2013 Fall Seller Update
As a Top Rated Seller, your proven track record for great service and your excellent ratings from buyers have earned you this well-deserved status. We know your Top Rated status and benefits are important to your selling, so as of August 20, a grace period will be added to the US program to help if you temporarily dip below the requirements for sales and tracking. Along with all the other ways eBay protects your hard-earned performance record, the grace period means you can jump into the holiday selling season with confidence.
What new safeguard is being added to the Top Rated Seller program?
Starting with the August 20 evaluation, eBay will provide a grace period of two full evaluation cycles to qualifying Top Rated Sellers who have dipped below the program thresholds for transaction count, sales amount and/or tracking uploaded within your stated handling time. While in this grace period—as long as all other US performance requirements continue to be met—you'll retain your status and enjoy the benefits and discounts associated with the program while getting your transaction count, sales amount or tracking upload back up to minimum program requirements.
Why is eBay adding this grace period to the Top Rated Seller program?
When you have an established track record of maintaining the high performance standards and great seller ratings that qualify you for eBay US Top Rated status, discounts and benefits, we want your business to maintain its stability in the event your sales and/or the time it takes for you to upload tracking information dip below the program's requirements. This grace period will give you the opportunity to get back up to the program's requirements without any disruption to your Top Rated status, discounts and benefits.
How do I qualify for a grace period?
You'll qualify for a grace period as long as you:
How is the grace period determined?
Seller status is evaluated on the 20th of each month. If, upon evaluation, you dipped below the US Top Rated program requirements for sales for the evaluation period, you'll be offered a grace period, given that you meet the qualifications listed above. A grace period will give you two full evaluation cycles to retain your US Top Rated Seller status while getting your transaction count, sales and/or tracking upload back up to minimum program requirements. If you don't meet these requirements once your grace period has expired, you'll no longer have US Top Rated Seller status and benefits.
Will being in a grace period affect my eligibility for Top Rated Plus discounts or other benefits?
No. While you are actively in a grace period, your listings will continue to be eligible for the US Top Rated Plus discounts and benefits, as long as they offer 1-day handling and a minimum 14-day money-back return policy, and as long as you continue to meet all other performance requirements of the US Top Rated Seller program, including those related to detailed seller ratings, eBay Buyer Protection cases, and positive feedback.
Will the Top Rated seal continue to be displayed throughout my grace period?
Yes, as long as you meet all other performance requirements of the US Top Rated Seller program, including minimum standards for low detailed seller ratings, eBay Buyer Protection cases and Feedback percentage, the Top Rated seal will continue to appear on your listings throughout the grace period.
Will buyers and other sellers know that I'm in a grace period?
No. There will be no indication to anyone viewing your listings, eBay Store pages or About Me page that you are in a grace period.
What if I haven't met all of the US Top Rated requirements after a grace period ends?
If you don't meet the requirements once a grace period has expired, you will no longer have US Top Rated Seller status and benefits. The next opportunity to regain your status will be the next month's evaluation.
How will I know I am eligible for a grace period?
If you qualify for a grace period, you'll see your eligibility via your Seller Dashboard.
Is there anything I need to do to request a grace period?
There's nothing you need to do. If you're eligible and you dip below the program's requirements for sales volume and tracking upload, you'll automatically be entered into a grace period.
How will I know that I've entered a grace period and how much time is left in the grace period?
Within a few days after the seller evaluation—on the 20th of each month—eBay notifies all sellers who have a change in performance status. You'll receive a notification by email if your status changes and you enter a grace period. Your status change—plus the time remaining in your grace period—will be displayed in the Seller Dashboard. eBay will also send you email reminders to keep you posted on your progress, so you can take all the steps needed to keep your US Top Rated Seller status once the grace period comes to an end.
If I don't recover my sales by the end of the grace period, when's the soonest I can regain Top Rated Seller status?
Sellers are evaluated on the 20th of each month. You'll regain status in the next monthly evaluation that you once again meet all of the requirements.
Why are grace periods offered for sales requirements but not the other program requirements, like those regarding detailed seller ratings, feedback or Buyer Protection cases?
A continuous track record of excellent customer service—as reflected in ratings and feedback from other buyers—is the key promise made to buyers with the Top Rated Plus seal. The grace period focuses on requirements that are not rated by buyers, and which can often be the result of factors unrelated to seller performance.
Don't forget that eBay already has a number of powerful safeguards in place for your performance rating, including Feedback and detailed seller rating protection and fair eBay Buyer Protection case resolution. See also the complete eBay Seller Protection Policy.
What happens if I dip below the US Top Rated Seller performance requirements for low detailed seller ratings, eBay Buyer Protection cases and feedback during a grace period?
If you have fallen below the US Top Rated Seller performance requirements at the time of your first evaluation within your grace period, you'll no longer be eligible for the grace period and you'll lose your Top Rated status with that evaluation. You will be notified of your change of status via email, and this change will be reflected in your Seller Dashboard.
You can regain your status at the next evaluation when you are again meeting the Top Rated Seller performance requirements for low detailed seller ratings, Buyer Protection cases and feedback percentage.
Is there a certain amount of time required between grace periods?
You need to be a US Top Rated seller for at least three consecutive months to be eligible for a grace period at any time. Time spent in a grace period does not count towards the three consecutive month requirement.
How many grace periods do I get?
As long as you meet the eligibility requirements, there is no limit to the number of grace periods.
Once I successfully retain my standing, what should I do to maintain my US Top Rated status?
Strive to upload tracking information or Delivery Confirmation™ on all your US transactions within your stated handling time. Also, take advantage of all of your free listings to keep your sales up. All sellers now get between 50 and 2,500 free listings a month, depending on whether or not they have an eBay Stores subscription, and their Stores subscription level. For tips on how to increase your overall sales volume, see eBay's Top 10 Growth Strategies.
You can also get tips for retaining your status at the eBay Top Rated Seller Resource Centre.
Do returned items detract from my sales requirement?
No. You still get credit for a successful transaction even if your buyer returns the item.
As a Canadian seller, does my exemption from the 90% tracking upload requirement remain in effect, and how does it impact my eligibility for the grace period?
Canadians who do not meet the 90% tracking upload requirement will still be allowed into the US Top Rated program, receive their 20% FVF discount and be eligible for the grace period. However, those sellers who do meet the 90% tracking upload requirement will enjoy extra benefits such as the maximum boost in Best Match search results and the Top Rated Plus badge on their listings on eBay.com.
What if I fall below the Global Top Rated standards or lose my eBay Global Top Rated Seller status?
Loss of Top Rated Seller status outside of the US will not have any impact upon your Top Rated status in the US.
I'm both an eBay Top Rated Seller and a PowerSeller. If I lose my Top Rated status, will that affect my PowerSeller status?
Perhaps—it depends on why you lost your Top Rated status:
Learn more about the differences between the feedback and DSRs requirements for the Top Rated and PowerSeller programs.