Why does SPS matter?

Seller Performance Standards is your personal report card

At eBay, customer satisfaction is everything. We measure our success by our customers’ success. Which is why we take your Seller Performance Standards (SPS) seriously. So should you.

We give our sellers the platform, solutions and support you need to grow your business and thrive. In return, we expect our sellers to consistently provide services that result in a high level of buyer satisfaction. This includes setting and meeting buyer expectations by providing excellent customer service from beginning to end. As such, we’ve put in place minimum performance standards for areas within a seller’s control such as handling time and prompt problem resolution. Reason being, we want eBay to continue being the world’s favourite destination for discovering great value and unique selections.

Strive to be at the top

The table below explains how SPS would impact your eBay business.

Below Standard (BSTD)

Above Standard (ASTD)

eBay Top Rated Seller (eTRS)

Immediate 20-50% drop in visibility of your listings

Sell as per normal

Approx. 20% increase in  visibility of your listings

From Q2 2017, BSTD sellers will pay 2% additional Final Value Fees on their transactions (i.e. 2% more than ASTD sellers selling in the same category)

No penalties or benefits

10% off Final Value Fees on your transactions offering 1 day handling time and >30-day free returns

If your Standards don’t improve month-on-month, you may face selling restrictions


Top Rated seal displayed on your listings

If you stay BSTD for >60 days, your Premium or Anchor Store may be downgraded to Basic



CBT Seller Dashboard

If you reach the eBay Top Rated Seller level, you will enjoy greater visibility and pay less Final Value Fees to eBay*. This means both more sales and more profits for you!

Plus, having a Top Rated seal displayed on your listing is the best way to get more sales as buyers would trust you to be a more responsible seller. Visit the Top Rated program page to learn more.

To view your Seller Performance Standards, please go to My eBay > Account > Seller Dashboard

Or you can visit https://dashboard.ebay.com.sg/ to see how you're performing across various international markets and detailed performance history.

Learn about CBT Dashboard

How are standards calculated?

To get a good SPS, you are expected to:

 

  • Promptly resolve customer issues

  • Ship items on time, within your specified handling time

  • Manage inventory and keep items well stocked

  • Charge reasonable shipping and handling costs

  • Specify shipping costs and handling time in the listing

  • Follow through on your return policy

  • Respond to buyers’ questions promptly

  • Be helpful, friendly and professional throughout a transaction

  • Make sure the item delivered to the buyer is as described in the listing.

Avoid these to maintain a good SPS:

 

  • Not meeting the late shipment rate requirements

  • Exceeding minimum requirements for defect rate

  • A bad experience for both you and your buyer

  • Low detailed seller ratings

  • Negative or neutral feedback from a buyer

  • A buyer requesting a return or reporting that an item is not received.

  • A buyer asking us to step in and help with a transaction issue

The table below illustrates how evaluations are made on your selling practices.

Factor

Above Standard

Top Rated

Transaction defect rate

  • Seller-initiated transaction cancellation (Out of Stock)

  • Cases closed without seller resolution 

- Items Not received (INR)

- Item Not as Described (INAD)

Max. 2% of transactions with buyers whose addresses are registered to that region

Max. 0.5% of transactions with buyers whose addresses are registered to that region

Late shipment rate


≤ 3%

Cases closed without seller resolution

  • Items Not received (INR)

  • Item Not as Described (INAD)

0.3% of transactions with buyers whose addresses are registered to that region

0.3% of transactions with buyers whose addresses are registered to that region

Tracking uploaded on time and validated


95%

Evaluation by region

eBay also evaluates SPS by different regions that sellers sell to. Such as “US”, “UK & Ireland”, “Germany, Austria and Switzerland” and “Global”.

To maintain an excellent SPS, sellers need to ensure that they are Above Standard in all regions that they sell in.  

Sellers will still face Below Standard penalties on their accounts if they are above standards in the US but below standards in Global.

Each region’s Standards are calculated by the number of transactions you’ve had over either 3 or 12 months with buyers whose addresses are registered in that region.

So you need to make sure you are performing in all regions to maintain a good SPS. If you are new to eBay, it makes sense to concentrate on one region first. Once you get a handle on how to score a high SPS, you can then branch out to other regions.

Evaluation Cycle

We evaluate your performance on the 20th of every month.

The length of time we look at in each evaluation depends on how many recent transactions you've had.

If you've had 400 or more transactions in the last three months, you're evaluated over that three-month period.

If you've had fewer than 400 transactions in the last three months, you're evaluated on the past 12 months. These timelines help us make sure we're evaluating you as fairly as possible.

Here’s an example on how the monthly evaluation works.

Let’s say today is 20th March 2018. And you have had a total of 1,000 transactions in the past 3 months from 1st Dec to 28th Feb. But you only had 200 transactions with buyers registered in the US.

In this case, for the March US evaluation, you will be evaluated based on transactions, defects, etc of 12 months. For example, from 1st March 2017 to 31st March 2018.

Three Defect Rates that affect your SPS

Items Not Received (INR)

Item Not As Described (INAD)

Item Out of Stock (OOS)

Items Not Received (INR)

Item Not As Described (INAD)

Item Out of Stock (OOS)

When a buyer opens INR and INAD cases, you have 3 days to fully resolve the issue with the buyer. After that period, if the buyer escalates the case to eBay, you will not be given any additional time to resolve the case. If the case is ruled in buyer’s favor (this is known as Case Closed Without Seller Resolution), you may incur a loss and your rating will go down.

Do not let cases escalate.

A case closed without seller resolution is any case where the seller is unable to resolve the issue with the buyer prior to the buyer asking us or PayPal to step in and help with a request. When this happens, eBay and PayPal will determine that the buyer is in the right and you are responsible. ie; you are in the wrong.

Summary of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Sellers to protect SPS

Here’s a simple way to understand how to resolve issues so you can maintain your SPS.

Out of Stock (OOS) points to issues with inventory management

Mid-term solution

Long-term solution

Prevent recurrence of OOS by setting aside a separate inventory for eBay

Eliminate the issue by investing in Inventory Management Software

Types of Defects

Short-term solution: Managing each occurence

Item Not Received (INR)

If the estimated delivery period is not over yet - provide tracking number & link of tracking portal. Tell the buyer the period is not yet over and they must wait until it is over to raise an INR request.

If the estimated delivery period is already over and the tracking shows the item was delivered or rejected, provide tracking number & link to tracking portal. Tell the buyer the tracking shows delivery was successful or attempted and an INR request is false.

If the estimated delivery period is already over and the tracking shows “Processing” and other non-delivery statuses, offer the buyer a partial refund as compensation for late delivery and assure that if the item does not arrive in another 1-2 weeks you will offer a full refund.

Trend of repeated INR cases?

Issues

Due to

Solutions

No tracked shipping + upload tracking on time?

-

Use a trackpad shipping solution & ensure first scan within handling time

Item missing or Item late?

Destination country issue?

Do not ship to that country. Bulk edit “Shipping exclusions” in your listings.


Carrier issue?

Change shipping carrier


Issue with choice of shipping time?

Explore choosing a longer shipping time. 

Types of Defects

Short-term solution: Managing each occurence

Item Not as Described (INAD)

Choose from:

  • Apologise, offer partial refund + buyer keeps item

  • Apologise, offer replacement

  • Apologise, accept return + you pay return shipping. After receipt of the item , refund the buyer. 

  • If you suspect foul, you can scare them off by saying that you have lodged a report with local police and they are investigating. 


After the case is settled, block the buyer. 

Trend of repeated INAD cases?

Issues

Due to

Solutions

Issue with item?

Supplier problem?

Change supplier


Item problem?

Remove item from listings

Issue with description?

-

Improve title, photos, item specifics. 

No trend of repeated cases Learn how to appeal unfair case

Best practices to maintain your SPS

Do adhere to these Best Practices to avoid a low ranking SPS. Prevention is less hassle than having to provide a solution to an irate buyer.

How to ensure a low INR rate

Use shipping services with A-Scan feature and end-to-end tracking. Ship and upload valid tracking numbers within your specified handling time. Ensure tracking numbers and carrier names are uploaded correctly.

How to ensure a low INAD rate

Be as accurate as possible when describing the items in your listing and use actual pictures of the item. Check the details carefully before sending the item out e.g. size, color, model number, specifications.

How to prevent OOS

Check your inventory regularly and remove the listing if it’s out of stock. Set aside a separate inventory just for eBay. Invest in Inventory Management Software.

How to ensure a low INR rate

Use shipping services with A-Scan feature and end-to-end tracking. Ship and upload valid tracking numbers within your specified handling time. Ensure tracking numbers and carrier names are uploaded correctly.

How to ensure a low INAD rate

Be as accurate as possible when describing the items in your listing and use actual pictures of the item. Check the details carefully before sending the item out e.g. size, color, model number, specifications.

How to prevent OOS

Check your inventory regularly and remove the listing if it’s out of stock. Set aside a separate inventory just for eBay. Invest in Inventory Management Software.

Summary of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for sellers to protect SPS

I’m below standard. What should I do?

Recover from Below Standard

1. Appeal all unfair cases from the past 3 months.

2. Calculate the following:

  1. How long is your evaluation cycle in the particular region where you fall Below Standard (BSTD)? It could be either 3 or 12 months.

  2. When did the OOS, INR & INAD cases happen ?

  3. How long will it take for the OOS, INR & INAD to “pass” out of your evaluation cycle organically?

  4. How many new positive transactions do you need to fall Above Standard (ASTD) in that region again? You may use this formula: New transactions = (Current defects /Defect rate) − Current transactions.

3. Offer discounts to boost your number of positive transactions.

 

When cases are brought up to eBay

1. Never voluntarily escalate a case with a buyer to eBay.

2. Once a buyer opens a case against you, you have 3 days to “make things right” and appease the buyer through your actions.

3. After the 3 days, if the buyer opens the case with eBay, the Customer Service (CS) can make a decision at any time. You will not be given additional time to make things right.

Cases are evaluated by US Customer Service agents. The CS agents would need obvious and concrete proof to rule in the sellers’ favor.

Examples of concrete proof:

 

  • For an INR: Your tracking needs to show the item was delivered or rejected by the buyer at the time that the CS agent looks into the case. It is not enough to show that you had shipped the item.

  • For an INAD: If the buyer claims a part is missing, but your Item Title, Gallery Photos, Item Specifics or eBay Messages with the buyer clearly state that the part will not be included in the purchase.

Appeal

You can and should appeal against:

  • Cases unfairly ruled in buyer’s favour (appeals go to US CS)
  • Unfair negative feedback (appeals go to local CS)

The emphasis is on “unfair”:

  • Example: When tracking at the time of case evaluation shows that the item has already been delivered or attempted to be delivered, but INR case was still ruled in favour of the buyer or buyer left a feedback that he never received the item.

Write to xxx in this format:

  • Buyer ID:
  • Transaction ID:
  • Reason for appeal: (Clearly explain how the buyer’s feedback/ case is unjustified because he claims XYZ but you did XYZ to rectify the situation)