Prompt Shipping Gets 5-Star Treatment

eBay's latest change shows good intentions, but falls short.

by staff writer
- Sep 21, 2010

Just weeks after eBay announced it would give sellers an automatic five-star DSR rating for shipping cost if they offered free shipping, the company says it will also extend this default rating to sellers who provide prompt shipping.

Beginning in November, sellers will automatically earn five stars for shipping time if they specify a one-day handling time for their listings, upload tracking information within one business day of receiving payment for the product and if items arrive within four business days of payment, eBay announced today.

This change aims to mend a long-standing complaint from many eBay sellers: that buyers often leave good feedback for sellers but low DSRs, putting their Top-rated and PowerSeller ratings in jeopardy.

"When we know you delivered fast and free shipping on a transaction, we'll make sure your rating reflects that," says Dinesh Lathi, vice president of Seller and Buyer Experience.

While this change shows eBay has good intentions toward making its policies more seller-friendly, it misses the mark, notes Auctiva Product Analyst Rebecca Miller. The four-day limit may be too short for some sellers, she says—especially if they are shipping items to the other side of the country.

"If you're providing the same service to two different buyers, but you live on the East Coast and one of them is on the West Coast, it could take six days for your item to get to its destination," she says. "The two listings might end on the same day, and ship on the same day, but just because of distance, one of them may get to its destination later.

"If you provided the same service to both buyers, why shouldn't you get the same shipping DSRs for both?"

Other sellers wonder the same thing in online forums. But Lathi assures sellers the update is meant to guarantee seller "performance ratings are a true reflection of the great service you provide."

For more information on this policy, please read eBay's announcement.

About the Author

Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.

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