|Wed July 25 2012 18:26:35|
New eBay Tracking Requirement Hurts Top-Rated Ephemera Sellers
Well the big change has taken place at eBay. Many Many sellers of stamps, postcards, sports cards and small items will be have lost their Top rated status in the last day or 2.
Is it because they all of a sudden are not giving good customer service? Nope, it is caused by the new 90% tracking requirement for US shipments.
I have been a seller on eBay since 1998. We sell over 12000 US items a year. We have 100% feedback and 4.99 in all of our DSR categories. In fact in the last year we have had only 6 low DSR’s, Out of 12000 transactions. But we will no longer be considered Top Rated.
Ebay wants us to put a tracking label on 90% of our shipments in the US. Here are a few reasons why their 1 size fits all policy is so wrong. As a stamp dealer, most of my customers want stamps on their envelopes, not labels. I send most of my items in a #10 envelope requiring 0.45c in postage.
To change to labels would force me to charge about 200% more for shipping: $1.65 for postage, plus 10% eBay fee on shipping charge, $0.40 for bubble envelope plus paper for labels & ink to print them. (Great for the environment.)
Plus the labels advertise.... Look I am something purchased on eBay.... Steal me....
So I have decided to advise my customers of this change and let them know that eBay will no longer consider me a top rated seller, but I would rather be Top in the eyes of my customers. They are after all the ones that make my business successful.
Now I know that this has been discussed over and over. But I thought I would put it out there, the status changes have occurred in the last couple of days. So just because the badge is gone, doesn’t mean the seller has changed. It just means that greedbay has gotten greedier and will now keep our 20% discount because we will not follow a policy that our customers don’t want in the first place. Time to buy eBay stock as next quarter I am sure they will show a HUGE profit from taking more of our hard earned cash.
On a side note, we are moving sales to Delcampe.net. Been there 6 months and things are really picking up. Started auctions this week. Sent a mass email to all my customers inviting them over.
They have their quirks, but they are open to suggestion and are very helpful. They are young but growing. I see it as the next place for collectibles, since eBay is determined to get rid of us.
Still Top Rated by my Customers (and they are most important)
I have been an eBay seller since 2001. I was a Top Rated Seller for a long while with 100% feedback which I still maintain to this day. When Ebay announced new changes to the TSR eligibility requiring that we offer 1 day handling and 14 day returns in order to keep TSR status. Since the items I sell very rarely get returns, I was willing to change from 7 to 14 days, just to give it a try and see how it goes.
As for the 1 day handling, that too was not a problem since 90% of my items are very easy to ship quickly. However since I now sell glassware items which require extra time to package carefully, and sometimes needing extra time to go into town to get more packaging material to ensure they have a secure shipment. I chose not to offer 1 day handling on those glassware items which weren't that many, probably only 5% of my total ebay listings.
I also do not offer returns on used software. It is too easy to buy used software, copy it on your pc and then return it. This is the main reason why I don't offer it on those items. My 100% feedback helps buyers feel secure to buy it from me.
This one size fits all policy just does not work for many sellers like us. There are always a couple of exceptions. 1 day handling is not possible for when I get orders on Saturdays when they cannot go out until Monday. My post office closes at noon on Saturdays.
Now that the July 20th deadline has passed, I just today lost my TSR that I had for a long while. I find it amusing because I have 100% feedback and have worked really hard to give my buyers a positive ebay experience. Ebay just doesn't think I'm good enough to earn that badge.
You know frankly, I don't care because I also have a buyer's perspective about TSR's as well. I too am a buyer on ebay for various items that I need for my business or for personal use. The truth is, I don't care whether sellers have a TSR or not. I never look at them, honestly! What I really look at is the percentage, the competitive price they offer, how fast do I need it, and whether the item they offer is more unique.
In my 10 years of buying on ebay, I've rarely had bad buyer experiences, TSR or not. It all comes down to common sense. So if that is how I feel, then I am sure many buyers out there feel the same way about TSR's.
Now that I've lost the TSR no matter how hard I tried to meet its requirements, I can give a sigh of relief, not feeling the need to jump through many hoops whenever ebay says to jump. I'm just going to go back to my 2 day handing and 7 day returns, and the occasional no returns for certain items. I believe in my buyers. I believe that I will still do just fine despite the lack of TSR badge. Many times there are very few copies of what I sell on ebay, so I do not get a lot of competition. This goes in my favor.
Honestly this whole TSR policy by Ebay is a big waste of ours and their time. I mean look around and see how many other venues require a such thing? The feedback percentage alone is sufficient. We do not need any fancy badges. Ebay needs to realize that it is not worth putting their sellers through the stress of going through unnecessary changes that don't really improve the experience.
They need to stop trying to fix whatever is not broken. Look at Amazon for example, their feedback system is so simple and effective and still trump in web sales. Ebay should try to follow the motto "Keep It Simple".
I also just don't put all of my eggs into one basket. The web is full of wonderful alternatives to spread our business around, so if one venue tanks, I will still always be on solid feet via other venues.