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eBay Clarifies Its Selling Limits

eBay imposes selling limits on merchants – but how exactly does that work? EcommerceBytes described the effect of eBay’s practice in yesterday’s newsletter, explaining how a long-time seller was thwarted in his attempt to grow his eBay business.

But readers asked, is eBay limiting only the number and value of active listings a seller can post? Or, does it mean when a seller reaches a certain level of items sold for the month, eBay then prevents sellers from selling anymore?

In response to our questions, eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore provided EcommerceBytes with a link to an eBay help page and highlighted this section:

You have a limit on sold items, gross merchandise volume, and active items for sale. If an item sells, it counts toward the limit, but if a listing ends without any sold items, it no longer counts toward the limit.

You may be able to request a higher account limit by confirming your information, linking your new account to an established account, or contacting us. When you reach a selling limit you’ll be given the option to request a limit increase. We may also evaluate your selling activity on a monthly basis and grant a new limit on your account if you qualify.

According to the page, sellers have limits both on how many active listings they can have on the site and on how many items they can sell and the value of those sold items.

That would indicate that even if sellers removed some slow moving inventory in order to add new items, there is still a maximum dollar amount they can sell.

As we pointed out in yesterday’s newsletter, some sellers are unaware of these limits and as a result, may invest more resources to grow beyond what’s attainable.

In addition, sellers may be paying insertion fees on listings even after they’ve reached their maximum number of sales. eBay gave itself permission to do this by revising its User Agreement in September, which says, “in some situations a listing may not appear in some search and browse results regardless of sort order.”

Another veteran eBay seller said throttling was a more serious problem than selling limits in a Letter to the Editor on Tuesday.

Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

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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/.