eBay Selling Limits - What are They and How to Overcome Them?

eBay selling limits
Nov 20, 2022

One of the obstacles new sellers encounter is the limits places eBay places on recently registered accounts. Restrictions on how much you can sell would seem to discourage vendors on the platform from doing business on eBay at all. However, by understanding why eBay imposes these restrictions on new sellers and how to overcome them with sound selling practices, you can soon have a thriving eBay business.

What Are eBay Selling Limits?

eBay selling limits prevent new sellers from exceeding a set amount of listing as well as being restricted to a predetermined dollar amount of sales per month. If you can no longer list or sell any more items, you will have to either wait until the limits reset in the next month or request a more immediate raising of selling limits.

eBay limits explained

How Do the eBay Selling Limits Work?

To start with, sellers cannot list or sell more than 10 items for a total dollar amount of $500 per month. Since a seller is unable to list more than 10 products a month, they need to be exceedingly careful in what items they attempt to sell.  The selling limit is reached whenever the dollar limit or item limit is met, or whichever comes first.

If you have reached your eBay selling limits, you will not be able to raise prices on existing items until the following month when the restrictions reset. Also, it is essential to realize that with a multiple quantity fixed price listing of 5 for example, each of the 5 items being sold in that single listing count toward the monthly limit of 10.

How to Check Your Selling Limits

eBay monthly limits

The simplest way to check your current eBay selling limits is to go to the Seller Hub page and scroll toward the bottom where it says “Monthly Limits.” This box will state both how many more items a seller is allowed to list in the current month and how much more in sales an eBay member is permitted to make. Below the limits, you can find a link for more information on eBay’s selling limits policies and a way to request to list more per month. You can also find the status of your selling limits in “My eBay” and the “My eBay Selling Overview.”

In addition to monthly limits for how many items you can list and the number of sales you can bring in, sellers may also have to contend with category-specific limits. Suppose a seller typically sells one type of product in the same category and decides to expand their inventory and sell different kinds of items. In that case, they may be hit with unexpected restrictions. For instance, from eBay’s perspective, selling expensive vehicles or gold jewelry requires a separate track record of buyer satisfaction from listing lower-end merchandise in other categories. As with overall selling limits, category-specific selling limits will gradually be raised as a seller accumulates more sales in different categories.

New sellers may encounter a less common selling limit with restrictions on certain hard-to-find items that typically sell for more than MSRP prices. This policy is eBay’s attempt to cut down on “scalping” practices frowned upon in the online retail industry. For example, a seller may only be allowed to list 1-2 gaming consoles sold out nearly everywhere. Consequently, it is not wise to build a business plan based solely on selling these items on eBay.

Why Does eBay Restrict New Sellers?

Trust and safety are integral parts of the eBay experience and are one way the marketplace attempts to differentiate itself from the competition. The idea behind limits for new sellers is first to wait for sellers to build a reputation for shipping legitimate products in a timely fashion and providing excellent customer service. These standards for selling factor into both eBay feedback from buyers and seller ratings. Once a new seller establishes a track record of delivering a positive selling experience to buyers, eBay will automatically increase the number of items they are allowed to list and sell per month.

Things You Should Know Before Asking eBay to Increase Selling Limits

Trust and safety are integral parts of the eBay experience and are one way the marketplace attempts to differentiate itself from the competition. The idea behind limits for new sellers is first to wait for sellers to build a reputation for shipping legitimate products in a timely fashion and providing excellent customer service. These standards for selling factor into both eBay feedback from buyers and seller ratings. Once a new seller establishes a track record of delivering a positive selling experience to buyers, eBay will automatically increase the number of items they are allowed to list and sell per month.

While in some cases, eBay may consider a seller’s unique circumstances or retail history and lift selling limits more immediately, most sellers will have to prove themselves as reliable and trustworthy over many months. Fortunately, there are some proven methods to ensure that eBay’s selling limits do not prevent a business from growing at a steady rate.

How to Increase Your eBay Selling Limits

Take Full Advantage of Current Selling Limits

eBay is much more likely to raise your selling limits automatically if you max out the number of listings and sales allowed in a month. If you cannot demonstrate that you handle a certain volume of sales, eBay will be hesitant to allow a seller to list a more significant number of items.

Use Efficient Inventory Practices

When new sellers are limited in terms of how much inventory they can list, it is crucial to make the most out of what selling capacity they do have. Regularly monitor your active listings and confirm that no out-of-stock listings are still live. If a listing says 0 quantity, remove it and find another product to sell instead.

If you find that you have several products that aren’t generating sales, page views, or watchers, there is little point in keeping them in stock indefinitely. With products that have generated consistent sales, attempt to find more inventory to add quantity to those listings. When restricted by eBay selling limits, it becomes critical to build on listing practices that are working and maximize potential revenue.

To overcome the dollar amount per month selling limit eBay places on new accounts, focus on lower-priced products that typically sell quickly. This strategy has benefits in rapidly building a history of positive feedback and strong seller ratings.

The Benefit of Product Research Tools

eBay selling limits research

Any seller that has listed or sold a single item is granted access to Terapeak, eBay’s official product research tool. Using a research tool like Terapeak can be a great way to find products that sell at a high rate and at prices and allow for acceptable profit levels. To use Terapeak, simply navigate to the “Research” tab in the eBay seller hub.

When in Terapeak, plentiful sales data shows how a particular product has sold going back as far as one year. Terapeak can also show you how offering free shipping can be beneficial when selling certain types of merchandise. New sellers with limited listing opportunities can identify the right time to sell an item using this research. Keep in mind that when selling popular products that are usually well stocked, it can be challenging to gain visibility for listings when competing with more established sellers. Instead, focus on finding inventory sources for harder-to-stock items or sell unique products not yet common on eBay that can you apart from other sellers.

Maintain Top-Notch Seller Ratings

eBay tracks seller performance in several categories, including how many shipments were mailed out in time, the number of canceled transactions due to being out of stock, and whether the seller adequately resolved any buyer claims. eBay will use these metrics to determine whether a seller has a top-rated, above-standard, or below-standard seller rating. Newer sellers with below-standard ratings are unlikely to see a rapid increase in their selling limits.

Maintaining a solid feedback rating is also essential, as buyers will leave ratings for the accuracy of descriptions, shipping speed and cost, and communication from sellers. If a buyer raises a concern about a late shipment or the condition of an item, sellers should strive to address these concerns as quickly and effectively as possible. The best approach to avoiding claims made through eBay’s resolution center is to satisfactorily resolve any problems before they reach that stage, even if a refund or partial refund is required.

If a buyer leaves negative feedback before contacting you about problems with their purchase, in many cases, if you can address their concerns, they will agree to revise their feedback ratings.

Another highly-recommend selling practice is to write accurate item descriptions in listings. If there are any defects with a product, ensure that multiple pictures show these condition issues. When a buyer knows exactly what they are purchasing, the possibility of them requesting returns or leaving less-than-optimal seller ratings is drastically reduced.

Avoid Listing Violations

Unfortunately, many new sellers are unaware of eBay’s listing restrictions that apply to all members, particularly those outlined in the marketplace’s VeRO (Verified Rights Owners Program) policies. (Possible link to VeRO article here or eBay VeRO page). The program aims to prevent the misuse of trademarked or copyrighted material, including brand names, logos, or photos posted in catalogs or company websites. eBay sellers cannot use these materials without express written permission from the companies participating in VeRO. If a company that regularly monitors eBay listings for violations of their VeRO guidelines finds an offending seller, they can contact eBay to have that listing removed.

Not abiding by the rules of the VeRO program or selling counterfeit products can have a dual negative effect on sellers already restricted in the number of items they can list. First, they lose one of as few as 10 listings per month they are allowed since they will not be credited back the removed listing.  Secondly, new sellers cannot afford to damage their seller reputation, as any violations will have a disastrous effect on their ratings. Fortunately, many selling tools will warn eBay members about problems with their listings before launching, but it is still recommended to become familiar with the basics of the VeRO program.

How to Request an Increase in Selling Limits

eBay recommends that sellers allow their limits to increase gradually through their automated system, which monitors seller performance and ratings. However, eBay will only check accounts every 20th day of each month, and current selling limits can take 90 days or more to change. In some cases, owners of newer eBay selling accounts may be able to make a case for a more immediate raising of selling limits by contacting eBay directly through online chat or phone.

Increase eBay selling limits

First, navigate to eBay main’s customer service/help page.

Then click on the “Contact Us” box toward the bottom of the page. Then choose the option for “Selling” followed by “Creating a Listing” and “Selling Limits.” You will then be presented with information about the selling limits policies and another link to request an increase in limits. However, toward the bottom of the page below “Need More Help,” you will find an option to get additional automated assistance or contact an eBay agent via chat. US-based sellers can also try the eBay customer service phone line at 866-540-3229.

When speaking to an eBay agent about raising your selling limits, calmly and politely make a case for why being allowed to sell more products would benefit you and the eBay platform. You may explain that you have acquired an inventory of legitimate in-demand products and need the ability to sell them promptly. Presenting a solid selling history and reputation is the most compelling argument that you can make, particularly if you have a longer track record on other selling platforms.

Keep in mind that sellers can only request a raise to their selling limits once per month, no matter what method they choose to contact eBay.

Conclusions

There is no doubt that selling limits can deter new sellers looking to establish themselves on eBay’s marketplace. However, you can soon sell on eBay without constraints by understanding how these limits work and employing proven selling strategies. Your selling limits should automatically rise as long as you effectively manage your inventory and strive to maintain top seller ratings.

About the Author

3Dsellers

3Dsellers is the ultimate eBay software utility that eBay sellers of every level use to manage, market, and automate their eBay businesses. Additionally, 3Dsellers is used by eCommerce teams for it's multichannel helpdesk system that empowers business growth through exceptional buyer-seller relationships.

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