Non eTRS eBay Sellers: Auctions, AdCommerce, or Anonymity

Posted on July 29, 2009. Filed under: eBay | Tags: , , , |

Previously, I blogged about the upcoming eBay Seller Policy requirement where by April 2010 all sellers on the site can have no more than 1% low DSR ratings for “Item as Described” and no more than 2% low DSR ratings for all of the other three – Communication, Shipping Time, and Shipping and Handling.

In one blog post (click HERE ) I ran through the math and described what numbers eBay will be using to compute the low DSR percentages and in another blog post (click HERE ) I described how a seller with 99.9% feedback and all DSR averages ranging from 4.7 to 5.0 would be caught up in the sweep to remove “bad sellers” from the site.

Today, I want to use some mathematics again to show why I find fault with the new eBay Seller Policy and how good sellers could find themselves taking a year’s vacation from listing because of the impact of one buyer. 

Assume an eBay seller has a steady 100 transactions a month and they have 2 of those transactions every month (either 2 separate buyers or 1 buyer who purchases 2 items) who leave a low DSR rating for shipping and handling.  That seller would meet the seller requirement by having only 2% low DSR ratings. 

 The seller would be evaluated on 12-month numbers so that they would have 1200 transactions for the year and a total of 24 low DSR ratings for the year which equals 2% low DSR ratings.  This will be an acceptable level in April 2010.

Now, let’s look at the effect that one buyer who purchases 10 items and leaves all low DSRs would have on this seller.  Currently, an eBay seller can prevent a buyer from purchasing more than 10 items but a buyer can purchase 10 items without prior permission from the seller so this example I am using is completely possible and I personally have experienced buyers who have purchased 10 items and left low DSR ratings. 

Instead of 24 low DSR ratings for the year, the seller would have a total of 34 low DSR ratings for the year (because of the 1 buyer who left 10 low DSR ratings) out of 1200 transactions which would equate to a 2.83% low rating. 

If eBay follows through on their plans to restrict sellers whose low DSRs are above 2% then this seller would be unable to list anything new.

Further assume that this seller is either an auction seller or that, because of lowered search standing, any fixed price or store items they have listed won’t be found so that they aren’t selling anything new going forward after they are restricted from listing anything new.  In that case, the next month, 100 of their transactions along with 2 low DSR ratings would fall off the computation so that their new low DSR ratings would equal 2.91% (100 less transactions for a total of 1100 transactions for the year and 2 less low DSR ratings for a total of 32 low ratings for the year).  See the chart below which shows each month the seller’s DSR rating percentage would get worse.

Today, all sellers must have DSR averages above 4.1% but the calculation period is 30 days so that any unfavorable ratings will “fall off” the calculation period in 30 days.  Therefore, a seller would be restricted from listing new items for no more than 30 days.  In the future, eBay will be using a 12-month time frame for calculating most seller’s low DSR ratings which also means that any restrictions will last for 12 months since the low DSR ratings that caused the restriction will not “fall off” for a full year.

Even if eBay grants “immunity” and does not restrict a seller for failing to meet the new DSR requirement, one could still argue that a seller would be so negatively impacted by the one buyer that the year-long effects would result in lowered search standing for a full 12 months and the end result would not be much better than a restriction.  The seller would be paying insertion fees for a full year and receiving lowered search result placement for the entire year.

So, what’s a seller to do if they don’t want to remain anonymous (buyers not finding your items) on eBay?  Sellers who are faced with a year-long lowered placement status for their fixed price item items, and without the possibility of using Featured listing options, will almost be forced to use auctions to get any visibility.  Of course, eBay sellers can pay EVEN MORE for visbility by paying extra for the Ad Commerce clicks.  On yesterday’s eBay webinar, using Ad Commerce was recommended by eBay to sellers.  Hmmm.

eBay management certainly deals in extremes.  Today, I can view my Seller Dashboard and go from lowered status to raised status in 24 hours.  Come April 2010, though, it will take a full year for the effects of one buyer to change my search placement status.   And, for some reason, I would not be surprised to see the percentage of auction formats rise in 2010 when sellers realize that they won’t have any other way to get their listing in front of buyers on eBay. 



Chart below assumes a seller has 100 transactions a month with 2% low DSR ratings (acceptable level) each month except one month in which a buyer purchases 10 items and leaves all 10 low DSR ratings.  A seller would be restricted from listing for one year because of the impact of this one buyer and, thus, each subsequent month the seller would have worse DSR rating percentages than the previous month.  It would take a full year to overcome the effects of one buyer who leaves poor ratings.

Transactions   DSRs   Percent
1200   24   2.00%
1200   34   2.83%
1100   32   2.91%
1000   30   3.00%
900   28   3.11%
800   26   3.25%
700   24   3.43%
600   22   3.67%
500   20   4.00%
400   18   4.50%
300   16   5.33%
200   14   7.00%
100   12   12.00%

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2 Responses to “Non eTRS eBay Sellers: Auctions, AdCommerce, or Anonymity”

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In 3 years, I’ve yet to see ONE change win me back as a seller.
I’ve Never had a problem being a top notch seller in any other venue I’ve dealt in.

I don’t need rewards or badges. I don’t need to compete with other people or win prizes. That’s juvenile.

I pay out of pocket insurance GLADLY and always have! NO PROBLEM! I use priority mail flat rate and even foot the bill for any other handling expenses. My buyers always loved my products and service, (other than the ones who tried to scam me for a freebee or who I tried to catch and expose!LOL)

My LIVE booths for the last 25 years were the SAME are the few sales I’ve had at GO Antiques.

Ebay..I’m not impressed.
Not in the least. Your search stinks. Your ideas stink. Your customers are leaving. Your site is geared for 20 year olds, not for the folks who used t shop there, the people who still have money, the 50+!LOL!

Ebay. get out of the way. the minute you started getting in the middle, you became your own worst enemy.

If you can’t get out of the way, let someone else do it better. Like Jack Ma.he puts the customer FIRST. The seller.

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