Selling Limits on eBay, something to keep in mind as your sales on eBay begin to increase

Pooja Vishant | Sep 11, 2020

Undoubtedly, eBay has revolutionized the ecommerce scenario in India ever since its inception and introduced the country to the true benefits and convenience of online shopping. With different ways of selling – fixed price format and auction – it has enabled sellers to reach out to a larger audience.

eBay has various services to offer to its affiliated sellers to ensure smooth and hassle-free operations. But is this only in theory? In practice, is this really the case?

Potential limits imposed by eBay on new seller accounts

According to eBay, limits are imposed on seller accounts in order to ensure a safe purchasing experience for buyers while helping sellers themselves to become successful. There are three types of limits:

Account limits for ebay sellers: Account limits are imposed depending on the seller and any increase in these limits depends on the selling activity of the seller. Which means it is at the sole discretion of the eBay team. There is a limit on 

  1. Account limits for ebay sellers: Account limits are imposed depending on the seller and any increase in these limits depends on the selling activity of the seller. Which means it is at the sole discretion of the eBay team. There is a limit on sold items, gross merchandise volume and active items for sale. Limit includes an item that is sold, but excludes an item that has been listed but did not sell.Listings over the permitted limits are automatically ended.
  2. Item limits for ebay sellers: These are item based limits to avoid counterfeit or fake products from being sold.eBay offers the option of Request for increase in limit to sellers for all the above limits. The seller’s positive selling history and maximum customer satisfaction are taken into consideration before increasing the limits.
  3. Category limits for ebay sellers: Category limits are imposed on certain categories for a seller, at the discretion of the eBay team,if:

    • It has been less than 90 days since seller’s first successful sale.
    • Seller hasn’t sold in that particular category for over a year.
    • Seller hasn’t sold multiple items in that category.
    • More than 3% of the seller’s transactions in the previous year led to dispute cases.

Once the category limit is reached, seller will be notified of it and will have to wait a calendar month before resuming listing in that category.

The above limits are levied in addition to other charges applicable for user accounts or eBay stores. 

    Process for increasing selling limits on eBay

      As per the eBay site, here is what you can do:

      ”You may be able to request a higher account limit by confirming your information, linking your new account to an established account, or contacting us. When you reach a selling limit you’ll be given the option to request a limit increase. We may also evaluate your selling activity on a monthly basis and grant a new limit on your account if you qualify.”

      Similarly, category and item limits can be lifted once a seller has established positive seller history and ability to meet customer needs without any negative outcomes.

      But is it really this simple? Maybe not.

      Getting rid of ebay selling limits is quite a challenge

      There are endless cases where sellers have to make repeated calls and emails to the customer support team without any result. Forget an increase in limit, most times queries and requests regarding limit increase are not even attended to or given a proper response by the eBay team.

      Himanshu, who operates an eBay store in Bombay, has learnt it the hard way. He says…

      “I sold about 20-30 units in the first month, November 2013 and by February 2014 sales had increased to 100-120 units. By the third week of March, sales touched the so-called selling limit. However, I never received any email from eBay informing me about a selling limit. Just like that, I was not able to list items anymore with the error message that selling limit has reached.”

      Himanshu has been making repeated calls to eBay support team which either results in no response or the standard response that “We have received your request and it has been escalated to the concerned team.” As a result of this, his plummeting sales have suffered with both orders and inventory shrinking.

      Although there is a section on eBay’s Help page about increasing the selling limit, it is only theoretical and once the link given is accessed, there is no proper page or instructions on what has to be done next. The eBay support team does not provide any substantial help either because they seem unaware of such a provision.

      Many others have similar concerns as is evident from the eBay forum. A user has stated to the point about eBay, “No one will help you.” (see image below)

      ebay-selling-limit-complaints

      Another seller had the following experience

      “My user id is vishal243 and i am having 100% positive feedback. Today suddenly my account has been restricted and the reason told to me by trust and safety team is BAD BUYER EXPERIENCE. What a joke!!!”

      Yet another seller was ignored by eBay with respect to increasing account limit (see image below).

      ebay-selling-limit-complaint-2

      ebay Selling Limit seller complaint

      eBay claims that these limits are important in determining the authenticity of a seller to ensure customers are not cheated. While this is a fair and justifiable claim, sellers’ rights should also be given equal consideration if eBay wants to maintain its credibility amongst the seller community. Sellers with positive selling history should definitely be helped in increasing their account limits and they should not have to make endless calls and emails to the eBay team for a limit increase.

      What eBay could do to make the experience better

      Currently, no email communication happens from eBay when a seller approaches the selling limit nor is there any provision to monitor selling limits. Ideally, eBay should have options like below:

      • Selling limit tracker on the dashboard – so that sellers can do the needful and maintain the limit.
      • Once seller has achieved a certain benchmark of sales or crossed a certain time period of sales, option to request for increasing selling limit can be included/highlighted in the dashboard.
      • Once a request is made, a proper procedure needs to be incorporated to get it active, immediately if possible.
      • eBay support team should be made aware of this option and the procedure related to it to avoid seller agitation when seeking responses from the team.

      According to eBay, “If you exceed your limit in a month, you should reduce the number of active listings you have on eBay to bring the number within your limit.” This is not a solution for sellers which points at curbing their selling; this is eBay’s easy way out of providing a much needed solution to a very evident seller headache. And sometimes even this is not an option as eBay does not allow editing the inventory number for some live listings. Phew!

      Measures a seller can take against the selling limits

      Well, until ebay takes steps to make the situation better with selling limits, the sellers will just have to live with it. Knowing that such a situation may come in the future is better than it being a surprise. There are a few things that you could do as a seller to avoid the troubles. Since you can’t fix the system, you will just have to work outside of it. One of them is building in Business Continuity Planning, which essentialy means to have other places where you also sell your products.

      If you have been affected by the selling limits in the past, share your experience in the comments below and any resolutions if you found any.


      About Author

      Pooja Vishant

      Pooja Vishant

      After dwindling with her family business, into travel and hospitality, for more than 3 years, Pooja Vishant found her true love in writing. Happy-go-lucky and cheerful, she loves pink; so pink is the way to go if you want to get into her good books. The Associate Editor keeps track of even a leaf that has moved in the ecommerce world!


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