eBay Changes Could Help Sellers

eBay rolls out a host of changes, some of which could save good sellers a little money–and offer a status boost.

Honest and efficient eBay sellers will be promoted for the first time ever with a special eBay Top-Rated Seller badge, receive deep discounts of 20 per cent on their final value fees and be elevated in search, the company announced Monday.

The new changes could help sports card and memorabilia sellers who list a lot of items on the site, but have been too small to be considered for the company’s Power Seller program.

The new Top-Rated Sellers program enables sellers to earn that status based on how buyers rank the quality of a sale through eBay’s detailed seller ratings feedback system.

"For buyers, the new eBay Top-Rated Seller status makes it easy to find the highest quality sellers on eBay based on the feedback of other buyers," said Lorrie Norrington, president of eBay Marketplaces. "For sellers, the Top-Rated Seller status recognizes and rewards their commitment to consistently delivering the highest level of customer satisfaction."

eBay said it expects to immediately qualify 150,000 eBay Top-Rated Sellers in the U.S. when the program goes live in October 2009. These highest-rated sellers will display an eBay Top-Rated Seller badge on the "view item page" that displays their listing. Going forward, any seller with as few as 100 transactions a year and $3,000 annual in sales volume can qualify based on buyer feedback. The eBay Top-Rated Seller status is based on further refinements to eBay’s feedback system, which allows buyers to score sellers on a number of factors that determine the overall quality of the transaction.

eBay will also roll out a Search Visibility tool to provide more transparency on placement in search results, a streamlined resolution process for unpaid item claims, new bulk editing tools, and an update to its Seller Dashboard.

A new rule will also allow sellers to respond to customers outside of the eBay e-mail system and sellers will be able to file a claim faster when a buyer does not pay for an item. The eBay fee refund process is also expected to improve when the changes are made.