Feedback-pocalypse: eBay's new Detailed Seller Ratings

Everybody panic!

August 20th, 2014 has come and eBay's new Detailed Seller Ratings are in effect. What this means, and I'm still not entirely clear about it myself, is that all that the right to sell on eBay, and the benefits entitled wherein, can now be revoked or otherwise altered based on those five star ratings, which are now combined with regular old feedback to create the new "Transaction Defect Rate".

People seem really shocked and appalled in particular by the new requirement that eBay doesn't consider your packages shipped until the shipping service scans them in. So, basically, the seller is on the hook if the post office drops the ball.

A sampling of the 'blogosphere' shows reactions to this new evaluation / consequences system varying from rage-filled tirade-comments against eBay threatening to never use the service again (nothing new there) to utter relief that the sun did in fact rise this morning and we are still somehow free to sell junk online.

So how is your boy here at Part Time Picker reacting to all this? By not worrying about a damn thing. Here's why:
  • I always describe my items accurately and try to take multiple good photos. I do this because it helps get me more bids, more sales, and helps my items show up more often in searches within eBay's Cassini Search system
  • I don't gouge on the shipping charges. If I'm not doing Free Shipping, I keep those charges at or below what the actual costs will be. Nothing turns a buyer off faster than insane shipping charges. And in that very rare instance when I do accidentally overestimate and overcharge on shipping, I refund the overage to the buyer right away, even if they don't ask for it.
  • I usually ship the next day after the auction ends (or the item is bought). Why wait?
  • I also always get tracking on my shipments. Always.
  • I respond to all inquiries, questions, and other contact the same day, usually right away if I can. I don't like having some unresolved issue hanging over my head. And with my smart phone, it is super easy to respond from wherever I am. If you don't have a smartphone, you should just stop reading this and go back to gathering nuts and berries to store in your cave because the winter is coming.
  • I generally give great service. It's called being good at business and everybody should be doing it. It's how you get repeat customers. It's how you succeed. 
If you are already doing a good job at communication, item description, and shipping (which you should have been doing all along), you don't need to do a thing in regards to eBay's Transaction Defect Rate. Just be cool and keep picking the deals. Sure you'll occasionally get screwed by the post office or some idiot buyer who just gives you an unjustified bad rating, but, take a deep breath, everything will be ok. I promise.

There is a pretty good and even tempered blog about all the DSR controversy over at that you might enjoy as well.


  1. Hah! I try to stay away from E-CommerceBytes and the eBay forum. They're all too negative.

    You hit all the points that eBay requires. Sure, you'll get a few oddball buyers, but hell, I got them well before this new DSR! I'm glad I'm not the only one who isn't freaking out.


  2. I agree. I'm just going to continue to take care of business, and hope that the rest will take care of itself. As far as the scanning, we always take our packages to the post office and get a receipt showing that they've been scanned and accepted.

    1. Thanks for the comment.
      I just drop my packages at the post office without waiting in line to get a receipt. Not waiting in line is the biggest advantage of printing shipping at home.
      I've also found that even if there is a problem with a package that has tracking and all that, I usually need to issue a refund unless there is signature confirmation.
      I wonder if the new DSR system will have me singing a different tune.

    2. If it weren't so easy for us, we may have gone the scheduled pick-up route, but my husband drives right by the post office on his way to work, and he gets there right when they open so there's no line.