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February 13, 2008

eBay Changes Strategies: DSR Best Practices

In preparation for our webinar earlier today, we spent a great deal of time at ChannelAdvisor analyzing our data on the top 4000 eBay sellers (by GMV NOT feedback).  We ran all the sellers through our free DSRWatch utility and sorted the data.  As you would imagine the 'shipping and handling charges' DSR is the lowest (avg 3.9) for the top sellers.

However, based on this data, we did find 400 sellers that had all DSRs > 4.8 and we further sorted that based on volumes to come up with a set of around 150 'top tier DSR' high-volume, high GMV eBay sellers.  We then looked for commonalities.  What makes these 150 elite sellers able to get their S+H charges DSR above 4.8?

We discovered 10 best practices that we went into detail on in the webinar, but we believe are important enough that we want to make sure the word gets out.  Here are the top 10 (plus a bonus) best practices:

  1. Specify reasonable flat-rate shipping
  2. Highlight your shipping, return and other important policies ‘above the fold’
  3. Provide 2-3 shipping options CLEARLY spelled out
  4. Call out international shipping information –set expectations around time and customs, and other international ‘gotchas’.
  5. Provide a clear and easy to understand return policy
  6. Provide (and communicate) discounted combined shipping
  7. Keep it simple
  8. Ship to US only? (consider splitting into two seller IDs)
  9. Amp up your customer service
  10. Consider free shipping as an option
  11. Communicate, communicate, communicate - suggest 5 stars in listing, WBN, shipping notification, feedback,etc.

Every one of the 150 elite DSR sellers utilizes a combination of these best practices to achieve their > 4.8 status.  The good news is based on the data, we think these levels are achievable for any seller that is able to embrace the best practices and work them into their business model.

If you're interested in more details and specifics behind the 10 DSR best practices, check out the recording of the webinar by following these instructions:

1. Go to http://www.channeladvisor.com/webinars
2. Click on the Recorded Webinars section
3. It is the first recorded webinar on the page.

If you have encountered any other best practices you would like to share, feel free to post in comments and we'll summarize.

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