Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Impact of Low DSRs

eBay tracks the number of one-star and two-star DSR ratings that a seller receives.  A seller is allowed no more than two low DSR ratings within each reporting period and the percentage of low DSRs cannot exceed 0.50%.  I've done pretty well being back on eBay since June, but I knew that I would eventually run into DSR problems again.  An eBay buyer has left me a low shipping cost DSR for a recent order.

Without getting into the specifics due to certain eBay policies, I was able to figure out beyond any doubt which buyer left the low DSR.  A certain buyer purchased two books in one order.  I received three stars for the first book and two stars for the second book purchased by that buyer.  I guess the buyer thought that the postage of $3.95 for the first book and $0.60 for the second book was too high and deserving of two stars for one of the books. 

I was not surprised that this particular transaction was for inexpensive books.  Many sellers report that the most troublesome buyers are often the ones who purchase cheap items.  Since the postage cost was as high as or higher than the item cost, the buyer must have felt that I charged too much.

Since I now have one low DSR rating on my account, I am in a precarious position.  If I receive one more low rating on the shipping DSR, I will fall below what eBay considers acceptable.  In order to protect myself, I have changed all of my listings over to free shipping.  With free shipping, I automatically receive five stars for shipping cost, which means that no future buyer can leave a low DSR in that category. 

I figured out what I paid for postage and packaging on the transaction that resulted in the low DSR, and I broke even on postage.  I did not overcharge at all.  I have now blocked the buyer who left the low DSR in order to prevent that person from making additional purchases and leaving low ratings.

The buyer knew the postage cost before completing the order.  If the amount seemed acceptable before completing the purchase, then the buyer should not have left a low DSR.  I have seen listings where I consider the postage to be too high.  If the postage amount takes the total cost above what I am willing to pay, I do not purchase the item.  If the postage amount keeps the total cost within what I am willing to pay and I decide to purchase the item, I do not ding the seller's shipping cost DSR.  I made the decision to purchase the item, so I take the responsibility.


Tari Hann, owner of Barbee & Friends Doll Clothes said...

Exactly my feelings, Jennifer! If the total price on something is what I'm willing to pay, I don't really pay attention to what the separated out shipping is. I've bought items that have higher shipping rates than other items but the price itself is lower, therefore making the grand total less. Great idea on going free shipping. I'm getting ready to list more stuff on eBay and I had not really given much thought to that star rating system. I'm not a top rated seller by any means but it's rotten when people ding the stars for no apparent reasons. If free shipping guarantees 5 stars, I may just go back to doing that. I've been buying from you on Bonanza since I figure they charge you less final values there, hoping I'm right! :)

stratomiker said...

They are just nasty buyers. They know we have to pay a percentage fee on the shipping too, thus have to make sure that is covered in our shipping prices. All that DSR stuff is just so STUPID to me. I'm not gonna go wacky trying to figure how to please everybody and eBay too. If my ratings go lower I don't care. I still sell a ton of books, 90% of everything I list.

Jennifer said...

The fees are much lower on Bonanza, so I definitely like it when people purchase from there. :)

You can also avoid low communication DSRs simply by not communicating with buyers through the eBay messages system. Imagine that not communicating gets you five stars! You can always communicate through private messages in your email account, but as long as neither you nor the buyer use eBay messages to send a message you get five stars.

As Mike says, the DSRs can fluctuate and pretty much nothing happens. I am only concerned because eBay flags anything below three stars as a low DSR, and I now have one and am at 0.49% low DSRs for shipping cost due to that one rating. If the count reaches two and 0.50%, then I am stripped of my top-rated seller status and lose my 20% discount. That's a loss of around $25 (or more) per month. One more low DSR in shipping cost is all it will take.

Michelle De said...

This is one of ebay's features that irks me. In one breath ebay tells a buyer that they are legally bound by the transaction once they agree to purchase the item. In other words as the buyer, they had the chance before committing to the sale to look over the total price and then decide if they wanted to purchase the item. But in the next breath ebay allows them to complain about the cost of shipping by dinging a seller's DSR's. Makes no sense to me.

JackWayne said...

Totally agree. The shipping charges are stated up front, so I know what I'm paying before I buy. What I don't get it why eBay seems to discourage robust selling by trying to keep buyers "happy". Happy buyers mean nothing if there are no sellers to buy from.