concerns around this new defect rate, especially customers who are misusing managed returns which MUST be opted in to or cases which are opened in the wrong topic. Even if the Return is opened in error, this is still counted as a defect as the customer has been inconvenienced by needing to open a case in the first place – regardless of if this is necessary or not. Fortunately they do send transcripts of their patronising advice where they suggest going to the eBay community boards to vent frustration!

    eBay – Please know that with the new seller performance standards all open cases will be part of seller defect rate. For now there is no appeal process but this but I can see that you have excellent seller performance so I’m confident that you can maintain your seller status.

    Me – Does that count for Returns that are returned through eBay managed return. We would like to improve this, not maintain it!

    eBay – Yes, all cases open will be part of seller defect rate. I suggest you to communicate well with your buyer’s on all transaction.

    Me – Even if they are spuriously opened by a customer or are incorrect in their classification? I.e a “item not as described” with missing remote when this is clearly stated in the listing “remote not included”? I feel there is nothing more we can do to clearly describe an item accurately if eBay are going to count a defect where there is not one. I could understand if we had missed this on the listing but I am confused as to how we can mitigate customers mis-using the resolution centre

    eBay – I know you word hard to keep your buyer satisfied and please know that your efforts will not be taken for granted.

    Me – I already feel that they are – there is simply no protection from eBay here, I am sorry but this is very disappoining

    eBay – I understand your concern and I hope you appreciate that the Feedback Forum and Community Boards are places where you can also share your experiences freely and openly. That way, eBay will also know how the entire community feel about certain policies that we have. The more members openly talk about their suggestions and experiences then the more chances that we will reconsider our existing policies.

  28. Just started work today and the alarm bells are ringing.
    New Case: INR
    Checking tracking I can see that there was an attempted delivery and the item is now at the Post Office awaiting collection.
    Ebay thinks all buyers know that they should just email their seller if the item has not arrived.
    In practice this is not how it happens. The buyer goes to “Help” and the first thing they see is “Item not received”
    They click on this and there we go…. “open a case”

    Now I have to wait 10 days and keep my fingers crossed that the buyer does not close the case so that I can pass it on to Ebay in 10 days for them to close so that the defect is removed.
    This is the most customer unfriendly procedure that Ebay has ever created.
    Normally we would just ask the buyer to close the case as they are happy and have received their item.
    With the new system we then wait 10 days and pass it to “Ebay Small Claims Court”. The case will be decided in my favour and the Buyer will get a mail saysing “Sorry Buyer, we ruled against you, you have lost the case”.
    I cannot understand how that is meant to be a “Better Buying Experience” as ebay is promoting the new seller standards to be.

    We really need to all push Ebay that opened INR cases that are closed to the buyer satisfaction are NOT counted as a defect.

    I would ask all sellers who have similar problems to bombard Customer Service so that they can see that this is a real problem and a complete thinking mistake by the top floor Ebay executives who thought this nonsense up.
    Obviously the people who made this decision have never sold or bought on Ebay or maybe even never worked in Customer Support.

    Anybody else think the same?

  29. My blood is absolutely boiling over this defect bs. I’ve had 10 unfair defects “descored” today for May-July 2014 but the agent said it won’t change my defect score which will remain at 2.02% for the August review thus losing me my TRS status for the 1st time ever (I’ve had it 3+ years with zero issues). WTF is the point of descoring if it make no difference to the dashboard? Has anyone had a defect descored and it has actually been removed from their dashboard?

    Also, I have 5 cancelled transactions which were for buyer returns. These should not be counted as defects as I opened a cancel transaction case with the appropriate “buyer is returning” option. What is happening to eBay?!

    If anyone has any ideas on how to fix this mess or any useful eBay numbers please let me know. I am willing to pay someone for any information which will help save my TRS status – can you see how desperate I am 🙁

  30. So much hassle tbh I’ve not even given the defect system the time of day. I’ve seen it as what it is, a tool to remove TRS discount. . The economy is picking up and my physical cabinet sales are up and are much much more profitable as not postage or fees. I’ll still sell bits on ebay but I’m not losing sleep worrying about their convoluted new system. Its a shame as I love selling and I love satisfying customers but its become too time consuming for too little profit after fees and postage. I’ve sold down a lot of my bread and butter stock and gone into more expensive luxury items that are more likely to make a profit for less work. Less sales but that means more time to do something constructive and profitable like my freelancing product photography. I long for facebook or someone to create a really simple listing and selling platform, as easy as etsy but with a bigger audience

  31. When you are unable to get a neg/defect removed it often is said its “buyers opinion”

    There is no were on ebay that allow SELLERS to give there “opinion”


eBay Seller Update - eBay UK Fee Changes Shop Fees Regulatory Operating Fee per-order fee

New eBay Regulatory Operating Fee Surcharge

eBay Seller Release - Retail Standards

eBay Seller Release – Retail Standards

eBay June '23 Seller Release - Promoted Listings Standard

eBay Seller Release – Promoted Listings

eBay further reduce unpaid item incidents

eBay further reduce unpaid item incidents

eBay Seller Release - Selling Features social sharing

eBay Seller Release – Selling Features

ChannelX Guide...

Featured in this article from the ChannelX Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.


Take a look through a selection of the latest articles on ChannelX

Register for Newsletter

Receive 5 newsletters per week

Gain access to all research

Be notified of upcoming events and webinars