Does February 20 Spell Disaster For All eBay Sellers?

What is so shocking about February 20?

eBay’s new seller standards come into effect!

The surprising thing about it is, many sellers are a bit worried about it.

What is there to worry about anyhow?

Come February 20, these following criteria will no longer count towards your defect rate:

  • Buyer feedback.
  • DSR’s (Detailed seller ratings.)
  • Return requests successfully resolved with buyers.
  • Item not received requests that are resolved.

Sounds like eBay heaven right?

One of the biggest issues sellers had with the defect rate comes from the way you are penalized, even if you resolved the complaints and issues.

Now with the new defect policies, those complaints will not get counted if you fix those issues.

Only issues that can hit your defect rate would be:

  • Seller cancelled transactions.
  • Cases that are closed without resolution.

Don’t jump for joy just yet.

This is eBay!

eBay is gonna eBay.

The maximum allowed in the defect rate has been adjusted tighter.

Here is the current defect rate:
ebays current defect rate

Here is what they will be after February 20.


The max number of defects is almost three times less than previous standards. Don’t get us started with the Top Rated Seller rates!

Fun doesn’t stop there!

eBay’s new “on-time” delivery is what is making sellers run for the hills.

Delivery times are crucial which is why Amazon is killing it with on time shipping.

It is why they are pushing the boundaries by experimenting with making deliveries with drones.

eBay’s on-time shipping metric is entirely focused on whether the order was sent at the estimated time.

On paper, it sounds pretty reasonable, but it only applies to items sent via a tracked delivery method.

Here are 3 different ways orders can be counted.

  • Tracking shows, “Accepted” within dispatch time.
  • Tracking shows “Delivered” within estimate delivery time.
  • Buyer confirms that delivery was on time.

If you claim 24-hour dispatch, as long as you send it out within that time frame, it will not be considered late.

So if you promise 24-hour dispatch with estimated 2-day delivery. You can still post the item 2 days after with 1-day delivery, then the order will not be late.

You can also still send out the item without tracking, have it counted as on-time delivery as long as the buyer confirms it within the estimated delivery.

In theory, only way you can get a late delivery is if:

  • You don’t upload tracking and buyer claims delivery after estimated time.
  • Tracking shows late dispatch, late delivery & buyer doesn’t confirm.

But what happens when none of that information is available?

Per eBay’s statement, “If none of this information is available, the transaction won’t count towards your on-time delivery rate.”

As we all know, getting buyers to respond about on-time delivery is the same as getting them to leave feedback.

Here are the percentages for on-time metrics.


It will pose a problem if a majority of your orders are using non-tracking as you will have to rely on the buyer for confirmation.

If you happen to sell low-value items, adding tracking can reduce profit in exchange for dings on your on-time rates.

But is the trade-off worth it for a better “on-time” metric?

No one knows…

The only way we can know how it plays out is when changes go live.

Until then, we can only imagine the press these changes will generate once the changes take effect.