Posted by Alexander Jackson on April 29, 2016
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
These no longer impact your defect rate:
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 criteria:
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.