The February PowerSeller newsletter (Power Up) hit inboxes yesterday afternoon, glorifying the changes and providing “tips” on how to improve Detailed Seller Ratings.
Communication: Even on weekends. Today’s online shoppers expect 24-hour communication lines and prompt response. That doesn’t mean being tied to your email 24/7–consider automating emails at key steps and using Frequently Asked Questions.
I would say eBay expects shoppers to expect 24-hour communication lines. PayPal (an eBay company), doesn’t offer weekend hours for its customer service.
Shipping cost: Keep it real. Buyers leave lower DSRs for sellers who pad shipping costs so make sure yours reflect real costs. Better yet, offer discounted or free shipping–and combined shipping for multiple item orders. Itemize costs in the listing (handling, insurance, etc.) so there are no surprises.
eBay has really been pushing free shipping for awhile. Unfortunately for sellers, shipping costs keep increasing. UPS, FedEx and DHL all raised their rates about 4.9 percent at the start of this year. The post office just had a raise last year and will likely be raising prices again this May (a First Class increase has already been announced, new Priority and Express prices won’t be announced until March). Of course, eBay has a vested interest in trying to get sellers to include shipping charges into the item price. Sellers pay fees on the item price, but not on what is charged for shipping.