With a rapidly increasing number of users, selling on eBay is harder than ever. One of the most useful ways to beat the such competition and reach more prospective buyers is to become an eBay top-rated seller.
Top-rated sellers on eBay have the chance to enjoy a number of outstanding benefits from the platform like increased visibility for listings, a ‘top-rated seller’ badge, and increased protections. These privileges help sellers increase organic search traffic, and eventually boost sales for their eBay stores.
However, sellers need to meet a number of strict requirements from eBay to acquire this status. Through this guide, we’ll be providing you with important criteria of the program and a step-by-step guide on how to become an eBay top-rated seller!
What is an eBay Top Rated Seller?
eBay top-rated seller program is much like the prime seller program on Amazon, both of which share some similar benefits for sellers.
Before getting down to analyzing all of eBay top-rated seller requirements, let’s have an overview of the program. A general outline of eBay seller levels helps you better understand what this program is about.
What are the eBay seller levels?
There are three eBay seller levels that your business can achieve on the marketplace:
- Top rated
- Above standard
- Below standard
A top-rated eBay store is the highest seller level you can acquire on eBay. It means your business meets the sales requirements and provides exceptional customer service. For details on other requirements, we’ll cover them in later parts of this article.
You may come across the term eBay power seller certificate when searching for guides on how to become an eBay top-rated seller. However, this term has been phased out for both personal and business accounts. eBay power sellers are now called eBay top-rated sellers.
An above-standard seller account is what most sellers on eBay can easily achieve. Being an above-standard level means you meet minimum sales requirements and deliver acceptable customer service.
The lowest level on the list is a below-standard seller account, which no seller wishes to become. With such an account, you may stand the risk of being ineligible for promoted listing, and having sales restrictions.
However, each of these statuses is always contemporary. You can constantly improve and strive to achieve a better seller level when eBay re-evaluates seller accounts on the 20th of each month.
Additional seller protections for top-rated sellers
eBay seller protection is designed to protect the rights of all its sellers. It’s also an excellent service for eBay sellers to resort to when they don’t feel safe enough about their transactions.
As a top-rated seller, you will have additional benefits from this seller protection program. If you are a US or Canadian eBay seller and you offer 30-day-or-longer returns, you will receive:
- Return shipping label credit on monthly invoices for false “item not as described” claims;
- Up to 50% refund deduction to cover decreased values on used and damaged returns.
Top Rated Seller Requirements on eBay
Aside from basic eBay seller requirements, the marketplace has set several top-rated seller requirements that business owners must meet if they want to be eligible for the program. The eligibility conditions vary among countries but for sellers residing in either the US or Canada, they include:
- An active eBay account for at least 90 days;
- At least 100 transactions and 1000$ revenue with US buyers for the past 12 months;
- A defect rate of up to 0.5%, and a maximum of three defects from unique shoppers;
- A maximum of 0.3% of cases closed without seller resolution, and up to or fewer than two cases;
- A late shipment rate of up to 3%, and a maximum of five late shipments;
- Tracking updated within your stated handling time, and carrier validation for 95% of transactions to US buyers.
You must also conform to eBay’s selling practice policy including requirements on correct item locations and transparent terms & conditions.
It’s important to take note that the seller defect rate is not counted on damaged or defective products. Rather, the rate accounts for the number of times an eBay seller cancels transactions due to inventory issues and similar problems.
How to Become a Top Rated Seller on eBay
With clear requirements in mind, let’s get into details on how to become a top-rated seller on eBay.
You can see that most of the top-rated seller requirements focus on rating eBay seller performance. Therefore the strategy to acquire an eBay top-rated seller badge involves three performance-related activities, which are to
- Focus on shipping and fulfillment;
- Reduce and resolve customer cases;
- Prevent transaction defects.
#1. Focus on shipping and fulfillment
The first thing on the to-do list is to take full control of your inventory and shipping process.
For inventory and fulfillment, you should be doing the following:
- Keep close track of your stock level: Always update your inventory to see if there are any items running out or on low stocks. Then you should take such items down or restock them right away.
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- Make use of eBay stock function: One of eBay selling preferences for eBay sellers is the “out-of-stock” function. When you turn on the Out-of-Stock option, eBay doesn’t delist your sold-out products. Instead, the listings are just hidden from searchers on eBay or appear as sold out. It helps you avoid accidental sales that you can’t fulfill.
- Exceptional delivery package is a thing: You are entirely responsible for the package until it reaches your customer. Despite having no control over postal service, you need to follow proper package techniques and use decent package materials to prevent possible damage.
- Use item tracking option: It’s required that you have valid tracking for at least 95% of your deliveries. Therefore you should adopt an automated tracking option. Having a tracking number helps customers feel more secure when making a purchase. You can also prevent false claims from buyers saying they haven’t received the items yet.
#2. Reduce and resolve customer cases
With two out of six listed top-rated seller requirements relating to customer service, reducing and resolving customer cases are how to become an eBay top-rated seller.
For customer inquiries, you should always manage to answer questions and address issues your customers may be having in a timely manner. The key is to make customers feel that you care about their problems and that you actually propose possible resolutions. Keeping them happy and satisfied is highly important.
One of the tips is to go with eBay’s guarantee policy. You should accept returns and refund requests when customers contact you about the Money-Back Guarantee policy. Doing so helps you
- Avoid being held accountable by eBay for any afterward issues;
- Prevent your seller account from getting poor product reviews and a low service rating;
- Minimize the possibility of getting “Cases Closed Without Seller Resolution”.
#3. Prevent transaction defects
Transaction defect rate is counted on how many times sellers cancel orders with buyers, regardless of the reasons. This can be due to un-updated inventory that a customer accidentally buys an out-of-stock item or unresolved issues where customers have an unhappy buying experience.
To keep the rate within the required number of 0.5%, make sure you are taking the following measures:
- Always follow through on all transactions in terms of inventory, shipping time, order tracking, return policies, etc.;
- Proceed with every transaction with a customer-first mindset.
eBay Top Rated Seller Benefits
In addition to enhanced protection, business owners on the platform also receive several eBay top-rated seller benefits. These benefits include:
- High visibility on eBay search results;
- Discounts on promoted listings and shipping;
- A top-rated plus seal on eligible listings.
1. High visibility on eBay search results
As an eBay top-rated seller, your product listings will have increased visibility on eBay search results.
eBay search result pages will always feature the best match for each search query by default. The best match algorithm focuses on assessing the following:
- The relevancy of the items to buyers’ search queries (in terms of name, description, images, etc.);
- The impressions and sales of the items;
- The price;
- The seller’s profile and performance.
When everyone follows the guideline on eBay listing optimization, your top-rated seller level is what set your listing aside. This is why it’s important to aim for such a seller level.
2. Discounts on promoted listings and shipping
eBay provides top-rated sellers with an amount of 30$ towards their eBay credit for promoted listings every quarter. They will also receive eBay top-rated seller shipping discount if they use the eBay shipping label.
Such policies from eBay for top-rated sellers can help them save a decent amount on business operations.
3. A top-rated plus seal on eligible listings
Top-rated sellers can also leverage certain listings and receive a top-rated plus seal for those product listings. To be eligible for the seal, a top-rated seller must offer the following
- Same day or within a day handling time
- A 30-day return policy with a money-back guarantee
Outstanding benefits from a top-rated plus seal include:
- 10% off on the Final Value Fee of the products
- Prominent visibility in Best Match search results
- A Top Rated Plus seal appears on product listings
eBay Top Rated Seller: FAQs
Being a top-rated seller on eBay means you consistently meet the marketplace’s requirements for the top-rated levels, and your store has outstanding customer service. It also indicates that you may be qualified to receive a top-rated plus seal on specific listings.
A top-rated seller plus on eBay receives a significant number of privileges including
- Enhanced seller protection;
- 10% discount on Final Value Fees;
- Higher visibility on eBay’s search result pages;
- A top-rated plus seal for increased trust towards customers.
As an eBay top-rated seller, you will save more money in business operations and leverage your trust level via the top-rated plus seal appearing in your product listings. Such a seal helps you reassure buyers when making a purchase and eventually helps you earn more customers.
For eBay sellers, the top-rated status is definitely a milestone to set. Even if you don’t achieve such a level after trying out all the methods, they will help you boost sales and improve your seller profile in the long run.
There are however some drawbacks to the program. Some sellers consider the program a difficult and time-consuming activity, and you may risk losing profits when trying to meet all the requirements.
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