Annual Review: What's New with eBay?
Cashback service continues to acquaint readers with sales experience in foreign markets. Last time we talked about how to sell products on Amazon, and today we will touch on the topic of innovations at one of the most popular venues in the world - eBay.
2014 was a great year for eBay. Although many news headlines have focused on the financial and structural separation of eBay and PayPal, and speculations about the long-term effects still exist, this should not have any effect on online sales.
For online trading, 2014 is likely to be remembered as the year when eBay began an aggressive phase in building market share. This year, eBay has taken new steps towards its customers, both sellers and buyers.
These steps are primarily manifested in the introduction of a new metric - eBay Defect Rate (EDR, as it is called). We expect this new “metric” to be very useful and implemented for years to come. And not surprisingly, many of eBay’s notable changes released during the year were based on EDR.
If you are selling on eBay, most likely you have already met and interact with EDR and we will give you more advanced information, if you are new to selling online - welcome to the world of eBay!
This article includes a lot of interesting things and can serve as a reference for planning a sales strategy in 2015.
Here we discuss some other online trading updates for 2014 on eBay.
SR 14.1: One metric governs everything
In 2014, the largest number of discussions among eBay sellers was focused on the new EDR, which was announced in March in the release number SR 14.1.
The ЕDR percentage is based on this formula:
Number of defective transactions
Number of transactions X 100 (to get interest)
For example, if you have 5,000 transactions per month on eBay, and if 10 of them were defective, then your result: 10/5000 x100 = 0.2% EDR. The lower the number, the better.
EDR is calculated over a 90-day period for most major sellers.
Of course, EDR is a “metric”, it depends on several other indicators, including the inclusion of previous metrics such as detailed seller ratings (DSRs). All this makes it easier to understand, because eBay sellers are most likely already familiar with the concepts on which DSRs metrics were based - delivery time, good description, return convenience and feedback.
To avoid a high percentage of EDR, you need to focus on four main areas:
• Describe your product as accurately and correctly as possible
• Leave the customer a positive impression of the transaction
• Take care of good post-service
• Deliver fast.
What is considered a defect?
The new EDR replaces four former separate DSRs. EDR is based on negative transactions that have one or more of the following problems (eBay words):
• The item being sold has a rating of 1, 2 or 3.
• Seller rating by delivery time 1.
• Negative or neutral feedback.
• The refund was initiated due to the fact that the product was incorrectly described
• An eBay money back guarantee was issued - or PayPal protection against its receipt or incorrect description of the purchase
• The seller canceled the sale
Why did eBay start making such significant changes?
Over the years, Amazon has built market standards in which customers are accustomed to gaining positive experiences by purchasing products online. Since eBay has its own many years of experience, the site tried to use it with maximum efficiency and based on its own data to build a metric for sellers and sales estimates.
The initial SR 14.1 release initiative was aimed at improving customer experience, which essentially introduced seller rating standards. All this data was collected in the EDR metric.
What are the EDR values in your merchant status?
EDR defines the classification that will be assigned to the seller on eBay:
1. Top Rated Seller (TRS): You must have an EDR of less than 2%. Or, to make the index easier to understand, it means that there should be less than 2 (problems) per 100 (transactions): 2/100, 20/1000 or 200/10 000.
2. Standard Seller / Standard Seller: If you have The EDR is between 2% and 5%, you are still a good seller, but you will lose the advantage that the Best Seller (TRS) gets. Being in this status, you are lower in the search results, but do not receive any other penalties.
3 Below Standard Seller / Standard Seller: if you have an EDR higher than 5%, then you will face more and more serious consequences - from suspension of the account to complete blocking.
As already mentioned, the better your EDR, the higher your position in search results. For example, if two sellers sell the same product, one has an EDR of -1% and the other has an EDR of 2%, then a seller with an EDR of 1% will appear higher in the search results for that product.
What does this mean for online trading on the site?
EBay tried to balance the seller’s ratings with the highest quality, and, as a result, the seller would have to very closely monitor customer feedback in all areas. This means that the seller will have to respond very quickly to customer questions and guarantees a high-quality and accurate product description.
If the seller receives negative feedback, he should strive to receive additional positive feedback from buyers. If necessary, respond quickly by making changes (such as product descriptions). This will help boost future ratings.
In addition, it is important that the ratings are reasonable for you and that you understand them.
There is a rule for this: ratings for online trading selling 400 or less units per month will be moved back by 12 months, and ratings for online trading with more than 400 units will be considered based on feedback from the last three months.
To adapt to this new rating system, we recommend that you take some precautions so as not to lose the position of the best seller.
To protect your seller status, it is important to notify eBay of disputes and that a refund is already in progress.
You need to initiate a dispute before you get into a situation that could damage your reputation on eBay.
SR 14.2 Additional customer support
It's not surprising (given the central release of SR 14.1) that the main theme of the second eBay release in 2014 (SR 14.2) was a big concern for customer support.
In this release, eBay continues to standardize the buying experience and provides a more detailed structure for sellers. The following are the main points of release.
Cancel transaction by buyer.
Since the end of 2013, buyers in the USA, UK and Germany have the opportunity to cancel the transaction within one hour after the order is placed. “Requirement” is not the rule, as sellers are not required to accept cancellation requests (although eBay encourages them to provide a better experience with the buyer). Sellers have three days to respond to a cancellation request, and if it is ignored, the request will be rejected.
Structuring return flows.
The “Contact seller" page offers several options, including the ability to request a refund or simply ask a question to the seller. Provided that the request is in the status of the specified seller return policy, the buyer can print the return label and send the goods back to the seller. eBay automatically processes PayPal refunds and payment is refunded. In the event of a return of goods, eBay will charge the shipping cost (tariffs are here) http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/return-process.html#shipping-charges The seller or the buyer is responsible for shipping costs, depending on the policy return, except when the goods are returned because it is not correctly described. In this case, the seller pays return shipping costs.
EBay Global Delivery Program (GSP).
Now the good news!
The eBay Global Shipping Program (GSP) makes shipping online for merchants a lot easier. With the help of the built distribution network, eBay decided to expand its influence on customers around the world in 2014 by making lists available to GSP, without requiring sellers to explicitly participate in the program.
Change began in 10 English-speaking countries, and now they continue to expand to other countries. Merchants who are not yet included in the GSP, as well as with a small list of countries, can still indicate the buyer's region or countries of exception, if necessary.
Thanks to the GSP program, international sales have become easier and more rational than ever. Without any additional fees required to participate in the program, you now have access to huge international markets with very little initial investment.
eBay has changed the Maximum Final Fee
For merchants selling more than $ 2,500, eBay in November raised the maximum standard fee, the final value of which ranged from $ 250 to $ 750.
But this change only affects sellers who do not have an eBay Store subscription - for them, the maximum amount will remain at $ 250. This step is clearly designed to get more sellers who have joined the eBay Store program.
You may wonder why eBay is so interested in increasing Store membership. And that is a good question. This could be an increase in revenue from Store fees or simply to support the exposure of seller brands. Perhaps this is a call from sellers to improve efficiency, as the Store seller has access to tools that give an idea of the behavior and trends of buyers. Despite this, it’s important that if you are not a Store seller, you may be affected by the increase in payment in 2015.
Automatic removal of defects
Of course, all these changes do not mean at all that eBay wants to teach you a lesson. The site simply wants to improve and receive loyal customers, providing an environment in which they can shop with confidence.
eBay also takes care of its vast network of sellers and wants to make sure they work well. Although the service introduced a new defect policy in August 2014, eBay also started on a weekly basis to automatically remove defects under any of the following conditions:
• the buyer did not pay for the goods and the unpaid position is open.
• The eBay Money Back Guarantee program or PayPal Purchase Protection program has ruled in favor of the seller.
• the defect was a direct result of problems with the eBay website or an error in the program
• the buyer violated the purchase rules
• eBay / PayPal instructed the seller to ship or cancel the transaction (probably due to fraud)
• eBay concluded that the defect was a direct result of systemic delivery delays (for example, widespread delays of delivery operators, extreme weather conditions)
So be aware. eBay is still one of the most popular trading platforms in the world, this is the place where you should continue to sell and not be afraid to do it.
Checklist for improving seller metrics on EBay in 2015
- Always stay on top of the seller’s position. To rise and stay in high positions of the seller, look at the list of tips that were collected in 2014.
- Stay in the top sellers. Check your seller’s control panel on eBay regularly. Create reports on your defects, find out why they arise and try to avoid them in the future.
- Focus on quality: keep a regular audit of your feedback entries. If you receive any negative feedback or action about your product descriptions, use this as an opportunity to correct any inconsistencies.
- Promise delivery times. which you can guarantee: send quickly and check whether the necessary data is being downloaded to track deliveries from eBay.
- If you receive any complaints or you have disputes, work hard to resolve them as quickly as possible.
- Keep an eye on the warehouse: do not waste your efforts to attract customers if the product is not in stock. Make sure that your resources are sufficient for sales on eBay and that you do not overestimate your strength.