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Understanding DSR

(Detailed Seller Rating – Stars)

In the fall of 2007 ebay rolled out a new feedback tool for buyers to use when leaving feedback for their sellers in addition to the already in place positive /neutral / Negative scale. This new tool is call the DSR (Detailed Seller Rating) and allows buyers to give their seller a rating between 1-5 with stars in four areas of the transactions action they've had. The 4 areas are:

  • Item as Described

  • Communication

  • Shipping Time

  • Shipping & Handling Charges

With the new changes made by Ebay in early 2008 to various areas for sellers it's VERY IMPORTANT that buyers properly understand  how the DSR system affects their sellers as well as how EBAY DSR works in comparison to other online star rating systems (yes there is a difference and ebay has made it apparent in a recent town hall that it is up to SELLERS to inform their customers of this information to prevent their rating from being effected).

What Do I Need to Know Before I Fill Out My Sellers DSR?

With the recent changes made by EBAY a seller with a DSR below 4.5 in any of the 4 areas can lose their powerseller status and with a DSR below 4.2 in any area will get decreased exposure throughout the site. For 99% of the 1-5 star rating systems you see online 1 Star would be considered VERY POOR, 2 POOR, 3 SATISFACTORY, 4 GOOD and a 5 EXCELLENT. With the Ebay DSR leaving Anything below a 5/5 shows a level of an unsatisfactory sale which is confusing for buyers and upsetting for reputable sellers. MANY buyers are leaving a 3 because they believe it's a SATISFACTORY in areas like communication because they had no reason to contact the seller - leaving a 3 is actually seen as a NEGATIVE which greatly hurts the sellers DSR. Here is a break down of the 4 Categories and what you should be considering when leaving your RATING:


  • Does your item look like and match the item you purchased in the Auction?
  • Did your item arrive as stated in the auction?

- If your item arrived in the condition you expected or as it was stated in the listing a 5/5 is warranted. If you are unhappy with the item have you contacted your seller before leaving feedback to see if there was an error in shipping or see if the situation can be rectified - sellers are humans too and mistakes are unfortunately made on occasion?


  • Did the seller keep you informed that your item was shipped or they received payment?

  • Did the seller answer any questions you asked in a timely fashion?

  • Did the seller treat you with respect?

-If you had no reason to contact the seller OR your contact was minimal because there was no need for anything but basic information from the seller a 5/5 signals a Satisfactory or FINE – anything less signifies that you are UNHAPPY with the communication you had with your seller. In this case leaving a 3 does not mean Satisfactory - if no communication was needed the area should be left blank or given a 5/5 .


  • Did the seller post your parcel in the time range stated in the AUCTION?

  • Did you receive your item within the STATED time listed in  the auction?

-Sellers are not responsible for shipping times once the item leaves their hands. In this case SHIPPING TIME refers to the time it took the seller to get your package out the door. Standard Delivery times are usually stated in most auctions – sellers have no control over things like customs ect if you are buying from out of country. If you purchased an item and the time range for shipping is stated in the listing you are agreeing to that time frame by purchasing the item. If you seller got your item out in the time stated a 5/5 is appropriate. If your item was delayed due to seller delay in posting it then a lower score is appropriate. BUSINESS DAYS are consider generally MON-FRI.


  • Did the seller charge you the shipping rate stated in the auction?

  • Did the seller add EXTRA fees after your purchase (ie excessive handling or material charges) that weren't stated in the auction?

-If the seller charged you the rate listed in the auction without tacking on extra excessive charges 5/5 stars is appropriate as you agreed to this rate by purchasing the item. Be aware that shipping charges from other countries then your own may be significantly different and this isn't a reason to ding your seller. If concerned ask for more information about who they ship with and the weight and dimensions of your parcel. A reasonable materials and Handling fee is acceptable (boxes, envelopes, tape, packing materials and gas to drop off your items should all be considered) excessive extra fees are not. I myself charge only exact shipping rates with Canada Post or LESS as I find Canada Post rates already a bit much and try to use recycled materials when possible..

**Taking all this information into mind when rating your seller (including myself) is so important. So, when you go to leave feedback, and DSRs for sellers think twice before plugging in 4 star ratings or less, you could be shutting down someones store because you didn't want to leave a 5/5 because you didn't read the listing 100% or due to other factors out of your sellers control. Let me say this, if a seller doesn't do something right and doesn't deserve a good rating you should absolutely leave them what they deserve. Just try to put yourself in your sellers shoes when you leave their stars because anything less then a 5/5 is considered NEGATIVE in the EBAY DSR system.

Thanks So much for your Busines and Happy Bidding!!

For a WONDERFUL EBAY Guide from the Ebay "Guides and Reviews Area" on HOW TO LEAVE YOUR SELLER THEIR DETAILED STAR RATING by mattleegee please CLICK HERE

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