Top UK sellers may gain "Approved Seller" status

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Following the news from the US that eBay are surveying sellers regarding a possible “Certified Seller” accreditation they are now exploring a new “eBay Approved Seller” in the UK (PS log in required).

Interestingly the survey also asks what service level you’d expect to receive from sellers that are not “Approved Sellers” – I guess eBay don’t want the unapproved to be unable to sell anything as that would be a disaster. The survey also reveals the three criteria which need to be met to keep approved status:
* Maintain a sales level of 100 items per year; AND
* Maintain an average of 4.6 or better (1 to 5 scale) on each Detailed Seller Rating (DSR): Item Description, Communications, Shipping Time and Shipping Charge; AND
* At least 99% of buyer ratings on each Detailed Seller Rating are 3 or higher (1 to 5 scale)

If that’s all that’s needed to become an approved seller it’s pretty inclusive and most sellers should have no difficulty attaining approved status. Maintaining an average of 4.6 or above on all four DSRs is already a basic requirement to qualify for seller final value fee discounts and sellers regularly attracting 1 or 2 DSR star scores are likely to face Seller Non-Performance restrictions.

If in reality pretty much every PowerSeller is an Approved Seller it’s not going to be much of a differentiator. Hopefully it will have more value in the eyes of buyers than the PowerSeller badge and represent the real “pillars of our community”, but in order to do so the entry requirements need to separate the superb from the mere average.

22 Responses

  1. When will eBay ever get it right ! It was way back in Nov 2000 I attained PowerSeller status, it was the USA program, with a MUCH higher entry level requirement – PS status actually meant something!

    Over the years the entry level has been gradually decreased, almost any active/busy seller can (and does) become a PowerSeller, now it seems almost any active/busy seller can become an ‘Approved Seller’.

    Not trying to be elitist, but come on eBay, sort yerselves out, and to quote Chris :

    “entry requirements need to separate the superb from the mere average”

  2. Bronze powersellers need to be at the VAT limit – around £5-6k a month turnover.,..silver – 15k; Gold – 25k, Plat – £50k; Titan – £100k+ per month.

    There need to be significant selling priviledges associated with powersellers….the DSR linked discounts is a good start, but ebay need to go further

  3. I think ebay should set this level for approved….and have the Amazon blue (buy) box system:

    DSR – 4.8+ for each level
    99.5%+ feedback
    sales of 100+ items a month
    min sales of £5000 a month

  4. I was originally going to state that I disagree with your assertion that most powersellers would meet the requirements for 99% DSRs at or about 3 but after a random sampling of some DSR reports I think you might be right. Granted my data is very limited and I can’t provide any real numbers.

  5. I don’t think anything should be based on DSR scores. Not until eBay educate buyers that 4 out of 5 is bad, not good.

  6. Buyers want reassurance in the honesty and integrity of sellers. Feedback and now possible a Approved Seller status is solely to give buyers that reassurance and encourage sales. It is effectively a product review on you – the seller.

    This is where it goes horribly wrong. You can not compare a media seller with hundreds of sales every month against a furniture seller who sells 5 or 6 items a month. (Chalk and Cheese).

    The low volume higher priced seller will have a different attitude to customer questions and will have a completely different dispatch system.
    There is one statistic which really interests me, and should feature in ebays policy making.

    What percentage of buyers ‘RETURN’ and make further purchases. We have between 7 to 10% returning customers, which in my book is the best evidence of a happy customer. Many of these customers having left feedback at the first transaction don’t bother to leave additional feedback for subsequent purchases. I’m just happy to see them returning, so I’m not going to chase feedback

    Buyers who have a good experience are more likely to ‘Return to ebay’ and make additional purchases from different sellers.

    This is where ebay need to focus attention – buyer activity.

    Returning customers and customers who recommend sellers to friends and family is where ebay should be concentrating.

    How – Give every buyer a top 10 sellers list.
    Potential buyers could then look at the total sales by a seller and how many buyers placed that seller in their top 10 list.

    Just an idea!

  7. #6 Glenn, you say ‘Give every buyer a top 10 sellers list’, but what if you don’t appear in that list? You won’t sell anything.

  8. I aggree with Sue (buyers just want to shop). I think eBay’s biggest problem is it’s full of dross & dodgy sellers.

    Imagine if eBay asked to hold a bond for approved sellers.

    PS why is it that every time you speak to eBay/PapPal you get asked to complete a survey? It get’s right on mu tits.

  9. #9 And the survey is normally very weighted towards only saying good things about eBay, if you dare moan the next screen says,,

    “Survey complete, thank you for your time”


  10. With the Paypal protection scheme, which has finally become something it always should have been and is heavily weighted in favour of buyers anyway, ebay is sitting on a big hand there and should be shouting it from the rooftops. Apart from maybe return postage costs it’s a safe as it’s likely to ever get for buyers now. As a seller I have had a big increase in the number of buyers returning goods damaged and expecting a full refund. When I’ve refused I get hit with the inevitable Paypal claim and the buyer wins every time. It’s so safe to buy on ebay now if you pay through Paypal, or even by card, who really cares what the seller’s reputation is?

  11. @ # 11

    What eBay doesn’t tell you is the feedback isn’t there for your buyers. It is for eBay/PayPal to determine your riskiness. If you are too risky (too low feedback) then eBay gives you the boot because you are likely to cost them money.

  12. #11 I agree with this 100%. Claiming your payment back is so easy that there really isn’t any risk involved in buying on eBay anymore.

  13. I just this same survey but for the USA Certified program. The requirements for USA (certified) and UK (approved) are the same.

  14. The latest UK survey is interesting, certified and approved has gone and it’s now eBay Buyers Top Rated Seller.

    Still the same entry requirements which will mean it’s just a worthless logo with no guarantee of any decent service.

  15. This gets more idiotic by the minute. eBay buyers already have to fill out two lots of feedback – are we going to start hassling them to make us “top rated sellers” as well now?

  16. I dont know about you folks, but in all the years I’ve been selling on ebay, my biggest and most loyal customer base are the casual sellers many of whom dont sell at least 100 items years. I’m sure they would be rather upset that they wouldnt be labeled an “approved seller” or “top RATED seller” if their customer ratings met the customer satisfaction criteria, and the only reason they were exempt was due to not meeting the 100 item yearly sales level.

    I HAD two stores on ebay. Although I’ve all but moved off the seller platform in favor of other sales channels, and now just utilize ebay as a means to sell off excess inventory….. my customer base at ebay is almost 23,000 of which roughly half of my customers do sell on average 50-100 items each year, and most of them do maintain high customer satisfaction ratings when they do sell.

    The way I see it, many of the most loyal shoppers on the site are, and always have been the casual sellers, and Ebay and all the businesses on ebay simply can’t afford to keep driving off more potential shoppers. I see these seller labels as just another slap in the face of small time sellers (most of whom typically buy far more than they sell), but have been leaving ebay at an alarming rating tired of feeling mistreated and disadvantaged as a seller in so many ways.

    Ebay claims there are 25 million sellers on ebay, yet I suspect at least 15 million of those sellers would not meet the sale number criteria. That’s alot of ebayers that may be offended by getting the “perceived” label of being a seller that ebay wouldn’t recommend merely due to not meeting the 100 item per year threshold.

    Expect further deterioration in buyer traffic if ebay ever does implement these labels, as more small volume seller stop using ebay completely.

  17. I’m a high volume seller with nearly 25,000 feedbacks. I’ve got 1,000 feedbacks in the past month. There’s no way I can maintain 99% 3’s, 4’s, and 5’s on all the DSR’s

    I looked at my dashboard and I’ve got 98% on all 4 but nowhere close to 99% and I’ve got raised search standing.

    I offer free shipping and 4 people have left me 1’s or 2’s on my S&H charges.

    The bar just keeps getting higher and higher. I have a 99.7% positive feedback with raised search standing and a “good” buyer satisfaction rating but I wouldn’t qualify because 2% of my buyers have given me 1’s or 2’s in 3 of the categories. Ridiculous.

  18. #9 Minimum 4.7 on all four DSRs plus good Buyer Satisfaction (BS is measured on not having 1 or 2 star DSRs, no Negs or Neuts and no Buyer Protection claims)

  19. Bottom line is that if you sell 100 items a month, it would only take 2 1 or 2 DSR ratings in one category to knock you out of the program which I think is pretty stringent.

    Somebody on the powerseller board was talking about how a 98% is a horrible rating on eBay. 98% is a horrible rating on eBay with positives vs negatives. I would say it’s a pretty damn good rating if you start adding in neutrals and 1’s and 2’s.



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