October 31, 2014 by Andrew Minalto - 70 Comments

How to Remove Defects on eBay!

remove-defect-ebayFollowing on from Part 1 of my guide to defects on eBay, we’re now going to take a look at what defects can be removed and how.

As was the case previously, when your positive feedback percentage was the main indicator for seller performance, it is very difficult to get a defect removed from your account and really, it can only be done in very specific circumstances.

Automatic Removal

There are a few instances where eBay will automatically remove a defect from your account, such as:

  • If the buyer doesn’t pay for their order (but you HAVE to open an unpaid item case for the defect to be removed).
  • An eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Buyer Protection case is ruled in the seller’s favour (though obviously this is a very rare occasion).
  • If eBay takes action against a buyer for violating their buying practices policy.
  • If eBay can determine, through valid tracking, that the defect was the direct result of systematic delays in delivery or communication – such as wide scale postage delays, items being stuck at customs (through no fault of the seller), power outages due to extreme weather etc.

With this last point, it has to be a wide-scale problem for eBay to remove the defect.

Don’t think that you can show that your courier didn’t show up when they said they would and that’s why the item arrived late, not at all! It would only apply in a case such as Royal Mail delaying deliveries due to extreme weather or if you couldn’t respond to a buyer because eBay’s site was down.

But again, it can’t have been a problem for you specifically, so it won’t matter to eBay if your internet was down (even if you can prove it) – it has to be a wide-scale problem.

With these automatic cases – defects should be removed on a Wednesday so if you believe your case falls into one of the above categories, keep an eye on the defect via your seller dashboard and monitor whether it is actually removed.

defects-rateIf not, you’ll have to contact eBay and ask them to do it manually.

Now I know what you may be thinking – is that it? Surely there must be many other instances where eBay will remove a defect?

And the short answer to that question is – no.

These are pretty much the only circumstances where eBay will remove the defect from your account and while you can always request that a defect is removed if you believe you have a good reason for it, that will most likely be a futile attempt and pretty simply – a waste of your time.

Just to make sure there’s no confusion, here’s a list of defects that eBay specifically state are NOT eligible for removal:

  • If you resolve a buyer’s problem after a request is opened.
  • If your buyer leaves negative or neutral feedback and later revises it to positive.
  • A feedback comment that is removed because it violates eBay policy, such as profanity or links (in this case, the comment itself will be removed but the feedback rating and any related defects aren’t).
  • Postage related defects when the transaction doesn’t have tracking (as eBay are then unable to verify shipping and delivery time).
  • When a buyer is refunded through eBay’s Money Back Guarantee (even if you were found to not be at fault).

Now some of these do seem very unreasonable, especially the first two.

After all, mistakes can and do happen, no matter how careful you are as a seller. And surely that’s what great customer service is, when a buyer is unhappy (for whatever reason) and you then resolve the problem for them so that they are happy.

But unfortunately, eBay doesn’t see it like that and they claim it’s because, from their research and tracking of millions of past listings, if a buyer initially leaves negative or neutral feedback, they’re unlikely to ever buy from you again (even if you do resolve the issue).

Honestly, from my experience, that’s not actually the case as when a mistake happens and you rectify it quickly and easily – buyers often then trust you and do come back for repeat purchases.

But as I’ve always said, if you want to sell on eBay, then you have to play by their rules. There’s just no way around it.

And that’s why I constantly talk about diversification. As soon as you can you have to expand to other selling channels such as Amazon, other online/offline alternatives to eBay and most importantly – your own online store.

I have written a very recent guide on the BEST current eBay alternatives that will allow you to increase your sales and grow your business OUTSIDE eBay.

And if you’re in a position to really try to expand beyond eBay and build a real business (that you own and control 100%) then take a look at my brand new course on creating, running and managing a highly successful online store:

ecommerce-magnates

The course is called eCommerce Magnates.

I’ve created this course from the ground up and in it I cover everything you need to know about creating your own eCommerce store.

I’ve had countless customers telling me that it’s way underpriced at £97, so at the special offer price of £67, I know that you simply cannot find a better value deal anywhere online.

After all, you can make that investment back in no time at all from saved eBay fees alone! Click here to read more about this course and get in touch with me if you have any questions about it.

Now if you have any questions about eBay’s new defect rate, or want to get some help finding out whether a defect you’ve received is eligible for removal, then post below in the comments section and I’ll answer you personally.

Otherwise – until next time!

All the best,
Andrew

70 Comments
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  1. will ebay remove a late delivery if i have valid postage receipt showing items were dispatched on time tracking says late delivery but my proof of postage shows i dispatched them on time will they remove the defects ? thanks in advance

  2. Just received two defects for PayPal fault. Off course, eBay doesn’t care neither PayPal even if you think that PayPal is a service provider for their business so it is their fault that service provider fails. Short story: PayPal made a decision to increase my limits and suspended my account because by the law I have to provide document and all other unnecessary proofs. I’m with PayPal and eBay for more than three years and never ever had any issues as a seller. I sent all the documents requested and made a call to PayPal to solve this matter quickly, service provider told me that it is something that he is not in charge of and asked me to wait up to 72h. I couldn’t wait because my service is always extremely fast so I had to refund my customers. I wasn’t unable to make any purchase (print lables) or withdraw money, only send a refund (LOL). It happened that at this day my all money were in PP so I couldn’t purchase the label from the post or even buy lunch for myself. So after 72h I called them to find out why this matter is still unsolved, guy told me that he don’t understand why this matter is unsolved and he will do it manually in next 10min (LOL). I asked him who is responsible now for this kind act of increasing my limits and earning two defect rates in exchange, but not PayPal or eBay is responsible for it (contacted eBay too), WOW. I don’t understand how they don’t care so much. eBay says that it is between me and PayPal, PayPal says it is their policy and nothing can be done, but PayPal is a service provider for eBay so they should care. It’s like I would say for my customer after dispatched item that it is between them and my courier, not my problem that item didn’t arrive or late. WOW!

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Tadas,

      I understand your anger and everything but in reality, in this situation, it was your fault…

      It clearly shows in accounts on PayPal that you need to verify them, especially if you have a Business or premiere account. I don’t know why you waited 3 years for them to ask this to do.

      Also, from what I have experienced, in these cases PayPal allows you to continue receiving money. So you could just go and purchase postage at post office and send out these two orders on time.

      I know this may all sound un-fair to you but your lack of experience really let you down, not PayPal or eBay.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  3. The problem is the 2nd shipment do show that it’s delivered but the buyer claimed that he did not received the 2nd shipment. Will we protected by ebay? It’s not considered as being sent within estimated delivery time in ebay record since it’s a resent shipment. Thank you.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      If it shows delivered, you should have no problems.

      Only thing is that you’ll get late delivery for it as it was not shipped out on time.

      Andrew

  4. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for your sharing.

    I had sent a tracked package by Royal mail track 48 and it seems got lost in Royal mail. It shows please come back later for 2 weeks. So I resent another tracked package by track 48 and it shows delivered then but the buyer claimed that he did not received the item. In this case will the defect be removed?

    Thank you.

    John

    1. Andrew Minalto

      When did this happen?

      And did buyer opened a case? How did that case settle?

      1. Hi,

        It happened in these days. He did not open the case yet. What I am concerning is if he opened the case and which tracking number should I upload? If I upload the first one ebay said it’s not delivered they won’t appeal. If I upload the second one ebay said it’s late delivery they won’t appeal. So on ebay sellers stand a very little chance by their sides.

        I sent him twice and the cost is pretty high. If I refund him of course I won’t get any defects but you know I sent him twice and lost money.

        1. Andrew Minalto

          How much did item sell for?

          What is your loss?

          1. My loss would be two transactions and also a full refund, that’s horrible.

          2. Andrew Minalto

            But if customer has received the 2nd shipment, it’s all good, right?

            And you get compensation from RM for 1st, lost shipment.

  5. Hi Andrew

    I was a top rated seller platinum seller on ebay. But during the last month my account has had a defect of 0.49% for cases closed without seller resolution. This section in the seller dashboard is what has caused the overall account to go below average.
    55 cases out of 11180 in the past 3 months. But it was all mainly from last month leading upto Christmas. My question is that over the next 2 months and the past months evaluation the 3 month evaluation will still leave the account below average as the listings have been demoted and sales have gone down. To bring the 0.49% down to less than 0.3% means getting 8000+ transactions to reduce this defect. This is not possible now with reduced visibility and sales. If they Base evaluation on 3 months transactions for me. The last month of evaluation will still have the bad month in this evaluation. Will they suspend my account if the 3 months are below standard but the 4th is projected to be standard? Is there a time limit they give sellers to bring their below standard accounts back upto scratch? The reason I’m saying the 4th month things wold be ok is that this will not include the bad month which had 48 of the cases closed without seller resolution.
    I hope you can give some advise.

    Thanks

  6. Hi Andrew

    I was a top rated seller platinum seller on ebay. But during the last month my account has had a defect of 0.49% for cases closed without seller resolution. This section in the seller dashboard is what has caused the overall account to go below average.
    55 cases out of 11180 in the past 3 months. But it was all mainly from last month leading upto Christmas. My question is that over the next 2 months and the past months evaluation the 3 month evaluation will still leave the account below average as the listings have been demoted and sales have gone down. To bring the 0.49% down to less than 0.3% means getting 8000+ transactions to reduce this defect. This is not possible now with reduced visibility and sales. If they Base evaluation on 3 months transactions for me. The last month of evaluation will still have the bad month in this evaluation. Will they suspend my account if the 3 months are below standard but the 4th is projected to be standard? Is there a time limit they give sellers to bring their below standard accounts back upto scratch? The reason I’m saying the 4th month things wold be ok is that this will not include the bad month which had 48 of the cases closed without seller resolution.
    I hope you can give some advise.

    Thanks

  7. Hi Andrew,

    I have been selling on ebay for 7 years. I have over 2,000 positive feedback. My current defect rate is 2.51%. However; I have 3 cases that were closed without seller resolution ( I happened to be hospitalized at one point and was unable to respond. I let it go because I only needed to go 2 months and I would have my above standard back.

    Then I got hit with a dishonest buyer. That buyer purchased 2 items from me ( same time), claimed that they were not not as described, ( missing pieces). I asked her for photographs of the packaging as well as he packaging to file a postal claim. She refused to provide me with any such information, and ebay basically told me I had to accept her return. She sent me empty boxes, and kept my products. I filed a mail fraud complaint as well as police report, and I left the case open pending the outcome of this. During this time the buyer escalated the case and got her money back. Ebay told me I would get hit with 2 more cases closed without seller resolution for this. The appeals team told me that they would remove the defects for the actual opening of the cases, but not for the closed without seller resolution issue ( it probably won’t show up for a few days). If these cases go away I will be qualified for TRS on 5 December, what are the chances they will actually remove this defect?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      I honestly don’t know Martina….

      Each and every situation is different and the outcome depends on the person @ eBay side dealing with you on this matter.

      You just have to wait and see, can’t give you any magic tricks here.

      Andrew

  8. Hi Andrew,

    I think there is a problem.

    http://sellercentre.ebay.co.uk/buyer-protection-cases-impact-seller-performance
    In this eBay policy it clearly states that Cases in any of the following scenarios are automatically removed as transaction defects and will not count towards the maximum percentage of cases closed without seller resolution:

    – Return requests, reports of an item not being received, and PayPal Buyer Protection cases in which a seller issued a refund before the buyer asked us to step in and help count as a defect, but won’t count as a case closed without seller resolution.

    That means if the seller issued a refund before the buyer asking eBay to step in and case closed the transaction defects will be automatically removed.

    I checked my transaction defect report that there are 4 defects removed before due to the same reason.
    Those 4 defects had counted because the buyer opened a request and removed because I issued a refund before eBay step in.

    Why eBay doesn’t remove transaction defects if the seller issue a refund before eBay step in?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Stephen,

      This will all change now with the latest eBay update.

      Stay tuned for my guide/article that goes live on Monday.

      Andrew

      1. Well Andrew but the most ridiculous is an eBay customer service representative refused removing the defect even I attached this policy to him. and now he doesn’t respond.

        We follow eBay policy. eBay policy has its legal effect. If eBay states a policy on it’s official website, that means all eBay staffs must follow it, doesn’t it? But now the eBay doesn’t keep its words in mouth and overthrow its statement and the policy.

        1. Andrew Minalto

          You should call them instead of emailing in situations like these.

          And call several times if needed until you get to speak with someone who’s smart enough to understand what’s going on. Very often I use calling to get defects/un-fair feedback removed BUT you have to be persistent and call several times until you get it sorted as some customer support reps are robots while others are actually very helpful.

          Thanks,
          Andrew

  9. David Williamson

    Hooray! Ebay are going to change their seller rating policy to make it more objective.
    They say:

    Updates to how we measure defects

    From 20 February 2016, the following will no longer count towards your defect rate:

    Buyer Feedback.
    Detailed seller ratings (DSRs).
    Returns requests that are successfully resolved with your buyer.
    Items not received requests that are successfully resolved with your buyer.
    Instead, we will use only the following existing criteria to determine your defect rate:

    Seller-cancelled transactions.
    Cases that are closed without seller resolution.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Yep, I saw this!

      Will do a detailed post on seller updates later on this week.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  10. any suggestion or no-one cares … or bored … or phew another ebay cry baby..

    1. Andrew Minalto

      I’m sorry Atif but I can’t help you with all those issues via a blog comment reply. It’s way too in-depth situation.

      Andrew

  11. Hello

    I am just writing here as I don’t know how to rant myself out… My one Ebay account which i was aiming for TRS … was working very good and quickly got 100 sales within 2 months as per your methods. Even I sold cheap and lose some hundreds … no problem .. business is like this … but for what … in hope to become TRS … right ….

    But suddenly before monthly review i had some request opened Item not received … i provided tracking no to all the customers … and they close the case … even gave a happy feedback … i was assuming it was still fine … but what … i was below standard at the monthly review … Oh My God .. I cannot believe … i went panic … wrote letter to ebay … explaining all … giving feedback references, giving tracking no … and what they have replied … that i put the tracking no after the case was opened so they cannot remove the defects … Oh My God … i don’t know what to do … i was hoping to go to ebay office and rant over there ….. I am really frustrated … though the account went under 10% … yes 10% with 180+ sales …

    My next move … i started selling more cheaper in hope of getting the account back … already lost alot and still willing to lose more to get the account back .. otherwise all efforts will be wasted which is heart breaking for me … for my wife as well …

    I want to tell a little more please … so you and other guyz can know the pain which I am sure all do completely realize … the account was in my wife’s name but i do all IT work and she also help me in maintaining shipping related delays … if there was a delay she let me inform and i message the customer prior to them opening a case …

    I making 50% sale on weekends and started getting orders .. the account was below standard … moreover ebay put CBT limit which means i can’t make new listing to sell on ebay.uk which is the only source for me to sell … nothing elsewhere i can …. they cut the limit to 50% … and orders went 0 … cuz no exposure right … i made sales n sales n sales and finally got 30-50 more orders … and the rate went down to 5.66% … i was counting infact my wife as well counting each order and calculating our defect rates … and we only needed 10 more orders to come under 4.9% … then slowly … day by day … every night before sleep … every morning wake up .. check email for order … and there they came … slow … 5 needed only … then after some days .. 3 needed .. and then 2 … and we were excited that before the 20th of July we will be above standard .. believe me my wife was pushing me day and night to send email to customers and make them peace …. just a little delay she said refund them 30-40% … which I did even before they got the item … so they won’t open a case or defect … just imagine guyz … i know ebay is not the life .. not the only world … but the dedication … the efforts … i know alot do as well …

    But then we only needed 1 order … and the nightmare came … a buyer opened a return request … saying the item is damaged … and i just couldn’t sleep all night … my mind and heart was cursing me … i tell you truly … my wife literally wept with tears … just because she said she care this account as her baby and was very happy to serve customers and talk to them and raise the account as baby for 4 months … and crying with heartbreaking tears she was saying … “I don’t want this account to die, i raised it like my pet or baby for several months … i don’t want it to die ” … sure i comfort her and gave her hope … as i know ebay is not the end of the world …. but telling you all and if Ebay can hear this out …. can you Ebay … can you just respect hard working people who are giving their all to serve their customers and you are just taking money in between … can you respect your backbone … your sellers a little and give them some hope …

    I am only reading and thinking how the defect can be removed … even thinking negative … so I have 3 question from you Andrew:

    1. If i refund the buyer and request him to close the return will it not count as defect ?

    2. If i call the buyer and ask him to please close the return by stating “It was a mistake from him”… will it still count as defect.

    3. If i accept the return and later on file claim with ebay that the item arrived to me damaged … and show pictures and proof … will ebay rule in my favor and remove the defect … (sorry i have to think this, though I will resolve with buyer personally even by meeting him) ..

    4. I have a negative feedback which another buyer wrote words “Good” and marked as negative … i have sent the buyer 10 emails to negotiate to revise feedback as the defect will be removed in this way but the buyer is non-responsive … can I talk to ebay to remove the defect as buyer is not responding … will it be removed?

    5. If i open another ebay … with adding new email to paypal .. .do i have to make that new email as primary? as i tried once and ebay automatically connected my previous email.

    My account have 101 feedbacks with 1 negative which I mention above which technically is not negative..

    My shipping time within UK is 2-3 days at max … and if late i quickly contact customer and either partial refund them or totally refund … for the sake of requesting them not to open case …

    Is this world real? … I am a computer guy … wanted independent life … don’t want to work for others as slave … I am a graphic designer myself … product photo shoot myself with great awesome pictures … Expert in PS, Lightroom, Illustrator, HTML and css … English is not my first language by I consider myself good in english … I have deep understanding of People … One Ebay account i was given charge of from my previous company …. I stopped 100+ cases or feedbacks to be opened… and made furiously angry customers happy just by email communication ONLY ….

    I know ebay is not the end of the world … but you do understand and realize they have customers .. they have buyers … though its not impossible to become TRS … sure with your methods can be … with dedication … with sincerity…. but where is a seller’s problem in above …

    And infact I tell you Chinese website and sellers and shipping is way much much better than ebay or amazon … i can give and explain a long detailed lecture and discussion on it if anyone wants … just look at the listings at taobao …. the quality of graphics… the listing quality … the products presentation … the customer service …. the shipping time … is just unbelievable 10000% higher than any other sales channel ebay or amazon …

    I am really sorry for ranting so much on your blog … but I am not giving up … i just want some advice please …

  12. David Williamson

    I’ve just had another perfectly good item returned, so I’ll probably get another defect for that. The difference this time is that they used it extensively for one month before deciding that they would return it as it was ‘not as described’. Ebay allow buyers to use an item for free for over a month before it has to be returned, as long as the item is not damaged. I sent this report of the buyer to ebay:
    All received back safe and sound. I’ve tested it and all is working perfectly despite buyer claiming that it was not as described because it was cutting out, which turned out to be because it needed new batteries in the transmitter (the buyer having used it so much that they exhausted the original batteries). They put new batteries in and carried on using the item for the rest of the month. Hiring a radio microphone from a camera hire business (£10 a day upwards) would have cost them £250 for the month. The buyer had this for one month before returning it and now wants all monies returned. This means that buyers can have one month rental for free by falsely claiming that the item is not as described (they now say the found the sound ‘blurry’, but it took them a whole month to decide this). Could ebay make it a policy that returns be made much more promptly, to avoid this kind of abuse?

    1. mike hesketh

      David,

      I share your pain here. We have had an eBay shop for years (selling printers), we have 100% positive feedback, but occasionally we get a minor glitch and now end up with a ‘defect’. As an example we sold a printer, customer sent a return request without warning saying it wasn’t working. I asked them to call in to our Tech Support as it sounded like a common driver problem, but couldn’t get them to call us (I didn’t have a number for them), so I agreed to a return & refund which we did quickly. The printer came back OK, no problems and error log indicates the usual problem caused by a driver setting which we can sort on a 5 minute phone call. I don’t think we did anything wrong, yet now have another ‘defect’ against us. A few similar ‘defects’ have now put us in a ridiculous position that most of our repeat listings have not been relisted. We had around 150 listings 8 weeks ago. As they have come up for relist they normally relist themselves automatically. This ‘defect’ issue has reduced us currently by about 90 listings as they fell into ‘unsold’.
      Our normal eBay sales are around £1000 per month. As a result of this we have managed just 1 sale for £15 + vat = £18 in the last month. Ebay charged us £17.38 for the shop fee.
      I am not a happy bunny as they say & have emailed the head of eBay in the UK (email address available on request) trying to get something done about it, but as Andrew says they are unlikely to.
      Mike

      1. Andrew Minalto

        Hi Mike,

        Thanks for your comment.

        Did you lose TRS because of this extra defect?

        It shouldn’t really affect your number of listings though…

        Andrew

  13. David Williamson

    I have been trying to get defects for ‘item not as described’ removed for the past year, as I used to have TRS for a long time. The most recent one, returned a camcorder to me because they could not work out how to plug a firewire lead into in and thus decided that Panasonic had been selling this model for 15 years, claiming that it would connect to a firewire device, when Panasonic were, in fact, lying. Had she contacted me I could have told her how to do it in minutes but instead she took it to a senior-citizens IT club, who also turned out to be clueless. How she thought they had stayed in business, if this were the case, I do not know! Another one returned it as ‘item not as described’ when they had not even picked-up the camcorder from the shipping depot, let alone opened it, before it was returned to me. Ebay said the defect would be removed but this didn’t happen, so I asked them about it again and was told that it was now too late to remove the defect. This means that ebay think that buyers can tell that an item is ‘not as described’ without even seeing it! It may be because it is ebay’s favour to take away TRS as they then do not give you a discount and make more money.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Thanks for sharing this with us David.

      Sometimes it’s totally unbelievable of what some people are capable of doing on eBay!!!

  14. I just had a defect placed against my account because I cancelled a sale becaus the buyer did not pay and did not talk to me. I cancelled as “item no longer available”. I realise now I should have opened a case, but the thing is I rang up eBay to ask them what to do and they told me to cancel the sale in this way, so I’m pretty annoyed they gave me a bad mark. Emailed customer support and they have refused to remove it, telling me how I should have cancelled it. I understand now, but I phoned them to ask how to do it. Gah.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Yeah, that’s really bad eBay giving such poor advice to their customers….

      Not much you can do now apart from learning the lesson and next time doing it the right way.

      Andrew

      1. Andrew,

        What is the correct way when a buyer buy and not pay?
        Should we open a case against them? I have a customer that when I contacted him by email he confirms item no longer requried, when I cancelled the order, he just ignored me.

        Thank you.

        1. Andrew Minalto

          You just wait 7 days and then open un-paid item case, yes.

  15. Andrew,
    What I learnt today after analysing my performance and speaking 10x of hours with support to resolve those defects!
    1. I will not support customers which open a resolution ticket, as it will be counted as defect, wasting my time to chase post office or courier company and hours on phone it has no value any more, the account a new defect whether you resolve the issue or not.
    2. I’m responsible for Post to be delivered in time to the hands of the user, not to the address
    3. I’m responsible that user know how to use what they bought even if it is CD disk! If they cannot play it on their CD/DVD player I’m in fault!
    4. if you lose £1 package it is the same as you lost 2000 as it is defect.
    5. If customer return bunch of stones to you and you sold £2500 device, you are responsible for that as they have prove of postage
    6. There is no ebay Seller protection, I’m vulnerable to buyers abuse.
    7. Support cannot override the SYSTEM they created, made them slaves.
    8. If my account has fault and I have low sale, I need to open another account and abandon the first for a while until rating is improved.
    9. Better have 2-3 accounts for diversity to avoid low rating, once one account is limited use another account and so on.
    10. Do not fight the SYSTEM, outsmart it! Rebellion won’t help, as it is the SYSTEM, you cannot win, while you are in. So be smart and know the rules as all Systems they are vulnerable. Spending hours on the phone with Support won’t change anything – done, they are not humans they are just slaves of their rules/system.
    In Court you can defend yourself, on eBay I am always guilty, and there is no pardon or forgiveness for what you have never done, I am guilty that I’m a seller.

    I hope I did not do any harm to this page, just sharing my thoughts and experience in recent fight with ebay for my account. If I made mistakes, I would have admitted them and went on, but I have done none on my own, but because of customers ignorance and ebay reluctance to put counter measures against sellers abuse, I’m sharing my heart cries with you, as my shop was like a baby to me, and now it is ruined. I know I am showing profound feelings of disquiet, but they are are genuine.

  16. Andrew, thanks a lot of the info.
    I experience frustration from the new system, particularly that I am extremely thorough to details and fanatic about customer support.
    Sold 250 items, there is a list of 15 defects, none is my fault, spent 5 hours on phone with eBay, resolution: Nothing we can do, just try better!!! Focus on future!

    I was dam stupid to make a favour to customers and chose first option when cancelled (you all know what it is!) – Now I have to pay thousands pounds in lose, just being nice! Do not follow me guys! Do not be nice, just play by eBay rules!
    I usually replied inside one hour to all issues and resolved even it worth me 2-3 hours on phone chasing Post.
    1. Buyer return the item as did not how to use it
    2. Buyer return the item as it was not compatible
    3. The same buyer as in 2, the same issue.
    4. Buyer return item as he thought it was this or that (no mentioning on the listing, about that!)
    5. The same buyer as in 4, wanted to buy another item so ask for refund to buy it
    6. Buyer did not find arrived item to their department, after I showed that it was arrived 3 days ago he found it!
    7. Buyer did not know how to install drivers from CD
    8. The same as 7 but another buyer left negative for that, did not contact me beforehand.
    9. The same almost as 7 and 8, but even more stupid.
    10. “Computer geek” did not know how to format USB drive, (drive comes without partition)
    11. Postage was delayed (I posted the same day)
    12. Postage was lost, I refunded at once, and keep the loss on my own as no one in right mind will speak to RM
    13. Arrived buy 1 hour later after the case was opened
    14. Open by mistake, wanted to ask a question
    15. The same as 10 buy another buyer
    16. Not sure why but it was in the report even though it is older then 12 months!

    So can you say now that it is FAIR Ebay Policy?

    One thing shocked me. I’m responsible that item arrived in time, if you do not trust your courier deliver yourself! – It is very helpful advice! I will do it next time deliver item 5 quid 350 miles from me.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Hinnah,

      Thanks for sharing this with us.

      There’s not much to add what you have already said of course but if that makes you feel any better, there are niches out there, where you simply cannot get TRS status due to defects and you’ll never will. I don’t know what you sell but its sounds something technical like PCs, refurbished PCs or other electronics. Well, most likely you’ll never be able to get below that 2% rate for TRS as these items simply come with way too many problems.

      So yes, you either find something else to sell, something simpler, or work without the TRS badge (I guess most of your competitors are also not TRS for very same reasons.)

      Thanks
      Andrew

      1. Hi Andrew,
        Thank you for speedy response.
        It is surprising to me but I feel a little bit better as before. I was tearing my hair out from helplessness and desperation as I have not done even one single mistake during one year, and was punished for being nice and not being able see that it is not enough anymore!
        even though I’m qualified for TRS, I do not want it as, I need to register business etc., so being solo trader worked just fine before this blow, when my sales fall to Zero a Week!
        I know about method to overcome this, sell lot of 1-5 quid items as eBay do not see difference between 1 pence and £2000 is it ONE transaction, so in order to diversify this and increase rating, I just need to sell more of small not expensive items which I do have, might be even without profit.
        I think this is what some Chinese do, as I see that the Postage alone would cost more than the delivered item. Like a cable for 99p, only postage alone is cost about £3 here in UK.
        I was thinking about Building my own shop but for my type of products I think it will be not productive, other markets like Amazon do not think will suit me, as I have a custom approach and no one else sells or focus in that product in the world.

      2. Andrew, you are so so right about making all possible affords not to use First Option in Cancellation process, because I’m dyslexic I chose it because the second one was (as I read) something wrong with buyer address.
        eBay has no humans inside , only robots following system, they do not know, what is like being not able sometimes follow simple instructions like turn Left or Right, or not being able to read Road signs as there is not connection between your eyes and brain in dyslexia. And they still saying that they respect it !

      3. Andrew,
        Yes, you are very right. I thought about TRS, but then changed my mind. As it doesn’t matter how perfect you are or how well described the product. There are plenty of ignorant buyers which do not know how simple question thru resolution centre might affect the seller. To be honest with you I did not know it myself, now I won’t open a question via resolution centre unless seller really worth such severe punishment. I have some parcels delayed by two weeks but I know that it is Delivery Company not the seller, why should I punish them for that.
        EBay should put some counter measures like: “this activity (opening a case) will result in degradation of seller account we advise you to message them before opening a case.” And then after this case resolved buyer should have opportunity to rate the resolution and if the seller really pull a leg, the buyer can give them low rating which results in recording a defect.
        Currently there is no such thing, eBay even encourages to do so when you read the steps what will happen before pressing “Open a Request” button.

  17. Hello Andrew,

    Wow, We have been using you behind your back as our new business guru. I hope you don’t mind.

    I have used your how to get TRS guide and it has been amazing. In three weeks we have become the 12th and 13th listing on our categories best match search and are already trading very near our peak price for this product selling 192 items. So first a huge thank you. We will be buying your online store guide and in the future (12 months time) would love to book us on your course.

    My question: How to deal with non delivered items?

    (Note :I have an item that sells for £4.99 and can not justify the cost of signed for delivery especially as I intend to sell many other products at this price.)

    Out of the 192 items I have sold so far 2 have been undelivered. Both started with a message from the buyer politely stating the item had not arrived.

    The first which was four days late I refunded through PayPal and sent a new product to them with an extra as my apology before asking if this would be satisfactory.

    The second which was two days late I offered a replacement sent by first class signed for delivery, but he asked for just a refund, so I did this within 5 minutes via PayPal and he stated he was happy. I then cancelled this transaction through eBay using “seller asked to cancel transaction” (he has 9 feedbacks left for others saying item never arrived and only has 40 feedback himself. but that’s another story)

    Both buyers seem happy, but have I dealt with this the right way?

    To my guru with thanks in advance.

    Wendy

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Wendy,

      Thanks for your comment.

      You mean – “buyer asked to cancel transaction”? Did you get a defect for this cancellation?

      1. I have recieved a message today saying the cancellation was successful and I have visited my trending data in the Sellers dashboard and so far no defect. I will post back in a few days to say what happened, fingers crossed. Do you think I went about this
        the right way or is there a better way? I genuinely just want to do the best by my buyers and
        offering replacement and a refund seems fair, but I don’t want defects for excellent customer service. How would you deal with undelivered items?

        1. It’s been a week and no defect for this transaction.

          1. Andrew Minalto

            then it’s all good! 🙂

  18. Hi Andrew,

    I have a quick question, after the buyer opened return request, then close it as “Buyer accidentally opened request”, will the defect still count?

    Thank you

    1. Andrew Minalto

      It should not, no, if it was on same day.

      But to be sure, contact eBay and ask them directly about his specific case.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  19. I sale TV’s on Ebay and have been brutally royally screwed now by the revised seller performance. I see above you’re mentioning that someone should make a new account, don’t they interconnect everything or can I really just open a new account. My current one is too far gone it seems unfortunately. 19/299 for the year…

    1. Andrew Minalto

      they don’t directly inter-link your account performance, no.

      As long as you’re not suspended from eBay altogether, you can start a new account, fresh account and get default performance standard.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  20. Hi Andrew,
    am writing from Germany
    i have been sitting all day reading your blog & getting important informations, thanks for the good works.
    I have the same problems with the Ebay defect policy which have been battling since september. i sell used Hardwares & Multimedia products . Ebay has reduced me to below standard & have been trying since then to cancel my defect percentage which is now 5,88%. was hoping to get it below 5% by end of january but recently a customer opened a defect case against me which i quickly resolved but as you know unfortunately this will be counted negative by Ebay.
    I am advised by freinds to open a new ebay account please advice me, should i open a new ebay or continue to reduced this one below 5%. it is also a cost issue.
    What is your opinion as an experienced Ecommerce Expert.

    Thanks.
    Emmanuel

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Emmanuel,

      If your defect rate is almost 6%, then yes – I would recommend just opening a new account and start from scratch. You can still leave this account and use again after 12 months when defect rate gets reset.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. Hi Andrew,
        thanks for your reply & immense Help. You advised i should open a new account , my question is on the old acount, Ebay keeps reducing my Seller limits & also send me emails to improve on my sellersStatues or they will expell me. That i have been doing since ( i mean improving my sellers Statues) please if i stop selling on it , will ebay not shut me down, leading to them closing my new account..
        secondly i have already an account which i opened in the UK on my visit there, can i use this account in Germany without problem.or open a brand new one.

        Thanks a lot
        Emmanuel

        1. Andrew Minalto

          Hi Emmanuel,

          If that is the case, you have to keep that account open and increase your seller status to level eBay stops bugging you. Otherwise, as you say, they will close all your accounts down and you won’t be able to do business on eBay anymore.

          (you can still open new account though and start selling from that too).

          As for your UK account, yes, you can change address on it and still use it.

          Thanks,
          Andrew

      2. Kelvin Bonning

        So no further sales means the defect rate will stay the same for 12 months!

        1. Andrew Minalto

          yes, it should be.

      3. Kelvin Bonning

        Also if I open a new eBay account can I link it to the same PayPal account that I am currently using?

        1. Andrew Minalto

          Yes, you can.

          Simply add new email address in your PayPal account.

          1. Hello Andrew,

            I added a new email in my paypal but ebay automatically took my previous paypal email in their record.

            Do i have to make the new email as primary? or what?

            Thanks for your answser

          2. Andrew Minalto

            Hi Atif,

            You can set this in your eBay account preferences – as to wish PayPal email you should receive payments to.

            Thanks,
            Andrew

  21. Andrew,

    With the new defect policy, how would you list ‘used’ items that you cannot fully factory test?

    We are a refurbisher and sell used electronics. We get the electronics donated to us, we test them for basic functions such as “powering on.” In the case of an Xbox, we throw a game in and see if it’s working. We test what we can from an efficiency standpoint.

    We got a defect for a 40 dollar Xbox 360 listed as “used” because there was a problem with Xbox Live – something that would have taken us many many hours to find ourselves.

    We also fully refurbish laptops, but run into the same problem: Item listed as used that has a flaw that would take innumerable hours to find in a testing phase.

    Is this simply unavoidable? The response we got from Ebay was “If you can’t 100% guarantee the item works, it must be sold for parts or not working.”

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Kyle,

      Yes, unfortunately it is unavoidable in niches like yours… no matter how good your description will be, there will still be some failures with items you sell which will result in defects.

      It’s just a nature of selling used and refurbished electronics I’m afraid.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. ROBERT HOLT

        EBAY DOESN’T WANT US AS CUSTOMERS – ONLY LARGE COMPANIES SELLING THE SAME ITEM OVER AND OVER – AND THEY OWN GUMTREE WHICH IN MY OPINION THEY’VE DELIBERATELY HELD BACK FROM BEING ANY GOOD AS AN ALTERNATIVE. THE MONOPOLIES COMMISSION NEEDS TO TAKE A LOOK AT EBAY.

        HOW EBAY IS KILLING EBAY
        For me at least ebay is terminally ill in a comatose state.
        Why?
        Because ebay themselves have limited how many items I can list and my overall turnover, a common practice if they don’t think you’re good enough.
        I’ve gone from 250 listings to 100 inside a week.
        I’m likely to axe my ebay shop (which I pay £15 a month for to get lower priced listing fees) because the limitation means I am forced to go with a longer listing period than the 3 day format I am used to using (which gives better results despite the extra relist fees).
        Feedback wise I’ve had just one neutral in the last 300 sales, and that was due to not having the item to send (for which I apologised and promptly refunded).
        How it’s come about is down to ebay’s ‘defect’ policy and how it affects your stats.
        You can score a defect simply for cancelling a sale in which you haven’t been paid (if you don’t do it right), not having an item available, getting a return, or of course poor feedback.
        The crazy thing is that at least 2 of my ‘defects’ are from items apparently not as described where I’ve apologised, fully refunded, and LET THE BUYER KEEP THE ITEM.
        You’d think paying for someone (in postage and ebay fees) to have an item for free would score you a halo, but in ebay land you are scum and you ought to be ashamed of yourself!
        So how much of this abuse can anyone sensible take?
        How many ebay sellers are dropping out to use the easy peasey free facebook?
        And like me if I’m not selling on ebay, I’m not buying anywhere near as much; I used to plough money from sales back into the purchase of items I deemed collectable, so they’ve not only lost my sales, but also sales from my sales income (an average of £500 a week).
        I’ve noticed (especially after being forced to adapt my listings to a longer timescale) a dramatic decrease in sales.
        Is this due to others in the same situation as me being seemingly shat on from a height?
        With no sales recently when I averaged 5 per day I’m definitely feeling sorry for the ebay employees (not the twat in a suit that probably got a pay rise for thinking up the defect rating scheme).
        I’m sure they aren’t to blame.
        Now, in order to provide some balance, let me say that I’m not an ebay hater; I just hate being told that I’m not good enough over items not paid for or fully refunded with good customer service, especially when I’m well out of pocket – getting a poor show rating for these is pathetic and the imbecile in charge of this idea needs to be publicly humiliated for putting honest sellers off selling on ebay and driving them to search other sites.
        Overall ebay works well and I’m in favour of weeding out crooks and poor customer service, so a not quite so intrusive rating of sales is fine.
        And why the $%^£$ can’t a seller rate a buyer?
        Having to leave a positive feedback through gritted teeth for an idiot buyer is mental and even the most rudimentary system of pointing out crooked buyers (the ones who lie to get refunds using the buyer slanted system as a club) would help.
        I’ve telephoned ebay (and Paypal) recently and found both to have superb customer service – not everyone’s experience I realise, but it was mine.
        In the case of ebay it was pointless in the end, as nothing was actually done, but within the limitations of what the rep could do I believe they may have tried to help.
        So 3 stars, which in their eyes would be a defect and they’d be told to cut back and improve (efectively meaning you aren’t good enough – get a different job).
        I’m infuriated because I want ebay to work for me and others, but have had no choice (forced by ebay themselves) to look elsewhere.
        I’ve had absolutely no sales anywhere else except facebook; the reason for this is that you’re dealing more directly with the buyer on a more personal friendly level, without fear of feedback and anal retentive (probably automated systems – not even idiotic humans) judging you by your sales statistics.
        You’re not likely to get a return as the buyer can see the item in person as you SELF DELIVER (not rely on crap couriers breaking it, or lying buyers saying they have) and if it isn’t right on the spot then they won’t pay – simple.
        Returns are possible, but easily put right as you’re local, and you actually get your item back to fix and resell.
        I’ll carry on trying with ebay, but for ages it’s been like pushing a barrow of rocks up a steep hill whilst dodging boulders being rolled rolled at me.
        Facebook in comparison is like taking the dog for a walk – minus the picking up poo.
        If ebay don’t adapt they are facing a haemorrhage of disillusioned sellers and lost income which could end fatally.
        Hopefully if ebay read this they’ll realise their own policy is defective, take some medicine and stop the bleeding.
        Rob Holt 10/06/15

  22. Hi Andrew,

    Firstly i admire your work, it really does work…but now i feel like i need to write this.

    I started selling on ebay and followed your advice on your becoming a TRS in 30 days, well im not sure if im nearly there, or nearly not!

    Have been selling for just over a month, 63 items, £820. So on the dashboard i had a nice few green ticks.

    However, before i started my business i accidentally cancelled an order….mmm it was for something i pressed button twice, then gave a free gift to someone and canx order (out of stock) (i didn’t know the damage it would cause…..eekkkk!!!!

    After this point, i studied your web page and decided to give it a proper effort.

    The other day 5 weeks into selling, i got a return request as an item had arrived damaged?

    ( item not as described=damaged in shipping correct?) = defect, bringing me swiftly on to my next question

    So to cut a long story short, 1 more defect and i will be under the top rated seller section on the dashboard, and as i understand, thats where it will stay for the next year, unless i sell a huge number of items to make my 5 defects only 2%, ( so i would have to have 250 transactions, with no more defects) bit of a pain really as i was really going for gold.

    ( Have i got this right ? )

    After searching for a day to get an answer with no luck, i thought….i know, ill write to he that knows!!

    I want to make this into full time but feel like im tip toeing on egg shells now & then, but on the other hand the positive feedback from genuine buyers feel good.

    Once again thanks for your work that got me to this point, fingers crossed it’ll go further

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Ana,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Yes, you got that right – if you hit 5 defects and it’s above 2%, you won’t qualify for TRS status. Unfortunately not much you can do about this apart from opening a new eBay account and start from scratch again. Or of course continue selling and hopefully you’ll go below 2% over time.

      4 defects out of 63 transactions is too much too be honest so you should really improve your selling practices in every way you can IF you want to aim for that TRS status.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. Hi Andrew & thanks for your reply..

        ..Nope im going to stick with this one, ive worked out the fact that if 2 of them defects were occidentally caused by myself (im nearly now 100 transactions) put it down to a new starter postage issues.

        Brushed up, i have had some really nice feedback too. So them 4 defects would of been 2, and them 2 will become 0 !

        Also on my dashboard, it has power seller status, which i first need to get…ive done some searching and am i right in saying that i need £2.000 & 100 transactions in 12 months? because others things ive read says £1000?

        Thanks again for all your help & sorry for all the questions

        1. Andrew Minalto

          Hi Ana,

          You need £1000 and 100 transactions over last 12 months to qualify for TRS status.

          Good luck! 🙂

          Thanks,
          Andrew

      2. Samuel Booth

        Just to clarify:. If i open a new eBay account the defects won’t be included on the new account even though I’m the same person? The defects only apply to the account not the person? Thanks for any replies.

        1. Andrew Minalto

          Yes, it’s only ACCOUNT wise.

          With a brand new account you start with 0 defects.

          Thanks,
          Andrew

          1. Kelvin Bonning

            Thanks, My next question is: If I open a new account what will happen to the old account with no sales? Will my defect rate change because of no sales? And if so how?

          2. Andrew Minalto

            If they don’t suspend/close it, defects should be removed after 12 months as they’re calculated on 12 month rolling basis.

      3. Just to chip in, 4 defects out of 63 is NOT too much. Ebay is a selling venue primarily for second user items (or it used to be). The defect policy is flawed. If as a seller like me I am selling As New, cancelled IT order returns with the transactions being around £200-£1500 a time. out of 100 sales typically there’s at least 2 odd behaving customers who will return an item or file a not as described despite being fully as described.

        Out of that 100 there will likely be at least 2 unforeseen error or manufacturing fault that will develop say in a laptop. This is normal. So thats 4 defects alone, meaning you dont now have room for 1 human error or odd behaving customer who may cause DEFECT for no fault of your own. Bang, your out. This doesn’t even include those who choose to leave neutral or negative feedback despite offering actually good service. This has happened to me and several others I know.

        Its changing the Ebay landscape. They can do what they like sure, but lets not kid ourselves that this has changed the game. Ebay think its sellers sell brand new product. They don’t. all the time. Ill be glad to move on though.. Selling on Ebay is far too time consuming for the return. let alone the fickle nature and the poor psychology the platform imparts to its customers… Its like being at school.

        My feedback is 368 I have 1 neutral and 1 negative from a customer who left that despite still having the item, being refunded immediately & complaining about severely delayed post. Ridiculous. Enough.

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