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?

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The eBay Feedback Theory – Busted

Back when Pierre first conceived the eBay idea, he decided that the community should police itself. He did not have time to mediate disputes between buyers and sellers, so he instituted “feedback.” The concept was that buyers and sellers would leave each other honest feedback, which would weed out the bad community members.

New ebayers could easily see the feedback of a seller and decide whether or not to buy from this seller. The theory was if the seller had a lot of negative feedback, the buyers would go elsewhere to bid. In other words, Pierre made the assumption that humans are able to look out for themselves.

It is my opinion this theory has been proven wrong over and over again. One only has to have seen the feedback for the now infamous seller “Bargainland” to know that people cannot look out for themselves. With feedback at 90% and many times lower, they continued to sell 100’s of items a day. Burned buyers would post to the eBay boards regularly whining that they got “taken” by Bargainland. Seasoned eBayers would ask these buyers why they didn’t heed the feedback? It’s right there, pasted in the auction, why didn’t you heed it?

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Looking at eBays DSR (Detailed Seller Rating), part 2

written by Steve Grossberg, IMA President

Back in September 2007 I posted to this blog, a piece titled “Looking at eBay’s DSR (Detailed Seller Ratings), Click Here to Read Part 1.

Yesterday I did a podcast interview with Ina Steiner from AuctionBytes, Click Here to Listen To Interview Some of the points and more I am going to be talking about below are covered in the interview. I encourage everyone to listen to the interview.

Okay for starters ebay says 15% of sellers currently qualify for the 4.8 DSR bonus. My question is what percent of the ebay listings or GMV does that represent. This has yet to be answered by my best guess is somewhere less then 2%. Of the top 100 seller date as referenced in post 1, there is only 1 of the top 100 USA based sellers according to the Nortica 500 that has a 4.8 DSR is shipping and handling. There was another 19 who had 4.6 or better. Ebay stated over and over how 66% of sellers have a 4.6 or better but again what percent of listings and GMV is this? Certainly it is not 66%, so always do you own due diligence. As the old saying goes trust but confirm.

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In the Beginning, ………Starting New Again

One day my curiousity got the better of my common sense. I decided to find out if running only Ebay auctions with low shipping would put me higher in the ebay search, and increase my sales. So I started a brand new Ebay selling account, and tweaked some things.

The new account has core auction listings only. I lowered my shipping from $4.00 to $2.75, and offered free shipping with the purchase of two items. I ship items the day after they are paid for instead of my normal two days a week. Otherwise, the level of communication is the same, and the auction format is the same. In other words, I made sure I was doing everything in the recommended Ebay 5 star way of thinking.

I found out that my placement in search is not better. My Detailed Sellers Ratings (DSRs) are lower on the new selling ID even though I am offering better service and lower shipping. And Ebay needs to work on the tools available to new sellers.

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Looking at eBays DSR (Detailed Seller Ratings) – I am concerned

written by Steve Grossberg, IMA President

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I was looking at eBays DSR’s this morning. I pulled up the top 100 active ebay sellers in the USA and compiled a list of their respective DSR’s

Here are my findings

Item as described – average score 4.79
Communication – average score 4.66
Shipping Time- average score 4.58
Shipping Fee- average score 4.41

Below is percentage of top 100 scoring 4.5 or better in the respective category

Item as described – 99% scoring 4.5 or better
Communication – 93% scoring 4.5 or better
Shipping Time- 81% scoring 4.5 or better
Shipping Fee- 44% scoring 4.5 or better

What is really disturbing here is looking at the shipping and handling. When eBay announced the DSR strategy, sellers were voicing concern that eBay was going to use shipping and handling as a rating category.

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