Profile of a DSR Maestro

A model for improving your eBay seller ratings

by Brad and Debra Schepp
- Oct 15, 2008

Throughout the many years we've been writing (and the even more we've been alive!), we've learned a lesson that is at once incredibly simple and deeply profound. When faced with a situation that simply can't be changed, your only option is to adapt your attitude to that situation.

We can easily apply this life lesson to the subject of eBay's new Detailed Seller Rating (DSR) program. Now that enough time has passed for us all to realize that eBay means what it's said about DSRs, we can get down to the business of dealing with the realities of the new system, and we can do that with an adjusted attitude.

To help us see a way out of the stormy waters, we turned to Dan Glasure, who sells on eBay as danstraindepot. He's been a PowerSeller for many years. And he's one of those success stories that began with the posting of a few listings on eBay, which eventually led to an entirely new life.

An avid collector of comic books, Glasure first started selling them on eBay in 1999. Soon, he turned to another of his passions, model trains. As luck would have it, he came upon the opportunity to purchase an entire collection of HO trains. With financial help from his dad, the two men started listing the trains, and quickly sold through the entire collection! That's when they started to look around for more inventory.

Today, Glasure not only operates his eBay business, but he currently has three Web sites:,, and He also has found time to author a book about brass trains. So, as you can see, we were wise to turn to him for advice.

"It seems eBay is changing again," Glasure notes. "When this happens, we can do one of two things. We can get mad, leave and sell through other means. Or, we can adapt, and perhaps do so in a way to give us a further edge over our competition. We carefully considered both scenarios," he admits, "and chose the latter."

His reasoning? "eBay still attracts an amazing number of buyers. Our first instinct was to get upset and blame it on eBay's new hard-to-meet requirements," Glasure says. That's especially true because he has always thought of his operation as one of the best and most caring large sellers on eBay. "However, on second thought, we decided to take a good look at what we were doing and where we could improve." Glasure reports that he currently has DSR ratings of 4.9 for everything except shipping, which is coming in at 4.8. "So, we see room for improvement," he humbly notes.

No such self-examination is possible when you are operating with a hot head, boiling over with the steam of anger. The first step truly is acceptance!

Here are some of the changes that Glasure has implemented to keep his stellar DSR rating and even improve it:

  • "We now include a nice half-page, color letter to each customer, letting them know we are trying to be a five-star seller, and that we want them to tell us if there is any reason they would not agree.
  • We set up a toll-free number so they would have no reason not to call.
  • We've added an employee who will be able to help us better handle the phone calls in a professional manner, and also improve our shipping department, so we can truly offer first-class service.
  • We also have made a sizable investment to improve our packing methods. Instead of using Styrofoam peanuts—which are messy and can shift in transit—we are now using an air-packet system.
  • We have always tried to ship the same day we receive payment, but we're going to make an extra effort so that there are no exceptions to this policy."

"We have virtually always stayed at a 100 percent positive feedback rating, and that was never easy," Glasure reminds us. "Initially we were very upset with eBay's changes to feedback, and even now there are some adjustments to be made. However, we do feel it's important that eBay makes changes to attract more buyers, and overall we support these changes overall.

"We want eBay to continue as a thriving marketplace," he continues. "eBay is no longer the only place we sell, but it's still an important part of our business. Knowing we will not change eBay, we looked inward to see what we could do," he wisely says. "We hope many sellers will look at their own policies and see where they can provide better service. Overall, we feel this will attract good buyers and help the eBay economy grow, which will, in turn, aid all of our companies!"

So, the wise advice from this successful eBay seller can succinctly be summed up and applied to all of life's challenges. Our wisdom for today: When the going gets tough, the tough get creative!

About the Author

Brad and Debra Schepp are the authors of 20 books, including eBay PowerSeller Secrets and The Official Success Guide: Insider Tips and Strategies for Sourcing Products from the World's Largest B2B Marketplace. Their most recent book, which Deb co-authored with John Lawson, Kick Ass Social Commerce for E-preneurs: It's Not About Likes—It's About Sales, was recently named the 2015 Small Business Book of the Year in the social media category.

For further information, visit Brad and Deb's website,

Opinions expressed here may not be shared by Auctiva Corp. and/or its principals.

Other Entries by this Author

Follow Us