Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Aug 4 2015 00:30:53

eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits

By: Ina Steiner

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The issue of seller limits has raised its head again. A Top Rated Powerseller said she received limits on her account and was absolutely astounded - especially because she pays the company hundreds of dollars a month in extra fees for an Anchor Store on eBay.

While we've been writing about seller limits since 2011, it was late last year that the issue really erupted after an eBay employee published an in-house document that showed eBay had "hidden" limits on seller accounts - something the company had previously denied.

In this recent case, eBay's email to the seller did not point to any problem with her account - rather, it said it was limiting her ability to list on the site in order to help her:

"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."

Interestingly, we found a recent post on an industry board where eBay sent a similar email to a seller, but did point out problems with that seller's account: "While reviewing your account, we noticed a recent increase in buyer complaints and in your defect rate. To meet the standards required to sell on eBay, you need to limit the amount of buyer complaints on your account."

So in some cases, the limits arise as the result of some account issues - but not in all cases.

When the Top-Rated Gold Powerseller called to speak to a Customer Service Rep about raising the limits, she said, "He cared nothing about my protest that we still are expected to pay the full lump sum Anchor store fee but could not get the most out of it by increasing our inventory and thus our sales."

Ironically, eBay is running a month-long promotion in August in which it is giving sellers double the amount of free listings for their eBay Stores, as we note in Tuesday's Newsflash.

We'll have more on this in Tuesday's Newsflash newsletter - let us know what you think.

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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits   eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits

by: Owen This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 6 15:49:48 2015

If eBay cared, they would have taken care of the issue for the OP first time they called eBay CS.  eBay does not care. But if their business fails or continues its downhill spiral, they might just wish they cared.

I suggest, you start taking care of your paying customers and start giving them back the dignity they have lost under snooty John Donohoe.

Perminate Link for eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits   eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits

by: troglites This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 6 16:45:26 2015

A note from eBay —  We’re aware of the situation outlined in this article and we’re working directly with the seller...
We are exercising damage control because what happened to this seller has made it's way to the media and web.

We want to let those of you who are commenting in this thread know that we’re always looking at ways to improve our seller experience...
That's why we have raised our fees, are now asking buyers if their item arrived on the expected delivery date (a date we generate of course - not the carrier) decreased the number of items small sellers without stores can list to a token 20, continue full steam ahead with our unfair, unjust defect system, including allowing a neutral to be counted as a defect, encouraging returns by shoving the ''return button'' down the buyer's throat constantly, offering promotions to our ''most valuable subscribers'' and making sure the rest know it, are continuing with one sided feedback, and last but not least, continue to impose our hidden seller limits.

We encourage sellers who have issues or concerns, to contact us directly. Send us a note to the email address below outlining the issue and we will work to get the answers you need, so you can get back to business...
Many of us don't really have much business to get back to these days. Sellers who try to contact Ebay directly, spend hours and hours on the phone, usually resulting in a big waste of time. Emails sent will probably result in an autorsponder, and my guess that will be the extent of it.

Perminate Link for eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits   eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Thu Aug 6 16:47:43 2015

@ebaycares

I'll tell you what ebay "cares" about: money.

Now that ebafia's money stream is being restricted by a dwindling number of sellers and buyers, ebay suddenly "cares" about sellers.

If ebafia really cared about helping sellers, then Devil Wenig would have already reversed many ifnot all of The Ho's failed policy paradigm of abusing sellers.

The fact that he hasn't speaks volumes.

Ebafia still fails to understand that when honest, efficient sellers make money, they will also make money WITHOUT the covert stealing and blatant lies.

"Helping" one seller and/or only those whose true horror stories get media attention is cosmetic spin only.

Help ALL sellers NOW. Yo9u know what needs to be done. Just do it and quit with the phony compassion.

So many of the spin email I receive from ebafia contain the phrase "grow your business." How I can "grow" my business after The Ho decreased my business by 75% with one week after initiating Best Match and now limits my monthly sales volume not only in dollars but in the number  of items I can sell each month?

"Growing your business." What a

Wenig, it's time for you to put up or shut up.

Perminate Link for eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits   eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits

by: nsc This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Aug 6 18:11:10 2015

@Ming, I don't believe that ebay mgmt actually knows how to help honest sellers sell.

They don't believe what sellers tell them. They believe that only the technically and financially astute (as they like to think of themselves) could understand the real problems of large scale ecommerce -- not that they listen to their technology guys either, who are telling them their tech stack is outdated and must be rewritten with open source tools.

In short, the final answer is always the same -- ignore what costs money in pursuit of short-term profit.

Perminate Link for eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits   eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits

by: ebay-dreckfresser This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 6 18:28:30 2015

@ebaycares

   I had an intractable problem with ebay and spent 4 months repeatedly trying to resolve it by communicating with ebay customer support. I got absolutely nowhere.

   After wasting 4 months dealing with ebay customer service, I was advised that there was an ''ombudsman'' of sorts whose job it was to help ebay sellers resolve problems that they couldn't get resolved through ordinary channels - I was told to e-mail the ''seller advocate,'' Uncle Griff.  I was told that Uncle Griff's job is to help sellers who aren't able to resolve problems through ordinary ebay channels and that Uncle Griff would definitely get the problem resolved.

   So I e-mailed Uncle Griff, and in the e-mail I described the entire problem in detail, including as background a summary of the 4 miserable months of frustration I spent dealing with ebay's non-responsive customer service representatives.

    Uncle Griff didn't extend the courtesy of acknowledging my e-mail. He didn't respond to my e-mail.  He never contacted me, and he didn't give 2 shits about the problems I was experiencing with ebay.

    Although Uncle Griff didn't help me at all, today I'm relieved to learn that if a seller has an intractable problem with ebay, and the specifics are published in the press, the seller who is victimized by Ebay's unfair and corrupt policies and [non]customer support can get help from Ebay Cares (i.e.,''Uncle Ebay''). Uncle Ebay will always be there to help us.  

Perminate Link for eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits   eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits

This user has validated their user name. by: IDKwhoIare

Thu Aug 6 20:13:25 2015

@Phillip
I can't seem to make myself email EbayCares.  I am paranoid. Remember all those Sellers they shut down by the 1000s? I don't want to be kicked off if he/she figured out how to match this Posting ID to my Selling ID.

Etsy sales are catching up fast and I am looking at adding eCrater next & my own website again.   Ebay is a way to get my business card out to people...albeit sporadically with their dismal exposure.  

I will dump eBay when I want to, at my convenience.  I am not convinced as of yet that Wenig is any different than WhatsHisFace and just might be as vindictive. Don't want to be ''fired'' by EbayCares. As Troy said here and I believe someone else a few months ago, they can be like an abusive spouse.

Frankly, the fact that I am so paranoid is disturbing to me.  I am not that person in other parts of my world. You know it is bad when PollyAnna types like me become skeptics.

Perminate Link for eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits   eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits

This user has validated their user name. by: IDKwhoIare

Thu Aug 6 21:00:39 2015

@EbayCares
Usually I would feel bad for anyone taking heat from this board...in your case, not so much. I am sure you are a fine person, but you wore your eBay suit in here.

As Owen up there said so astutely and others here have pointed out - if eBay cared they would have taken care of it the first time that Seller brought this to them.  I hope you do help her.  I wish you could help everyone here.

If you come back on this board and 'talk' again, bring your thick-skin under that eBay suit. We are noisy and some of us bite. Spend some time reading the blogs back over a few months or years if you want perspective on why. Read past the anger and/or grief to see the truths...if you are capable.

Just don't waste anyone's time trying to convince us eBay cares with words (unfortunate choice of ID, btw). Walk the Talk. Pass that up to Wenig.


Perminate Link for eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits   eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Thu Aug 6 22:21:33 2015

@IDKwhoIare,

I post (everywhere) under my real identity; I “libel” eBay all over the internet—fortunately, truth and the public interest is a defence; I can assure you that Devin Wenig knows who I am; so many eBay/PayPal people have looked up my LinkedIn profile, I know that my negative commenting on them literally the world over hits a raw nerve) …

Frankly, I think that this organisation is so “overweight” (like those "Walmart people") that they have no idea of what is going on inside their own body, let alone the right hand knowing what the left hand is doing …

I am a registered eBay user; no action has ever been taken against me except that I have so often been kicked off the eBay discussion boards I no longer bother commenting there; then, I am predominantly a buyer of collectibles and very rarely a seller of anything on eBay; I don’t rely on eBay for my livelihood—thank god …

Needless to say, no one should now have too many (if any) eggs in the eBay basket; for eBay’s “non-preferred” sellers, it’s become akin to being in partnership with a blood sucking racketeer …

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent, the unscrupulous, and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid … http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Perminate Link for eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits   eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 7 07:43:16 2015

I can fully understand seller limits on ''newbies''

But, when we opened a new user id for a line of products, ebay severely limited the account, even thou we have been with ebay for 15+ years, and with having two active accounts both TRS with 10's of thousands of positive feedback


EBAY WOULD NOT REMOVE THE LIMITS, , and the hold on funds, no mater what we said, or what they could see by looking at our past with ebay.


ebay CS told us '' We don't know you, we have never met you''

This goes to show you how stupid these idiots are running this company,

This was a turning point for us to start selling elsewhere, which we are currently doing, and doing great.

Don't waste your time with this company, they have loss touch with reality,  

Perminate Link for eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits   eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri Aug 7 11:26:37 2015

I want to Thank David & Ina for letting me post the POSITIVE side of eBay.

Some sellers still enjoy eBaying and I'm one of them.

(I'm going to try to get FREE tickets to the birthday bash in San Jose)

Perminate Link for eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits   eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits

by: ebay-dreckfresser This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 7 16:23:12 2015

@foolguy

    Ebay supresses free speech and retaliates against any member with the temerity to speak out against its policies and practices. Just look at Lithium's extensive censorship of user comments on the ebay message boards.

  Tool, do you understand that you're thanking David and Ina for respecting your right to free speech, even though you use that freedom to promote and defend an entity dedicated to the suppression of free speech?  

Perminate Link for eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits   eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits

by: Owen This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 7 17:27:29 2015

I think everyone is entitled to freedom of speech, unless it is vulgar or hurts someone else. Toolguy, your opinions count, the same as anyone else's. But you are a voice shouting in the wilderness. You are one amidst an overwhelming number of those who have an opposing view and have been hurt tremendously by eBay.

I hope you never have that problem. But, if you do, you will understand.

Perminate Link for eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits   eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Fri Aug 7 22:05:17 2015

Actually, Lithium is the only operation associated with eBay that does their job as intended: they boot me off the eBay discussion boards every time I comment thereon; indeed, they are the masters of petty censorship ...

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the unscrupulous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid … http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Perminate Link for eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits   eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits

by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 9 00:44:24 2015

I'm a small seller on eBay with a growing anchor store and two other eBay stores.  I've had to hire part time help to keep up.  I've been an eBay seller since 1999 and this is my best year yet.

Perminate Link for eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits   eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits

by: nsc This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sun Aug 9 01:35:50 2015

Good for you, Paul. What category do you sell in?

Perminate Link for eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits   eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits

by: BlueHoundAuctions This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sun Aug 9 02:01:13 2015

First of all - I think you should know that your company for the last 10 years have thrown the small sellers to the curb by allowing their suppliers sell and under cut them.

Second, you have continually allowed your out of control employees to shut down quality stores because you have allowed buyers to use you as a method of fraud - not only on the site - but you continue to believe that the buyer is always right even if the evidence says otherwise.

Third - there is NO ONE who is charging a percentage on shipping.  I think this needs to stop immediately and all commissions on shipping be refunded to all sellers.   What kind of unethical piece of garbage is that when you put a commission on the shipping, knowing that the shipping is not part of the product offering?

We decided in 2008 to stop selling on eBay when we started seeing things not even being looked at in search results - even when we had our test subjects search on the exact title.

Last - I don't know about you - but slamming one's account to the wall don't bring more business to eBay.   Seller limits are a method to promote folks who you are getting paid off from to put their products ahead of someone who is running a legitimate business.  People have left, like us for other venues - and won't come back until such time as this asenine idea that we are somehow responsible for paying for your mistakes, which in 2008 cost me $4,000 in lost sales - is corrected.

I surely won't use eBay any more as the shipping that it calculates is wrong by ($6) and I still have to pay 5% on it - and additionally, I will not use eBay until they get this DSR and account lockout trash fixed.

What a poor company this has turned into.  I am sure Mr. Omar is thrilled with his paycheck when you canned him.

Perminate Link for eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits   eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 9 08:42:11 2015

@Rexford

Gee, I wonder how it would feel to be actually "overwhelmed with large increases in account activity..."?  Would that be anything at all like SALES?

Perminate Link for eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits   eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 9 08:51:27 2015

@Philip

Yeah, I got booted from the "discussion boards" long ago, ostensibly for "hateful" comments which was a lie.  They have a BOT parse your text and if they find any "bad" words you're booted.

Calling those boards "eBay Discussion" is itself a lie. The [mis-]management doesn't want to read/hear the truth and worse they don't want anyone else to find out what scumbags they are. There, I said it: scumbags. A word sure to get you permanently banned. Another phrase that's a no-no is "Third World He// Hole" or any mention of the biggest TWHH of all, India, where the "crack" IT team practices their Disruptive Disruption. If you use an "outdated" browser the next "fix" is likely to put your machine into a tailspin 'cuz they won't bother actually TESTING their code/script/crap with IE7 even though millions of buyers are still running that.

Perminate Link for eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits   eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 9 10:30:50 2015

>>To clarify, my point is that if as an eBay Seller you have 1,600 items listed for 30 days, and sell 50 of them, then eBay may not see much "value" in your efforts even though your Feedback is 100% Positive and your performance is 5-Star for a year or more. "Show Me the Money". And yes, I do suspect that much of this has to do with physical limitations of eBay's service capacity which clearly seems on the brink of collapse and apparently has in fact done so in recent months.<<

If eBay throttles sellers for not selling enough against 1600 items then eBay sure isn't using their fees correctly (and I well remember the days that I would pay over $800/month to eBay). I left eBay to go to eCRATER. I haven't paid any more than $11+ change for monthly fees since they started using them two years ago. I have over 8000 items listed on eCRATER! If they can handle server needs with unlimited size stores then eBay certainly should be able to with the oodles of money they rake in. All eBay wants is to fill the wallet of their biggest higher ups  (such as that totally undeserved $23M to donuthole).  They don't care about the sellers at all -- THEIR Customers. The buyers are NOT their customers, it is the sellers yet over the last 10 years or so, they have lost sight of that simple fact. One of the many reasons I left over 7 years ago and won't be back.

Perminate Link for eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits   eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 9 17:39:04 2015

Ah @ FOOLGUY--Love ya!  

Best laugh of the day

At the point my "sales"  re at I really don;t think I CAN go any lower--so I will be the guinea pig and write to "EBAY CARES"  (while gagging)  and see what happens.  

If any one else emails PLEASE come back here OR contact Ina to start a NEW topic on this.  

I am sure other sellers/former sellers etc here have a longer more nuanced list than I do;  maybe use a different ID and go to the library to post?  

Is it stupid or what that we have to even THINK about using such bizarre tactics to contact a company WE BUILT?  

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