The Failure of the eBay DSR System
The eBay seller’s Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs) are the measurements used by eBay to determine:
1. if an eBay seller is eligible to sell on eBay (eBay considers buyers who leave 1 or 2 rating for any DSR to be dissatisfied and a seller with a high dissatisfaction rate is restricted from selling)
2. where an eBay seller’s items appear in the search results (poor customer satisfaction results in a seller’s items appearing lowering in the search than other sellers’ items)
3. whether Powersellers receive any discount on their seller fees (good DSRs result in credits).
Given the extreme importance of DSRs to sellers, it would seem only logical that eBay would take great care to correctly calculate and report DSRs. After all, the DSRs have a direct financial effect on a seller’s account. High DSRs mean greater exposure in the searches which leads to more and better sales and high DSRs mean discounts on seller fees.
But do eBay sellers trust eBay to report “the truth”? The answer is No. eBay has a history of being secretive, dishonest, and vindictive toward eBay sellers. The eBay community boards are filled with sellers who are showing screenshots of their DSRs and how they dip dramatically for only one day, the very day that eBay calculates the FVF credits based on that one day’s DSR ratings. Sometimes the dip is only for a few hours and the change in DSRs are extreme making it unbelievable that there could be such an impact that causes a significant DSR change for only a few hours or only a day. These sellers are calling Powerseller Support and are being told that there are no plans for eBay to change how they calculate or report DSR ratings and that sellers should just accept what they receive for a discount, if any.
eBay sellers are frustrated about DSRs for many reasons but one of the biggest complaints about DSRs is that they are calculated in a void so that sellers cannot double-check eBay’s accuracy in reporting. eBay sellers receive no information about the ratings that make up the final score. eBay doesn’t tell sellers if buyers are reporting any 1s or 2s so sellers don’t know if there are dissatisfied buyers and if there are dissatisfied buyers, sellers don’t know whether there is a pattern such as international buyers leaving lower ratings or buyers of a certain widget are leaving lower DSRs. If the seller had detailed information, they could consider taking action. As it is, no news is confusing and frustrating and therefore leads to a lack of integrity in the overall reporting system.
Given the high number of eBay glitches that sellers can actually confirm and report, it is possible and even very likely that there are glitches in the eBay DSR reporting system. While eBay Powersellers have been taking screenshots to show the mysterious “one-day dips”, their screenshots cannot be used as proof positive because sellers simply are not given the data from eBay to prove or disprove the numbers. However, this morning I did find proof positive that the eBay DSR reporting system is inaccurate in its reporting at least in this one seller’s case.
One Powersellers 12-month DSRs are shown in the feedback profile as:
However, this particular seller’s 30-day DSR shows the following DSR ratings:
See actual screenshot below (used with the seller’s permission):
Given that the highest possible DSR rating buyers are allowed to give is a 5, then it would be mathematically impossible for the average to exceed 5.0 but yet the eBay DSRs for this buyer show two DSR ratings above 5.0
Given that sellers can no longer leave unfavorable feedback for buyers, why does eBay still insist on keeping the DSR reporting anonymous? Could it be that eBay wants the ability to “adjust” upward the DSR ratings for certain sellers such as Buy.com? Could it be that eBay wants the flexibility to “adjust” downward the DSR ratings for sellers who are vocal in their criticism of eBay or to save on the discounts awards to Powersellers?
The significant number of eBay and Paypal glitches occurring daily combined with the failure of eBay’s anonymous DSR reporting system contribute further to eBay’s overall decline. eBay’s actions in this regard are not improving the buyer’s experience. eBay is instead directly causing good sellers to further distrust buyers overall, even the very good buyers. eBay sellers are being punished based on buyer’s anonymous ratings which are not even being accurately calculated and reported by eBay. I’m just not sure how much longer most sellers can withstand the abuse. It is one thing for eBay to want sellers to improve buyer satisfaction. It is entirely another matter for eBay to inaccurately report numbers that are meaningless in the first place because of the lack of detail available for the sellers to know where improvement is even possible.