eBay Says to Buyers: Oh, How I Love Thee… Let Me Count the Ways

Posted on July 27, 2009. Filed under: eBay | Tags: , , , , |

Today’s eBay announcement included information about a new Top Seller program.  In the eBay Seller Dashboard section, there is a link where a seller can check their eligibility.  I clicked on that link and reviewed the information which showed information used to calculate my eligibility.  The information used to calculate my eligibility related to transactions from April 2009 to June 2009. 

Because DSR ratings are not transparent to sellers, I have no way of directly confirming eBay’s reported numbers.  So I attempted to indirectly confirm the numbers by creating a Report in my Seller Dashboard for transactions dated April 2009 to June 2009.  What I discovered was that the numbers in no way matched up.  They weren’t even close.  So I called eBay to get some clarification.  Two hours later, after getting multiple eBay Top Seller account managers involved, I now finally have an understanding of certain calculations that relate to seller performance.

               
    Feedback Avg DSR   Top Seller
    Percentage Ratings   Eligibility  
               
Based on # of items sold           X  
Based on feedback left   X   X    
Based on unique users   X   X      
Users have multiple-item impact         X  
               

So, assume you sell one item each to 99 different buyers and then 8 items to one buyer.  Further assume that of the 99 buyers, 89 of them leave you positive feedback and DSR ratings of 5 and that the one buyer who purchased 8 items leaves you 8 negative feedbacks and 8 low DSRs (ratings of 1).

To calculate the feedback percentage, eBay would compute 89/90 =  98.9% since the buyer who leaves 8 negative feedback would only impact your percentage 1 time and the 10 buyers who didn’t leave feedback would have no impact on your feedback percentage.

To calculate your average DSR ratings, eBay would compute ( (89×5) + (1×1)) / 90 =  4.95 so that the buyer who purchased 8 items would impact your DSR rating only 1 time (since the average of all 8 ratings was a 1) and the 10 buyers who did not leave DSR ratings would have no impact.  If the buyer who purchased 8 items had instead left 4 #1 ratings and 4#2 ratings then the average rating for that buyer would have been 1.5  so that the DSR would be calculated as follows:
( (89 x 5) + (1 x 1.5) ) / 90

To calculate your Top Seller rating eligibility, eBay would compute 8 / 107 = 7.48% so that eBay considers the total number of low ratings you received (one buyer could affect you multiple times) in relation to all transactions that occurred whether or not DSR ratings were left.  The allowed percentage for low ratings for the Top Seller program is 0.5%

MAJOR TAKEAWAYS:

1. Buyers who purchase multiple items have multiple impact on a seller’s eligibility for Top Seller program.  Top Seller eligibility scores are affected each and every time a buyer leaves low scores even if the items are all purchased on the same day by the same buyer.

2. The 0.50% percentage of low DSR ratings that eBay is going to allow is based on the total number of units sold.  So, for every 200 units sold a seller can receive only 1 low DSR rating.  If one buyer purchases 4 items and leaves low DSR ratings for all of them, a seller must then sell 796 additional items to buyers who do NOT leave low DSR ratings.

3. In summary, because of the way in which eBay is weighting the ratings that affect sellers eligibility into the Top Seller program, eBay considers buyers who purchase 3 items (for example) to be as “valuable” to the eBay system as 3 different buyers who each purchase one item.

Beginning April 2010 all PowerSellers (not just Top Sellers) will be graded based on the number of low DSR ratings (1s or 2s) received.  All Powersellers can have no more than 1.00% low DSR ratings for “item as described” for transactions with U.S. buyers and on no more than 2.00% for communication, shipping time, and shipping and handling charges

So, beginning April 2010 all U.S. buyers who purchase multiple items from one seller will have an exponentially powerful effect on a seller’s standings on the eBay site.  One buyer who purchases 10 items from one seller and leaves low DSR ratings for the Item as Described rating will have to be offset by 990 other transactions where the buyer does not leave a low rating (a Top Seller has to have 1990 transactions without low ratings or else they would lose their Top Seller eligibility from one buyer who leaves 10 low DSR ratings) 

For many years, eBay ignored buyers on their site.  But eBay has turned on the charm and is wooing buyers with all the passion of a lovesick teenager who has fallen head over heels in love for the first time.  eBay buyers must certainly be feeling the love from eBay now.

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15 Responses to “eBay Says to Buyers: Oh, How I Love Thee… Let Me Count the Ways”

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Hmmm, in my crystal ball I see . . . no more ‘we offer discounts for multiple item purchases’

Because eBay is no longer a part of my business plan I would never have even thought to do the math as you did.

I picked up on the difficulty of finding the actual meat in the update. The new Selling Practices Policy sets it out in black and white, no ambiguity.

I am so glad I am out.

Henrietta, when my 2-hour long conversation with eBay TSAM resulted in me discovering how the eBay math was going to work…. my first thoughts were “how do I stop the multiple item purchases”? I already limit folks to no more than 10 items by using the eBay criteria but now I’ll be even more proactive in discouraging multiple item purchases.

I don’t think that’s correct. If you have 200 transactions, 150 people leave you DSR’s, and 1 person leaves you a 1. Your at the .5% mark.

At least that’s what I took out of my seller dashboard.

David, it doesn’t matter how many people (150) leave DSRs. For the 1 person who left you a low DSR rating, you had to have 199 other transactions where low ratings were not left.

The important numbers are the 200 transactions and 1 low rating left. Multiple those numbers by 10 now.

So that means if you have 2,000 transactions (200 x 10) then you could have 10 (1 x 10) low ratings to equal 0.5%

So, one buyer who purchases 10 items and leaves low DSR ratings for all of them means that there have to be 1,990 other transactions where low DSR ratings are not left.

brews, did you happen to find out if eBay correctly eliminated cross border sales from their computation of low DSR percentages? It would just like their usual sloppiness to forget.

My reaction to this “add every low DSR” scoring is that it is so stupid eBay will probably drop it at some point, like they did neutral=negative for Feedback calculations. Though they clearly are trying hard to set the bar so high that very few Powersellers will get the Top Seller rating. They want to save money on giving out discounts. That’s what it always boils down to with eBay, short-term revenue grabbing.

Nadine, unfortunately since there is no transparency with the DSRs I cannot confirm whether the low DSR percentages that are being reported by eBay only include domestic percentages or not. I inquired and was told that the percentages reported were SUPPOSED to include domestic-only transactions but that was the most information I was given since the TSAM could not provide details to me.

Yes, the number reported on the Top Seller eligibility page (in the Dashboard) is supposed to include domestic only but I received a call this morning from my TSAM and he told me that currently BOTH domestic and international numbers are being reported but that will change.

Thanks for the update, brews. I see eBay is living down to my low expectations. So in preparation for the great fall rollout, they have just told thousands of sellers who really DO qualify for Top Seller ratings that they DON’T qualify – maybe in a week or two we will be told who we are. Such a wonderful way to build trust in the magic rating numbers.

What morons.

The only way to keep your sanity is not to take this stuff seriously, and hope that if it’s really, really stupid, they’ll be yelled at enough to eventually revoke the worst of it.

If you are talking about 200 “good” DSRs to combat the bad “ones” you also have to remember that not every buyer gives feedback and DSRs. So if you get 66% feedback, you will need 300 sales.

phoenix2000us, the transactions where the buyers do NOT leave any feedback whatsoever also count when eBay calculates the ratio of low feedback to non-low feedback but not for anything else (like feedback percentage or average DSR rating). I know, it is confusing.

“the transactions where the buyers do NOT leave any feedback whatsoever also count when eBay calculates the ratio of low feedback to non-low feedback”

Are you saying that they are using the no feedback to calculate the low-feedback instances? If so which side of the scale are the 0 feedback left transactions being applied to?

Ok – can you start over I am very confused lol

He’s saying a sale with no feedback is chalked up by ebay as ‘the seller did his job’ since the buyer didnt go out of their way to give you a 1 or 2.

It’s getting to be like cribbage. The scoring is more work than the game!

Thats rediculous crap I sold 1200 worth of stuff in the last 30 days and now after paying an invoice amount of over $265 i cant list more items because of least 4.1 on each DSR to sell I got 25 positive feedbacks this month and no negatives I guess I am going to use http://www.multi-sale.com they are twitter enhanced and state each item I list uses the twitter api thing and is posted to my twitter page how cool.

I have sold on EBAY at 100% for 7 years…I make every item by hand and have not had even a neutral. Well, with the new DSR today I lost my Top Seller status and my little badge…why? Because one buyer internationally bought several items and during the ash cloud thought my delivery time was slow. Well, they screwed me and I am fed up. I am looking elsewhere to get out of this ridiculous game they are playing with top rated sellers….I am really doing a burn on this one….many sellers feel the same way, my items are not that expensive and I work very hard to please everyone. Well, it’s time to stop paying all those ridiculous fees now and get my own website. I am through with EBAY….I suppose they are really trying to run off the small time sellers…I believe that is their goal with this DSR crap.


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