How to improve your feedback P&P DSR

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This evening ChannelAdvisor hosted a seminar aimed at understanding the recent changes announced by eBay. Scot Wingo, ChannelAdvisor’s CEO, opened saying “We’re not going to talk about if the changes are right but, assuming you’re going to roll with them, how can you make them work best for you”. This is something many sellers are still coming to terms with and Scot is right – sellers who succeed in the new eBay world will be those that embrace the changes and work to excel within them.

To introduce the topic Scot looked at eBay’s motivation behind the changes, gross merchandise volume has slowed, active users are not growing, fixed price listings are growing (40% of sales are now fixed price) and what are the most important issues for eBay’s top buyers.

When asked what the number one thing top buyers wanted eBay to focus on they were

  1. Shipping
  2. Feedback – buyers receiving retaliatory negatives
  3. Ease of use
  4. Trust and Safety
  5. Conflict resolution

If you look at the fee and feedback changes that eBay have made they directly address the number one and number two buyer concern.

It’s not all a stick though, there is a carrot for top sellers. Currently in the UK it is simply seller discounts for those who meet volume and service requirements. In the US however Best Match will be advantaging sellers whose customers believe give the best service as reflected in their DSRs.

Best Match will be driven by three factors – Seller Feedback/DSRs, Relevance/Historic buyer behaviour, Time/Price. Relevance will be driven with the item title, description, item specifics – the parts of listings that is fairly straightforward to control. Possibly the best part of the presentation was the revelation of an eBay tool for tuning eBay titles.

Optimize Your eBay Listing Title’s BayEstimate

The tool will analyse each word in your title and give it a relevancy rating, along with suggested replacement words. Even more importantly it will give suggested keywords with desirability ratings which can improve your titles relevance. Every seller should be using this tool when creating titles for eBay listings as it’s directly tied to seaches on

The remaining two Best Match variables are the listing factors such as time ending, price, distance and the country listed on and the feedback variable. In order to come top in Best Match you need to be top in all three variable and indications are that feedback will be more heavily weighted than the other two.

Having checked the DSRs for the top 4000 sellers by GMV ChannelAdvisor found the average DSRs were:
Item as described 4.724, Communication 4.674, Despatch Time 4.018, Postage and packaging charges 3.907
The P&P DSR is hardest to achieve high scores on and so the DSR most sellers should focus on improving.

10 Best practises to increase your P&P DSR

  1. Specify reasonable flat rate shipping at lowest possible rate
  2. Have links to shipping, contact etc above the fold in your auction descriptions
  3. Shipping options should be clearly spelt out
  4. Specify International shipping and set expectations early
  5. Have a return policy
  6. Provide and communicate combined shipping discounts
  7. Keep shipping simple as possible – don’t give global terms in every listing, just those that apply to that item
  8. Consider Shipping domestic only, open another ID for international – protect your main eBay account from low P&P DSRs for expensive internation shipping to protect you seller discounts
  9. Amp up customer service – have links to email or call for any questions and communicate your opening times
  10. Consider free shipping, but not the most expensive for free. Expedited shipping costs extra.


  11. Communicate!! Suggest in communications that you’re aiming for five stars and ask for it! eg in despatch emails!!!

Finally there were some tips on leaving feedback. Leave feedback on despatch, there’s no longer any point leaving it on receipt of feedback. Use feedback as further communication with buyers with variants of:

“Thank you for your purchase, please contact us with any problems”
“Thank you – we have sent your tracking number and your package is on its way”
“Thank you – we strive for 5 stars in detailed seller ratings – let us know if we did not live up to that”

If you let buyers know you want to meet or exceed their expectations and ask for contact if you don’t you’re more likely to receive five stars across the board.

Overall this was a great seminar and definately was worth the time attending. The tips for increasing your P&P DSR are definately worthwhile and the title relevancy checker invaluable.

10 Responses

  1. Was well worth attending in the virtual sense ๐Ÿ™‚

    One thing is clear. If you are not fully prepared for the changes you may suffer but with a little planning you can reap the benefits.

    As I am stuck on 4.6 DSR for P&P I will be making changes to ensure we don’t slip lower and hopefully improve this particular score.

    Proactive feedback is something I already had in mind and will be changing to feedback left on receipt of payment (rather than after positive received) with “contact us if you have a problem” type message.

    A few good links there to. The eBay labs item title tool is very cool.

    Nice to hear a Brit voice as well Chris ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. I’m not convinced about the ‘feedback on receipt of payment’ yet. When I first heard about the feedback changes I almost left blanket feedback for all my buyers (at present I have feedback set to ‘receipt of feedback’) but after thinking about it I changed my mind. Although scammers are few and far between, I don’t want to leave any endorsement on a prospective scammers account.
    I also don’t want to endorse a buyer who might go on to leave a nonsensical neg or be unacceptably troublesome.

    It would seem to me that the time to leave positive feedback is when you are sure that your customer has received his purchase, that all was in order, and that your customer is happy.

    My feedback is okay at the moment as are my DSR’s – I’m confident that they will remain okay (famous last words).

  3. Hi Jimbo, I’m much of the opinion that your quality customers will appreciate you leaving feedback first many many times more than is balanced by not leaving feedback first for the old troublesome customer. It’s a sign to your buyer that you’re a good guy and wanting to do the best for them. The odd bad buyer will soon find it impossible to remain on the site if other sellers also have a bad experience with them as the UPI disputes will stack up and if they’re suspended the feedback will be removed anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. A very good point Chris. It’s time for ebay to prove they can and will get serious about removing undesirable buyers. For this to work effectively all sellers have to be aware of, and how to use the dispute consoles. I hope ebay will provide some kind of tutorial or signposting to inform sellers of this important tool which will, if used correctly, provide them with the protection they feel they have lost in the negative feedback blow.

  5. Chris, maybe your right but if a customer looks at my feedback as it is now I would imagine that they can be pretty sure that I’m a good guy. I honestly don’t think that when I leave feedback is an issue with my quality customers.

    As a buyer I am not bothered when the seller or even if the seller leaves feedback. All that matters to me is that I get what I have bought, as described and within a reasonable time frame.

    The idea of using feedback as a further communication tool, in my opinion, is also a bad idea. When I have seen this I have thought that it doesn’t look quite right. It also may encourage buyers to communicate with you in the wrong location (your feedback profile) + there are already perfectly suited tools for communicating with your customers and potential customers.

  6. As Jimbo says, “It also may encourage buyers to communicate with you in the wrong location (your feedback profile)”, however, buyers who do that are more inclined to leave negs/neuts than discuss issues anyway so makes little difference in the long run. Sometimes buyers like this shoot themselves in the foot as the many surrounding feedbacks left state the complete opposite and are not indicative of “normal service”


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