How to Become a Top Rated Seller on eBay & What Are the Benefits?
If you’re looking for one of the best ways to increase your sales on eBay, becoming a top rated seller is a great way to do it. Top rated ebay sellers receive many benefits, including increased exposure in search results. In this blog post, we will teach you how to become a top rated seller on eBay. We’ll also discuss the benefits of being a top rated seller and how it can help your business grow!
Note: This post is sponsored by Vendoo (my favorite reselling tool!) and contains affiliate links. As always, all opinions are mine and I only work with companies I genuinely recommend.
What is Top Rated Seller status on eBay?
Top Rated Seller status on eBay is a status that you can receive by being one of their top sellers regarding sales and excellent customer service. Becoming a Top Rated Seller provides you with some benefits, and also reassures potential buyers that they’re dealing with a reputable seller.
To become a Top Rated Seller on eBay, you must meet certain criteria. This includes achieving outstanding customer satisfaction, maintaining a good seller rating, and having a minimum number of transactions.
What are the benefits of becoming an eBay Top Rated Seller?
There are a number of benefits for becoming a Top Rated Seller on eBay like more visibility of your listings in search as well as additional seller protections.
According to eBay, Top Rated Sellers receive “enhanced visibility” in eBay search results. This means that your listings have a better chance of being in a higher position in search and are more likely to be seen by potential buyers who are searching for items like yours.
This is a great benefit because it can help you increase your sales without having to do any extra work! All you need to do is maintain your Top Rated Seller status.
Shipping label credits for false “item not as described” cases
When you achieve Top Rated Seller status, you get additional seller protections like return shipping label credits (up to $6) for false “item not as described” claims. This credit will be on your monthly invoice. Ebay will also remove any neutral or negative feedback, defects, and open cases in service metrics.
Partial refunds for decreased value or damaged returns
Another seller protection offered is up to 50% refund deduction for decreased value on used or damaged returns. This means if you issue a refund on an item that was returned after being used or damaged by a buyer, you can deduct up to 50% of the return to cover the decreased value of the item. Ebay will also remove any negative or neutral feedback, defects, and open cases in service metrics related to this.
How to Become a Top Rated Seller on eBay
To become a Top Rated Seller on eBay, you have to meet the minimum standards outlined by eBay. The criteria that you have to meet to become a Top Rated Seller on eBay are:
- Have an eBay account that’s been active for 90+ days
- 100+ transactions AND $1,000 in sales within the last 12 months
- A defect rate that’s equal to, or lower, than 0.5% with three or fewer defects from unique buyers over the last 12 months
- Closed cases without seller resolution equal to, or less than, 0.3%, with 2 or fewer cases over the last 12 months
- Late shipment rate equal to, or less than, 3% with 5 or fewer late shipments in the last 12 months
- Tracking number uploaded within stated handling time for 95% of transactions for US buyers
But did you know, there’s also Top Rated Plus, which is an even higher level with more benefits?
How to Become a Top Rated Plus Seller on eBay
The criteria you need to meet include the above criteria for Top Rate Seller, plus the following requirements:
- Same or one business day handling time
- 30+ day free return period with money back option
What does Top Rated Plus get you?
All of the same benefits as Top Rated Seller, but also:
- the Top Rated Plus seal on your eBay listings in search results and in your listing description (see screenshot below of what top rated plus listings look like)
- 10% discount on final value fees
Is becoming an eBay Top Rated Seller worth the effort?
It’s definitely worth it to work towards becoming an eBay Top Rated Seller! Why? Because it has the potential to increase your sales through more visibility in search, but it also provides you with some extra seller protections.
If you’re a good eBay seller, making sure you’re meeting the criteria for Top Rated Seller is really just being a good seller in general. Ensuring that you’re shipping orders on time, not getting too many defects, etc. is part of the business. In fact, if you get too many defects, you can not just ruin your chances of Top Rated Seller, but you can go down to Below Standard which does have some negative consequences such as higher fees and your items being shown lower in search results.
Whether you want to make the changes to your business policies to become Top Rated Plus is up to you. I find that same or one day shipping and 30+ day free returns doesn’t work for my business right now, but if it does for you then you can enjoy the extra discount and the extra Top Rated seller badge!
How do you find out your eBay seller level?
To check your current eBay seller status, just head to your Seller Dashboard. This is updated monthly and will show you:
- current seller level
- past seller level
- what your seller level would be if you were evaluated today
- transaction defect rate
- late shipment rate
- cases closed without seller resolution
- tracking uploaded on time and validated
- transactions and sales amounts
- return rates
Looking at these metrics at least once a month can ensure that you know where you stand and will ensure that you don’t have any defects or anything impacting your account that shouldn’t be there. It’s always good to check these for any mistakes!
Does Top Rated Seller status increase sales?
Ebay does claim that Top Rated Seller status will increase your visibility in search, but does it actually increase sales? That’s really hard to say. I haven’t personally been able to experiment with this to find out. I would say that it probably does since you’re showing up in search more. The thing is, it definitely doesn’t hurt, so why not try to become a top rated seller if you can?
Tips for becoming a Top Rated Seller
On paper, becoming a Top Rated Seller seems pretty simple. The criteria is all laid out for you, so how hard can it be, right? Well it’s not that simple because a few mistakes can prevent you from making Top Rated Seller and since it’s using information from the last 12 months, it can impact your account for a long time
For example, I was in a situation where I was late shipping items over a few days, but it was enough to remove me from Top Rated Seller and it took around a year to get it back. So, here are some tips to get and keep Top Rated Seller status on eBay:
Keep your inventory organized
If you keep your inventory organized, you won’t “lose” items and spend a ton of time looking for them. You also won’t have to cancel as many orders because you can’t find an item. This is key so you’re not scrambling to get orders out on time or having to cancel orders which will result in a defect.
One way to help keep your inventory organized, especially if you cross list your items, is to use Vendoo to have a digital log of your inventory. You can mark your SKU and even add labels to items that customers won’t see, but can help you find the item in your inventory. Use this link for 25% off your first month.
Have all the shipping supplies you need
If you have all the shipping supplies you need on hand, you won’t have to run to the store or order them online when it’s time to ship an order. Sometimes we get busy, and that run to the store might take a couple of days, causing you to ship an item late. Instead, have everything you need to ship items ready to go.
Be realistic about handling time
Shipping time is important to pay attention to if you want to be a top rated seller. Since you can set your own handling time, and you need to ship 95% or more of your items within that set handling time to be a Top Rated Seller, be realistic. Make sure that the number of days you choose is realistic for your schedule and for how long it actually takes you to get an item out the door to the post office, then pad it by an extra day just in case. Even though I can ship daily, I usually choose a 3 day handling time just to be safe.
Provide accurate descriptions
On one hand, you want to impress buyers so they want to buy your items, but on the other hand, you still need to be honest and accurate. Getting an “item not as described” case is considered a defect and just a few in the past year can ruin your chances of being a top rated seller.
Decide on your return policy
While some eBay sellers prefer to not accept returns at all, keep in mind that this will increase your rate of “item not as described” cases from people who want to make a return. It’s true that if someone opens a fall “item not as described” case, eBay will take care of you. But there may be a rare instance where you missed a flaw and a customer would have just filed for a return instead of opening a case, which looks much better on your account.
Make sure you thoroughly inspect each item and provide photos and descriptions of any flaws. It’s true that a lot of buyers won’t read a description, but as long as you note it in your listing, then you’ve done your job and you’re covered.