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Feedback DSRs replaced with drop down options

By Chris Dawson January 30, 2012 - 12:51 am

It’s always interesting to log into eBay and find that they’ve been tinkering with feedback and today is no exception. Gone is my ability to leave star ratings for Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs) which have been replaced with drop downs to select how reasonable or otherwise the services was.

I’ve heard of this before, eBay run many tests on feedback to trial the effects of how changes impact buyer and seller behaviour, but I’ve not seen this one live on any of my own accounts before.

So what do you think? Is it better to be rated on 1 to 5 stars, or do you prefer the “Very accurate, Accurate, Neither inaccurate nor accurate, Inaccurate, Very inaccurate” choices that I have at the moment?

Incidentally it’s probably also worth noting that if the seller offered free postage and packaging then they automatically get awarded a “Very Reasonable” for their postage DSR.

  • Mark
    9 years ago

    I run a very large account and we note that those unhappy with a slow service (say, a delay due to ordering just before Christmas – something beyond our control, but an issue we rectify as swiftly as we are made aware) will, in some cases, likely leave low stars across the board. A kind of rash, emotional, “didn’t like that” scour.

    We dislike this, and I don’t see anything about the new system that will prevent such.

    There’s much work to be done to get feedback right and fair for earnest sellers (especially lower volume) because, quite frankly, IMHO, it’s not – and I say that as someone who has never not qualified for eTRS save for the first month it was introduced).

    Firstly, remove feedback all together and make it more granular, and educate buyers as to the ramifications; of course, if a buyer feels entitled and obliged to leave low stars, that’s a good service for everyone; but at least allude as to the consequences for the seller.

    My loose prediction (and it’s just a hunch)? We’ll eventually see the demise of feedback, and more refined DSR circuitry. Here’s hoping!

  • Allyssabeth
    9 years ago

    Same (sorta) options now as available on the US site. eBay has always described the 5 star options in that way with those instructions/labels. However, portraying them this way is INTENDED to drop sellers’ ratings (and in turn ‘raise’ eBay fees by eliminating TRS discounts.) After all what naive or otherwise well-meaning buyer wouldn’t see these choices (3s and 4s respectively as being great reviews for their sellers? “Accurate”, “Satisfied”, “Reasonable”??!
    And yet, any seller who gets more than a very small handful of these ‘good’ ratings (1/4 or less of 1 percent of all ratings left) is PENALIZED by eBay and possibly thrown off the site for being a “bad seller”! (Note 60% or more of buyers don’t bother to leave any ratings at all so that .024% of ratings translates closer to .005% of your buyers overall being less than extremely satisfied or finding your transaction “VERY Accurate”, “VERY Satisfied”, or finding the SHIPPING COMPANY’s rates and times to be “VERY Reasonable” (things the seller has no control over).
    By removing the terms 3 Star and 4 Star from the dropdown they are intentionally trying to redirect buyers to give lower ratings. Poll takers do this all the time – reword a question or reorder the questions to direct/skew the answers to the desired results. Subtle but very underhanded!

  • Mark
    9 years ago

    ps I’d ay 90% + (of our fortunately few) low DSRs are left by buyers who don’t speak much English (no offense or slight, just an observation) and those new to eBay. It’s a simple fact, and we’re a category-leading Top Seller…

    Does that say something?

  • 9 years ago

    I am very surprised to see they think this could be the answer to fixing feedback/dsr problems when one of the main issues from the start has been the wording!

    Ackkkk please please eBay do not make this change… bad move!

  • Gary
    9 years ago

    Its a reasonable move as long as eBay lower the TRS standard to an average of 3.9 or 4.0. This drop down arrangment will encourage more 4*** type scores.

    Otherwise it is a mechanism to increase ebay revenue by reducing the number of sellers who receive discount.

    Let us remember that the mega outlet sellers are not affected by this as they negotiate set fees with ebay and these are fixed regardless of DSR ratings.

    So one way of increasing revenue is to squeeze those sellers who pay fees based on the published tariff just a little bit harder.

    Squeeze too hard though and this could have the opposite effect on revenue income.

  • Gary
    9 years ago

    The other thing of course is that this means more clicks required by buyers before feedback can be left.

    8 actions are required rather than the 4 previously so a 100% increase workload.

    Why do eBay have this habbit of introducing change that increases work for buyers and sellers?

    No wonder we are all going down with RSI in various parts of our anatomy!

    • Gary
      9 years ago

      Just checking again I am “very innacurate” with my previous comment. The drop down list appears when you hover over the option so the same number of clicks required.

  • Gary
    9 years ago

    Just thinking of all the ratings surveys that I have ever filled in that have the option of a word with “VERY” in front of it.

    How many times have I scored the word with “VERY” in front of it?

    Certainly a lot less than 100% of the time.

    ebay may well think that standards across the whole site are slipping a few months down the road on the back of a comparison using the figures generated by this new scoring arrangement when compared with the figures generated by the old system.

    Can this be good for eBay???

    And what about communications? Apart from responding to questions I don’t actually generate any these days. eBay do it on my behalf.

    Shipping – Royal Mail are rumoured to be wanting to increase their prices for smaller packages and post by 50%. Enough said about P&P being reasonable.

    We are all going to loose TSR status. Trust me!

  • 9 years ago

    Just an idea and not one eBay will ever implement but would it make sense to have a “5* for all” or equivalent wording button such as “no problems to report” which automatically gives 5* across the board in one click ? A buyer if dissatisfied can then select whatever stars/levels they want but the main core would have 1 click to leave feedback.

  • st georges dragon
    9 years ago

    why so complicated a simple 5 star scale
    is all thats needed why break it down at all,
    there is nothing further we are prepared to change correct or alter
    so giving us a breakdown means nothing

    • 9 years ago

      We do appreciate the split level feedback. It tells us where we can improve, yes there are erroneous ratings left but if per say you consistently receive low ratings for communication then its an area you can work on. If its a general rating for all then you are left guessing or not bothering, neither is particularly good for business.

    • St Georges Dragon
      9 years ago

      were gusssing now ,how on earth can you be marked down for communication when ebay has greatly reduced the ability to communicate with buyers, and we have worked on it, we even supply KY gel and bend over ,yet it makes no difference

    • 9 years ago

      There is always something you can do, if others can successfully manage to keep TRS then there is more you can do.

    • st georges dragon
      9 years ago

      of course you can keep TRS quite easily
      though where do you draw the line ?when does the tail start wagging the dog,
      we use ebay for profit not glory , we could not give a flying fig about TRS unless there is a profit in it

  • 9 years ago

    Ebays growth is pretty much stagnant when you compare it to Amazon.

    I suspect the large retailers are getting practically a free lunch.

    Ebay have to raise revenue from somewhere.

    Lowering the number of sellers who receive the discounted rates would of course be another fee hike in hiding.

    If Ebay are serious about their system, they should not sell advertising to anyone they consider “sub-standard”.

    My biggest issue with Ebay, is they sell advertising to its customers and then do not deliver that advertising because they manipulate the results.

    There are scam companies that move into an area and pretend to sell advertising.

    They print off about 100 leaflets, send them to the advertisers and pretend they have distributed thousands.

    I do not see Ebays business model all that much different at the moment unfortunately.

    They are already suffering from their anti-small seller campaign with stagnant growth on the site the last several years.

    It cannot last forever.

    • Kang
      9 years ago

      Fully agree. What’s the point of scoring someone on something that’s outside their control?

  • 9 years ago

    Overall were you satisfied with the transaction/purchase?

    a) Yes
    b) No – link to contact seller with reason and give seller chance to put it right.

    Follow up 14 days later:

    Did the seller fix the problem with your transaction?

    a) Yes
    b) No – link to contact eBay

    Is this too simple? I’ve always thought it wrong to be judged on Royal Mail’s performance and be judged before I have a chance to solve things.

    If it isn’t improving the feedback system, why spend time changing it?

  • There’s no such thing as “very accurate”, something is either accurate or it isn’t, how can it “very” accurate?

  • Mark
    9 years ago

    Isn’t it about time that eBay did away with all this dross and shifted to a simple Net Promoter Score?

  • John
    9 years ago

    We certainly do not need more of ebay’s tinkering, right now best match is whomever sells the most gets the top spot regardless of the feedback or trs. So if you are huge retailer and can afford to sell a item at a loss to get the top spot and then increase your price in small increments your thewinner on ebay. If you are a small business your the loser because you cannot afford to sell at a loss. This is John Donahoe’s plan wake up people he wants NYSE traded retailers on ebay. and id kissing their rears to get them on ebay.

  • CM Online
    9 years ago

    I have no problem with the DSR’s, customers should be able to rate their experience. What I do have a problem with is not knowing why a customer left a particular bad score.

    I would propose to eBay that when a customer opts to leave a 1 or 2 star they have to provide an explanation as to why they feel it is justified and then send this to me as a seller. This way the score would still remain annonymous and I would get an opportunity to review my products/processes and make any improvements.

  • Jane
    9 years ago

    According to James (pink post on Ebay Seller Central, 31 January):

    “Actually there’s no testing going on here….What they’re seeing is what happens when Java script is not enabled or the member is using an old internet browser or one not supported by eBay then the drop down boxes will be shown.”

    Can this be true, Chris?

    • 9 years ago

      Is Firefox 10.0 out of date? 😮

    • Gary
      9 years ago

      Check this in another browser and see what happens.

      I see stars in explorer.

    • Gary
      9 years ago

      Just checked Firefox 10.0 and see stars also. I wonder if eBay did a secret tweak on the back of the Tamebay story and the the comment from pink James is a cover?

      Trouble is this happens with eBay constantly so you never know what to believe!

  • Richard
    9 years ago

    Thankfully it seems this is a browser issue — if it were actually implemented for all it would be a disaster by virtue of people making mistakes on the drop downs.

  • Tom
    9 years ago

    Ebay Buyer Protection is worthless. The seller can send you the wrong item and they make you ship it back at your own expense if you want your money refunded.

    TomT Schenectady

  • st georges dragon
    9 years ago

    utter tripe and codswollop!!!!!

    if you pay via paypal your ultra protected you simply claim item not as described , insist on a refund and there is bugger all a seller can do about it

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