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Top-rated seller program

Earn top rewards for listings with the most in-demand services—prompt shipping and returns

NEWS FLASH! Tracking upload requirement extended one month

To give sellers additional time to make necessary changes, the Top-rated seller requirement to have tracking uploaded within handling time on 90% or more of US transactions has been moved out from the June 20 to the July 20 evaluation. For the June evaluation eBay will not look at tracking to determine eligibility for Top-rated status. The July 20 evaluation will look at tracking for transactions with US buyers from June 1- June 30.

Learn more

Savvy online merchants understand that consumer expectations are evolving—and they're adapting to compete.

Since it was first introduced three years ago, the eBay Top-rated seller program has been very successful in spotlighting sellers who provide great service—over half of all eBay sales are now from Top-rated sellers. As buyer expectations continue to evolve, the eBay Top-rated seller program needs to keep pace.

Both industry research and purchase behavior show that prompt shipping and a good return policy are increasingly important. Buyers expect their items to ship without delay once they pay and they want to be able to see when their order has shipped. And just like when they shop offline, they want the reassurance that comes from knowing their purchase can be returned and their money refunded.

Updates coming in June to the Top-rated seller program will emphasize these services to help keep eBay the top shopping destination.

Highlights (Updated June 19)

  • Starting with the July 20 evaluation cycle, to achieve and keep your Top-rated seller status, tracking information or a Delivery Confirmation number must be uploaded to eBay on at least 90% of your transactions to US buyers within your stated handling time. For the July 20 evaluation eBay will look at transactions from June 1 – June 30.

  • Starting June 1, only those listings from Top-rated sellers that include 1-day handling and a 14-day or longer return policy with a money-back option will qualify for 20% final value fee discount and the Top Rated Plus seal. Top Rated Sellers who follow best practices and consistently deliver great service will get increased search standing.

  • You can choose not to offer 1-day handling or a 14-day or longer returns on some or all of your listings. Based on your great track record, all your listings will continue to receive some additional exposure and a Top-rated seller badge. But only your listings with both of these services will receive the maximum exposure and 20% final value fee discount.

  • Also starting June 1, the annual sales requirement for Top-rated status will be lowered from $3,000 to $1,000 to expand eligibility to more sellers who provide great service.

Special limited-time offer—extra 5% discount to help you get started

From March 1 through May 31, Top-rated sellers get a bonus 5% final value fee discount for listings with 1-day handling and minimum 14-day return policy with a money-back option. Plus your usual 20% Top-rated seller discount will still be applied on these and all your listings. So start adding these services now!

Tools to help you succeed

  • Starting this week, you'll be able to track your progress toward Top-rated seller status—including the new requirement to upload tracking on 90% of your US transactions—in your Seller Dashboard.

  • By the end of April, current Top-rated sellers will be able to easily identify those listings that don't include 1-day handling and a minimum 14-day return policy with a money-back option, and then edit those listings in bulk. This information will be available in My eBay >Selling, Selling Manager and Selling Manager Pro.

  • Starting in mid-July, sellers will begin getting access to business policies, a new way to manage your own custom settings for shipping, payments and returns from one central location, rather than specifying the information separately on each listing. Using business policies, you can create settings that qualify your listings for eBay Top-rated seller discounts and apply these settings to your listings—or to a specific group of existing listings—with just a few clicks.

  • Also starting in mid-July, Top-rated sellers will be invited to opt in to an easy new way to manage returns right from My eBay. Your buyer can initiate a return and print a prepaid return shipping label with a click of a button in My eBay. When you get the return, you can initiate a refund and get your final value fee credited with a single click on your end. This new process will be available to all Top-rated sellers by mid-summer.

  • Coming in June: an enhanced Seller Dashboard. Enhancements to the Seller Dashboard Performance page—coming in June—will provide sellers with at-a-glance stats on their seller performance. You'll be able to see how close you are to meeting the requirements to be a Standard, Above Standard or eBay Top-rated seller, and Top-rated sellers will be able to view the number of transactions that qualify for a 20% Top-rated seller discount, download a tracking upload report and more. Coming in June 2012 - Enhanced Seller Dashboard
    Coming in June 2012 - Enhanced Seller Dashboard

Take Action (Updated June 19)

  • Start now to think about how you can adapt your business practices to qualify for the Top-rated seller program and maximize your benefits.

    • Make sure you upload tracking information or Delivery Confirmation on all your US transactions within your stated handling time. eBay began counting your transactions toward the new requirement starting June 1. One great way to meet this requirement is to use eBay Labels—USPS® Delivery Confirmation™ is now free for First-Class Package service and automatically uploaded to eBay.

    • Start now to add 1-day handling time and a minimum 14-day return policy with money-back option to your listings whenever possible. Remember, from March 1 through May 31, Top-rated sellers will get a bonus 5% final value fee discount for listings with 1-day handling and minimum 14-day return policy with money-back option. Plus the usual 20% Top-rated seller discount will still be applied on all their listings.

  • If you're an existing Top-rated seller, at the end of April, start checking your Selling Reminders on the My eBay All Selling page or the new Listing Improvement section of the Selling Manager summary page to see which listings don't meet the new service standards, and then easily edit those listings in bulk.

  • If you currently offer 3-day or 7-day returns, be sure to update your listings to offer at least a 14-day return policy. Also, select "Money back" or "Money back or exchange" as your refund method before these options are retired the first week of May.

  • To boost your efficiency in adding these services and managing returns, opt in to use the new business policies and the new way to manage returns from My eBay as soon as they're available to you.

Best Practices

In general, the best practices for achieving and keeping eBay Top-rated seller status and for achieving the best possible position in Best Match, eBay's default sort order for search results, are the same as always. Follow these additional best practices to make sure you're prepared to meet buyer expectations for the two key services that earn you the top rewards:

  • Make sure you can fulfill your orders within the time promised and fulfill orders within one day when possible.
  • Upload tracking on all of your orders. Using eBay label printing will automatically upload tracking to eBay. And USPS Delivery Confirmation for First Class Package service is now free.
  • Offer a return policy that is 14 days or longer—30 days is optimal—and a money-back option

Frequently Asked Questions (Updated June 19)

What updates are coming to eBay Top-rated seller program?
The following changes are being made to the Top-rated seller program eligibility requirements:

  • The $3,000 annual sales requirement will be lowered to $1,000 with a minimum of 100 transactions required in the last 12 months.
  • The minimum average detailed seller rating (DSR) requirement (4.60) will be removed.
  • PowerSeller status will no longer be required; however, an active eBay account for at least 90 days and positive feedback rating of at least 98% are still required for Top-rated seller eligibility.
  • To achieve and keep Top-rated seller status, tracking must be uploaded to eBay within your stated handling time on 90% or more of all completed transactions with US buyers over the past three months.
  • Listings from Top-rated sellers that offer 1-day or better handling and a minimum 14-day return policy with a money-back option will be eligible for the greatest exposure and the 20% final value fee discount.
  • Listings from Top-rated sellers that do not offer 1-day or better handling and a minimum 14-day return policy with a money-back option will continue to get the badge and some additional exposure, but no discounts.
When do these changes take place?
All these updates take effect June 1, with the exception of the tracking upload requirement which goes into effect with the July 20 evaluation cycle based on sales beginning June 1.
Are the other performance requirements for eBay Top-rated seller status changing?
The performance standards for eBay Top-rated seller status will remain as they are today.
  • 0.5% or less low DSRs
  • 98% or better Feedback score
What is eBay doing to help sellers get ready for these updates?
Starting at the end of April, current Top-rated sellers can check their Selling Reminders on the My eBay All Selling page or the new Listing Improvement section of the Selling Manager summary page to see which listings don't meet the new service standards, and then easily edit those listings in bulk.
Why is eBay now requiring tracking information to be uploaded to eBay within the stated handling time for 90% of US transactions as a requirement for Top-rated seller status?
Buyers want to know when an item has been shipped and when to expect delivery. This has become the norm for ecommerce transactions. It also helps protect you in the event of a buyer dispute about receiving the item. Tracking information must be uploaded in order for eBay to know that an item shipped within your stated handling time.
How do I know whether I'm meeting the new requirement for uploading tracking?
You can track where you stand with the new "tracking uploaded" requirement in your Seller Dashboard right now, but it will only be included as a requirement for Top-rated seller status, starting with the July 20 evaluation based on your transactions from June 1 through June 30.
Am I required to offer 1-day or better handling and minimum 14-day return policy with money-back option to achieve or keep Top-rated seller status and benefits?
No, you are not required to offer 1-day or better handling and a minimum 14-day return policy with a money-back option to keep your Top-rated status. However, only listings that include both of these services qualify for the greatest on-average increase in exposure and a 20% discount on final value fees.
What's meant by "greatest exposure"?
Listings from eligible sellers with 1-day handling and a minimum 14-day return policy with a money-back option get the best on-average placement in Best Match, also taking into account other factors like relevance and price. Learn more about Best Match.
Why is eBay waiting until the July 20 evaluation cycle to evaluate me on the requirement to upload tracking on 90% of transactions?
We are waiting until the July 20 evaluation cycle to give more time to those sellers who needed it to make the necessary adjustment to their business practices to meet this new requirement.
When will eBay start counting transactions towards the new tracking uploaded requirement?
eBay started counting transactions towards the new tracking requirement on June 1 (not May 1 as originally announced). That's why it's important to make sure you are uploading tracking information within your stated handling time now on your transactions.
What's the evaluation period eBay will use to determine whether I'm meeting the tracking uploaded requirement and how will the tracking requirement be calculated?
As of the July 20 evaluation, to be Top-rated you must have tracking information uploaded on at least 90% of all your shipments to US buyers within your stated handling time for the period of June 1 through June 30. The August 20 evaluation will count transactions from June 1 through July 31. Every evaluation after that will count transactions over the previous three months.

To protect a seller from losing Top-rated seller status in a month with a low number of transactions, we will not count the tracking upload percentage unless at least 3 transactions in that evaluation period do not meet the tracking requirement. If you have missed 3 or more tracking uploads and your tracking measurement is less than 90%, the new tracking requirement would apply.

As a reminder, listing and payment times on eBay.com correspond to the local time in California, which is Pacific Time. To see eBay's official time and a US time zone map, click the eBay official time link at the bottom of any eBay page.
How will eBay reward sellers who adopt 1-day handling and minimum 14-day returns policy with a money-back option before June 1?
From March 1 through May 31, as an added bonus for early adoption, eBay Top-rated sellers will receive an extra 5% final value fee discount for listings with 1-day handling and minimum 14-day return policy with a money-back option. Plus your usual 20% Top-rated seller discount will still be applied on these and all your listings. Learn more about this special promotion.
Is there an easy way to add 1-day handling time and a minimum 14-day return policy with a money-back option to my listings?
At the end of April, current Top-rated sellers can check their Selling Reminders on the My eBay All Selling page or the new Listing Improvement section of the Selling Manager summary page to see which listings need to be updated to meet the new service standards, and then easily edit those listings in bulk.

Continue to monitor your Seller Dashboard to ensure you are meeting your DSR and cases requirements, as well as the new requirement to upload tracking on 90% of your US transactions.

New business policies will be made available to you over the period of May 1-June 15 to help you adopt the new service standards quickly and easily. You can create custom settings that will qualify your listings for Top-rated seller discounts (includes same-day or 1-day handling time and a minimum 14-day return policy with a money-back option). Then apply these services to your listings—or a specific group of existing listings—at once.
Why is eBay adding 1-day or better handling and a minimum 14-day return policy with a money-back option as a requirement for getting the discounts and greatest exposure?
Since it was first introduced almost 3 years ago, eBay Top-rated seller status has helped many sellers improve buyer satisfaction and grow their business. However, ecommerce continues to evolve rapidly, and consumers today have new expectations for online purchasing. For sellers to be competitive and attract buyers, it's important to offer these two in-demand services.
What's the benefit of having Top-rated seller status when I don't offer these two services?
If you are an eBay Top-rated seller, your performance is right in line with many important best practices for maximizing your position in Best Match sort. All your listings will still be recognized in Best Match as coming from a Top-rated seller with a great track record and will receive, on average, some boost. All of your listings will continue to have a prominent buyer-facing badge. Having Top-rated status also makes you eligible to earn the 20% final value fee discount on all your listings that include 1-day or better handling and a minimum 14-day return policy with a money-back option.
Will offering 1-day or better handling and a minimum 14-day return with money-back on some listings but not others affect my Top-rated seller status?
No, there is no direct impact on your status if you do not offer 1-day or better handling and a minimum 14-day return policy with money-back option on all your listings. However, offering these two services are best practices for improving buyer satisfaction and for meeting the other performance requirements for Top-rated status. A 1-day or faster handling time and expedited shipping option will also help you earn automatic 5-star ratings for ship time, and a 14-day or longer return window with money-back option will help you resolve buyer claims that an item was not as described.
Will I still qualify for the USPS Commercial Plus™ Pricing program even if I don't offer 1-day or better handling and a minimum 14-day return policy with money-back option on all my listings?
Yes, if you meet all the eligibility requirements for the eBay Top-rated seller program—including the new requirement to upload tracking to eBay on at least 90% of your US transactions over the past three months—whether or not you offer 1 day or better handling or a minimum 14-day return policy with money-back option, you still qualify for the USPS savings program for Top-rated sellers.
How do I offer a 14-day return policy with a money-back option?
When listing your items in the Sell Your Item form, check "Returns Accepted." In the options under "After receiving the item, your buyer should contact you within" choose 14 days or longer from the day the buyer receives the item. Under "Refund will be given as" choose either "Money Back" or "Money Back or Exchange." You can specify that return shipping will be paid by you or the buyer.

If I offer returns, do I have to accept them for any reason? Can I specify certain requirements for returned items?
If you select "Returns accepted" in your return policy, you are obligated to accept them for any reason—even if the buyer changes their mind—as long as the return occurs within your return window timeframe. You should select "No returns accepted" if you only intend to accept returns for items that are considered not as described.

If you have not opted in to the new managed return process, you can specify some conditions required for returned items (for example, the item must be unused or in original packaging). Include this information in the "Additional return policy details" text box. Follow these best practices to create an effective returns policy.
What if I now have a 3-day or 7-day return policy on my listings?
These options will be retired during the first week of May. For your listings to be eligible for the Top-rated seller benefits, you will need to update them with a minimum 14-day policy.
Do I have to offer free shipping for a listing to qualify for top rewards?
No, you do not have to offer free shipping to qualify for the top rewards. However, if you offer free shipping, Best Match will recognize it as a best practice which helps you in search. Free shipping is also required to be eligible for the eBay Fast ‘N Free logo and for getting an automatic 5-star rating for ship cost if the buyer chooses free shipping.
How do I specify 1-day or better handling time?
When listing an item, choose a handling time of one business day. This means you will need to ship the item within one business day after receiving cleared payment.

Starting in June, you'll also have the option of specifying same-day handling time. This means you will ship your item the same day you receive payment, as long as the payment is received by your specified time. Learn more about the new same-day handling time.
How do you measure "one business day"? How long will I have to upload tracking?
After a buyer has paid for an item, you will have until 11:59:59 pm Pacific Time the following business day to upload tracking. Weekends and holidays are not counted as business days.
What about orders I get on a Friday or the day before a major holiday?
One-day handling means you upload tracking and ship within one business day—weekends and holidays don't count as business days.
How do I upload tracking?
If you print shipping labels on eBay or PayPal, the tracking number will automatically be added to My eBay.

You can also enter tracking information for your items manually. To add a tracking number in My eBay:
  1. Go to the Sold section of My eBay.
  2. Select the check box next to the item you want to add a tracking number for.
  3. Click the Add tracking number button.
  4. On the Add/Edit/Delete Tracking Number page, enter the tracking number.
  5. If we can determine the carrier you're using, such as USPS, UPS, or FedEx, we'll pre-fill that information in the Carrier box. Otherwise, enter the name of your carrier.
  6. Click the Submit button.
Learn more about how to upload tracking, including how to upload it using different third party tools.
Are there any exceptions to the tracking uploaded requirement?
Any transactions offering freight shipping or when the buyer selects local pick-up as their delivery method will be excluded from the tracking uploaded requirement. Classified Ad format listings and Motors Vehicles listings are also excluded, as are any transactions that end in an unpaid item.
Will there be any exceptions to the minimum 14-day return policy with money-back option requirement to qualify for the top rewards?
Yes, there are exceptions. You won't be required to accept returns for listings in the Tickets, Gift Card, or Bullion categories (note: this is only for the Gold, Silver, and Platinum & Palladium sub-categories) to qualify for top rewards. These listings will need to meet the 1-day or faster handling time.



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