Ebay announced in 2015 that there are changes coming for Ebay Seller performance standards, and now those changes are almost here. These changes will happen starting Feb. 20th, with some Top Rated Seller specific changes coming May 1st. Whether these changes help or hurt your business, they will probably have at least some impact on your performance standards and how you handle some situations with buyers. Below is an overview of the major changes coming, and how they may affect you.
Fewer Ways for You to Receive Defects
A defect is a term Ebay uses to describe a sale which had a problem. Previously, things like low Detailed Seller Ratings (the 5 stars the buyer can leave you in feedback for things like shipping), could have counted as a defect. After the changes, you will no longer receive defects for the following:
- Negative or Neutral feedback
- Low DSRs (Detailed Seller Ratings)
- Return requests or Item not received cases that are successfully resolved for the buyer.
This means that going forward, only three things can result in defects:
- Cases closed without seller resolution (if a return was opened but you never responded for example).
- Seller cancelled transactions (although if the buyer requests the cancellation, these will not count).
- Late delivery AND not shipping the item within your stated handling time (more on this below).
Defect Limit Changes for Sellers and Top Rated Sellers
For Top Rated Sellers, the defect rate (percent of transactions with defects) will go from 2% of transactions, to 0.5%. So if you sell 200 items a month, you could have previously had 4 defects in a month, you will now be limited to 1. If you are not a top rated seller, your limit was previously 5%, and it will now be 2%.
So while fewer things can earn you a defect now, you can now earn fewer of them before Ebay will get involved. As a Top Rated Seller, having a defect rate over .5% will eventually cause you to lose your Top Rated Seller status. If you are not a top rated seller, a defect rate above 2% can cause Ebay to place selling limitations on your account.
Shipping, Tracking, and Defects for Shipping
So, as previously mentioned, if an item is delivered late, AND the item shipped late, then this will count as a defect. If an item is shipped within the stated handling time, and the item arrives late, it will NOT count as a defect. Alternatively, if an item ships late, but arrives on or before the estimated delivery date, it will NOT count as a defect. The only way it will count as a defect is if it is both shipped late, and delivered late.
Assuming you upload tracking information (which you really should if it is at all possible), Ebay considers items that receive an acceptance scan within the stated handling time to have been shipped on time. So if you sell an item with a one business day handling time, and drop it off at the Post Office the following day and the Post Office scans the item, you cannot receive a shipping defect on the item because you shipped the item on time. If for some reason the carrier does not scan or update the tracking, then this could cause you to receive a defect if the item also arrived late.
If you uploaded tracking, and the item shows delivered on or before the estimated delivery date, the item will not receive a defect (regardless of when the item was shipped). If no tracking is uploaded, the Buyer will be asked in their feedback if the item arrived on time, and that will determine if you receive a defect for the item (so again, upload tracking whenever possible).
Other Important Notes
- Top Rated Sellers are now required to offer 30 day returns instead of 14 days for most categories in order for items to be eligible to be considered a Top Rated Plus listing. (EDIT: This change goes into effect May 1st)
- Starting Feb. 20th, your initial defect rate will be determined based on the last 90 days (for sellers with over 400 sales in the last 90 days), or last year (for sellers with less than 400 sales in the last 90 days).
- In your Seller Dashboard, you will be able to see shipments that received defects. So you will be able to monitor these, and report any incorrect defects to Ebay to have them removed.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. To read more about the changes directly from Ebay, Ebay Fall Seller Update.