Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Dec 8 2014 13:43:45

Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales

By: Ina Steiner

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Despite eBay's denial of hidden seller limits last year, many sellers reported evidence of such a practice. Last week, an eBay employee revealed (seemingly inadvertently) that secret limits do indeed exist, resulting in throttled sales no matter how much a seller tries to grow.

We had raised the issue with eBay last December after a longtime Platinum-level seller had tried unsuccessfully to increase his business on eBay. He had hired more employees, increased inventory and listings, but couldn't grow beyond his current sales. He then stumbled upon the fact that eBay had placed limits on his account without his knowing.

I had reached out to eBay at the time and asked, "Why does eBay show seller limits to only some sellers? For those who want to learn what their seller limits are if they are not visible in My eBay, how do they request them to be shown? And how do they request higher limits?"

Spokesperson Ryan Moore had told EcommerceBytes last December, "If a seller has a limit, he/she will find it in My eBay. Some of the criteria that goes into how a limit is set: Selling performance of sellers; Tenure/ length of selling history; Desired listing volume. A seller can request higher limits by 1) Navigating to the Increase Selling Limits option in My eBay and/or contacting CS directly."

But last week, an eBay employee named Jarvis with the User ID jaknox@ebay.com listed nine practices in which eBay limits sellers accounts, including "silent limits" that are hidden from sellers.

There are several types of limits that sellers may experience when selling, he wrote:

- Site Wide Limits (SWL, referred to as "selling limits")
- Silent limits (limits placed on an account that can't be seen by the seller)
- URC limits (User Risk Code, limits reduced or placed on an account due to concerns)
- Category limits
- BTAC limits (Building Trust by Reducing Counterfeits, for branded items)
- Hot item limits
- Multi-Account limits
- Velocity limits
- feedback limits

The post went viral, with sellers emailing EcommerceBytes, many expressing outrage at the secrecy of eBay's practices.

One seller believes the reason for the limits is because there are too few buyers, no advertising, and far too many sellers.

And, she said, "What good is complying w/ a KNOWN Policy and rating levels, when there is ANOTHER, "hidden" parameter that you may/may not be failing in? And what of a Seller who invests in, say, $10,000 in inventory, begins to list those items, only to be told, "You are limited to listing X items". What is THAT Seller to do when planning a business strategy?"

Another Platinum-level seller who raised the issue of eBay throttling last year wrote to me again after reading Jarvis's thread on the eBay boards. He believes the limits are in place on smaller seller accounts so eBay can meet their promises to large box sellers of guaranteed sell through rates.

"Cassini is not the groundbreaking each engine we were all led to believe it would be," he wrote. "It is simply a control mechanism for eBay. Sellers have been spent way too much time trying to figure it out - which again is what eBay wants you to be focusing on - when really it makes no difference what you do. eBay is in control."  

Another seller noted the seller limits policy cited by the eBay employee last week are different from eBay's policy published on its website.

I asked eBay last night for an update, stay tuned to Newsflash for more on this breaking story.




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Perminate Link for Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales   Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 8 14:19:47 2014

Wow, well there it is.
Mass Howler
-Restriction of trade anyone?

Perminate Link for Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales   Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: Map

Mon Dec 8 14:27:01 2014

YES YES YES. what I have been saying for so long is finally coming to the surface.

sellers print your traffic reports.

Not only will your traffic reports show when your seller account was limited but when hundreds and thousands of sellers traffic reports are compared on the same timeline then with show the light that we small sellers are being exterminated.

Small seller exterminations will all show similar charts at time of cassini test runs, seller purges dates and other program events where we small sellers were all being demoted to the bottom of ebay search engine together.

Ebay will try to claim policy violations but when we sellers are all collectively compared on the same time line it will be the same chart.

INA I want to mail you my charts. please contact me for more info.

I want to thank the ebay employee who leaked this very damaging information.

Devin Weing you should lift these oppressive sanctions that are criminal.

Warning to Adobie/Omniture. The cat is out of the bag and ebay is looking to throw Omniture under the bus like they did once already.

Back in 2013 ebay made and announcement that traffic reports by Omniture were broken and not delivering factual information. this was a lie by ebay because the reports are 100% truth.

I suggest that Adobie/Omniture not destroy or hide any traffic reports of sellers store pages.

Ebay sellers we finally will have a class action suit! We are going to win!

Mr Wieng tear down that wall!

Perminate Link for Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales   Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales

by: E-pins This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 8 14:53:15 2014

In a growing online market everywhere else, AKA rationing limited number of ebay buyers.

Get your own websites sellers.

Perminate Link for Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales   Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales

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

Mon Dec 8 15:01:19 2014

Of course ebay has secret limits and has had for years.

It's another illegal method they use to channel business to preferred sellers while trapping us "noise" in a neverending, Catch 22 vicious cycle that quite intentionally prevents most sellers from reaching 400 sales per quarter no matter what we do.

Every "noise" seller has at least two kinds of selling limits -- one secretly restricts the number of items a seller can sell and/or a ceiling monthly sales volume.

"Noise" visibility more or less stops once either or both of these secret limits is reached.

Some "noise" sellers have additional limits which are well known and documented and even admitted by ebay.

In order to attract The Ho's "desirable" sellers, ebay made secret deals with them guaranteeing them unlimited visibility, hiding competitive listings, and excluding them from the same onerous policies we "noise" must follow.

This represents a criminal conspiracy to retrain trade and fix prices for ebay executives should already be in prison serving their sentences.

What ebay has done is to create an illegal system that demands certain performance standards while rigging the system to make it impossible to achieve those standards.

I wish someone living in California would file formal fraud and theft charges gainst ebay, inc and John Donahoe and Devin Wenig in their personal capacities for the MASSIVE criminal conspiacy ebay has become.

I HATE this company and will do everything in my power that's legal for the rest of my life to bring them down.

Perminate Link for Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales   Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales

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

Mon Dec 8 15:07:28 2014

Congratulations to Jarvis! We finally found one honest person working for ebay!

I imagine, however, Jarvis will no longer be employed by ebay by the end of the week.

If there's one thing The Ho's sociopaths won't tolerate, and that's a light cast on their slimy, underhanded, and patently ILLEGAL business practices.

I think Jarvis's fate should be followed and a fund started for if he's consigned to the trash heap.

Perminate Link for Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales   Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales

by: brokentoys19 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 8 15:08:37 2014

This seems like pretty big news. Maybe journalistic do-gooder Pierre Omidyar will finally unleash his crack squad of highly ethical reporters to dig into this and related issues? LOL


https://twitter.com/pierre/status/409779622776025090

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Dec 8 15:24:16 2014

We've all known this, and mentioned this here many times.

One day eBay management will realize that their sellers are not stupid.

If they would actually listen to the voice of their customer their sales would grow.  

Perminate Link for Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales   Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Dec 8 15:27:07 2014

Oh, and thank you Jarvis!

Perminate Link for Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales   Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales

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

Mon Dec 8 15:39:20 2014

Ina,

PLEASE keep the heat on ebay until a response comes from C level management.

Keep this at the forefront for as long as it takes!!!!!

As a practical matter, these practices ruined my ebay business the month that Best Match began. It has never recovered.

My monthly sales volume is capped, my monthly ebay fees seldom vary more than a few dollars, and there's a quite predictable pattern throughout the month (every month) when my listings are visible and when they're not.

Too bad the same can't be said of The Ho and Pirate Pierre.

Despicable thieves and liars all.

Perminate Link for Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales   Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales

by: brokentoys19 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 8 15:49:46 2014

Needs to get out than just ebay "groupies" (for lack of better term)

Try tweeting this article to @FTC, @Pierre, @ggreenwald etc , even if just for the public shaming and irratant aspects.


BTW, @Ming, you did a great job of enunciating the heart of the issues in your first post. Crystal clear and concise.

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by: Orwellwasright This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 8 16:21:26 2014


I have said it before and I will say it again

  The amount of time energy and resources ebay dedicates to destroying the business's who set up on this site cannot be explained by any logical business model

It is clearly a form of paranoid dementia which has spread and been re-enforced throughout the entire
management matrix...

 I absolutely agree with all the reasons stated in the article, but that still does not explain the vicous and voracious relentless efforts to rid themselves of us.

 even Now we have on the horizon  the imbecilic Plan M , which, as we all know, will be the fifth!!! yes FIFTH!! program designe to eliminate us

PURE INSANITY!!!!!!!!!!!!

rather THEN use their talent and resources to actually GROW their buyer base, Instead they are dedicated to destroying their seller base with a rabid intensity
which defies logic or plan...

No suprises here at all ..
Just their extermination policy in force..

Perminate Link for Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales   Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales

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

Mon Dec 8 16:49:25 2014

“Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales”
http://www.ecommercebytes.com/C/blog/blog.pl?/pl/2014/12/141806422
5.html

So,
what’s new? If anyone involved with selling (or even buying) on eBay still does not yet appreciate that eBay is—demonstrably—the most incompetent, disingenuous, unscrupulous, indeed criminal, commercial entity operating on the planet, what further can be said?

"Cassini is not the groundbreaking [s]ea[r]ch engine we were all led to believe it would be," he wrote. "It is simply a control mechanism for eBay. …”

Gee, the penny has finally dropped!

Regrettably, methinks “Jarvis” will soon have a lot more time to spend with his family …

The fact is, as much traffic as possible has to be surreptitiously directed to the Ho’s preferred merchants less his delusional “Westfield Online Mall” plan will fail; well, methinks the reality is, it failed long ago …

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

Perminate Link for Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales   Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales

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

Mon Dec 8 16:58:44 2014

Over the years and dating back to Negged Meg Whitman unsuccessful tenure, we've see numerous example of the Silicon Valley sleaze has infested ebay since the ethics free MBAs took courtesy of Pierre Omidyar.

MAny long time readers will remember of the saga of Erika who revealed just how far outside ebay's policy box (read illegal and unethical and dishonest)) the TSAM's were encouraged to go in order to keep large sellers

If you haven't read the blog Ina recently linked to regarding ebay's conduct with Craig's List, read it now.

It reflects the arrogance and endemic dishonesty that has been an integral part of ebay's nazi like korporate kulture from the beginning and continues on today on steroids.

Tweet this article everywhere -- "The Rolling Stone," MSNBC night time hosts, stock analysts, and so on.

WE have the power to make this example of criminal conduct go viral.

Ebay has been and continues to intentional and gleefully exterminating small businesses.

They are pro Communist Chinese and anti American.

They are nothing less than ugly, vicious white collar criminals who deserve capital punishment for the enormous of damage they've done to the lives of thousands of sellers and their families.

Perminate Link for Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales   Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 8 17:01:31 2014

I think that by now EVERYBODY would have known/understood that Cassini was just a tool to beat you into submission.

2 computers using the same browser right next to each other produce different results!

There was nothing wrong with Voyager, it just didnt give the criminal in charge the power to control listings as his team saw fit.

Ive said it 10000000x, VERO is the same way. ALL parts of eBay are sown together with same thread of fraud and theft.

NO PART of eBay functions in a way that will not steal money from someone who isnt a beloved.

Big manufactoers (like Casio) needed a good search engine for their site. THEY simply licensed a Google engine and "magic" it works. Its organic, its fast, its complete.

Cassini punishes those on the naughty list.

Using hidden criteria is Torturous Interference in a contract. Where are all the lawyers when you need one?

Its also theft by manipulation, fraud and 1/2 dozen other crimes. All of it wrapped up in the quasi illegal shrink wrap license forced on you when you log on (eBays defense to EVERYTHING).

Wheres the CA Attorney General NOW?

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Dec 8 17:30:13 2014

I ask that if eBay is going to throttle our listings visibility, that they also throttle our fees.

Moreover, please throttle the exorbitant amounts of money that eBay's incompetent c-level management earn on the backs of sellers.

Are their any attorneys out there  who are willing to actually stand up to this unethical company?

Perminate Link for Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales   Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales

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

Mon Dec 8 17:50:54 2014

Most of have indeed known for a long time that ebay illegally manipulates its search engine and about hidden limits. WE knew this to be true because ebay said it wasn't.

But we couldn't prove it. There was no hard and fast evidence other than anecdotal. Now an ebay employee has admitted it which would open the door to wide ranging discovery demands in the event of a lawsuit.

I suspect that not everyone working for wbay is willing to fall on their sword to defend the sorry likes of Pierre Omidyar, John Donahoe, Devin Wenig, Brian Burke, Jim Griffin, and the other liars and thieves just like them.

Perminate Link for Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales   Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: LDS Brother

Mon Dec 8 17:57:19 2014

I just said on the Project M Blog, before this Blog came out that yesterday:

"Yesterday, I had my item ending I am TRS, and it was NO WHERE the be found on Best Match ! NO WHERE ! Even when it has 2 minutes left !

But the Chinese seller I compete against, with lousy feedback, and about 3 to 6 weeks delivery time, his same items are right on the front page of Best Match, even when they end 3 days from now !

Point being, is eBay is PROMOTING that Chinese Non Top Rated Seller, by having the same items I sell on the first page of Best Match, when I have the BETTER PRICE, Quicker Delivery !

eBay is TOTAL BULLSH*T ! Shove it Wenig, your gonna be no better than Donahoe, probably even worse !

Best Match is the most evil, fraudulent program I have ever seen !"

Thank you Ina for this article, that EXPLAINS the issue I have on Best Match !

Also there is CERTAIN items, I can post all year long on eBay, they NEVER SELL ! I cannot give them away, does eBay think I am stupid ? ( well yes I am , for hanging on for dear life since 2008 )

But I am not stupid, these items are NOT Being seen Period !

The Magician Donahoe, presents the ILLUSION that my items are posted, and being seen, but in reality, they are not !

Go to HELL Donahoe, Wenig, eBay ! For the EVIL you have done to us sellers !

Perminate Link for Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales   Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales

by: brokentoys19 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 8 18:04:17 2014

Ming there's another layer too. Every inch of the way there have been people denying the reality of this theft by deception. Every excuse under the sun has been cited as to why sales/visibility has been on/off as if a switch were being thrown. Every attempt made to diffuse, deflect, obfuscate, derail etc any discussions of it, even so much as branding to observers and victims as conspiracy theorists, and other ad hominem attacks.

In addition, a constant mantra of optimize optime optimize, when indeed, no amount of optimizing could overcome the secret and deliberate throttling.

Just go back and read some of the past links from tha  article body as well as other related materials.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Mon Dec 8 18:04:44 2014

Thanks for taking the risk, Jarvis.

In the not so distant past a listing paid or contracted for X number of days would be required to be just that - a listing that was VISIBLE and obtainable for X number of days - starting and ending time down to the second.

We have known for some time the seconds ticking away on our listings only give us the false impression of a listing visible to buyers.

And apparently the law governing such business is in cahoots? Donahoe still working with the Govt. on the side?  


Hope Jarvis gets joined by others  and protection or safety net provided.


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This user has validated their user name. by: LDS Brother

Mon Dec 8 18:13:37 2014

ATTENTION: Any Perspective wannabee eBay sellers "STOP" immediately !

eBay is NO GOOD ! it is a rigged, venue, with RIDICULOUS standards, and policy's to exterminate a seller very easily on lies from a buyer !

Also the customer service is a DAMN JOKE ! When you get screwed blatantly or unfairly buy one of the thieving fraudster buyers eBay is full of, you usually have to wait 45 minutes up to 2 hours while music plays till you get your 1st Customer Service Rep, THEN........

You will be told, that they understand they sell also on eBay, ( But they don't understand, they get a pay check from eBay, selling is secondary, most sellers this is their livelihood entirely ! )

So then they American Rep will tell you, there is nothing they can do, so they will transfer you to the correct department ( So be prepared for another 20 to 40 minutes, maybe even 1 hour more on hold with stupid music !

Then FINALLY the next Rep answers, BUT English is not their native tongue, and YOU CAN TELL !!!!!

So then you have to explain your heart and soul to one who does not comprehend like they should what your telling them, they will tell you " I see, ok " ( But do nothing, but maybe transfer you even 1 more time, OR they will finally get it that you were unfairly screwed, and PROMISE you they will take care of it ! ( Most times they don't )

So after all that wait and hell, and straining to understand someone with broken English, 1/2 a world away, even IF your told they will take care of it, chances are they won't !

That means in 1 week you should not be shocked, to see that DSR or Defect still counting against you, then you must repeat the process, again, waste most of your day on hold, just to find out again hours later, that NOTHING was taken off your account, then you must explain again, and keep your fingers crossed that the 2nd time they keep their word !

So PLEASE anyone having dreams of being an eBay sellers YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED !!!!

If you do not heed this warning, or read what these other sellers are saying, your gonna pay horribly with the eBuse eBay dishes out to you ( Oh they rig the search for new sellers for the first few items, to make you think it is easy, but then after a few months, you will be like all of us, dead sales, THROTTLED SNEAKY LIMITS etc. !!!!

Buying and selling SUCKS on this evil company now ! RUN !!!!!!!!!!

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