The eBay Dictionary

You may have noticed that recently eBay has been making up definitions for words that have been in the English language for hundreds of years.  Only eBay’s new definitions only apply to Sellers, the traditional definitions still apply for buyers.

For example, the word Satisfied in DSR ratings means satisfied to buyers, or at least eBay doesn’t tell them otherwise.  However, if an eBay seller has all “Satisfied” ratings, versus “Very Satisfied” ratings, eBay is not satisfied.  No, if your buyers are only satisfied, you will lose Powerseller status and be downgraded in search.

The other word is “neutral”.  A buyer can rate a transaction as Positive, Neutral, or Negative.  The Merriam Webster online dictionary defines the word “Neutral” as “ not decided or pronounced as to characteristics”, which would mean the buyer has no opinion either way.  However, eBay, in their dictionary, has decided that “Neutral” means a buyer had a negative experience.  When eBay figures a sellers perfomance rating they figure any neutrals as negatives.  However, once again, eBay does not tell the buyer about their new definition of Neutral.

Feel free to contribute more new definitions from eBay!



  1. says

    “Fair and level playing field” This is the marketplace where merchants have an equal chance to sell their wares. On eBay it means there are sellers and Power Sellers.

    – Power Sellers get better PayPay protections.
    – Power Sellers get discounts if they successfully jump through the eBay DSR hoops.
    – Power Sellers get a number to speak to an actual person at eBay.

    Regular sellers get to subsidize the discounts of the Power Sellers.

    Ed Gadfly

  2. mark g says

    With all the recent changes, we are afraid some in the Community may not understand some of the nuances of the certain terms on eBay, so therefore we have put a small glossary below. Feel free to add your own ideas.

    Neutral = Negative
    Good = Bad (DSRs)
    Level Playing Field = Special Deals For Some
    100% = 99.2%% (FB per/post May 2008)
    Lowering Fees = Raising Fees
    Community = Noise
    Niche = Flea Market

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