eBay Bad Buyer Experience Service Standard Policy Effective December 11, 2023

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


UPDATE 12-1-23

The eBay Seller News Team has finally made an explicit announcement confirming this policy applies to India, Southeast Asia and a "selection of other markets", which explains why some sellers in Eastern European areas may have received the notice as well.

eBay has also further clarified there are no plans to bring this policy to US or Canadian sellers or extend it outside the eBay Export program.

Bad Buyer experience policy changes - no impact to US sellers
Recently members of the eBay seller community have seen and shared a new service standard policy on the eBay Export page. eBay Export is a program designed for international sellers who wish to sell and ship to markets outside of where they are registered. This policy change only applies to seller…

Recently members of the eBay seller community have seen and shared a new service standard policy on the eBay Export page. eBay Export is a program designed for international sellers who wish to sell and ship to markets outside of where they are registered.

This policy change only applies to sellers in the eBay Export program and who are located in India, Southeast Asia, and a selection of other markets. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

The new policy for eBay Export is designed to improve seller performance in ways that were very specific to this program. There are no plans to extend these policies to sellers registered in the US or outside of the eBay Export program.

If you have questions about policies that apply to the US market please review the US seller standard policy.

We hope this clarification reduces any confusion, and as always thank you for being a part of the eBay seller community.

UPDATE 11-30-23

eBay community staff have confirmed this policy does not apply to US sellers at this time.

Re: New Policy starting on 11.12.2023 Bad Buyer Experience why all this?
wrote: wrote: There was a “new” item not received policy was implemented for Southeast Asian sellers in July, yes. It may be more accurate to say it applies for sellers selling to the USA/Europe from other regions, since it is on export.ebay.com. It went into effect July 24, 2023, but it al…

Hey @valueaddedresource! We reached out to our Seller Protections team and they confirmed that this policy is for Southeast Asia Sellers only.

However, we are still awaiting further clarification as several sellers who reported receiving the email about this policy are based in Europe, not Southeast Asia.

That being said, we still maintain based off all available information that this policy does not impact US sellers shipping domestically at this time.

eBay sellers are buzzing about a new Bad Buyer Experience service standard policy being introduced on December 11, but who does it apply to and what do these new standards really mean?

This new policy is similar to the Item Not Received Shipping Performance Policy that was introduced in July.

eBay Takes Aim At INRs With New Shipping Performance Policy
eBay’s new Shipping Performance Policy aims to cut down on item not received claims for exports.

Like the Shipping Performance Policy, the Bad Buyer Experience Service Standards Policy was published on the eBay Export website, which is important to note because the policies posted on export.eBay.com typically apply to global sellers who sell on the main eBay.com site but who are not based in the USA or Canada.

Also like the Shipping Performance Policy, this update seems squarely aimed at cutting down on negative experience buyers may have especially with overseas dropshippers.

Here's what the new Bad Buyer Experience policy says:

Service standard policy — bad buyer experience rate

eBay is committed to provide a trusted marketplace and a world-class customer experience. eBay therefore requires that sellers place great importance on buyers' experience and work hard on product and service quality control to reduce the bad buyer experience rate (“BBE”).

What you need to know
Starting December 11, 2023, sellers will be evaluated on the number of transactions with bad buyer experience. The sellers whose BBE rate is much higher than the peer market average may be subject to a range of actions, including, but not limited to:

  • Administratively ending or removing listings,
  • Adjusting selling limits,
  • Holding the payment,
  • Enforcing buying or selling restrictions, or
  • Suspending the relevant accounts.

Evaluation metrics
eBay will evaluate the rate of transactions with BBE defined by four evaluation metrics below:

  • Significantly Not as Described (“SNAD”): a buyer returned an item and gave a return reason that indicates “Item Not as Described”, including “Doesn’t work or defective” / “Doesn’t match description or photos” / “Wrong item sent” / “Missing parts or pieces” / “Arrived damaged” / “Doesn’t seem authentic” / “Doesn’t fit my vehicle”;
  • Stock-Out Cancellation (“Stock-Out”): a seller canceled a transaction because they no longer had the item, or the item was never shipped, and the buyer's money was returned;
  • Low Detailed Seller Ratings (“Low DSR”): a buyer left a Detailed Seller Rating score of 1, 2, or 3 for “Item as Described”; or
  • Neutral/Negative Feedback (“NNFB”): a buyer left Neutral or Negative feedback for a seller.

A transaction is considered a BBE transaction when any of the above happens and one transaction will be only evaluated once. The BBE rate is defined as the percentage of BBE transactions out of all transactions in the evaluation window.

Relation to Items Not Received
Note that your reputation as an eBay Seller will also be impacted by any “Items Not Received” (“INR”) complaints associated with your listings.

Further details about how you will be assessed for INR can be read at the INR policy page.

How are you being evaluated
Evaluation frequency: every wednesday

Evaluation window: 12 weeks period commencing on the last Saturday before the last week of the evaluation date. For example, where the evaluation date is Wednesday, 13th December, we will review all your transactions during the period commencing Sunday, 10th September, and ending Saturday, 2nd December.

Evaluation consequence:

  • Compliant: the BBE rate is lower than the peer market average
  • Non-Compliant: the BBE rate is higher than the peer market average, but eBay may not take action due to:
  • Account is currently restricted by other eBay policies, or
  • Other reasons
  • Warning: the BBE rate is higher than the peer market average. Sellers must strengthen the product and service control and improve buyers’ buying experience, otherwise eBay may take action
  • Action Taken: the BBE rate is much higher than the peer market average. eBay decides to take action. Sellers may be subjected to various actions as specified above

Evaluation result: Please visit your Seller Dashboard to find out more details.

What you need to do
As a seller, you should always strive to provide your buyers with items that match up to their expectations. Most of the time when something goes wrong, it could be due to mismatched expectations or lack of visibility related to the details or specifics of the item. You’re expected to follow these best practices:

  • Be accurate and detailed
  • Use images that are clear and sharp
  • List down all the product specifications clearly
  • Include size and measurements to prevent any misconception
  • Add in the usage guidelines
  • Be honest with the condition of your item — state all the flaws and imperfections like scratches, discoloration and dents (if any) for used items
  • Manage inventory and end out of stock listings in time
  • Ship items within your specified handling time

The FAQ about how sellers can check their BBE status leads to the export.eBay.com Cross Border Trade (CBT) performance dashboard, further indicating this policy is for sellers who export from other countries into the US or Canada.

How can I check my performance?
You can visit your Seller Dashboard to check your account performance which will be refreshed every Wednesday.

Sellers are discussing the new policy in the eBay community, but just like with the Shipping Performance Policy update, it's important to note that every seller saying they will be impacted by this so far is not in the US or Canada.

For example, this thread was started by a seller registered in Macedonia.

New Policy starting on 11.12.2023 Bad Buyer Experience why all this?
Dear eBay seller, Starting from December 11, 2023, eBay will launch a new service standard policy i.e., Bad Buyer Experience (“BBE”) Rate. We request you to please visit the policy page for the detailed information. The sellers whose BBE rate is much higher than the peer market average may be…

What is point of this new policies? If seller have more than 99% positive feedback why all this? If buyer love seller why some metric needed to decide for selling limits or restrictions.

By the way I am 10 years here, have last 3 months restriction because INR rate on USA and Canada because post was late in post strike last year. Even should be protected by policy in this cases ebay teammates in 90% dont even know to look tracking, I need to appeal 2-3 times and to explain where to click, they dont know their own policies, so why all this?

appears that this is aimed at creating a "more positive buyer experience" for international purchases.

Buyers are the foundation of eBay's existence. As they leave, the platform crumbles.

We've reached out to eBay to confirm which countries/sellers specifically will be impacted by this new policy, but at this time it does not appear there is any reason for sellers in the US and Canada to be concerned - stay tuned for updates!

eBaySeller Updates

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!