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eBay DSRs: Are you rated on dispatch or delivery time?

By Chris Dawson January 8, 2011 - 12:11 am

I’m betting that you’re pretty familiar with eBay Detailed Seller Ratings. I’m pretty sure that there’s not a professional eBay seller out there that doesn’t know what feedback criteria buyers are rating them on.

Well you might think so, but you’re probably wrong, at least you’re wrong for the $2 billion sales taking place on eBay’s mobile apps.

The detailed seller ratings you may think you’re being rated on are

  • How accurate was the item description?
  • How satisfied were you with the seller’s communication?
  • How quickly did the seller dispatch the item? and
  • How reasonable were the P&P charges?

If your buyer is leaving feedback using the eBay Mobile App what they’re actually rating you on is:

  • Accurate Description?
  • Seller’s Communication?
  • Speed of Delivery? and
  • Reasonable Postage Cost?

One of the crucial differences on the third detailed seller rating is the difference between buyer perception and what they’re actually being asked to rate. Buyers are asked how quickly the buyer dispatched their item, but what buyers generally are perceived to rate is how quickly their purchase landed on their door mat. With the eBay Mobile App they really are being asked how quickly the item was delivered and not did the buyer dispatch in the time they said they would.

There’s also another difference between the eBay Mobile App and leaving feedback on eBay. The two images shown show feedback for the same transaction. Notice if you leave feedback on eBay you’re unable to rank the buyer for the postage costs? That’s because it was free post so the seller is automatically awarded five stars.

On the eBay Mobile App you’re still able to rank the buyer on Reasonable Postage Cost, although hopefully this doesn’t actually count against the seller.

It’s interesting to deduct that which ever eBay employee constructed the feedback section of the eBay Mobile App had the same misconceptions as buyers have. One can only conclude that much as eBay insist that buyers should rank you on dispatch time even their own employees construe that to mean speed of delivery. To quote the words of a (now ex) eBay employee “I wouldn’t say it’s contradictory, just inconsistent”.

Just so you know the likelihood of your buyers using the eBay Mobile App: more Brits are shopping through the eBay app than anywhere else in Europe and an item is purchased on average every two seconds through the eBay Buyer App in the UK.

  • 9 years ago

    From my understanding mobile apps on eBay were developed by Critical Path (now an eBay company). I don’t know if this one was developed by them but I’m guessing it was so what you probably have is a developer making the mistake and eBay not catching it.

    Also while the buyer can rate the S&H costs on the mobile app eBay will ignore that rating. This was announced to developers a while back. This way the developer doesn’t suddenly have to rewrite their apps to figure out whether the buyer can rate that DSR or not. I haven’t tested whether eBay really does ignore the rating this is just what they announced.

    This is actually a very good opportunity for eBay to find out what the buyers are really rating. If mobile buyers show a significant difference in rating shipping time but don’t show a significant difference in rating the other DSRs then we know buyers really are rating dispatch time on the website. On the otherhand if there is no difference in the ratings it would prove what most sellers have claimed for a long time.

    • 9 years ago

      Regardless which developer coded the app one would have thought eBay had a very active hand in constructing the wire frames.

      I think like you that it’ll likely prove what most sellers have claimed for a long time.

  • northumbrian
    9 years ago

    you can state anything you like in any wording or language you know
    buyers dont rate on when it was posted, its when they get the item that they rate on

  • northumbrian
    9 years ago

    hw whole system is flawed there should be a rating for aftersales care and customer srvice in the event of a problem, not postage where the vendor has no control over the outcome other than the speed of dispatch,
    its barmy when I can sell a £1 item with £9 postage and get bad dsrs for postage,
    yet sell the same item for £10 with “free” postage and get an instant 5 stars

    • JD
      9 years ago

      DSR’s were a temporary eBay fix. Will be gone within a few years.

      Developing their barmy ideas further:

      In retail it always used to be about the headline price.

      In these terms, if eBay persists with the ‘free’ inclusive postage dogma, then the High Street will become increasingly competitive, along with ‘own’ websites and other places where prices are quoted free of postage.

      In retail it is still about the headline price.

      eBay will need at some point to find a reverse gear on that one too.

  • 9 years ago

    Hmmm…and I wonder which one of these scenarios (above) results in eBay obtaining a higher fee from the seller. Answers on the back of 10 quid note please…

  • Toby
    9 years ago

    Just checked our Free vs Paid P&P report & got a shock, 6×3* & 9×4* when the system should automatically give 5* for Free P&P in December

    http://vwgolfr32.co.uk/images/Free-v-Paid-Postage–Jan-8.gif

    I serious think eBay need to look at the system

  • J. Echols
    9 years ago

    In a thread created on the Power Seller Forum, Ebay Staff Member James states that the fix to this app will not happen till early Feb and the Apps team is looking into it.

    However my questions and many others are:

    How long has the App been out? Is it safe to say that ever since the App has been launched that we’ve been being dual rated?

    What will eBay do for those sellers who lost DSR rankings and discounts due to this flaw in their prized DSR system.

    Even if the buyer did not rate the seller with low stars for the Delivery time on the M-App they may have been given a rating of 3 or 4, especially over the holiday season (even though the seller sent out the item out on schedule) when mail delivery speed was greatly affected due to weather conditions. Which brings the over all % rate down, which could affect them in the long run of things, especially a low volume seller.

    How do eBay plan to compensate sellers who lost DSR rankings and discounts? While the discounts can be worked out, what about the loss of business the seller may of encountered because their product was knocked down in Best Match. Say their competitor sold the exact same thing, but because they had the TRS badge or their star ratings were a bit better, the buyers chose to use them rather than the other seller who has been marked down or has no TRS badge. Which would be seen as unfair trading standards as one has a clear advantage over the other.

    What about the stress and anxiety this may have caused many sellers? It is a well known fact that many sellers worry about loosing DSR rankings as they know it could affect their income via eBay. So what about those who are on the verge of being marked down in the DSR system or have lost it and are busting their butts to regain it.

    Why is eBay still allowing the Dispatch rating to be counted at this time? Why have they not suspended it till the repairs can be done in early Feb?

    The way I see it would be like having a voting poll and mid-way through the poll a percentage of people are asked a different question that will be factored in under the same rating. Wouldn’t exactly be a fair vote/poll now would it?

    If eBay CAN prove that they can work out what stars are left by the M-App and remove these, then it resolves some of the problem.

    If eBay CAN NOT prove that they can work out what stars are left then it would only be fair to strike all dispatch ratings left since the time of the Apps release. This would then make it fair for everyone.

    In either of the above repair/fix/resolution scenarios, eBay will still will be looked towards for some sort of compensation by the sellers for any losses they may have occured and with this being over the Holiday season, for some those losses could have been great.

  • northumbrian
    9 years ago

    ebay dont give a fig, their basic ethos is they are doing sellers a favour, and if you dont like it eff off,
    once you have your head round that ebays quite a good place to sell but if anything better comes along ebay can stuff itself where the sun dont shine as far as we are concerned

    • Old Hand
      9 years ago

      Absolutely right Norf!

      I want eBay to really mess up big time because viable alternatives will then get a chance. Many of eBay’s problems are because they are too big, they are managing problems of scale rather than managing linking buyers with sellers. Three or four players of size large enough to be significant is ideal and also allows space for new entrants. eBay in their core business is a monopoly and should be regulated as such.

  • Gerry007
    9 years ago

    Ebay know & have always known buyers rate dispatch time as transit time.

    They know the damage & stress it causes sellers & indeed, the very unfair way buyers rate them.

    Ebay could fix it, by having a 5th dsr rating for transit time, although there is no gain to them, as that would only benifit the sellers & not their DSR system.

    On 1 of our DSR we have 2700 + feedback for the last year & these are judged as single feedbacks (ie: if a buyer leaves 3 +, only 1 in rated). Yet our DSR ratings only show 2100 for the same period, so our perfiormance is actually judged on only 75% of our buyers, that is assuming, of course that 1 DSR ratings can only account for the 2 other transactions that happened.

    The system just is nonsencical, & gains only ebays’ support as it allows THEM to sit faulsely as judge & jury over the sellers.

    Over the last 2-3 years since they boughtin the DSR system. we’ve seen some very good suggestions on how it could be improved, ALL just ingnored by the big wigs @ ebay towers.

    APPS or whatever, ebay have lost the faith of many a good seller in favor of the (sometimes) outright lying arrogance of some buyers, which they allow & help with.

  • Gerry007
    9 years ago

    AND ANOTHER THING

    Re: performance is actually judged on only 75% of our buyers.

    That 75% is also not correct as a good (and increasing)# of buyers are not leaving any FB atall.
    So it is probably nearer 65%.

  • BigPoppa
    9 years ago

    An item may be purchased every 2 seconds on an eBay app, but I asssume this only applies to what platform the feedback is left on, not how it was purchased.

    Not really a shock or suprise. I myself always rate on delivery time not when it was dispatched as I can only see when it was “marked” as dispatched not actually posted.

    And as a buyer I don’t care when it was posted so long as it’s received by the time I start thinking “hmm, where is that item I bought on eBay” then everythings ok.

    Any feedback system is open to both abuse and subjectivity, I think public feedback is very much a thing from the last decade and should either be dropped copletely or changed in a huge way.

  • Jack
    9 years ago

    As I think Northumbrian has pointed out. This wording makes no difference to the way a buyer rates this category.
    The buyer only cares about when they receive the item. Unless an item has been sent with a tracking number, a buyer can not know for sure when an item was dispatched. A dispatch email does not prove dispatch. Also how many buyers check tracking numbers to find out when an item was dispatched? Very few. Also, if a buyer perceives they have received their order late they are more likely to leave worse ratings for everything else as well. These ratings are a very crude method of rating a buying experience. They may give some indication of when a seller is completely failing, negligent or worse, but we have all experienced totally unjustified low ratings and negatives.
    From the seller’s point of view the only point of DSR’s is to get a slight advantage in search but mainly to get a discount on fees. The wording could be improved especially for the dispatch criteria but essentially the whole system is a sham. Amazon product reviews are more beneficial to both buyers and sellers, although if you only have one bad, biased or planted review for your product you might not think so.

    • Gerry007
      9 years ago

      I alway thought the motive of a dispatch email, was pricisley that, to advise an item has been sent….Whilst I accept there may be a few** sellers who mark this as dispatch, what gain is there of not sending the item, but marking it dispatched??.

      AS it is a common knowledge, that buyer mark us sellers on receipt time, what is there to gain??.

      ** start a game, of guessing the amount of sellers that do this!!

  • Hereford United Fan
    9 years ago

    It is all a bit of a joke. Look at Argos now. Feedback is 98.7% but their DSR’s are all 4.9 and they are a TRS.

    How does that work?

  • sue
    9 years ago

    maybe you should report about this scam dotd: they claim its more then £600 retails but its! the price they offer it is the offical manufacturer price! thats why my friends i buy from amazon and stopped to buy from ebay – even trs outlet stores are trying to screw you…

  • 8 years ago

    I have always wondered just how others use the “Dispatched”. In my case I send by the local(well 3 miles away) Post Office. So I am constrained by its Opening Hours. I am packing in the evening and as I pack I put the items in a box ready to take to the Post Office the next day. I mark as “Dispatched” as soon as it goes into the box. On a weekend I could be packing Saturday afternoon or all day Sunday and putting in the box for posting Monday Morning again as soon as it goes in the box its marked as “Dispatched” Probably wrong but it helps me to know just what is left to pack. As far as the customer knowing when it is actually sent. Surely Post Offices all across the World work a similar system. They frank the stamps used with the date and time and the Post Office used to despatch the item. UK Post Offices now print out a stamp with this information included in the stamp. With carriers it might be more difficult but often they have a sticker which also gives much of this information. So its not impossible for a customer to know just when it was actually dispatched. Obviously if this date is the day before there is no problem but if it was a month before then it has been snagged up somewhere and this cannot be the fault of the seller. It can only be the fault of the carrier/Post Office and it should be an easy task to identify if that has been caused by the weather or perhaps strike action or whatever.

  • BigPoppa
    8 years ago

    PPI doesn’t show a date or cost and isn’t stamped by the PO/Royal Mail.

    We also dispatch once packed, generally that gets collected that day but if working late or at weekends it may be a couple of days later that the parcel actually leaves us.

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