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Mon Sept 28 2009 15:50:18

eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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To the Editor:
How well do you understand the DSR system? I am not seeing any "specific" suggestions how to improve business from their criteria (see the numbers below). Keep in mind these numbers are supposed to be under .50 or (2) 1's or 2's.

500 transactions
Item as described 1.81%(9)
Communication 1.20%(6)
Shipping time 0.40%(2)
Shipping & handling 0.60%(3)

In order to improve the above numbers I would need to know which 9 items I received "1 or 2" poor ratings on? Or else during the next 500 transactions, I may very well make the same mistakes. It really leaves me guessing.

If you are a barber and you give 500 haircuts and 9 people anonymously provide you with a 1 or 2 rating, how does that help you improve? 492 were satisfied. If the same 9 people come in for a haircut and you give the same service, will they be unsatisfied again? eBay should give the customer the option of leaving DSR privately or publicly and pass along public comments to sellers so they can see the pattern and make adjustments to improve.

If its a purpose of the system to help sellers improve, they need to give sellers more specific information in order for sellers to see whats going on. There is just not enough data with the present system.

Comments (26) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers   eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers

by: Top-Rated Seller

Mon Sep 28 16:19:15 2009

I have been telling eBay executives and management the exact same thing for over 4 years.  Long before DSR's even made it live to the site.

Unfortunately, IMO eBay FEARS Sellers too much to trust us with the data we actually need to improve.  Like many Sellers we offer a variety or products, shipping via different carriers & service levels to destinations all around the globe.

If eBay refuses to trust us with the data on which transactions we need to improve on, then it is IMPOSSIBLE for us to identify the root cause of the problem and take corrective action.

As I continue to tell eBay as often as I can, they are quick with that big stick to beat Sellers over the head with but far too slow offering any kind of a helping had.  Maybe in a few more years they will offer a little insight, but right now eBay promised buyers ''Anonymity'' when leaving DSR's becuase eBay fears Sellers just cannot be trusted to do the right thing and improve the buyer experience.

Very sad and discouraging that our Business Partners at eBay treat Sellers this way....

eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers   eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers

by: RicRoe

Mon Sep 28 16:30:21 2009

While eBay will never admit it, the seller DSR program offers little benefit for sellers as a tool. The reality is sellers can not derive anything positive to help them with concealed and secretive ratings.

eBay says that the aggregate numbers should be information which can be used as a seller tool, but the fact remains that as anonymous ratings, they hold little practical value as a guide to help sellers improve performance.

When buyers can leave glowing written feedback, then anonymously leave a low DSR score, there is nothing in that process that helps a seller in any way.

The only tool provided by DSR's is the process of eliminating sellers from being able to receive discounted fees and improving eBay's profit margins. This is what DSR's were invented to do, their statements that they were devised to help sellers is simply untrue.

Watch eBay fee revenues increase as soon as the DSR ratings determine seller fee discounts.

eBay says 100,000 sellers will qualify for discounts under the new program, but they fail to disclose how many sellers which currently qualify for discounts will lose them under the new policy.

eBay's lack of transparency fails sellers at every level.

eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers   eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers


Mon Sep 28 18:07:44 2009

The dsr system is not meant to assist sellers, which, of course, is why it is designed the way it is.

 DSR's are a punishment tool which ebay has been using to give their small to medium sellers the fast path out of the venue.

 A small to medium seller can find themselves completely devasted, dropped to the bottom of searches, or even suspended  as a response to the vengeful posting of one or two irate buyers or , as i have found to be increasingly common; competeing sellers who know how easy it easy to destroy their now utturly vulnerable competition.

 The latest itteration/modification to which you are referring, is even more draconion and confusing  frankly I cannot even understand the thing, it seems to set even higher, unobtainable benchmarks, and is more punishment oriented

  .It seems that every change is designed to ''attrition '' out another percentage of smaller sellers. Once this goal is achived, another level or higher hurdle is put out there.

 I stopped paying attention to the dsrs when I had a ''raised standing'' and posted a dozen auctions , only to see the next day, my standing drop to lowered, two days later it was medium , then lowered again, then raised.

 Since then I have seen my standings pingponging back and forth to the point where I realise that it is simply a farce, designed to confuse, frustrate and eliminate sellers

 Don't waste your time trying to make sense out of what cannot be made sense of

 if you have 492 satisfied customers out of 500 that is far above what any realistic seller could hope for ,, if ebay expects better then that they should look at their ''top'' sellers of DVDS, One huge seller selling under at least three names has hundreds of negs and nuetrals, a ''dis-satisfaction'' percentage 30 days of 6% , yet continues on unhindered.

  My advice is just do the best you can, don't frustrate yourself trying to meet standards which are setup to insure your failure, and spread yourself to other venues

 this has worked well for myself and for many others.

eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers   eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers

by: Top-Rated Seller

Mon Sep 28 18:28:43 2009

I doubt eBay has such nefarious motives for DSR's.  They were well intentioned but terribly implemented.

The sudden change in focus from ''Getting ALL 5's'' to ''NOT Getting 1's & 2's'' is a prime example of where the system failed initially and is now being adapted.

As for poor performing Sellers that were getting lots of bad feedback in the past the 4.2 and 4.3 DSR categories identified obvious areas they needed to improve in.  But when you have so many Sellers with 4.9 DSR's across the board and 99.9 or 100% FB that will NOT qualify for Top-Rated Seller status becuase of a few incidences they are completely unable to identify and correct.  Then you have yet another FAILED system that will randomly allow the best Sellers on eBay entry & rewards and then to be shunned & demoralized based on as few as ''3'' hidden anonymous comments.  Ratings that have now idea why they received and no ability to correct in the future.

There will be MANY ''Dolphins Caught in the Tuna Nets'' with this reversal in DSR focus.  And eBay will once again use their most famous of all lines when describing the shortcomings of the eBay Feedback & DSR's - ''it is not a perfect system''.  That pretty much wipes eBay's hands of any responsibility or accountability for the failures of the system and the financial costs suffered by those affected.

Maybe someday eBay will TRUST Sellers enough to share with them the information they really need to improve.

eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers   eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers

by: 455

Mon Sep 28 19:34:03 2009

There are ways to see who left what.

However, it doesn't help most good sellers. You will find that you get bad ratings from other sellers. You will see that your only 1's in shipping will be from buyer who received free shipping. Your 1 in communication will come from someone who had a lot of questions that you answer quickly.

I am starting to wonder if its done by ebay so they don't have to pay discounts.

eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers   eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers

by: kevin

Mon Sep 28 21:09:18 2009

I stopped looking at the dashboard months day raised, one day standard next day lowered and sometimes up and down in the same day.  It's useless

eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers   eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers

by: eBuyer Feedback

Mon Sep 28 22:23:49 2009

What you don't understand is that those 9 people with the bad hair wouldn't leave 1's or 2's for their barber if they weren't anonymous.  You'd just end up with the 9 people leaving private DSRs and you'd be no better than you are today.  One must have anonymity to give a true rating but at the same time anonymity prevents one from improving.

eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers   eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers

by: GeneInTexas

Tue Sep 29 09:25:43 2009

I had 1 customer that left all 1's, but at the same time I didn't have any negative feedback nor negative sounding comments. I suspect that my customer was very satisfied and thought they were giving me excellent DSR ratings (ie, 1 equals First), but I will never have a way of knowing under the current procedures.

eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers   eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers

by: Angie

Tue Sep 29 09:27:41 2009

The DSR system is flawed simply because buyers like me don't even bother posting feedback any more unless I'm mad.  You might

eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers   eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers

by: anonymous

Tue Sep 29 09:42:36 2009

DSRs have nothing to do with helping the seller, DOOUH

STRYKER is absolutely correct.

If they wanted to help you, they would FORCE the buyer before they even allow a 1 or 2 score, send them right to a ''e-mail your seller'' page, so they could tell you what is wrong. THEN and only THEN could they go back and the grey-out is removed so they can leave their stinger.

This entire system from DSRs to 1 and 2 ratings has ntohing to do with improving your selling practices.

It's done so that if you are a small seller 2 or 3 people can bump you right out of business.

I don't care what they say about percentage, they are trying to give large sellers an advantage.

If you notice, they are using May-June, so you cannot see what happened recently unless you hit the button that says Buyer Satisfaction rate.

This system is the way they take away discounts.  Plain and simple.

If they cared about improving the site they'd get rid of all the diamonds with the pathetic scores, and start charging them an actual fee to list the stuff to start with.

They don't care if 20 million people are on there selling broken cell phones, unless it starts to drive away a HUGE number of buyers.



The will disregister you and forget about you within five seconds.

So stop worrying about something that you have ZERO control over, follow STRYKER's 2nd letter, excellent advice.

About 1/2 to 2/3 of the buyers don't leave any feedback, and that helps on this system. It actually counts as GOOD, raising your numbers, without raising the percentage of low ratings.

So STOP sending feedback reminders, and give good customer service, good prices and treat everyone like you want to be treated.

Until you get into a $1,000. invoice  with 750.00 in FVF it only makes a couple dollars difference anyhow. (at 500.00 in final value fees per month the difference between 20 and 5% is 75.00. If your invoice is less than that, and this will make or break you, you should REALLY think about getting out anyway. A profit margin of 10% won't pay anyone's bills)

If you pay more attention to finding and listing product, and diversify your lines into a few other categories, instead of spending time on this idiotic garbage, you'll do MUCH better.

For every minute you spent worrying about this, spend TWO doctoring your pics so they are sharp as a razor and clear. Write a long detailed description and teach yourself marketing. There are hundreds of tutorials. (free)

Study the seller you WISH you were, and copy all his/her good ideas. (not literally, but see why he/she is better, and emulate him or her)

This whole feedback and DSR thing is a total waste of valuable time.

The only problem you should worry about is getting a neg, which hurts your sales.

All the rest of it takes time away from listing and selling items, and that's how WE the SELLERS MAKE MONEY.

Refuse to look at it anymore.

It's like watching the news, it only makes you feel lousy.

eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers   eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers

by: krissy

Tue Sep 29 10:09:58 2009

Anonymous.... Exactly!  We sellers need to use what power we have.  DSRs have nothing to do with reality.  It is a transparent corporate way of raising revenue for the company.  It is not designed to help anybody... even buyers. Buyers and sellers are just pawns from which to make money. DSRs are now redesigned to profit eBay.  If too many sellers start getting the top rewards, eBay will again change something to eliminate that 'profit drain'.  

eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers   eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers

by: surprised

Tue Sep 29 10:35:46 2009

I have serveral ebay Id's all but one is INACTIVE.

Low and Behold today I received an email from eBay for 2 INACTIVE ID's stating...

''You're an eBay Top-rated seller Congratulations''

I'm so surprised because I haven't listed or sold on these 2 ID's for over 60 days. One id even lost it's powerseller status and still qualifies for the badge...

Marvelous achievement, without the slightest effort or even having sales on eBay...friggin FABULOUS...

eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers   eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers

by: Fly On The Wall

Tue Sep 29 10:45:57 2009

The DSR's are not about improvement.  They are all about ebay controlling the sellers.  They CANNOT do it through their Trust & Safety nabobs as these employees are over worked and cannot patrol the site.

So...they let the buyer patrol the site and alert them to the bad sellers or sellers who do not drop their pants fast enough and pony up the freebays (freebies).

When we owned several brick & mortar stores we had a suggestion box on the counter so that customers could offer suggestions on how they might help us.  This is the purpose of constructive feedback.

What ebay has created is a control device...why else would DSR;s remain anonymous even though sellers are unable to leave anything but positive.

When I was in ebay's focus groups...I heard Brian Burke (then the feedback guru) say that "feedback needs to be more punishing"...this attitude says it all.

If you really want to get a stomach-full of feedback BS email Burke at

He likes to make decisions based on "metrics" instead of actual first-person selling experience...let him have metrics...

eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers   eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers

by: kristoffer

Tue Sep 29 11:39:10 2009

This is ebay's way of giving out less discounts plain and simple. I normally get the highest discount. With this new plan I will get none. Ebay has just raised their fees is what it amounts to. Ebay has no plans on telling you how to improve your scores because they don't really want you to get them high enough that they have to give you a discount!

eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers   eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers

by: kw

Tue Sep 29 12:05:55 2009

Many of you are missing the point.  DSRs have nothing to with you except that you get conned into believing there's really a carrot at the end of the stick.

If too many sellers get high DSRs, ebay changes the rules so avoid giving too many discounts.  If too many sellers get low DSRs, ebay changes the rules to make you believe you can get a discount.  It's all self-serving manipulation on ebay's part.

eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers   eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers

by: Jane Carter

Tue Sep 29 13:28:40 2009

I too had a good look at the new DSR system when eBay recently brought it out - apparently my Seller Dashboard is supposed to tell me everything!  My interpretation was that, although a few buyers were worried about my communication and the speed I posted out at, there was nothing really to worry about since a) my communication can't be any better and b) my postage out can't be any quicker! The dashboard did tell me that I met the criteria for something but was not eligible for that same something because my DSR rating wasn't high enoughm (couldn't work this one out).  Since my overall DSR rating by far meets eBay levels, and even if it didn't, I can't do anything about it as I don't know what the ratings relate to - and it is against policy to try to find out, then I decided not to bother at all.  My buyers will tell me themselves whether they are happy - the few who have left adverse (or non-positive!) ratings probably won't be back and I wouldn't want them to come back.

eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers   eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers

by: m

Tue Sep 29 15:08:42 2009

It seems like a no-brainer to me..start describing your items more accurately, lower shipping and improve your communication.

eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers   eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers

by: chaz

Tue Sep 29 15:38:52 2009

Although I think the standards for the new top rated seller program are too severe, the new program allows auction sellers to add shipping and insurance charges without search penalty, and most importantly, without fear that it will drop their dsr's to below 4.9 or 4.8 because now they can drop that far without hurting.  The shipping cost dsr has long been the hardest for sellers to live with and now it doesn't matter as much.  I'm adding actual postage (no handling) and also actual estimated insurance to my auction listings.  I haven't been penalized so far.  With fixed price, I still do free ship because I can add postage to the price when determining the price and then get higher search results.  I get almost no 1 or 2 dsrs so it works for me, and I'm in the difficult collectibles category where buyers are finicky about everything.  No, nothing yet gives us feedback but so what - the dsr's have less to do with what the seller is doing than with the buyer's personality and we all get dinged by nasty buyers from time to time.  My proposal here is to have buyer profiles like dsr's which are not seller controlled but show what a buyer usually hands out, right along with showing how many items are claimed not received and how many non-pays.  Then we should be able to block the nasty buyers and they can go away.  They don't add to ebay's bottom line and hurt the overall community so ebay should not fear getting rid of them.  The only buyers who are worthwhile for them are good buyers.

eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers   eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers

by: christine

Tue Sep 29 19:50:58 2009

You're all missing the point about eBay's DSR system. The only purpose of eBay's DSR system is to find a way not to give sellers a discount. eBay had a foolproof system that Pierre Omyidar started and then a FOOL changed the system (Donahue). I quit selling on eBay as my reputation was more important to me than dealing with the buyers who had no problem extorting free product.

Thankfully I discovered the power of residual and passive income and have since made my money on Amazon and Google. Selling on eBay was fun until the poor e-mail system made it impossible when combined with the DSR and Best Match (I was a high volume seller). I wish all eBay sellers the best. Please give them 5 stars or nothing at all. Anything below 5 stars harms a seller.

Former eBay Platinum Powerseller

eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers   eBay DSRs Don't Provide Feedback to Sellers

by: The Dude

Wed Sep 30 01:10:22 2009

Just couldn't resist to tell my tale!
I am a 99.9% feedback Powerseller doing business on eBay since 2000. I've seen ups and downs but for the past year or so: only downs, not even a Viagra cocktail will bring it back up.
The DSR crap is so bad that becomes a joke everytime I look at it, you know, we all need a break during working hours to relax a bit AND I FOUND the best way. Just look at all those GREENS, YELLOWS, ORANGES, GRAYS and REDS (color red < fortune = eBay - you). If you are laughing too hard, just look away from the
computer screen for a moment and now try to focus on the numbers...ohh boy! LOWS, 1's and 2's , 50%'s and the GEICO lizard comes in the pi ture minus 4.8 12 month average divided by the shipping time versus the description of the CAVEMAN commercial dude...and by the time your eyes can't open because you can't stop laughing, here comes the 5 feedback, 1 month old TOP RATED seller whose listing is 10 positions above yours  kkkkkk
Then it is time to ''get revenge'' and use one of your 5 user ids to buy from your competitors
once a week, including the 1 month old TOP RATED seller, pay for their items (actually an
investiment), leave a positive feedback but olny one fricki'n star on their DSR'S. Or get the item and file a claim as ''Not as described'', wait 1 month with the dispute opened and close on the last day, that is not going to hurt the seller, right?
I can't wait for the next JOKE from the eBay decision making fellons.

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