Getting started guides

Getting started with eBay

Part 1: Selling on eBay

There are a number of different things you have to keep on top of as an eBay seller, especially if you want to benefit from becoming a Top Rated Seller; being able to dispatch orders quickly and on time, remembering to upload tracking details, as well as responding to enquiries and offering excellent customer service.

Understanding eBay Seller Standards 

To sell successfully on eBay you need to meet eBay’s Seller Standards, with higher expectations to be met if you want to become a Top Rated Seller and take advantage of the associated benefits.

eBay evaluates your selling on the 20th of every month and determines your seller level: eBay Top-rated Seller, Above Standard or Below Standard. You’re assessed on your Defect Rate and your Late Delivery Rate.

Defect Rate

The Defect Rate  covers two issues that you might have with a transaction:

  • Seller initiated transaction cancellation: If you cancel a transaction or refund the buyer for any reason, such as you don’t have the item in stock.
  • Case closed without seller resolution: When the buyer has asked eBay to step in and help resolve an issue and eBay decides that the seller is responsible for the problem.

Late Delivery Rate

Your Late Delivery Rate is a measure of your dispatch times; it’s determined by the delivery scan when you upload tracking information to eBay, or when the buyer confirms that they received the item within estimated delivery times if there’s no tracking. Deliveries will be counted as late if you don’t upload tracking information and the buyer says it arrived after the estimated delivery date, or there was no acceptance scan within your dispatch time and the item arrives after the estimated delivery date.

If you don’t meet eBay’s delivery requirements the delivery options on your listings may be restricted, as well as the dispatch times that you offer.  However, if late delivery rate is the only metric that you don’t meet your seller level won’t fall Below Standard.

Maintaining your eBay Seller Standard

You can ensure that you keep your eBay Seller Standard at Above Standard by:

  • Always having enough stock to fulfill your orders
  • Using the out-of-stock settings when necessary
  • Responding to and resolving buyer requests quickly.
  • Always dispatch orders within your specified dispatch time
  • Describe all your items accurately and list them with multiple pictures and item specifics, to minimise the number of returns you get.
  • Make your payment and returns policies obvious and easy to understand. Offer a 30-day returns policy.
  • Send items quickly and in suitable packaging to avoid any damage during shipping.
  • Keep buyers informed about the progress and dispatch of their orders.
  • Upload tracking information for your orders to eBay so that buyers can track their order, and the information can be used to prove dispatch or delivery time.
  • Issue refunds quickly.

eBay Top Rated Seller

If you meet eBay’s highest seller standards you can become an eBay Top Rated Seller, which gives you better placement in search results. You’ll also have the chance to add the eBay Premium Service badge to listings for further benefits including maximum visibility in search, and 10% discount on final value fees on eBay.co.uk or eBay.ie. To add the eBay Premium Service badge to a listing it needs to offer a 30-day returns policy or better, one day or same day dispatch, an express delivery option, and a free domestic delivery option.

Find out more about the requirements for being an eBay Top Rated seller here.

How Zenstores can help eBay sellers

The requirements to sell on eBay are fairly straightforward - quick, on time dispatch, managing stock, and responding to buyers quickly to resolve problems. However, some of these can be time consuming and difficult to maintain, especially if you’re aiming at becoming a Top Rated Seller.

Zenstores will be able to make your shipping processes quicker and more efficient: once you link your eBay account and couriers, all your orders will be imported and ready for you to print shipping labels in bulk. This means that you will be able to print large numbers of shipping labels in minutes, helping you to meet and exceed eBay’s dispatch time requirements.

Once you’ve printed your shipping labels, Zenstores will automatically mark your orders as dispatched on eBay and upload tracking details. You won’t have to remember to manually mark orders as dispatched and add in tracking details to protect yourself against late delivery issues.

Being able to track all your orders in one place, dispatch them in bulk, and update eBay with the parcel details will help you to keep your business organised and on track to meet eBay’s Seller Standards. You’ll also free up time so that you are able to respond quickly to buyer’s queries and process any returns on time.

About the author

Verity is a journalist and content producer at Zenstores.

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