EBay merchants prepare! Several changes to EBay's marketplace will be going live late September and will affect sellers of varying sizes alike. These updates will be taking place during the weeks of September 22, 2009 and October 1, 2009. A full list of these changes can be found right on EBay's July 2009 update at this link: www.EBay.com/July2009Update.
Of all the changes, two are of great interest to me, the new way in which eBay is deciding to look at detailed seller ratings (DSRs) and the new eBay Top-rated seller status.
DSR Focus Adjustment
EBay has announced that their research shows the buyer experience is more accurately portrayed through lower seller ratings. They have also decided that volume isn’t what sets apart the good sellers from the bad sellers, it’s the consumer experience (that’s a pat on the shoulder for the little guy/gal aka small retailers). This statement simply means that EBay has changed the focus on how ratings are measured within their marketplace. Merchants will need to be under a certain threshold to be eligible for benefits, such as Top-rated seller status or monthly discounts. Metaphorically speaking EBay has put out a wanted poster for the head of all sellers that don't improve on their reviews that come back with ones and twos. Here is a link to how the DSRs will be calculated based on how many transactions you have in a certain period vs. the amount of bad reviews.
Example Calculations of Low DSRs
New Method to Obtain Top-rated Seller Status
How does the new look into calculating DSR's effect the Top-rated seller status? Well, this means the status is no longer simply obtained by having a large amount of inventory and selling a bunch of stuff. It’s based upon competition in category or vertical and the merchant’s ability to provide a quality consumer experience. The buyer experience is directly correlated to the DSR calculations. So larger merchants with high sales volume and robust product offerings will find it more difficult to manage the consumer experience at a more detailed level than the smaller merchants. This levels the playing field for merchants looking to grow through eBay and obtain a PowerSeller Status, smaller merchants will be able to compete on experience rather than size. Larger merchants will have to adapt to these changes much like they have had to do over the past two years as eBay have made multiple adjustments in their marketplace transformation.
In Summation, merchants need to start matching their focus with EBay's or they may see sales drop if they keep their current sales strategy past September. Get to Work!