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eBay Denies Existence of ‘Sales’ Limits

An eBay employee stirred up controversy last week when he published part of an internal guide for customer service representatives about hidden limits on seller accounts. We have received further clarification from eBay about such limits.

eBay imposes nine types of limits on seller accounts, according to the eBay guide that was posted by the employee. While eBay makes no secret of selling limits, its public-facing help page explained only three types of selling limits and makes no mention of “silent” or hidden limits.

As we covered developments extensively last week, a question arose as to whether sellers were paying for listings that were never seen. In other words, was eBay only limiting how many listings a seller could create (for which they pay an insertion fee), or, was eBay allowing sellers to pay for additional listings while limiting how many sales they could make?

We asked eBay spokesperson Moore, if there were cases where a seller who increased the number of active listings might see their sales remain at the same levels due to eBay-imposed limits?

He responded, “If I’m understanding the below correctly, the answer is no. Limits have no impact on the sale of the items that have been listed. Limits, if exhausted, only prevent a seller from listing additional items.”

We asked for more color on this, and explained we have received comments from sellers that they reach a ceiling when it comes to sales – no matter how much they increase listings, their sales remain the same.

“There is no such thing as “Sales limits, (e.g., exposure limitations on the site, once an item has been listed),” Moore said. “eBay has no such control for sales volume.”

We asked about the case of another seller who had written, “I was told about a year ago, they limit your sales to about 5% over and above what you did the month before,” and asked Moor if that was correct.

“This claim is inaccurate. eBay does not have a single criteria for target sales growth. We want to help sellers grow their sales as quickly and safely as possible.”

Another seller had asked about daily listing limits versus monthly listing limits. Moore explained, “Seller limits are not calculated on a daily basis, but rather on a monthly basis. If a seller exhausts their listing limit in that month, they will be unable to list until that month elapses.”

Some readers had indicated they were unable to find their limits – one of the issues at the heart of the controversy. Moore had provided us with the following instructions last week:

You can see most of your account 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 see a red alert when 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.

We asked what sellers should do if they couldn’t find their limits where he had indicated.

“The information provided is accurate. If a seller has trouble finding the information, please let them know that they can contact our eBay customer support team at any time.”

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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/.