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eBay Stops Seller in Her Tracks with Selling Limits

A Gold-level eBay Powerseller with Top Rated Seller status and an Anchor Store was stunned to receive an email from eBay informing her of new limits placed on her account. She says the restriction severely hampers her ability to list new items for sale on the site.

For those unfamiliar with selling limits, it’s a technique eBay uses to manage risk. But the way it implements the policy is controversial, and our coverage of seller limits goes back as far as 2011.

And for those who might have been wondering, it’s clear eBay continues its practice of placing limits on sellers’ accounts. The email the seller received began: “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 multi-channel merchant has been selling on eBay for years (eBay currently makes up less than a quarter of her total sales). The email spelled out the selling cap: “You can now sell up to (redacted) items monthly or up to $(redacted) monthly.”

Unfamiliar with the concept of seller limits, she wondered whether it was true that eBay really placed limits on established sellers as well as new sellers. She could not account for the new restrictions, as she is adamant that her record on eBay remains stellar and cannot account for anything that might have triggered such an action on her account.

Like other sellers who have reported eBay selling limits, the TRS seller said the limit placed on her account did not give her enough leeway to continue listing the number of items she had planned. And she wondered why she was being limited when she was paying hundreds of dollars for an Anchor Store on eBay.

The seller also questioned the part of the letter that stated, “These limits will allow you to continue selling while also allowing us to monitor your incoming Feedback, Detailed Seller Ratings, and any customer complaints.”

The seller pointed to software and policies that already monitor her feedback and DSRs. eBay also reviews her account every 3 months as a Top Rated Seller. “How is setting a limit on our account going to allow our activity on eBay to be any more transparent,” she asked.

“We need our online selling marketplace to be a true partner which we can use to grow our business,” she told EcommerceBytes.

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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). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.