Three Defect Rates that affect your SPS


Items Not Received (INR)


Item Not As Described (INAD)


Item Out of Stock (OOS)

When a buyer opens INR and INAD cases, you have 3 days to fully resolve the issue with the buyer. After that period, if the buyer escalates the case to eBay, you will not be given any additional time to resolve the case. If the case is ruled in buyer’s favour (this is known as Case Closed Without Seller Resolution), you may incur a loss and your rating will go down.

Do not let cases escalate.

A case closed without seller resolution is any case where the seller is unable to resolve the issue with the buyer prior to the buyer asking us or PayPal to step in and help with a request. When this happens, eBay and PayPal will determine that the buyer is in the right and you are responsible. ie; you are in in the wrong.

Summary of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Sellers to protect SPS 

Here’s a simple way to understand how to resolve issues so you can maintain your SPS.


Best practices for sellers to maintain SPS

Do adhere to these Best Practices to avoid low ranking on your SPS. Prevention is less hassle than having to provide a solution to an irate buyer.


How to ensure a low INR rate

Use shipping services with A-Scan feature and end-to-end tracking. Ship and upload valid tracking number within your specified handling time. Ensure tracking numbers and carrier names are uploaded correctly. Incorrect information means it’s invalid. Take steps to avoid Out of Stock (OOS) situation.


How to ensure a low INAD rate

Make sure your listing title, photos, item specific and item descriptions are clear and correct at all times. Pay attention to the details. So buyers know exactly what they are purchasing, therefore reducing INAD cases. Be as accurate as possible when describing the items in your listing and use actual pictures of the item that you took yourself, not something you took off google. Check the details carefully before sending the item out eg size, colour, model number, specifications.


How to prevent OOS

Check your inventory regularly and remove the listing if it’s out of stock. Set aside a separate inventory just for eBay. Invest in Inventory Management Software.

Summary of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Sellers to protect SPS 

I’m below standard. What should I do?

Recover from Below Standard

  1. Appeal all unfair cases from the past 3 months
  2. Calculate the following:
  • How long is your evaluation cycle in the particular region where you fall Below Standard (BSTD)? It could be either 3 or 12 months.
  • When did the OOS, INR & INAD cases happened?
  • How long it will take for the OOS, INR & INAD to “pass” out of your evaluation cycle organically?
  • How many new positive transactions do you need in to fall Above Standard (ASTD) in that region again? You may use this formula: New transactions = (Current defects /Defect rate) − Current transactions

   3. Offer discounts to boost your numbers of positive transactions. 

When cases are brought up to eBay

1. Never voluntarily escalate a case with a buyer to eBay

2. Once a buyer opens a case against you, you have 3 days to “make things right” and appease the buyer through your actions.

3. After the 3 days, if the buyer opens the case with eBay, the Customer Service (CS) can make a decision at any time. You will not be given additional time to make things right.

Cases are evaluated by US Customer Service agents. The CS agents would need obvious and concrete proof to rule in the sellers’ favour.

Examples of concrete proof:

  • For an INR: Your tracking needs to show the item was delivered or rejected by the buyer at the time that the CS agent looks into the case. It is not enough to show that you had shipped the item.
  • For an INAD: If the buyer claims a part is missing, but your Item Title, Gallery Photos, Item Specifics or eBay Messages with the buyer clearly state that the part will not be included in the purchase.


You can and should appeal against:

  • Cases unfairly ruled in buyer’s favour (appeals go to US CS)
  • Unfair negative feedback (appeals go to local CS)

The emphasis is on “unfair”:

  • Example: When tracking at the time of case evaluation shows item had already been delivered or attempted to be delivered, but INR case was still ruled in favour of the buyer or buyer left a feedback that he never received the item.

Write to xxx in this format:

  • Buyer ID:
  • Transaction ID:
  • Reason for appeal: (Clearly explain how the buyer’s feedback/ case is unjustified because he claims XYZ but you did XYZ to rectify the situation)