If you sell items on eBay then you know that becoming a Top Rated Seller can be very difficult. Over the last few years eBay has introduced very strict criteria and standards required to achieve and maintain Top Rated Seller status. The main reason you want to earn eBay Top Rated Seller status is to get better and more prominent placement when customers search for your items (presumably you’ll get more sales and higher prices) and most importantly you get a 10% discount on final value fees. The standards for Top Rated Seller status can be found on the eBay seller dashboard.
eBay Top Rated Seller Standards
- Transaction Defect Rate (0.5% or less over last year, no more than 3 unique buyers affected)
- Late Shipment Rate (3.0% or less over last year)
- Cases Closed Without Seller Resolution (0.3% or less over last year, no more than 2 cases)
- Tracking Uploaded on time and Verified (95% or greater over last 3 months)
How to Remove Defects From eBay Seller Dashboard
Sometimes things go wrong like shipping an item late, a buyer opens a dispute for a trivial reason, or my favorite and most frustrating reason…the USPS does not update tracking for your shipment online despite your shipping the package on time so eBay thinks you never shipped the item.
Over the last few weeks I have several defects hit my seller dashboard, which are negatively impacting my Top Rated Seller status. Most of these defects were not my fault, so I want eBay to remove the defects from my seller report.
The easiest way to remove defects from your eBay seller dashboard report you should email them through the contact eBay support and click on Email us at the bottom of the page.
Then click on Seller and finally Appeal a defect, which will open a page allowing you to select a transaction you want to appeal. I suggest clicking on Email us and filling out the form to appeal the defect. Make sure that you provide the eBay Item Number and the title of the listing in your appeal. I have found that eBay will usually respond within a few hours after you submit your appeal.
If your appeal is approved eBay will remove the defect in 72 hours, although I have found that they usually remove it in 48 hours or less.
Can I Call eBay to Remove a Defect?
Yes, you can call eBay seller support to request a defect removal. I’ve found that this works successfully as well. However, it is much more time consuming as I have been put on hold for 30+ minutes. That’s why I suggest sending them a message by email rather than calling.
Reasons eBay Will Remove a Defect
eBay will remove defects for the following valid reasons:
- Buyer opened a dispute by mistake
- Tracking was uploaded and shows acceptance scan was within your published handling time
- Tracking uploaded and shows item was delivered to your buyer by the estimated delivery date
- The transaction was canceled by eBay or PayPal
- Item was returned to the wrong address
My experience has been that eBay will also remove defects for other reasons not stated above. For instance, I had a buyer who returned an item, and I attempted to issue a refund, but PayPal recently changed their policy and requires you to have enough funds in your PayPal account before issuing the refund. I had to transfer money from my bank account to PayPal, which takes 2-5 business days, which was longer than the time I was provided by eBay to resolve the issue. After contacting eBay support to have them issue the refund they hit me with a defect for escalating this to eBay support. Fortunately, eBay agreed to remove the defect for “Case Closed Without Seller Resolution.”
Another case was a buyer who purchased an item and then submitted a charge back through PayPal claiming it was fraudulently placed. Fortunately, they did it before I shipped the item, so I closed the claim with PayPal. However, when I attempted to cancel the order on eBay their site kept displaying an error because of the PayPal dispute. I finally gave up and of course eBay hit me with a defect for “Tracking Uploaded on time and Verified.” I appealed the defect twice and they shot me down both times because the transaction was not canceled on eBay. Really? Your site is broken and neither I, nor the buyer could cancel the transaction! Now eBay is still penalizing me for this? The final response I received from eBay support was “Tracking defects are not something that we remove unless they are affecting your seller status.” Long story short, after all the back and forth with them the defect magically disappeared from my Seller Dashboard after a couple of days.
Beware of Cancelling Transactions Resulting in Defects
I recently shipped an item where the USPS damaged it during transit. In fact, the USPS actually sent a badly damaged package back to me in a clear plastic bag with an apology note! Of course, the contents were missing. Since the buyer never received the item I canceled the transaction to issue a refund (and get my final value fees refunded). Unfortunately, there was no option for item damaged in transit, so I selected “Item out of stock/damaged,” which seemed like the next most reasonable option. To my chagrin eBay immediately hit me with a defect. I followed my steps outlined in this post to appeal the defect, but they immediately denied my request. I appealed the final decision by chat and even escalated to a manager, but they again denied me and kept trying to get me off the chat. Ultimately, the manager stated “When there is a genuine issue, we always advise sellers to cancel the order after agreeing the same with buyer and by selecting Buyer agreed to cancel reason.” So there, that’s it, just select that buyer agreed to cancel and you avoid a defect.
Tips for Appealing Seller Dashboard Defects
- Wait until the defect actually appears on your report before submitting an appeal. In one case I knew eBay was going to hit me with a defect and I contacted them before the defect appeared, but they refused to do anything about it. Just wait until your seller dashboard updates before submitting the appeal.
- Use the Email Us form to submit the defect. eBay offers a way to select an item and submit the defect that way, but I’ve found that it is very inflexible and frustrating to use. Remember to include your Item Number and Listing Title.
- Sometimes eBay will remove a defect through an automated system. Once I had an item that was shipped late, but somehow eBay removed the defect from my Seller Dashboard even though I obviously violated the policy. Go figure…