eBay answer your questions regarding eBay Service Metrics

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eBay sellers have had a lot of questions concerning the new eBay Service Metrics and potential fee surcharges that will apply to those who fall into the high risk category. When we announced that the metrics were to be delayed until the 1st February many breathed a sigh of relief, but it’s important to realise that the metrics aren’t going away and now is the time to check your seller dashboard and take action before the penalty fees apply.

“It is also clear that eBay are determined to do something to change the behaviour of the handful of sellers who would have been caught up in these metrics – this metric is not going away, so we’d all do well look out for the additional explanatory videos and guidance on how the metrics work. I’m sure we’ll be talking a lot more about returns over the next six months.”
– David Brackin

eBay have been reading the questions on Tamebay and on their own forums and have released a video to address some of the issues raised. In the video they answer:

  • Why are you really doing this? Is it just a “stealth fee increase”?
  • How do you work out who my “Peers” are?
  • I’ve been classified as in the High rating bracket. Am I going to be charged extra?
  • How is the surcharge calculated? Is it 4% of the final value fee I’d normally pay or is it an extra 4 percentage points?
  • I’m a small seller and I’m worried that just one or two bad transactions could push me into the Very High rating bracket. Is it time to stop selling on eBay?
  • I sell used items and I describe their condition accurately. But even when I do, some buyers expect something new and perfect to arrive. This isn’t fair.
  • Can Service Metrics impact my overall seller performance?

Monitoring your eBay Service Metrics

In a second video eBay offer advice on how to to monitor your eBay service metrics in the seller dashboard:

32 Responses

  1. Under UK law you can not charge a penalty for something that hasn’t happened. Ebay are charging business sellers a penalty on return requests. They can’t do that a request can be closed by the buyer with no further action or time out without a return occurring.

  2. The video calculates the additional fee incorrectly a payment described as a ‘fine’ or ‘penalty’ is treated as outside the scope of VAT.

    They cannot just add 4% on to the rates already charged as the current rate is a table but not the additional penalty.

  3. You cannot charge a penalty under UK law for something that a person or business hasn’t done. Ebay are including all SNAD return requests regardless of the outcome of the case. Not all SNAD cases opened are issues the seller caused or was responsible for. Cases that the seller is the victim of malicious and bogus SNAD claims could be legally challenged.

  4. Always the day after they run the promo on .com….like clockwork….does not make much difference however

  5. I have just checked all the ebay account holders who have been listed on my SNAD report , they are still buying on eBay, many are still buying from me. Some of these people left a positive feedback comment after the issue was resolved. How is that a bad buying experience. I by the way had an email in June and July saying my return metrics were very high.

    A penalty is usually charged to compensate for any loss the issuing party has sustained or acts as a deterrent for poor levels of service.

    Ebay and I are still getting sales from my SNAD account holders, so my penalty can’t be compensation.

    And on service levels I calculated 0.085% were actual returns I was responsible for. Taking out requests that didn’t result in a return, requests that were closed by the buyer without a return, cases won against malicious buyers and false SNAD claims where items were reported as defected but worked and the buyer just wanted a free return on a buyers remorse case.

    Ebay calculated my return rate as 3% and said via email I could be subjected to the penalty charge. They refused to allow any appeal on the cases that should not count against me.

    I also have been checking my legal stance on this penalty charge and feel strongly that if challenged legally ebay would struggled to explain how I can be charged a penalty on cases I was the victim of and cases that didn’t even happen.

  6. Another point to note is
    Items not received INR’S are now treated the same as SNAD claims – too many and your metric is too high then you incur the 40% increase in a specific category. This is stupid, the item could be delayed or lost but stupid sellers will open a case either way.
    Ebay want to punish sellers any way they can.

  7. How many times does the video need to talk about after sales. The service metrics penalty charge is measured on return requests. Return requests are a lottery, they don’t have to be opened for the correct reason, or even opened to return an item, some buyers ask a question via a return request and then close it.

    Your after sales can be fantastic, the buyer who opened the return can even tell you so but if a return has been opened the barometer starts to climb on your metrics.

    The start of the video is full of after sales chatter but what is that going to do for the seller with the fast rising metric barometer. In short nothing.

    Talk about closing the barn door after the horse has bolted. After sales is that barn door.

  8. I struggle to see how as the video states the majority of sellers are better than their peers. If that is the case, why spend so much time and money on a metrics system and a video that will only affect a few sellers. Why not just tackle the few bad sellers and stop all the negative vibes that this service metric penalty charge is causing.

    Also if a seller is deemed so bad that ebay feels the need to charge them a penalty fee are they on the other hand still a top rated seller.

    What it says to me is you are a top rated seller, but are unlucky to have been handed a few return requests this month in the ebay lottery. So pay up and hope your numbers don’t come up on the ebay sweep stack too often.

    The whole metrics system is totally unfair, I notice the video didn’t tell us why the returns or not appealable. And how they can justify charging a penalty on things that haven’t happened and may not happen, like calculating on return requests, not actual returns.

  9. Some of our American buyers are reporting problems bidding auction style on our items. When placing a bid, eBay states “the buyer does not ship to US”. Which is strange as we have sold to US for 18 years and all of our shipping metrics are built for overseas sales.

    Also had a suspension warning from eBay yesterday. A buyer requested a buy it now on one of our auction listings through eBay. The offer was too good to turn down, so we listed a duplicate as a buy it now then took down the auction after he paid. eBay had fees on the buy it now AND also to the appropriate level of bidding the auction had reached. Still not good enough. How sad this platform has become. It used to be fun.

  10. There will ALWAYS be a small number of sellers, in the very high bracket.

    It doesn’t make sense that in 2019, your seller performance could be “Average”. And then in 2020, your exact same level of performance could fall into the “Very High” Bracket.

    So in 2019, Ebay deem you to be a good seller, but in 2020, you are a bad seller.


  11. I won’t bother watching their justification video as it will just wind me up. I’ve gathered enough of what it is like from the comments.

  12. They say if you have below 10 item not as described cases then you won’t be hit with the 4% penalty. Is that that the same for all sellers no matter if you have sold a million items or if you have sold a just a few items.
    Is it the same for a 3 month look back period and 12 month period?

  13. The peer rating is questionable, no one indepentent of ebay assess how it works. I don’t feel comfortable that the company who make all the money from the metrics set the peer groups up.

  14. We are being tasked here with trying to limbo under a target that is pulled from data we cannot see or validate, that moves around every month in ways that cannot be understood until the period in question is over, and to make it as hard as possible, we are all being assessed as guilty for every return and late delivery regardless of whether it is genuine or not.

    All in the name of the buyer experience apparently.

    I call total BS on this.

    My apologies, but I am very suspicious when I am told that having someone follow me around with their hand in my wallet is for my own good !

  15. My PayPal was limited as well due to unfair complain from the buyer. Although I provided all the evidence against the buyer, my account is still limited. PayPal is not responding to mine complain, just ignoring. PayPal is not a safe place to sell anymore.

  16. I have been asking that same question mark, I wish there was an option to opt in, I also heard ebay invites people to do it

  17. Just add 5% on to all your listings (4% + VAT ) and move on – simple

    If every seller does this then we will all be back to where we started from – except that all buyers will be paying an extra 5% to cover the seller’s higher ebay costs – this is only fair as buyers are causing the problem in the first place by expecting easy and free returns

    At the end of the day the seller has the right to pass on (expected) increased costs

  18. i might start a marketplace series and copy paste the marketing crap!

    at least tell us how UK peeps can sell on it !

    Thank you Jay 🙂


  19. “They are also unaware of how to properly dismantle a vehicle”

    That is the trouble with modern technology, I recall you could dismantle a MK2 Cortina with

    1x 3/8-7/16 double open ended spanner
    1x 1/2-9/16 double open ended spanner
    1x flat-blade screwdriver
    1x Phillips-head screwdriver
    1 lump hammer

    And of course the obligatory Haynes workshop manual, but when reassembling you would always have a few spare parts left over, but there was no eBay to sell them on.

  20. I’m so glad I’m getting out of the eBay game. I’ve had nothing but a top service for 5 years, never below 100% positive feedback, never above 3% late delivery (except for a misunderstanding which eBay cleared up), and yet I’ve been slowly stripped of premium service as eBay move the lines more and more and I’m not willing to keep up anymore. Sales are being affected as low rated sellers who offer a crappy service are being given the spotlight way more often than they should. I’ve searched my products a bunch of times only to have my screen filled with a terrible seller, slated as “eBay’s Top Pick” or something like that, and non obvious clicks to get to other decent sellers.

    Life’s too short for that. I’ll use eBay to unload what stock I have left, cancel the shop when it becomes cheaper to list without one, then run for the hills and let everyone else work themselves to the bone to line the pockets of multi millionaires, and let them carry on moaning as eBay forces them to keep up or get fined. If you think you can keep up with massive brands with huge financial clout then good luck to you, if not then I’d get plan B on the go sooner rather than later.

  21. @Adam and @Lyn….Are you seriously going to close your store over this. Please provide EbayID so your comments can be verified. I find it so hard to believe you cant just increase your prices by 5%….That’s unless your one of the pile it high sellers which will not be missed

  22. Really wish you guys would stop trying as hard as possible to make sellers leave Ebay. I don’t think you fully understand that without sellers you can’t have buyers.


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