First, eBay is saying they will reward sellers for delivering great buyer experiences. The company says that sellers who deliver the highest level of customer service (as rated by buyers) will be promoted with a special "Top-Rated" seller badge, as well as receive deep discounts of 20% on their final value fees.
They will also be elevated in search. The badge will be displayed on the "view item" page. "For buyers, the new eBay Top-Rated Seller status makes it easy to find the highest quality sellers on eBay based on the feedback of other buyers," said Lorrie Norrington, president of eBay Marketplaces.
"For sellers, the Top-Rated Seller status recognizes and rewards their commitment to consistently delivering the highest level of customer satisfaction." Any seller with as few as 100 transactions a year and $3,000 annual in sales volume can qualify based on buyer feedback, the company says.
The second point is that eBay will be enhancing search to present more relevant listings. Here are some things to note:
- Best match will look at listings' recent sales in relation to the number of recent impressions it received as a key factor for fixed price listings.
- Single quantity and newly listed Fixed Price items will be given exposure in Best Match even though they have no sales history.
- Auction-style listings will still get a boost in exposure as they are about to end.
- Auction with Buy It Now listings will be required to have a BIN price at least 10% higher than the auction start price.
- There is a new search visibility tool for users to evaluate their listings
- Featured Plus, Border, and other features are being eliminated
Finally, eBay says selling will be easier and more profitable. "We're well aware that sellers of all sizes deliver the deals and quality experiences that bring buyers to eBay and keep them coming back," says eBay's Stephanie Tilenius. "That's why we're taking new steps to reward great service, bring you more sales, increase your profitability, and help you succeed."
eBay says there will be faster recourse for unpaid items. Specifically, resolution time will be "cut in half." The company is working on a new automated option that will make the process more efficient, and cut the time down to as litle as 8 days and block negative feedback when a seller opens a claim and a buyer doesn't pay.
eBay is making enhancements to My Messages and post-transaction emails to make buyer communications faster and easier to manage. Sellers will also get more control over international ship-to locations. Tracking and delivery numbers for more shipping carriers can be uploaded as well.
Listing editing will be faster and easier, according to eBay, and new selling manager applications will boost efficiency. To see a few other changes, and get more details on all of them you can read the announcement here.
eBay intends to immediately qualify 50,000 eBay Top-Rated Sellers in the U.S. when the program goes live. Changes will go into effect between September 22 and October 1.