Sep 16 2009

How to guarantee perfect 5 Star Detailed Seller Ratings (DSR) from eBay Buyers

Ah yes, as an eBay seller, don’t you just love the 1 to 5 Star Detailed Seller Ratings (DSR) that eBay buyers can leave for you?

In addition to feedback, eBay buyers can leave anonymous ratings from 1 to 5 Stars on 4 criteria – Item as described, Communication, Shipping time, Shipping and handling charges.


If you’re an eBay seller, I bet you have noticed that no matter how hard you try to please your eBay buyers you always seem to get hit with a low DSR at some point.

I have compiled a list of things you can do as an eBay seller to guarantee 5 Star ratings on DSR from every one of your eBay buyers:

Item As Described:

In your eBay listing, offer to fly the item to your potential buyer’s location so they can physically handle, look at and inspect the item before bidding/buying. It’ll be like they can walk into your “store” in the comfort of their own home. They will have no reason to rate your “Item As Described” DSR low and think of all the frequent flyer miles you’ll accumulate.


Since you already flew the item to your potential buyers location, make sure you take them out to dinner and talk about all of your policies so they know them before they bid/purchase.

After they bid and win or purchase your item, add their phone number to your speed dial. Call them and tell them how happy you are they bought your item and that you booked your overnight flight to deliver their package. Once you arrive, take them out for dinner again so you can talk about your return policy.

Continuing calling your buyer daily until they leave feedback and Detailed Seller Rating to see how they are doing, how they like the item, and anything else that comes up.

Shipping Time:

Why deal with the silly postal service or those other courier companies? As mentioned above, book that overnight flight to your buyer’s city immediately upon payment and personally deliver the package yourself. Unfortunately this still may not be fast enough and scientists haven’t invented the “Beam me up Scottie” machine (sorry Trekkie fans I’m not an expert in Star Trek technology) so you could instantly beam the item to your buyer.

Shipping and Handling Charges:

FREE SHIPPING BABY! FREE SHIPPING BABY! FREE SHIPPING BABY! Offer free shipping and don’t even add the shipping cost into the price. Absorb all costs associated with shipping, packaging material, etc., even if you lose money. It’s not about making money anymore, it’s about getting those 5 pretty Stars  5-stars.

…actually you can’t really do anything to GUARANTEE perfect 5 Star DSR ratings from every buyer on eBay, which is why we had fun with you above.

There are always going to be those few eBay buyers that rate sellers low on the detailed seller rating criteria no matter what you do or how perfect your product or service is. You could actually do all of the silly things above and I would bet there would still be some dumb eBay buyer that rates your DSRs low. If those eBay buyers could only understand how much those ratings (even 4 stars) can hurt a seller and prevent sellers from receiving eBay fee discounts.

On a more serious note, you can also check eBay’s Detailed Seller Ratings page where they have more ideas on what you can do to make sure the smart eBay buyers don’t have a reason to leave you low DSRs. If you’re a buyer and you’re reading this, there is also some info for you to read there to help you understand how to properly rate an eBay seller.

Feel free to post a comment with your DSR ideas (silly or serious) for sellers to get perfect 5 Star DSRs or at least keep their DSR as close to 5 Stars as possible.

21 Comments on this post


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    November 24th, 2009 at 6:02 pm
  1. dsr sucks said:

    hahaha book a flight and personally deliver the package, have dinner, and call them daily that’s too funny!!!!!! i sell on ebay too and i hate the dsr rating system ebay implemented. it isn’t fair for small sellers because one bad dsr rating can hurt their search placement. buyers don’t even understand what they are supposed to be rating. buyers think shipping time is the time it takes to get to them but it is supposed to be the time it takes a seller to ship it out and they don’t understand how expensive shipping costs can be even if you charge less than your costs they still think it’s too much.

    November 16th, 2009 at 4:57 pm
  2. Mike said:

    I agree you can’t guarantee 5 star DSR ratings no matter how perfect your product or service is. There is a door left open for possible DSR abuse by a seller’s competitors. The fact that eBay uses DSR ratings to determine search placement a competitor might want to knock other sellers who are selling similar items down with items are listed in best match. eBay doesn’t really explain the whole DSR process well enough to buyers. I’ve offered FREE SHIPPING and I still saw my DSR rating go down for shipping and handling charges. Sellers don’t have control of the postal service or customs for international shipments and most buyers base the shipping time DSR rating on how long it took the item to arrive. On eBay’s DSR info page it states that buyers should rate on how fast the seller shipped the item out, eBay should add that information right in the area where buyers are leaving the 5 star ratings. Free shipping items should be blocked from leaving anything less than a 5 star rating. I think I’m getting too serious here and I believe you made this post as a way of laughing at the DSR process so I’m going to stop here, but eBay is constantly making it harder for sellers so I always seem to rant about them. I did laugh at the booking a flight part though.

    November 18th, 2009 at 2:39 pm
  3. ebay seller said:

    Thanks for the laugh! Sometimes I wonder what I need to do to make a buyer leave 5 star DSR ratings.

    Most of my buyers do leave 5 star ratings and my 12 month DSR average is currently sitting at 4.96/4.91/4.89/4.83 so I’m not in bad shape in that regards.

    My 30 day DSR average is at 5.00/4.70/4.90/4.90 which is all over the place.

    BUT, just last week my 30 day average was a perfect 5 stars across all DSR criteria and then I get some buyers who decide to throw in some low ratings. That always happens within a few days when I finally get my DSR ratings back to 5 stars on all criteria, some buyers will knock it back down.

    My item as describe rating has been a perfect 5 stars on the 30 day average for 7+ months. That, and only that, is what the buyers should be rating on.

    I can’t do any better for communication. I send personalized emails thanking buyers, informing them when I ship, which is usually same day or next business day.

    Shipping time is the worst DSR rating ebay has for buyers to rate on. Sellers don’t control USPS. Then you have international buyers blaming you for how long it takes to get to them. They have no concept of the postal system and how long it should take.

    Shipping and handling charges DSR is another that drives me crazy! It’s clearly posted in the listing! DON’T LIKE IT? DON’T BUY IT! Buyers are forcing sellers to move shipping into prices which costs more in final value fees, which forces sellers to raise prices.

    Sorry, I was ranting and this was supposed to be a fun post. I did find it hilarious and maybe I’ll try some of the things mentioned….oh I got to go….Just sold an item and I have to book that flight and call my buyer…

    As much as I hate all the changes ebay keeps implementing, ebay does need to improve the DSR rating system.

    November 23rd, 2009 at 1:12 pm
  4. watch online tv said:

    When you log into Ebay, there is a Live Help link. You can instant message with an Ebay employee who can look up the seller’s account and see what is going on. Might I ask, what was his feedback? If it was many negatives, you might have been scammed.

    November 26th, 2009 at 9:24 am
  5. ebay said:

    I was searching for something else but found this. I had a good laugh. I have been selling on ebay since the beginning and this DSR system they have is just brutal. Sellers can not control how long it takes USPS, UPS or the international postal services of all the other countries to deliver packages. Too many buyers don’t understand how long it takes packages to be delivered. Too many buyers don’t understand how much it costs to ship packages. Too many buyers just don’t understand DSRs.

    January 11th, 2010 at 4:48 am
  6. Prince said:

    I couldn’t help my jaws from widening apart and making weird loud sounds while reading your post, in short i laughed really hard while reading this.
    What you said is true, 100%. DSR is really kicking our back sides and front sides together at the same time, while giving us a restriction to say “Ouchh!! it hurts”

    I wanted to post it on some forums and eBay, so do I have your permission to share it with my fellow Indian sellers? Kindly communicate so I can do so, unfortunately i cannot give you a link back to this post from eBay, but can surely do from my other blogs.

    Please let me know if I have your permission to share this.


    May 20th, 2010 at 2:59 am
  7. Paint brushes said:

    Transactions in motor vehicle categories cannot be rated on “postage time” and “postage and handling charges” since vehicle delivery is typically arranged by the buyer.

    June 17th, 2010 at 6:23 am
  8. Simmental said:

    This first impression is what will often determine a buyer’s mind. many sales are made or lost in the first 15 seconds that a potential buyer sees your house.

    July 5th, 2010 at 5:01 am
  9. Paint brushes said:

    I put a product on eBay for buy it now and it was bought two days ago. I said I’d send the product when payment has been received. I said that on the invoice but he has not messaged me since. What should I do?

    November 2nd, 2010 at 6:44 am
  10. blackfatbob64 said:

    Try offering international shipping on items. We very quickly found out who the whiners are around the world when it comes to shipping costs. We offer usps 1st class international on all items that qualify and we still get the odd buyer bitching. And then since this method can’t be tracked, we get scammers claiming the item was not delivered and demand a refund. No matter what we do, we can’t keep our shipping and handling charges under the count for top rated. We charge $2 handling for international because someone has to stand in line at the post office to deal with the problem children!

    February 9th, 2011 at 3:15 pm
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    April 2nd, 2011 at 2:58 am
  12. Ecommerce Leeds said:

    A month back, I bought a Sony Erickson phone for my sister. The seller was from Hong Kong. I got the phone , its neat but even when the battery is fully charged, it does not last more than 30 minutes. I emailed the seller to report the problem . He said he is going to send another battery but never did. A month later, his seller profile was down from E bay. Does anyone share similar experiences. What should I do in that case. Please response responsibly.

    April 4th, 2011 at 5:15 am
  13. Kenisha said:

    yijhzp Touchdown! That’s a really cool way of putting it!

    April 8th, 2011 at 5:00 pm
  14. customer retention programs said:

    I am new to online shopping and just started to buy on ebay.. a friend told me that next year when i go do my taxes i would have too pay cause you don’t pay tax.Does online shopping and ebay shopping effect me when i get my taxes done?Thanks

    April 23rd, 2011 at 12:17 am
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    August 20th, 2011 at 5:46 am
  16. High Speed BGA Sockets said:

    I have been an avid eBay Seller user for years and it is a great way to cheaply get your product/service exposed to lots of eager customers….

    September 1st, 2011 at 5:19 am
  17. How to start a Business said:

    Its pretty difficult to achieve 5 stars, as this cannot happen at once. It can only happen over a period of time if the seller is consistent in quality.

    September 1st, 2011 at 7:42 am
  18. Brian said:

    Your not going to believe this, but I had a customer who amazingly lived in the same town as me. Customer ordered item at 8.30am and I popped round to his house about an hour later – we had a good laugh about our ‘amazingly efficient service’ etc…. I’d only just started with ebay, so my DSR’s were sitting at 11 and with no other sales available to give feedback , I new that the latest DSR was from the customer I’d just delivered to – He gave me 4′s across the board!!!!!! And that included Free Delivery!!!!!

    April 6th, 2012 at 4:48 am
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    July 9th, 2012 at 12:41 pm
  20. monica harvey said:

    I sold an item on ebay and noticed that the buyer lived nearby. I contacted her and said that she could collect the item and that I would refund her postage. She said that she couldn’t collect it because her time was taken up caring for her sick mother. I offered to deliver the item myself.

    I delivered the item and left it in her porch with the refund for the postage. When she left me feedback she marked me down for the delivery time! :-( I will never offer to do that again.

    September 1st, 2012 at 5:07 pm


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