11 min article

Monitoring and improving your seller performance

Our seller performance dashboards help you monitor how you're doing on some key basics – sending orders promptly, ensuring buyers get the item they ordered, and resolving any issues.

Reviewing your metrics regularly and taking steps to improve your seller performance can have benefits across your business.

Use the buttons below to review your performance metrics:

Seller standards dashboard - opens in new window or tab Service metrics dashboard - opens in new window or tab

Some service metrics may not be shown in your dashboard if you haven't had enough transactions.

Why seller performance matters

Buyers should have a great experience on eBay, every time. If an order is cancelled unexpectedly or an issue isn't resolved, it can significantly affect that person's trust in the seller, and make them less likely to come back to eBay. And although most sellers are great at sorting out problems with orders, avoiding situations where the buyer doesn't receive the item they were expecting is even better.

For these reasons, we have some minimum expectations for all sellers on eBay, and we monitor each seller's level of service relative to others with a similar selling profile. The performance metrics we provide are intended to encourage good selling practices which establish buyer confidence in you and in eBay.

How seller evaluations work

On the 20th of each month, we look back at the past 3 months or 12 months, depending on how many transactions you had, and calculate your performance on the areas detailed below.

Based on these, you're assigned a seller level which indicates your individual performance, and a service metrics rating which indicates how well you're preventing buyer issues, compared to sellers with similar sales activity.

About seller levels

Seller level

What it means

How it affects your account

Top Rated

You're meeting higher standards, as well as some other requirements.

Other eBay members see "Top Rated" on your feedback profile.

Above Standard

You're meeting or exceeding our minimum standards.

You can carry on selling on eBay as normal.

Below Standard

You're not meeting one or more of the minimum performance requirements for sellers.

We may place limitations on your selling activity – including higher final value fees – until your performance improves.

For full details of how we calculate your seller level and our requirements for sellers, see our Seller standards policy.

About service metrics ratings


What it means

How it affects your account


You're performing better than most of your peers in making sure that buyers receive their orders promptly, and in setting and meeting buyers' expectations about your items.

You can carry on selling on eBay as normal.


You're performing as well as your peers, but you may have opportunities to reduce preventable requests.

You can carry on selling, but you should consider taking some time to review your metrics in depth.


You're not performing as well as your peers in ensuring your buyers received their orders as expected.

Focus on minimising 'Not as described' returns and 'Item not received' reports as soon as possible – this will help to reduce your percentage rates at the next evaluation.

Very High

Your rates of 'Item not received' reports or 'Item not as described' returns are significantly worse than those of your peers.

We may place limitations on your selling activity – including extending delivery dates or charging higher final value fees – until your performance improves.

For full details of how we calculate your service metrics and peer benchmark, see our Service metrics policy.

If you sell in multiple categories and/or offer international postage, you may have multiple 'Item not received' and 'Item not as described' ratings, because we compare those transactions with different peer groups.

Monitor your performance

We have two different seller dashboards to showcase your performance criteria and help you identify areas where you can improve.

What's expected of all sellers

How we measure it

Where to review your performance

Sending items promptly

Late delivery rate
This is the percentage of your orders which were not sent on time.

Seller standards dashboard - opens in new window or tab

Ensuring the buyer gets the item they ordered

Transaction defect rate
This includes the number of orders which you chose to cancel (for example, because you ran out of stock).

Seller standards dashboard - opens in new window or tab

Service metrics and peer benchmark
These indicate how your rates of 'Item not received' and 'Item not as described' requests compare to other sellers like you.

Service metrics dashboard - opens in new window or tab

Resolving buyer issues promptly

Cases closed without seller resolution
This is the number of your sales where there was an 'Item not received' or 'Item not as described' request, but you didn't resolve it.

Seller standards dashboard - opens in new window or tab

Keep in mind that a case closed without seller resolution also counts as a transaction defect. That's because it's really important that sellers resolve problems for their buyers.

How to improve your performance

We encourage all sellers to take time to review their performance metrics in detail and see what they need to focus on. Making changes to the way you do things on eBay can help reduce time spent handling buyer queries and resolving issues. In addition, it can lead to more sales and overall smoother running of your business.

Accurate and complete listings can reduce 'Item not as described' returns

Good listings help establish buyer confidence in you as a seller and in eBay as a whole.

  • When creating new listings, make sure that you include all of the relevant info about the item, as well as plenty of high-quality photos. Give as much detail as you can, ensuring you describe any flaws
  • For older listings, when did you last review your item descriptions? Are there additional item specifics you could add? Do the photos need updating?
  • Once an item has sold, make sure to package it well to avoid damage in transit. See tips on packing your sold items

Taking the time to improve your listings may also help increase listing visibility, boost sales and reduce the number of questions you receive from buyers. Get more tips on creating a listing.

If you sell a lot, use the categories in your service metrics dashboard to help you prioritise which listings to review. It's also a good idea to check the listings of your best-selling products regularly, since they make up a high proportion of your sales.


Sending items with tracking gives buyers confidence

Tracking lets you and your buyer see where a parcel has got to, and buyers generally expect tracking to be available on any online order. Tracking can also help protect you in an eBay Money Back Guarantee case or payment dispute.

  • If you're using a tracked service to send your orders, make sure you're uploading tracking as soon as you've handed over the package to the carrier
  • If you choose not to use tracking, make sure you've selected the appropriate service (such as 'Royal Mail 1st Class') in your postage options

When you buy postage labels on eBay, all services are fully tracked, and tracking is uploaded automatically.


Streamlining postage can reduce late deliveries and 'Item not received' reports

Online shoppers want quick and reliable delivery, so it's important to set the right expectations and fulfil accordingly.

Here are a few things to think about to help us calculate accurate expected delivery dates for your items and ensure you're sending orders on time:

  • How realistic is your dispatch time? Make sure you're able to pack and hand orders over to your carrier within the time you specified. Consider adjusting your dispatch time for different types of inventory or at busy times of the year
  • How are you sending items? If deliveries are regularly taking longer than expected, it may be worth taking time to look at different carrier options
    • Make sure you're sending orders using the carrier and service indicated in your listing. If you offer more than one option (e.g. standard and express), make sure you use the service selected by the buyer at checkout
    • Different services may work best for different types of inventory
    • You can buy postage labels on eBay, with both parcel drop-off and pickup options available
  • Are your postage options up to date? We have a range of tools to help you optimise your postage options, including:

Updating your postage options may also help make your listings more competitive and reduce questions from buyers.


Keep stock levels updated on eBay to avoid order cancellations

Cancelling a buyer's order because you can't send the item will result in a transaction defect, so it's important to keep your listing quantities in sync with your stock levels.

Here are some of the tools to help:

Keeping listings active with accurate quantities also means that your listings retain their sales history, which is a factor in Best Match search placement.


Set up Time Away to avoid late deliveries and 'Item not received' requests

Taking time off from your business doesn't have to affect your seller performance. Whether you're planning a break or managing an unexpected disruption, you can set up Time Away to avoid disappointing buyers.

Make sure you fulfil any orders and respond to any buyer requests for items sold before your time away start date.


Be ready to handle returns

Offering returns helps buyers feel confident when shopping online. And making it easy for a buyer to return something is great customer service that will keep them coming back to eBay. However, handling returns doesn't have to be time-consuming for you as a seller.

A couple of key basics around returns:

  • You need to specify a return policy when listing your item. You're not obliged to offer returns if the buyer changed their mind, but we do recommend it
  • Even if you choose not to offer returns, under eBay Money Back Guarantee, the buyer can still return an item if it doesn't match the listing.

Buyers aren't allowed to get around a seller's normal return policy by saying that an item was not as described. If this happens, you still need to handle the return, but you can report the buyer. If we determine they made a false claim and you're eligible for this protection, we'll remove the return case from your service metrics. Learn more about our seller protections.

Here are some tips to help with return postage:

  • Make sure your return address - opens in new window or tab is up to date so that you can receive items back. If you haven't specified one, items will be returned to your registration address
  • An eBay return label is available for most domestic returns. This means that if you're paying for return postage and the return wasn't already accepted automatically, you simply need to approve the return. You'll only be charged for the label if it's used
  • If an eBay label isn't available for a return, or you've chosen to enable the RMA option in your Return preferences - opens in new window or tab, you'll need to provide your own pre-paid postage label or another way for the buyer to return the item when you're responsible for return postage

Here's what you need to know about handling returns automatically:

  • eBay automatically accepts some returns on your behalf, provided they fall within your return policy or eBay Money Back Guarantee
    • You'll still need to respond to some return requests, including those where the buyer selected 'Arrived damaged', 'Missing parts or pieces', or 'Doesn't seem authentic' as the return reason
    • You'll still need to make sure you refund the buyer within 2 business days of receiving an item back
  • If you prefer to set up your own return rules - opens in new window or tab, we'll apply those first. Here are some of the things you can do:
    • Accept some returns automatically (e.g. by category or return reason), while continuing to process others manually
    • Refund the buyer automatically and allow them to keep the item, if the total refund is less than the amount you set
    • Use different return addresses for different items

Resolve buyer issues promptly to avoid 'cases closed without seller resolution'

Even when you work hard to get it right for your buyers, not every order will go smoothly. The service you provide when something goes wrong can significantly affect the buyer's willingness to shop on eBay again.

Make sure that you:

  • Check for any new 'Item not received' reports or return requests regularly – ideally every business day
  • Work with the buyer to provide a resolution within 3 business days. After that time, they can ask eBay to step in
  • Read the eBay Money Back Guarantee policy carefully to understand what's required of you as a seller – such as time frames to refund the buyer when you receive a returned item

Responding promptly to buyers and resolving their concerns may also help avoid negative feedback. If a buyer left you negative feedback and you then resolved the issue, you can ask them to revise their feedback.

You don't have to agree to a demand for something that wasn't part of your original listing. If you believe a buyer is violating our Abusive buyer policy, please report the behaviour and we'll look into it. Learn more about our seller protections.

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