Becoming a Top Rated Seller (TRS) is a big dream for many of the people who are just starting out on eBay. But how do you achieve 100 sales worth more than £1000 with little to no feedback or selling experience?
Well in this guide I will show you EXACTLY how to get this done in as little as a few weeks. And no, I’m not exaggerating either – a recent 60DBP customer of mine achieved TRS status in just 10 days, following the exact strategy I will be covering today. This system has been tested over and over again – it simply works! So if you want to become a TRS on eBay as quickly as possible, read on.
What is a Top Rated Seller?
TRS is the highest/best account status you can achieve on eBay. In essence, it’s a Power Seller account which also maintains a super low defect rate of 2% or less, has great Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs), a low number of cases, as well as 100 sales worth more than £1,000 in the last 12 months.
You can read the detailed requirements on eBay’s top rated seller help page here.
Just a quick note – the 100 sales worth £1000 should be made to UK & Ireland based buyers ONLY, if you sell on eBay.co.uk. If you sell on eBay.com, you need 100 sales worth $1000 (how unfair is that? As $1000 is obviously much less than £1000!) to US based customers ONLY. If you sell on eBay.com.au, you need 100 sales worth $1000 (AUD). There are similar limits across all eBay regional sites.
These numbers (100 sales/£1000) are calculated on a rolling 12 month period basis (for sellers with more than 400 sales within 3 months, the evaluation period changes to 3 months).
What this means is that, say for example you achieve TRS status this month, well then for the next 11 months you will still be a top rated seller, EVEN if you don’t sell a single thing! And then after 11 months you could repeat the process again to get 100 sales worth £1000 and you’re covered for another year.
In most cases though you won’t have to worry about this as once you achieve TRS status, you only need to sell on average 8-9 items each month (100/12) worth £80-£90 (£1000/12) to maintain your TRS status. This should be easily achievable to anyone seriously thinking about starting an eBay business.
So this really is a ONE-OFF thing!!! Follow this system, achieve TRS and then just start selling “normally” and you will be able to maintain the required sales volume easily.
Another thing to remember is that TRS status is awarded for each regional eBay site separately. This means that when you become a TRS on eBay.co.uk, it doesn’t mean that you’ll be a TRS on eBay.com too, for example. To become a TRS on eBay.com, you would have to sell 100 items worth $1000 on eBay.com itself, to US customers. Just keep this in mind when you plan on expanding to other eBay sites.
Lastly, don’t mix up transactions with feedback. You only need 100 TRANSACTIONS and NOT 100 feedbacks to qualify for TRS. Very often people think otherwise and are super worried that people do not leave feedback for purchases. Don’t be! It doesn’t matter how many feedbacks you get from these 100 sales, it’s just the number of transactions/sales that matters.
On average, only 40%-50% of buyers will leave feedback for you so as long as your numbers are within this range then you have nothing to worry about.
Why it is so important to achieve TRS status ASAP?
Alright, Andrew, this all sounds good so far BUT why do we need to get that TRS status in the first place? Can’t we just sell normally and still make money on eBay?
Well, you can do that of course BUT be prepared for a tough game, especially if you plan on selling in competitive niches. The thing is – in most cases you’ll be directly competing with top rated sellers. These sellers will have an advantage over you in search results which will make it very difficult to compete with them.
Yes, if you sell items with very small or no competition at all, having TRS status is not that important BUT that is very rare and won’t apply in the vast majority of situations.
So really that is the first and main reason to have a TRS account: it gives your listings HIGHER positions in eBay’s search results compared to non-top rated sellers. And as you understand – this is SUPER important as to make decent money on eBay, you need your listings to rank as high as possible in search.
Another advantage of being a TRS is that your conversion rates increase too, as people trust TRSs more compared to normal sellers.
Also, when you’re a TRS, you can qualify for eBay’s Premium service badge, which is yet another conversion booster.
To sum it up – you need to become a TRS ASAP so that your listings get featured higher in search results and you get higher conversion rates, which equals more profit at the end of the day.
Now that we have covered the basics of what top rated seller status is and why you need it, let’s get into the actual system for becoming a top rated seller as quickly as possible.
First things first!
IF you’re just starting out on eBay, with a brand new account and no feedback, your first task is to get your first 15-20 feedbacks by buying some cheap items. Yes, buying! As you know, you also get feedback when you buy something from eBay and you definitely want to do this first as it is very hard to start selling on eBay with no feedback at all.
Why? Well, I’m sure you understand that a seller with 0 feedback isn’t the most trustworthy in buyers’ eyes. In fact, I can’t recall myself buying anything on eBay from a seller with a feedback score of 0! Or even 5!
0 feedback somehow feels very un-safe and even a possible scam in the mind of a buyer. So the very first thing you need to do is buy 15-20 cheap items on eBay, so that you get your first feedbacks in.
You can buy anything really – like business supplies (bubble envelopes, packing tape, labels, paper etc.), small gifts or household items. It doesn’t matter what you buy, as long as it is cheap and won’t cost you more than £20-£30 for everything.
If, on the other hand, you already have an established eBay account with at least 20 feedbacks in place, you can skip this step and proceed to the next stage.
Step 2 is to sell off any unwanted items you can find in your house. Used clothing, movies, video games, gadgets – anything you have lying around your house that you have no use for. The best way to sell these is as a 7 day auction with a 99p starting price – that way you are sure they’ll be sold.
If you have something more valuable to sell (worth more than £50), leave it for now as you will need such items later on, following this system.
Not only can you easily get another 10-20 feedbacks this way (even more for people with large DVD/video game collections), you’ll also learn the eBay selling process inside out! Starting from listing creation, product photography and all the way up to how to deal with difficult customers, it really is terrific experience that will prepare you well for the next step in our system.
IMPORTANT!!! I won’t talk much about the listing creation process in this post as I have already covered it extensively in other posts on this blog. But just to remind you – even when you sell these cheap, unwanted items from your house, you still WANT to use a listing template, take good product pictures, and format your eBay listings properly! Don’t take any shortcuts here!
Not only will you learn how everything works like this, it also means you’ll get higher prices for your auctions, which are all counted towards your £1000 TRS goal of course!
How to get 90 sales on eBay, FAST!
Okay, after buying 15-20 items and selling 10+ unwanted items from your house, you should have a feedback score of at least 20 and some 10 sales under your sales history. Which means you only need to get 90 more to qualify for TRS. Why do I say “only 90 more”? Well because in a minute you’ll learn how quickly and easily you can get those missing sales, in just a few weeks – even less if you’re super productive!
How does it work?
The concept here is very simple – buy bundles of used Blu-ray movies off eBay and re-sell each title individually to get those missing 90 sales in! That’s it!
It’s a perfect product for our goal here as:
- It’s a cheap product. Used Blu-rays in bundles cost just £2-£3 each on average and that means that you need only a very small budget to make this work.
- Easy to ship. Blu-rays fit the Royal Mail large letter size which means you can ship them cheaply and easily to your end customer.
- Easy product photography. Anyone can take good pictures of Blu-rays, following my product photography tutorials. You don’t need any special equipment for this, even a smartphone camera will be just fine for these products.
- Huge demand, easy to sell. Blu-rays are very popular which means you won’t have any problems selling them off as long as you stay away from very bad/unpopular titles.
- Problem free (defects wise). A Blu-ray is a Blu-ray, so as long as it’s not scratched and works perfectly, your customers will be happy! And this means the likelihood of you picking up any defects are minimal, compared to working with other products which are much more risky.
All this makes Blu-rays the PERFECT product for our purpose!
DVDs and video games also are good for this system, but there are some downsides:
- DVDs are very, very cheap. You’ll get less sales volume in by re-selling them compared to Blu-rays.
- Lower sell-through rate for DVDs compared to Blu-rays. This means a higher risk of NOT re-selling these items the first time you list them. In many DVD bundles you’ll get old titles no one really wants to buy.
- Video games are perfect price-wise but it’s hard to find large bundles of them. This means it will take you longer to find 90 individual titles to buy and re-sell.
- With video games you have to monitor prices closely as, unlike with Blu-rays, video game prices can vary GREATLY! This means that you will have to carefully calculate the value of the bundle you’re buying, to ensure you don’t make any costly mistakes.
- Video games require more in-depth knowledge about the industry and the products themselves, as you can’t simply buy any game for any console/region. You have to know what you’re buying and how to properly re-sell it.
IF you’re a video games freak and know them inside out, you can definitely use video games for this system!
Otherwise, just stick with Blu-rays as they’re much simpler to work with.
Blu-rays are perfect for this strategy as they sell reliably for between £2-4, which gives you a precise number to target when you’re buying bundles:
As said in the title, this system is all about getting TRS status QUICKLY! And yes, this means some investment on your part. On average you’ll lose £1 on each Blu-ray you buy and re-sell, due to the PayPal and eBay fees as well as the postage costs.
So you’ll most likely lose about £100 in the process but you really should view this as an investment in your business, not a loss! And remember, this is a one-time investment, not a recurring cost. Once you’re a TRS, you’re good to go and can start selling your real, money-making items.
Just don’t forget to check the quality of each Blu-ray you receive. First, visually inspect each disc for scratches. Ideally you also want to actually make sure the disc plays properly by trying it in a Blu-ray player or PlayStation.
In most cases you won’t have any quality issues as most people who sell these “personal collections” of Blu-rays have only watched them once or twice. Still – pay close attention to the listing description where it says what condition the discs are in. Obviously you want to stick with good or mint/as new condition bundles only and avoid any that say the discs are scratched, cases missing and so on.
How to get the missing sales volume?
Now that you have sold your first 90 – 100 Blu-rays, you’ll see in your seller dashboard that you have reached that magic 100 transactions amount. Perfect!
But what to do about sales volume? As by selling Blu-rays you’ll only have £300 max in total sales but as we know you need £1000. So where do we get that missing £700?
First off – do you have any large/valuable, unwanted items in your house? It could be furniture or say a TV or game console that you no longer want/need? Anything that is of high value and can be sold SHOULD be sold to get you closer to that £1k goal. That is if you don’t need that item anymore.
But of course it is quite rare for people to have enough items to sell to make it to £1k, so here comes the 2nd part of this system.
What you do is simply purchase hot selling, high value items (BRAND NEW) from eBay itself, Amazon or any other online shop AND just re-sell them back on eBay!
Here are a few product ideas that work perfectly for this strategy:
- Video game consoles
- Brand new video games (expensive ones for PS4 and Xbox)
- Popular gadgets
- Mobile phones
ANY item that is of high value and in high demand on eBay will work very well for this!
You basically need to find a place online where you can buy these items for the best price (check price comparison sites, hot deal sites etc.) and re-sell them for +/- the same price on eBay, to make up your missing amount for TRS status.
Yes, again – this will cost you another £100 or so in eBay/PayPal fees & postage but that’s how this system works. In total you’ll invest about £200 to get the whole thing done (£100 in Blu-ray sales and £100 in these more expensive items) but you’ll be able to achieve TRS quickly and easily, in a matter of weeks, rather than having to work at it for months!
There are ways to reduce or even eliminate this investment of £200 though, which I will cover in a minute.
To minimise any risks, don’t pick just one expensive item but instead buy and re-sell multiple cheaper items. For example, newly released video games for PS4 are perfect for this. Simply find the best possible price online, and you’ll lose very little when re-selling the game back on eBay as video games prices are highly demand driven and have a consistent average. It’s not like you’ll buy a game for £40 and get only £20. It won’t happen. You’ll get very close to the price you paid, most of the time.
Popular Apple products, like iPads and iPods, are also perfect for this strategy. The only thing with items like these is that there’s a higher risk that you’ll get a scammer buyer as Apple products are very popular amongst scammers. So if you’re not willing to take any such risks, simply stick with cheaper items below the £100 mark and sell multiples of those.
What listing strategy to use?
As you’re selling highly popular, in demand, branded products – you can simply use 7 day auctions with a starting price of £0.99 and free shipping to get the best possible exposure in search results. If your listing & images look good, you have a keyword rich listing title, and end your auction at a reasonable time (evening on a work day), you won’ have any problems achieving the market’s average price.
Make sure you send out all items fully tracked and insured for their full value. This means if you’re selling something more expensive and valuable, like an iPad, you will probably want to use a courier company for delivery, instead of Royal Mail.
For cheaper items, like video games, Royal Mail 1st class signed for is all you need.
IMPORTANT!!! BEFORE you buy any items, make sure you check the sell-through rate on Terapeak, as well as the average price. Filter for auctions and new items only. You should be looking for items with a sell-through rate of at least 70%, ideally 80%+, as this number indicates how likely your item is to sell the first time around.
As for the potential re-sell price: you should of course check the average price on Terapeak BUT that’s only an indicator. You will get a much more accurate number by doing an Advanced Search on eBay and looking at completed listings. Just by checking the first page of results you’ll be able to get a good idea of what price that items sells for, and can use that as your target re-sell amount.
Minimising your investment.
As in title of this post, on average it will cost you £200 to achieve TRS status QUICKLY, following this system – roughly £100 for Blu-rays (loss of £1 per Blu-ray) and then £100 on more expensive items to reach the £1000 target.
These figures can vary of course – for some it will be just £150 and for others £250.
This is an INVESTMENT!!! And you should treat it like that IF you want to achieve TRS status on eBay as quickly as possible.
But what if you can’t invest that amount? Or if you simply don’t want to?
No problem! You can follow this very same system and finish it all without losing a penny. Yes, it will take you more time but it can be done. Here’s how…
In the Blu-ray phase, what you need to do is spend more time researching each title you buy in each bundle to know EXACTLY how much it will cost you AND for what price you can re-sell it. The idea is basically to buy for £2 and re-sell for £3. Or buy for £3 and re-sell for £4. You get my point. You need to buy it for a price that means that even after you factor in your PayPal and eBay fees as well as postage, you make no loss, or even a small amount of profit.
You can find a very handy spreadsheet in my Used Goods Concept guide, which you can use to easily calculate all of these numbers for the bundle you are buying.
Next, when you re-sell each title individually, instead of using a £0.99 auction listing, you want to use a FIXED PRICE listing (BIN) and set your target selling price so it covers all your costs, including shipping (as you still want to offer free shipping to get higher in search results). A 7 day duration is perfect for a Blu-ray listing. If it’s a rare, less popular title, you can use a 10 day listing instead.
By doing this, you:
- Know exactly what price you should spend on each title, BEFORE you buy a bundle;
- Know exactly what price you’ll get when you re-sell each title individually.
If you can’t sell a title the first time, for your target price, simply re-list it with a slightly lower price – say 50p lower for another 7-10 days. Remember, re-listing an un-sold item is free, so this won’t adversely affect your calculations.
And the very same principles apply when buying/selling more expensive items to reach the £1k sales volume. Carefully research each item you buy and list them on eBay as a BIN, with a fixed price that covers all your fees.
With brand new, high value items such as iPads and similar it will be difficult to achieve this as prices for such items are pretty much set in stone so it will be hard to buy them for a price that leaves room for eBay/PayPal/shipping fees when re-selling item.
So what I recommend doing, if you’re struggling, is to actually use my used goods concept for this stage and buy and re-sell more valuable BUT used items! This way you’ll have more room for price differences compared to brand new items.
The same mobile phones, tablets, laptops, game consoles and similar are perfect for this. You just need to look for poorly formatted listings with low prices and then re-sell these items for a slightly higher price, using proper listing techniques, good images and descriptions.
Obviously, this will take more time and effort on your part compared to simply buying bundles blindly and re-listing everything as £0.99 auctions but if time is not an issue for you and you don’t want to spend £200 doing this quickly, this is certainly a workable alternative.
Tips & Tricks to keep in mind!
Now that I have covered the whole strategy in detail, I hope you see how it is possible to reach the TRS requirements on eBay in less than 10 days. Please note – this only means reaching the minimum requirements, not actually getting top rated seller status.
eBay evaluates sellers for TRS ONCE a month, on the 20th of each month, taking into account sales figures for the previous month. So for example, on 20th June eBay will look at all sellers (automatically of course) and look at their sales data ending 31st May. Those who have reached the TRS requirements will be upgraded to TRS straight away.
But they won’t take any June sales data into account, so keep that in mind! It’s only up to the end of the previous month.
I hope this makes sense as I get a lot of questions about this, so if something is still un-clear to you, please leave your questions below in the comments section.
There are some other important things I want you to keep in mind while working on this system:
- TRS is NOT all about 100 transactions worth £1k! Please carefully check the TRS requirements on eBay to fully understand how it works. To be a TRS you also have to provide exceptional customer service, maintain high DSRs (easiest part), keep the number of opened cases low and most importantly – keep your DEFECTS rate below 2%! This is why Blu-rays are so perfect for this strategy – as very rarely will you get any problems as they’re such a straightforward item. As long as you sell discs in good condition, describe them properly, and deliver via RM 1st class, you’ll be fine.
- Sell ONLY to UK/IRL buyers (when working towards TRS on eBay.co.uk)! Remember, you need 100 transactions from UK and IRL buyers to qualify for TRS. International orders won’t count towards this number so when listing items, only make them available to UK and Ireland.To make things simple, stick with UK only to minimise the risk of packages lost in shipping. The same principle will apply to other eBay sites (on eBay.com > only USA, on eBay.com.au > only Australia and so on).
- To become a TRS you need to be a Business seller! This is one thing many people forget – to qualify for TRS, one of the requirements is that you need to have a Business account. It is totally fine to stay as a private seller while you sell these items towards TRS status (to take advantage of the free listings private sellers get, for example) BUT once you achieve your sales targets, you need to upgrade to a Business account to qualify for TRS.
- Leave feedback first. Feedback count doesn’t matter much as all we care about is the number of transactions. But still, a higher feedback rate always helps! So make sure to leave feedback to buyers once they pay you and the item has been dispatched. This increases your chances of getting feedback in return.
- Act like a business from day one! Yes, even while you sell used Blu-rays, you want to be as professional a seller as possible. This means using quality/secure packaging materials, answering all customer messages in a timely manner etc. etc. Not only does this guarantee high Detailed Seller Ratings, you’ll also minimise your chances of getting negative feedback.
- Do whatever it takes to avoid DEFECTS! I have already mentioned this several times throughout this article but I want to emphasise one more time how important it is to keep your defects rate low. You can check my guide on defects here for more information and some tips.Just keep in mind that any negative feedback is a defect. Any case opened with Item Not As Described listed as the reason – a defect. You really need to be on top of things here and don’t make any silly mistakes that will count as a defect, such as cancelling a sale. Check out my defects guide for more details on all of this.
Okay, that’s it for today. I have tried to cover this system in as much detail as possible but I’m sure I have left some things out. So if you have further questions on the best practices or anything else, please feel free to leave them below this post, in the comments section.