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eBay Service Metrics: What Are They?

What Is The eBay Service Metrics Policy?

On the 20th of July 2018 eBay added another set of metrics to the Seller Hub called Service Metrics. The Service Metrics dashboard tracks 2 metrics: item not as described returns rate and item not received rate.

For each of these 2 metrics, your rate is classed as very high, high, average or low, compared to the average rate of your peers.

You will be subject to a 4% seller final value fee surcharge if your item not as described returns rate is very high.

Item Not As Described

eBay Service Metrics Item not as described returns rate dashboard.
Item not as described returns rate dashboard.

The item not as described returns rate includes return requests opened for the following reasons:

  • Doesn’t work or defective
  • Doesn’t match description or photos
  • Wrong item sent
  • Missing parts or pieces
  • Arrived damaged
  • Doesn’t seem authentic

The rate is expressed as a percentage of the above return requests vs items sold in the period.

For example, if you sold 100 items in the period, and 5 Doesn’t work or defective return requests were opened in the period, then your item not as described returns rate would be 5% (5/100 = 5%).

Item not as described return requests are included in the calculation regardless of whether the customer picked the correct return reason, or ever even returned the item.

Item Not Received

eBay Service Merics Item not received rate dashboard.
Item not received rate dashboard.

The item not received rate includes buyer requests for I didn’t receive my item.

Requests are included regardless of whether the tracking states the item was delivered.

The rate is expressed as a percentage of I didn’t receive my item requests vs items sold in the period.

How are service metrics calculated?

The item not as described returns rates and item not received rates are compared to similar sellers selling similar items (your peers).

You can therefore have different rates across different product categories (e.g. mobile phones & communication, computers/tablets & networking, etc.).

The rates are further divided by listing site (e.g. ebay.co.uk, ebay.com, etc.).

Peer benchmarks & peers

For item not as described return requests, eBay claim to compare your rates against sellers who have similar:

  • Transaction volume
  • Price
  • Item condition
  • Return policy
  • Delivery timeframes
SellerPeer group
Listing siteebay.comebay.com
Categorymobile phones & communicationmobile phones & communication
Previous period3 months3 months
Average selling price£205£200-£250
Average item conditionSeller refurbishedSeller refurbished
Average return policyReturns acceptedReturns accepted
Average delivery estimate2 daysLess than 10 business days
Example of how eBay calculates peer benchmarks for item not as described return requests.

For item not received requests, eBay claim to compare your rates against sellers who have:

  • A similar transaction volume
  • Similar pricing
  • Similar delivery timeframes
  • The same postage category
    • Domestic
    • International (emerging region)
    • International (matured region)
SellerPeer group
Listing siteebay.comebay.com
Postage destinationInternational (emerging region)International (emerging region)
Previous period3 months3 months
Average selling price£205£200-£250
Average delivery estimate5-10 daysLess than 10 business days
Example of how eBay calculates peer benchmarks for item not received requests.

Transactions used to calculate service metrics

CriteriaLookback period
400+ transactions over previous 3 monthsPrevious 3 months
Less than 400 transactions over previous 3 monthsUp to previous 12 months
Note: if eBay determines there is not enough transaction history then the peer benchmark rating will be absent from your dashboard.

Consequence of ‘Very High’ Item Not As Described returns rate

eBay gives rates over 2 periods in the Service Metrics dashboard: current rate and projected rate.

If your current item not as described rate is very high eBay will apply a 4% final value fee surcharge to your existing final value fees until your current rate is no longer very high.

The metrics are calculated on the 20th of each month, same as for the separate Seller Level metrics.

Current rate

The current rate covers the previous period which has already elapsed (in the below example 3 months). This rate is the most accurate representation of your actual performance, as it is only looking at transactions where the option to return under the eBay Money Back Guarantee has expired.

Projected rate

The projected rate can overlap with the current rate and span a different timeframe (as in the below example), but ends at a future date. This rate is useful for determining your recent performance as it includes more recent transactions than the current rate. However, as customers are still eligible to open return requests under the eBay Money Back Guarantee this rate is not used to determine whether you should be subject to the 4% surcharge.

What is the difference between Service Metrics & Seller Level?

Service Metrics and Seller Level each measure different things, with different consequences, and have their own separate dashboards in the eBay Seller Hub.

Below is a summary of the different factors considered by Service Metrics vs Seller Level.

Seller LevelService Metrics
– Number of transactions & sales
– Transaction defect rate (out of stock & cases closed without seller resolution)
– Late delivery rate
– Item not as described return request rate
– Item not received request rate

Questions or comments?

Returns.Guru is all about reducing your multichannel returns and helping you sell better online (that’s why we built eCommerce returns solution software).

We welcome your questions or comments about the topics raised in this article. We will endeavour to share our wisdom by responding to your questions in the comments section below. (Our team have experience running an eCommerce business which sells on multiple channels, including eBay).

Happy selling!

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