New eBay program aims to reward good sellers

Jul 27, 2009 By RACHEL METZ , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- EBay Inc. wants to attract more buyers to its online marketplace. So it's trying a new way of rewarding good sellers.

Traditionally has offered discounts and other perks to "PowerSellers" - the merchants who sold the most stuff on the site. Under a new program it was unveiling Monday, eBay is giving top-tier status to who have very little negative from - even if these vendors aren't among those who make the most sales on its online .

Now top-rated vendors will get a 20 percent discount on the fees they must pay eBay after selling an item, along with a virtual badge they can display on their pages to indicate their status. Products they offer will be more likely to show up in searches that buyers make on the site.

The move is eBay's latest attempt to improve the experience of using the site and reverse the company's financial slump.

The new top-rated seller program, which starts in October, makes use of eBay's feedback system, in which buyers rank their experiences with sellers from 1 (the worst) to 5 (the best). In order to qualify as a top-rated seller, less than 0.5 percent of a seller's feedback can be scores of 1 or 2. That marks a change from the past, when eBay generally provided incentives based on a seller's average feedback score.

Not every seller is eligible: A merchant must have at least 100 sales, worth a total of at least $3,000, on eBay per year.

But this is much lower than the current requirements for eBay's long-standing PowerSeller designation. Among other things it had required sellers to have at least 1,200 sales per year or $12,000 in volume. PowerSellers' benefits include discounts of 5 percent to 20 percent on fees from their eBay sales.

EBay is making the change to highlight good merchants who consistently received high praise from buyers but didn't sell enough to count as PowerSellers. EBay said that of the 150,000 vendors who are qualified to be top-rated sellers, 86,000 have not been eligible to become PowerSellers.

Lorrie Norrington, president of eBay marketplaces, said the new designation is meant to emphasize quality rather than quantity.

"It's about supporting entrepreneurs that really built eBay," she said.

Lonna Cooke, who is based in Beckley, W.Va., and sells handmade accessories like handbags and eyeglass cases on eBay, is one merchant who fits the new program's requirements and was unable to qualify as a PowerSeller.

"With the economy down right now, anything they can do to help gives you a little bit of a push," she said.

Beginning in April, PowerSellers who don't meet the feedback standards for top-rated sellers will get a flat 5 percent discount on fees. But eBay is lowering the sales thresholds for PowerSellers to match those of top-rated sellers.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

Apr 18, 2014

The career-focused social network LinkedIn announced Friday it has 300 million members, with more than half the total outside the United States.

Researchers uncover likely creator of Bitcoin

Apr 18, 2014

The primary author of the celebrated Bitcoin paper, and therefore probable creator of Bitcoin, is most likely Nick Szabo, a blogger and former George Washington University law professor, according to students ...

White House updating online privacy policy

Apr 18, 2014

A new Obama administration privacy policy out Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites. It also clarifies that ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

A homemade solar lamp for developing countries

(Phys.org) —The solar lamp developed by the start-up LEDsafari is a more effective, safer, and less expensive form of illumination than the traditional oil lamp currently used by more than one billion people ...

Floating nuclear plants could ride out tsunamis

When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects—specifically, ...

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...