EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1640 - October 11, 2007     1 of 3

eBay to Use Controversial DSR Ratings in Sorting Search Results

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eBay will use Detailed Seller Ratings, which are feedback ratings left for sellers anonymously by buyers, to influence search results beginning next year. eBay introduced Detailed Seller Ratings (DSR) as the cornerstone of its Feedback 2.0 system earlier this year. Currently eBay's default-sort is by time ending soonest, and seller performance is not factored into search results. According to eBay's announcement on Wednesday, this will change in 2008.

eBay said it was pleased that the overall rate of Feedback being left by users remained at 70%. "This is a positive result, because it shows that the introduction of DSRs has not had any negative impact on buyers' willingness to leave Feedback."

Bottom 10% of Sellers Bottom 25% of Sellers Median Seller Top 25% of Sellers Top 10% of Sellers
Item as Described 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 5.0
Communication 4.5 4.7 4.8 4.9 4.9
Shipping Time 4.3 4.6 4.8 4.9 4.9
S&H Charge 4.3 4.5 4.6 4.8 4.8

eBay said it will leverage DSR data in several ways in 2008: "to help us evaluate seller performance, to determine PowerSeller eligibility and the benefits associated with the PowerSeller Program, and to influence priority in search results."

A few sellers posting on a discussion board sounded dejected upon finding where their DSRs fell in relation to other sellers, and others suggested the need for eBay to publish the figures broken down by category. Sellers seemed surprised that there was only a 0.5 difference between the scores of the top 10 percent and the bottom 10% of seller for the S&H Charges criterion (

eBay recently introduced new criteria in how it enforces its Seller Non Performance policy, and it appears eBay will also use Detailed Seller Ratings next year as one of the factors in deciding whether to suspend sellers for non-performance.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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