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Simplified seller performance standards

Reflecting your hard work and giving you more control

Simpler, more objective seller standards

Updates to seller standards are now in effect

eBay is committed to helping sellers grow their businesses. Sellers have told us they want a set of performance measures that are easier to manage and not based on opinions, so they can spend less time worrying about things they can't control. Which is why we're excited to be making changes to help make seller performance standards simpler, more objective and truly reflective of your level of service.

Starting 20 February 2016, the following no longer impact your defect rate:

  • Buyer Feedback
  • Detailed seller ratings (DSRs)
  • Returns requests that are successfully resolved with your buyer
  • Items not received requests that are successfully resolved with your buyer

The new seller standards focus on what matters most to buyers.

New seller standards focus on what buyers care about the most – getting the item they ordered on time and effective customer service to resolve any urgent requests for help.

Defect rate - measures effective customer service.

The new, simplified defect rate includes just two measures:

  • Seller-cancelled transactions for items that are out of stock or can't be fulfilled for any other reason.
  • Cases that are closed without seller resolution - this is the number of eBay Money Back Guarantee and PayPal Buyer Protection cases that you haven’t resolved with your buyers that have been found in favour of the buyer.  

Here is a detailed view of the updated defect rate requirements, effective from 20 February 2016:

  All sellers eBay Top Rated Sellers
Maximum percentage of transactions with defects

2%* 0.5%*
Minimum number of unique buyers affected before seller status is impacted

Less than 5** No more than 3**
Maximum percentage or number of cases closed by eBay  without seller resolution

0.3% or no more than 2 (no change)

*If you exceed this percentage of transactions with defects, you could fall Below Standards.

** This means that you'll only receive a defect if the percentage of transactions with defects has affected 5 or more of your buyers (4 for eBay Top Rated Sellers).

Late shipment rate - encourages sellers to send items on time.

Late shipment rate is a new, more objective measure of performance based on what you control: sending your item on time. 

We encourage you to use tracking, because this helps us to recognise if your item was either sent within the stated handling time or delivered by the estimated delivery date. If there's no integrated tracking*, we'll check with your buyer. If your buyer confirms the item was delivered on time, you'll be recognised for sending the item on time.

Here's how it works: 

We just need one of the following to show you’ve sent the item on time: 

  • An Acceptance scan - Your carrier should scan the postage label when you take your package to them or when they pick it up. If that scan is within your stated handling time, the shipment is considered on time.
  • Delivery confirmation - If the tracking scan shows the item was delivered by your estimated delivery date, the shipment is considered on time.
  • Buyer confirmation - If you're not using a tracked service – or if we haven't received those indicators – your buyer will be asked if the item arrived on time. If the buyer answers yes, the shipment is considered on time.

*Note: Only tracking details from postage labels printed on eBay are counted automatically. For all other shipments, the buyer will be asked whether the item was delivered within the estimated delivery date. If you uploaded tracking information showing that the shipment was on time, contact Customer Service about removing the late shipment.

Late shipment rate is measured based on the following:

  All sellers eBay Top-Rated sellers
Maximum percentage of transactions that aren't delivered on time


(less than 8)


(no more than 5)





*If the percentage of late deliveries exceeds 10%, we may restrict the options you have available for handling times. However, not meeting this requirement alone won't cause you to drop  "Below Standard".

** To maintain your eBay Top Rated Seller status, you must ensure that the percentage of late deliveries doesn't exceed 5%. 

Items are only considered late on when:

  • Tracking shows late delivery and there's no acceptance scan within your handling time, or
  • Buyer indicates late delivery

If you fall below the expected late shipment rate:

  • If your late shipment rate exceeds 10%, meaning more than 10% of your transactions weren’t delivered by the given estimated delivery date, we may restrict the options you have available for handling times. 
  • A high late shipment rate alone won't cause your seller level to fall to "Below Standard".
  • If you’re an eBay Top Rated Seller and you fail to meet the expected rate of 5%, you may lose your eBay Top Rated Seller status. 

Top tips for sending your items on time:

  • Specify an accurate handling time you know you can meet* in your listing.
  • Deliver your package promptly to your postal carrier within your stated handling time.
  • Upload tracking  it's a great way to prove that your item reached your buyer on time. 

* Handling time is the time between when you receive payment and when you deliver the package to your postal carrier. Specifying the right handling time helps set buyer expectations.

Find out more about late shipment rate

Helping you succeed

These updates are based on what matters most to buyers, and are designed to simplify what you need to focus on. As long as you have the items you list in stock, send items within your stated handling time, upload tracking and satisfy your customers by resolving issues if they arise, you'll be set up for success.



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