Trust is the bedrock of eCommerce. Providing a reliable service keeps customers coming back, but how does eBay make sure everyone is playing by the rules? The system of eBay selling limits gives you an opportunity to show your credibility, without reducing opportunities to sell. Let’s learn more.
What are eBay selling limits?
eBay selling limits, sometimes called selling allowances, are restrictions placed by eBay on the number of listings some sellers, particularly new ones, are allowed to post. This is to protect customers from the possibility of fraud, or being sold fake or stolen goods.
For new eBay sellers, the limit begins at 10 items per month, with a total value of $500. More established sellers who demonstrate credibility can apply to have their eBay selling limits raised.
What types of eBay selling limits are there?
eBay has a sophisticated system in place to keep an eye on possible scams while still providing an open, welcoming marketplace for sellers and customers. This involves three types of selling limits:
- Account-based selling limits which are placed on you, the seller
- Category-based selling limits, placed on certain types (categories) of product
- Item-based selling limits, placed on specific items
Account-based selling limits
Account-based selling limits let eBay check your account and confirm personal information to be sure you are who you say you are. Certain product categories have their own limits and aren’t affected by account-based limits, including:
- Business, office, and industrial
- Cars, motorcycles, and vehicles
It’s easy to see why these three aren’t subject to account-based limits. Any sale of property, for example, is likely to fall above that $500 introductory threshold.
For everything else, the specific limits applied to each account can vary from seller to seller. The Sell Your Item form will show your account’s limits whenever you post a listing.
How do account-based eBay selling limits work?
eBay limits the number of sold and active items allowed on your account each month. Items officially count towards the limit when they’re sold; an unsold listing which expires does not count towards the monthly allowance.
So for example, say you open a brand-new account with a limit of 10 items. You list five and successfully sell three, the other two expire. You’re left with seven listings to use up for the rest of that month.
eBay may end listings which push you over your limit. Good ‘Til Cancelled limits, for example, won’t auto-renew if you find yourself over your account-based selling limit.
eBay selling limits are there to incentivize sellers to provide a good experience for customers. Not only can your account’s selling limit be relaxed if you deliver that experience, it can be tightened if you fail to meet eBay’s performance standards.
You can review any additional restrictions on your account from your Seller Dashboard.
Category-based selling limits
Even if you’ve been successfully selling for a while, eBay selling limits may be placed on your account if you branch out to a new category of product. This is to give you time to manage inventory and learn the nuances of this new area.
Category-based selling limits may be applied to you if:
- You’re still within 90 days of your first successful sale
- You’re new to selling items in this category
- It’s been over a year since you sold an item in this category
- More than 3% of your transactions over the past year have resulted in cases being opened against you
Item-based selling limits
It’s a sad fact of eCommerce life that some items are simply more prone to fakes or unauthorized replicas than others. Designer handbags and watches, for example. If you start selling specific items with a high risk of counterfeit, you may have additional restrictions imposed for a time.
This is connected to eBay’s Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) program. eBay is committed to supporting everyone on the platform, whether shoppers, sellers, or those holding the intellectual property rights to products.
Item-based selling limits ensure everyone plays fair, and contribute to eBay’s status as one of the most trusted marketplaces on Earth for buying and selling luxury goods.
How to find your selling limit
When you post a new listing, any eBay selling limits on your account will be shown on screen. There are also two ways to check any limits without trying to post a new listing:
- Click My eBay in the page header
- Sign in
- Go to Sell or Selling Manager on the left-hand side of the page
- Go to your Seller Hub
- Navigate to the Overview section
How do you increase your selling limits?
Since eBay selling limits of all types are there to protect customers from unreliable sellers, many limits get lifted automatically once you’ve proven you’re the real deal. Selling reliably and gaining good feedback for 90 days or more can lead to restrictions being lifted without you needing to request a review.
Requesting a review of eBay selling limits
eBay proactively prompts sellers when they’re approaching their monthly selling limit, as well as when they’ve reached it. In most cases, these prompts will come with the option to request a review of your account activity. If you’ve been providing a good service for long enough, your selling limits might be loosened.
You can also find a link to request a review of your account’s limits by:
- Clicking on My eBay in the page header
- Going to the All Selling section
- Navigating to Monthly Allowances
- Going to your Seller Hub
- Selecting Overview
eBay might also contact you occasionally to verify your personal information, contact details, and information about your business. Providing and confirming this information can lead to restrictions being loosened on your account.
Selling limits on multiple eBay accounts
It’s possible you might use different accounts to sell on eBay. Linking a more established seller account to a newer one might mean fewer limits. For this to happen, the older account must have:
- No unresolved cases
- Detailed seller ratings of 4.8 or higher in all areas
- Feedback from a successful sale from at least 90 days ago
If these criteria are met, you can request higher selling allowances.
Selling limits for established sellers
If you’ve been selling on eBay for a long period of time and providing a good service, you’re far less likely to face restrictive selling limits. You can request a review at any time, and it helps to have:
- Positive feedback from customers
- No unresolved cases
- An established, active selling history of at least 90 days
- No questions over your product’s authenticity
- PayPal verification
- A good track record of playing by eBay’s rules
What if my request for higher eBay selling limits gets denied?
If you apply for looser eBay selling limits, but you don’t currently meet the criteria, don’t worry. You can re-apply later once you’ve built up the good standing of your account. You can also simply wait and post more items next month when the limit refreshes.
Remember also that restrictions might apply to some items but not others. If you’ve just branched out into a new line of products, category-based limits might apply only to those products, leaving the rest of your stock unaffected.
eBay has done a great job of protecting customers from eCommerce villains, without creating an environment that unfairly punishes honest sellers like you. Most are in this game for the long term, so that 90-day initial limit passes in no time. Going forward, it gets even easier. Customer feedback is critical, so the best way to increase your selling limits on eBay is to provide excellent customer service at all times.
Did you know that over 60% of US online retail purchases were made through Amazon last year? Amazon’s hold over eCommerce is well established, with 9.1 million active Amazon sellers worldwide and an average of 66 thousand orders per day. Newer sellers may be wondering how they can get more sales on Amazon in such a competitive environment.
The truth is, they absolutely can because with Amazon’s booming market share come many opportunities. We’ve assembled this digestible list of 14 quick wins and strategic moves, to help you up your game and sell more on Amazon.
1. Do keyword research
Having the right keywords can be one of the most important tactics in reaching your target audiences. Using the keywords that are common to searches for your products is the objective, but search engine optimisation (SEO) is a constantly evolving game. That means that keywords used successfully in the past may not be as effective with updated search engine algorithms today.
The terms used by customers to find products change daily and are affected by seasonal, cultural, and economic factors. Hence, it’s important to stay on top of the latest SEO trends and make sure you cast a wide net when implementing keywords for each product listing.
Each product should be optimized with as many relevant keywords as possible – into the hundreds! This gives you the best possible chance of getting your products found by customers, helping you sell more on Amazon.
Amazon keyword research tools like Helium 10, SellerApp, Jungle Scout, and AMZ One can help by generating a list of related keywords with search volume, competition level, and other useful metrics, making it easier for you to choose the best keywords for your product listing
2. Use a repricing tool to get more sales on Amazon
When it comes to sealing the deal and making a sale, price is a main deciding factor for many customers. As an Amazon seller, you always want to make sure you’re pricing your products competitively, but equally, you don’t want to lose your margin!
This is something that using repricing software can help with. Repricing software automates the pricing process in real-time, ensuring your prices stay in line with those of competitors, and with market fluctuations, while you get more sales on Amazon.
Repricing software also has many customisable features that allow you to set prices at optimal levels to help drive sales, without compromising profit. It’s worth taking a trial to see how it can help lift your sales.
3. Get more Amazon reviews
Online reviews are important to spread confidence through word of month and for building credibility for your brand. It’s also a fact that 72% of shoppers won’t buy until they’ve read reviews of a product from people like themselves – people they trust.
Even a strong product with great marketing behind it still has to overcome the fear of the unknown if there’s no social proof. Plus, positive reviews are a significant factor in deciding which products win the Amazon Buy Box.
4. Provide great customer service
Customer service is absolutely essential in eCommerce. Offering top-quality customer service not only adds value, but helps retain customers. A big part of making a sale is assuring the customer that they can trust you to deliver, and that trust is hard earned but easily lost. Providing good eCommerce customer service is critical, and committing to providing great customer service is all the more so!
As an Amazon seller, you need to be on top of your customer service. Responsiveness, a friendly manner and quick and easy resolution processes are all ingredients that make for a winning approach to great customer service.
But it can be confusing trying to streamline it all. Thankfully, there are all sorts of tools available to make this job easier, like helpdesk software to keep all your customer interactions in one place. This helps you to respond quickly and accurately to customer inquiries when they come in, so that your customers always know you’ve got their back.
5. Leverage Amazon seller tools
The best part about being an Amazon seller is that you don’t have to go it alone. There are numerous tools available to help you maximize your business and get the most out of selling on Amazon, whether third-party or FBA.
From repricing tools, to help desk software, to review software and even shipping assistance, many tools exist on the market today that specifically help Amazon sellers optimize their listings, prices, feedback, shipping, customer service and even their taxes.
There are many different seller tools available, so it’s worth reading about options and making an informed decision about the right ones to choose for your business. With the right tools, you can grow your business more than you ever thought possible.
6. Get more sales on Amazon with ads
Running ads is almost guaranteed to help you get more sales on Amazon, but it’s easy to just throw money at them and hope for the best. You can do better! Pay attention to your advertising cost of sales (ACOS) metric, the figure for how much ad spend you need in order to make a sale.
By advertising more efficiently, you lower your ACOS and ensure you get more bang for your buck. Over time, you’ll learn what works and you can employ a strategy with regards to how you run your ads. Taking an insight-driven approach to Amazon ads results in a more profitable Amazon business!
7. Optimise your product pages
The old saying goes that 80% of readers never make it past the headline of any piece of content. That means once you’ve written your product title, you’ve effectively spent 80 cents of your dollar.
When writing product titles, stick to the formula of:
- Brand name
- Product name
- Features (size, colour, gender etc).
This lets you include the right keywords in the right order to immediately tell shoppers that this is the product for them.
Moreover, making sure to visually design your product pages so that they’re clean, simple and easy to read will also help win over shoppers. No one wants to read through a cluttered page. The more straightforward (yet informative) and the cleaner you make your design, the more likely you’ll be to win over those elusive eyeballs!
8. Win the Amazon Buy Box
The quickest way to get more sales on Amazon is by ensuring that your products show up consistently in the Amazon Buy Box (the area in the top right of a product page, where shoppers can ‘Add to Cart’ or ‘Buy Now’). This is because over 82% of sales happen through this highly sought after space.
Although the exact formula to win the Buy Box is unknown, there are a few things that we know are essential. These are mainly metrics that prove the seller is providing a good customer experience. Customer reviews play a big role here. The more positive reviews a seller can amass, the likelihood of winning the Buy Box increases.
In addition to reviews, something else that’s obviously very important to Amazon shoppers is price! By using repricing software, you can automatically set your prices at the optimal level to win the Buy Box and maximize profit, even if you’ve got an enormous inventory.
9. Amazon account health rating
The Amazon account health rating (AHR) is a new feature that helps you monitor your account health based on its adherence to Amazon seller policies.
It considers both negative factors (such as the number of unresolved policy violations on your account) as well as positive factors (how your account positively impacts the customer experience through its selling activities).
Each account will be given a rating, which is regularly reviewed as Amazon monitors the performance of its sellers. If your account is off-target, you will be notified so that you can improve your performance. Conversely, a good AHR rating will work in your favor, helping assure customers that they’re doing business with a compliant seller.
10. Maintain your Amazon SLA
A big part of being a seller is cultivating trust with your customers. That means showing them that you operate in an above-board manner and that you’ll make good on your promise of fulfillment to them. One way of doing that is by making sure your Amazon store has a Service Level Agreement (SLA). This is a promise to your customers that they’ll receive their orders on time. When it comes to fulfillment, the SLA is based on the capacity to fulfill open orders and on-time shipping and delivery.
SLAs help manage customer expectations by defining standards and outlining circumstances under which you as the seller won’t be liable for unfulfilled promises (e.g., natural disasters preventing shipping, etc).
eDesk’s customer service solution is designed to alert you when your SLA is expiring, so your business is never caught without one. Having a current SLA helps you maintain transparency with customers, thereby building trust which helps ensure customer loyalty.
11. Focus on products that already sell
Most ambitious business owners want to try new streams of revenue, but it’s important not to lose sight of the things that are making you money now.
By doubling down on the products that already provide your Amazon store with a reliable revenue stream, you not only deliver to market demand but ensure that you have the financial runway required to take risks on innovative new products, if need be.
Review your financial statements every quarter and look at the items that are performing best in your store. Think about how you can continue to market these with ads, SEO keywords and upgraded images to maximize their selling potential in your online store.
12. Sync your inventory
Inventory can be a delicate balancing act. Hold too much inventory for too long and you need to pay over the odds to store it. But hold too little inventory and you lose out on vital sales, or even customers, due to an inability to fulfill. Amazon can also penalize you if your inventory performance isn’t up to standard.
Stock control is something every seller needs to understand and have the capability to manage for optimal results. Smart inventory management is an under-appreciated way to increase your Amazon sales and profit margin. Fortunately, there are tools that can help. Investing in the right tools and software can help sellers take the stress out of balancing supply and demand.
13. Expand into new Amazon marketplaces
Amazon currently has 20 marketplaces around the world, which include the US, Canada, Mexico, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, Singapore, Brazil, Australia and more.
You can scale your brand by moving into some of these marketplaces. This can involve doing market research to find out which products are popular in each market and then uplevelling your shipping operations in order to be able to ship globally.
But expanding into new markets also means you’ll need to take language into consideration and localize your listings so that they feature each marketplace’s local language and SEO keywords in the appropriate language. Multilingual customer service is also needed in order to be able to service customers across various marketplaces in their local language.
Sounds complicated? It doesn’t have to be. eDesk’s help desk solution is designed to support customer service and workflow in multiple languages, so you can expand your business without investing in the overhead of hiring a global team.
14. Spy on your competitors
Ok, maybe “spy” is a bit of an exaggeration, but profitable sellers are always on the lookout for what their competitors are doing. You want to make sure you’re offering the right inventory for your market at the right prices. Repricing software will monitor this for you, taking the guesswork out of pricing at the right levels.
Using data gleaned from helpdesk reporting can also help you gather valuable insights and feedback from your customers, which will help you to better understand what customers want and need. Acting on analytics-driven insights from easy-to-read reports means you’re always one step ahead of the competition.
The quest to increase your store’s Amazon sales doesn’t need to be an uphill struggle. There are many resources available to Amazon sellers today to help them optimize their store and develop a healthy sales pipeline.
By staying in touch with how the Amazon platform grows and using the right tech tools to drive your business, you can continue to do what you do best: building a great brand, winning customers, retaining existing customers and improving your bottom line.