Seller Control over Shipping Time DSR Scores

Like a lot of sellers, I believe eBay did a questionable job in creating the Detailed Seller Rating (DSR) system.  The Shipping Time score is open to a lot of buyer interpretation.  Are they supposed to rate us on how quickly we get the package to the carrier after receiving payment, did we ship on-time based on our promises in the listing, or are they supposed to rate us purely on how quickly the package arrives?That said, I take minor exception to so many sellers saying they have absolutely no control over how fast a package is delivered by the carrier.

I firmly believe there are things sellers can do to influence transit time. Here are two lists of packaging traits, guess which group’s packages will arrive faster?

Group A Packaging Traits:

  • Handwritten addresses
  • Addresses using improper abbreviations
  • Addresses poorly formatted
  • Non-validated addresses
  • Frankenstein school of box building (i.e. irregularly shaped parcels, 2 or more pieces taped together, frequently created from re-used boxes, many with other labeling on them)
  • No indication of carrier service class
  • Packaged in other carrier’s free supplies
  • Poorly sealed
  • Fluid stains or excessive rattling
  • Wrong class of postage used (i.e. Media Mail rate for non-qualified items)
  • For International, wrong Customs Forms or improper information on forms

Group B Packaging Traits:

  • Computer printed shipping labels
  • Fully validated and properly formatted addresses
  • Clean, new boxes in standard shapes
  • Labels on multiple sides of the package indicating class of service (if appropriate)
  • Concatenated Delivery Confirmation Barcode (USPS trick, adds the destination ZIP Code to the barcode information)
  • Well sealed with appropriately sturdy tape
  • Proper void fill and cushioning
  • For International, appropriate Customs Forms accurately filled out

I agree that once we hand off the package it is an act of faith. But if you give the carriers good raw materials, they have a better chance of delivering great service.

Yes I have had my share of wacky delivery delays.  Fortunately those are the rare exception because of how I package and label my shipments.

Submitted by Chris of sun-bits

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