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Sun May 29 2011 07:16:52

eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google

By: Ina Steiner

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There's nothing more frustrating for eBay sellers than learning that a buyer has left them positive feedback but less than perfect DSRs (Detailed Seller Ratings). And because buyers leave DSRs anonymously, sellers often don't know which of their customers were less than 100% satisfied.

Some sellers have now figured out that if they do a little homework, they can find which buyers left them perfect 5-star ratings, thanks to Google Product Search.

What are DSRs?

eBay buyers can rate sellers anonymously on various "DSR" criteria, such as shipping costs and speed of delivery, by rating them on a 5-star scale. And while most people might think a 4 out of 5 star rating would be a compliment to the seller, eBay requires sellers to maintain nearly perfect scores or face demotion in search and the loss of discounts on seller fees.

To find 5-Star DSR ratings on Google, do a search on Google Shopping, aka Product Search, for an eBay merchant, and then click on the hyperlink to read the seller reviews. For example, here are the five-star merchant reviews for an eBay seller by the name of mississippi_seller.

On April 23, five buyers left this seller positive feedback ratings, you can see on the seller's eBay feedback profile; and the Google reviews show that each of those five buyers left perfect 5-star reviews for the seller.

As a research tool, this technique is far from perfect. But because eBay sellers are able to see some of their customers who did leave perfect DSR ratings, low-volume sellers may be able to deduce which buyers did NOT leave them perfect ratings. And if they can determine who left them low ratings, sellers may choose to block those buyers from making future purchases from them.

eBay tells buyers, "Because detailed seller ratings are anonymous, sellers can't see which buyer gave them which rating. This means that buyers should feel free to be honest and open about their buying experience so sellers can get a more complete picture of their performance."

eBay shoppers may be the most surprised to discover some of their reviews showing on Google Shopping.




Comments (27) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google   eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google

by: NullApps This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sun May 29 07:47:07 2011

I see no evidence that this is exposing DSR scores.  For all we know Google Products says 5 stars whenever someone leaves a positive, 3 stars when they leave a neutral, and 1 star when they leave a negative.  The overall score it shows per DSR for some larger sellers could be gleaned just by looking at the total number of DSRs left for the user and their score.

eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google   eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google

by: anyone out there

Sun May 29 07:48:30 2011

DSR'S have never been anonymous. NEVER NEVER NEVER.

Its common knowledge amongst most sellers than you can run a program thru the seller dashboard that will give you the name of the buyer who has left less than stellar stars.

It requires some work on the part of the seller by most sellers whould rather complain instead of trying to find out who left the 1 and 2's.

eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google   eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google

by: Money

Sun May 29 09:50:24 2011

@nullaps - but what about the separate scores for shipping and customer service?

@anyon-out-there - what program? common knowledge to you perhaps...but please share.

eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google   eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Sun May 29 09:52:28 2011


Google's look at DSR ratings is a little stale and is about 30 days behind. With the two companies having at it over mobile payments, it would not be surprising to see much of eBay's presence in Google search disappear or be out of date.

DSR's are not completely anonymous despite eBay's statements to the contrary.

With a little research on eBay using their report feature it is possible to determine which seller left low DSR scores, but it does take a little work to do so. But then again with a 20% FVF discount hanging in the balance, most sellers would want to see who is hurting their scores.

There is a user written eBay guide detailing how you can run a report to find your miscreant buyers.

Link: http://reviews.ebay.com/DSR-Are-Not-Anonymous-How-to-Find-It-Out-for-A
ny-Item_W0QQugidZ10000000015438696

eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google   eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google

by: Jim

Sun May 29 10:10:12 2011

@anyone out there

Please let us know how you are able to find that info. The best I've ever been able to determine is an approximate date & shipping type.

eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google   eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google

by: Money

Sun May 29 10:15:53 2011

Thanks for that link Ric!

eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google   eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google

by: anyone out there

Sun May 29 11:09:56 2011

@jim

The post by ric tells you how to do it.

eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google   eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Sun May 29 12:15:22 2011

I can't make it work for me. It would be nice if there was a quick and easy way to check.

I'm aware of the other method that involves running multiple reports and comparing the results... but that's just too tedious and time consuming for me. Because eBay is now a secondary source of income for me, the small benefit just isn't worth the effort.

However, for those sellers who still rely exclusively or primarily on eBay, then I can surely see how easy access to this info would be immensely beneficial. Those sellers benefit MORE by eliminating ''risky'' customers. The loss of one sale to a PITA costs far less than the potentially devastating and costly effects that the PITA can have on a seller's business.

eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google   eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google

This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles
Web Site

Sun May 29 12:31:52 2011

Anonymous or not I don't care about it. I don't like some buyers/sellers that like to abuse DSR, but I found some sellers in eBay that are falling in one or two of the DSR categories and they can get a positive, but not perfect in DSR.

In eBay what need to do is work to regulate DSR and identify buyers/sellers that abuse of it. For example just some algorithm to detect a buyer/sellers that are leaving 1 and good feedback, after X number send them to a human check, and disable the DSR to these abusers.  

eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google   eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google

by: Scott

Sun May 29 13:34:59 2011

I just ran my own ebay ID through there and it shows 21 reviews, all five stars.  Has anyone found anything less than five stars by running an ebay ID?

eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google   eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Sun May 29 14:07:19 2011

-- ''In eBay what need to do is work to regulate DSR and identify buyers/sellers that abuse of it.''

This would make sense if the actual purpose of DSR's was to help sellers to improve.

But in light of the fact that DSR's are mostly anonymous, and often delayed, and can rarely be attributed to a particular sale or listing... it's quite clear that the purpose of DSR's is *not* to improve seller behavior, but to gradually CULL small sellers out of existence.

By doing it this way, eBay can plausibly blame-the-seller and accept no responsibility for intentionally creating a sinister no-win death-spiral situation.

The current DSR process makes it nearly impossible for sellers to address specific problems in an effective, timely, and targeted way... and it ends up being a hit-or-miss guessing game that produce little or no meaningful results.

The only way out is to sell more items to minimize the impact of the poor scores. Unfortunately, this is often futile because of eBay's sanctions, limitations, selling-restrictions, fee increases, and other punishments.

As a result, those sellers are not able to sell more. They're either drummed out of business because they can't make ends meet.

Or, the existing bad DSR scores start to have a bigger MATHEMATICAL impact on the average because *fewer* sales are coming in. Therefore those low DSR's pull-down the average to such a low level that the seller has no hope of recovering. Ever!

eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google   eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google

This user has validated their user name. by: Nan
Web Site

Sun May 29 14:09:47 2011

@Scott.  I did the same thing with several different ID's, not my own.  Google results all showed 5/5 stars even though the ebay stars showing on the DSR box were partial on the 5th star.  I am trying to locate an eBay ID that has an empty 5th star, but so far no luck.  Maybe they all got kicked off.

eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google   eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google

by: jen

Sun May 29 16:07:19 2011


There is no hyper link to read seller reviews.

eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google   eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google

by: Tiberius Seizure

Sun May 29 18:40:13 2011

eBay is run by out of control criminals.

Their policy is to lie even if the truth would serve them better.

eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google   eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google

by: Fruity This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 30 17:20:45 2011

They're not anonymous, Ebay just disabled them from view. Big Difference. Sorta like how they also used to hide the historical sales history but then suddenly they decided to unhide them and now taxman can see all the BUYERS PURCHASES with a seller so they can send you a bill because you didn't pay your use tax to your state.

Anything Google is showing is because Ebay wants them to show it. If you are trying to make it so buyers are ticked off that Google is displaying it, then you should equally be ticked at what "glitch" trickery did ebay do to release your anonymous rating. Sorry but this sounds fishy. It sounds like all the other things that happen so ebay can be justified in doing SOMETHING. Ebay has an axe to grind with Google. It wasn't Google that messed up search results and it wasn't google that was spamming with those dead listings to dirty up search engine searching

eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google   eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google

by: Rich

Mon May 30 20:20:48 2011

All a seller has to do is go to seller dashboard and click on link for "run reports". Then what's needed is to copy/paste 10 item numbers that left all 5's and save this report with the 10 items numbers that left all 5's.  10 items are needed to run a report so it can take some time to get 10 items wih all 5's.  But once this group of 10 items who left all 5's is established; then use this group of 10 to figure out what everyone else leaves.  By adding an 11th score of a different transaction; if your average stays 5 with the 11th score; then this 11th person also left all 5's.  If you punch in an item number of a new feedback and run the report with the other 10 that all have 5's; and the % drops under 5; then this new feedback did not leave 5's.  Most likely; there's a legal reason why Ebay has allowed every seller to find out the exact dsr's that every single buyer leaves.  The high fees and the star system have helped to ruin selling on ebay--very stupid company with an incredibly stupid CEO--he'll leave a wealthy failure

eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google   eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google

by: Rich

Mon May 30 20:29:33 2011

To Ina Steiner; this Google review page has absolutely nothing to do with the Ebay star ratings that the buyer's user id next to each product has left on the transaction.  On my main account there is 5 stars next to every one of my items that comes up in Google product search, but some of the user id's did not leave me 5 stars but the product review shows 5 stars.  It would be nice if this worked but the only way to know the scores everyone leaves is by running reports with item numbers.  Once set up with 10 item numbers who have left all 5's; it's very fast and easy to check every single transaction.  But Google product search showing 5 stars has nothing to do with Ebay's DSR's that the buyer's user id next to theproduct; has left

eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google   eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google

by: Chaz

Tue May 31 01:41:26 2011

Thanks for the scientific way to find who left the low DSR.  Helps in blocking.  But as we all know the frustrating thing about blocking is that it's after the fact.  Low DSR's are basically bad luck - running into the wrong buyer at the wrong time.  Earlier this year I had one buyer purchase two items and leave low DSR on description - what would prompt this I have no idea - but it counts as 2 low DSR's - and of course he never asked for a refund which you'd expect if he didn't like the items.  I speculate that he just wanted to show how smart he was on some technical disagreement.  So thank goodness the buyer didn't buy 4 items.  You do need 2 buyers to destroy your TRS status - one alone can't do it - but ebay told me once the second one comes along then all of the first buyer's low ratings do count.  Sends shivers, doesn't it?  Unlike some sellers, ebay's methods don't strike me as evil, but rather bumbling and incomplete.  They don't keep their attention on the situation in order to work out the kinks like most of us do.  And their employees don't have any discretion if you can't prove it's connected with malicious feedback.  Here's another one that the buyer took back:  USPS says item delivered through delivery confirmation - confirmed through ebay.  Yet buyer can leave negative fb and DSR's based on stating item not received.  And the ebay employee also said that maybe the buyer didn't get it.  So even though that buyer could not make a dollar claim for the item he claimed not delivered, he could retaliate for it.  Entirely possible it's not delivered - the USPS is not perfect.  But I'd thought we all agreed to stand and fall by delivery confirmation. And the buyer didn't even give me a chance to compensate him or otherwise work things out.  But I was lucky in the end this time since he recanted.  I don't think ebay intended all these diabolical situations, but they seem to lack the creativity to remedy or improve it, which they certainly could do.  There are well intentioned buyers out there that get their dander up at random times and if you are the seller to that buyer, you've had it, right or wrong.  This can certainly be improved.  Especially for those of us who only get dinged on rare occasions and are obviously following the best practices.  I also don't agree that ebay is trying to drive out the smaller sellers because we add up to a lot of fees on a combined basis.  They just can't seem to get a handle on how best to manage their site.

eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google   eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google

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

Tue May 31 03:22:40 2011

So, then, if these people who are making these decisions at eBay aren't simply unscrupulous, unethical, immoral, sociopathic criminals, and totally incompetent ones at that, they must all be just plain stupid. ...

The Chief Headless Turkey and his gaggle of under-turkeys have obviously been doing too much reading of that copy of the “Bain Tool Kit for Idiot Executives” that Meg forgot to take with her.

Enron / eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.

eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google   eBay DSRs Not Entirely Anonymous Thanks to Google

by: John Zastowney

Tue May 31 10:41:58 2011

LOL!  When I read the statement by eBay, "...This means that buyers should feel free to be honest and open about their buying experience so sellers can get a more complete picture of their performance."

I just couldn't stop laughing over that since nothing is further from the truth. A complete picture?  Well, if you include those who don't know how to rate then that statement is correct, a complete cross section of society is what you get with your DSRs.

I have been selling on eBay for 12+ years and this DSR system is THE most subjective, useless piece of information imaginable.

For some sellers, one penny over exact shipping may merit a 2 DSR from a discerning buyer while another buyer may give a 5 DSR for a $2.00 S&H fee.  Where in the world is the logic in that?!

I charge NO, I repeat NO, handling fee and charge EXACT shipping costs and go as far as to refund via PayPal any overage paid and ensure that it is printed as a Shipping Discount on the invoice that I enclose in each box where I specifically highlight it to draw attention to the buyer.  I also print the shipping cost on the label so the buyer doesn't have to guess if they were charged exact shipping.  Then I send the buyer an e-mail indicating the discount that was refunded via PayPal.  And then PayPal itself sends an e-mail to the buyer. Even then I had an off-her-rocker buyer leave me a 1 DSR for Shipping and Handling.  I was mortified.

I make all this information crystal clear in my listings, my e-mails, and invoices.

Also, since I am unemployed, I ship usually the same day and never later than the following day.  Heck, I have shipped boxes within the hour if the postal carrier hasn't come by my house to retrieve boxes when I receive payment.

Let me put this DSR thing in perspective. . . Of the last 21 DSR ratings I've received for Shipping Time and Shipping & Handling, 20 of them were 5s and 1 was a 3.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  A 3?!!  That's with EXACT shipping costs and shipping within 24 hours mind you.  I can't imagine what that buyer was thinking and what would have merited a 5 from him/her.  I specifically state on my invoices to e-mail me or even call me to tell me what I could have done better but of course, eBay encourages passive-aggressive behavior from its buyers.

So, what did that do to my DSRs you may ask?  Well those two ratings for the last 21 feedbacks are 4.90.  One lousy 3 wreaks havoc on those numbers, statistically speaking.

First off all buyers are NOT honest.  Many are casual buyers who cannot discern between what a 3 is and a 5 is regarding feedback. It is WAY too subjective.  Exact shipping to one buyer is a 3 while another thinks it's a 5.  How subjective is that?!

And mind you only half of my buyers actually leave feedback, which has prompted me to change my philosophy of only leaving feedback for those buyers who leave it for me.

Another tidbit of information of worthy note . . . Even though eBay promises that you will get a 5 Star DSR Rating for Shipping and Handling if you offer Free Shipping that only occurs WHEN AND IF the buyer actually leaves feedback.  If he/she never leaves feedback that 5 Star Rating NEVER gets posted to your DSRs.  And with my luck, it's always those new buyers who don't regularly leave feedback are the ones who bought something with Free Shipping - a total injustice if you ask me.

So when only half your buyers leave feedback and the DSR is so subjective you do NOT, I repeat do NOT get a 'complete picture' of your selling experience.  Nothing could be more incomplete.

When I get eBay reps on the phone I always ask, "If you charge EXACT shipping and ship within 24 hours why in the world would you merit anything less than a 5 DSR?"  Of course there is always silence on the other end since to date, no one at eBay has been able to rationally explain that to me.

The two statements that actually others have made on previous posts by Ina said it best:

1. eBay is cutting its own throat by sending the message to prospective buyers that more than 50 percent of the sellers on eBay are 'crooks' since it is nearly impossible to have great DSR scores, which scares buyers off to Amazon, et al.

2. I thank eBay, through its DSR system for forcing me to sell on Amazon and other venues where I am making more money on Amazon than I ever thought possible.

Food for thought. . .

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