The eBay Seller Release (continued): Your Questions, Our Answers

April 18, 2014

ChannelAdvisor ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

It’s been over a month now since eBay announced its latest Seller Release (SR14.1). You let the dust settle, did your homework and let the information marinate while you figured out the best course of action for your business. You even tuned in to our webinar, Introducing the eBay Defect Rate: eBay Seller Release 14.1 and How It Can Affect Your Sales, to learn more.

EBayBut often, learning the answer to one question just leads to more questions. We understand — the changes were substantial and require re-evaluation. Many of you wrote in with specific questions about the new eBay Defect Rate (eDR), the extended holiday return policy, changes to Top-Rated Seller status and more.

Worry not — we’re here to help.

And because we know you’re not alone, we’ve compiled and combined your follow-up questions below, along with answers provided by ChannelAdvisor experts.

Q: How big will the boost in Best Search be for sellers with the lowest eDR? And what sort of percentage of increased sales will it bring?

A: Since the eDR — the percentage of a seller’s successful transactions that have a transaction-related defect — is brand new, it’s difficult to determine what the boost will be at this time. The results are yet to be seen, and eBay hasn’t divulged what the impact will be. We’ll be tracking this closely in August!

Q: What happens when we cancel an order because of a return?

A: Prior to submitting the refund, you should create a dispute. This can be done directly in the Edit Order page in ChannelAdvisor. This is a very important step, so it doesn’t count as a “seller cancelled transaction.”

Q: If I want to cancel a transaction because a buyer has changed their mind, is that counted against my eDR? Like if the buyer purchased the item by mistake?

A: No, this isn’t counted against you. Only cancellations made because an item was out of stock or returns for an “item not as described” will count against you. Just remember to create a dispute before issuing a refund.

Q: Do you have any suggestions on how we can encourage buyers to contact the seller for service prior to opening a dispute?

A: We recommend using eBay’s messaging service proactively, as well as inbox messaging, so buyers are clear that you want to ensure their satisfaction. Also, it helps to inform them of the process they should use to return an item.

Q: If the buyer doesn’t accept the cancellation request, even though they requested to cancel, does it count against us? Often buyers don’t understand the acceptance of the cancel request. Most buyers think it counts against them as an unpaid item instead.

A: It won’t count against you unless the return meets one of the two criteria mentioned above: the product is out of stock or marked “item not as described.” Sellers should use eBay’s messaging system to communicate with buyers so they understand the process for cancelling an order if they initiated the cancellation.

New policy, bigger return windowQ: Do you have any suggestions for packages that are shipped via USPS as envelopes (no tracking number available)? Upgrading to the next category with a tracking number would take away the profit of these small products and defeat the purpose of selling them.

A: eBay is requiring sellers to have tracking for 90% of orders. We recommend that you meet this requirement in order to be considered for Top-Rated Seller status. To be a Top-Rated Seller, you must consistently meet certain sales and tracking requirements, as well as performance standards.

Q: Will the extended holiday return policy be a simple template checkbox in ChannelAdvisor, or will it be at the account level?

A: The extended holiday return policy, which requires sellers to give buyers until January 31 to return purchases made between November 1 and December 31, will be configured in the posting template through ChannelAdvisor, and it will be available as a business policy at that time.

Q: We currently offer a 30-day return policy. On November 1, do we need to manually extend this to comply with the extended holiday return policy?

A: It needs to be revised (configured in the posting template) only for listings that you’d like to retain Top-Rated Plus status.

Q: Any estimates on how many current Top-Rated Seller (TRS) accounts will still be TRS under the new system?

A: We expect that around 30% of total accounts will be affected by these changes.

Q: We use carrier OSM Worldwide, which is similar to Mail Innovations, and tracking doesn’t show immediately. Will this count against us? We use USPS for First Class International Mail, and these tracking numbers don’t show up. Does this count against us?

A: We recommend that you contact eBay to discuss your specific case.

For more information on the eBay Seller Release (SR14.1), read the twopart blog series by Scot Wingo and Jenny Hock, in which they take an in-depth look at all the specific updates and implications for your business. Or if you haven’t already, download the webinar and listen to Scot and Jenny walk you through the changes.

We always love hearing from you, so If you have any additional questions, email us at Or find us on Twitter, Facebook or any of our other ChannelAdvisor outlets.

Information in this blog post provided by Luke Evans, manager, marketplaces services, and Jenny Hock, product manager.

Your eBay Sales Have FlatlinedTo learn more about selling on eBay and how ChannelAdvisor can help, check out the eBook “Your eBay Sales Have Flatlined, Now What?” here