Cheap listing with feedback DSR criteria

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eBay are ramping up the importance of DSRs by using them as a qualification for listing promotions. has just launched a week long or less only for sellers with all DSRs score at 4.5 or above.

Many sellers will ignore this particular promotion in favour of listing with more realistic start prices, or using immediate purchase (BIN or SIF) formats in rather than auctions. The big question is will we see future listing promotions based on DSR scores and if so will the DSR qualification creep upwards excluding more sellers from future listing promotions?

51 Responses

  1. It is also valid for new sellers with no DSR’s so could be a good way to get those pesky stars built up without using ebooks!

  2. hi chris,

    thanks again, for the up to date fresh reporting.

    though not the most attractive promo’ for many sellers, i guess this serves a greater purpose in reminding all sellers of dsr/fb growing importance (having influence over financial benefits etc).

    dsr and fb are more and more interwoven, with seller related finances, from ‘carrot and stick’ promos to end of the month ebay invoice discounts.

    with every new ‘value added bonus scheme’, the call for the whole fbf/dsr system to be overhauled and watertight grows louder.

    roll on the day when a clear transparent, well conceived fb/dsr charter is published, covering all aspects of the process (inc’ appeals).

    is this really happening?

    are the non-powerseller seller status ”corner shops & market stall traders” being driven out?

    if, so, take heed of what happened in the high street -empty premises amongst charity shops ……..

    the ”really big sellers” monopolising prices et al……

    an important part of ebay charm, has been the massive mix – ” all creatures great and small ”……..

    – is it time for an ebay ”save the doormouse” campaign?

    best regards,


  3. I am a fairly small company – I have been working on eBay for quite a time, I don’t consider myself a big guy, I am just a middle of the road dealer. eBay is still a good profitable resource for me, and my pricing has always been set so that I can make a living before all the nice little carrots come along. I keep my customer service good, and so I now qualify for all the “extras” on offer. But if they weren’t there, and all was as it has been for the last five years, I would still be making a living.

    IMHO any corner shop/market stall trader who does not keep their DSR’s up to acceptable levels should not be welcomed on eBay in any form. I don’t want to buy from a Del Boy on the high street, and I don’t want to buy from one on eBay either…

  4. My DSRs are good but I’m having real problems over the last few months reaching 100 sales a month – I may or may not manage it this month. So I’m missing out on all the stuff offered to Powersellers. I used to have very little problem reaching the 100 items mark each month even in a “lean” month like Feb. But things have changed so much in the last year or so and it doesn’t all advantage the small seller.

  5. I am sure people may think I am being unfair, but if you don’t have 100 sales in a month, then you are not a Powerseller and can’t expect the volume discounts offered to people who are…

    Which doesn’t mean that you can’t make good profits on what you are selling, but if your volumes are not high, then you can’t expect to be considered a volume seller.

  6. Does everyone else have a lower DSR for Postage costs than the other three categories?

  7. lynne says it all really

    though my take on it is

    these dsr discounts etc are win win for us hopefully it makes ebay a better place to buy
    though if fees doubled or even trebled and we never got a discount ebay is still a great big pot of gold for us

  8. Come off it whirly, 😯 you know you qualify on price grounds… volume doesn’t have to mean numbers .. it can mean turnover as well. But one of the two does help…

    Chris, yes, my postage DSR is the lowest of the four.

  9. Last 30 days are all the same rating, starting to offer free postage on most items now so would expect if not demand its at 5, how can it be less?

  10. Chris O’D Says:

    March 25th, 2008 at 12:39 pm
    Does everyone else have a lower DSR for Postage costs than the other three categories?

    Yes, over all my selling id’s.

  11. hi,

    ” am sure people may think I am being unfair ”

    confirmed 😉

    all small sellers shouldn’t be tarred with a ‘del boy’ brush off.

    actually, with smaller margins, great early day ambitions, own best interests motivation and all that good stuff, the small seller often provides better value for money and service, than the big guy, who can afford a margin for error in his pricing and suffer employees who don’t care as much as the one man band.

    and when the corner shops and market stalls have gone, the ” fairly small company” may well be next to feel the pinch.

    ”save the doormouse” – they have wee paws – it’s pigs that have ”trotters” 🙂


  12. “starting to offer free postage on most items now”

    Yes I have decided to do that too especially with lighter items

  13. Hi JT

    I’m not tarring all small sellers as Del boys – as you can see above, I classify myself as a small seller too…

    it’s just the ones who have such grotty customer service that their DSR’s fall below eBay acceptable criteria… and I am sure that neither Kate nor I fall into that group! 😛

  14. it’s just the ones who have such grotty customer service that their DSR’s fall below eBay acceptable criteria… and I am sure that neither Kate nor I fall into that group!

    nor Whirly (before he gets the hump..) nor North, nor JT nor…(insert your name here….)

  15. The problem is though 4 is classed as good when a buyer leaves his score, but eBay think its cr*p…..wheres the logic in that?

  16. I agree with you there… but in actual practice, I don’t think people ARE leaving 4s, or all our DSRs would be much lower.

    So at least the majority must be leaving 5s surely?

  17. The problem is divesting yourself of the idea that a particular descriptor eBay gives to a star actually matters.

    What matters is the comparison between how the average buyer has rated you (as per your DSR scores) compared with how the average buyer has rated the average seller.

    Basically you want to be rated above average compared to other sellers and it doesn’t matter in the slightest what that rating is called whether it be fair, good, or excellant. All that matters is that you’re rated higher than your competitors and you’re in a winning position.

  18. no chance of me offering free postage

    loose £1000 a month in postage to save a few carrots on DSRS is barmy

  19. I agree Chris, I am lucky most of my competitors sell Chinese imports which they pre sell before they have even left the port, so I am always very well featured even though my DSR from last year is not very good (my problem, I caused it).

  20. hi chris and sue……..

    doesn’t it merit concern that discounts et al, can rest on carrier prices beyond the sellers control!

    it might not help anyones dsr ratings, when ebay are promoting ‘cheapest’ and ‘free’ to buyers……. (doesn’t that smack of a ‘del boy’ mentality) – air is free, postage – hmmnnnnnn!

    genuine more expensive postage very often provides better ‘buyer expierience’.

    – and paypal seller protection.

    cheapest and free postage search incentives, could lead one down the garden path to low dsr’s?


  21. I suppose the sellers with poor feedback and selling low cost goods on .com will be opening up new id’s to take advantage. It means a few more ‘new members’ on the site.

  22. “doesn’t it merit concern that discounts et al, can rest on carrier prices beyond the sellers control!”

    That’s not quite the situation, what actually happens is that all sellers are ranked according to buyers perception of what a fair carriage cost is. Those sellers who buyers perceive to offer the best carriage prices get the best DSRs and those with the best DSRs get discounts.

    What it should do is a slight bias in favour of larger sellers who through shipping large quantities can negotiate better discounts but I’ve not seen any evidence to suggest that that’s happening.

  23. hi chris,

    when a buyer rates the sellers postage dsr, in reality on prices charged by the carrier (most likely royal mail in the uk) the seller might be penalised for going rates dictated to them, no?

    with ebay heavily highlighting cheapest postage and free postage options, i suggest this doesn’t help the buyer in making the best choice, indeed it might be folly.

    as said before, cheapest often isn’t best buy/choice.

    to be constructive, i suggest ebay might help buyers more, to be aware of these choices, developing tools and informative communications, that help the buyer to have a positive expierience.

    ”in favour of larger sellers” – good point chris.

    yet again – more for the oaks, acorns left neglected – long term sustainable management of the ‘forest’ venue this is not. 😥


  24. “That’s not quite the situation, what actually happens is that all sellers are ranked according to buyers perception of what a fair carriage cost is.”
    Buyers know diddly-squat about carriage and associated costs so their “perception” is inaccurate and based on only the actual stamp cost in year 2000.

  25. Just going back to the 100 items issue.

    The requirement for bronze PS is 100 items/ month or £750 value.

    I sell on value and make the requirements, but because I don’t sell in volume I will quite likely not get 10 DSR in a month so lose out on any benefits.

    In reply to Josordoni ‘I am sure people may think I am being unfair, but if you don’t have 100 sales in a month, then you are not a Powerseller’

    I am a powerseller under the rules but excluded from the benefits because of that thinking. You are being unfair, and so is eBay in my opinion.

  26. Hey Louise… the good news is that everyone selling on eBay gets the same average buyer with the same average perception.

    Justin, you’re right cheapest is definately not best and I’m sure if I cut my postage costs to basic services that my P&P star would go up and my despatch star would suffer. Communication here is key and if you’re going to charge for a premium service you need to deliver fast. Having said that though I think there’s a difference between the £1-£2-£3 services compared to someone who charges £5-£10 for a comparable item and that’s when the P&P star really starts to get hit

  27. I think all this is wonderful
    its perked my interest in ebay up no end

    I used to get all worked up about feedback
    now I watch my postage dsr yo-yo from 4.7 to 4.8 and back again most days
    wish I could get advert space on this new DSR console
    it will be the most watched thing Since Kylies Bottom

  28. hi northumbrian,

    ”it will be the most watched thing Since …”

    with whopping great double discounts (thank you ebay) riding on them in march, the console might have viewing figures like the national lottery on the box – pity they aren’t run to the same high standards with customer accountability 😉


  29. Should be very interesting when the postage prices go up next month – I wonder how many sellers will freeze their postage prices to get better DSRs and how many will up their prices and suffer lower DSR scores as a result?

  30. I’d love to see the DSR post & packing section renamed Postage and Packaging Value for Money, rather than just cost….with the question, did you think that the P&P you paid was good value for money?

    I reckon that would give a completely different (and more accurate and so more valuable to another buyer) result.

  31. Only way I got mine up was to give Free P&P – but I was at 4.6
    Called today and asked on the 30 days dashboard and am 4.9

    How? I charge international at cost, and free to the UK first class recorded or Special – at no extra charge

    Maybe I should charge a £1 on all invoice, and then deduct it at checkout as a “saving,,,”
    Suz x

  32. hi jos,

    ”value for money” – like it 🙂

    ’till then…..

    where do we go to get the free postage service?

    it’ll be fantastic, to pass the savings on to the buyers, up our visibility in search results and have dsr ratings rise!

    what’s that?

    ”doesn’t exist”!

    oh ok, then we’ll build pnp into the purchase prices instead…..

    and then what?

    ebay charge a fvf % on them.

    more bucks for them in the short term.

    long term…….

    higher prices, sales drop and powerseller status crashes to the ground

    ”funny old world” said the acorn to the last of the oaks, in a desert formerly known as forest.

    hmmmnnnnn 😉


  33. In my opinion most buyers won’t even pay that much attention when leaving stars. If I buy somthing am happy with the purchase and get it within a reasonable time frame I will leave all five stars (if I can be bothered). I really cant be bothered with analizing a seller’s performance in great detail. If I’m unhappy It’s possible that the stars I give will drop (again if I can be bothered). If I feel I have been cheated/misled It might be 1 star accross the board. I think that the P&P star is a little bit lower for many sellers is partly because it is the last on the list, partly because some people feel the need not to give 100% accross the board & partly because people are always happier paying for a product rather than a service. Yes there some people who can be picky/strange and will give deep thought to the stars they leave but in my opinion that is the tiny minority.

  34. Re. Lynne’s point Or how many will put up their prices, and see no difference in their DSR’s?
    I have a couple of IDs which sell similar goods, one charges twice as much P&P as the other, and they are both 4.8 for P&P. I see people who offer free P&P also on 4.8. I think the important thing is not absolute cheapness, but transparency: stating your P&P fees clearly upfront, and above all, being reasonable about combining shipping.

  35. Sue, I think the P&P DSRs take a hit when the buyer gets their item and see £2.50 postage and they were charge £4.50

    As long as the postage amount on the package is the same as in the ad most people are fine.

  36. Randy: That’s where the public fail to grasp the “true cost” of posting. The “price on the package” is only one tiny part of the issue. Suitable packaging, packing slip, labels, printer ink, time to pick and pack all cost money. Even if all sellers got free stamps and envelopes from Royal Mail, the item doesn’t jump into the envelope under it’s own steam. It doesn’t find it’s way into the relevant sack or catch the bus to the Post Office/sorting office either. Whichever way you slice it, getting an item to a customer is more than the face value of a stamp.
    It’s true what Chris said earlier that we are all in the same boat concerning p&p charges v buyer perception. But I think ebay may use buyer’s knowlege gap to ensure more sellers stick more £ on selling prices and so get more from us in the way of FVF’s. Crafty.

  37. Louise, you are absolutely correct. It is much more than just the postage but unfortunately the buyers perception is the only thing that counts, because they are the one rating the purchase.

    We got around it by not showing in postage amount.

  38. PPI is a good way of hiding the cost of postage and of course offers lower postage prices to sellers

  39. Randy: it would be interesting to do some experiments to find the level at which “more than stamp price” becomes unacceptable to eBay buyers. I’m sure that the majority of them don’t expect to pay *exactly* the stamp price; but (as for your example) £2 for packaging and handling seems a little steep to me.

    I often see people recommending not showing the postage price on packages: that goes counter-intuitively to me. I recently bought a thing from eBay where I was convinced that the seller’s £6 postage price was WAY inflated, but thought I’d wait and see what was on the package. Yes, it was a sticker without a price. There was nothing on their package to justify the £6, so I was left with my lingering feeling that I’ve been ripped off by them. Won’t be shopping there again.

  40. I tinkered with the postage prices on an account which sells small items & have come away charging more than before – and more than the average postage price for the same item – with my DSR’s unaffected.

    I think the reason is partly transparency, partly delivering in all other areas. If, say, an items’ condition is not up to a buyers’ expectations, they will do their upmost to pick holes in other areas.

  41. “I am sure people may think I am being unfair, but if you don’t have 100 sales in a month, then you are not a Powerseller and can’t expect the volume discounts offered to people who are…”

    Actually I wasn’t really whingeing about not getting the volume discounts, what I was really getting at is that just at the point that ebay have made it more difficult for me to sell stuff (reduced visibility mainly), they also bring out more incentives which are only available to Powersellers. It really isn’t that level playing field any more. Smaller sellers like me are now finding it harder and harder to compete with the big boys. And yet I think I’m a good reliable seller, I do everything I can to help the buyers and I have good DSR stars. Is there a future for smaller sellers like me here? I don’t know.

  42. Hi Kate, there’s always going to be room for small sellers regardless of what some may say. One thing in your (and my) favour as a smaller seller is the ability to adapt and change much faster than larger companies. As soon as a company invests in premises, staff, large stock inventories etc they’re less nimble and less able to react to change and that’s where we small guys can win 🙂


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