Buyers encouraged to leave worse Detailed Seller Ratings

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I get the impression that Detailed Seller Ratings (DSR’s) aren’t working as well as eBay would like. A new message has appeared when a buyer leaves feedback informing them that sellers can’t see what DSRs they leave.

Detailed Seller Ratings Message
(Click to embiggen)

Now this implies to me that eBay think too many buyers either aren’t leaving DSRs, or that they’re all leaving 5/5 for each rating. In other words they’re trying to encourage buyers to differentiate more between sellers. It appears to invite a more negative perspective rather than encouraging accuracy.

What will this mean for sellers? Well expect your DSR percentages to drop: to me as a buyer this says “Mark the seller down for every tiny detail you weren’t happy about with impunity”.

I know overall that good sellers will still get better ratings than bad sellers, but this does appear to go a bit too far in encouraging buyers with a grievance to put the boot in.

13 Responses

  1. i agree with this train of thought,
    we all know the only reason many buyers leave feedback is because they are brainwashed into thinking they need to, or because they wish to receive a positive in return

    when they grasp they can in effect leave a negative without fear of retaliation the DSR thingy is likely to become unbalanced

  2. then again that may not be a bad thing the effect of a poor star entry can be easily compensated a neg hangs around for life

  3. I felt a bit peed off when I read this. Then I thought about this new Non-Performing Seller policy – and if the big blue box encourages buyers to vent their spleen with ickle stars (which don’t apparently affect anything apart from themselves) rather than negs/neuts which can get your business closed down, I’m actually all for it.

  4. This should be welcomed by good sellers. Anything that differentiates honest sellers from fraudulent types is an excellent change. Good sellers should be less worried about having 99.9% ratings and more about increasing the difference between them and the frauds. We all know there are frauds out there with 97% positive ratings and that is so misleading to new buyers that once they have 1 bad experience, they drop off the ebay system. We need to get frauds way down the feedback scale even if that means given up a little of the good guy reputation.

  5. While of course it should be welcomed by good sellers, (Of which I humbly consider myself one, constantly aspiring towards improvement) It’s unfortunate that it’s been introduced in a period when biblical flooding and industrial action are causing the slowest mail deliveries to the UK in decades….

    If ebay can guarantee me that their shoddily worded & frankly irrelevant “dispatch time” rating will NOT be perceived as a “delivery time” rating by disgruntled buyers, then I’ll relax. However, I doubt they can offer such a guarantee.

    And it doesnt stop there :

    P&P charges (another irrelevance ; Why be allowed rate a seller after the fact on an aspect of the transaction you have readily agreed to upon purchasing?) “Hmmm – I paid for first class delivery, and despite the fact that 4 postmen drowned trying to deliver it to me here on the banks of the Thames, I really should have had it by Tuesday… 2 stars, methinks…

    Etc. etc. etc….Another poorly thought out implementation by the non-traders who make the decisions on ebay.

  6. It’s all very well saying that “this should be welcomed by good sellers”, but even the best sellers can get crazy buyers, and to put crazy buyers in a position where their craziness can get ones business closed down is not a positive move for *any* seller.

  7. Just this morning, I had an email asking


    I responded as politely as possible with :

    “Your dvd, paid for on the evening of Tuesday 24th has been mailed on the morning of Wednesday 25th. Bearing in mind it was sent airmail from outside the UK, I very much doubt that it would be with you within 20 hours of postage. Bearing in mind the current weather & postal strike situations, I would expect an extra day or so on top of the usual delivery time.
    If you check your “bulk” or “spam” folder, you will no doubt find the “payment received” and “item dispatched” emails sent to your registered ebay email address, both of which contain approximate expected delivery times as well as the information supplied above.


    This buyer WILL without a doubt, lower my ratings, encouraged by ebays little blue box of malice.

    Personally I’m of the opinion that people who do not understand “communication” and “dispatch” should not be allowed comment on “communication” and “dispatch”

  8. What is really sad, is that already sellers that offer FREE shipping are getting less than 5.0 on the Shipping & Handling Stars.

    Some buyers just have no clue.

  9. Some buyers may have no clue. Royal Mail may be responsible for shipping delays and problems. Some buyers just have unrealistic expectations. I agree with all that. But that is the same for all sellers. What matters here is relative scores. So of course 98% is really bad if the vast majority of sellers have 99.9%. But if all good sellers are above 90%, then it does not matter if you are 93% or 95%. What matters is that the bad and fraudulent sellers are nowhere near you in their scores.

  10. well, as an ebay seller I am in complete agreement concering the new stars that show up… my feedback says fast shipper, fast shipping ect ect. But the stars tell a different story…. I have learned a long time ago not to worry about the feedbacks… but it is hard when it “seems” none else is there to help me protect the bussiness I try so hard to builb.
    Understand crazy buyers… yes, understand folks who help crazy people act more crazy… nope.

  11. well, as an ebay seller I am in complete agreement concering the new stars that show up… my feedback says fast shipper, fast shipping ect ect. But the stars tell a different story…. I have learned a long time ago not to worry about the feedbacks… but it is hard when it “seems” none else is there to help me protect the bussiness I try so hard to builb.
    Understand crazy buyers… yes, understand folks who help crazy people act more crazy… nope.

  12. One of the problems not yet discussed is “sheep mentality”.

    If a seller has a perfect 5.0, then the vast majority of buyers are loathe to spoil it. The same has been seen and discussed in eBay forums regarding the main feedback score too.

    However, if the same buyers see a seller has for example 4.7, then they are more likely to award a 4.5 than a 5.0 – this contributes to a time related drag down of the DSR rating a seller has displayed – not because they are bad or performing worse, but purely because of human nature.

    Another factor the DSRs do not address is “horses for courses”. Many buyers do not take distance into account (as mentioned by Mark above).

    Now if eBay were to also show a panel saying something like –

    You are in the UK, Your Seller is in Thailand
    The average on-eBay period between date of payment and date of buyer leaving feedback is 21 days for UK buyers receiving goods from Thailand – we regard this as indicating the average delivery time.
    It is now 15 days since you made payment, this is faster than the average.

    Then I would have unreserved support for the DSRs.

    As it stands now,
    I am supportinve of the product description and communication ratings
    I am totally opposed to the rating for postage – caveat emptor is not just a legal fallback, it should be a life guide to all.
    I support the despatch time rating – IF eBay would explain it means the time between payment and despatch, not the time between bid and delivery, which is how too many buyers interpret it.

    The despatch time star should be a system automated function anyway. The core engine of eBay should be monitoring average time between payment and postage dates for each category, and applying a system rating for this – then everyone is playing on a level field, and not at the mercy, whim, and interpretation of a wide range of buyer comprehension of what it means. And lets be honest, buyers react differently to this one rating, depending on which category they are buying from, ditto with postage costs.


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