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Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Apr 11 2012 22:30:44

Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
Many sellers are unaware that eBay has a ceiling on how much they can sell until they reach those limits. A reader wrote on Friday that she was surprised to receive a "canned letter" from eBay stating, "This message is to notify you that in order to assist you in building a strong foundation for future transactions on eBay, we have placed a selling limit for your listing activity. These limits are not in place as a consequence, rather as a preventative measure to help our seller's keep from becoming overwhelmed with large increases in account activity."

The seller had never heard of selling limits and wanted to know what it was about.  

eBay spokesperson Johnna Hoff confirmed that every seller has an "overall" limit and said there are also additional limits for certain types and categories of items, "to help keep eBay safe and reduce fraud, and to make sure sellers have enough experience selling on eBay before ramping up their business."

"These limits will vary by seller," Hoff said. "As sellers get close to or meet one of these limits, they'll see a notification message when listing an item. At that point they'll need to wait until some of their active listings end or they reach the end of the month before listing new items."

While the limits themselves may not be palatable to sellers who encounter them, it's the lack of forewarning that has sellers most upset. Sellers who make a large investment in inventory may find themselves unable to push through the volume of sales needed to recoup that investment, resulting in cash flow issues that could harm their business. Knowing about the selling limits upfront would help them avoid such potential problems.

In June of last year, I wrote on the AuctionBytes Blog that I had noticed an uptick in eBay sellers reporting limits being placed on their accounts. Since the end of March, I've experienced the same thing, receiving reports from sellers who have suddenly encountered their limits, much to their surprise and consternation.

This eBay page explains selling limits and actually shows you how to find your limits. From the letters I've received from sellers, it's not clear that eBay's customer service reps know about this page.

One reader stated, "When I called eBay to complain, I was told the account is in good standing and I have been providing customers with good service, but eBay will be instituting site wide seller limits based on last 6 months. Do you know anything about EVERYONE getting a selling limit no matter what their success has been?" He was not the only seller skeptical of customer service reps' information.
 
According to the eBay help pages, here's how to find your limits:

You'll be able to view most of your account-based limits in My eBay. Click My eBay at the top of most eBay pages, sign in to your account, then select the All Selling option in the Sell section on the left side of the page (or in the Selling Manager Summary).

The Monthly selling limits section shows your current selling activity relative to your monthly limits. You'll see a red alert once you've reached a limit, letting you know you won't be able to sell more items in the current month. You always have the option to request higher selling limits.

Let us know if you're able to locate your limits and if they come as a surprise to you!
 



Comments (36) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?   Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?
by: Another Coin This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Apr 11 22:48:36 2012
Still can't find the Monthly Selling Limits Section. Found All Selling but not that section.
Perminate Link for Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?   Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?
by: Susan T This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Thu Apr 12 01:10:32 2012
@Another Coin : I totally agree. I too looked all over couldn't find any seller limit sections.

Personally I think that this seller limit BS is nothing more than limiting how much the small sellers list. Has nothing to do with fighting fraud.

Luckily, there are other sites that are so much better to list on. Where sellers actually help each other out.  
Perminate Link for Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?   Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?
by: Bill This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Apr 12 02:07:30 2012
I did not find anything at all about selling limits in my selling manager. I clicked on all selling and found nothing at all about selling limits. I do not know what this is all about. I have never heard of such a thing nor have seen anything about that since I started on eBay in the 13 years we have been on here. If it ever came up it would not matter though since we have many other places to sell.

Bill
Perminate Link for Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?   Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?
This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie
       
Thu Apr 12 06:19:06 2012
eBay: ''List for free! --- 100 free listings! --- 1000 free listings! --- Fifty thousand FREE listings!''

Seller: Great! Thanks!

eBay: ''Whoa! Hold on there, Cowboy! You're listing too much!''
Perminate Link for Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?   Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?
This user has validated their user name. by: basset
       
Thu Apr 12 07:31:31 2012
No listing limits found here. Are listing limits only on new items?
Perminate Link for Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?   Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?
by: sassy This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Apr 12 09:05:53 2012
i cant find it anywhere...sell/all sell/ebay mgr/..???
Perminate Link for Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?   Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?
by: sassy This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Apr 12 09:06:38 2012
lol...@ AA...
Perminate Link for Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?   Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?
by: Duke This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Apr 12 09:41:37 2012
That eBay page is wrong.  I've followed it to a T multiple times and there are never any limits shown.

Finally, I called eBay and talked to a rep who said that I have no limits (and he did seem to really be trying to find out the information).

Who knows?
Perminate Link for Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?   Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?
This user has validated their user name. by: Roger Rabbit
       
Thu Apr 12 09:43:59 2012
Nothing shown about limits.
Another eBay lie.
Perminate Link for Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?   Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?
by: unknown This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Apr 12 10:36:22 2012
ebay is, as always, clear as mud. I think what they are calling 'selling limits' is the number of free auctions per month that non-store owners get - at least, when I didn't have a store, they did keep track of how many 'free' auctions I had listed that month and it showed up on that page.

Now, there's nothing there just like everyone else said.  
Perminate Link for Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?   Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?
by: flyingdutchman This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Apr 12 11:57:22 2012
The problem with this logic is what if say I inherit a $50,000.00 pair or earrings?  I can certainly handle listing them correctly, and shipping them since they are so small and just one item and would take about 2 minutes to ship tops.  So by this logic, Ebay thinks that I couldn't possibly add and handle the extra load of one $50K pair of earrings to my sales processing?  

What about auctions?  What if someone wants to bid my stuff up to $2MIL?  Do the auctions vanish or become capped once the limit is reached?...
Back in the day when I got busy on Ebay I would simply call some friends up on a Friday night and we would have shipping parties.  I even hired people to help full time.  Being busy is good!

There has been an on going theory that there is a 120 day sales total cap on all sellers and I for one can attest that my 120 is always fixed and a virtual barrier that I can not break through no matter what special, promotions or sales I run.  When it drops down sales pick right back up.  When it's reached, sales completely stop!  Messages too!  Furthermore my 30 day is exactly my 120 divided by 4, and my 7 day is my 30 divided by 4.  Why?  Is there a cap on how much dollar volume you can sell each day?  Do you go to a reserve server somewhere once this number is reached and become basically invisible on Ebay?  Seems likely.  I have never had a $10,000.00 day on Ebay despite having thousands of items listed for well over a couple MIL in value.  Why not?

Why would Ebay do this?  Why would they cap a seller?  Well, if you were a seller and had the best descriptions, photos, and lowest prices, other sellers wouldn't be able to compete.  They would list on Ebay and fail and then leave Ebay feeling like it was a fruitless effort since none of their items sold and only one other seller's did.  This of course is how the real World works, but not on Ebay.  By allowing every seller to have some sales, this keeps the hook baited and people listing on Ebay.  That's why.

Prior to Best Match, and stores in core, we had a far higher sell through rate of about 85% and we had the least expensive prices for our categories.  We still have the least expensive prices and now have about an 8% sell through rate.  Is this due to a cap?  Best Match?  What changed?
Perminate Link for Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?   Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?
by: flyingdutchman This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Apr 12 12:01:27 2012
One other note; I'm also a buyer and use my Ebay sales' funds to BUY, so if I am capped, my ability to BUY on Ebay is also capped...(shoot in foot)
Perminate Link for Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?   Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?
by: JackieBlue This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Apr 12 12:04:11 2012
No limits on mine either.
Perminate Link for Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?   Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?
by: ebayjim This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Apr 12 14:53:28 2012
@flyingdutchman

I have the same suspicions as you do. The amount of sales & customer messages we receive revolve around a certain monthly dollar volume also. If we fall below the amount, suddenly sales happen, even on items that we don't normally sell. Then everything falls off until we fall below a certain sales threshold. It's like clockwork. I would encourage EcommerceBytes to ask their readers for comments on this topic & then depending on the response question eBay management about it.

As for the selling limits info I cannot find it in Selling Manager either.
Perminate Link for Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?   Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?
This user has validated their user name. by: TrentDep
       
Thu Apr 12 20:57:37 2012
The lack of being able to locate selling limits for most of us suggests that it is not site wide, but obviously a targeted thing...

@ Dutch - very good point sir - I have also experienced similar fluctuations in sales, but have yet to whittle it down to sales per period etc...

Guessing many of us have experienced the same without really locking onto what is going on?...

INA !!  Give Dutch the coveted ~ Blue Ribbon Of Discovery ~ award, and see if Ebay will comment further on his remarks, as well as the fact that none of us can find any limit info ( Really?  Yet another obvious lie from the official Ebay Spokes Mouth?  Shocking !! )
Perminate Link for Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?   Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?
by: woohoo This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Apr 12 21:10:32 2012
This is an eBay lie.

I too followed the directions on the so-called Help Page last year around May when I first got hit with the selling limit.  I called Customer (Dis)Service and the CSR said let me check your account and said my account was in good standing and that if I just follow the instructions on the Help Page, I will see when I am about to reach my selling limit.  I said ummmm I tried to no avail and to please walk me through it.  He tried and when we landed on the page and the selling limits were nowhere to be found he said hold on maybe there was a system issue...he kept me on hold for a long time (i had him on speaker so no biggie) and I finally hung up.  I called again and the next person immediately said there was a system issue and hung up on me.  The next person listened to my issue and disconnected.

As to the limits, my experience had been not $ sales related but rather what categories and/or brands I had listed within the last 30 days.  Although I had never been able to figure out the pattern, I was limited after listing 5 or so perfume-related items (regardless of brand), but when I listed the same brand of perfume, I was stopped on the 3rd listing.  For cosmetics, I think I was able to list around 10 before I got limited.

Ina - You should challenge eBay to provide you a screen shot and very clear numbered step by step instructions on where we can get to this phantom page with selling limits.

Perminate Link for Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?   Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?
by: dans parts This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Apr 12 21:59:59 2012
Chalk me up as yet another that can't find that section on my Selling Manager page.  Been on eBay since 1999.  Have never seen one of those warnings, thank goodness.
Perminate Link for Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?   Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?
by: blaumann This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Apr 12 23:06:52 2012
More complete insanity from ebay. I had a rep on the phone a while back tell m EVERY seller had limits. I was complaining about the limits not coming off anew account. I got a song and dance about how I had to wait longer even though I knew ebay's rules said they should have been lifted. Suddenly next sale they were lifted. This jerk was telling me how long he was with ebay and what an expert he was.  
Perminate Link for Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?   Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?
by: comet This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Apr 12 23:21:27 2012
I have an old (12 yrs) account on ebay used for both buying and selling.  I do NOT see any seller limits there altho there is a dismal sell thru rate.  For about the past 2 years.

On my "new" account---to take advantage of the Free 50---I see a screen EVERY time that tells me I can list so many items up to a certain limit.  

Now heres the thing!

Under what Ina is telling us this means that I COULD in theory be SHUT DOWN if I got BIDS up over that limit!  I find it hard to fathom this as the items I sell are scattered thru the used clothing (in several categories) household,  motorcycle parts,  etc.  And I have never come CLOSE to listing the DOLLAR amount on items as the sum of opening bids or BIN's.

So HOW are these limits DETERMINED?  

Is it what amounts I LIST?  OR the amounts I take in SELLING?

Now all of this is a moot point as selling is at an all time looooow.

I have gotten "flurries" where I sell 3-4 items in a day or so and then---nada.  And these sales don't come anywheres NEAR any selling limits---the amounts rarely go over a few hundred on ALL items sold if that.

So what gives????

If this were NOT ebay one would think that the FVF's would be enticing to the hosting company.  But seemingly once again ebay is BLIND DEAF AND DUMB to the idea that people really DO know how to manages their OWN business.  

Big Brother ain't got nuthin' on Ole FleeceBay
Perminate Link for Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?   Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?
by: Oh, For Goodness Sake This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Apr 12 23:43:12 2012
I have not encountered any listing limits whatsoever, and I sell in multiple categories and item values. Can't find a limit anywhere on my account. It is possible that it depends on whether the account is designated as personal or business.

I did encounter a problem at one point several years back, when I had a much higher sales amount than was typical for my account -- and discovered that every seller has a credit limit, even with a credit card on file for automatic payments. I made a payment to my eBay fees, and sales resumed.
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