Online auction site Proxibid is adding seller ratings, meaning buyers who have completed a transaction with a seller in the Proxibid Marketplace now have the ability to rate and provide feedback on their experience with a specific seller.
While it is best known as a live-auction site, it also offers the ability for non-auctioneers to list items in fixed-price format. In fact, spokesperson Dana Kaufman said about nine percent of total GMV in 2013 has been through direct sales. “Some of this is acquired directly but then sold at auction, but some of it is sold in the Marketplace in an Instant Purchase or Make Offer sale.”
Considering that product categories on Proxibid include heavy equipment, commercial and industrial equipment, real estate, fine art, as well as antiques and collectibles, that’s a respectable percentage of GMV made through direct sales.
Kaufman explained that the new Seller Rating System will allow top performers in the Marketplace to be recognized for their commitment to the industry and their buyers. Right now, ratings will be shown only to sellers. Seller ratings will become public-facing at a future date, once enough data has been received for sellers in the Proxibid Marketplace.
“We did this for two reasons,” she said. “One so seller would have an opportunity to adjust business practices based on buyer feedback before the ratings go prime time, and two, so that we don’t have a seller have a negative rating stemming from just one buyer.” The “front-facing piece” will be launched in the next few months.
Here’s how it works:
Seven days following a transaction in the Proxibid Marketplace, buyers are notified via email of items awaiting feedback in MyProxibid, the online account tool on Proxibid. Buyers are presented with a new page in MyProxibid, where they can rate their experience via a five-star system based on the following five questions:
- Did you receive your item in a timely manner?
- How reasonable were the seller’s shipping charges?
- Did the seller’s online listing accurately describe the item?
- How reasonable were the seller’s fees (fees other than shipping)?
- Please rate the seller’s customer service.
“Sellers are responding by adjusting buyers premiums, including better descriptions, etc.,” Kaufman said, “so we are already seeing a positive impact.”
Another component is a comments section. According to the website, “Collecting and presenting written feedback to Sellers is designed to help Sellers in our Marketplace make informed decisions about their business. Written feedback will not be displayed publicly on the website.”
Kaufman added, “Sellers who have higher ratings will see more buyers participating in their sales – once the ratings become forward-facing on the site.”
Proxibid will also introduce buyer ratings soon: “Proxibid’s buyer rating system will allow sellers to provide feedback about buyers. This feedback will be kept confidential, but our risk management team will watch for trends related to specific buyers, and will share feedback on a case-by-case basis. This system is meant to help protect the integrity of the Marketplace, and will become a component of MarketGuard in the future.”
Jason Nielsen, Senior Vice President of Operations for Proxibid, said the Seller Rating System is a significant tool because it highlights which sellers are doing great. “The feedback buyers provide is shared with our sellers and is used as a tool to identify areas for enhancement. We encourage sellers to review the feedback and make adjustments to their business practices, which will in turn improve their ratings in the Marketplace.”
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