13 min article

Seller levels and performance standards

Making sure buyers receive a great service from all our sellers is one of our top priorities. To help do this, we use seller levels and performance standards. These help sellers track their performance and let buyers buy with confidence, knowing when they're purchasing from sellers with a track record of great service.

In this article, find out how to become one of eBay's top sellers and how we rate a seller's performance, or choose a specific area below to jump straight there.

How seller levels work

We assess your seller performance on the 20th of each month. Based on your sales history and the quality of service you provide to your buyers, you'll be 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 Top Rated Seller level.
  • 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

Tip
Take a look at your Seller Dashboard to check your current and projected level. If your level is Below Standard, you'll find information on how you can improve.

 

Becoming a Top Rated Seller

Becoming a Top Rated Seller indicates that you consistently deliver outstanding customer service.

Canadian sellers can qualify to be Top-Rated in two separate programs. They can qualify for the Global program, which measures performance according to sales made to any buyers, and they can qualify for the US program, which measures performance only on sales made to buyers located in the United States.

To become a Top Rated Seller, you'll need to:

  • Have an eBay account that's been active for at least 90 days
  • Have at least 100 transactions and $1,000 in sales with Global and/or US buyers over the past 12 months
  • Comply with eBay's selling practices policy
  • Meet the requirements for transaction defect rate, cases closed without seller resolution and late shipment rate. You'll find the requirements in the table below

If you've met these performance standards requirements, we'll automatically upgrade you to the Top Rated Seller status at your next evaluation. 

Although Canadian sellers do not need to meet the US tracking requirements to be a Top Rated Seller on the US site, they do need to meet all US requirements (including tracking) in order to have the Top Rated Seller seal on their listings. This is to ensure a consistent buyer expectation for US buyers.

 

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 not as described request from a buyer is closed without seller resolution

See our Top Rated Seller requirements.

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 our restock advice – Go to the Growth tab in Seller Hub to see which listings are running low
  • Enable our 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 we're 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 we call a "case closed without seller resolution". We count these in your transaction defect rate, and also 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 were not delivered by the estimated delivery date.

We'll only consider a shipment as 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 rating

Transaction defect rate
Transactions with one or more of the defects listed below.

Requirements All Sellers eBay Top Rated Sellers
Maximum percentage of transactions with defects 2% 0.5%
Maximum number of unique buyers affected before seller status is impacted 4 3


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

Requirements All Sellers eBay Top Rated Sellers
Maximum percentage of cases closed by eBay without seller resolution 0.3% 0.3%
Minimum number of unique transactions for requirement to activate 2 2


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.

Requirements

eBay Top Rated Sellers

Maximum percentage of transactions sent late

3%

Minimum number of unique transactions for requirement to activate

6

Lookback period

12 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 upload tracking details within your stated handling time, and the carrier scanned the shipping label either before or after your handling time.

Requirements eBay Top Rated Sellers
Maximum percentage of transactions where tracking wasn't uploaded on time and/or validated 5%
Lookback period 3 months

Find out more about our Seller performance standards.

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

If we apply any limits or restrictions on your account, we'll send you an email to let you know. For information on what steps you can take to improve, see our Seller performance standards policy.

 

Detailed seller ratings

For additional insight into a seller's performance, buyers can also view your detailed seller rating. 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 by selecting the number (your feedback score) next to your username. On the 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.

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

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