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Being an eBay Top Rated Seller Just Got a Lot Different!

by Sean Mal

in Listing, Selling

Will you have what it takes to be an eBay top rated seller under the new policy?

Let me tell you this: hundreds (maybe thousands) won’t!!

The new eBay policy makes it harder than ever to be a top-rated seller and then to keep your TRS status.

Why is it important?

As you might know, top-rated seller status on eBay will provide you with some benefits.

The best benefit is that you get 20% off your eBay fees. Another benefit is that your listings will get a boost in eBay search results, which will lead to more sales because your listings will be viewed more.

Top rated seller status used to require you to be an eBay PowerSeller first, then you couldn’t have too many low DSRs (1 or 2 stars) or too many buyer complaint cases. The exact number of low DSRs or buyer cases that knocks you off top-rated seller status will vary depending on the number of your monthly transactions. That’s why it’s important to raise your eBay transactions.

If you are (or used to be) an eBay top rated seller, you understand that even with these requirements it’s not that hard to get your eBay top-rated seller status at risk. As if it wasn’t enough, eBay introduced yet a couple more requirements for top-rated sellers!

What’s the new policy?

This policy change is not live yet. It’ll go live on June 1st. Depending what category you sell in, this policy update might make it easier or harder for you to be a top-rated seller with full benefits.

Ready for good news?

Top-rated seller requirements are a whole lot different now!

The best part is that you don’t need to be an eBay PowerSeller! Another good news is that instead of annual sales of $3000, now you just need $1000 annual US sales. Yet another: the minimum average Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs) of 4.6 will be removed all together.

So…

  • if your account is at least 90 days old,
  • you have a minimum of 98% positive feedback,
  • you meet the current low DSR and buyer cases requirements (unchanged),
  • and a minimum of $1000 annual sales,
  • with 100 transactions,

you are eligible to be an eBay Top-rated Seller regardless of how much is your average DSR…IF (yeah, there’s still an IF):

Here comes the bad news

You upload tracking numbers to eBay within your stated handling time on 90% or more of all completed transactions with US buyers over the past three months.

How’s that?

Like I said, depending on how you run your business, this could impose no effect on you. However, here’s the eBay “catch”:

you will have to accept all returns (including buyer remorse!) for at least 14 days after the receipt of the item with money back option AND your handling time has to be 1 day in order to receive FULL top rated seller benefits.

Otherwise you won’t receive the 20% top rated seller discount and your listings will receive “some” exposure boost in eBay search results (as opposed to “greatest” exposure). In other words, if you don’t do the 14-day return with money back AND 1-day handling time, you’re still a Top-rated Seller but you won’t receive the FULL benefits.

Side note: eBay says 1-day or “better” handling time…I really wonder what could be the handling time “better” than 1-day!! Do you know?

Final take

Many eBay sellers are angry and upset about this new policy especially over the tracking upload requirement. Some of them are so displeased they started an eBay boycott.

I understand the concerns of sellers of very-low priced items, such as stamps. This policy effectively “requires” them to ship with First Class Mail, which costs a minimum of $1.64 now (and it will be more expensive as United States Postal Service is in deep financial trouble).

This (hopefully) could be less trouble for sellers of other items. But…they will still be stung with the other part of the new eBay policy: the 14 day return, 1-day handling time.

They would have to accept “all returns” and offer full money back (and lose the shipping cost they already paid) or lose a big chunk of eBay top rated seller benefits.

What’s your take?

I’d like to know what’s your selling habits and if you’ll be affected by this eBay new policy. Leave a comment below and reveal your thoughts!

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

carlos thompson April 25, 2012

I agree that being an ebay seller is an reliable way to accomplished ideal income online. Glad that I was able to drop on this post.

Reply

Sean Mal April 25, 2012

Yes…but it has a lot of hoops to jump through and that’s why I’m running this blog
Thanks for stopping by.
Sean Mal recently posted..You Sell Ultraviolet Codes on eBay, or Do You?My Profile

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kerja sambilan May 5, 2012

And, it is not easy to be one. Demanding a lot of hard works, patience and product researches.. But, being one, is able to generate handsome incomes and also a respectable business owner.

Reply

Sean Mal May 5, 2012

There’s no “get rich now” button 🙂 Yes, being a top seller in any marketplace requires hard work, smartness, and oh a little luck among other things. However, like you said, being top-rated seller in ebay or top seller in any other marketplace is rewarding.
Thanks for commenting.
Sean Mal recently posted..You Sell Ultraviolet Codes on eBay, or Do You?My Profile

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AML May 8, 2012

I agree that being a top seller pays a lot. I takes a lot of hard work but will make you in the top shape is selling. More sales for you. I’m glad Ive read this. Thanks.

Reply

Sean Mal May 8, 2012

Are you selling products online (on eBay or elsewhere)? If you sell things online, you’ll benefit from reading this blog. Thanks for stopping by.
Sean Mal recently posted..How To Figure Out Who Left You Low DSRMy Profile

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Tina R. Muse May 11, 2012

Yes, being a top seller requires more effort but the benefits are incomparable.

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Sean Mal May 11, 2012

If you’re just serious about your online business, top-rated status will come naturally. Because you would do your best. When you became top-rated seller, the reward is that your selling items online will increase. You need to meet some requirements though. The eBay requirements are discussed in this post in one place.
Thanks for visiting.
Sean Mal recently posted..Do This So Your Buyers Love You and You Get RewardedMy Profile

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Rose L. May 17, 2012

Yeah, better results are fruits of hard labor. When you keep on doing your best to be a top rated seller, everything else follows and that includes increase of selling items.

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Sean Mal May 17, 2012

Top-rated Seller status is hard to keep on eBay. Buyers leave low DSR for the slightest dissatisfaction. It’s just the way it is when you sell things online. Being a top seller is much easier on other marketplaces such as eBid or eCrater.
Thanks for visiting.
Sean Mal recently posted..Bad News About USPS International Shipping!My Profile

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steve July 3, 2012

The new top rated seller stuff is garbage I’ve been selling for over a year,I’m currently a top rated seller I’m sure they’ll take that away though because I will not accept returns and will not do 1 day handling time its insane. EBay is all about the buyer now a days and trying to widdle out the little guy like myself with on 130 feed backs all as seller. My father has been selling for about 10 years and is pretty much done with eBay and these rules. Sellers can’t leave negatives but buyers can seriously we use to be able to but god forbid the buyer get upset. And this 14 day return garbage so your saying someone can use my mint item bust it all up and I get it back and is worth probably half the value if not more. And here’s the thing I can’t figure out brand new items you sell they open and there no longer brand new and they get to send it back. What if I have computer software with a mini um of 3 uploads let’s say and they upload and send it back what am I left with nothing I’m out whatever for shipping and I get back a great coaster CD and fire starter with the box. If eBay doesn’t change soon I will go somewhere else and I won’t make a difference I know but I promise soon everyone will feel the same way and eBay will crash and burn. GO CRAIGSLIST !!! Yes eBay is nice for a little money here and there but when I sell 5 hundred worth of stuff and they want 100 out of it its crazy. now I’m getting taxed for eBay yay more money to be taking from me. 20 cents for insertion fee roughly 10 percent final fee and 15 dollars for my store wait don’t forget PayPal fees and the best part of there fees is that there own by eBay so it goes in there pocket. All this money they get from sellers maybe they could have a customer service agent you could understand doubt it! Anyway good luck sellers it is a mess out there and buyers keep praying on the sellers

Reply

Sean Mal July 4, 2012

Steve,
I understand your frustration more than you can imagine (been there done that). However, please take a look at the article below. You can make the most out of ebay by leveraging the huge traffic it generates. eBay is still one of the few top sites when people go online shopping. Take advantage of that.
You said you wanted to go off ebay. That’s good but why don’t you make ebay work for you? Read the article and you know what I’m saying and let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks for your comment.
Sean Mal recently posted..Make The Most Out of High eBay FeesMy Profile

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steve July 4, 2012

The person writing said they would explain how to get the most out of eBay fees all it explain was make a about me page that has nothing to do with eBay fees at all that is a way to market yourself which I’m not worried about doing I’m confused

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Sean Mal July 4, 2012

Steve,
It has everything to do about eBay fees. When you incorporate the power of ebay for promoting your off ebay activities by writing reviews and creating About Me pages and such, you’re getting ebay to work for you! You said you wanted to go off ebay. Are you aware how expensive marketing is (or labor intensive if you do it yourself)? eBay fees will be cheap marketing dollars in comparison. That way you make ebay to use their tremendous marketing power TO YOUR ADVANTAGE. Learn to look at ebay from a different point of view and you’ll be amazed what you can do with it.
Sean Mal recently posted..Make The Most Out of High eBay FeesMy Profile

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steve July 4, 2012

I don’t understand how eBay will work for me I make a page to market myself and get my items out there they buy them I make more money and pay more in fees that’s not a way of getting most out of fees getting the most out of something is getting an advantage on something that you invest your time and or money in this case fees I invest my time into eBay to make money and they get outrageous amount of fees just don’t see how making a fan page will benefit my eBay fees

Reply

Sean Mal July 4, 2012

In the article I explained that you refer your auction visitors to your About Me page and in there you can have links to your newsletter or website or informational products. And that’s ONE tactic to make ebay and their fees work for you. Read the article more carefully. Like I explained above when you do that, your fees will be actually cheap marketing dollars that help your off ebay business.
Sean Mal recently posted..Make The Most Out of High eBay FeesMy Profile

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Marsha August 20, 2012

I do drop shipping mostly on eBay. While I am blessed with easy and good customers who leave me good feedback, I can’t promise to update the tracking number in one business days. Some warehouses don’t even provide the tracking number but they will ship my order out in one business day(unless they are extremely busy that day). I try to ask the warehouse for tracking number on the same days but sometimes it just won’t happen. Now I am being punished because of that. I wonder how other drop ship sellers handle that.

Reply

Sean Mal August 20, 2012

Marsha,
That’s a GREAT question! I don’t drop ship on ebay so I’m not sure how to get the 20% fee discount while drop shipping but maybe other readers with that experience can chime in.

I know the new top-rated seller requirements make it very tough for drop shippers. The worst case scenario is that you won’t get the 20% fee discount. I wish you good luck.
Sean Mal recently posted..Make The Most Out of High eBay FeesMy Profile

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Amber October 19, 2012

I am a powerseller, but I am not a top seller..what am I doing wrong? I can’t figure out what I need to change in order to become a top rated seller??

Reply

Sean Mal October 20, 2012

Hi Amber,
First off, you don’t have to be a powerseller to be top rated seller and vice versa. About your question: go to your Seller Dashboard from your “My eBay” page. Click on “Performance” and then choose “Top-rated” from the “Requirements for:” tabs. It shows you what you need in your next evaluation to be TRS which is around 20th of the month. I’m guessing it’s the upload tracking for minimum 90% of US transactions requirement but you need to look there and see.

Thanks for visiting and let me know if you have other questions.
Sean Mal recently posted..Keep Your eBay Top-rated Seller Status. Here’s HowMy Profile

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Amber October 22, 2012

Okay I am top seller, they just took a day to change it. BUT I’m not getting a discount..what the heck?

Reply

Sean Mal October 22, 2012

Amber,
The discount will reflect in your Seller Dashboard next month around 15th of the month. You’ll receive 20% discount only for the items with 1-day handling time and minimum 14-day return policy with money back option. Let me know if you have other questions and make sure to subscribe for updates by using the form below.
Sean Mal recently posted..Keep Your eBay Top-rated Seller Status. Here’s HowMy Profile

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Amber October 23, 2012

Thank you so much!

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julie December 22, 2012

Hi.

First, I want to say thank you for creating an easy to navigate website that gets to the point (and without bombarding me with aggressive, unrelated advertising).

? 1) “… the minimum average Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs) of 4.6 will be removed all together”
? 2) If your account is at least 90 days old,
? 3) you have a minimum of 98% positive feedback,
? 4) you meet the current low DSR and buyer cases requirements (unchanged),
? 5) and a minimum of $1000 annual sales, with 100 transactions,

? 6) Shipping/Tracking & Handling Time: I load all tracking codes within the required 24 hour time period, 100% of the time… every month. EXCEPTION: 1 month did not meet the % but it was several months ago (occurred before the new policy updates began).

I just want to know if this information is current or if the standards changed? I ask this because I lost both my Power Seller Status and My Top Rated Seller Status several months ago yet according to each of the following, I (overly) qualify for the ‘new’ policy requirements.

I have spent approximately 30+ hours on the telephone with eBay’s “Customer Support” over the last 4.5 months (would have been more but after 4-5 hours, the phone battery died… and on more than 1 occasion).

Thus far, no one has been able to explain to me the numerous irregularities (both my DSR totals & seller performance data periodically comes up missing or incorrect)

I used to love trading on eBay… so much so, I became a full-time seller last year. Not too long ago, I would have been in disbelief if someone had told they were experiencing the outrageous things that have been happening to me… For some parts of the problems, I know that other eBayers have experienced similar problems with data irregularities (from a glitch or hack etc).

In August, a buyer leave negative feedback. The feedback/buyer was suspected (by support) to be a ‘malicious’ buyer and was in violation of 2-4 rules of policy… this feedback was supposed to be removed by 3 different support representatives… it never was. It was not long after that, when the real problems began. I now have selling restrictions and seller limitations placed on my account which in turn causes my % to drop down lower…

In my attempts to get help, I get the usual ‘script’ which depends on the ‘department’ I am talking to… I have been blatantly lied to by not one but by multiple ‘support representatives’. I have been hung up on (every time this happened, it was close to 10PM… closing time). I have been transferred to a “different department” for another “support representative specialist” to assist me which transferred my call (of 4 hours) to an eBay support for an unrelated country… “eBay Singapore” to be exact, which in no way once-so-ever has anything to do with customer support for eBay USA.

So the nutshell, no one at eBay support has had either had the will or the ability to help me get my account problems fixed. I’m left to searching blogs and websites hoping I will find some new information or someone I can contact that would help me. I keep trying because I know that if my account is reviewed by an actual human being VS some automated computer program, my account status would be restored.

Any additional information (or clarification) that you can provide me with would be sincerely appreciated..

Thank you for your time and help.
Julie

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Sean Mal December 23, 2012

Another horror story about eBay costumer service! I know, eBay has probably the worst customer service for SELLERS and maybe one of the best customer services for BUYERS!

Julie,
The top-rated seller requirements above is current as of now. As you described it, looks like there’s a glitch or something like that which nobody in eBay is able or is willing to fix it. Seems like you can’t fix it either. Here’s my suggestion since you’re at the dead end: open another eBay account and start selling there. You only need 100 transactions and $1000 US sales to become Top-rated Seller (the rest of the requirements are easy). Selling restriction is annoying but since you subscribed to my email updates, look for an update about how to beat eBay selling restrictions very soon.

Sorry but many eBay problems are not solvable but instead need a work-around.
Good luck and thanks for visiting.
Sean Mal recently posted..Keep Your eBay Top-rated Seller Status. Here’s HowMy Profile

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Amber March 19, 2013

Hello all, we are a Top Rated seller (UK based) and received notification from ebay today about the new requirements – these are our thoughts:

1. We don’t especially like the idea of a 14 day return policy, but if if EU legislation demands it we don’t have much choice. We do however become confused with sellers that take the view that buyers are able to return products after using them. Our return policy clearly states that buyers are responsible for the cost to return the item (which is perfectly acceptable if stated in the listing) and states that products should be returned in ‘as new’ condition with the original packaging. For us this covers most eventualities.

2. Our main concern is the new image/photo requirements. Apparently main images must be plain (no background image) with no associated text (ie. it cannot say free delivery etc). This is kind of ok, but what about Trademarks and Logos??? We manufacture products, some of which have Trademarks and these Trademarks are part of the product identity and aid marketing. It almost feels as though ebay are attempting to remove our identities. For example, would ebay only accept an image of a Dyson vacuum on a white background without the Dyson brand name/logo? All seems a bit restrictive.

Reply

Sean Mal March 19, 2013

eBay.com will announce Spring seller update today which will include fees and feedback policy changes. *shivers*

The 14-day return policy is already required in US for a while and I had zero requests for returns. If you think about it, it really doesn’t matter! If a buyer wants to return they can complain to eBay and eBay will force you to accept the return (at least that’s how it is in US).

About the photo policy, all texts should be removed not copyright watermark. The policy clearly states copyright watermarks are ok so you can take advantage of that.
By the way, your ebay account doesn’t show you’re a top-rated seller.
Thank you for visiting.
Sean Mal recently posted..eBid Has “Make An Offer” Feature Now!My Profile

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Michael August 26, 2014

I have been a Top Rated seller on eBay.com for years. This status has now been removed because of eBay’s new verifiable tracking policy. I ship from South Africa and our tracking numbers RJ xxx xxx xxx ZA are not on their list of verifiable numbers. Buyers in most countries (including the USA) can, in fact, do end-to end tracking from South Africa but this is not good enough.

Thousand of non-us resident sellers will not be happy. Including me!

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