eBay is changing how it measures seller performance and allocates Top Rated Seller Status. These changes will come into force in August.
Part of monitoring this change will be new Seller Dashboard, which we wrote about last month and which launches on April 16. Read about the new Seller Dashboard.
It’s reasonably straight forward but do take some time to check out the criteria and what will represent a “defect” under the new system. Basically you can have a certain amount of defects before your performance comes under scrutiny. eBay has also published what will now be considered a “defect”.
eBay has published full details here. It will affect different sellers in different ways but there’s no doubt that these are pretty tough criteria and represent a significant attempt by eBay to coax sellers to provide top notch service.
And if you combine this with mandatory Managed Returns also coming in August, this could represent significant headaches for sellers.
eBay notes that some safeguards have been put in place to protect sellers:
• Defects must be from at least 5 unique buyers for eBay Top-rated seller or 8 unique buyers for an above standard seller in order to affect the status.
• Buyers can’t open an item not received case before the estimated delivery date has passed.
• An updated seller protection policy. From August, negative or neutral Feedback that’s been removed under the Feedback Removal Policy won’t count as a defect.
• Cases escalated to eBay and resolved in favour of the seller won’t be counted.
• Each transaction can be counted towards the defect rate only once, regardless of how many defects may occur in the same transaction.
But, in many sense, none of this really matters either way. The problems that most sellers resent most are the unfair complaints, DSRs, returns and dodgy buyers having a go. Most sellers will put their hands up for a genuine mistake, but it’s a kick in the teeth to suffer at the hands of a bogus buyer when eBay is unwilling to listen.
These new stringent performance measure must be matched by massive improvements in eBay customer support when it comes to adjudicating buyer/seller disputes. The current system which universally finds in favour of the buyer will be intolerable with these new rules.
Updated: 14th March. eBay have issued Tamebay with this clarifying statement:
“The new seller standards will be a requirement for all eBay business sellers as of 20 August 2014. The new performance measurement will be the same for every seller and we’ll continue to support sellers as we’ve previously done through customer service or account management. We’ll also be sending out a monthly email with projected status details until the changes come into effect. Plus, the seller dashboard preview will be available from 16 April for all sellers to view and understand their projected performance.”