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eBay Sends Grace Period Warning to Sellers

Some eBay sellers who reported they received an email stating they were in a “grace period” were left with questions about the notice, since the emails failed to identify exactly why their Top Rated Seller status was in jeopardy. The emails contained the following message:

Thanks for working hard to deliver great service to your buyers. To protect your online reputation and create trust in the eBay community, our dedicated seller protection team uses information about buyer activity, including reports from sellers like you. We’re here to offer you a fair and safe marketplace.

We want you to know we’ve recently taken the following steps to protect you:

  • Placed your Top Rated Seller status in the US program in a grace period until December 20, 2013

If you’ve had a buyer who has violated eBay policies, you can help out other members of the eBay community by reporting the buyer. You can always go to your Seller Dashboard for more information on your selling performance.

As part of its Fall Seller Update, eBay had announced it would give Top Rated Seller a grace period for those who temporarily dipped below the requirements for sales and tracking. eBay explained, “Starting August 20, you’ll have a grace period – time to get back on track without losing your status, discounts or benefits – if your annual transaction count falls below 100 transactions, your annual sales fall below $1,000, or the tracking information uploaded to eBay within your stated handling time falls below the required 90% of transactions (but no lower than 85%).”

One seller who received the “grace period” notice last week said a look at her dashboard indicated it was because she had not uploading tracking on enough sales, “which is weird because I almost always buy postage through eBay/PayPal or put the number from post office (if an international sale) in,” she said

She also received the email sent out last week in which eBay had misidentified some listings as lacking certain item specifics, making her wonder if the “grace period” email had also misidentified her as not meeting the TRS requirements.

In another email sent to sellers recently announcing that eBay was replacing its “Buyer Protection” with “Money Back Guarantee,” eBay referenced the TRS grace period along with “feedback protection” and “enhanced feedback removal policy” as recent updates eBay had made to seller protection. Note that the email explained the Money Back Guarantee offered the same commitment as it currently offered buyers: “The current eBay Buyer Protection policy and claims process is not changing, which means it doesn’t affect the way you sell on eBay. So just keep providing the same great customer service your buyers love.”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.