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

eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

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.

Comments (129) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

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 17:44:46 2015

@THERESA---Yes one would think that with the amount of knowledge and programming etc we hear about here AND on other boards--there WOULD be a perfect site!  


I am the LEAST tech person out there but would be happy to list on such a site should some one decide to trial one.  

YA know==I hear an awful lot about "GoFundMe"  and "Kickstarter"  when it comes to whack jobs refusing to bake a cake or sell pizza to my gay friends--but--I never seem to see anything mentioned about funding for a SALES SITE.   Hmmmm----

Pretty sure we would be happy to sell to ANYONE up to and including little green men from Mars.  

Where ELSE do you find that is worth while going to?  I sell vintage;  clothing;  jewelry--well I SHOULD say I HAVE SOLD--nowadays I have made TWO sales since the beginning of July on 5 different accounts selling similar items.  And NEITHER  of those sales was in ANY of those categories!

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 18:33:24 2015

1 of 1,668  

Print all In new window
What you need to do

Comet Halley
6:21 PM (2 minutes ago)

to sellergtm

Here is what YOU need to do to change the way you do things so sellers--YOUR CUSTOMERS---do not complain and leave.

When sellers DO leave--they take their customers--the BUYERS--with them;  they STOP buying ON ebay;  and they tell ALL of their friends;  neighbors;  relatives;  and social media contacts to NOT BUY FROM EBAY--and not SELL there either.  

Things that need to happen ASAP before ebay sinks::

Re-make the Feedback section completely.  No more "DSR"s that are used AGAINST sellers;  no more "Positive Feedback only for buyers"--buyers have abused this since Day 1.  No more "When did your package arrive"  when this is at the whim of the CARRIER and has NOTHING to do with when the item was MAILED.  No more "It's not a positive so it MUST be a negative"--what English class did THAT person go to?  

Stop abetting outright THEFT.  By allowing--nay;  encouraging--the use of RETURNS for any reason==The item did not match my cat's whiskers;  There IS a Blue Moon this month therefore I need to return this---you are abusing sellers trust and are stealing when you FORCE sellers to pay for shipping in both directions.  By labeling ALL sellers as "scum"--you are painting with a VERY broad brush. Stop supporting abusive buyers who return damaged;  destroyed;  different items--this is wrong and you are encouraging this!   Why would ANY company declare WAR on the very people who PAY THEIR SALARY'S--and  who provided pocket change to the tune of $23 MILLION AMERICAN DOLLARS to "retain"  some one for--6 MONTHS?  

Stop throttling listings!  Stop HIDING listings!  If you don't have the server space--BUY SOME MORE.  Surely that $23 Million could have bought SOME for you.  IF your programmers are unequal to the challenge--go to your local HS and GET NEW ONES.  This is NOT that hard.  

Stop hiding behind "It's a glitch!"  Every.  Single. Time. there is a problem.  Business' have problems;  successful business' admit them and FIX them and MOVE ON.  You are NOT failing because of "The Hack"  you ARE Failing because of MIS TRUST over all of the abusive behavior you have put YOUR CUSTOMERS THRU.  

Stop losing sellers--ie YOUR CUSTOMERS--over stupid things like::: Stealing a portion of EVERY mailing fee they collect TO mail items to their customers!  I can't tell you how many times I have had to explain this to MY customers.  Just because a FEW sellers might have been abusing this---YOU let this go ON!  So punishing ALL sellers is not the way to FIX it.  If one of my kids does something wrong I don't send them ALL to their rooms! Again--this could have been dealt with using competent programmers.  

More stupid:::  Stop making enemies of sellers and buyers.  When you shove that bloody RETURN THIS NOW ad down our throats---before the item has even SHIPPED---we have NO incentive to provide good customer service.  Oh and that "180 Day Return Policy"--that needs to GO as soon as possible.  Wonder how many sellers left over jut that one abuse?  

Big stupid:::  Ditch that absurd CASSINI program.  It doesn't work;  it never HAS worked;  and just suck up whatever you paid for it and MOVE ON.  Resurrect the OLD Search if you need to--it WORKED and did not HIDE items;  default to the equally absurd "Best Match"  (that does not work EITHER) ;  Make nice to Google so they place the items WE pay to sell where people can SEE them;  Don't rely on "social media"  to get your business re-started;  stop trying to pin all failures on the sellers--we don't control Search and it is KILLING your business.  

More stupid:::  Hire American English speaking CSR's and give them authority to DO THE RIGHT THING--not lie and be abusive to the sellers AND buyers when they call;  not lie and say that THEY are the sole decider of an issue or that they have to email some one in San Jose before an issue can be decided or fixed--this is disingenuous and wrong;  you are abusing these people as well as your sellers.  We should not have to spend HOURS upon HOURS on the phone repeating our issues;  we should not have to WASTE our time on calling back because the first three or five or ten CSR's had NO CLUE what we were talking about;  we should not be told LIES;  we should NOT be told that the issue will be "Brought to the attention of the right department"  --we KNOW this is a LIE;  we are NOT stupid much as you would like to THINK we are.  

ADVERTISE.  That cob web over the door to the office in San Jose?  That's there because there is no TRAFFIC going in and out--ie NO SALES.  Partly because you REFUSE to use the money WE EARN to advertise.  

Stock price--Dismal.  There are no words.  And no good logical REASONS as to WHY your stock price is in the toilet--other than abysmal management of a once thriving business.  In "this"  economy eBay SHOULD be thriving beyond all expectations--instead--crickets.  And the former CEO thought this was A-OK by him---

I am sure you will hear from other sellers--and please to not forget--EVERY SELLER ON EBAY IS A BUYER TOO.  Every seller you chase OFF of ebay--is no longer a buyer.  You claim to LOOOOOVE buyers--well--I am a seller--and a buyer.  But more and more I can't FIND what I want on ebay--so off to Amazon or Etsy or eCrater or Bonanza I trot.  Hiding listings--a sure fire way to chase even MORE buyers away!  Do I feel that I have betrayed eBay?  Well--I did.  But I got over it as the abuse of sellers like me continued and got worse year after year.  

All we are asking for is really common sense.  Stop the abuse of sellers (who are also buyers)  and try and see if you can re-capture those for whom ebay was once a FIRST CHOICE to go and look for the interesting;  the different;  the hard to find--not brake pads and cell phone cases and cheap crap from overseas.  Stop trying to make enemies and bad mouth the sellers!  Equitable feedback--Did you get the item? Yes?  No?  You could lose Feedback right now and no one would care--it is just another way to abuse the sellers and buyers KNOW this and are not even bothering to leave it.  

Stop trying to run a million business' and concentrate on running YOUR BUSINESS.  We know how to run our OWN business' thanks very much.  

What kind of a company DOES this?  

I used to be THE biggest cheerleader for ebay.  Brought many people to ebay as buyers AND sellers.  I used to think that this would be my way to contribute to my household--and for a while--it was.  Then----ebay changed.  I did not change--my items are good;  my prices are great;  my shipping is fast---nope;  ebay hides my listings;  threatens me with returns 6 MONTHS down the line;  refuses to defend me when a buyer sends back items so badly damaged they must be destroyed.  Tells me it is MY fault when the overwhelmed US Postal System delivers an item "late"--based not on THEIR shipping estimations but EBAYS wildly optimistic ones!

Sad thing is=-I am one of soooo many sellers! And yet--some how ebay cannot seem to comprehend this..

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 18:34:36 2015

Well--there you have it.  Long--but then again--the list of abuses is longer than this.  

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 21:03:57 2015


You have it pretty well nailed. A clear recipe for the new CEO to follow and lead eBay out of the wilderness.

However, since Devil Wingnut was hand-picked by The Hoe, and has his full confidence, we're dreaming to think he'd follow this simple stuff.  After all, it wasn't covered at the fancy biz school where he wasted hundreds of thousands.  

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

by: brokentoys19 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 9 22:48:47 2015

@comet. Good effort. but... Hear that? Splash! Kurfloooosh! Then your letter swirls down the overworked ebay cares circular file. Laughter in background.

This is reputation defense and "smoothing" we're witnessing, not any prelude to meaningful policy change and/or [mis]conduct correction.

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

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 11:45:50 2015

@VOLVO351 and @ Brolentoys---Yeah---I pretty much wrote this for myself just to express how I would do things if I was in charge.  The friends that I sent copies of this to got the added note from me that I expected that this was going to disappear fast into the vast realm of cyber septic tank.  

So far---crickets---from those caring folks at FleeceBay.  

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

This user has validated their user name. by: FEEbay

Mon Aug 17 21:31:43 2015

A very thorough and well written post! Pretty sums it all up for me...I have just spent an hour on the phone getting "defects" removed, that were supposed to have been removed the last time that I spent an hour on the phone with Ebay CSRs. One CSR even had the gall to say this:
ME: You know, this is really getting having to call and have a "defect" removed when the buyer closed the case and admitted that they had opened it in error.... When are you guys going to figure it out?? When is Brian Burke going to go away??"
CSR: Well, I dont like your attitude towards the company that I represent, and dont appreciate this at all...

These guys are NEVER going to get it.....EVER!!! We are continuing to take our 200K/month worth of online business elsewhere.... ANYWHERE ELSE....

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

by: keep trying to do the right thing This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 19 17:48:35 2015

good news and bad news. Bad news I had to fires my packing and shipping help, don't need them anymore. Good news is I'm looking for someone who can handle requests, cases, messages,claims,Returns, and be on the phone all day w/ebay CS trying to preserve FB and DSR ratings.

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

by: ljuls This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 25 03:21:50 2015

I am currently experiencing these ''silent limits'' as well. My family and I were the victims of theft. Our personal property was stolen and promptly listed for sale on eBay. The seller was temporarily suspended(almost immediately circumvented with false accounts) and then reinstated regardless of the fact that they were arrested for the theft and charged with felony larceny. eBay sales records have been subpoenaed into court for the case. Since the reinstatement, due to my ''association'' with this seller, it would appear as though I have had the same limitations imposed on my selling account as are on his. How does this make any sense at all?    

Click to view more comments
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 

Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.