There has been a lot of speculation on the web about an undocumented seller policy compliance requirement called eBay Guardrail. Others have called it the Quick Decline Program or eBay Trending. Discussion about this program seems to have started around August 6th when eBay blocked 15,000 sellers from it’s system in one day.
They were sent a message telling them that after a recent evaluation their accounts were being changed to “below standard” and would remain there until their next evaluation. Problem is, many of those sellers complained that they met both the DSR and Feedback requirements for that month.
This led to speculation about a third undocumented set of requirements for keeping your account in good standing. If sellers were meeting their monthly requirements was there another metric being used over a shorter time span? Say 2 or 3 low DSRs back to back? Or maybe buyer protection cases?
If you think about it, having a quick decline program would make sense. When an otherwise good seller suddenly goes bad eBay would naturally want a guardrail in place to take them out of it’s system as fast as possible. Instances where a seller becomes deceased, hospitalized, or incarcerated. It would also serve as a way to eliminate scammers more quickly rather than waiting for an end of the month evaluation.
But what if sometimes this new metric unintentionally affected low volume sellers? According to a seller who posted in eBay’s Forum that’s exactly what happened. And another here. Others have complained about having their accounts unjustly limited and holds placed on their Paypal accounts as well.
It’s difficult to find any information on how the Guardrail program is calculated but I found this video on Youtube that says the calculations are based on BBEs or “bad buyer experiences in contrast to recent positive feedback.
The author contends that BBEs consist of negative feedback, low DSR ratings and buyer protection cases (regardless of outcome). He also says that the evaluations of these numbers takes place weekly rather than monthly. I cannot confirm what this video says, but it does have the whole equation spelled out in a fashion that seems to make sense.
Overall the ebay Guardrail Program would protect buyers from sellers who may not be up to par. But if this video is true then it only takes a couple of flaky buyers back to back to upset things for small volume sellers. They don’t have the sales volume to offset the BBE to positive feedback ratio. That’s a potential problem that needs to be resolved on a case by case basis by eBay.