EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1776 - April 24, 2008     2 of 5

eBay Tells Sellers, Shape Up or Ship Out

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While eBay's President of Global Marketplace Operations Lorrie Norrington didn't actually say, "shape up or ship out," it was clear that was the message she gave to a small gathering of eBay sellers on Wednesday. "If you cannot, or will not change business practices to provide a great customer experience, then eBay is not for you - As I said before, sellers who do not make customer service a priority make it difficult for everyone and are not welcome on eBay."

She prefaced those words by telling sellers that the key to their success on eBay was DSRs - Detailed Seller Ratings left by buyers. "Sellers with strong DSR scores are going to fare very, very well on eBay. You will get better pricing, better visibility and an unmatched opportunity to reach customers and turn inventory to cash."

Norrington said all sellers had improved their DSR scores in the previous 10 weeks, and 63 percent of sellers qualified for at least a 5 percent discount on both their March and April invoices. The discounts are for PowerSellers who achieve minimum DSR ratings across the board. She said 30 percent of all PowerSellers qualified for the 15% discount.

The average DSRs for "Communication" and "Shipping Charges" have seen the most improvement, and Norrington said as a result, the buyer experience is getting better.

She also called it a misperception that shipping cost DSRs on cross-border trade are dramatically lower than domestic DSRs. "On average, PowerSellers' shipping cost DSRs for cross-border trades are only .02 points lower - So that clearly tells us that if you communicate and set buyer expectations properly you can successfully engage in selling goods around the world to take advantage of the weaker dollar without negatively impacting your DSRs."

Norrington also announced two new buyer requirement features, previously reported in AuctionBytes (

She also talked about changes eBay was making regarding negative or neutral feedback left for sellers:

The first is that we will remove negative and neutral feedback left for you - retroactively - when a buyer is unresponsive to an unpaid item claim or if they respond to the claim without expressing dissatisfaction with the item or your performance.

For example, this will resolve the situation where a buyer responds to the UPI claim but the response is nonsense...such as "Red Beans and Rice are Awfully Nice."

And, we will also remove negative or neutral feedback left by buyers who have been suspended from our marketplace for Feedback Extortion or other policy violations.

Last, to ensure we're addressing your concerns around Feedback and the unpaid item process, we've increased our investment in customer service and trust and safety...

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About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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