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Mon Apr 5 2010 12:19:37

eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance

By: Ina Steiner

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Sellers who monitor their DSRs - a critical measure of seller performance on eBay - were disappointed when 30-day DSR reports disappeared from their Seller Dashboards last week. When eBay launched the reports last year, the company advised sellers, "Get more insight into your Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs) and learn which selling practices directly affect your ratings and by how much." While the 90-day and 12-month reports remain, sellers have less timely insight into what might be leading to low customer ratings.

Sellers have never been enamored of the anonymous nature of DSRs. They cite cases where buyers have left positive feedback ratings but unfairly dinged them on DSRs. Sellers say if they knew which transactions led to dissatisfaction, they could improve their selling practices.

One seller who noticed the missing report last week said, "eBay's removal of 30 Day scores seems to render the regular checking of the seller dashboard as a futile exercise since there will be no fresh or current information other than a 90 day view. DSR's are no longer a seller tool, they become part of eBay's seller extermination weapons cache."

eBay explained its decision to remove the 30-day report in its PowerUp newsletter for PowerSellers:

"30-day average DSR scores are removed from Seller Dashboard since the measurement will no longer be used for PowerSeller requirements, seller standards, or standing in search results."

Before eBay's "Seller Release" changes rolled out last week, eBay handed out discounts to PowerSellers based on their 30-day performance. But under the new system, eBay provides discounts based solely on seller status as a PowerSeller or a Top Rated Seller for the invoice period, with no additional evaluation based on DSRs:

"New PowerSeller Final Value Fee discounts (announced July 2009) apply April 16. eBay Top-rated sellers receive 20% discounts. All other PowerSellers receive 5% discounts."



As eBay moves away from transparency (the company also masks bidders' identities, a policy that can help sellers who engage in shill bidding), eBay's own Chairman has been arguing for greater transparency on the Web. In an interview with Tech Crunch reporter Sarah Lacy, Pierre Omidyar said anonymity was not compatible with ecommerce, and he said, "The biggest mistake people have made online is allowing and embracing anonymous speech."

Pierre was speaking to Ms. Lacy about his new site, Peer News, in which it appears he wants to do the same things for journalists as he did for online sellers. The Editor of Pierre's new venture, John Temple, also told TechCrunch of his dislike of anonymity on the Internet. According to the article:  

"Peer will not have comments. "(Comments) descend into racism, hate, ugliness and reflect badly on news organizations that have them," said Temple. Why? Because people do not have to show their faces when they comment so there's no sense of responsibility, he argued. "We think anonymity is a huge problem when it comes to comments," he said."

For now, eBay sellers will have to swallow the irony and do their best to study the anonymous ratings buyers leave for them, and hope for the best.




Comments (65) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance   eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance

by: Jim This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 5 12:31:55 2010

The best advice I have heard to to ignore the dashboard and DSRs for anything other than meeting the minimum requirements to stay on eBay.  The cost of the effort to make the discount can exceed the discount.  

eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance   eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance

by: Jim This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 5 12:37:11 2010

You can run your reports from the dash board and so you can run a 30 day report anytime.  That is not as convenient as having the 30 day in front of you at a push of a button, but the functionality is there.  

eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance   eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance

by: Ron

Mon Apr 5 12:53:59 2010

Ina,

Just because a comment is made anonymously does not mean that it is not truthful.  One might even argue to the contrary, that when someone has to comment with a verifiable identity, that one might be subject to reprisal.  I say this because I personally would be worried about suspension or some other action taken by eBay due to a comment that I might make.  It's sad that it's come to the point that people are that distrustful of that organization, but unfortunately, that is the situation.

Regarding DSRs, they've been a meaningless joke since being instituted. Although we've maintained an average of well over 4.9 on three of the categories, our shipping is at 4.86, again, very good, but not indicative of anything.  We charge our true costs and why we should be subject to judgment on what the Post Office charges is beyond my understanding.  I'm convinced that we have maintained a high average because we educate our buyers by inserting a note in every package, explaining the system.  The new system of penalization for "1"s and "2"s is equally ridiculous and favors volume sellers.  If you are selling low volumes of antiques, collectibles or unique items, you are much more exposed to a crank customer than a business that is selling 100s or 1000s of standardized items a day.  This has to do with statistical "normal distribution" - "outliers" or statistical aberrations have less impact on a normal curve with a large population than a small one. Using percentages to determine customer satisfaction is simplistic at best. We have always run our business with the utmost of professionalism and I have to admit that we are beginning to resent eBay trying to evaluate our performance with what is in essence a flawed system.  We've started to migrate a large part of our business to other websites and we're finding it to be a breathe of fresh air - uncomplicated, cheaper and, in general, a much friendlier customer base.

eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance   eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance

by: Rich

Mon Apr 5 13:13:22 2010

The DSR feedback is just another Ebay decision which hurt Ebay's growth.  It's highly unpopular among sellers and never on Ebay's buyer discussion boards; do any buyers talk about using the dsr's to decide who to buy from.  Sellers hate it and buyers don't seem to care. And actually; I've read on boards where it also creates unpleasant buying experiences as many sellers pressure buyers to leave 5's.  My opinion is that buyers should leave positive, negative or neutral, but that buyers should not receive feedback of any kind.  And that buyers who also have a seller account; should not be allowed to leave feedback when they buy because too many sellers leave low scores for other sellers.  As for 30 day dsr; I don't care.  The dsr rating system makes selling unpleasant and I rarely look at it.  It's just 1 more reason to sell on Amazon and other sites and not on Ebay.  This blog has had good articles lately

eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance   eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance

by: old timer

Mon Apr 5 13:49:13 2010

This is so typical of eBay's two-faced approach to everything.  If IT is good for eBay's bottom line (at least as seen by eBay management), then IT's a good thing and should be rammed down the throats of sellers and buyers.  If IT causes eBay financial difficulty or simply corporate embarrassment, then IT's bad and needs to be eliminated.

"eBay" and "transparency" are two concepts that seem to be mutually exclusive.

"For now, eBay sellers will have to swallow the irony and do their best to study the anonymous ratings buyers leave for them, and hope for the best."

Actually, eBay sellers (at least the smaller unique ones that eBay does not want - despite their two-faced protestations to the contrary) CAN do something else now.  Move at least part of our inventory to other venues and drop reliance on eBay.  There is life beyond eBay.  I am having growing success in the other venues, particularly as I am seeing more of my eBay buyers willingly follow me to other sites and continue to be MY customers there.  No, it's not enough yet, but the positive trend in my non-eBay efforts are rapidly outpacing my eBay results.  It's just going to be a matter of time and effort.

Thank you, JD, for your continuing disruptive innovation which has inspired me to redirect my time and effort elsewhere.  It has shown me the brighter land outside of eBay.

eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance   eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance

by: nadine

Mon Apr 5 14:48:01 2010

Ron, now you can stop worrying about 4.8s or 4.9s. Only the low DSRs mean anything in the new scheme, as long as you maintain 4.6 averages. That's what the chart Ina posted says.

eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance   eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance

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

Mon Apr 5 15:31:53 2010

eBay needs to practice what they preach. DSRs are a scheme to make the little doggies jump and then get a show ribbon.

It's hard to have sympathy for people willing to be abused by eBay.

eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance   eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance

by: Fruity This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 5 15:43:27 2010

its a thousand little cuts slowly to limit trade and induce you to setting a different price. Y'all should be filing complaints with the DOJ and let them put it to a reason test. Especially since ebay themselves stated that they were aware that it was more difficult for smaller sellers to compete

eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance   eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance

by: Dave

Mon Apr 5 17:21:34 2010

What is the minimum DSR to stay on eBay? Is there one? This is really confusing the hec out of me.

eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance   eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance

by: Lisa

Mon Apr 5 18:34:37 2010

Sellers who pad S&H with ridiculous amounts like $5 over actual cost to stick something in an envelope should have a pretty good idea why they're getting dinged on shipping rate DSRs.  If they don't ship timely, they should know why they're getting dinged on shipping time.  Sellers want to be spoonfed the information?  If you suck in an area, you know you suck in an area and you know why you suck in an area and blaming it on ebay is lame.

eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance   eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance

by: Charlotte Fancy

Mon Apr 5 18:53:09 2010

@Jim: Thanks for the reminder that we can manually create 30-day reports.

It slightly tedious to do, but at least the info is still available (for NOW!)

I predict that it won't be long until there's a 90-day minimum (instead of the current 10-entries minimum) before we'll be able to generate a report.

I do my best to RESIST becoming obsessed with the dashboard. It's demoralizing and counterproductive.

The 1's and 2's for FREE SHIPPING are not ''outliers''... they're from people who GENUINELY have NO CLUE what 1-star means. Or perhaps they wanted me to ship their supplies along with a BONUS REBATE CHECK equal to the amount of postage that they weren't charged separately for.

I love selling. I love most of my customers. But, frankly, some of them are just idiots---and it really hurts low-volume folks like me.

eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance   eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance

by: Charlotte Fancy

Mon Apr 5 19:07:41 2010

@Lisa: That's an awfully broad brush you're painting with. Clearly you've had a bad experience, but it's unfair to assume 1) that all sellers do as you've described, and 2) that the sellers who do do as you've described would bother to complain about it.

Indeed, as you pointed out, those folks surely know and understand what's happening.

But ultimately, it's the buyer who makes the decision to buy or not to buy. The BUYER needs to do some mental math and determine if the total cost (shipping included!) is a good value.

eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance   eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance

by: Dude, wheres my DSR?

Mon Apr 5 20:58:09 2010

@Lisa

The sellers you speak of are for the most part the ones ebay caters to; multiple listing $0.99 garbage sellers.

The majority of us are wondering how we end up with low DSR's in the S&H ctegory when we offer free shipping.

We blame ebay solely for this.

eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance   eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance

by: Troglodyte

Mon Apr 5 21:14:57 2010

What ebay is reponsible is creating a system that:

--encourages and facilitates buyer fraud
--encourages and facilitates a feedback system not based on fact or accuracy but opinion. But therse opinions can unfairly ruin a seller's business with no recourse available for the seller.

These DSRs aren't as anonymous as ebay wants everyone to believe. They're left simultaneously with the feedback, and that leaves an IP number trail.

Policies that constitute a pattern and practice of aiding and abetting buyer or seller fraud are crimes and should be reported to the FBI.

It has gone far enough. Ebay management is nothing more than a safe haven for white collar criminals.

Why would ebay pay for Lorrie Norrington's home security system? The answer seems obvious.

What amazes me is that it didn't happen many months ago.

eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance   eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance

by: eBuyer Feedback This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Apr 5 22:10:51 2010

30 day reports are not the same as the 30 day average you are used to seeing.  As I have stated numerous times one is based on when the transaction took place (or item was listed) and the other is based on time received.

eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance   eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance

by: another side of the coin

Mon Apr 5 22:20:43 2010

I'm sure Lorrie isn't as stressed about personal security as the stress a lot of sellers are feeling for having their financial security in jeopardy by eBay's constant greed and manipulations.

I don't know of any corporation that degrades their sellers by having a juvenile rating system such as this. I mean it's embarrassing for a corporation to be like this and humiliating as a seller. eBay wants to play with the big boys and be respected but all I see is Donahoe playing in a sandbox and taking a temper tantrum if he doesn't get his way. Actually I heard Meg was like this too and she wants to be governor of CA? What a bunch of brats.

eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance   eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance

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

Mon Apr 5 23:58:12 2010

“As eBay moves away from transparency (the company also masks bidders’ identities, a policy that can help sellers who engage in shill bidding), eBay’s own Chairman has been arguing for greater transparency on the Web. In an interview with Tech Crunch reporter Sarah Lacy, Pierre Omidyar said anonymity was not compatible with ecommerce, and he said, ‘The biggest mistake people have made online is allowing and embracing anonymous speech.’”

There is absolutely no incompatibility in these two attitudes.

In the first instance, anonymity (of bidding IDs) is OK because it was introduced by eBay, deliberately, to encourage shill bidding ‘wire fraud’ so as to improve eBay’s FVF.

In the second instance, anonymity (of speech) is not OK because it enables people to criticism with little fear of legal repercussions. People in power don’t like that sort of anonymity.

“Peer [News] will not have comments.”

Well of course not. We can’t have the otherwise powerless peasants expressing themselves, now can we? After all, Pierre knows what is best for we peasants and I am sure he will, in due course, explain the meaning of life to us all.

And, what does all that tell us about the scruples of Pierre and his most ugly child, eBay?

eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance   eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance

by: Carrot

Tue Apr 6 00:08:13 2010

Stop worrying about the carrots Ebay dangles in front of you.

Just sell and survive to be actively selling on Ebay.

STOP WORRYING about discounts, if you get them, you get them, if you don't, you don't

Dont go operating your business making sure you have some sort of icon, some sort of carrot, some sort of 5% discount.

Do business like you are getting no discount.

Whatever you get, you get.

Stop killing yourself over this.

What Ebay is doing is illegal unfair trade practice but no one will take them to court over it. They know this.

Stop worrying about the carrots.

eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance   eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance

by: Julie

Tue Apr 6 00:30:16 2010


Carrot for President!

eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance   eBay Removal of 30-Day DSRs Hinders Seller Performance

by: DonC
Web Site

Tue Apr 6 00:41:48 2010

I try to analyze whatever data is available in order to get a handle on how my products and service are perceived by my customers. The 30 day DSR's were practically useless for this purpose. Now 90 day DSR averages are without a doubt of no value.

I would like to have the raw data for statistical analysis. Averages aren't very useful for identifying trends. Averages of 90 days of activity are useless.

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