The owner of a photography shop in Bicester says eBay is 'crippling' his business after it downgraded his seller status.

Robert Peckham, from Langford, Bicester runs Imagex in Pioneer Square where he sells photographic equipment.

He uses online marketplace eBay to sell used, rare and collectible photographic items but is now limited to only listing 140 per month as his seller status on the site changed to ‘Below Standard’.

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This was because a battery that a customer had ordered, delivered via Royal Mail’s 1st Class Recorded Delivery service, arrived at the customer’s address over two months late.

It was dispatched on December 12, 2019 and arrived on February 20.

During this time, Mr Peckham had a dispute with eBay as the buyer had opened a 'non-delivery case', which eBay eventually closed before refunding the buyer.

Mr Peckham believes eBay should not have closed the case because Royal Mail was tracing the package and says he appealed to have it re-opened once the delivery was made.

But he said eBay told him this could not happen because more than 30 days had passed since the closure of the original case.

Mr Peckham said: “This one case outcome has negatively affected our seller status with eBay, and they are now limiting selling to a maximum of 140 items in any month, which is far less than we usually sell.

“Right now we obviously need to sell a lot more items to generate income while the retail store is closed in the current emergency.

“eBay UK’s attitude is crippling this small local business and seriously threatening our survival in the current crisis, simply because Royal Mail took two months to deliver one of our packages, which was not our fault.”

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The shop owner says he is losing out on a 'significant' amount of business online because he cannot list all items on offer and says he would usually make at least £1,000 a week online.

He says eBay ‘favours buyers over sellers’ despite him having paid thousands of pounds in fees to the site over the years.

He added: “It’s their sellers that pay all their fees but buyers get preferential treatment. We pay around £150-£200 a month in fees which is 10 to 15 per cent of our sales.”

Imagex's seller status has not changed because of this single case but due to two other problems that happened last year in which Mr Peckham says involved fraudulent buyers.

Seller status is judged on a 12-month rolling basis, so each ‘defect’ is removed after 12 months.

eBay says the buyer's non-delivery case was closed and they were refunded because Mr Peckham did not provide adequate tracking information to eBay to keep the case open.

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An eBay spokesperson said: “We have policies in place to protect buyers and sellers on eBay. Our eBay Moneyback Guarantee ensures that if a buyer doesn’t get what they ordered, they are quickly refunded.

"Unfortunately, in this situation, the seller was unable to provide valid tracking information showing that the item was delivered.”

Royal Mail was contacted for comment but failed to respond before this paper went to print.