|Mon Dec 9 2013 21:07:36|
eBay Sellers Fly Blind Due to Hidden Selling Limits
By: Ina Steiner
eBay has imposed selling limits on certain sellers for years, but since 2011, it has ramped up the policy to the point where all sellers have limits placed on their accounts, a fact confirmed by eBay in April 2012. But a recent conversation with an eBay PowerSeller sheds new light on how its implementation of this policy can be harmful to sellers.
eBay imposes selling limits to reduce fraud and manage risk as sellers scale their businesses. But eBay does not disclose to all sellers that selling limits exist - and some sellers are spending money needlessly to try and grow their business to a level they can not attain.
I spoke to one Platinum PowerSeller who is far from a newbie, who invested resources into growing his sales this year to no avail. Recently he discovered by chance that eBay itself was holding him back from growing sales.
He was spending money on employees to ramp up his business with no return - something he would have anticipated if eBay had displayed his selling limits in his dashboard. Look for an article about how this impacted him in Tuesday's EcommerceBytes Newsflash newsletter.
In addition, some sellers report that eBay customer service reps have denied selling limits even exist.
Selling limits also raise another question - surely these deliberate limits on seller growth rates is impacting eBay Marketplaces growth as a whole. Also, as it attempts to manage risk, eBay is prompting sellers to seek growth on other platforms, as was the case with the seller mentioned above, who expanded to Amazon (before he learned of eBay's selling limits, by the way) and is scaling his business there.
Have you determined what your selling limits are on eBay, and for that matter, on other marketplaces such as Amazon? Let us know what you think - and spread the word to your colleagues who may be flying blind.
Update 12/12/13: Someone asked me to include a link to the Letter to the Editor covering the issue of "Throttling." Here's the link.