eBay message = Clear as mud
That sounds scary! Better complain about it! Oh wait, no whining! Let’s try to look at this logically first.
I’m HOPING that I haven’t had 38 transactions with issues this past month, but that’s definitely how this eBay read to me. After perusing eBay’s Seller Protection Policy again, I think I’ve figured this out. Let’s shed some light.
eBay doesn’t only “protect” you when you have a situation with a buyer. They also do have some automatic 5 star ratings for the following reasons:
- Shipping and handling charges – offer free shipping and you’ll get a free 5 star rating
- Shipping and handling time – Offer 1 day and actually ship it within that time frame (this is what I do. I just drop off my packages in the blue box unless it’s a non-GSP international sale that needs to be handed to a PO worker). Fast n Free offers some additional protection from low ratings.
- Communication – you can get an auto 5 star if you have no pending return cases and no buyer/seller initiated communications in your eBay messages. I’m unclear as to whether that is only for this item or in general for your account. I always try to respond quickly since I hate the little notification in my dashboard that says I have an unanswered response. Buyers who respond to me after I answer with “Thanks!” are literally the worst. I have to respond to that now too!
I’m not going to go into detail on any of the other categories as they definitely haven’t occurred to me in the past few months, but they are the following:
- money back guarantee requests
- seller performance standards (so helpful… LOL)
- hassle-free returns (I’ve turned this on and haven’t had one yet)
- unpaid items (just turn it on auto and forget about it. Less to worry about),
- Global Shipping program.
I love GSP in theory, but when I found out that eBay re-packages everything and ships it as Priority regardless of weight (International 1st class is up to 4 lbs and cheaper than Priority), it really limits your buyers on lightweight items. I’ve started to offer both GSP and calculated international shipping worldwide and have sold at least 50/50 between GSP and regular international shipping. If it’s making my buyers happy and isn’t a ton of extra work for me I’ll try it out.
So anywho, there you go. That’s how eBay has protected me (us?).
I feel like they’re starting to look out for sellers a bit, as noted in the recent update that extended holiday returns (basically buyer can return purchases made between November 1st and December 31st for any reason until January 31st – at their own cost assuming you didn’t do anything wrong) will not be required to keep your Top Rated Status and your discount. Instead, you’ll get an additional 5% on top of the 20% you’re already saving.
I’ve already talked about why you can’t worry about eBay’s DSR rating too much, but the sense in this decision is reassuring!