Seller levels and performance standards
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Seller levels and performance standards

Making sure buyers receive great service from all sellers is one of eBay top priorities. Seller levels and performance standards help you track your performance and let buyers shop with confidence.

Video length – 7:26

Seller levels

eBay assesses your seller performance on the 20th of each month. You don't need to submit any documents for it. Based on your sales history and the quality of service you deliver to your buyers, you'll be automatically assigned one of the following seller levels:

  • Top Rated: You're one of the best sellers on eBay, providing an exceptional quality of customer service as well as meeting minimum sales requirements for the Top Rated Seller level. If you're a Top Rated Seller, you're also eligible for the Top Rated Plus listing benefits as long as you meet the listing qualifications.
  • Above Standard: You're meeting our minimum standard for sellers and looking after your customers well.
  • Below Standard: You're not meeting one or more of our minimum requirements for customer service quality.

Take a look at your Seller Dashboard to check your current and projected level. If you're Top Rated, you'll find which of your listings are automatically eligible for Top Rated Plus benefits, or which you can change to gain those benefits. If your level is Below Standard, you'll find information on how you can improve.

To check your current seller level in My eBay:

  1. Go to My eBay.
  2. Open the Account section.
  3. Open your Seller Dashboard.

To check your current seller level in Seller Hub:

  1. Go to Seller Hub.
  2. Open the Performance tab.
  3. Open the Seller level section.

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Your Seller Level is different depending on what region you are selling in. This means you can be a Top Rated Seller in one region, whilst being Above Standard in another.

Becoming a Top Rated Seller

Becoming a Top Rated Seller indicates that you consistently deliver outstanding customer service; it also makes you eligible to receive a prominent Top Rated Plus seal on qualifying listings.

To become a Top Rated Seller, you must meet the following guidelines:

  • An eBay account that’s been active for at least 90 days.
  • 100 or more transactions and $1,000 in sales during the last 12 months with US buyers.
  • A transaction defect rate less than or equal to 0.5%, with three or fewer defects from unique buyers.
  • Cases closed without seller resolution less than or equal to 0.3%, and two or fewer cases.
  • A late shipment rate less than or equal to 3%, and five or fewer late shipments.
  • Tracking uploaded within your stated handling time, and carrier validation for 95% of transactions to US buyers.

You will also find the requirements in the detailed table below.

If you've met these performance standards requirements on ebay.com, your status will automatically be upgraded to the Top Rated Seller at your next evaluation.

You can become a Top Rated Seller on ebay.com as well as on local eBay sites such as on ebay.co.uk or ebay.de based on transactions with buyers in these countries. Each site has a regional performance standard program. eBay has four regional performance standard programs.

Top Rated Plus benefits and requirements

As a Top Rated Seller, you can qualify for these exclusive Top Rated Plus benefits if you offer same or 1-business-day handling time and 30-day or longer free returns:

  • The Top Rated Plus seal will be displayed prominently in search results and in the listing description.
  • A 10% discount on your standard final value fees, which is calculated on the total amount of the sale, including shipping and tax fee. The discount does not apply to the $0.30 per order portion of the final value fee.

The discount does not apply to any additional final value fees applied to sales in categories where you're rated as "very high" in your service metrics for "item not as described" returns.

The 10% final value fee discount is only available to sellers resident in the country in which they're Top Rated. For example, if you're selling through ebay.com, you must be resident in the US to qualify for this discount.

From July 2020, free returns must be based on your item's location in order for you to qualify for Top Rated Plus:

  • If the item location is in the same country as the eBay site you listed on, you need to offer 30-day free domestic returns.
  • If the item location isn't in the same country as the eBay site you listed on, you need to offer 30-day free international returns.

In some product categories, eBay will extend the discount benefit (but not the seal) even if you don't offer 30-day free returns.

How your performance is calculated

Your seller performance level is calculated by looking at your transaction defect rate, cases closed without seller resolution, late shipments, and tracking validation.

To see how each of these measures can affect your seller rating, please see our article on seller performance standards.

Transaction defect rates and cases closed without seller resolution

One of the key seller performance measures is your transaction defect rate. A defect is added to your account if:

  • You cancel a buyer's purchase because you no longer have the item in stock or you chose not to send it.
  • An “item not received” or “item not as described” request from a buyer is closed without seller resolution.

To avoid letting down buyers and receiving a defect due to an item being out of stock:

  • Closely manage your inventory: if your stock levels change, end your listing or update the quantity as soon as possible.
  • Check the restock advice: go to the Research tab in Seller Hub to see which listings are running low.
  • Enable the out-of-stock feature: if you use multi-quantity, Good 'Til Cancelled listings, this feature automatically hides listings when the stock quantity falls to zero.

If eBay is asked to step in and help with an eBay Money Back Guarantee case, you can resolve the issue with the buyer by issuing a refund or accepting a return so the request isn't concluded as the seller's fault. If the seller is found to be responsible for the issue, this will result in what eBay calls a “case closed without seller resolution”. eBay counts these in your transaction defect rate and as a percentage of your transactions closed without you resolving them.

To avoid these cases:

  • Describe your item accurately. Use pictures and include specifics in your listing so your buyers know exactly what to expect.
  • Use tracking when possible, and follow our best practices for avoiding issues with buyers.
  • Respond promptly to the buyer's request to prevent eBay needing to step in.
  • Provide clear return and payment policies in your listing.

Late shipments

To provide your buyers with great service, it's important to make sure you send your items on time. Late shipment rates are determined by the percentage of transactions that you sent after the handling time stated in your listing or that were not delivered by the estimated delivery date.

eBay will only consider a shipment late if:

  • Tracking shows the item was delivered after the estimated delivery date, unless there's an acceptance scan within your dispatch time or there's confirmation from the buyer of on-time delivery.
  • The buyer confirms the item was delivered after the estimated delivery date, unless there's an acceptance scan within your handling time or there's delivery confirmation by the estimated delivery date.

Number of defect rates that affect your seller rating

Transaction defect rate

Transactions with one or more of the defects listed below are subject to transaction defect rates.

RequirementsAll eBay sellerseBay Top Rated Sellers
Maximum percentage of transactions with defects2%0.5%
Maximum number of unique buyers affected before seller status is changed43

Cases closed without seller resolution

Cases closed without seller resolution are cases where eBay was asked to review the case and the seller was found responsible. (This applies after the account has exceeded the maximum number of allowed cases.)

RequirementsAll eBay sellerseBay Top Rated Sellers
Maximum percentage of cases closed by eBay without seller resolution0.3%0.3%
Minimum number of unique transactions for requirement to activate22

Late shipment rate

Transactions where you didn't send the item within your handling time or the item was delivered after the estimated delivery date are subject to late shipment rates.

RequirementseBay Top Rated Sellers
Maximum percentage of transactions sent late3%
Minimum number of unique transactions for requirement to activate6
Lookback period12 months
or 3 months if you've had 400 transactions in the last 3 months

Tracking uploaded on time and validated (applies to eBay Top Rated Sellers only)

Transactions where you uploaded tracking details within your stated handling time, and the carrier scanned the shipping label either before or after your handling time, are on time and validated.

RequirementseBay Top Rated Sellers
Maximum percentage of transactions where tracking wasn't uploaded on time and/or validated5%
Lookback period3 months

To change your lookback period for performance requirements from 12 months to 3 months, you need at least 400 transactions in the last 90 days.

If your seller level is Below Standard

Your seller level can fall to Below Standard if your transaction defect rate is above 2% or if your percentage of cases closed without seller resolution is above 0.3%.

Buyers can't see that your seller level is Below Standard. However, since it means that you're not meeting one or more of our minimum standards for sellers, eBay will review your overall account history and it may place limits or restrictions on your account.

The consequences of falling Below Standard can include:

  • Your items may be placed lower in search results
  • eBay may limit or restrict you from selling on your account and related accounts, or from registering a new account
  • Funds from your sales may be held
  • You'll be charged a higher percentage rate for final value fees
  • You will be blocked from using the Promoted Listings tool, and will not be able to create new campaigns or edit existing campaigns
  • eBay may downgrade your eBay Store to the Basic level if you've been Below Standard for more than 60 days
  • You'll be unable to access the partial refund tool

Usually, eBay will only apply permanent selling restrictions when your account has been evaluated as Below Standard for at least 2 consecutive months. However, eBay may take action at any time if it has urgent concerns about your account; for example, if eBay has detected fraud or if your selling practices pose a threat to the buyer experience. The actions eBay takes will be proportional to the nature of the issue eBay has identified and what is reasonably required to protect the interests of all eBay users and eBay as provider of the services.

If eBay applies any limits or restrictions on your account, it will send you an email to let you know. For information on what steps you can take to improve, see the Seller performance standards policy.

Detailed seller ratings

For additional insight into a seller's performance, buyers can also view your detailed seller ratings. This is a breakdown of how you've been rated by your buyers in the following areas:

  • Item description: How accurately was the item described?
  • Communication: Did you communicate well with your buyer?
  • Shipping time: How quickly did you send the item?
  • Shipping and handling charges: Were the costs reasonable?

You can view your detailed seller ratings on your feedback profile page. You'll find stars next to the four different areas, with 1 star being the lowest rating and 5 stars being the highest.

You might also be interested in:

How buyers’ feedback affects your feedback metrics

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Service metrics policy

Do you give customers accurate item information and send it on time? This has a positive impact on your eBay performance. Find out how we evaluate your seller performance and what impact Seller metrics have on your business.

Disputes and Seller Protection

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