On February 20th new standards went into effect regarding your eBay account. These metrics affect the status of your account but most importantly affect whether you are a Top Rated Seller or not. Remember TRS gives you a 20% discount on final value fees, discounted Priority Mail shipping and supposedly a boost in your search placement (see how your items rank against other selling the same item with our eBay Search Rank Tool).
The first factor in determining if your account qualifies for TRS status is the defect rate. eBay came out with this a year (or 2?) ago and it was horribly complicated. Thankfully eBay has realized this and has simplified it. Their are now 2 factors that count towards your defect rate. The first is seller cancelled transactions. These are the transactions you cancel because you for some reason cannot fulfill the order. If their is a problem such as the buyer no longer wanting the item or not paying for the item you will be able to cancel these transactions without it counting against you. The other part of the defect rate is Item Not As Described or Item Not Received cases that are closed without a seller resolution. This is VERY easy to avoid. If any buyer claims an item was not received all you have to do is provide a tracking number that shows the item was delivered. If you can do that, you win. To avoid losing an item not as described case all you have to do is offer a refund. Tell the buyer to return the item for a refund or if you choose you can refund without them returning the item. The changes to the defect rate are very seller friendly so this should never be a reason for you to not reach TRS status.
The other part of the TRS requirements is shipping your sold items on time. If you read all the documentation from eBay on this new requirement it is a bit confusing. It is confusing mostly because the person who wrote the policy uses the words “and” and “or” interchangeably even though they obviously have different meanings. Perhaps eBay has outsourced their policy writing to go along with their customer service. Basically here is what you need to know about meeting the on-time shipping metric. If your package shows an acceptance scan within your stated shipping time then you meet the metric. This means if you request a pick up or take your packages to the USPS counter make sure they scan the packages in front of you! If you miss the deadline for the acceptance scan or if the delivery service does not scan the package when they take it you can still meet the metric if your item shows delivered by the estimated delivery date. If you ship an item without delivery confirmation, it does not get a delivery scan or if it misses the delivery date you can still pass the metric if the buyer says they received the item on-time. Surprisingly, eBay is giving you a lot of outs for meeting this metric. Below is a table showing the breakdown.
Most people should not have any trouble meeting this metric if eBay implements them the way that they are saying they will. Both of these new metrics should be easy for most sellers to meet. With these new, easier metrics you will definitely see a boost in the number of Top Rated Sellers. So on the plus side more people are going to qualify for the 20% final value fee discount and the discounted shipping. On the down side any boost you may of had in search results will largely go away with the watering down of the meaning of Top Rated Seller.
For a full breakdown of all the requirements to be a TRS on eBay, click here.