eBay below standard – how to avoid
When selling on eBay, every seller has to meet certain performance standards. This way eBay ensures that you are a good seller with good shipping time, good customer support standards, recent activity. In this article, we will discuss best practices on how to keep your seller status as above standard, how to become top-rated. Finally we will learn eBay below standard – how to avoid it.
eBay seller performance standards
eBay has introduced seller performance standards for every seller on the marketplace. It does not matter what business model you are using – dropshipping, wholesale dropshipping, reselling, flipping or if you are just a personal seller. These standards have to be met to successfully sell on eBay platform. There are three levels of seller performance: Top Rated seller, Above standard and below standard. We will learn how to avoid and get out of below standard.
Above standard seller performance level
Every new ebay account and even stealth account when created gets above Standard seller level by default. To maintain this seller level, the store has to ship items in time, solve cases in time, use tracking numbers (in some regions).
How to maintain Above standard eBay seller performance level
The best practice to maintain this status is to be a good seller. This is the best way to avoid eBay below standard. What is a good seller? A good eBay seller is a store whose first priority is customer service. On eBay business, customer service is arguably one of the most important things to keep good care of. Here are the steps to maintain Above Standard performance level:
Ship your items in time
eBay is a marketplace that is built on trust. By shipping your items in time, you are showing eBay that you are a good seller that eBay can trust. However, if you are late with your shipments (order shipped AFTER handling time), you can get a Late Shipment Rate. If you are late with enough orders, your seller performance can drop to below standard. Always ship your items within the chosen handling time!
Do not cancel orders by choosing out of stock option
Some sellers on eBay (especially drosphippers), when they do not have the item in stock, cancel the order by choosing Out Of Stock option. By doing that you will most likely get a Transaction Defect Rate. When getting these defects, your seller standard can get to Below Standard. Never choose this option! First contact the buyer, kindly asking for the buyer to cancel the order. If they accept, then cancel the order by choosing the option Buyer Has Requested To Cancel This Order. This way you will avoid Transaction Defect Rate. If the buyer declines, we recommend to mark the item as shipped and await the case to be opened by the buyer. Then refund the money. For other methods check out our eBay algorithm eBook where we explain how to cancel the order without getting a Transaction Defect Rate right away.
Always close cases yourself, do not wait for eBay to close them
When eBay buyer opens a case, always check the tracking information and when the item was shipped. Review case yourself and search for best solution. For Item Not received cases, we recommend closing those in buyers favour if the estimated delivery time is ending. Keep in mind, that eBay has shown, that they are standing with the buyer, so to win these cases you have to have experience on how to deal with them. If necessary, refund the buyer and take the loss. Furthermore, if you are a dropshipper, open a case for the supplier and get back the money that you have spent. Never wait for eBay to close the case or to review it (of course there are exceptions). Most of the time eBay will close the case to buyers favour and you will have to contact eBay to remove the defect.
How to become Top Rated on USA region
To become Top Rated seller on eBay you must have an account that was active for more than 3 months (90 days). You will have to have at least 100 transactions totalling $1000 dollars during the last 12 months in this region. Late shipment rate must be less or equal to 3%, less than 0.3% cases closed without seller resolution and defect rate less than 0.5%. The main thing about getting Top Rated in this region for dropshippers is to upload real tracking numbers, with carrier validation for 95% of the shipments. When dropshipping, you will have to have good suppliers to meet this standard.
How to become Top Rated on Global region
To become Top Rated seller on eBay in Global region is a lot easier for dropshippers because there’s no need to validate tracking numbers. All other requirements are the same as in the USA region.
How To Avoid eBay Below Standard And Get Out
From our experience, bellow Standard seller status receives sellers that are lazy or just got bad luck. We hope that it was at least not your fault. Now your account is no longer trusted by eBay marketplace, that means, that you will receive a lot fewer sales than previously. Moreover, the promoted listings option can disappear or in some cases, the promoted listings impressions drop to 90-95%. To get out of this situation you have a few options:
Reduce prices drastically, get sales and slowly but surely climb out of this seller level.
Wait 12 months and the defects will reset on the date that you have received it.
Open brand new stealth accounts and start selling again without any wait and with Above Standard status.
We recommend to open a stealth account and start from begging. Furthermore, you will be able to still sell on you below standard account, however, the defects will disappear after 12 months. If you are using 3-5 stealth accounts, you will be able to make a lot more money than from that one account. In our practice, the best way to sell on eBay is with more than one account. We use a stealth strategy, so accounts never get linked up. If one gets below standard, other ones are still going strong.
Is Top-Rated status better than Above Standard?
Yes, the Top-Rated status is better than Above Standard, however, not a lot. As we have mentioned before, eBay is a trust-based platform & when the seller gets Top-Rated status, that means eBay is trusting this seller. Ebay buyers will see a badge that the seller is Top-Rated, the fees will be reduced a bit too. However, we do not see a huge spike when the eBay store received a Top-Rated badge. Moreover, we have noticed that once the store gets Top-Rated status, the sales go down around 30% and then stabilizes back to normal after 1-2 weeks. Do not panic – it’s normal practice: eBay is optimizing search performance for your store on that stage.
Our team recommends that every seller on eBay platform treats their business as a real business – good customer service, shipping items in time, taking care of unsatisfied customers. When the seller is doing that, there’s a high chance that the store will receive Top Rated badge, and avoids eBay below standard.