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Tue Oct 20 2009 23:29:53

Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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We asked AuctionBytes readers what they thought of eBay's recent changes to search and the new Top Rated Seller (TRS) program. Part one of the survey results are published in Wednesday's newsletter.

AuctionBytes launched the survey on October 8 as sellers were still assessing the effect of the changes that had rolled out in the weeks prior. When asked how the recent launch of the TRS program affected their sales, 38% said they were unable to estimate the effect. Another 22% said their sales had not changed, 33% said their sales had decreased, and 7% said their sales had increased.

After analyzing the full data set of all respondents, we went back to look at results exclusively from sellers whose listings displayed the TRS badge. Interestingly, only a small number of TRS sellers said their sales had increased, and the majority said their sales had either remained unchanged or had actually decreased. A third were unable to measure the effect of the program on their sales.



It was also interesting to note that only 33% of TRS sellers believed the TRS program succeeded in accomplishing eBay's stated goal of recognizing and rewarding sellers who provide great buyer experiences. This compares to 57% of ALL respondents who said the TRS program failed to meet those goals.



Read Part 1 of the survey results in Wednesday's newsletter (link); Parts 2 and 3 will be published later this week.




Comments (82) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers   Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers

by: Not a TRS, but have the rank to be!

Tue Oct 20 23:48:23 2009

Ina, Ebay's best sellers have already fled Ebay for greener pastures a year ago. Just take a look at the mess of a site. If I need .99 store junk, I won't buy it from a TRS, I'll just hit Walmart. Ebay blew it bigtime. They were the place for discriminating shoppers to find the rare & unique IT. Ebay has successfully managed to add SH, it's a secret, you cant find anything mess of a search to finding IT, and well, you can guess the result when SH meets IT. That's what ebay has become.

Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers   Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers

by: Jim

Wed Oct 21 00:28:27 2009

The problem is complexity for the buyer.  A seller with 99.8 can be not TRS and a seller with 99.7 can be.  The difference is insignificant in ratings in general.  

The one and only place it is useful is bulk homogeneous items where there is very little difference between many sellers.   It is little use where there are unique items such as collectibles.   My guess is that folks that advise eBay buyers will tell them to ignore it for unique items and use it for bulk items.

The thing is that small sellers do not need to be in the unique item business.

Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers   Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers

by: Chan

Wed Oct 21 00:36:20 2009

This is the new QCP program fault!

Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers   Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers

by: Patricia

Wed Oct 21 01:05:45 2009

"It was also interesting to note that only 33% of TRS sellers believed the TRS program succeeded in accomplishing eBay's stated goal of recognizing and rewarding sellers who provide great buyer experiences"

Yet they exclude small sellers who have long and excellent reputations.  This program is just another Ebay farce.  Coddling the bigger sellers while punishing the smaller sellers!  Its no wonder this business is failing - as well it should!

Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers   Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers

by: nadine

Wed Oct 21 01:43:11 2009

The question I would like to see answered is what percentage of eBay buyers think the Top Rated Seller program is just paid advertising? That's what I would think, since it doesn't correspond to any visible degree of merit on the part of the seller. It's based on just-unveiled, super secret new rating score that eBay only reveals to the sellers. Way to go increasing trust on the site, guys. When "SH meets IT" indeed.

Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers   Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen

Wed Oct 21 02:09:40 2009

Remind me never to consider hiring anyone with an MBA ...

Still, tomorrow should be good entertainment: the Ho getting giddy with all the spinning he is going to have to do to disguise eBay’s continuing journey down the toilet; I wonder if he will be doing his own camera work again?

Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers   Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers

by: Jane Carter

Wed Oct 21 02:14:49 2009

''Respondents were also asked if they were aware of efforts eBay was making to educate shoppers about the new Top Rated Seller program. 38% said they were familiar with such efforts, while 62% said they were not.''

I said in the survey I was not aware.  I now am!  As a non-TRS seller on eBay (who incidentally according to the dashboard qualifies but then when I look further eBay say I don't) it was extremely galling to receive an unsolicited email from eBay advising me as a BUYER of the new Top Rated Seller programme and showing me goods that I would never dream of buying in a month of Sundays - basically mass produced tat.  On the plus side, if that is all eBay is doing to ''educate'' buyers, then it won't have much affect on my sales as I sell antiques and collectables.  I do worry however, that although my feedback score and DSR ratings are high, my own buyers will wonder why I am not a TRS.

Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers   Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers

by: rachel

Wed Oct 21 02:33:51 2009

We hated it at first. It is too early to be doing surveys since it just came out 2 weeks ago or less. At first they messed up the search. We do not know if buyers will find it better or go by price or product. We shall see after the 4th quarter. Also they are modifying it to have sellers without as many sales. Probably they should not give it to brand new sellers. I have seen sellers do great right away and then start pulling stuff then coming back with new ids for years. Just the fact that a seller operates under the same selling ID over time shows tht they are not hiding. What it does do is show that 100% feedback may include a lot of 1 and 2 percentage wise. I guess it's just another measurement, if you look at "grades" percentages of negatives it may not tell the whole story. 5 stars is another component and this is another. We shall see things change all the time. They may fix it like they did with the neutrals. Just don't get why buyers get feedback at all since all they get is positive. The negatives would warn us. Just take away meaningless feedback from buyers since they all have 100% to help us. we have to wait.

Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers   Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers

by: 2010 or Bust

Wed Oct 21 02:46:51 2009

First of all, my oft repeated point: Until eBay gets a shopping cart, it will not matter. Amazon will continue to rise while eBay fails. Try shopping on eBay around the Holidays when you have to check out 20 times.

I am TRS with 100% living in fear that if the next month a couple nuts give me a couple bad ratings, the poof, all my ability to sell on eBay evaporates. That is the problem for eBay if they want real businesses selling.

If the Stock Market and Amazon are all on the uptick, how much longer can eBay blame things beyond its control?

Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers   Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers

by: Theresa

Wed Oct 21 02:52:51 2009

TRS is a joke.  There are no words to describe the level of disgust I feel for the ebay corporation as they are doing everything they can to destroy my once successful ebay consignment business.

Here are how yesterday's 30-day calculations worked out for me.  Powerseller with hundreds of sales.  No negatives or neutrals.  4.9 DSRs across the board.  3 of 4 DSRs with no 1's or 2's.  I received 3 low DSRs in the shipping cost category, which equates to .51%, which is .01% too high to qualify for the sacred badge.  So because .01% buyer thinks USPS charges too much to ship a package, ebay is telling buyers to go elsewhere when making their holiday purchases.

I believe that ebay has shot itself in the foot for the last time with this TRS debacle.  I fully expect to wake up one morning to the breaking news that ebay has closed it's door (or had them closed due to unscrupulous business practices) and I will be out a job.  How I would love to leave the site, but where is the consignment seller to go?  I am so happy for the niche sellers that have found success on alternate sites or their own websites, but there seems to be a void for sellers like me.  My gut tells me to bail out now, but as much as I hate ebay, I hate the idea of going back to a 9 to 5 job even more.

Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers   Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Wed Oct 21 03:31:17 2009

I think it's really too early to assess the TRS designation.

Many sellers received their cute little badges within 48 hours of ebay's activation of buyers' ebay bucks. This could account for a sales flurry that quite coincidentally coincided with ebay bucks. Just the way ebay intended so that can make all sorts of claims which can't be proven right or wrong.

DEATH to ebay corp. in 2009.

Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers   Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers

by: steve

Wed Oct 21 04:20:17 2009

This is very bad editorially.

Sellers whom have FAILED to get TRS think its a bad think WOOOW. Ofocurse they are going to Neg (:-)) a system that they FAIL to qualify for. They have a number of FAILED DSR's this is maths not logic or black magic.

For too long the people providing poor service hide behind volume and low qualification scores to be come powerellers.

Now they are exposed suprise suprise they fail with to many low 1's and 2's which for some was obvious as they had low 99.0% and many negs.

Live with the new ecosystem. Improve YOUR business GIVE great customer service Prices and Products and you'll get the benefits.

Be mediocre and stuffer. Period.

The world of business is tough. eBay your customers and NOBODY owe you a living.

regards

Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers   Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers

by: Brenda

Wed Oct 21 06:45:36 2009

@steve

Ummm, Steve, plenty of the folks who object to the TRS badge have 100% feedback, have been on ebay for years and have 5.0s across the board.  But they're small sellers of unique items, and they recognize the program for what it is-merely another way of kicking them in the teeth.  This has nothing to do with quality of service, it's all about volume.  There are plenty of TRSs with worse feedback than the people who have been excluded.  And plenty of smaller sellers who were told they qualified only to be told now that they don't or they won't get the badge until April and in the mean time, they're being demoted in search.  What exactly are they doing wrong?

Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers   Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers

by: It's A Fact

Wed Oct 21 06:48:31 2009

@steve

It's a fact that eBay remove low DSRs and negs from their favored sellers.  My powerseller manager even offered to do it for me once, after being left negs by a difficult buyer, when I was in their favor.

There is no level playing field with eBay anymore.

Fact.

Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers   Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers

by: Patrick

Wed Oct 21 06:52:37 2009

The problem is that it's not only sellers with "alot of failed DSR's" that are being impacted. It's sellers that are, for example, .01% lower than the threshold than are impacted and frustrated. Yes, anybody who runs a business has to have the mettle to deal with competition and the confines of their selling venue.
However, their selling venue should embrace their use of the site and not muddy the waters every 6 months to force an adjustment of their business model.
I think management lost the "high ground" when they started courting larger liquidation type business models.
Management did not believe enough in their own company to court these larger sellers on E-Bays terms, they changed their terms to appease the larger sellers.
If they really believed in their company, management would've told these larger sellers what the terms are, take it or leave it.
It's a precarious situation because the foundation(community, small sellers) of EBay has now been destroyed and the larger sellers will be able to dictate to EBay rather than have EBay dictate to them. The integrity of the site is gone.

Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers   Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers

by: Jim

Wed Oct 21 07:55:49 2009

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selection_bias

Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers   Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers

by: Hardrock Rules

Wed Oct 21 08:29:13 2009

I agree with above poster, eBay will probably just announce a thank you for all the years but WE REGRET TO INFORM YOU PIEREE HAS DECIDED TO CLOSE IT DOWN, and pursue other interests. eBay always sticks us, and they will probably just close down all together.

NO SECURITY selling on eBay, I don't care how long, or how much you have this guy JD will stick it to you, or they will let you down ultimately

Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers   Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers

by: str8jack_it

Wed Oct 21 08:49:31 2009

TRS, just another way to piss off good sellers who don't qualify. When pissed off sellers like me ($1,400.00 a month in listing fees) leave eBay, not only do we leave, but we stop shopping on eBay as well. eBay has lost 50% of it's shoppers!
Phque eBay!

Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers   Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers

by: NH0401

Wed Oct 21 08:54:17 2009

This TRS is a farce for collectibles dealers.

Sellers vary in their world view and ignorance. I've been blackmailed after selling an item with "your shipping is too much - I'll give you $$$ instead". And how do you think that will affect my TRS rating? Nevermind that I have 100% feedback and 4.6+ in shipping DSR and higher in the other categories.

Hopefully, the collectors will ignore the TRS designation because it is not germane. I see other dealers with lower feedback getting the TRS designation & wonder if they were selling their items with free shipping starting at $0.99.

Let's be real, to send a pin in the mail costs the seller $.35 listing +$.30 PayPal +Final Fee + Paypal fee + envelope +$.44 - a little over $1.00 for break even shipping. AND, Greedbay gets its cut on that too!

What a joke this is turning out to be.

Harvard MBA's gone wild - the new reality show AND we are the sponsors and can't cancel after the pilot was aired.

FEH!

I'm waiting for a collectibles venue with 50% of eBay's traffic & I'll be out of eBay's clutches in a flash & leave them to Wal*Mart, Best-Buy and all the other crapsters.....

Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers   Survey Says eBay TRS Program Not Rewarding Great Sellers

by: joe

Wed Oct 21 09:22:54 2009

I have two ebay id's that I sell under both were given the TRS badge.

I stopped selling under both eBay id's on October 10, 2009.

Why list something when they show up at the bottom of ebay search.

October 18, 2008 is when I started my own website and started to list everywhere I possibly could. My main focus is my website, think about it.

Why pay someone to list your items and then you work for them to promote your items to be purchased on their venue.

I list everywhere except ''EBAY'', my main reason is that ebay has become too time consuming and complicated just to list items and abide by kindergarden rules and policies.

As a seller I want a fast, hassle free venue that supports my selling, nothing more.

As a business man I provide the product exactly as listed and it ships upon prompt receipt of payment.

Ebay has failed to support my selling therefore they do not receive my business, cut and dried , it's that simple.

As a buyer I expect the same thing, the item as listed, immediate shipment upon payment and the safe arrival of that item to me, nothing more.

Keep it simple, keep it fast and support my selling is all I ask.

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