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eBay’s Top Rated Seller program

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Saturday October 31, 2009 )

In case you missed the rollout (as I did) – in a strategy to woo shoppers back to eBay, the company changed qualification criteria on discounts for US merchants at the beginning of this month. Sellers will now need to work even harder to avoid low feedback scores; but will reap the rewards in doing so.

I wrote about the Top rated seller program earlier this year, but then the October start came and went without me remembering to follow up on it :).

If you have been disillusioned with selling on eBay, perhaps this new system will make it worthwhile to re-examine the outlet.

In the new Top-rated seller program, which replaces the Power Seller status in the USA only at this point, no more than 0.5%, or one in 200 feedback grades can be 1’s or 2’s and a merchant must have an overall rating of at least 4.6 in each category to make the grade. Merchants able to maintain the standard will receive a 20% discount off final value fees paid on completed sales and increased prominence in search results.

While the rules are pretty tough, the rewards are more generous than the Power Seller system that provided a 5% value fee discount for sellers with a minimum average score of 4.6 in each category, 15% off for a score of 4.8, and a 20% discount for a score of 4.9 or better.

The new system has some advantages for smaller merchants too as sellers only need complete 100 sales totaling at least $3,000 each year to qualify, well below the Power Seller threshold of 1,200 sales or $12,000 in volume. Unlike the previous discount program, that included all feedback in calculations, in the new system eBay will consider only feedback from U.S. buyers

The key to good feedback scores? Much the same as in other areas of ecommerce – under-promise and over-deliver.

A more in-depth look at the new system can be found on Internet Retailer and eBay’s summary page can be found here.

In other recent eBay news, the company and PayPal now offer Bill Me Later as a payment option during checkout. With Bill Me Later, qualified eBay and PayPal customers in the U.S. can pay for items over time without the use of a credit card.


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