new ebay seller performance ratings

First proposed back in March, eBay has just unveiled new Seller Performance standards for its marketplace. Effective August 20th, the new standards are geared to protect sellers, as well as send “good” buyers their way.

What constitutes as a good buyer? More or less, a good buyer is one that’s satisfied with successful transactions, and perhaps likely to leave a review.


New eBay Seller Performance Changes

How is eBay guaranteeing better seller protection with these updated standards? They’ve reworked the defect rate, which is now calculated as follows:

Starting with the August 20 monthly seller evaluation, a new measure, the transaction defect rate (“defect rate”), will replace the current four individual detailed seller rating requirements in evaluating seller performance. This new rating may impact your status.

The defect rate is simply the percentage of a seller’s successful transactions that have one or more of the following transaction-related defects, the top predictors that a buyer will leave eBay or buy less:

    • Detailed seller rating of 1, 2 or 3 for item as described
    • Detailed seller rating of 1 for shipping time
    • Negative or neutral feedback
    • Return initiated for a reason that indicates the item was not as described
    • eBay Money Back Guarantee (previously known as eBay Buyer Protection) or PayPal Purchase Protection case opened for an item not received or an item not as described
    • Seller-cancelled transactions


Meaning for the New Defect Rate

The new defect rate is aimed to accomplish the following for sellers, as stated on eBay’s 2014 Seller Update page:

  • Stronger protection from the actions of just one or two buyers. The defect rate will not affect your status until you have transactions with defects from at least 8 different buyers (at least 5 different buyers to impact Top Rated status) over the most recent evaluation period.
  • One measure instead of four. One measure, the defect rate, will replace the current four more stringent detailed seller rating thresholds that allow just 2% low ratings for all sellers and just a half percent for Top Rated Sellers. That means it will be easier for you to keep track of where you stand and you’ll have a wider tolerance margin to reduce the chance that you’ll be impacted by a single event.
  • Shipping cost and communication detailed seller ratings will no longer count toward your performance rating. This will protect you from low ratings for shipping cost even though the shipping charges are shown to the buyer right up front when they purchase an item.
  • Each transaction is counted only once toward your defect rate, regardless of the number of defects associated with it. For example, if a buyer leaves you a 3-star rating for item as described and a 1-star rating for shipping time for the same item, that transaction still only counts once toward your defect rate. That gives you more leeway and will allow you to focus on fine-tuning your overall service instead of individual buyer actions.
  • Cases found in your favor don’t count. Any case that escalates to eBay or PayPal for review and is found in your favor, or found to be no fault of the buyer or seller, won’t count against your performance rating. It won’t be counted as a defect and it won’t count toward your percentage of cases closed without seller resolution.

We really want to hear from eBay sellers on this. Keep us updated on how this changes things for you. Links to the announcement can be found here. Be sure to check your Seller Page to see how your ratings were affected.


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