Seller Performance Standards raised with Defect Rate

You are familiar with eBay’s Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs) where buyers leave their star rating on accuracy of description, seller communication, shipping duration and shipping charges. The main thing sellers began looking at changing when DSRs took over was shipping. Making sure items are out the door same day or next day as well as no longer gouging on shipping charges. The accuracy of description became 3rd on the list and communication was pretty much automated. eBay is changing the buyer experience and is focusing on return customers. That being said, eBay will begin to measure the transaction Defect Rate which will replace the DSRs that evaluate seller performances.

“The defect rate is simply the percentage of a seller’s successful transactions that have one or more of the following transaction-related defects, the top predictors that a buyer will leave eBay or buy less:

  • Detailed seller rating of 1, 2 or 3 for item as described
  • Detailed seller rating of 1 for shipping time
  • Negative or neutral feedback
  • Return initiated for a reason that indicates the item was not as described
  • eBay Money Back Guarantee (previously known as eBay Buyer Protection) or PayPal Purchase Protection case opened for an item not received or an item not as described
  • Seller-cancelled transactions

Starting with the August 20 evaluation, to meet eBay’s minimum standard, sellers can have up to a maximum 5% of transactions with one or more transaction defects over the most recent evaluation period. A maximum 2% will allow a seller to qualify as an eBay Top Rated Seller. Only transactions with US buyers count. The defect rate won’t affect your status until you have transactions with defects with at least 8 different buyers within your evaluation period. Sellers with 400 or more transactions over the past 3 months will be evaluated based on the past 3 months and sellers with fewer than 400 transactions will be evaluated based on the past 12 months” (info from

The lower your Defect Rate, the higher your item’s position within Best Match results. Sellers with 2% Defect Rate or less will show in best match. This means that a seller who on average sells 500 items per month would have to have a maximum of 10 issues with their sales in order to keep their TRS advantage. This is a difficult standard for retail stores let alone consignment sales or used equipment sales.  I recently saw a listing that had all of the measurements of the dress in the description and the seller still received Neutral feedback stating “Fits a little odd at the top”. Selling used items will become difficult if you have more than 5% reported issues. To prevent returns being initiated, sellers might find themselves refunding buyers and letting them keep the item.

Seller Cancelled Transactions affects your TRS status and adds to the Defect Rate

In the fall, eBay began charging Final Value Fees on items with bids that are cancelled by sellers. This didn’t slow the amount of cancelled items while sellers absorb the additional fees. If something is not able to be sold, you remove it from eBay. In this day and age, only having an item on one marketplace doesn’t necessarily yield the highest potential selling price.

Approximately 70% choose a dedicated selling channel per item. 30% of SellerVantage users who list on multiple marketplaces list items on more than one platform at the same time. This means that items are cross-promoted on two or more channels: eBay, Amazon, Craigslist and eCommerce at the same time. If something sells on Amazon, SellerVantage automatically ends the eBay listing as long as it’s not within the 12 hour period of ending. This will raise a Seller’s Cancelled Transaction rate. eBay is going to start reducing Top Rated Seller (TRS) ratings for those who frequently end live listings. (info from

That being said, while SellerVantage will not change the functionality of cross-promoted listings, we strongly suggest choosing the channels you wish to list at the same time. Possibly consider listing on eBay for a week and if it goes unsold, multi-list the item on Amazon, Craigslist and eCommerce afterwards.