eBay changed its Top Rated Standards again!! Let’s break it down!

So you are already a Top Rated seller,
congratulations! There are many great benefits to getting and keeping Top Rated
status: 20% off final value fee charges, discounted shipping charges and more.
If you are anything like most Ebay sellers, you probably cringe every time Ebay
starts tinkering around with how they calculate top seller status. So this
February Ebay rolled out their first round of changes many of which are mostly beneficial
to sellers.

These no longer impact your defect

1.Buyer feedback

2.Detailed seller ratings

3.Return requests that are resolved

4.Item not received requests that are resolved

Defect rate now consists of only two

1.Seller canceled transactions- out of
stock or cannot fulfill for any reason

2. Cases closed without seller resolution

Sounds great right? Why didn’t they
do this before? What’s the catch? Wait there is more… Ebay is setting a higher
bar for canceled transactions, 0.5% or less. If you are doing a small amount of
transactions per month this can be tough. Also Ebay is now tracking late
shipment rate and also uploaded and validated tracking on time.

Let’s address the canceled
transactions first, here are a few best practices and tips to address your
potential canceled transactions.

1.Make sure your inventory is accurate!
Depending on your inventory levels you should be doing a physical inventory
count monthly. If you are removing inventory from your stock for a sale, gift
or any other reason make sure to make the changes to your listing on eBay
before removing it.

2. Say you get an email from the
buyer saying they want to cancel the order that they just placed, make sure
that the buyer does the canceling not you. If not, this is a defect and can
cost you a 30 minute – 1 hour call to Ebay’s customer service to get it removed,
which you want to avoid.

3.Need to improve your already ailing
defect rate? No problem its easy sell more! Easier said than done? Not really,
add some impulse items. What works best here is any item of small dollar value of
which you have multiple quantities, which are easy to pick pack and ship. Hundreds
of small transactions add up quick reducing the impact of few canceled
transactions. In some cases, one or two cancellations can cause you to lose
your hard earned Top Rated status.

Now let’s talk about shipping the new
criteria can be boiled down to 3 points

1.Item tracking shows as accepted in
your dispatch time

2.Item shows as delivered in your
estimated delivery time

3.Buyer confirms delivery made on time

Seems like this can be problematic
since there are a lot of things out of your control as a shipper, so let’s
address the things you can control.

1.If you are offering same day service
make sure it truly is same day service. Set your cutoff time to an early hour,
this buys you additional time if the purchase happens after your cutoff time.

2.Don’t procrastinate, have one item
going out today? Well pack it and ship it, don’t let those one order days add
up to a lower uploaded and validated tracking. To maintain Top Rated seller
status, you need to upload at least 90% of tracking on time. This goal it’s not
difficult if you stay on top of your orders.

3.A big concern with shipping criteria
is that portion of shipping defects out of your control. Your carrier whether it
is USPS, FedEx or UPS all are far from perfect and will delay or loose packages
from time to time. If you are diligently following points 1 and 2, even a few
delays by your carrier should not significantly affect your percentages.

4. Most carriers will scan your
shipments at drop off and provide you with receipt, this eliminates the possibility for delays for
validated tracking numbers.

One last thing and this is important, starting May 1st in order to
qualify for Top Rated Plus seller status you will need to offer a 30 day return
policy. I know this is crazy but remember eBay is trying to stay competitive
with the 800 pound gorilla of internet retail Amazon. 

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