eBay Confirms Recent Seller Crackdown
By Ina Steiner
eBay addressed rumors of a seller crackdown that had surfaced last week, confirming that the company had taken action on some accounts. eBay uses what it calls seller performance standards to ratchet up or down sellers' listings in search results and to impose limits on how much they can sell. EcommerceBytes received numerous reports about the issue from concerned eBay sellers.
eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore told EcommerceBytes in an email, "eBay regularly reviews seller performance and may limit or restrict selling activity for those sellers who do not meet our minimum requirements. Recently, we took action on certain seller accounts that were below performance standards based on a variety of criteria."
Moore continued, "eBay sellers who believe their accounts have been inappropriately limited or restricted have the opportunity to appeal the decision and eBay will review each situation on a case-by-case basis."
One reader who said eBay had blocked him from listing as part of the crackdown said the cut-off was Below Standard - "aka 1 or 2 star ratings on 1 or 2% of your transactions in any of the 4 DSR categories," he said.
When asked how sellers would know what the limits were, Moore did not give specifics about eBay's criteria, but wrote, "If eBay lowers a seller's limit, it will be communicated through email and My Messages. Sellers are encouraged to reference their Seller Dashboard to manage their selling limit and identify opportunities to improve their selling performance."
At the same time, rumors surfaced that eBay was using sellers' behavior in the discussion boards as part of their seller performance. Moore wrote, "A member's behavior on the discussion boards does not affect seller status whatsoever, positively or negatively."
Last week, the AuctionBytes Blog detailed complaints of censorship on the eBay boards, which eBay recently moved from LiveWorld to the Lithium platform.
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About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to email@example.com.
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