Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Apr 8 2013 22:14:30

Two Policies eBay Doesn't Talk About

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay sellers have been reporting two types of encounters on the site in recent days that they hadn't run into previously. And though they aren't necessarily resulting from new policies, it's news to these sellers and likely signals an increase in implementation and enforcement on the part of eBay.

I'm talking about eBay Seller Limits and mandatory Buyer Protection Funding, two areas eBay doesn't talk much about. If you haven't heard of them yet, you may soon find yourself encountering them on eBay.



eBay Seller Limits
  • "I am forwarding you an email that I just received from eBay Trust and Safety. I am confused and unhappy that eBay suddenly decided to impose a selling limit on my account. I have been a successful full-time seller on eBay for 10 years. I am currently a TRS gold powerseller with a 99.9% feedback rating. Absolutely nothing has changed regarding my stellar and consistent performance history so why does eBay find it necessary to take such a step, which in my opinion only creates ill will? Although I have done nothing wrong, I feel as if my business practices are suddenly suspect. Have I not already proven myself after 10 years? Is there really now a "trust" issue between my business and eBay? Granted the limit is high and since I am listing less and less on the platform, I do not expect to exceed these limitations (although I would have several years ago). This unnecessary move on eBay's part does not sit well with me, but it does motivate me to speed up the process of moving my business elsewhere." - T.
In the letter eBay sent the seller quoted above, who wished to remain anonymous, eBay wrote, "Many members already have limits placed on their account. Account limits allow us to learn about your selling activity and make sure you're adhering to our selling practices policy and performance standards. Limits vary by seller and can change over time."

eBay also informed the seller: "If you do reach one of these amounts during the course of a month you will be unable to list additional items or increase the price or quantity of your active items until some of your items end without a winning bidder or until the 1st of the next calendar month, (If you are still exceeding the selling limit at the first of the next calendar month your selling activity will continue to be blocked.)"

Many sellers are unaware that eBay places limits on how much they can sell, even though it has been widely discussed among sellers (and readers) since 2011. This letter from a Top Rated Seller in January is pretty typical of the reaction from sellers ("eBay Spooks PowerSellers with Selling Restrictions").

Mandatory eBay Buyer Protection Funding
  • "I went to complete a listing. I got a screen that I had to enter a payment method for eBay to charge me when they pay a refund under there Buyer Protection scam. I had to authorize a credit card for them to use. It NEVER ends." - Blaumann
  • "Looks like eBay's no longer just covering refunds to buyers. I just got a bunch of listings bounced for lack of an authorized payment method to cover eBay's reimbursements under Buyer Protection. Well, I guess we all know how this is going to play out. eBay decides for the buyer, whether or not the claim is legitimate, and automatically pays out of the seller's funds. My exit from eBay just got a step closer." - Pam
  • "I can't relist ANYTHING unless I do this new reimbursement policy so eBay can side with the buyers and take my hard earned money away without even making the buyers return the items? I think they finally figured out a way to get rid of all the mom and pop stores for good! I think I'm really DONE with listing anything on eBay if this is their way of treating sellers. OH they will give u better placement in searches?. Thoroughly DISGUSTED!" - EX ebayer
eBay sellers are reporting they are suddenly seeing a screen when trying to list on eBay called, "Set up an automatic payment method" that explains they must place an automatic payment method on file to pay for the following: "Reimbursements for claims under eBay's Buyer Protection Policy."

eBay explains, "The policy generally covers buyers if an item they purchase is not as described or doesn't arrive. If eBay pays the buyer up to the full purchase price plus original shipping costs for claims covered under eBay's Buyer Protection Policy, we'll charge this amount using the payment method you select below. Learn more about what eBay Buyer Protection means for sellers. By choosing a payment method below, you authorize eBay to collect eBay Buyer Protection Reimbursements. You can change your payment method by going to My eBay. eBay may charge the payment method you select on a one-time, sporadic, or recurring basis. You can always change your selected payment method in My eBay or cancel your automatic payment method by contacting us."
 
eBay links to a page titled, "What does eBay Buyer Protection mean to sellers?" where there's more information for sellers.

Let us know what you think of eBay Seller Limits and Buyer Protection and when you first encountered them on eBay.




Comments (50) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Apr 8 23:01:42 2013

A year or so ago Ebay required us to update our accounts stating the method in which we would authorize them for buyer refunds.  We were required to do it.  Sounds like some sellers slipped through the cracks and they are cracking down on it now.

Please do not take me wrong, I don't agree with it, I just am sharing with you that I was required to do this more than a year ago.  To date, Ebay has never charged anything to my credit card and I've had a couple claims since then.

As to the selling limits, that is just ridiculous.  And since it appears they are working on that, I'm confident that is what cause the serious problems with disappearing lisings a couple weeks ago for more than 10,000 sellers.

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by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 9 00:04:34 2013

I had to give them a CC # in December 2012 when I started listing after a several month hiatus. Hesitated, but did it.  

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by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 9 00:05:13 2013

I'm so happy and relieved that ebay has now become a venue where i occasionally list a few items.  I can take them or leave them and i mostly leave them.

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by: PowerSeller2007 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 9 00:19:13 2013

I observed Ebay allows huge overseas sellers create 5 separate stores.  This way, there would be 5x more listings, and 5x more exposures.  Selling limit increase 5 fold as well.

Ebay, disclose your selling limit formula.  Why could not I sell 500 items a day?  What is my limit?

How seconds per day are my listings are visible?

Stop charging listing fees to items that don't get at least 5 units sold each week.

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

Tue Apr 9 00:45:19 2013

Do Chinese sellers have selling limits or just Americans?

In addition to gross merchandise volume dollar value, do these limits also include algorithmic restrictions of the number of items each of us can sell (as oppose to list) daily?

Do these selling limits include algorithmic restrictions on the maximum dollar amounts we can sell daily?

Do each of us have a listing ceiling in terms of the number ebafia so graciously permits us to list?

With ebafia, it's all about money, secrets, money, favoritism, money, etc.

Are these restrictions universally applied to all sellers within the same subset?

What criteria are used to determine selling limits?

Who makes these decisions?

What sellers if any are exempt from selling limits?

Sellers have a RIGHT to know to the answers to these questions, and failure to disclose this information to sellers constitutes, IMO, restraint of trade and possibly violates FTC regulations.

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This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Tue Apr 9 00:46:45 2013

So as an example lets say the 1st of the month you have zero sales but your limit is $10,000. Now your items add up that week to $13,000 but so far only a couple small sales. Wondering if this is another reason items are given little to no exposure. Should you not list items with a total that would put a seller over the limit if everything would sell? Who nowadays has 80-100% sell thru? Just trying to figure out ebays convoluted scheme.  

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

Tue Apr 9 00:52:56 2013

Remember when ebafia announced the Definitive Ebafia Guide for Buyer Theft?

Remember what they said?

They said that in some cases ebafia itself would reimburse the buyer.

Yeah, like once in a blue moon.

Occasionally a seller will report ebafia itself eimbursed a buyer, but typically ebafia steals the money out of the seller's account without the buyer having to demonstrate the validity of their complaint.

Further, there is NO appeal mechanism in place for the seller or ombudsman to make a fair and reasonable decision.

FRAUD, FRAUD, FRAUD!!!

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by: Ed This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 9 01:26:38 2013

What I think ebay is doing is stopping the growth of TRS Silver and Gold Power Sellers to open more room for new sellers. If you are a seller with a large percent of the business of your product group they might control your sales to help others.
I think its a game they are playing. I don't think they are going to tell us the truth.  

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by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 9 01:43:46 2013

If you track your sales by a per day volume, I think you will find that you are limited to x amount per day. Exceed the average and sales will slow or even stop until you are again, in line to meet the limit placed on you. Anyone else finding this seems to be the trend since January?

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This user has validated their user name. by: TheUglySweaterShop

Tue Apr 9 01:48:10 2013

So basically on ebay you can choose to take returns, or choose to just be out money, huh?

And if your item "doesn't arrive", you can no longer communicate with the customer to get them to fill out insurance claim paperwork.

I too am glad to no longer sell much there.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Apr 9 03:11:49 2013

@powerseller2007

You can have 5 stores if you want them.  I can if I want them.  Most members can.  It isn't just overseas sellers.  I know have personal knowledge of only 2 or 3 sellers that have multiple stores, but there are lots more out there.  It isn't something that is only for the overseas sellers.

Not all accounts currently have selling limits.  It is clear that Ebay is working towards that, but they aren't there yet.  I have got to say, this makes no sense to me.  Why selling limits on sellers that are in good standing.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Apr 9 03:14:59 2013

@theuglysweater

I don't know where you are getting all that.  But none of it is true.

Perminate Link for Two Policies eBay Doesn't Talk About   Two Policies eBay Doesn't Talk About

by: Ebay's Slow Death This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 9 03:37:12 2013


This is so Bizarre!

I sell postcards on one Ebay account and have a store on another account. Lately, I seem to sell about the same dollar amount everyday on each account. (And, it isn't much!) I've been wondering why this is for awhile.

We also have a B&M store. We pay rent to our landlord. If he suddenly said we could only have X number of items in our store, and could only sell X amount in one day, we would think he was insane!

I can't understand why Ebay puts limits on Sellers. Why don't they explain this weird behavior to us, and what the rules are.

How can you have a business plan on Ebay, when you are dealing with ghosts?

Has Ebay management gone completely nuts? Does JD have mental problems, where he has to control people down to their smallest behavior? He is saying, ''To sell on Ebay, you have to do everything the way I tell you to do it, but I'm not going to tell you how.''  It's like you jump over here and get shocked, then you jump over there and get shocked, and on and on.

Is this the way JD is finally getting rid of small Sellers? By just driving them nuts?

I think I'm complying with all the stated rules in order to sell on Ebay. But now, there are a bunch of rules I don't even know about!

Gads!

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

Tue Apr 9 04:04:45 2013

At eBay it works both ways on Selling Limits. Recently I got an email taking my limit way up there - and a)I never requested it and b)Will not need to the higher limit

I am putzing on eBay these days with zero intent to make it my main thrust as their arbitrary and capricious application of the "rules" and micro management style leaves me focusing on other options outside the platform.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Leroy

Tue Apr 9 05:20:57 2013

You don't have to give them a credit card, or a new payment method, you can use your PayPal account. Under the Account tab in My eBay, go into your seller account, then click on Business Information at the top of the menu on the left.

Scroll down to the third header, Financial Information, and click on ''Edit'' to the right of any payment agreement to change it or set it up. You can set or edit your automatic, back-up and, in this case, your reimbursement payment methods.

It's probably a good idea to acquaint yourself with all your payment agreements. I have multiple eBay accounts and all of them had to agree to eBay's reimbursement terms that give eBay permission to withdraw $300,000, or some such fantastic sum, from my PayPal account. I think the agreement states ''per day.''

While it's not likely eBay will try to suck a quarter million dollars out of my bank account, they could certainly try if they wanted to, or should a ''computer glitch'' instruct them to.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Leroy

Tue Apr 9 05:22:08 2013

Also, your selling limits are reviewed every month, and could be lowered or raised depending on your performance, or eBay's decision.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Apr 9 08:02:21 2013

I think Ming is on to something with the algorithm theory.  Our sales are quite consistent from month to month.  When we have a fantastic week, and we think we will surpass the previous month's sales, all of a sudden it is like someone shuts the servers down.  It would sound like a conspiracy theory if it weren't so consistent.  

Why on earth would this company try to control how much a seller can make?  I hope that I live long enough to eventually see what goes on behind the curtain.  eBay are not know for transparency, and there has to be some reason for it.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Apr 9 08:04:53 2013

ESD says: "Does JD have mental problems, where he has to control people down to their smallest behavior?"

That would explain a lot.  

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by: beverly This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 9 08:17:28 2013

well. as a buyer I can understand the new policy

I purchased a diamond ring 2 weeks ago for $4850.00.  asked seller for tracking number which they never provided.

The 2 days later I see the ring relisted
(something fishy here)

I called paypal because of my concern regarding the relisting of the same ring that I had paid for.

and becasue seller would not give tracking number

to date, almost 2 weeks have passed..no ring and no return emails from seller regarding tracking number.

I am very concerned that the seller does not have enough funds in their paypal account to refund me

another feedback for the seller stated that they never received item and never heard from seller..another big ticket item

some bad Sellers brought this new policy on themselves and the rest of the good sellers

Since I buy a great deal from Ebay, I can tell you that I have problems quite frequently with not received items

another transaction was for over $400.00 and the seller expected me to wait 30 days until they could make a claim to insurance..that is not a buyers problem..no item received, I should get my money back

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by: gotta love it This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 9 08:31:48 2013

Anyone that chooses to be subjected to this endless barrage of nonsensical rules is just setting themselves for failure. I'm not sure to as why this sort of management behavior surprises anyone since this is the way society wants it. We like rules upon rules to be protected from ourselves whether it makes sense or not. If you honestly think that things are going to get any better on eBay in the near future the only person that you are kidding is yourself.

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