All eBay sellers are expected to provide service that consistently results in a high level of buyer satisfaction. This includes setting and meeting buyer expectations and providing excellent customer service from beginning to end of a transaction.
The number of “item not received” or “item not as described” cases opened with eBay or PayPal is an important indication of overall buyer satisfaction on eBay. Many buyers who open cases never get to the point of leaving Detailed Seller Ratings. That's why, starting in September, along with low DSRs (1s and 2s), these cases will be used in evaluating seller performance and determining seller status.
Two indicators of good service
Starting in September, cases through the eBay and PayPal Buyer Protection programs will be considered along with DSRs in evaluating seller performance. Two specific requirements address two important aspects of good customer service:
- Opened cases —measures seller track record of issue-free transactions.
- Seller unresolved cases —measures prompt action on the part of a seller to resolve issues with their customers when a case is opened.
- A seller unresolved case is any case in which the seller does not respond to resolve an issue with the buyer and eBay or PayPal issues the refund.
- Starting in September, all sellers—including eBay Top-rated sellers—can have seller unresolved cases on no more than 0.3% of transactions. For lower volume sellers, it will take at least 3 cases before consequences such as demotion in search or loss of Top-rated status are enforced.
- This requirement is stricter than the opened cases requirement because cases promptly resolved by the seller directly with the buyer and cases found in the seller's favor are excluded from the count.
Calculated and tracked in the same way as DSR requirements
- You can now track your status and link to cases opened through eBay or PayPal on your Seller Dashboard . From your Seller Dashboard you can also link to and manage your cases from the eBay or PayPal Resolution Centers.
- Note the seller's record of Buyer Protection cases will NOT be visible to buyers.
- The time period over which cases are counted depends on sales volume: For sellers with 400 or more transactions over the past 3 months, it's 3 calendar months. For all other sellers, it's 12 calendar months.
- Cases are tied back to the transaction date, not the date the case is opened.
- Only cases from U.S. buyers count toward requirements on eBay.com.
Measures to help you avoid opened cases:
- Both eBay and PayPal direct buyers to contact you first before opening a case.
- PayPal disputes are not counted as opened cases until they are escalated from a dispute to a case .
- Whether a case originates from eBay or PayPal, checks to ensure the eligibility of a case are applied. Note, determining the eligibility of a case is NOT the same as determining the outcome. Cases are eligible if they are filed in compliance with the terms of the eBay and PayPal Buyer Protection policies and when there is no evidence of buyer abuse or fraud.
- Buyers are not permitted to open cases for the same transaction through both eBay and PayPal.
Measures to help you avoid seller unresolved cases:
- You can now track and link to cases opened through eBay or PayPal directly from your Seller Dashboard .
- You generally have at least seven days to respond to and resolve a case directly with the buyer.
- Cases resolved promptly by the seller directly with the buyer are not included in the count of seller unresolved cases.
- Cases found in the seller's favor are also excluded from the count of a seller's unresolved cases.
- Sellers have 45 days to appeal a case filed on eBay after it's been decided and 10 days to appeal a case filed on PayPal. Appeals found in favor of the seller are not included in the count of seller unresolved cases.
Get details on how eBay sellers are protected and best practices for preventing and resolving buyer cases.
See an overview of all seller performance requirements .
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the requirements being added to seller performance standards?
Starting September 20, 2010, sellers will be required to a) minimize the number of eBay Buyer Protection and PayPal Buyer Protection cases opened on their transactions and b) to have a very low rate of cases resolved by eBay or PayPal.
- An opened case is any claim filed through eBay Buyer Protection or PayPal Buyer Protection that passes checks for eligibility and buyer abuse or fraud . A seller unresolved case is any case in which the seller does not respond to resolve the issue with the buyer and eBay or PayPal issues the refund.
- Top-rated sellers can have opened cases on no more than 0.5% of transactions, and all other sellers on no more than 1.0%.
- To ensure lower volume sellers are not penalized as a result of a single opened case, it will take at least three cases for eBay Top-rated sellers and at least four cases for all other sellers before consequences based on cases are enforced.
- All sellers—including eBay Top-rated sellers—can have seller unresolved cases on no more than 0.3% of transactions, and it will take at least three cases before consequences are enforced.
What time period is used to calculate a seller's case count?
The time periods are the same as for calculating low DSRs. For sellers with 400 or more transactions during the most recent 3 calendar months, the evaluation period for case rate will be the most recent 3 complete calendar months. For all other sellers, the evaluation period for case rate will be the most recent 12 calendar months.
How can I see whether I am meeting the new requirements?
You can see a snapshot of your status now in your Seller Dashboard, including where you stand in relation to the upcoming requirements.
Do buyers see how many opened cases or seller unresolved cases I have?
No, the information about your Buyer Protection cases is not available or visible to buyers.
Why are Buyer Protection cases being added as a measure of seller performance?
Opening a case with eBay or PayPal is strong indication of buyer dissatisfaction, yet buyers who open cases may never get to the point of leaving DSRs for sellers. Note that under the Seller Performance Standards policy, sellers have always been accountable for item not received or item not as described cases. Making these cases part of a specific requirement provides sellers a clear performance goal that can be easily monitored and managed via their Seller Dashboard.
Are cases decided in the seller's favor counted toward the requirement? What about a case I resolve promptly with the buyer as soon as I know it's been opened?
The count of opened cases is determined before resolution and therefore may include some cases ultimately decided in the seller's favor, and/or cases where you promptly settle with the buyer. For this reason the opened cases requirement allows for more instances before consequences are enforced. These cases are NOT included in the count of seller unresolved cases, which is why this requirement is stricter—fewer instances are allowed before consequences such as loss of eBay Top-rated or PowerSeller status or demotion in search results are enforced.
Why is eBay even including a count of all cases, including those ultimately found in the seller's favor, or cases I resolve promptly with my customer?
Sellers are always expected to follow best practices that result in smooth transactions and high buyer satisfaction. Likewise, buyers are always encouraged to contact sellers first with any issues. For the vast majority of transactions, this direct buyer-seller communication works just the way it should. When a buyer is motivated to open a case with eBay or PayPal this is a clear sign of dissatisfaction. A high rate of opened cases is a clear indication that some aspect of a seller's service requires attention—regardless of the outcome of the case.
What checks for case eligibility are in place?
A number of checks and balances are applied before a case is considered “opened” by either eBay or PayPal. These include:
Eligibility of the transaction for eBay Buyer Protection or PayPal Buyer Protection
- Status of payment
- Whether a full refund via PayPal has been completed
- Whether buyer attempted to contact the seller
- Whether a case has already been filed for the same transaction
- Whether a credit card chargeback or automated clearing house (ACH) return has been filed through PayPal
- For item not received claims, whether enough time has passed since completed payment
What is considered buyer abuse?
“Buyer abuse” refers to situations where the buyer misuses the system, for example by repeatedly returning items, filing item not as described cases, committing fraud, or using the system against competitors. eBay and PayPal screen for these situations and exclude these cases from the count of opened cases .
What is eBay doing about buyers who abuse the Buyer Protection process?
eBay takes abuse of the Buyer Protection program very seriously and invests in sophisticated modeling, detection, and operational resources to find and sanction excessive and abusive claim activity. Where appropriate, we work with federal, state, and local law enforcement to prosecute buyer fraud. Cases that are found to be inappropriately filed by the buyer will be removed from the case rate calculation to ensure the seller's performance is reflected accurately.
What is considered grounds for finding a case in the seller's favor?
Finding a case in the seller's favor refers to the outcome of a case decided by eBay or PayPal—for example, the seller's item description is determined to have accurately described the item. These cases are included in the count of opened cases but not in the count of seller unresolved cases.
What should I do if I am not meeting the new requirements?
Look for ways to minimize the occurrence of cases filed by following best practices . If a case is filed, it's important that issues are resolved in a timely and professional manner according to eBay Buyer Protection and PayPal Seller Protection guidelines for responding to cases filed.
What happens to sellers who do not meet the new requirements?
The majority of sellers will be able to continue to list and sell items, although their listings will be lowered in search standing. They may be offered coaching and training on selling best practices. In more serious situations, other consequences may also apply including limits to further selling, loss of eBay Top-rated seller status and discounts, and in some cases account suspension.
How are the percentages calculated?
The percentages of both opened cases and seller unresolved cases are calculated as follows:
Total number of cases during the evaluation period
Total number of transactions during evaluation period
What happens if my buyer files a case after the month of the transaction? Will that case count?
Yes, your cases filed for a given month are related to all the transactions in that month, regardless of when the case was filed or closed. Rates for each month are continuously updated as buyers file cases and the cases are resolved. For example, a case filed in May for a transaction that took place in April and resolved in May will be included in your rate for the month of April. Before any buyer report is accepted as an opened case by either eBay or PayPal, it is subjected to a series of pre-case checks for case eligibility, fraud, buyer abuse or manipulation, or other inappropriate use of the system.