At the time of typing my first blog post I have to confess I am NOT (currently) a Top Rated Seller, well not in the eyes of eBay anyway. It all began when I took the decision to ‘try my hand’ at selling professionally on eBay. I should add that I practically started from scratch. I did register an eBay account back in 2004 but up until the beginning of 2015 I had only bought & sold a limited number of items, which meant I had less than 10 feedback.
After a few months of selling successfully and providing buyers with a good consistent buying experience I was awarded eBay’s Top Rated Seller status. For those who are not aware of the criteria for becoming a Top Rated Seller at an account level it is as follows:
- Active eBay account for at least 90 days.
- Positive feedback rating of at least 98%.
- Be a Power Seller.
- Follow eBay’s selling practices policy.
- 100 transactions and £1,000 in sales during the last 12 months with UK buyers.
- No more than 2% of transactions with 1 or more defects over your most recent evaluation period (30 days).
- Have received a maximum of 2 detailed seller ratings of 1 or 2-stars in the last 12 months, accounting for no more than 0.5% of your total Feedback.
- Have no more than 2 eBay Money-back Guarantee cases closed without seller resolution, accounting for no more than 0.3% of your total transactions.
- Meet requirements for detailed seller ratings (DSRs).
I was very pleased eBay had acknowledged my efforts of delivering the best possible service to buyers but in all honesty I didn’t know what to expect from becoming a Top Rated Seller. I hadn’t even heard of or seen this account type before!
It was only after listing items to sell from a London show home and comparing my search results with similar items that I noticed I was ranking much higher than ever before, page views had also increased significantly. I enjoyed the many benefits of my new account level for all of the 60-ish days it lasted. I will share every advantage I discovered and continue to learn in forthcoming blog posts.
Unfortunately I was downgraded to ‘Above Average’ due to a buyer buying 5 cushions, which were all listed individually. After the buyer took delivery of the cushions they immediately left me negative feedback without any prior communication. Don’t you just hate it when this happens? So very frustrating.
I contacted the buyer and learnt they felt the colour(s) stated in the listings were not accurate. I disagreed but I did not share this with the buyer, my feedback rating is far more important to me than my pride or £120 worth of cushions! I responded by explaining I was fully committed to resolving the matter to their satisfaction and proceeded to give the buyer the choice of returning all cushions for a full refund or accepting an partial refund as a gesture of good will. Both options were offered on the condition they revise their feedback left from a negative to positive comment.
I am sure you can guess which option the buyer very quickly accepted. Was the buyer trying their luck? Did they overspend in the run up to Christmas? Were they just having a bad week? Who knows… all I do know is I listed & photographed the items in question very accurately.
Why did I share this experience in my first blog post? Well during a phone call with eBay customer services they revealed that the cushion transactions were the reason for me temporarily losing my Top Rated Seller status. I dug a little deeper and found out eBay counted each listing as a defect despite all being purchased from one (problematic) buyer and being paid for in the form of one PayPal payment. I was transferred to their resolution team but no sympathy was offered and therefore negotiation to be had.
I was gutted – it was literally like I had received a Top Rated Seller free trial. The eBay customer service representative was however quick & eager to update me on the new selling standards coming into force on 20th February 2016. It is indeed true that as of this date my Top Rated Seller status will be reinstated.
The big question is “does being a Top Rated Seller on eBay really matter?” As someone who has gained and lost this account level first hand in a short enough time to measure instant results I able to confidently answer “it absolutely does.”