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Tue Feb 23 2010 13:26:09

eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay sellers will be required to meet stricter performance standards when Seller Release 1 (version 2010) rolls out on April 1st. If sellers don't meet the new standards, eBay will demote their listings in search and may limit their selling activity. In addition to low DSR scores, eBay will be watching Neutral feedback ratings as well.

Some readers aren't sure of the exact sanctions for under-performing sellers. A reader who signed her email, "Anxious Power Seller," wrote:

I am writing to you in hopes of getting some information regarding EBAY's new seller performance requirements. As a power seller with only 1 negative (12 mos) but frequent unexplained low DSR ratings, I am concerned with failing to meet EBAY's new seller requirements. To be specific; I would like to know what exact actions EBAY will take against sellers that fail to meet the new standards?? I do not see this information posted anywhere on EBAY and I have tried to ask EBAY's customer service reps on more than one occasion but the answers given were lacking in specifics.

According to the Seller Performance Standards page, "If you don't meet the minimum performance standards, your search placement will be lowered and there may be limits to your selling activity until your ratings improve. You may also be restricted from selling items on eBay if your performance falls significantly below the minimum requirements."

The following chart compares the current and future standards:



eBay will only count 1s and 2s if they come from two or more buyers within any given evaluation period. If sellers have more than 400 transactions, three or more buyers must leave low detailed seller ratings before they are counted.

In addition to meeting the standards for low DSRs, eBay will also be looking at:
  • Cases for items not received or items not as described
  • Negative Feedback received
  • Neutral Feedback received
Other things sellers should keep in mind: Sellers must meet the new requirements of a seller performance rating "Above Standard" in order to have a Premium or Anchor Stores subscription.

And there are new PowerSeller requirements: The new PowerSeller requirements (originally announced in July 2009) will be in effect for all PowerSellers, not just Top-rated sellers. With the new PowerSeller discount schedule (also announced in July), only eBay Top-rated sellers will receive 20% fee discounts. All other PowerSellers will receive 5% discounts. PowerSellers will see this change reflected on their statements starting May 1, 2010.

While much attention was paid to the new fee structure when eBay announced its March changes, the above changes are also significant. The anonymous nature of the DSR system leaves good sellers vulnerable to unwarranted negative feedback from retaliatory buyers, competitors, and unstable or "recreational" bad buyers.

If you have questions about the seller performance standards and sanctions, please leave them in the comments.

Comments (117) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades   eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades

by: OMG

Wed Feb 24 05:36:07 2010

Here they go again counting Neutrals as Negatives. Why don't they just require straight 5's for every DSR and they'll get where they want to go a lot faster. To get rid of everyone but their precious Diamonds who get their DSR's and even FB cleaned up on a regular basis.  

It's a fact, people have been watching AND taking screen shots of the dishonest crap going on.

Tweet this blog.  They're due for some more bad press.  JD and his Net Promoter Score Bain buddies are clueless idiots who know ZERO about online person to person sales.  They only see numbers and have no compassion for the hundreds of thousands of GOOD AND HONEST sellers who are struggling to make ends meet.

Meg Whitman gave us this headache.
I hope to god she spends all her money on that campaign and loses badly!
Get on those blogs and let the CA voters know she's NOT to be trusted.
Nobody from Bain is. Nothing but a bunch of high paid corporate JERKS who love power trips and money but HATE the little people.

Perminate Link for eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades   eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades

by: Mister Tubbles

Wed Feb 24 05:51:25 2010

Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets.

Perminate Link for eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades   eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades

by: GotToBeNuts

Wed Feb 24 06:24:13 2010

Glad I transitioned over to my website and other venues. I got a low DSR  because buyer did not want to pay taxes in his country and I would not lie on the customs form. Yeah, that's fair EBAY!
Who is running this show anyway, have any of you high powered execs looked at YOUR ratings?
The only way to really get anything done is to band together and take things to to the press. I was watching a video last nite of all the political contributions Ebay has made, all I can say is WOW. I wish they had spent that money on execs that knew what they were doing and upgrading their servers!
I still can not figure what the angle is for running a company into the ground. What would be the gain for that? I read all the reviews, Ebay is falling behind, like in the example above. So why do they continue this nonsense?

Maybe some political contributions can be spent on fixing the hacks and cross scripts? This was interesting reading and for sure a piece that makes me want to stay far away
http://messages.finance.yahoo.com/Stocks_%28A_to_Z%29/Stocks_E
/threadview?m=tm&bn=5744&tid=790417&mid=790517&tof=3&rt=2&frt=2&off=1

Perminate Link for eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades   eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades

by: MikeM

Wed Feb 24 06:52:53 2010

Wow!  Thank god we're closing our online store.  These requirements are just ludicrous.  I look at the DSR's we have today and they are so far above what they were even a couple years ago (all 4.9's)...but this STILL isn't enough!!!

We've had to keep bending over and taking it from buyers. Everyone wants lower prices and better service...eBay has allowed buyers to squeeze and squeeze and squeeze until there's no longer any fun, any profitability or even any point in selling online.  We were doing twice the volume at half the profit of just 2 years ago...that is until we hit last September and our business slowly declined every single month.  In January we didn't even make expenses and so made the decision to close the business.  And with these new seller requirements and restrictions, it's only going to get worse.

eBay has become the Wal Mart of the Internet...driving down prices until it's no longer profitable to sell online.  It reminds me of the companies like Vlasic that sold their souls to Wal Mart for high sales volume, but then had to file for bankruptcy because they were actually losing money despite selling in such volume.  I completely sympathize.

R.I.P. eBay!

Perminate Link for eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades   eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades

by: eBay's Day is Done

Wed Feb 24 07:05:03 2010

Watch your DSR's carefully.  You'll easily be able to figure out who left a slanderous, libelous comment.  Then SUE THEM.  Do this to a few buyers and watch eBay ride off into the sunset! Received a "1" DSr in item not described because the item measured 1/8" wider than what was listed in the listing.  Buyer has a "3" feedback.  Coincidentally she lives an hour from here.  Will be seeing the judge today to file against her for slander. I'm sure she will be very happy with eBay when she receives notice that she is being sued, as she will "cost us" discounts, etc.  Whatever we lose in terms of any lost business or increase in fees, we can directly hold her responsible for.  Now her response will be?  "eBay SAID I could say that."  Good. Then eBay gets dragged into the suit too.  Let's do this just a few times, get the media involved and see what happens.  There won't be a buyer on this site until the end of time.  Their regulations are ridiculous, outrageous and in most cases no seller will be able to continue to operate here unless you literally give away everything, ship it overnight the moment the sale is complete, send roses and letters to communicate and ship it FOR FREE.  I look forward to the day when I type "www.ebay.com" into the space bar and the site is no longer in existence.  Wonder if all those MBA's will take to selling on Amazon to make a living then because not one company with common sense will hire them after their continued poor choices on how to run a "venue".  AFter all, in their own words "feedback is an opinion."  So now an opinion can shut down a business?  Word's out.  eBay is over.

Perminate Link for eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades   eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades

by: MikeM

Wed Feb 24 07:11:24 2010

Just to add to the above, regarding DSR's...

It's remarkable that eBay keeps turning the screws to make it harder and harder to sell on the site with unequal visibility, discounts, etc.  But what probably pisses me off the most is that, despite years of tampering with feedback and DSR's, they've yet to institute necessary technological changes to make DSR's work for everyone.

For instance:

1) It's a no-brainer that both buyers and sellers should be allowed to leave feedback.  It's bogus and disingenuous to not allow sellers to leave feedback.  This change was the #1 nail in the coffin of selling on eBay.

2) eBay acts like all sellers are potentially bad and all buyers are basically good.  The complete lack of validation of buyers and usernames on the site is a joke.  And now that eBay is falling behind in online traffic, they won't be putting the screws to buyers anytime soon.

3) For DSR's to make sense, they need to be insured against fraud!  Too many disgruntled buyers slam sellers on every DSR rating when in fact they may only be angry at one in particular.  This is simple petty human nature.  However, technology would be an easy fix...

(a) If you follow your policies and ship within your specified time frame, the system should know this and default to a 5 star rating (esp. if you can enter a tracking or deliv. confirm. number at the time you move the order to shipped).

(b) If you offer free shipping, the shipping & handling DSR should default to 5 stars.

(c) If emails are sent through the eBay system and you answer back within a specified time, the system should default to 5 stars.  And if no email was sent to you by the buyer, then it should again default to 5 stars!

This isn't rocket science, folks!

Perminate Link for eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades   eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades

by: eBay's Loss Amazon's Gain

Wed Feb 24 07:14:57 2010

Spent some time on the TELEPHONE with a live, actual, educated, English Speaking Amazon rep yesterday while improving our site there. The woman said they are SWAMPED as everyone is moving from eBay to Amazon. They were prepared for this and are gracious, informative and WANT to talk to you!  This wonderful representative spent about an hour with me going over everything I could possibly need to ask and even commented "we WANT to talk to you! Call us anytime".  Wow.  A company that wants and appreciates another business professional.  I think we can all see clearly where this is going but it needs to get OUT to the press so when JD does his Dog & Pony Show for the SEC he looks like nothing more than what he is.  A dishonest, incapable jerk who has single handedly driven a business into the ground.  Get out there and blog, talk, type, email everyone you can.  Make sure the truth is out there, not their "spin" about making sure buyers are happy.  And as many know and have already said, a lot of this stuff is ILLEGAL and I do believe eBay is just hoping people don't get smart enough to start some huge, class action lawsuits against them.  If there are any good attorneys out there, please send them my way.  I am, BTW, a silver power seller who has been on eBay for over 8 years, feeback over 10K on multiple sites, 4.9 DSRs in all areas  but I can't be a "Top Rated Seller" because 3 people left a "1" for item not described.  Oh yeah.

Perminate Link for eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades   eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades

by: Enough Already!

Wed Feb 24 07:23:37 2010

I agree with Mike above. This is an absolute NO BRAINER.  A sale is made. A seller ships an item via standard carrier and enters tracking number into eBay's sytem. This proves when an item was shipped so sorry Mr. Scam Buyer, you can't leave a "1" shipping DSR because the proof is in the system. Emails (proving great communication) are sent through eBay's messaging system (yep, the seller communicated).  The item shipped is exactly what was in the picture. Sorry, no "1" DSR there either.  The shipping costs, I'm sorry to say, are determined by USPS, so go ahead, leave the "1" DSR for the postal service, they don't care what you say anyway.  So all this system is, IMO, is a bunch of lies and a way to push every seller off of this system that eBay doesn't want there. I would call that discrimination.  Someone mentioned Class Action Lawsuits.  And I think every seller who has lost even one DIME due to eBay's poor and irresponsible business practices should file one.  And since WHEN should a buyer be allowed to email, call, harass and slander a seller just because eBay says they can?  I think action should be taken immediately in large groups.  Then maybe JD and his monkeys can go try to get hired at Amazon, LOL!

Perminate Link for eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades   eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Wed Feb 24 07:32:33 2010

Yeah, only 45 people out of 7,000 this month are unhappy, but it matters very much to the 45.

Deceit thy name is eBay.

You don't know which DSR takes you down, who it came from or when it was tabulated.

You don't know why people are never sanctioned or never get listings pulled for violations.

You don't know who the other bidders are when you place an auction bid in good faith.

You can't publicly post a question to the ''Ask Griff'' propaganda project any more. You don't know what questions are asked and you won't know any more if Uncle Grift is dodging the question.

You don't know what makes ''best match'' work.

You don't know why, when or how much of YOUR MONEY will be held by PayPal.

You don't know WHO you deal with at eBay or PayPal, as they REFUSE to give you last names or employee ID numbers.

BUT YOU DO KNOW that if you don't have a TRS dog show icon, your items WILL NOT be seen if the buyers don't click the link.

BUT YOU DO KNOW that eBay charges YOU more to do business with them, and they give you less prominence in search.

eBay is Ike Turner and it's Coal (non-diamond) Sellers are whistling ''Proud Mary'' between kool-aid sips.

Perminate Link for eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades   eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades

by: old timer

Wed Feb 24 08:45:45 2010

Woke up this morning to a $200 sale (multiple items) on my Bonanzle store. It is from a repeat customer who originally bought from me on eBay and who I have pointed toward my Bonanzle store.

I can't tell you how happy this sale has made me. Yes, there is life beyond eBay and we sellers can make it work on other venues.

Keep on truckin'!

Perminate Link for eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades   eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades

by: old timer

Wed Feb 24 09:10:02 2010

@MikeM

"Wow! Thank god we're closing our online store."

Mike, I am sorry that you have decided to close your online store. If you have only used eBay as your venue, I strongly suggest that you consider trying other venues before you give up on online selling entirely.

Try ecrater or Bonanzle for example. The entry costs are low (basically zero) except for your time (which, yes, is something every seller needs to consider). Take what you have learned form your eBay experience and use those skills in another venue. Yes, there is additional work involved in getting sales on the other venues, but they can generate revenue (and usually at less cost and frustration than eBay). And maybe you can convert some of your past eBay customers to your new venue as a start.

Make sure you have no other options before giving up on online sales. You will be surprised at how much you have already learned and how your eBay experience has given you some great skills.

Keep on truckin'!

Perminate Link for eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades   eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades

by: Donkey

Wed Feb 24 10:18:51 2010

These new DRS requirements are even worse than the original ones. One or two bad buyers can basically destroy your business. The post office can misdeliver or damage your mail and destroy your business because the buyers blame the seller.

It is always the seller's fault. The seller always carry the burdon of fault and always pays the price. No recourse.

I currently have 100% positive feedback and have had no negatives or neutrals for a year or more. 4.9 DSR on an annual basis.
Becuase of the way the DSR are calculated, I am NOT a top rated seller and NOT getting the 20% power seller discount.
The discounts are calculated monthly based on three months of data. A couple of bad buyers, I don't know who-I don't know why, left ''2'' ratings. This destroyed my ratings for three months until they drop off.
These new DSR requirements will likely be the last straw.  How am I suppose to change my business model to ''satisfy'' the 1-2% that likely cannot be satisfied? How am I suppose to raise my feedback rating over 100%? Does that rating count for nothing?
This is so frustrating.

Perminate Link for eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades   eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades

by: MikeM

Wed Feb 24 11:13:54 2010

EBAY'S LOSS AMAZON'S GAIN -- don't get too comfy over at Amazon.  While certainly better than eBay, they have one glaring fault: if you step out of line just one iota, they'll boot you off the site...FOREVER!  And mistakes can include feedback that they deem as too low.  There is no forgiveness at Amazon and they track names, IP's, bank accounts and addresses, so you can not get back on without basically assuming a false identity.  They are really only mildly better than eBay when taken in this regard.

OLD TIMER -- Actually, we've had our own online store for many years now. We've sold on eBay, Amazon (before being permanently suspended for something completely beyond our control), BlueJay, Bonanzle, eCrater, eBid, Ioffer, among others.

Unfortunately, what we've come away with  is a disgusted taste in our mouths for selling online.  It's a matter of absolute lowest price wins nowadays.  At one time we were Platinum PowerSellers on eBay.

As for the other selling venues, they are nearly worthless.  We've made a few sales here and there on Bonanzle, eCrater, eBid and Ioffer, but nothing amazing.  Basically, the flaw with those sites are the sellers themselves.  Disgusted with the low profitability on eBay, they run to these other sites and sell the same products at highly inflated prices.  Buyers shop these sites, find that their prices are too high, and go back to eBay and Amazon.  It's a self-fulfilling prophesy of doom, which is really depressing.

As for selling on your own site, good luck!  It takes a positively huge marketing budget to get anywhere near the traffic or sales as those you can achieve on eBay (even with their horrible Best Match).  I can not even fathom what we would have to do to be able to support ourselves on just our website and venues other than eBay (our best marketing came from Google Base (formerly Froogle), but this is really an arena where lowest price wins).  Unless you have a very special niche, there are thousands of other websites selling the same miscellaneous goods, so for anyone thinking the answer to their problems is to build their own website, think again...you'll spend far more than your eBay fees in advertising and likely still not get the traffic.

It's a sad state of affairs that eBay is laughing all the way to the bank.  Personally, we've had enough.  It's back to work and back to a service-related part-time business for us...something WE can control and dictate our own terms.  Less stress, more peace of mind.

Perminate Link for eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades   eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades

by: old timer

Wed Feb 24 12:10:39 2010

@MikeM

It sounds like you have certainly given the online full effort. I can understand your perspective, particularly in the concern that lowest price seems to be all that matters. Frankly, it seems like you have burned out at this point, so dumping the online sales seems more than reasonable.

Back when I had a full time B&M operation, one of the best pieces of advice I received was that when you stop liking your customers, it's time to do something else. (And yes, I know there are customers who are awfully hard to like, but when the PIAs become the majority -- at least from your standpoint -- it's time for a change.) As you say you only have a disgusted taste for online sales at this point, I agree that it's time to get out and regain some control over the stress in your life.

I wish you success and happiness in your offline pursuits.

Perminate Link for eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades   eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades

by: Lana
Web Site

Wed Feb 24 12:36:27 2010

EBay has lost its mind!!  You would think for all the money they get from us each month that they would want to ''take care of us as customers'' and not make it even harder for us as sellers.  My shipping schedule is noted on all my listings but yet I have people who don't read it before they buy and then leave me neutral or negative (only 3 in 5 yrs.)feedback but the point is, people don't care about us as sellers...and because these buyers are at fault for what we, as sellers have to pay the price for, EBay is gonna penalize us for this???  It is time to move on and I need to find a site like EBay where I can sell my items and it not cost me an arm AND a leg each month for all this aggravation.  If anyone knows of any site like this, please email me at MissAvon85@yahoo.com
Thanks

Perminate Link for eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades   eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades

by: J.G.

Wed Feb 24 12:45:23 2010

MikeM is right.  Amazon is a great place for selling.  There is alot of action and the customer service calls back immediately and is very helpful, but there are rules to sell by and they are pretty strict.

While on eBay I have a 5 day shipping time, on Amazon you have a strict 2- day time frame, unless your sale falls on a Thursday or Friday, which pushes it to a 4-day.  The seller performance ratings by Amazon are strict, but at least you know what you're doing wrong and can work to correct.

Feedback is very difficult to get from Amazon customers, probably because they don't have the tie-in with the seller as much as on eBay. I've heard feedback is at 10%. I include a note on the packing slip that asks for good feedback if they are happy with the sale.

 You really have to toe the line on Amazon (they HATE cancelled sales, but who doesn't?). It works because the buyer is extremely important to Amazon and we 3-P sellers are now I believe 30% of Amazon's business. Unlike eBay whose sellers are 100% of its business, Amazon respects its sellers.

In the recent past, the selling prices at Amazon have been higher than at eBay, but I am seeing that narrow as more sellers move over from eBay with their eBay pricing to Amazon. There are more listings in many categories and the default search prices now start lower. Ebay will certainly feel the pinch of the immigration to Amazon, but so will Amazon sellers.

We have interesting times ahead.  

Perminate Link for eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades   eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades

by: MikeM

Wed Feb 24 14:39:37 2010

OLD TIMER -- many thanks for the well-wishes and positive words.  We're so happy to done with selling online we can't hardly see straight.  Granted, we have no income now as we work to liquidate the last of 40k worth of inventory, but it's nice to be done.  I agree with your note on hating your customers...we've hated eBay buyers for years.  eBay has simply played to the very lowest common denominator, basically encouraging buyers to screw over sellers (who they are convinced earn millions of dollars per year and are themselves trying to screw THEM).  eBay is the perfect middleman - working both sides against one another while taking them both to the bank.

Perminate Link for eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades   eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades

by: Buck Efay This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 24 14:49:19 2010

1 jerk knocked me into lowered search with 2 1 DSRS& I made no sales for 2 weeks despite being Above standard, 4.9% -4.8% DSRS. His reason for giving the 1s? I "ripped him off" on shipping. He paid exactly .15 over the ACTUAL AMOUNT I PAID TO SHIP! Anoth ass gave me all 1 DSRS and a negative the dat after he ordered, because he hadn't gotten his item yet! That one almost cost me my account because the jackasses at Ebay aren't smart enough to add 2+2 and see the item was ordered 24 hours before negative left!As long as Ebay is ruled by non verified idiots & nutjobs like this, there is no hope to succeed on Ebay unless you can sell & ship 500+ items a month with free shipping.

Perminate Link for eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades   eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades

by: Buck Efay This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 24 14:53:31 2010

@MikeM
"(b) If you offer free shipping, the shipping & handling DSR should default to 5 stars."
The reason that will never happen is because Ebay TRS sellers that LIE & claim they offer free shipping with big orange buttons etc, but when you go to the listing, on Ebay USA, the free shipping is only to their country of origin (usually China) and Griff says that's peachy keen & allowed. If an item is listed on EBAY USA with free shipping & receives special placement, the FREE SHIPPING needs to be FREE TO THE USA! Any moron could figure that out, but not the rocket scientists that ruin ebay.

Perminate Link for eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades   eBay to Demote Sellers in Search Results for Poor Grades

by: MikeM

Wed Feb 24 14:56:57 2010

BUCK EFAY -- 500 orders per month???    We were moving 1300-1600 orders per month (with about 2/3 of that from eBay) and making LESS than when we were only selling around 900-1000 orders per month just two years ago.  Profitability was less than half of what it used to be.

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