It starts with great communication

2018 Spring Seller Update    See What’s New

Understanding Feedback

For each transaction, buyers and sellers can rate each other by leaving feedback. Feedback ensures that buyers and sellers are doing business fairly. Buyers can leave a positive, negative, or neutral rating, plus a short comment. Sellers can leave a positive rating, or not, and a short comment. Sellers get +1 point for each positive rating, no points for each neutral rating, and -1 point for each negative rating.

Making your buyers happy will get you positive comments, which helps you build a network of repeat buyers and a reputation that will build trust in potential customers in the future.

Detailed seller ratings In addition to leaving positive, neutral, or negative feedback for a transaction, buyers can rate specific aspects of the transaction with detailed seller ratings (DSRs). Sellers receive detailed seller ratings in these four areas:

  • Accurate description of item
  • Communication
  • Shipping time
  • Shipping and handling charges

To keep your detailed seller ratings high, use eBay messaging tools (My Messages, Best Offer) to communicate with your buyers, describe your item accurately, keep your shipping charges low, and ship on time. Buyers rate sellers in each of these areas on a scale from 1 to 5. Buyers will consider your DSR before making a purchase, so keep yours up.

Better seller video screenshot

Become a Better Seller

Get automatic 5-star ratings

eBay automatically gives sellers 5-star detailed seller ratings when they meet certain criteria in each area they are rated in.

Offer great customer service and get automatic 5-star detailed seller ratings, as follows:

5 stars for shipping and handling charges if:

  • You offer free shipping and we know the buyer chose that option

5 stars for shipping and handling time if:

  • You specify handling time of 1 business day, upload tracking information within 1 business day of receiving cleared payment, and your item is delivered within 4 days of receiving payment.
  • You offer Fast 'N Free shipping, upload tracking, and the item is delivered within the stated handling time plus the estimated delivery time.

5 stars for communication if:

  • You specify handling time of 1 business day and upload tracking information within 1 business day.
  • There are no buyer- or seller-initiated communications in eBay Messages, and there are no pending eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Buyer Protection cases.
  • There are no requests for contact information between you and the buyer.

Manage your sales with My eBay
Just as My eBay is the hub for shopping as a buyer, it's your hub for doing business as a seller. My eBay is also where you will communicate with your buyers.

Communicate with your buyers
Buyers and potential buyers often have questions. Good communication is key to keeping your feedback high and turning potential customers into buyers who shop your listings. Respond to questions within 24 hours, and always communicate through My eBay.

Customer Service Best Practices


Specify 1-day handling, free shipping, and offer a generous return policy.


Ship within 1 business day of when your buyer pays.


Upload tracking to eBay on all of your packages.


Use signature confirmation for items valued at $750 or more.


Respond promptly to buyer questions.


Respond immediately if you have an eBay Money Back Guarantee case.

Set up a Return Policy

Customize your return settings A generous returns policy, along with quick and easy returns, are must-haves for today's online shoppers. On eBay, you can customize how you handle returns based on your unique business needs. Virtually automate the entire returns process to expedite returns and refunds, or select options to manually approve specific requests such as returns for high-value items or items in certain categories. It's up to you to choose whether or not to offer returns and determine who pays for return shipping.

Keys to an effective eBay return policy Address each of these topics in your return policy. Make sure the policy is easy for your buyers to understand.

  • Time limits: To attract the most buyers, consider offering 30 days or longer.
  • Refund type: "Money back" is the most common type. Sellers can also offer "Money back or exchange" if you have the same items in multiple sizes or colors, or a suitable replacement.
  • Return shipping charges: Clearly state who pays for return shipping - you or the buyer.
  • Restocking fee: Restocking fees vary. "No restocking fee" is ideal for buyers, but 15% is not uncommon.
  • Item condition: Clearly state the returned item's required condition. For example, "unopened box" or "opened box with all original materials."
  • International sales: If you sell to buyers outside of the U.S., describe any international limitations to your eBay return policy.
What handling time is and how to set it

What is handling time? Every time you list an item, you set your handling time, which is the number of business days between when you receive payment and when your package is scanned by your shipping carrier upon receipt. Of course, buyers like to get their items fast. So the sooner you ship, the happier they'll be.

How you set your handling time Whenever you create a new listing, your handling time is automatically set to 2-day handling. However, it's easy to change your handling time in just a couple of steps.

From If you're listing an item using the eBay quick listing or Sell Your Item tools, simply click the Handling Time field, then make your selection from the drop-down menu.image

From the eBay mobile app: To find and change your handling time through the eBay mobile app, go to your Preferences screen, then select Handling Time.image

How to set your same-day handling cut-off time By default, the same-day order cut-off time is set to 2:00 pm PT for However, you can set your own same-day order cut-off time, which will then be communicated to your buyers (for example, "Orders received by 1:00 pm PT are shipped the same day").

To specify your order cut-off time for same-day handling, go to your Shipping Preferences in My eBay and click Edit. Once selected, this will be the time by which buyers can place an order to have it shipped (i.e., scanned by your carrier) by 11:59:59 pm PT the same day.

How your handling time is calculated

Handling time is measured in business day—weekends and major holidays don't count. Remember, the handling-time clock begins once you receive payment from your buyer and ends at the time your shipping carrier scans the package. Be sure to check your shipping carrier's business hours before drop-off, so your package can be scanned before 11:59:59 pm PT that day.

Use the chart below to know when your package must be scanned in order to meet your stated handling time*.

Examples of 2-day handling time

If payment clears by: Your package must be scanned by:
Monday, 9 am PT Wednesday, 11:59:59 pm PT
Thursday, 3 pm PT Monday, 11:59:59 pm PT
Friday, 3 pm PT Tuesday, 11:59:59 pm PT

Examples of one-day handling time

If payment clears by: Your package must be scanned by:
Monday, 9 am PT Tuesday, 11:59:59 pm PT
Monday, 3 pm PT Tuesday, 11:59:59 pm PT
Friday 3 pm PT Monday 11:59:59 pm PT

Examples of same-day handling time (assumes an order cut-off of 2 pm PT)

If payment clears by: Your package must be scanned by:
Monday, 9 am PT Monday, 11:59:59 pm PT
Monday, 3 pm PT Tuesday, 11:59:59 pm PT
Friday 3 pm PT Monday 11:59:59 pm PT

eBay gives you until 11:59:59 pm PT for the initial acceptance scan to be recorded. Check with your individual carrier for their specific cut-off time, which could be as early as 11 am PT. Be sure to drop-off packages during your carrier's business hours. Packages left in a night drop-box outside of business hours can result in an acceptance scan delay and cause you to not meet your stated handling time.

How your handling time is calculated

Your handling time is the commitment you make to getting your package to your buyer on time. It not only helps set expectations—it differentiates your listings from those with longer handling times. Just be sure to set one you know you can meet.

Since choosing a handling timeframe is completely up to you, meeting or beating it makes for great customer service while maintaining your on-time shipping performance.

1-day and same-day handling helps you attract more buyers

If you know you can meet them, offering same- or 1-day handling times can also help you:

  • Improve your listings' chances of getting the Fast 'N Free symbol —which can increase sales up to 11%*—when you offer 1-day or same-day handling.
  • Qualify for the Top Rated Plus discount and seal when you offer same- or 1-day handling and a 14-day (or longer) money-back return policy (30 days starting May 1, 2016). One-day or same-day handling is not required to be Top Rated seller.

Check your seller dashboard to stay on top of your shipping rate

Your seller dashboard provides detailed, up-to-date insight into a number of performance metrics, including your late shipment rate. Check it often to see how many transactions weren't shipped on time and download a report with more specifics about individual transactions.

  • Percentage calculated is based on sales of listings that converted to Fast 'N Free. Individual seller results may vary. Percentage increase in sales depends on, among other things, item price, inventory, shipping cost, shipping speed offered and historical performance of seller. Calculation assumes that sellers don't increase the item price while making these changes.

Get Paid Faster

Accept PayPal

  • The majority of eBay buyers around the world prefer to pay with PayPal, and you can get paid faster when you accept it. It's fully integrated into eBay, comes with handy tools for tracking and shipping your goods, and lets you accept credit cards without opening a merchant account. It's a fast and safe way to get paid when you sell on eBay.

Establish a track record

  • New sellers experience short delays in payments. It's a way to vet newcomers' legitimacy and keep the marketplace safe. Don't get frustrated. After 90 days, the completion of 25 transactions, and the sale of $250 worth of goods, you'll get the same quick payments as an experienced seller.

Use shipping to expedite payments

The faster your buyer gets an item, the faster you get paid. Use these tools to speed up the process of your sale:
  • Use eBay Labels: eBay Labels automatically uploads your item's tracking information to My eBay and makes up to $15 of your shipping funds available immediately so you don't have to pay your buyer's shipping fees in advance.
  • Ship quickly: Specify 1-day handling time for the shortest estimated delivery time, offer an expedited shipping option (1-3 days), and ship within 24 hours of receiving payment.
  • Provide tracking: If your item was shipped with a tracking service, make sure you upload the tracking information. And if it wasn't, manually mark it as shipped to indicate that it's on the way.

Have a Question about Maintaining Great Seller Ratings?

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