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Fri Apr 17 2009 19:19:19

eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is considering a "certified seller" program according to a reader who took a survey from eBay. (We have also read another report of the same survey.) He wrote, "Basically they showed me a made up listing page for a digital camera, had me look at everything, than answer a couple questions about whether I would buy the listing." 

Clicking through on the link provided by the reader showed a product listing with a new section where the "Meet the Seller" section currently appears. The new section contains the seller's user ID, feedback number, and three bullet points. It's not clear what all of the requirements for the eBay Certified Seller program might be, but the three bullet points give some indication:
  • Committed to eBay's highest standards for customer service
  • Ships item in 2 business days or less
  • Earns a 99% or higher customer satisfaction rating

Underneath is another section called "Other item info" that contains the Item number, location, Ships to information, and quantity available and quantity sold.



There's very little merchant branding in the example used in the survey (a listing for a digital camera). A link to the seller's Store appears underneath the top section ("below the fold," in newspaper-speak).

There are actually three versions of the eBay Certified Seller program logos (see screen shots), but one says eBay PowerSeller, indicating eBay may be considering new PowerSeller program requirements. (PowerSellers are not currently required to ship within 2 days.)

The survey displays only one version of the logo to each survey participant, so it appears eBay is testing the logo in this particular survey.

Distinguishing between professional sellers with good ratings and those with poor ratings, as well as those who are casual sellers, is not a new idea, and sellers have long lobbied eBay for some form of seller verification. But given eBay's current direction, there's bound to be concern that eBay would limit a certified seller program to high-volume sellers.




Comments (58) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program   eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program

by: www,scriptorical.com

Fri Apr 17 19:27:52 2009

I know 3 professional VERY HIGH volume diamond sellers who won't make the certified seller program unless eBay tweaks their feedback ratings.

eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program   eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program

by: Harriet

Fri Apr 17 19:33:07 2009

Well, it doesn't surprise me that there is yet another noose tightening about to happen.

Really, how many times can one seller be rated, we are already rated twenty ways to Sunday, feedback, DSRs, percentages, linking listing ranking to these ratings, and on and on.

Glad I diversified quite a while back. All my hard work is starting to pay off.

Not that I have a bad rating on eBay, I actually have an excellent rating.

But there is a limit------

eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program   eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program

by: Whateverebay.com

Fri Apr 17 19:52:09 2009

lol.... I would like to have the ''Certified Seller'' logo on my listings, but what good will it really do? If they only offer this to the Major Brands selling on eBay. What assurance is this truly offering the buyers? Just another step in the Process of Elimination.

eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program   eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program

by: claypipe

Fri Apr 17 19:55:30 2009

WoW, This means I can be a certified seller based on my ratings....Oh but wait I got my 5.0 ratings by taking checks or money orders only.  Oh well I'll just shop at scriptorical.com instead.

eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program   eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program

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

Fri Apr 17 20:08:43 2009

Ebay needs a certified seller program like they need another 5 or 6 point hit on their stock.

What ebay needs is a certified buyer program that prevents the same person from re registering after being NARUed for cause, that prevents buyers with a history of fraud from buying anything ever, that prevents buyer feedback until a)they've paid for the b) indicate they won't be returning it, and so on.

Ebay and PayPal overprotect buyers now! It's time for some seller protection that WORKS!

eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program   eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program

by: Patrick Alexander

Fri Apr 17 20:26:51 2009

More of the same crap. This is like watching a good friend die a VERY slow death.

The most telling comment by John Donahue I saw recently, was something like - ''We made a big mistake - letting just anyone sell.'' And this kind of thing follows that thinking.

I've got a news flash for you Johnny boy: That's what made eBay. The little guy selling (and buying). And the balanced feedback system (before M/W) kept it honest. The system was truly ''The Perfect Store.''

The further they get from the basics, the worse it gets.

I think Meg's original plan in putting this guy in charge was so she could come back and ''rescue'' eBay if she loses the Ca. governor's race.

The catch is, I don't think he will last that long......

eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program   eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program

by: 15 minutes

Fri Apr 17 21:09:43 2009

Ebay has had it's 15 minutes. How about a CERTIFIED BUYER PROGRAM? How about making sure users register with real info? Until then, every seller certification in the world means doodley squat, because Ebay's wonderful so called buyers will waste your time.

eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program   eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program

by: certified ebay fraud

Fri Apr 17 21:17:23 2009

Without clear rules from ebay every scumbag from every country will be certified.

Oh wait a minute I think all the scumbags are already selling.

Who the --ll needs another little quirky ebay label on there auctions.

eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program   eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program

by: Ebay China

Fri Apr 17 21:28:22 2009

All traceable back to Meg "we know there's loads of fraud on Ebay and can't do nothing about it" Whitman. Meg brought Chinese junk on Ebay, Meg started .99 auctions, Meg went after B&M retailers and see how well all that went? Why is it everytime I see a new Ebay announcement, I hear Benny Hill music?

eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program   eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program

by: West Coast

Fri Apr 17 22:34:55 2009

This is interesting because many large ebay sellers can claim that they ship in 2 business days.....but that only means they ship in 2 business days once they actually get a fill for the item from a supplier-which often adds several more business days or weeks to the actual time between the buyer ordering the product-and actually getting it.

So, will the buyers expectation be met? Certainly not during the xmas sales season, no way...

Very, very, very few ebay high volume commodity sellers actually carry any real, physical on-hand inventory.

Buy.com carries no physical inventory.
They routinely cancell tons of their ebay orders for items they can't fill. Last time I tested, they cancelled 3 for 3 of my test orders....

Perfect example: most media sellers like say, white_elephant_media or redtagmarket carry no actual in-house physical inventory...they just list thousand of SKUs enmasse and fill whatever they can....

eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program   eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program

by: East coast

Fri Apr 17 22:39:50 2009

Don't worry, the Doggy Diamonds will be given special treatment & fraudulently manipulated feedback scores to stay in the safe zone. Ebay's behavior is getting more & more illegal by the minute. They can't run off the Flea market sellers because they pay all the bills so Diamonds can skate along & steal Ebay's buyers, so instead  they'll try again to make it harder to sell & list.

eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program   eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program

by: eBuyer Feedback

Fri Apr 17 22:40:30 2009

I don't get it.  This is basically just the powerseller program all over again but with a 99% rating and 2 day ship time.

And as Claypipe said there are Diamond Powersellers who won't qualify unless it is in their contract.

eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program   eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program

by: Daddy Bear Guff

Fri Apr 17 23:30:41 2009

You can bet there's a minimum dollar value buyin to get this new "perk".

Don't worry though, Guff said the 5000 negs & neutrals Buy has already gotten since last fall is statistically insignificant.

eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program   eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program

This user has validated their user name. by: Bob

Sat Apr 18 09:11:49 2009

Boy it would take, what, 3 minutes to take those images and edit them in photoshop with your own user ID and then put the image into the body of your listing.

Screw "certified" eBay needs images like that say "verified" and a way of making buyers and sellers believe that the person they are dealing with is actually verified.

eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program   eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program

by: n2nlm

Sat Apr 18 10:02:47 2009

I don't know how the "certified sellers" get their high ratings.  so far this year the little I have sold on eBay, my customers haven't given any feedback even after sending reminders 1 and 2 times.

eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program   eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program

by: Harriet

Sat Apr 18 10:13:04 2009

I've been thinking about this, and trying to make sense of why eBay feels that another stamp of approval on top of many that exist now, will make sales any better.

They seem to believe that "bad" sellers are making business go away.

I think that buyers are passing eBay by now because they are not finding the special things they found in the past.

Just think about it. If your favorite antique store or flea market suddenly changed their venues and stocked the shelves with toilet paper, new shiny stuff, Chinese mass produced plastic toxic things, and cheaply made clothing -- would you go back there and shop? What if they certified all of their sellers 100% -- would that make to shop there?

No.

You wouldn't go there anymore because they weren't offering the right products.

In business, you have to offer your customers the right products, or you will fall flat on your face.

eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program   eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program

by: Auld Cynical

Sat Apr 18 10:33:01 2009

My concern with this scheme is that yet another conditional margin around which deadbeat buyers can blackmail the seller. Just as one bad buyer can push a seller off DSR targets, one bad buyer can push a seller off registered status.

As the hoops get ever higher, jumping through them becomes a diminishing return. I suspect the real problem is that the site is losing revenues because of contracting diversity of the inventory. Ebay is 'fixing' this problems by 'improving' the buyer experience but actually diminishing diversity even faster.
I also wonder if this is a chess move towards underwriting the buyer's purchase, as Ebay have stated they will, by reducing the domain of sellers eligble for underwriting. If so, this truly is the death of Ebay as no small unregistered seller will ever sell again.

eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program   eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program

by: Harriet

Sat Apr 18 10:45:14 2009

They are in the process of losing a very large portion of their niche market on both the seller and the buyer side.

Once that unique niche is totally lost, that just puts the site into direct competition with so, so many other sites that sell the same things. And eBay will not always come out on top.

Then it just becomes a pricing war, which others are very capable of waging and winning.

What started eBay in the first place and made it so important was its focus on the unusual.

eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program   eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program

by: Sally K

Sat Apr 18 12:08:29 2009

Just another reason for me to continue diversifying. If I'm going to jump through hoops, they'll be my own hoops, thank you very much!

eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program   eBay Considering a Certified Seller Program

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

Sat Apr 18 15:11:05 2009

If buyers will be given the 'privilege' of seeing so much data about a seller, then a seller should have the RIGHT to see and respond to all relevant information about a buyer.

For example:

-- A seller should be able to block buyers with a history of ANY non-payment and be able to set their own NPB ceiling in order for the buyer to buy or bid.

-- A seller should be able to block buyers with a history of ANY returns and decide what their returned item ceiling will be in order for the buyer to buy or bid.

-- Ebay's blocking parameters are ridiculous and, as always, are designed for ebay's best interests rather than than the seller who assumes far, far more of the liability than does ebay.

-- Buyer non payment and buyer returns should be included in the information available to seller in BUYER FEEDBACK so the seller can preemptively block BAD buyers and state buying/bidding requirements in the product description in addition to blocks. This is true trasnparency, not the selective "transparency" hype ebay spews.

-- The blocking choices ebay currently gives sellers are self-serving, absurd, and generally reflect universal either ignorance of their own marketplace dynamics or total disregard for the profitability of sellers. Sellers must DEMAND AND RECEIVE total control over whether they'll sell to any non paying bidder and those with return histories.

If ebay wants complete seller transparency, then sellers MUST demand complete buyer transparency as well or ebay had better be prepared to refund sellers (ebay's buyers) when buyers commit fraud.

Ebay is bleeding sellers now, and this one sided proposed program ought to just about enough to finish ebay except for the $10 a roll paper towel sellers.

Perhaps sellers should unionize! These arrogant venues can't survive without us.

Death to ebay corp. in 2009.
NEG MEG WHITMAN in 2010.

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