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Frequently Asked Questons - Seller Non-Performance (SNP)  

What action is eBay taking for seller non-performance?
As a part of broader efforts to improve buyers' experiences on eBay, we are introducing new methods for addressing seller performance. These new methods reward sellers who provide a high level of buyer satisfaction and encourage better performance from sellers whose buyer satisfaction is substantially below eBay expectations.

We have improved search to allow Best Match to promote listings of very good sellers and demote listings of sellers who are below expectations. In addition, for sellers who are below expectations, we may require PayPal or merchant credit cards as a payment method in certain instances. We may also temporarily hold funds for a small number of transactions when the seller has a high level of buyer dissatisfaction.

Other account actions, such as suspension, may be taken if buyer satisfaction does not improve.

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How is performance for seller non-performance determined?
We use a number of factors to evaluate buyer satisfaction. These factors include:

  • Negative and neutral feedback
  • Low detailed seller ratings (1 or 2)
  • Item not received and significantly not as described disputes
These factors are weighted based on their relative impact to subsequent buyer activity. For example, a buyer leaving a negative feedback comment is more likely to result in lower buying activity in the future than a buyer leaving a low detailed seller rating.

We recognize that each of these buyer satisfaction factors will come up from time to time as a part of selling on eBay. As a result, we compare the frequency of these factors to overall selling activity to determine the seller's buyer satisfaction. Sellers with a recent increase in these factors-negative or neutral feedback, low detailed seller ratings, and item not received or significantly not as described disputes-may be subject to additional actions, including through Best Match and payments as outlined above.

We evaluate buyer satisfaction rates over recent periods-both over a period of 30 days.

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Why was action taken against my eBay account for seller non-performance?
eBay took action on your account because you have a high level of buyer dissatisfaction. Buyer dissatisfaction may be caused by:

  • Item not received
  • Item significantly not as described
  • Item shipped late or packaged poorly
  • Inadequate communication with buyer throughout the transaction

To learn how to prevent further action on your account, review the seller non-performance policy page and seller tips.

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What can I do to improve my buyer satisfaction rate?
To improve your buyer satisfaction rate:

  • Complete all open transactions
  • Review your detailed seller ratings and feedback comments for insights on where buyers may be dissatisfied.
  • Settle any open issues with your buyers. You can access disputes in the Dispute Console from My eBay. This includes offering refunds when appropriate.
  • File unpaid item claims for transactions that received no payment. If the buyer does not respond to the unpaid item process, any feedback they left for the transaction will be removed. You also may be entitled to eBay fee credits for that unpaid transaction.
If you require assistance with the item not received or significantly not as described process or other items, please do the following:

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You seem to only be taking action against sellers. What about bad buyers?
We have programs and actions to address both non-performing buyers and sellers.

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How will a seller know if they are being promoted or demoted in search and if they are at risk of being in violation of the seller non-performance policy?
We expect to launch new tools in the next few months that will provide sellers with detailed information about their search standing, whether promoted, standard or demoted, as well as their overall performance. Sellers may also be notified by other means. In addition, feedback comments, detailed seller ratings, and comments left in your dispute console should provide you with a strong indication of areas that buyers would like to see you improve on. These are all factors that help determine how listings may be promoted or demoted in Best Match.

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What is Best Match? What does "demote in search" mean?
Best Match is a sort feature that gives buyers another way to organize their search results, helping them find what they are looking for more quickly. Best Match scores are primarily driven by relevance ranking, which is based on Community bidding and buying activity for similar searches. For listings that have similar relevance ranking, Best Match scores may also incorporate other data to break ties, such as time left and price.

Best Match also incorporates additional factors aimed at increasing the probability of a good buying experience. These factors include sellers' 30-day detailed seller ratings and seller performance scores as defined by the seller non-performance policy. For example, if all other factors of two listings are identical, including relevance, price, and time ending soonest, the seller with poor shipping and handling detailed seller ratings or high rates of buyer dissatisfaction will be sorted below that of the other seller when Best Match is the sort option. In March 2008, Best Match will become the default search and browse sort order on

For more details on Best Match, please click here.

[Note: This page was updated with minor changes on May 9th, 2008 to reflect the announced removal of the Mutual Feedback Withdrawal process.]

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