eBay UK clarify “descoring” confusion

It seems fair to say that there is a great deal of confusion regarding the new seller standards, defect rates, so-called “descoring” and whether sellers can legitimately request any inaccurate defects be cleared from their scorecard.

The new Seller Dashboard went live the week before last. We first wrote about the new Seller Standards last month and we considered “descoring” last week. It’s been interesting to read the many comments we’ve received and also the emails you’ve sent. Thanks for taking the time.

At the crux of the importance of this issue lies the fact that the new defect rate really matters to sellers. A Defect Rate of more than 2% will cost you your Top Rated Seller status. Above 5% will deem you to be Below Standard. So a handful of defects per 100 trades really do matter. And it’s fair to say that even one unfair/untrue defect could have detrimental effects on a professional eBay seller. The stakes are high.

eBay have provided Tamebay with this statement following our last article:

“As a rule, eBay does not remove feedback or descore defects even if it is unwarranted or the issue has been resolved.”

It continues: “Where a case has been found in the seller’s favour this will not be counted as a defect and will not count toward the percentage of cases closed without seller resolution. Any case that escalates to eBay or PayPal for review and is found in the seller’s favour, or found to be no fault of the buyer or seller, will not count against the performance rating.”

It seems fair to reiterate eBay UK’s comment from last week when Tamebay first wrote about “descoring”:

“We advise sellers to use the information now available on the seller dashboard preview and the transaction defect report to identify root causes of any defects to prevent them occurring in the future. Rather than focusing on a single defect, sellers can use these tools to understand any trends or patterns in performance as this is what will benefit both sellers and their buyers going forwards.”

“Where sellers can see defects for cancelled transactions or unresolved cases we’ve seen this is most likely when the process flows on eBay haven’t been used. We advise sellers to always make sure the transaction is logged correctly and any communication with the buyer is through eBay. This way we can see what is happening which is really important.”

“The reason that we are making these changes is based on data that highlights what matters most to buyers and we’ve seen when such defects occur the buyer will shop less on eBay. This is why the new performance standards have been aligned with buyer expectations.”

So, what’s the score? I think it can be fairly summarised thus: there is no official eBay process that permits sellers to appeal and seek a defect to be “descored”. But it seems that it is something that eBay customer support reps can do. As we’ve seen in comments, a number of sellers have successfully appealed defects with eBay CS. But no formal process exists.

And, of course, there should be an appeals process to descore dodgy defects that act a black mark on a seller’s reputation. But from a practical perspective of CS person-power I can understand they might be reluctant to initiate one.

Don’t worry if you’re still confused. So am I. The new Seller Standards regime doesn’t come into play until August. We have several months to seek clarity…