Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How detailed seller ratings are calculated

Almost all sellers (and buyers) know that high feedback is the mark of a good seller. But there is another rating that can impact a seller too – the detailed seller rating. While this doesn’t impact the overall feedback score, detailed seller ratings are considered by eBay when they decide which sellers will receive extra benefits and discounts. 

eBay’s detailed seller rating system has a 1 to 5 star scale, with 5 stars being the best rating and 1 star being the worst. A rolling 12 month window is used to calculate an average rating. In order for the rating to be calculated, a seller has to have gotten 10 or more ratings – if they are below the required number, the average won’t be shown.

There are a few steps that eBay sellers can take to ensure that their detailed ratings remain as high as possible:

Communication with buyers is key. Sellers should always include a clear explanation of their policies as well as contact information in their listings. It’s important that the seller also includes how quickly they will respond to questions– and follows through with that timeline. One way to streamline this process is to set up automatic communication. Selling Manager Pro lets sellers set up automatic messages that will thank buyers for their order and let them know their item shipped.

Accurate and detailed descriptions are also important. Any defects should be clearly described. Pictures are an essential part of descriptions. Non stock photos from multiple angles will help buyers understand exactly what they’re getting.

Shipping time plays a role in detailed seller ratings too. Sellers should ship items as quickly as possible after the payment is received. Sellers should also be clear about their shipping policies within the listing information. Including a tracking number is also a good policy. Sellers who print their labels on PayPal or eBay can buy insurance at the same time, and an automatic email will be sent to the buyer and seller with the ship date and tracking number.

Reasonable shipping charges can help a seller’s detailed rating as well. Sellers who choose to offer free shipping will automatically be given a 5 star rating for their shipping charges. eBay also says that free shipping can improve listing visibility and help attract buyers. If free shipping is not offered, buyers appreciate being given calculated shipping because they can see exactly what the cost is. A shipping discount for multiple items is also a plus and normally has a positive impact on feedback.

For more strategies on improving your seller performance, check these resources:

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