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

eBay Continues Practice of Seller Limits

By: Ina Steiner

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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.




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Readers Comments

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

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Tue Aug 4 02:44:16 2015

I don't get it.

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

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

Tue Aug 4 04:06:02 2015

So what's new? This is what happens when the lunatics are allowed to take over the asylum or, as in the case of eBay, a cretin from Bain & Co is installed in the corner office ...

AMZN ~$533; PYPL ~$39; EBAY ~$28—LOL ...

And to think that all Meg really had to do was find a monkey; instead she found Johnny Ho ...

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

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

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

Tue Aug 4 04:12:09 2015

"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."

I love the way this boilerplate is worded to give the dupes the impression that an intelligent human has made this decision when, undoubtedly, it is simply another very poorly written eBay computer algorithm; let's face it, eBay is too mean (or desperate) to waste money on the human resources required to do this assessment properly ...

Talk about slashing your own wrists—eBay is patently suicidal ...

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

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

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Aug 4 07:12:12 2015

This company is completely insane.  Sales are incredibly slow for most small sellers right now. With slow sales, one complaint from a liar buyer can send those ridiculous DSR metrics into a tail spin and as a result a seller can have a downward spiral.

This is the most ridiculous line yet---"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."

OVERWHELMED WITH LARGE INCREASES OF ACCOUNT ACTIVITY?  HA!!!!!!!

Another great line from buffoonery-bay! I don't think anyone selling on eBay has to worry about large increases of account activity.

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

by: funkygrrl This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 4 08:11:18 2015

This is where Chad Dickerson sounds more sane than those at the top.  He wants to help that kind of seller grow over at Etsy.  (Often at the expense of smaller sellers on Etsy.)  

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

by: Artchick This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 4 08:35:17 2015

Everyone should (and can) know their selling limits. All you have to do is call eBay CS at ask for them to "activate" them. Then they will be shown under All Selling in My eBay at all times.

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

by: rhawk This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 4 08:37:49 2015

Ebay can go to hell.

Thats what its like to try to sell on Ebay anyway.

Do everthing right, and they STILL have to control your business with mind numbing, pointless parameters that do nothing but kill business transactions.

Run, Run, RUN!!!!   ebay is not worth the headache for seller nor buyer.

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

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

Tue Aug 4 08:38:10 2015

Yeap! This is how eBay does it. Next step after limiting the listings, is NO sales for a long period of time. Unless the Seller gets the message behind this and quits.
I did. EBay did the exact same thing to me a few years back after 14 years and 100% positive feedback(really! I still ''own'' it even though I no longer sell anything). First I got limited to 150 listings monthly and went from hundreds of sales to 2 sales that entire year.
It is useless to find reason behind anything eBay does.  

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

by: VintageLady This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 4 08:45:55 2015

...and to add insult to injury, eBay always claims all is meant ''to help the Seller''.

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

by: foolguy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 4 08:47:54 2015

Sounds fishy. I've never had any problems.
Ebay pays my bills, thrills and frills.

If you understand the rules you won't have any problems.

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

by: sherlock55 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 4 08:48:39 2015

Vintage lady's comment has solved the riddle for me. I opened a 2nd EBay store a few months ago & immediately ran into the selling limits absurdity. I was a power-seller, had 100% positive feedback, etc with the 1st store and yet, despite written policy to the contrary, EBay was miserely
with the limits. And then- whoosh, sales went in the the tank. Not a single sale in the last month. I will close the 2nd store, at some unfair, unecessary expense, and
concentrate on my own website & Etsy.
Does EBay actually have a business plan
for growth for themselves and us hapless sellers? I think the answer is right there in front of us.

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

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Aug 4 08:52:49 2015

I love the "foolguy" moniker. :)  I knew that it was just a matter of time.  

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

by: OnlyPollyPocket This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 4 08:53:45 2015

Wow...just wow!

Wonder if the selling limit is less than her monthly free listings for her store.

Besides collecting unearned income from not showing your listings, are they now collecting unearned income by limiting your listings to a number less than the number included in a subscription store?

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

by: Go tell the Spartans This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 4 09:06:40 2015

Time to tell eBay to KMA. Time to suck it up, build your own website and move eBay to the bottom rung of your ladder.

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

by: WhatWas This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 4 09:07:33 2015

Pathetic!  a quick read between the lines...

Here's prob what really happened, She found a great niche and was successful at taking business away from an ''AAA+'' account. The AAA+ made a complaint, or threaten to leave. eBay said no problem, don't leave we can easily level the playing field, watch this... BOOM she is instantly turned to dust.

''Is there anything else we help to positively impact to your AAA+ business, Mr Wong?''

Pathetic, group of losers, we can only hope, someday they will be asked to spell collusion at their deposition.

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

by: brokentoys19 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 4 09:11:02 2015

wow! smh. In a way, it reminds me of the "Third Grader Handcuffed in School" video now going viral.


@foolguy (LOL) "Ebay pays my bills, thrills and frills"

Did you forget pills?

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

by: skipbo3 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 4 09:15:58 2015

CEO John Donahoe instituted such draconian Ebay policies upon sellers.  Part of the reasoning is due to unscrupulous sellers who have been selling lots of money from Paypal and disappearing, never sending products that buyers have purchased.  This problem is bigger than anyone outside of Ebay realizes.  There are also other sellers who do have more customer service, do not ship products out promptly (sometimes taking a month or longer to send the item), very rude comments to buyer inquiries, and not actually sending the buyer the item that is pictured and/or described in the listing.  There are other reasons as well but these gross errors on some sellers I agree action should be taken. However, I disagree with John over the draconian measure that pounds down the vast majority of great sellers on Ebay. John's philosophy is based on the "behavioral economics" model he learned from his socialist professors in college which most Democrats ascribe to.  They view ALL sellers as greedy people who over price all their products and are 100% dishonest and unethical in their listings and products.  To them, all sellers are bad people.  This view I would agree applies to a few sellers but certainly not all.  Good news, John is going away from Ebay as CEO but will be heading up Paypal which is still bad news.  I agree buyers ought to be protected and that the buyer must receive what was advertised and pictured on Ebay.  I too sell on multiple channels and sometimes I have an item that sells on one eccomerce site but the retraction of that same item is not retracted from Ebay fast enough and so a sale occurs on Ebay but the item is now out of stock having been sold on another site.  Thus, I have a an item out of stock and if I state so to the buyer and they leave me negative feedback I have a triple whammy of both negative feedback, "item not as described", and for one full year a negative strike against me for the item being out of stock. This is draconian and there is no possible way I can improve my rating with a negative strike lasting a year and is weighed much more heavily than the negative feedback or the not as described remark.  To Ebay as of now, all sellers are looked at as bad people.  Hey John and Ebay, without sellers you have nothing--no products--therefore no need for buyers and now you are out of business but John does not get that nor does he care.  It is a good day to see he will no longer be CEO of Ebay.  Hopefully, the next CEO will fix these draconian  policies.

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

by: troglites This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 4 09:25:42 2015

This is why I will not get a store. With Ebay you really do not own your business - they do.  

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

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Tue Aug 4 09:38:33 2015

As reported, eBay has been restricting seller accounts for years -many for no apparent reason.

Ebay's outsider management wonders why growing sales is such a problem....

Restricting seller accounts without explanation and for no apparent reason destroys the confidence level sellers have with eBay and makes the marketplace - seller relationship one that is adversarial at best

Then again eBay is all about contentiousness and adversarial relationships.  That goes a long way to explain why sellers abandon eBay in droves, and buyers have moved on from what was once one of the busiest marketplaces on the entire web.

Another example of how eBay's implosion has become a self fulfilling prophacy.  

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

This user has validated their user name. by: MainelyVintage

Tue Aug 4 09:41:42 2015

...And I thought I was immune from selling limits because we've been selling on eBay for over 10 years with perfect feedback...

Thanks, Artchick, for the suggestion about how to see our selling limits. Going to call CS today : )

EBay is still a necessary tool for our selling, but it is at the bottom of the box... Why in the world would I trust all of my online reselling potential to a venue that has shown itself to be unworthy of my full trust?

I sell waaaay more on Etsy now... It's a beautiful venue with lower fees and nicer buyers. However, that said, I am looking to diversify even more, as there seems to be no perfect venue out there for vintage reselling.

So, when is someone going to invent the perfect collectible reselling venue? Surely one of you can do it!!!

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