Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Dec 10 2014 21:21:40

eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits

By: Ina Steiner

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An eBay employee by the name of Jarvis caused a major stir this week when he pasted notes from an internal eBay document on a public eBay discussion thread listing nine types of limits eBay imposes on sellers, including "Silent limits (limits placed on an account that can't be seen by the seller)."

While some sellers are now familiar with seller limits, much of the information Jarvis posted had never before been seen by eBay sellers and caused consternation about a lack of transparency about the practice. (Here's eBay's public-facing policy about seller limits.)

You can catch up to the latest developments of this ongoing story in Thursday's Newsflash article, which contains a response from eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore, including a statement that none of eBay's limits are "silent." "If a seller has limits on his/her account, those limits generally are visible to them in his/her My eBay page," he said.

Shortly before publication, Ryan answered some additional, followup questions.

EcommerceBytes: Jarvis said there are silent limits, so is he wrong? It looks like he copied and pasted his post from an eBay document meant for eBay employees, is that correct?

eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore: The information was taken from an internal customer service knowledge base and the short-hand terminology does not clearly reflect eBay’s policies.  As previously mentioned, none of eBay’s limits are “silent.” If a seller has limits on his/her account, those limits generally are visible to them in his/her My eBay page and, at a minimum, the limits are communicated to sellers at the time of listing

EcommerceBytes: "all sellers subject to limits are notified, either when they list (if not before)." Can you explain this? How are they notified?

eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore: When a seller attempts to list an item and/or they can be contacted by eBay through some form of communication advising them that they have a limit due to a risk-oriented concern.

EcommerceBytes: All sellers will experience some sort of selling limits, you say, but then you said IF a seller has limits, they are *generally* visible.

eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore: You can see most of your account 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 see a red alert when 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.

EcommerceBytes: All sellers have limits but majority will not be *impacted* - By definition, they are impacted if they have limits on their accounts, no?

eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore: No, the majority of sellers are not impacted by seller limits. By way of analogy, virtually all credit card holders have spending limits, but they’re not impacted by those limits unless they try to exceed their spending limits.  

Related coverage:
Leaked: eBay Hidden Limits Throttle Seller Sales (December 8th)

eBay Employee Reveals Practice of Secret Seller Limits (December 9th)

eBay Deletes Leaked Post on Secret Seller Limits (December 11)




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits   eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits

This user has validated their user name. by: Map

Wed Dec 10 21:52:30 2014

Ebay I will settle for nothing less than the total destruction of the ebay corporation.

All lawfully of course.

Happy to hear about the coming 3000 job layoffs at ebay today.
http://news.yahoo.com/ebay-may-slash-thousands-jobs-ahead-pa

ypal-split-015609224.html;_ylt=A0LEVrja_4hUYIEAvekPxQt.

Luckily
for you the unemployment benefits are at your leisure.

Most of us Small business sellers do not get that option and are heading for the Bankruptcy court line.

Somewhat Sorry for them loosing their jobs but many of them are guilty as sin for not reporting to the authorities the criminal acts of their employers when they were aware!

Plus ebay executives & BOD are selling ebay anyway just after the paypal split so your job will be gone anyway.

Calling all Ebay employees to help us sellers bring down ebay and send those men to jail.

Release documents, recording and emails to the authorities and media.

Your conscious if you have one will thank you later.

Perminate Link for eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits   eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits

by: rudestar This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 10 22:01:42 2014

Im limited.
Doubled inventory, same sales.

Perminate Link for eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits   eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Dec 10 22:13:44 2014

Notice that Ryan states: "You can see MOST of your account limits in My eBay." (Emphasis added.) To me that says that there are limits that you cannot see.

Perminate Link for eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits   eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits

by: aim04744 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 10 22:46:49 2014

Double speak BS. As usual.  

Perminate Link for eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits   eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 10 23:17:57 2014

He's LYING.

Lyin Ryan is simply covering up for Jarvis - the removal of the posts in "broad daylight" was too telling.

The post(s) were reinstated and the cover up begins.

As a "venue", there is no exposure to eBay. THAT is what his guard dog PAYPAL is for.

They have the sellers CC info, bank info, SS number or EIN (if its a business) - PLEASE ... if you believe him, Ive got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn - CHEAP.

Ive had the same Gross amount of sales on eBay for the last 6-8 yrs - no matter what I do, its almost always the same. Hes LYING.

And Cassini? PLEASE LYIN RYAN - put your money where your mouth is. Scrap Cassini and license a Google internal search engine - like many other manufacturers do. Let see what happens THEN.

EVERYTHING eBay does is fraud PERIOD.

Perminate Link for eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits   eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits

by: Maui5150 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 11 00:07:59 2014

What I have to laugh about this... Ebay states that they do all of this to provide a safe environment.. Yet they do nothing to monitor or investigate buyers.

Case in point, I had a new buyer, 0 feedback and new account place a $7000 bid.  

Perminate Link for eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits   eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits

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

Thu Dec 11 00:12:46 2014

Terrell's statement that "the overwhelming majority of current eBay sellers are not impacted by selling limits of any kind" is the kind of lawyer's statement that is very likely true, but quite irrelevant.

The overwhelming majority of eBay sellers are amateurs, selling the occasional unwanted item. They may have real risk-related limits, e.g. against selling a $10K diamond ring after having sold only a few used household items before. In such a case, there would be genuine concern about a hijacked account. But the seller is very unlikely to bump up against the restriction.

However, this has absolutely nothing to do with the artificial glass ceiling eBay is secretly putting onto most of its small business sellers.

Perminate Link for eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits   eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits

This user has validated their user name. by: eBankrupted

Thu Dec 11 00:20:16 2014

'Generally' is a very interesting twist of words. As a 4 year old, I could read and write before school, and tested in the 98th percentile for the nation in reading comprehension before I knew 'grammar' so I see abstracts that might not be 'visable' - and that's the key here.

You can list 2 million in inventory without 'limits' (generally), BUT how much of your inventory is VISABLE? You see, that's the shell game I think this corporate tool Ryan is using here. It is purely legal semantics.

Until this Ryan Moore corporate fruitloop is put under oath, he can lie.. er, ah, sort of 'generally' bend certain concepts to make it all appear ethical, BUT if upon cross-examination, under oath, we find this term 'Generally' has an 'invisible' plural meaning, then the flaming cat is out of the bag, folks.

So, you have or don't have "listing limits", but what is the mechanism for 'visibility limits' on search for 'selling limits' - especially for those sellers who have jumped through all hoops and achieved TRS without 'defects', etc..?

Something in Ryan's carefully worded 'General' statement has a very fishy reek of corporate gobbledygook, and the fact that ebay has knee-jerked this fuzzy 'general' response is very suspect, in my opinion. Hopefully one of the 3000 laid off ebay workers will spill the beans on the corporate rat lies.

I believe ebay fears getting caught for defrauding its CONSUMERS (sellers) out of a service, and has back door deals that might be uncovered IF the FTC pushes hard enough. Just an opinion. From someone with a natural BS meter for reading comprehension, and a seller who watched page views go down nearly 99%, with a TRS 100% FB.'Generally' is a very interesting twist of words. As a 4 year old, I could read and write before school, and tested in the 98th percentile for the nation in reading comprehension before I knew 'grammar' so I see abstracts that might not be 'visable' - and that's the key here.

You can list 2 million in inventory without 'limits' (generally), BUT how much of your inventory is VISABLE? You see, that's the shell game I think this corporate tool Ryan is using here. It is purely legal semantics.

Until this Ryan Moore corporate fruitloop is put under oath, he can lie.. er, ah, sort of 'generally' bend certain concepts to make it all appear ethical, BUT if upon cross-examination, under oath, we find this term 'Generally' has an 'invisible' plural meaning, then the flaming cat is out of the bag, folks.

So, you have or don't have "listing limits", but what is the mechanism for 'visibility limits' on search for 'selling limits' - especially for those sellers who have jumped through all hoops and achieved TRS without 'defects', etc..?

Something in Ryan's carefully worded 'General' statement has a very fishy reek of corporate gobbledygook, and the fact that ebay has knee-jerked this fuzzy 'general' response is very suspect, in my opinion. Hopefully one of the 3000 laid off ebay workers will spill the beans on the corporate rat lies.

I believe ebay fears getting caught for defrauding its CONSUMERS (sellers) out of a service, and has back door deals that might be uncovered IF the FTC pushes hard enough. Just an opinion. From someone with a natural BS meter for reading comprehension, and a seller who watched page views go down nearly 99%, with a TRS 100% FB.

Perminate Link for eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits   eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits

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

Thu Dec 11 00:20:59 2014

The damage is already done. That employee post has been screen shot thousands of time and is plastered on every social media being shared.

Perminate Link for eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits   eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits

by: XebayX This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 11 00:21:53 2014

''No, the majority of sellers are not impacted by seller limits. By way of analogy, virtually all credit card holders have spending limits, but they’re not impacted by those limits unless they try to exceed their spending limits.''

Virtually all credit card holders are given notice of limits by the credit card companies (by law). eBay does not tell sellers what their limits are.
It's all a bunch of BS. They are skirting the issue talking as if listing limits are the topic. We are talking about visibility and sales volume limits (look, a bunny rabbit).
Like many other sellers are reporting, I have either a daily, weekly, or monthly average ''secret'' sales volume limit, and once I hit that dollar number, my sales drop to zero. It seems to be getting worse month by month, inching downward with more frequent no visibility days. I suspect the bots see it as a downward trend in sales and are penalizing me progressively further, when it is eBay causing the downward trend, not my reputation, pricing, listing descriptions, or anything else. I sell plenty when my listings are visible, and then ZERO.  

Perminate Link for eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits   eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits

by: val2525 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 11 00:22:16 2014

"By way of analogy, virtually all credit card holders have spending limits, but they’re not impacted by those limits unless they try to exceed their spending limits. "

Nice try, Ryan, but a poor analogy.  ALL of my credit cards have CLEARLY identified my spending limits.. Absolute total BS from eBay ... as usual.  

Perminate Link for eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits   eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits

by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 11 00:32:02 2014

@Rudestar, double inventory same sales can be due to many factors like time of year, pricing too high, saturated market, type of item for sale, etc.  Just because a business fails on EBay doesn't mean that it's necessarily EBay's fault.  It's Business 101 that some will fail and most of the time it's due to poor management.

Perminate Link for eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits   eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits

by: rosachs This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 11 00:43:05 2014

"Selling limits" refer to limitations imposed on a seller's ability to list (to offer for sale) on the site.

"Sales limits" would refer to limitations imposed on a seller's actual sales and/or ability to sell (via exposure limitations) on the site.

Sales vs Selling -- limits to one are not the same as limits to the other.

Perminate Link for eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits   eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits

by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 11 00:52:17 2014

I only see selling limits on my account. Where are there "sales limits?" It would be an oxymoron to place sales limits on a seller wouldn't it?
Personally I have never even came close to my selling limits even when I was crazy busy. Like they said it is typically not an issue to have these limits and they are there for precautionary reasons. Clearly if you came close to or exceeded your limit you can get it increased.

Perminate Link for eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits   eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits

by: Postthoughts This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 11 00:53:23 2014

ebay is not a platform to be trusted if you want to build a business.   They have not been honest with sellers for years.

Back when the Donaho took over, he lied in every announcement about every change that he made.  It was all smoke and mirrors. Every time he promised something, he broke his word.

When he called the sellers complaints "Just noise" I moved 95% of my business off ebay.
I  only keep a small presence there to drive more traffic to my own site.

How many horror stories do you need to read about how ebay just shut off a long time seller with great feedback and they have no appeals process?

Why on earth would any sane person want to do business with a platform like that?  A platform that can put you out of business without warning and without recourse.  

Even with the small amount of listings that I put on ebay, I know my items are not always visible.  Many of us experience the clumping of sales from one specific area of the country. For a month, all sales were in Washington State.  Then all from Texas.  They have been playing with your business for years.

It blows my mind that ebay doesn't realize, sellers were also buyers.  I never shop ebay unless I am desperate to find some obscure part that I need and can't find it anywhere else.  ebay has become my last resort to buy and sell.  

All the reports show that ebay's traffic is dropping year over year while Amazon's continues to increase.  Etsy has made huge strides in taking away business in certain categories.

This slip, by this employee, just confirms what I always thought, we have always been manipulated and it was even worse than most people thought.  

Perminate Link for eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits   eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits

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

Thu Dec 11 01:00:19 2014

Seriously, none of it matters Ebay is being taken down so as to sell for a rock bottom price. Someone or several someones will get a generous brokerage fee for the role they have played to squash the sales venue.
If Alibaba buys Ebay? most of us are history or at least any that do not sell Chinese imports. Personally, I cannot see taking on any more Chinese business practices than are already being used at Ebay.  

Perminate Link for eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits   eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits

by: blaumann This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 11 01:24:23 2014

Ilooked ion Selling Manager. No such thing as all seling. Limits are a hidden mystery.

Perminate Link for eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits   eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits

by: Just Plain Irritated This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 11 01:32:48 2014

I am an experience long time eBay seller. I have looked everywhere I can think of and cannot find what Ryan Moore calls "Monthly selling limits section".  I find nothing which even remotely looks like what he was talking about.  

I do know I have hidden sales limits, because I can't move above a specific daily average, no matter what I do. And I have never seen a red alert.

The dishonesty, lack of integrity of these people is mind boggling.

Perminate Link for eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits   eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits

This user has validated their user name. by: thehosst

Thu Dec 11 01:34:12 2014

Ina, I really would like to know answers to 2 VERY important questions:

1) Limits are shown in the seller dashboard, but monthly listing limits, why are there daily limits as well, you can have 2 millions dollars to list or sell per month but the real limits are 200 dollars a day? 200 x 30 days, does not equal 2 million a month, does it?

2) Why are people in India deciding the faith and limits on a USA based seller?

Can we please get answers to those questions?

Ina please, I'm a big fan and reader and I do not get the chance to ask any questions to any eBay executives the way you do, thank you and Happy Holidays!  

Perminate Link for eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits   eBay Responds to Questions on Hidden Selling Limits

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

Thu Dec 11 01:36:44 2014

“generally”, “most”, “majority”, “not impacted” …

Well, there’s one person that definitely is “impacted”, and that’s “Lyin” Ryan Moore …

Fortunately, it’s very easy for anyone to tell when an eBay or "PreyPal" spokesperson is being disingenuous—their lips are moving! ... http://bit.ly/YvxFEg

And why do most of these “limits” exist at all? Most probably so that Johnny Ho can (desperately) funnel the remaining searchers/buyers to his “preferred” merchants …

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

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