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eBay.com to roll out new Top Rated Plus badge

By Chris Dawson October 18, 2012 - 2:24 pm

eBay will be rolling out a new Top Rated Plus seal on the US site starting from the week of the 12th of November. To qualify sellers will need to be Top Rated and additionally to offer 14-day returns with a money-back option and 1-day handling in their shipping preferences.

What many eBay.com sellers probably haven’t realised, is that when the new Top Rated Plus seal appears in November, the current Top Rated seller badge will be retired and will no longer be used in any category except Motors Vehicles, although Top Rated sellers will continue to receive recognition on the Feedback profile page.

If you’re a Top Rated seller using eBay.com then there’s still time to revise your listings to add in the requisite returns and 1-day shipping requirements to qualify for the new logo. Whilst not everyone can cope with 1-day shipping it’s not a lot to ask of most sellers, what’s likely to hurt US sellers more is the returns requirement.

Unlike within the EU where no question returns are mandated by law it’s not the same in the US and many sellers won’t currently be offering returns to their buyers. This is eBay’s way of dragging up the service sellers offer eBay buyers and instill confidence in the transaction.

We’ve long thought on Tamebay that eBay have gone about as far as they can with using feedback and detailed seller ratings as a means to increase the standard of service that sellers offer. Now it would appear that if you want your listings to be promoted in search service will be the key moving forward.

  • 5 years ago

    eBay will be rolling out a new Top Rated Plus seal on the US site starting from the week of the 12th of September.

    Was that supposed to say November?

  • 5 years ago

    It’s a sensible move and should not hurt sellers too much, if you are a serious seller you need to be shipping with a 1 day turnaround anyway.

    And returns should be a given these days.

    If you’re a UK seller using ebay.com these changes should be more or less what you’re doing anyway, if your in the US and you’re not then its time you did.

    We’ve seen worse policy changes from ebay.

    • 5 years ago

      There are plenty of reasons why a serious seller wouldn’t ship in 1 day. Pre-orders or custom made orders. I’m sure you can’t ship a bath in one day either (feel free to correct me on this one) since you can’t exactly walk it over to the post office.

      So basically if you want to sell your Wii-U now to ship on launch day you better not because you won’t be a top rated plus seller this Christmas. Even though that sale is completely legal according to eBay’s TOS.

      For returns, again custom made orders. Also event tickets.

      These should not hurt the majority of sellers though. And if you can offer these you should have been anyway.

    • 5 years ago

      I think it’s also worth pointing out that the Top Rated Seller Plus badge may be shown on some of your listings that qualify and not shown on others that don’t… (or so it would appear from the blurb)

  • Gary
    5 years ago

    And what about those buyers who request that you delay shipping as they want to bid on other items and want combined shipping savings?

    ebay is not just about getting gear out quick. It is about giving customer service and customers what they want. It seems grossly unfair to good sellers who give customers what they want rather than what ebay wants to link a sales “reward” purely to speed of dispatch.

    • Gary
      5 years ago

      What about giving me a massive big badge as a reward for the fact that I offer massive big combined shipping savings?

      I see this a way more important for my customers than speed.

      If ebay buyers see the massive badge that ebay have given me for this benefit then they might buy more from me!

      In fact can I make my own rosettes up?

      Is there anything in ebays rules that prevents me from doing this?

  • rick
    5 years ago

    yep a great big massive badge saying

    DAFT PILLOCK who carries the postage cost

  • radroach
    5 years ago

    What is wrong with offering combined shipping discounts?

    I find this to be a powerful sales incentive.

    • rick
      5 years ago

      combined shipping is the most idiotic irratating discount invented
      we just charge what it costs or less rather than doubling the cost to half it

    • JD
      5 years ago

      For you perhaps. For me there is no other way to treat buyers of multiple items fairly and to secure their (often better and better) repeat business.

    • rick
      5 years ago

      well we can think of lots of ways rather than a miserable and pathetic discount based o n postage cost and if you offer free postage how on earth do you discount that.

    • Gary
      5 years ago

      But if buyers like it and it encourages multiple sales then what is the issue?

      Much easier to be upfront with shipping discounts offered and have ebay work all this out for you automatically based on your settings than to have to sort all this out manually and give paypal refunds etc. which is what I guess the “free” shipping sellers do.

    • rick
      5 years ago

      many sellers load the shipping cost to cater for combined shipping , then get hit for high shipping cost by those who only wish to buy a single item, if they then charge reasonable shipping the combined shipping crew whinge when they dont get a large discount,
      either way your DSRs are in the firing line thats the issue

    • rick
      5 years ago

      buyers who pay for one item then ask for a combined invoice on others how does ebay work for you then?

  • Gary
    5 years ago

    In the UK we basically have a situation now thanks to Royal Mail where anything up to 750g can be stuffed into a packet for the same price. So it can cost as much to ship 1x 100g item as 6x100g items. I would much prefer my buyers to buy 6 items rather than 1. And if they do they pay the same shipping as for 1 item.

    Where is my MASSIVE ROSETTE from ebay as a reward for my giving great shipping value?

    What I offer is far better than those who offer FREE shipping. Try buying 6 products from them and see your price spiral!

    It ain’t the shipping time or even FREE shipping. Its money and giving value that matters to most ebay buyers.

    Basically ebay all these rosettes are a marketing con. Those giving genuine value suffer.

    • JD
      5 years ago

      Well said. I too couldn’t effectively and fairly sell my stuff any other way (very light items that fit through a letter box).

      This has really hit my International offers, especially on .com.

      For me, the requirement for ‘tracked’ on eBay to get Top Rated Plus exposure (not needed, not wanted and too expensive for the BUYER) and the swingeing International postal price increases from RM conspire to make .com selling rather unattractive.

  • Rich
    5 years ago

    Regarding 24 hour postage, if you are a seller of items that have size and colour options, you may need a cooling off period as customers sometims cancel or seek a different option as long as 2 days afterwards. Working fast also generates more errors in my experience. But hats off to anyone who can do it 100%.

    I think it would be better if ebay insisted on free postage for the basic postage option and reduced FVF percentages pro rata. Buyers can see aexactly what’s what and the seller would no longer have you deal with those awful and often condescending pandp terrorists. For me free p and p has been a bit of a boon as each and every item goes out full whack and I get 5 stars regardless.

  • Gary
    5 years ago

    Anybody can offer 1 day handling.

    Doesn’t mean you have to handle in one day…

    Remember in the USA ebay.com have pushed American sellers towards tracked shipping and actively punishes those sellers who don’t offer it.

    Ebay USA can therefore monitor 1 day handling through the entry of tracking codes.

    UK totally different situation and it simply would not work here as if ebay UK start insisting on tracked services shipping costs in the UK would go sky high for a lot of items offered by small and medium sized sellers. Buyers would simply look elsewhere “off ebay”.

  • Gary
    5 years ago

    “buyers who pay for one item then ask for a combined invoice on others how does ebay work for you then?”

    I make it very clear in my listings that if buyers want combined shipping savings they have to wait for a combined payment request/invoice. I don’t do immediate payment.

    I also use a third party management tool that flags up if buyers have purchased or are bidding on more than one item (at least I know then why payments have not been made) and it automatically creates combined invoices/payment requests. OK I have to send it but that is no hardship. ebay’s own process for this is ponderous.

    Probably 1 in 20 mess it up as suggested by paying for 1 item and then requesting a combined invoice but if I can’t absorb the extra 20p paypal cost I should not be selling on ebay!

    Remember paypal now keep 20p if you refund in full so pointless to refund and start again with a brand new invoice covering everything purchased.

    • 5 years ago

      Remember paypal now keep 20p if you refund in full so pointless to refund and start again with a brand new invoice covering everything purchased.

      Actually that is incorrect. Yes, PayPal keeps the 20p. However it still makes sense to refund and request a new invoice. This is because your seller protection is based on having a 1:1 mapping of payments to shipments. If they pay you twice and you ship once you have to chose which of those two items you want to win the INR claim on if that ever happens.

  • JD
    5 years ago

    @Rick:

    ‘many sellers load the shipping cost to cater for combined shipping , then get hit for high shipping cost by those who only wish to buy a single item, if they then charge reasonable shipping the combined shipping crew whinge when they dont get a large discount, either way your DSRs are in the firing line thats the issue’

    Nope, ‘many sellers’ is not every seller.
    An honest shipping charge and a combined deal that does not penalise the buyer is most likely to help DSR’s.
    (And encourage multiple buys as well)

    • rick
      5 years ago

      get Real! JD

      with todays ebay culture and buyer attitude,
      any shipping cost at all is likely to be detrimental to your DSRs

    • 5 years ago

      If I recall correctly, before eBay mandated 5 stars for the S&H DSR for free shipping the average DSR in this category was only 4.8 for those that offered free shipping. So basically that is as high as you can expect to get if you charge anything regardless of how “fair” you might perceive it.

  • Gary
    5 years ago

    “with todays ebay culture and buyer attitude, any shipping cost at all is likely to be detrimental to your DSRs”

    Just checked mine for the 12 month period and it is 4.91

    Buyers mark DSR’s based on the whole experience. If they are happy overall they will give 5* for everything. They won’t mark shipping costs in isolation.

    What I do notice is that very often my competitors who offer “free” shipping are more expensive than my combined item + shipping cost price. Yet buyers are not able to grade DSR’s for those who offer free shipping as 5* are automatically awarded. Grossly unfair to those sellers who offer value but there we are.

    And who offers “free” shipping for 99p auction starts? No one.

    So those whose business model is auction based are DSR penalised yet its the prospect of an auction bargain that drives buyers to ebay.

    • 5 years ago

      What I do notice is that very often my competitors who offer “free” shipping are more expensive than my combined item + shipping cost price. Yet buyers are not able to grade DSR’s for those who offer free shipping as 5* are automatically awarded.

      You actually think it is fair to rate someone’s DSRs based on their asking price? I guess they can always leave a negative if they think they are paying too much for their items but I think that is a bit crazy.

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