How to sell on eBay: eBay defects #tamebayTV

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As we wrote earlier in the week, the importance of eBay feedback has diminished over the years. But the rise of the eBay defects system, with relation to seller prominence in search, has increased. But what are eBay defects? That’s what our latest video explores. What are defects and how do you avoid them?

Our eBay ‘How to” TamebayTV videos are produced in association with They aim to revisit some key eBay concepts and policies so you can sell more and profit more.

Previous videos have looked at optimising your eBay listings, eBay’s Best Match system, eBay Buyer Fraud, returns and also the importance of creating brilliant images that sell. And what about shipping or optimising your sales for mobile selling?

You can view them all here on YouTube.

7 Responses

  1. Is this video really up to date?

    It says that defects are given for all these things:
    – Buyer feedback
    – 1-star DSR for delivery time
    – 1-star, 2-star or 3-star DSR for item description
    – Negative feedback
    – Neutral feedback
    – INR
    – Return request being opened on grounds of SNAD
    – Buyers “chasing up when an item hasn’t arrived”.

    But eBay say they only give defects for two things:

    -Seller-cancelled transactions (you no longer have the item, or chose not to post it)
    -Cases closed without seller resolution (after eBay steps in to help, and the seller is found responsible) .

    So, are eBay lying, or is this new video just several years out of date?

  2. Why on earth are Tamebay flagging this up now, when it is a few years out of date?

    Latest video … really? I think the guy doing the talking needs to do a bit of research if that is ‘recent’ 🙁

  3. Dan, are you having a laugh? This is totally out of date by at least a year. Defects are only given for two reasons – seller cancellation for out of stock, or cases closed without seller resolution.

    The rest of the stuff you mention stopped being defects ages ago. You need to brush up on what’s current on eBay if you want to ‘teach’ others.

  4. I was horrified when I watched video as only been selling on eBay for a year so only know about defect rates specified by eBay (in Joe B’s post). I spoke to CS today and was told that all the other stuff in video is “simply not true”. So… who is telling porkies?

  5. TLDR warning.

    I disagree about feedback being unimportant. It can potentially be more important than ever.

    The defect percentage is based only on customers who leave feedback. For example, if you have 100 transactions and only 1 person leaves feedback, they account for 100% of your defect rate. In this case, if they said the item arrived late, your defect rate would be 100%.

    On our account last month we had 59 defects from 8145 transactions. That is 0.72%, but eBay shows the defect rate as 2.59%, a huge difference. Our September figure currently shows above 10% defects because so few customers have left feedback. Ten percent – a very scary number! We have 11 defects from 1907 transactions. The real figure is 0.58%!

    In the last two years the number of customers leaving feedback has plummeted. Now less than a third of our customers leave feedback. It’s dropping every month. This means a single customer who gets their item late (according to eBay) can have a giant percentage impact on the defect rate, even with thousands of transactions.

    Leaving feedback is a painful and time consuming experience because the “defect delivery question” is usually invalid. For example, if I order an item on Thursday from a seller using Royal Mail 2nd Class, it predicts Saturday as the delivery date. That is one working day!

    eBay asks me this question:

    “Did your order arrive on or before Saturday?”

    The answer is no, it arrived on Monday which was great service and within Royal Mail’s service target of 2-3 working days. If I answer the question honestly and leave positive feedback, the seller gets a defect. This is ludicrous.

    I must lie when completing the feedback form to avoid hurting the seller.

    eBay is misleading our customers when giving delivery predictions. On our account, these are the order days and when eBay says it will arrive:

    Ordered on Monday: Wednesday delivery – 2 working days (WD)
    Tuesday: Thursday – 2 WD
    Wednesday: Friday – 2 WD
    Thursday: Saturday – 1 WD
    Friday: Monday – 1 WD

    Royal Mail 2nd Class has a target of 2-3 working days 98.5% of the time. None of the above predictions are aligned with this service level.

    We must take Royal Mail’s targets seriously. 98.5% means that per 1,000 orders we should expect 15 to take longer than 3 working days.

    Even if eBay gave the 2-3 working day prediction, the 1.5% expected failure rate is enough to make you lose Top Rated Seller when only a third of people leave feedback.

    eBay’s argument to me is that I assume someone who doesn’t leave feedback was okay with the transaction. I said yes, that is what I assume. What else are we to assume? That their order arrived late or didn’t arrive at all? How do we know? Maybe their parcel got sent into space? Unless they complete the feedback form we have no way of knowing for sure!

    Or, more reasonably, their order did arrive in time. They got the product they ordered. They paid for it. It arrived.

    Does anyone else remember when “Neutrals” effectively counted as “Negatives” in the old feedback system? Back when we used to get a 20% discount? eBay have forgotten about this. They have recreated this situation with the current defect system. If a customer does not leave feedback then it hurts you, badly.

    I have analysed the profiles of customers who did not leave us feedback. Over 80% have not left a feedback for anyone in the last 12 months. Could it be that customers simply don’t want to waste their time leaving feedback?

    I believe eBay is deliberately lying to our customers to try and force sellers to improve their service. eBay’s dream is that we send all our items via 24 hour courier 7 days per week and subsidise the cost. eBay treats sellers as the enemy – because our service is not as good as Amazon Prime they resent us. We are preventing eBay from growing. They believe we are idiots for not sending everything tracked 7 days per week. They believe we are idiots because we don’t want to send parcels to Russia. We are the sole reason why eBay is losing. If we just got our act together eBay would finally triumph.

    If I warp my brain, I can see there is some truth to eBay’s beliefs. Would sellers improve service if eBay didn’t push them? Would sellers offer 60 day free returns without an incentive? I can understand how they logically reached the conclusions and identified a need for change.

    I understand the decision making process but it is clear to a sane and reasonable person that they have implemented the strategy in a flawed way. They have forgotten the need for incentives and fairness.

    There is nothing we can do to make Royal Mail deliver parcels in one working day. No courier company will get near Royal Mail’s price. Therefore we will continue to use Royal Mail. The net result is that we will forget about TRS and focus our time on other sales platforms.

    Finally I’d like to confirm one conspiracy theory as fact. We supply stock to a large competitor when they run out after they massively oversell their items (which happens every week). I visited their warehouse and they showed me their seller dashboard. It gets wiped to zero defects every month. They find it hilarious that I have to battle with eBay customer support to get five defects removed.

    I took some screenshots so I could look at them later to prove I wasn’t hallucinating.

    They have been chosen by the eBay Gods to have immunity, while the rest of us are at the mercy of “eBay’s Terror Policy”. A sad state of affairs.

  6. So …. a week on and still the out of date info on this video is being shown as current by Tamebay.

    No removal.
    No apology.

    I wonder how much other info on here is wrong/out of date?


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