|Wed Apr 11 2012 22:30:44|
Do You Know Your eBay Selling Limits?
By: Ina Steiner
Many sellers are unaware that eBay has a ceiling on how much they can sell until they reach those limits. A reader wrote on Friday that she was surprised to receive a "canned letter" from eBay stating, "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 seller had never heard of selling limits and wanted to know what it was about.
eBay spokesperson Johnna Hoff confirmed that every seller has an "overall" limit and said there are also additional limits for certain types and categories of items, "to help keep eBay safe and reduce fraud, and to make sure sellers have enough experience selling on eBay before ramping up their business."
"These limits will vary by seller," Hoff said. "As sellers get close to or meet one of these limits, they'll see a notification message when listing an item. At that point they'll need to wait until some of their active listings end or they reach the end of the month before listing new items."
While the limits themselves may not be palatable to sellers who encounter them, it's the lack of forewarning that has sellers most upset. Sellers who make a large investment in inventory may find themselves unable to push through the volume of sales needed to recoup that investment, resulting in cash flow issues that could harm their business. Knowing about the selling limits upfront would help them avoid such potential problems.
In June of last year, I wrote on the AuctionBytes Blog that I had noticed an uptick in eBay sellers reporting limits being placed on their accounts. Since the end of March, I've experienced the same thing, receiving reports from sellers who have suddenly encountered their limits, much to their surprise and consternation.
This eBay page explains selling limits and actually shows you how to find your limits. From the letters I've received from sellers, it's not clear that eBay's customer service reps know about this page.
One reader stated, "When I called eBay to complain, I was told the account is in good standing and I have been providing customers with good service, but eBay will be instituting site wide seller limits based on last 6 months. Do you know anything about EVERYONE getting a selling limit no matter what their success has been?" He was not the only seller skeptical of customer service reps' information.
According to the eBay help pages, here's how to find your limits:
You'll be able to view most of your account-based 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'll see a red alert once 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.
Let us know if you're able to locate your limits and if they come as a surprise to you!