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Home > Sell > 2008 Update > Rewards & Standards FAQ
Announcement

Rewards & Standards FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions: Rewards & Standards

Search exposure through Best Match
1. What is "Best Match"?
2. How does "Best Match" work?
3. You mention Best Match scores are based on a number of factors. What other factors are used besides the Community's buying activity?
4. Can users change the sort back to "Time: Ending Soonest"?
5. What is changing with "Best Match"?
6. How will eBay determine which sellers will rank higher in Best Match?
7. How will eBay determine which sellers to rank lower in Best Match?
8. What does it mean to have a decreased visibility in Best Match?
9. What happens to visibility in Best Match for sellers that have less than 4.7 DSR scores or do not have any DSR scores?
10. Will Sellers who are being demoted in Best Match pay the same amount in insertion fees as sellers who are not being demoted?
11. Will Sellers know if they are being promoted or demoted?
12. What factors will be used to determine a seller's percentage of dissatisfied buyers?

PowerSeller Program
13. Where can I get details about the new PowerSeller DSR requirement, PowerSeller fee discounts and other new PowerSeller benefits?

Feedback changes
14. Where can I get details about what evolved in Feedback and how it affects me?

New seller standards
15. What are Detailed Seller Ratings (DSR's)?
16. Where can I learn how to improve my DSRs?

Safer payment options
17. How will "safer payments" affect sellers? Which sellers? When will changes take effect?
18. What are the payment policy changes? Which sellers do they affect?
19. How are dissatisfied buyers measured?
20. How will I know if my percentage of dissatisfied buyers is greater than 5%?
21. If I sell in both higher risk and non-higher risk categories, will I be required to offer a safer payment option in all my listings?
22. If I don't sell in higher risk categories will eBay require me to offer a safer payment option?
23. If I have to offer a safer payment option, do I have to offer PayPal?
24. What is the benefit to sellers of offering PayPal?
25. How do I create a PayPal account?
26. Do I have to relist items in my Store that are Good Till Cancelled?

Occasional holds on payment
27. Which sellers will have their payments held?
28. How will I know that my payment is being held?
29. When will PayPal release the eBay item hold?
30. What can I do to avoid having eBay item holds?
31. How can I minimize the chances of having my payments held?
32. Why is the payment being held for up to 21 days?
33. Will my payments be held if I have excellent buyer satisfaction, but sell in risky categories?
34. What should I do if a payment is subject to an eBay item hold?
35. How will cross border items be impacted?
36. What if I sell on other eBay sites (internationally)?
 

Search exposure through Best Match
1. What is "Best Match"?
"Best Match" is a sort feature that gives buyers another way to organize their search results, helping them find what they are looking for more quickly.
2. How does "Best Match" work?
When "Best Match" is selected, each listing's Best Match score is calculated using a number of factors and is tailored to each buying situation. Along with the listing keywords and other information, one of most important calculation elements is the historical buyer behavior on eBay for similar searches. Recent improvements to Best Match include seller performance factors that will give an advantage to sellers with DSRs 4.7 and above. Today more than half of all sellers have this high level of customer satisfaction.
3. You mention Best Match scores are based on a number of factors. What other factors are used besides the Community's buying activity?
For listings that have similar relevance-ranking, Best Match scores may also incorporate other data to break ties, such as: time left, price and seller's level of customer satisfaction
4. Can users change the sort back to "Time: Ending Soonest"?
Yes, users can simply change the sort by selecting a preferred-sort option from the "Sort by" dropdown menu, in the upper right corner of search results. Users can also customize the sort options from "Customize Display" to save their preferred-sort option.
5. What is changing with "Best Match"?
There are two changes with Best Match.

First, although it is already available as a sort option, Best Match will become the default-sort in search and browse throughout eBay, beginning March 2008. This switch to Best Match as the default for search and browse, has already occurred in five categories, which launched on Jan. 17th. These initial five categories include Computers & Networking, Consumer Electronics, Cell Phones & PDA's, Cameras & Photo, and Toys & Hobbies.

Second, Best Match will include seller performance factors that increase the odds of a good buying experience. eBay will give an advantage to sellers with high levels of customer satisfaction (4.7 DSRs and above) based on buyer input. Today more than half of all sellers have this high level of customer satisfaction. On the other hand, sellers will get decreased exposure if they have more than 2% dissatisfied buyers (appears as "needs work", "poor" or "unacceptable" on the seller dashboard) or very low Shipping & Handling Charge Detailed Seller Ratings over the last 30 days.

6. How will eBay determine which sellers will rank higher in Best Match?
eBay will give an advantage to sellers with high levels of customer satisfaction. Sellers with Detailed Seller Ratings 4.7 and above in the last 30 days will receive more exposure. Today more than half of all sellers have this high level of customer satisfaction.
7. How will eBay determine which sellers to rank lower in Best Match?
eBay will use these two factors:
  • Sellers with more than 2% dissatisfied buyers in the last 30 days, will decrease in exposure.
  • Sellers with a Shipping & Handling Charge Detailed Seller Ratings of 4.5 and lower will also decrease in exposure.
8. What does it mean to have a decreased visibility in Best Match?
If all other factors of two listings are identical, including relevance, price, and time ending soonest, the seller with poor a Shipping & Handling Charge DSR or high rates of dissatisfied buyers will be sorted below that of the other seller.
9. What happens to visibility in Best Match for sellers that have less than 4.7 DSR scores or do not have any DSR scores?
eBay will not give an advantage or a disadvantage to sellers with low or no DSR scores, as long as they have less than 2% dissatisfied buyers. Keep in mind, buyer satisfaction is not the only Best Match ranking factor. Listing keywords and historical buyer behavior on eBay for similar searches also influence rank.
10. Will Sellers who are being demoted in Best Match pay the same amount in insertion fees as sellers who are not being demoted?
A number of factors may influence where your listing appears in search, including: listing format, end time, keywords, price and shipping cost, feedback, and detailed seller ratings. A seller's listings will always be searchable on eBay regardless of the sort-order, so all sellers will pay the same insertion fees--even when demoted in Best Match.
11. Will Sellers know if they are being promoted or demoted?
Sellers who will be demoted in Best Match for having more than 2% dissatisfied buyers will be able to see it on the Seller Dashboard launching in May to provide sellers with detailed information about how their recent performance affects their search standing.
12. What factors will be used to determine a seller's percentage of dissatisfied buyers?
When stricter enforcement of Seller Non-Performance (SNP) rolled out in 2007, seller performance was determined by using negative and neutral feedback, overall feedback, and Item Not Received (INR) complaints over a 90-day period.

Beginning in March 2008, performance evaluation will be based on a 30-day period. It will also include Item "Significantly Not As Described" (SNAD), and Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs) of 1 or 2. eBay added these factors because buyers leave 1 or 2 DSR ratings nine times more often than negative feedback, which suggests feedback and INRs alone did not reflect customer dissatisfaction.

 

PowerSeller Program
13. Where can I get details about the new PowerSeller DSR requirement, PowerSeller fee discounts and other new PowerSeller benefits?
Several new benefits will recognize and reward PowerSeller contributions to the success of the eBay marketplace including PowerSeller fee discounts, unpaid item protection and expanded seller protection from PayPal. You can get complete details on these benefits and the new DSR requirement on the PowerSeller Portal.
 

Feedback changes
14. Where can I get details about what evolved in Feedback and how it affects me?
Get your questions answered in the Feedback FAQ.
 

New seller standards
15. What are Detailed Seller Ratings (DSR's)?
Buyers can leave a Feedback rating for sellers (positive, neutral or negative). Likewise, sellers can leave Feedback for a buyer (positive only). Recently we added detailed seller ratings (DSRs) represented by stars in four aspects of a transaction: item as described, communication, shipping time, and shipping and handling charges. These ratings are anonymous-sellers don't see which buyers rated them. DSRs allow buyers to provide additional information about their purchase experience and sellers can get a more complete picture of their performance.

The detailed seller rating system is based on a one to five star scale. Five stars is the highest rating, and one star is the lowest rating. Detailed seller ratings do not impact the overall Feedback Score.

16. Where can I learn how to improve my DSRs?
Get tips for making customers happy and keeping your detailed seller ratings (DSRs) high to qualify for eBay's good seller rewards.
 

Safer payment options
17. How will "safer payments" affect sellers? When will changes take effect?
eBay and PayPal are working together to make buying safer on eBay. Giving buyers safer payment options on eBay will help increase buyer satisfaction and improve the marketplace overall. That's why we're making the two following changes to the Accepted Payments Policy beginning March 2008.
18. What are the payment policy changes? Which sellers do they affect?
eBay will require some sellers to offer a safer payment option, either PayPal or a merchant credit card. These payment options offer additional protections to buyers. Sellers will be required to offer safer payment if they meet any of these conditions:
  • have more than 5% dissatisfied buyers in the last 30 days (shows as "poor" or "unacceptable" on the Seller Dashboard)
  • have a feedback score of less than 100
  • are listing items in the following higher risk categories (and sub categories): gift certificates, video games, cell phones, computers and consumer electronics

If you are required to offer a safer payment option, you might also be subject to holds on payment. PayPal may hold payments for the sale of an eBay item until the earliest of the following occurs:
  • the buyer leaves positive feedback,
  • 3 days after confirmed item delivery*
  • 21 days without a dispute, claim, chargeback, or reversal filed on that transaction

*PayPal can confirm delivery. PayPal will confirm delivery if you use USPS, UPS, or FedEx to ship the item and (i) use PayPal shipping labels, or (ii) upload tracking information to PayPal via the transaction details page. This applies to US domestic transactions only.

eBay Motors vehicle categories (Cars & Trucks, Motorcycles, Powersports, Boats, and Other Vehicles categories and subcategories) will not be included in these payment policy changes.

19. How are dissatisfied buyers measured?
At eBay we consider a buyer dissatisfied if any of these occurs:
  • The buyer leaves a seller a Detailed Seller Rating (DSR) of 1 or 2 on any of the attributes
  • The buyer files a dispute, claim, or chargeback related to "Item Not Received" (INR) or "Significantly Not as Described" (SNAD)
  • Buyer leaves negative or neutral feedback
20. How will I know if my percentage of dissatisfied buyers is greater than 5%?
Sellers restricted based on their percentage of dissatisfied buyers will be notified. Also, a Seller Dashboard will be launched in May to provide all sellers with detailed information about their performance.
21. If I sell in both higher risk and non-higher risk categories, will I be required to offer a safer payment option in all my listings?
Not necessarily. Higher risk categories are: gift certificates, video games, cell phones, computers and consumer electronics. You'll be required to offer a safer payment option for higher risk categories. You will also be required to offer a safer payment option in other categories if you have more than 5% dissatisfied buyers in the last 30 days and/or a feedback score under 100.
22. If I don't sell in higher risk categories will eBay require me to offer a safer payment option?
eBay is not requiring sellers in non-higher risk categories to offer PayPal or a merchant credit card. However, you will be required to offer safer payment options if you have more than 5% dissatisfied buyers in the last 30 days and/or a feedback score under 100. We will also continue to require new sellers who registered after January 17, 2007 to offer PayPal or a merchant credit card.
23. If I have to offer a safer payment option, do I have to offer PayPal?
No. If you are required to offer a safer payment option you may offer either PayPal or a merchant credit card as a payment method for your eBay listings.
24. What is the benefit to sellers of offering PayPal?
eBay sellers listing with PayPal have an Unpaid Item rate less than half of sellers who don't. It's free for buyers and seller fees are low.

With PayPal, your customers can shop and pay quickly using their credit cards, bank accounts, and PayPal balance. Once they register with PayPal, they can speed through checkout without stopping to enter their card number or address.

PayPal has advanced anti-fraud technology, which literally gets smarter with every transaction that goes through our system and is often able to stop fraudulent transactions before they ever reach our customers.

PayPal offers the Seller Protection Policy which covers most sellers in the US, UK and CA for up to $5,000.00 USD on any eligible transaction.

25. How do I create a PayPal account?
Go to PayPal.com and select the "Sign Up" link.
26. Do I have to relist items in my Store that are Good Till Cancelled?
Items that are listed in your Store prior to February 26th will remain as is. However, if you fall under the new payment restrictions for safer payments, you must offer either PayPal or credit card as an accepted form of payment when you re-list the item.
 

Occasional holds on payment
27. Which sellers will have their payments held?
In a small percentage of cases where it has been determined the risk of dissatisfied buyers is higher, PayPal may delay release of the payment funds to the seller until the buyer has left a positive feedback or 21 days have passed without a dispute, claim, chargeback or reversal filed on that transaction.

To determine if a transaction may have a higher risk of dissatisfied buyers, eBay reports to PayPal a number of factors, including but not limited to:

  • Seller's % Positive Feedback in the last 30 days
  • Seller's Detailed Seller Ratings in the last 30 days
  • Final price for the item
  • Shipping & handling fee
  • Seller's tenure as an eBay member
  • Seller's total number of Feedback

28. How will I know that my payment is being held
Payments that are held will be shown as "pending" in your PayPal balance. PayPal will send an email notifying you when the hold is released. PayPal Money Market Fund customers will continue to receive dividends on amounts that are being held in your account.
29. When will PayPal release the eBay item hold?
PayPal will release the hold when the earliest of the following occurs:
  • the buyer leaves positive feedback,
  • 3 days after confirmed item delivery* or
  • 21 days without a dispute, claim, chargeback, or reversal filed on that transaction.

PayPal can confirm delivery. PayPal will confirm delivery if you use USPS, UPS, or FedEx to ship the item and (i) use PayPal shipping labels, or (ii) upload tracking information to PayPal via the transaction details page. This applies to US domestic transactions only.

30. What can I do to avoid having eBay item holds?
Your payments WILL BE NOT HELD if you meet all the following requirements:
  • eBay Tenure: Greater than 6-months
  • Total Feedback score: More than 100
  • Dissatisfied Buyers %: Less than 5%

Or if you meet all the following requirements:

  • Detailed Seller Rating: Greater than 4.5
  • Total Detailed Seller Ratings Received: More than 20 in the last 12-months
31. How can I minimize the chances of having my payments held?
  • Improve your DSR feedback ratings, and
  • Implement best practices to reduce buyer disputes, claims and chargebacks. If they do occur, resolve them quickly and to your buyer's satisfaction.
32. Why is the payment being held for up to 21 days?
eBay and PayPal are working together to help increase buyer satisfaction which, in turn, can mean more sales for you. We have found that after 21 days the chance of a buyer dispute or claim significantly decreases.
33. Will my payments be held if I have excellent buyer satisfaction, but sell in risky categories?
If you sell in the categories of gift certificates, video games, cell phones, computers or consumer electronics, your listings for those items must offer either PayPal or merchant credit card as an accepted form of payment. However, your payments WILL BE NOT HELD if you meet all the following measures:
  • eBay Tenure: Greater than 6-months
  • Total Feedback score: More than 100
  • Dissatisfied Buyers %: Less than 5%
  • Detailed Seller Rating: Greater than 4.5
  • Total Detailed Seller Ratings Received: More than 20 in the last 12-months
34. What should I do if a payment is subject to an eBay item hold?
PayPal will release the hold when the earliest of the following occurs:
  • the buyer leaves positive feedback
  • 3 days after confirmed item delivery*
  • 21 days without a dispute, claim, chargeback or reversal filed on that transaction.

Once the buyer has paid for the item, ship it. Funds are released as soon as a buyer leaves positive feedback. The faster you get their purchase to the buyer, the faster they can leave you feedback.

*Funds are also released within 3 days of confirmed item delivery. PayPal can confirm delivery. PayPal will confirm delivery if you use USPS, UPS, or FedEx to ship the item and (i) use PayPal shipping labels, or (ii) upload tracking information to PayPal via the transaction details page. This applies to US domestic transactions only. So fast shipping helps you here too.

35. How will cross border items be impacted?
The changes to the Accepted Payments policy for safer payments and occasional holds on payment apply to both domestic and cross border transactions.
36. What if I sell on other eBay sites (internationally)?
eBay sites outside of the US may have a similar program with their own polices which you must follow. Please check individual country web sites for that country

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