Introducing Amazon Seller Ratings

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Amazon are introducing seller ratings scoring points for great buyer experiences but dinging you for poor customer service. Typically you’ll score a point for a no problem transaction and a bonus tenth of a point for great service but you could be penalised with zero, minus one or even minus five points when things go wrong.

Matthew Ogborne of The Last Drop of Ink broke the news today and whilst you may not see seller ratings on your account today it’ll be rolled out within the next couple of weeks.

Currently it’ll be Amazon assigning the ratings based on seller metrics, that makes them free from any buyer bias, they’re based on hard data. Amazon will be dinging your score for canceled or expired orders, when you ship late, questions from buyers that you took longer than 24 hours to respond to (make certain to mark any not requiring an answer!), credit card charge backs, A to Z claims and negative feedback. On the plus side there will be a time weighting meaning more recent transactions can affect your rating more than a transaction from a year ago. The ratings are measured over the last 12 months performance.

The ratings won’t be visible to buyers… at the moment! Amazon want you to have time to get used to the ratings and use them as a guide to improve your service rather than put them up front for buyers to view.

You’ll find a new Seller Rating Dashboard in your Amazon Seller Central once it’s live on your account. From there you’ll be able to dive into your ratings and find where Amazon think you should or could improve with suggestions for doing so.

In theory this isn’t a huge change for Amazon – you’ve always been able to view your seller metrics. In reality in the future you’ll want to watch your metrics closer than ever as once companies have a new way to measure your performance they’ll almost certainly use it to tighten up on standards and sellers near the bottom will start to find their selling status impacted. We saw this in the past with eBay Detailed Seller Ratings – to start with they measured your best ratings with a 4.6 minimum requirement and then they added measurement for the maximum number of low ratings allowable. More recently eBay added in open and unresolved customer resolution cases into the mix for seller standards.

The really big question of course is will Amazon start using Seller Ratings to determine product placement order. They already have criteria for winning the blue buy box, but could sellers see themselves promoted or more importantly demoted in the future based on the new seller ratings?

Amazon Seller Ratings Introduction Video

For more information head over to The Last Drop Of Ink where Matthew has screenshots and analysis.

6 Responses

  1. Even more reason for not selling with Amazon; I personally find their selling model an absolute nightmare – there are so many things wrong with trying to list & sell stuff on Amazon I hardly know where to begin

  2. “makes them free from any buyer bias”

    Not exactly true when it uses things like negative feedback and A-Z claims as “hard data”. When Amazon start looking at things like customer complaints regarding the data on their catalog pages and the age old problem of -ve feedback instead of letting merchants know there is a problem (or provide us with a crystal ball) there will still be issues regarding this.

  3. I am never buying anying from their site again. Stick your metrics up your rear end. In 5 yrs time one will have to hand deliver the items in a private jet within the hour.

  4. I never thought Amazon would stoop to Ebay tactics. I’m basically a buyer on amazon and like to think I’m adult enough to simply look at the ratings each seller has in his listing to chose who I think will be good!!! Enough of this bull pucky already…its simply more of the venue sticking its hands where they don’t belong!

  5. Amazon is noticeably becoming a time-stealing venue for sellers.
    The new returns policy for a start. Before, if a customer bought incorrectly or had a faulty it was sorted by a message between them & us. We sent a replacement. Now all we get is a message from Amazon that a return needs authorising with a vague reason attached. No customer contact prior.
    We have to action it,(authorise, deny, refund,etc)or it sits there glowering at us and affecting our ratings. It was never a problem before.
    The A-Z Guarantee is a Kafka-esque procedure that removes funds from our account without reason. The response to messages time metric is another one. Goodbye weekends.
    Amazon are steadily tripping up their sellers, who are having to watch their backs with various and separate Seller Page links to chargebacks, returns, performance figures, messages etc to see what is going on.
    It concerns me that these ratings are going to reflect how many times a seller checks & responds to them, rather than directly dealing with actual customer problems first hand.
    Which was far easier to do.

  6. I recently stopped selling on Amazon. A customer filed a claim against me for a $60 book that they claim they returned. Amazon put a hold on my account for $60. I never received the book back. The buyer said they didn’t use tracking so they couldn’t prove that they returned it to me. Amazon sided with me, denied the buyer’s claim, closed the case, and released my money. All was well, or so I thought. The buyer continued to press their case for a refund and threatened to sue me and Amazon. Amazon re-opened the case, put another hold on my money and said they were continuing the investigation. They then refunded the buyer and retained my money.

    Nothing I said or did changed Amazon’s mind. Goodbye Amazon. I won’t miss ya.


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