How to add icing to your competitors Christmas on eBay: Top Rated Seller Flawed?

ebay-top-rated-sellerUntil I did the maths, I didn’t realise how high eBay had actually set the bar to become a ‘Top Rated Seller’, equally I did not realise how easy it was to potentially knock off a Top Rated Seller either.

According to their help file, here you must attain the following:

  1. Be a member of the PowerSeller programme. Learn more about how to become a PowerSeller
  2. Have at least 100 transactions and £2,000 in sales during the last 12 months with UK and Irish buyers<
  3. Meet the requirements of the seller performance standards for an eBay Top-rated seller
  4. Ensure you don’t exceed your limit on the number of buyer protection cases allowed

Now the really interesting part is in the eBay seller performance requirements, below is a screen shot of the table:

ebay-seller-performance-standardsSource: Link

A little background first, DSR’s

Just to bring the newer readers up-to-speed, eBay introduced an interesting (short for nightmare) system for rating sellers beyond just positive, neutral and negative feedback. Its called ‘Detailed Seller Ratings’ or in short DSR’s.

You can find the DSR’s for a seller on their feedback page, an example of the Bench outlet is below:

ebay-detailed-seller-ratings-dsrsNotice the stars to the right, when leaving feedback, you can leave more than just a comment, you can royally screw up the sellers business by leaving them less than 5 star ratings for the order.

I could discuss these all day on these and how the eBay Top Rated Seller status means an extra 20% minimum to the sales line, but for now, they’re pretty little stars and a pretty logo.

Both of which have added another hoop for sellers to jump through and my point of this entire post is that they could easily be abused, bringing us nicely onto the following.

So what exactly equates to 0.5%?

From the table above sellers need to achieve a better than 0.5% rate for their DSR’s. I might be wrong on this, but my maths say that 0.5% of 2000 is 10.

So for a seller with 2000 feedbacks per month, for them to have 10 bad sales rated at 1 star, would this equal 0.5% and endanger the ‘Top Rated Seller’ status?

Lets spell this out in Matt-Proof English:

If you sell a minimum of 2000 items each month on eBay, just 10 customers can make or break the Top Rated Seller Status.

Its even worse for smaller sellers, when you factor in the pretty standard ratios of troublesome (short for ‘idiot’) customers such as, 1 in 1000 utter lunatic buyer, the 1 in 500 nut-case buyer and the 1 in 250 lost item, how anyone achieves this and holds onto it is unbeknown to me.

Its edging on the unethical side, if I was to suggest ringing ten of your mates and saying, “here, spend £5 per month on eBay, from seller XYZ, I’ll pay for it, but leave 1 stars and a positive comment”, to alter the balance of the playing field in your favour it appears? Now that’s some material of nightmares!

The eBay ‘Top Rated Seller’ status is way open for abuse and extremely fragile, even when considering the customers themselves, the most demanding breed of customer there is on the Internet is an eBay buyer, sellers are in for a hard time.

My hat is lifted off to eBay for creating this fabulous system, it brings the sellers focus into dealing with the utter minority, rather than empowering sellers to deal with more customers to make more sales.

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  1. How to add icing to your competitors Christmas on #eBay: Top Rated Seller Flawed? – http://t.co/caTqlU3n

  2. […] I’m just going to point out they are flawed as indicated in a previous article I wrote How to add icing to your competitors Christmas on eBay: Top Rated Seller Flawed?. Ultimately upping the standards of sellers has to be a good thing for the overall […]

  3. […] days grace and that that 4.7 DSR rating to 4.8 or 4.9. As I pointed out in an earlier article, the eBay Top Rated Seller status can be easily abused and you need every advantage you have to ensure you keep it, as it pretty much guarantees you 20% […]

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