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buyersmarket2aaa2.JPG (7729 bytes)
Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue May 22 2012 21:54:50

eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
eBay sellers are bracing for new Top Rated Seller requirements that go into effect in June. While many TRS sellers may be able to maintain their status, they may lose their TRS fee discounts - a hefty 20% off of FVF commission fees. Analysts are sure to love this, since it raises the bar (the burden is on sellers, not eBay), and may actually save eBay money net-net.

Even though sellers will be evaluated on June 20th for the new requirement that they upload tracking info or a DC number on at least 90% of their shipments to U.S. buyers within stated handling time in order to maintain TRS status, eBay's dashboard showing sellers if they meet the new requirement won't be ready until next month.



Starting June 1, only those listings from Top-rated sellers that include 1-day handling and a 14-day or longer return policy with a money-back option will qualify for the greatest average boost in Best Match and 20% final value fee discount.

Also starting June 1, the annual sales requirement for Top-rated status will be lowered from $3,000 to $1,000 to expand eligibility to more sellers.

An eBay seller who sells personalized item wrote today for clarification about the new TRS tracking requirements. "I called eBay tonight because there are clearly issues with uploaded tracking number percentages on the dashboard," she wrote. "Mine should be at 100%, but it is close to 80%. FYI - It is clear to me eBay is considering product that has yet to ship in the numbers, even though the stated handling time has yet to pass. The rep told me they know there are issues, and they are working to correct them by June 20th."

But the reason she was writing to EcommerceBytes was to get clarification about another TRS requirement - one that specifies TRS sellers offer 1-day handling in order to get the 20% TRS fee discount.

"The rep told me that if I move my personalized (products) to specialty services, the new 1-day handling requirement does not apply, and I would still receive my 20% discount on personalized items," she wrote. "He said this is true if the listing is under real estate, vehicles, or specialty services."

The seller said she had researched the issue and couldn't find any reference to an exception in the specialty services area. "I have been all over the forums, searched your site, etc. I can't find this anywhere. Zack (the rep) repeated it 3 times. He said he was reading it directly from an internal eBay memo. When I told him I didn't believe it was common knowledge. He told me I could share it with anyone. Am I crazy? Is this is little known fact? Or, is the rep mistaken?"

I wrote to eBay spokesperson Johnna Hoff for clarification, specifically asking if the 90% tracking requirement to maintain TRS discounts and boost in Best Match covered all categories, or if there were some categories that were excluded from the policy.

Hoff referred me to the eBay TRS Update page on eBay's website along with the following statement:

"Any transactions offering freight shipping or when the buyer selects local pick-up as their delivery method will be excluded from the tracking uploaded requirement. Classified Ad format listings and Motors Vehicles listings are also excluded, as are any transactions that end in an unpaid item.

"Also, remember that TRS discounts will be at the item level starting in June. In other words, even though sellers may meet the new 90% tracking requirement (and other volume & performance criteria) to be Top-rated, the 20% FVF discount will only be applied to those listings from TRS that meet the new requirements (1 day handling & 14 day+ returns w/ money back option)."

Let us know how the new TRS requirements are impacting you and how you are coping!




Comments (37) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements   eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements
This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie
       
Tue May 22 22:35:24 2012
I have to ask... will the $1000 annual sales requirement be calculated based on our previous 12 months of sales? Or will the whole program start fresh... with everyone at "zero sales" on the first day? In short, will we be eligible for the discounts right away, or will we need to prove ourselves by accumulating $1000 in sales?

You know, inquiring minds, and all.
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements   eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements
by: mrsc5inla This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue May 22 23:18:58 2012
Yes and while you move all those listings over to specialty services, you will see you fees increase. I just tried it for my custom items and my fees started to sky high

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements   eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements
by: cayenna This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue May 22 23:22:19 2012
Something else you may like to know. Even though eBay requires no words on pictures, their watermarking doesn't work. I called eBay 2 x to get their watermarking to work because my photo editing program does not watermark. So now I have to worry about my photos being stolen etc because I cannot protect them.
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements   eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements
by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed May 23 00:12:00 2012
Here's an example of a final value fee calculation for an auction-style listing:
• You sell an item for $95.00 with a shipping cost of $5.00.
• Your final value fee on the item cost is 9% of $95.00, which is $8.55.
• Your final value fee on the shipping cost is 9% of $5.00, which is $0.45.
$9.00 FVF x .20 = $1.80 discount., I'll skip the headaches and let eBay keep the $1.80.
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements   eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements
by: memker This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed May 23 00:24:06 2012
@cayenna watermarking will be ok. I quote: "Borders around pictures, and text added to pictures, will no longer be allowed. Watermarks for attribution purposes only will continue to be all"
http://pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/news/newlistingrequire
ments.html
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements   eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements
by: cayenna This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed May 23 00:29:55 2012
Hello memker, thank you for your comment. Yes, I know water marking will be alright I just wish eBay's watermarking worked so I can use it on my photos that I want to upload after I have edited them and removed the type on them. Thank you.
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements   eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements
by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed May 23 00:48:15 2012
Oops, I goofed. The 20% discount does not apply to the shipping. In the example I used above, you save a whopping $1.71. Just thinking about this nonsense makes me stupid.
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements   eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements
by: MyTwoCents This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed May 23 01:34:01 2012
Have the eBay programmers ever launched a new program or process for the Sellers, which has actually worked properly upon the specified date of implementation???? ...What a gaggle of incompetent employees.
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements   eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements
by: Brainiac jones This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed May 23 01:38:13 2012
eBay continues to raise the bar on achieving TRS status, and while all of what they require for the sellers to maintain could easily be construed as 'best practices', there are too many pitfalls and easy outs such that most folks who may already be doing these requirements (one day shipping, 14 day returns, etc.) can still get jagged and torn out of the vaunted TRS position by one or two sellers (or vindictive competitors) who slap them with low DSRs.

And extending the potential benefit to sellers with only $1000 in sales? The impossible goal is still impossible due to the myriad pitfalls which eBay sets up which...I'd swear...they do purposefully to prevent sellers from getting their hoped for 20% off of final value fees.

There was a time when I felt that working within their sandbox was worth it, but the sandbox is run by a vindictive child who doesn't even want any playmates--the sellers.

Bah! Uck feebay.
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements   eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements
by: memker This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed May 23 01:41:39 2012
@cayenna try faststone, free and very useful image software. you can resize, watermark and do lots more.

http://www.faststone.org/FSResizerDetail.htm  
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements   eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements
by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed May 23 02:03:08 2012
after seeing my sales plummet the middle of april (the decline was too sudden to atribute to anything but ebay tinkering) i grudgingly made everything 1 day handling and 2 weeks return time a week ago.  i say grudgingly because this "buyer expectation" was completely created by ebay.  90% of my feedbackl commented on how fast an item was received with a 2 day handling and returns are almost non existent.  i figured out the reason behind it though, as always they are following amazon.  they are bribing sellers into giving amazon prime service at no extra cost.

i am betting that next year they will make free shipping a requirement.  i doubt that i will play that game.
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements   eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements
by: pennyrub This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed May 23 02:57:59 2012
I've noticed when Paypal holds a payment for several days when it does show up as being paid is the first day of the hold, when the buyer actually made their payment. This makes the shipping tracking number being uploaded as late. Is this going to be held against us?
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements   eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements
by: Dazzle This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed May 23 04:27:35 2012
One more time and I hope sellers are listening

How are your sales right now? Mine are in the toilet. So

What is 20% of nothing?

Answer - nothing

This slow steady erosion of ebay profits for the small seller will continue as long as the sellers willingly go along like lemmings.

Pretty simple format ebay takes and takes and takes until you have nothing to show for all your hard work except the ebay bill.

What is it the "Ho" makes? 16 MILLION a year? Please tell me what he actually does to deserve that kind of money? The sellers keep the joint running. Ebay owns no inventory - their simply a service provider.

It's your business - take back the control of your business. If enough seller's find their gumption ebay will back down - they will have to. I personally won't stand for ebay dictating to me how much money they are going take from my pocket everytime one of their ebay schooled scammers simply tells them my product is no good. After 12+ years doing business together I expect more from my business partner than simply taking my money.

I'm dumping free shipping entirely - I'm going "No returns" - I'm changing all my listings to 30 days from GTC - I'll decide what gets listed and when.

Know what the consequences of those actions are? I'm actually driving my sales to my other online venues. After 12 years my clientele know my "branded" name - their smart shoppers - they know how to search the net. They can find it at a more affordable price eleswhere.

Until seller's stand up to the tryant things will continue the dowhill slide profit wise.

You gotta start somewhere.
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements   eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements
by: RCL This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed May 23 05:08:55 2012
All eBay cares about is the bottom line. I am sure the impact of 200,000 small sellers like me(<100k) selling half what we sold last year--OR LESS--is going to get attention. My sales have dropped drastically. My monthly fees are considerably less, of course. Let's hope there's a cumulative effect that shows management their stupidity in monkeying with successful businesses. I don't work for eBay; they work for me. Well, not anymore, but I'm optimistic the collective drop in revenue will hurt them as much as us. Even if it only hurts 16%, they can't afford to give that revenue away. I no longer care a fig about DSRs--I never worked so hard and worried so much about a discount. For what? It was all for nothing.
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements   eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements
by: unknown This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed May 23 07:30:45 2012
ebay has made everything worthless. Which is worst - power seller at $3000 or top rated seller at $1000? It's all a joke and shows how totally disconnected ebay is from sellers.

I will not change anything about my business based on their lunacy.
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements   eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements
by: nothingnew This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Wed May 23 07:33:34 2012
Well i've been on ebay since 1998, after my first year I started looking for other sites to sell at. I've tried more then I can remember their names. I was a seller before ebay and will be one long after I leave ebay. This new BS about typing in a DC# will be the last straw for me on ebay. I know i've said this many times but this will be my last time saying it. I do not depend on ebay to pay any bills. I do not use ANY of ebays added features. I use ebay to sell my stuff PERIOD. I WILL NEVER type in any dc numbers and will be off ebay totally within the next year if ebay thinks i'm going to jump through this hoop? The whole reason I do what I do is for the freedom to conduct MY business how I see fit. And NOT be governed by a party that neither invests into my business nor helps it in any way. I have over 2000 items listed at junkables.com and ZERO listed on ebay. I've been selling at junkables for 2 years and will continue to do so since ebay has finally for me chased me away. I do not need ebay. The last 2 things I listed at ebay didn't sell anyway so why bother?
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements   eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements
This user has validated their user name. by: basset
       
Wed May 23 07:46:07 2012
One thing I've noticed as a buyer that could be useful to sellers. Sellers indicate that they accept "14 days, money back returns" Then on the return details it says "I accept returns only if item is different than my description states"

So, that is really not any different than the policy of most people who have "no returns" checked. I have a No Returns policy but have always accepted returns when I make a mistake or buyer has an issue with the item like color.

If it is kosher for sellers to add the "returns only if item is not at described" caveat, then even I could feel comfortable with the 14 day choice. Do any of you have that caveat on your return policy? Or is it supposed to be unconditional returns?

At this time I notice no unusual drop in sales, still have a "no returns" policy and have 2 day handling. I am planning to lose my 20% discount - only thing I can equate it to could be like someone weaning themselves off government assistance & calling their own shots with their life.  
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements   eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements
by: Sunflower This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed May 23 08:25:41 2012
I agree with Dazzle. I am not jumping through any more of eBays hoops. It is my business, my items and I will continue to sell with my policies, not eBays.
Regarding the 14 day return policy, I have called numerous times and received numerous answers.
1-All returns accepted for any reason. (Read the return policy on returns in eBay).
2-You can specify your own return policy.
3-You can specify your own return policy but in the long run a buyer can return anything.
It is all a bunch of baloney.
Not doing returns or 1 day handling.
Ebay can keep the discount and if needed I will add a .50 charge to all my free shipping items and state the reason why in my listings.
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements   eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements
by: flyingdutchman This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed May 23 10:45:38 2012
Well, good thing no one uses best match.
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements   eBay Sellers Bracing for New TRS Requirements
by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed May 23 11:27:15 2012
>i am betting that next year they will make free shipping a requirement.  i doubt that i will play that game.

Just you wait.  With the new eBay ''managed returns'' system your buyer will be able to print a return shipping label right in eBay.  

Guess what? Sellers will be paying for those, mark my words!  That will be the next change, forcing sellers to pay for unwarranted returns.  Just you wait!  That's next!

And why not? Ebay has figured out how to help their business by transferring the costs off to millions of sellers.  So they can give the buyers *anything* and the cost will be paid by us, the sellers.  Ebay has to pay for nothing.  

Pretty sweet deal for them, huh?
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