PowerSeller & Top Seller requirements and fees

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eBay are switching from focusing on high quantity business sellers to high quality business sellers. The PowerSeller program has always focused on volume with minimum criteria but in the future even relatively low volume sellers will be able to qualify as Top Sellers with the highest level of discounts.

Sellers including PowerSellers with low DSRS (Item description 1 & 2 stars above 3% of total and communication, dispatch time, and P&P charges above 4%) will be demoted to the bottom of search results whilst those with the lowest incidence of low DSRs ( 1 & 2 stars) will be boosted to the top. eBay are changing their focus from trying to get the best sellers to improve, to actively disadvantaging the sellers who consistently give poor performance.

The new standards depend on the rate of low DSRs (1 & 2 stars) as well as average DSRs. The rate of DSRs will calculated as:

Total number of all transactions with a 1 or 2 DSR
All transactions

The evaluation period will be 3 calendar months for high volume sellers (400+ transactions in three months) and 12 calendar months for all other sellers. The evaluation for seller status will be on the 20th of each month.

There will be a new Top Seller dashboard live on the 29th July for you to check your current status. Although currently not available on eBay UK the Top Seller dashboard can be accessed on the eBay.com site.

New Seller Standards

Top Sellers will need to have minimum DSRs of 4.6, with less than 2 or no more than 0.5% low (1 or 2 star) DSRs. They’ll need to do at least 100 transactions per year and be a PowerSeller. The reward is the highest discount levels and promotion in search results with the Top Seller icon.

Above standard Power Sellers will need to to have minimum DSRs of 4.6, with either less than 3 or no more than 2.0% low DSRs. PowerSellers will need to do at least 100 transactions per year to qualify for the new discount structure.

Standard PowerSellers sellers will have no minimum DSR standard but will need to have less than 4 or no more than 4.0% low DSRs.

Current PowerSeller Discounts

The main criteria is volume based with either a minimum turnover from £750.00/month or minimum 100 items a month. Discounts are currently:

 PS Level   Discount 
Bronze 20%
Silver 25%
Platinum 35%
Titanium 40%


New PowerSeller & Top Seller Discounts

The main criteria will be quality based as measured by avoiding low DSR scores. Sellers who do not meed the quality threshold for Above Standard or Top Seller status will no longer qualify for FVF discounts. The discount levels (and difference from the old levels) will be:

10% (-20%)
 PS Level   Above Standard Discount   Top Seller Discount 
Bronze 5% (-15%) 20% (=)
Silver 5% (-20%) 20% (-5%)
Gold 25% (-5%)
Platinum 10% (-25%) 25% (-10%)
Titanium 15% (-25%) 30% (-10%)


Hidden Savings

Although the new fee structure appears to give smaller discounts in reality many sellers will be saving large sums on listing fees. Bold, Border, Highlight and Featured Plus are being discontinued and the Featured Item section will no longer appear in Best Match sorts. Many sellers have been forced into using these features to gain visibility as Top Sellers will now be promoted in search results. The Top Seller icon will also be displayed alongside their listings in search results and will stand out more once other listing enhancements are removed.


The net results of the changes could benefit lower volume sellers. Low volume sellers generally can give a more personal service which should result in better feedback and DSR scores. They’ll also be able to compete more easily against high volume sellers who previously could afford more features on listings.

It will also be easier to displace an incumbent seller from the top of Best Match. Previously with Recent Sales once someone gained the position at the top of search results it was almost impossible to dislodge them with a new listing. With Item Quality (Transactions/Search Impressions) a better priced or more attractive listing should attract more sales compared to views and will quickly rise to the top.

All sellers should save upfront money on listing fees and all Top Sellers (low and high volume) should benefit from increased sell through rates driven by greater visibility as a reward for offering great service.

23 Responses

  1. Very tight criteria. I reckon 99.999999% of sellers will be on standard discounts, especially in the clothing category. In principle its a good move…time will tell.

  2. This is rediculous. The first paragraph on ebay annoucnements states “You’ll be aware of the continuing changes and improvements at eBay to ensure that your business can grow and be profitable:

    Introduced enhancements and functionality to help sell in volume
    Reduced the level of up-front costs.
    Given the greatest rewards to sellers that deliver the best service”

    This will the new discount scheme from January 2010
    Top-rated PowerSeller Above Standard PowerSeller
    Bronze 20% 5%
    Silver 20% 5%
    Gold 25% 10%
    Platinum 25% 10%
    Titanium 30% 15%

    As a platinum PS how will cutting my discount from 35% to 25% “ensure that your business can grow and be profitable”

  3. I love the way they say “take advantage of the NEW REWARDS they qualify for as soon as possible”

    Which, by the way, are less rewarding than the current incentives which they will be removing 😡

  4. Hands up anyone that counted on the FVF discounts in their business model?

    no one was nieve enough to think they would last forever

    were they?

    they are “discounts” “bonuses” incentives” “rewards” none of these words imply any permanancy.

    On the whole thses changes mean very little to me, i will hide away in my little niche and hope ebay keep ignoring me…lol.

  5. I don’t count them in my business forecasts or pricing. However I did always expect to acheive the requiremements. It was a bonus but when I pay £1200 per month and get a monthly £420 bonus back it definately motivates you. Now i’ll be getting a £300/month bonus. At the end of the day we all have mouths to feed, and in physical cash it is still £4/day which I won’t have, no matter which way you look at it.

  6. we will probably have to offer ‘free’ (read: included) postage on most listings in order to get our 1s and 2s in P+P DSRs down (currently running at 4.73). might actually work out that we’re better off that way too, as customers won’t get postage discounts when buying multiple items.

    *shrugs* can’t change ebay’s mind, so we may as well make the best of it.

  7. #6 offering free p&p doesn’t gaurantee you won’t get 1’s and 2’s does it? or have I missed something.

  8. #7 You are correct – definitely doesn’t guarantee it (which I take issue with) – in fact, I think it will make very little difference – if a buyer wants to give 1 out of 5 because they feel poorly served, they will regardless of the logic behind doing so. An angry buyer isn’t going to give a monkies that it affects my standing on eBay.

    I am, however, very happy to see international sales will be excluded – this will remove a proportion of our 1 and 2 stars, which is a bonus.

  9. What’s the benefit of being a platinum powerseller compared to a Gold Powerseller? (When the new changes have taken effect)

  10. The same as the difference between a Bronze and Silver PowerSeller – You’ll see a different colour when you log into the PowerSeller portal to make you feel good about yourself 😉

  11. Chris, lol. Iove it.

    So basically they should remove at least 2 levels from the powerseller tiers as there is absolutely no difference between bronze &silver, aswell as gold & platinum.

    They must think us sellers are real cheeseballs.

    ebay motto: “Let’s make customer service levels even harder to acheive, and when any seller acheives it, as a big thank you we’ll reward them with upto a 29% reduction in FVF’s compared to their previous discounts scheme. The iceing on the cake will be to promote their powerseller status which will mean diddly squat.”

    It won’t be advertised to buyers what level you are, and there’s no financial benefit so what’s the point of it?

  12. I don’t do high enough turnover to have ever relied on the discounts. However, having my visibility (already hampered by 99p ‘private’ auctions and Chinese/HK sellers) downgraded due to 3 buyers marking low DSRs for ‘despatch’ because Royal Mail fail to meet their service levels is a joke.

    No point upping my listings to regain Silver level now, so I might as well down grade to basic shop and at least save on those fees.

  13. Effectively, another eBay price increase dressed up as a ‘benefit’. Have they been employing Gordon Brown?!

    Numerically, ‘eBay Top rated Seller’ appears to translate as ‘at least slightly better than average. WOW! Buyers will be impressed.

    eBay managers are gradually strangling themselves with their own micro-management and half of it doesn’t make sense anymore.

    I’m only in it for the money.

  14. As far as I can see using averages, [ID removed by moderator] (260729 feedback) with 7000 per month feedback won’t be a top seller…

    Well done ebay, recruit the big companies, establish some cred and then p$$ them off

    [Mod: We appreciate the point you’re trying to make, but it’s unfair to single out named sellers unless they’re here to talk about their own businesses.]

  15. “Total number of all transactions with a 1 or 2 DSR/
    All transactions”

    Does this mean number of 1 & 2 DSR’s divided by total number of transaction, or only those transactions rated using a DSR? I’d say 50% of our transactions receive a DSR rating, meaning a 1% on the dashboard suddenly becomes a .50%.

    Any thoughts?

  16. Hi, Its not as awful as i expected. Though I think i read yesturday that you need to state you returns policy on every listing page? I have a shop and put details there after reading that the info cant be more than a click away?
    I am i think i decent seller i accept returns and do not state alllot of things to try put off a buyer returning things even though i sell make-up.
    So i checked my outlook for poss dsr on your link and like all of you at the moment i am on course,
    Though how will ebay reconise that a competior hasnt left me low scores on purpose?
    Lastly can some one tell me where i can find info on adcomerce as i have charged for my free time, long story but where is the best place to ask if anyone else had problems please??? Pretty please!
    Thanks so much

  17. James it’s the total number of ALL transactions regardless of whether or not they leave feedback (with or without DSRs)

    So if you get 400 feedbacks from 800 transactions with 2 being one or two stars it’ll be


    Or in other words 0.0025

  18. >> (#18) Though I think i read yesturday that you need to state you returns policy on every listing page?

    I remember reading this too, but can’t find it now….. Does anyone know if this means the returns policy has to be stated within the Item Description? Or just as part of the Return Policy section already provided?

    May as well start getting my new listings correct now.


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