13 min overview

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.

  1. How seller levels work
  2. Becoming a Top Rated Seller
  3. Top Rated Plus benefits and requirements
  4. Becoming a PowerSeller
  5. How your performance is calculated
  6. Number of defect rates that affect your rating
  7. How seller ratings fall Below Standard
  8. Detailed seller ratings
 

How seller levels work

We assess your seller level on the 20th of each month based on your sales history and the quality of service you provide to your buyers.

Based on how you're rated, you'll be assigned one of the following seller levels:

  • Top Rated and PowerSellers – 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 or PowerSeller level. If you're a Top Rated Seller, you're also eligible for Top Rated Plus listing benefits as long as you meet the listing qualifications
  • 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

We take seller performance standards seriously, so falling below standard may result in your listings being ranked lower in our search results. It can also lead to partial or even complete restriction of your sales activities.

Tip
Take a look at your Seller Dashboard - opens in new window or tab to check your current and projected level. If you're Top Rated, you'll find which of your listings are automatically eligible for Top Rated Plus benefits, or which you can change to gain those benefits. If you're 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, and also makes you eligible to receive a prominent Top Rated Plus seal on qualifying listings.

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 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 on eBay.com, we'll automatically upgrade you to the Top Rated Seller status at your next evaluation.

Top Rated Plus benefits and requirements

As a Top Rated Seller, you can qualify for these exclusive Top Rated Plus benefits if you offer same or 1-business-day handling time and 30-day or longer free returns:

  • The Top Rated Plus seal will be displayed prominently in search results and in the listing description
  • A 10% discount will be applied to final value fees (this applies to the final item price only, not to shipping costs, or to any additional final value fees applied to sales in categories where you're rated as Very High in your service metrics for 'Item not as described' returns)

In some product categories, we'll extend the discount benefit (but not the seal) even if you don't offer 30-day free returns. We've outlined the return specifications on such exceptions below:

  • In most Collectibles & Art categories, you need to offer 14-day free returns
  • When you use freight shipping or sell items in the following categories, you need to offer 30-day or longer returns, but the buyer pays for return shipping:
    • Books
    • DVDs & Movies
    • Motors > Automotive Tools & Supplies
    • Motors > Parts & Accessories
    • Music
    • Musical Instruments & Gear
  • You don't have to accept returns for these categories:
    • Business & Industrial
    • Cell Phones, Smart Watches & Accessories > Cell Phone Cards & SIM Cards > Cell Phone SIM Cards
    • Coins & Paper Money > Bullion
    • Coins & Paper Money > Virtual Currency
    • Computers, Tablets & Network Hardware > Computer Printers, Scanners & Supplies > Printer Ink, Toner & Paper > Printer Ink Cartridges
    • Computers, Tablets & Network Hardware > Computer Printers, Scanners & Supplies > Printer Ink, Toner & Paper > Printer Toner Cartridges
    • Computers, Tablets & Network Hardware > Computer Software
    • Gift Cards & Coupons
    • Home & Garden > Food & Beverages
    • Home & Garden > Yard, Garden & Outdoor Living > Plants, Seeds & Bulbs > Plants & Seedlings
    • Pet Supplies > Bird Supplies > Food & Treats
    • Pet Supplies > Cat Supplies > Cat Food
    • Pet Supplies > Dog Supplies > Dog Food
    • Pet Supplies > Fish & Aquariums > Coral & Live Rock
    • Pet Supplies > Fish & Aquariums > Food
    • Pet Supplies > Fish & Aquariums > Live Fish
    • Pet Supplies > Fish & Aquariums > Live Invertebrates
    • Pet Supplies > Fish & Aquariums > Live Plants
    • Pet Supplies > Small Animal Supplies > Small Animal Food
    • Sporting Goods > Fishing > Baits, Lures & Flies > Live Bait
    • Tickets & Experiences

The Top Rated Plus benefits don't apply to:

  • Items listed in the Real Estate and Specialty Services categories
  • Items with local pickup only
 

Becoming a PowerSeller

PowerSellers are among the most successful sellers on eBay in product sales and customer satisfaction. If you qualify, you'll automatically become a PowerSeller. Simply check your Seller Dashboard - opens in new window or tab to see if you've achieved PowerSeller status. PowerSeller levels include Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Titanium depending on the number of items you've sold or the dollar amount of your sales.

If you're not a PowerSeller yet, you can always work your way up by meeting these requirements:

  • Have an eBay account in good standing that's been active for at least 90 days
  • Follow all eBay policies
  • Maintain a positive feedback score of 98% or higher
  • Have a minimum of 100 transactions and $3,000 in sales with US buyers over the past 12 months
 

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.

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 - opens in new window or tab to see which listings are running low
  • Enable our out-of-stock feature - opens in new window or tab – 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

If more than 10% of your transactions are classified as late shipments, we may limit some of the shipping options available to you to make sure buyers have the right expectations on delivery times.

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 or PayPal 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 All Sellers eBay Top Rated Sellers
Maximum percentage of transactions sent late 7% 3%
Minimum number of unique transactions for requirement to activate 8 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 policy.

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.

 

How seller ratings fall Below Standard

Your seller rating can fall Below Standard if your transaction defect rate is above 2% or your cases closed without seller resolution is above 0.3%.

If your ratings are above either of these percentages, you've fallen Below Standard, and we may apply limits or restrictions on your account. If this happens, we'll send you an email to let you know.

 

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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