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eBay announces end of DSRs - sellers' reactions mixed

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eBay announced its 2014 Spring Seller Update in an email to sellers today. One significant change is that DSRs (Detailed Seller Ratings) will be discontinued, but a new way to measure seller performance will take its place. The new method, called "The Transaction Defect Rate" will replace the little yellow stars that buyers use to rate a seller's performance in the areas of product description, communication, shipping cost, and handling time.

The Transaction Defect Rate will be calculated using the following criteria:

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 or PayPal case opened for an item not received or an item not as described
Seller-cancelled transactions

The new system will take effect starting with the August 20 evaluation, sellers can have up to a maximum of 5% of transactions with one or more defects over the most recent evaluation period. So, what are eBay sellers saying about this new system? Reactions are mixed at this point. Comments posted on some eBay Facebook Groups and eBay Seller Central Discussion Boards today:

  • Sellers will still be penalized for low ratings a now punished for returns if the item is not as described? I'll have to decline when a buyer asks me to cancel because it is his error.
  • Seller cancellation is a concern because I do this to improve customer service and have an accommodating attitude. Not anymore if it is going to affect my metrics.
  • I found if what I'm seeing is forced automated returns and extended holiday returns well I guess I don't care about Top Rated Seller status anymore because I refuse to participate in a horrible automated system that untried and it messed me up.
  • Because two of the four categories will fall off and all my other numbers are golden. Plus, I will stop selling in clothes to avoid the boneheads who are jacking my account.
  • I am really excited about these changes...the actions of one buyer won't penalize you instantly, which is really good news for small time sellers. Big change for the better.
  • I figure as long as I'm being an honorable, conscientious seller and following best business practices then there's not much to worry about! Change can be scary but it's also necessary to evolve.
  • I really and truly give up on TRS now. They have just moved the bar to high this time. I am good at this selling thing, but not THAT good, and certainly NOT PERFECT. 'Gonna be a lot less TRS's next go-round, and lots that loose it a LOT easier. On the "up side" for Ebay, - they are gonna be raking in a lot more money by not giving out the discount to TRS's that got it before.

Take some time and read over the eBay Spring 2014 Seller Update here. Take the time to understand how these changes may or may not affect your unique business.

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