eBay’s new 2016 Seller Standards are now live

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On Saturday 20th February 2016, eBay introduced the biggest changes to selling standards it has made for many a year.

The changes were announced last year and you’ll have had access to the new standards in the Seller Dashboard for a while now. So how are you faring? It’s only since Saturday that the new regime has come into force.

What are the changes?

We’ve written about them before and at length. Find out more here.

But some key points are that buyer feedback, detailed seller ratings (DSRs), returns requests that are successfully resolved with your buyer and items not received requests that are successfully resolved with your buyer should not be reflected.

What do these changes mean for sellers?

eBay has positioned these changes as “objective” rather than “subjective”. But in reality how they will affect you is individual. The best advice is to check out your Seller dashboard, via My eBay. This will give you personally a clear view of your situation.

What about inaccurate Royal Mail delivery defects?

One key change that has come into play is the new on-time metric, as explained here in detail.

Most notably, eBay changed tack on this one metric on Friday (at the eleventh hour) as we reported here. So there’s a stay of execution on Royal Mail tracking defects.

In the email to all sellers (that you will hopefully have received) they noted that this situation would continue until the 20th of May and, rightly, numerous sellers have asked what will happen after that date. And we just don’t know.

What about other unfair defects?

It’s time to get on the blower if your TRS status is under threat from what you consider incorrect defects that are dragging you down. This is both time consuming and likely frustrating but the only path.

How have you been affected?

Have you lost your Top Rated Seller status? Have you got unfair Defects? Do you feel you have been unfairly penalised? Let us know.

Whilst there is good news in these changes, and it’s no bad thing that eBay have pulled back on the Royal Mail defects situation, this is still a big change and we’re keen to learn about how you have been affected.

43 Responses

  1. Royal Mail state they aim to deliver 93% of first class mail the next day 7% will take longer this is without buyers who are not home to accept delivery.

    eBay allow 4% of deliveries to be late the numbers don’t add up the only thing sellers can do to keep TRS long term is extend dispatch times and still post as quick as they can but doing this will lose the sellers premium service discounts so either way eBay will not have to pay discounts on fees the system is all about reducing discounts nothing more.

    With eBay stagnating and not growing the only way the management can think of is squeeze more money from its sellers and it will backfire again when they lose more market share to Amazon.

    Its time for eBay management to come clean and admit they have make another mistake and not make sellers suffer 18 months before fixing the mistake like they did with the defect fiasco that resulted in costing sellers thousands in buyer abuse and false INR claims.

    eBay need to get some experienced users helping with making the decisions as the current leaders clearly don’t have a clue how eBay works and where improvements are needed.

  2. We’ve lost Top Rated status everywhere except the UK due to late deliveries. This is despite us saying delivery will take up to 21 working days and sending everything by airmail. Buyers leave feedback within the delivery window and still say it’s late but we can’t afford tracking on our items so we’ll just carry on regardless.
    Interestingly, we’re showing 1.2% of our US deliveries with tracking uploaded on time. That’s great as we don’t send anything with tracking…

  3. Can someone advise?
    In Order to get a ‘late delivery’ defect removed, do all you need to do is upload the tracking number to the order details?

    And nothing else special?


  4. I have been given two defects for late delivery. I was upset by this, since I would drop off the parcels the same day, they would be scanned, and I would then upload the tracking to eBay. How could this possibly go wrong.

    Well, it seems that if My Hermes do not deliver on time
    (because a customer is not at home, etc), I am responsible. I had believed that eBay would only mark me down if I had not got them to the drop-off point in time.

    I telephoned eBay and was told that because My Hermes had not been able to deliver the parcels within eBay’s acceptable limits, the system had picked up that they were late from my uploaded tracking. I was appalled.

    Most of my sales come from repeat customers. Many of them have become friends. My feedback shows that I have many happy customers.

    I told the representative that I would no longer upload tracking, which seemed to bother her – a lot! She told me that I would not be protected. Protected from what? By not uploading tracking, I am actually protected from eBay!

    I informed her that my customers receive the tracking, anyway, since I give My Hermes their email address. My Hermes then inform my customers where their package is. So, basically I am bypassing eBay. The representative was agast when I told her that she should inform her bosses that I am not the only one doing it. Already the system is failing and sellers will find ways to bypass eBay AI systems.

    This means that they will not be able to mark me down ever again via tracking. Yes, I may get the odd one or two customers stating that it was late delivery but that is rare. However, if I continued to upload tracking, the system would probably show that the package had arrived late. I would then lose my Top Seller status, which is probably what eBay is after.

    If I didn’t know better, I would say the system was designed by a very clever psychologist. Designed to create as much havoc for us and to save eBay as much money as possible.

    I simply cannot jump through any more hoops for them. I am exhausted from it all. So, if they remove my TS status, I will just resign myself to it. I think it is time for me to start uploading all my items onto my own Website. I’ve not done it before because all my energy has been taken up with trying to please eBay. I can no longer do that.

  5. The crazy world of ebay, we have lost TRS status after always having it in the UK and after always being below standard in Germany we are now Top Rated?

    How does that work?

    I am exactly the same business I was on Friday as I am today but I am considered a bad business now. Also looking at the numbers for Feb I could likely be below standard as the few people that are answering the Yes No question are saying No, if anything as it’s quiet we are dispatching far earlier than any other month.

    It’s just crazy and puts me off selling on ebay more and more.

  6. It’s all very well saying we can contact eBay to potentially quibble late delivery cases however.

    1. When a customer has completed a feedback tickbox the seller can no longer see the estimated delivery date that eBay had offered the customer.

    2. There is no way of seeing when a buyer left a feedback entry whether or not it has a late comment. The feedback just says left in the last month.

    Once again the seller is at a disadvantage. Another example of eBay’s two-fingers approach to relationship management.

  7. We’ve started questioning buyers on why they left the rating (and blocking them). Most are totally unaware of the meaning of answering no to the on time question. All responders apologise profusely and are horrified at what they’ve done. We encourage them to have a go at ebay customer support from the perspective of a buyer. Ebay management is not listening to ebay sellers, maybe they will listen to ebay buyers. It’s got to be worth a go to get this idiot system stopped before the platform is deserted.

  8. Setting up your website is certainly a good strategy.
    I would recommend a couple of platforms to use:
    1. Shopify: Easy to setup by yourself and get going, has nice design templates and a host of apps that integrate with marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay and carriers.

    2. Woocommerce: Moderate setup difficulty and maintenance by a developer, has nice design templates and a host of apps that integrate with marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay and carriers.

    3. Magento: Expensive, you need a top developer for this, has all the features built in, there are numerous extensions that connect to marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay and carriers.

    If you don’t want to pay marketplace commissions for the cost of advertising then you can certainly spend money yourself on marketing or hire an agency to do your marketing for you.

    Besides building your website, I would advertise on all available marketplaces that makes sense for your business.

    I would try all marketing channels that makes sense for your business, be it SEO, Paid search, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Shopping sites etc.

    We wrote a post about this topic here: https://blog.veeqo.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-ecommerce-marketing-2016/

    Hope it helps.

  9. Probably the worst update yet.

    To start with, an Ebay store I work with for two years , has always been Top Rated and has never had a single Negative feedback. Turns over 6 figures a year, and next month will become Above Standard. Monthly turnover Figures will be affected, and I’ve no idea yet, but someone could be laid off. Who knows how the turnover will be affected, because its never happened before.

    My own Ebay Store, which I mainly sell crap from my house, with no more than 10 sales a month is going from Above Standard to Top Rated !??!??!

    So the Store, which has never had negative feedback, employs people, gives customers an excellent service, is getting penalized because of Royal Mail losing Parcels, delivering late. I know because every item is dispatched on time.

    Now if you need to ask a question to a customer who has just purchased an item, and they don’t reply for three days, of course the item is going to be late.

    I could go on and on and on, with this new bird brain defect system but I would rather give some advice.

    DO NOT rely solely on Ebay for your income. Ebay is great for starting a business, no doubt, but unfortunately in my opinion, it’s foolish to run a business purely on Ebay because at any time they change something that affects your business. Like other people have said on here, sell on different platforms, and multiple websites if possible.
    That way if your Ebay sales go do down due to a change in the new bird brain invented Defect system, you will survive.

  10. We have regained TRS by the skin of our teeth. I was having a detailed look at our report and there seems to be some confusion about the terms. ebay shows a “Max EDD” which I am told means Maximum Estimated Delivery Date. However, I am also told that this isn’t the actual date that something must be delivered, but the day after. So for example, if a buyer purchases on 15 March and it’s going out RM 1st Class, the estimated delivery date is 16 March and the Max EDD is 17 March. So even if the buyer leaves feedback on 17th stating “super fast delivery”, it’s a defect. Further to that, even if the buyer indicates late deliver while leaving feedback on the 16th ebay will not remove the defect unless I have tracking and can PROVE delivery ontime.

    I tried politely to understand how it’s OK for ebay to give a defect based on hearsay but will not remove it without proof. Not surprisingly the response was dogmatic and the ebay staff would not answer this question.

    All very frustrating. It seems to me increasingly the staff at ebay are angry and argumentative and want to take it out on us. I end up just hanging up and kicking something.


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