One of the first steps to eBay success that we discuss in my personal coaching program, 60 Day Blueprint, is getting TRS status — that coveted Top Rated Seller status that gets sellers so many benefits you can’t get any other way.
It’s no secret that to make your eBay business a success, you have to play by Best Match rules, and TRS status plays huge role in that.
If you work in any competitive niche, you absolutely must try to reach and maintain TRS status. Otherwise, your listings will get lost in dozens of search results pages.
How many people, do you think, really browse past the first few pages? Not that many I’m afraid. Some might look at the first five. In fact, though, most people will check only listings on page one!
So what exactly is the TRS program all about? Let me first explain a bit about the Power Seller program.
Qualifying For The First Step Toward TRS Status
Basically, TRS status is the next level up from the Power Seller program. Looking at the TRS requirements carefully, you’ll see that it’s basically the Bronze Power Seller level by sales volume PLUS an exceptional customer service history.
Here’s what you need to become a Bronze Power Seller on eBay UK:
To meet basic requirements, you must:
- be registered as a BUSINESS seller on eBay.co.uk or eBay.ie
- have 100 feedbacks, 98 percent or more positive (from global transactions)
- have been an active member for 90 days
- have an account is in good financial standing
- have no policy breaches in the preceding 90 days
If you meet all of these requirements, you also have to fulfill these additional requirements:
- have a minimum of 100 transactions to UK and IE buyers per 12 month period
- have minimum sales of £1000 per 12 months (to UK and IE buyers)
- have an average DSR (Detailed Ratings Score) of 4.60 or greater
We’ll get into the exact steps you need to take to achieve these numbers later in the post.
But it doesn’t end there! You have to maintain high quality customer service and keep an eye on your DSR numbers. To qualify as a Power Seller, you can have only the following percentage or number of 1 or 2 star ratings:
- Item as described: Max 1 percent or 3
- Communication: Max 2 percent or 3
- Dispatch Time: Max 2 percent or 3
- P&P charges: Max 2 percent or 3
Here are a few tips on maintaining your Power Seller status:
Item as described – Create quality listings with unique descriptions written by you. Always state an item’s REAL condition in the listing itself. Don’t try to hide that information! Take your own product pictures — and show several of them. Be honest and upfront about any defects if you’re selling a used item. Make sure to pack items properly so no damage occurs during shipping.
Communication – Send out auto e-mails using Selling Manager Pro when a listing sells, when you receive payment and when the item is dispatched. Add tracking number to each sale via PayPal. (PayPal will send an email to the buyer with tracking information.) Reply to all customer emails within 24 hours during the business week or sooner if possible. (To keep up, check your messages and reply to them three times a day — in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening. If there are any problems, do whatever it takes to please your customer.
Dispatch Time – Obviously, you should aim to dispatch orders the same day or the next day at the latest. (When you add tracking information to PayPal, the customer will be informed that you have dispatched the item.) Since people often think that the dispatch time rating is related to shipping fees and time, always try to use first class if it’s cost effective. For larger items, use courier, of course.
P&P charges – This is usually the biggest problem. People are so used to free shipping now that if you can, you should offer free shipping. When you do this, you automatically receive 5 stars for P&P charges. And not only that, your listings get that brand new, shiny Fast ‘N Free badge and higher positions in search results — but more on that later.
This is all pretty much common sense. Put simply, do whatever it takes to please your eBay customers by offering top notch customer service. If you do, your DSR shouldn’t fall below the 4.90 average.
But that’s still not all! eBay also takes into account the number of opened cases against you as a seller:
- Maximum number of opened cases: 1 percent or 3
- Maximum number of opened cases without seller resolution: 0.3 percent or 2
This means you simply must play by the rules! Don’t sell fakes, prohibited items or get in trouble in any way. And if a disgruntled customers opens a case against you anyway, resolve it by doing whatever it takes to satisfy them — a refund, an apology or whatever.
But Haven’t Gained Much Yet
So far, we’ve been talking about becoming a Bronze Power Seller. But what advantages does this status gives you?
- Power Seller badge
- Priority customer support
- Access to the Power Seller discussion board
So not that much, really. The power seller programme is really a bit useless without that magic TRS status.
When you become a Top Rated Seller, however, you get lots of important benefits, including:
- Better search result ranking (CRUCIAL!),
- Increased conversion rates because people trust TRS more than other sellers,
- Discount on Final Value Fees from 10 percent to 20 percent based on your Power Seller level.
As you can see, having TRS status really helps your eBay business. Especially important is the TRS role in the Best Match algorithm. In competitive niches it’s almost impossible to get on the first page of search results without having TRS status.
Now You’re Ready For TRS Status
So what are the requirements to become a TRS?
The basic requirements are the same that are required to become a Bronze Power Seller, but the customer satisfaction rules for TRS are even stricter:
Max number of low (1 or 2 star) ratings in your DSR:
- Item as described: Max 0.5 percent or 2
- Communication: Max 0.5 percent or 2
- Dispatch time: Max 0.5 percent or 2
- P&P charges: Max 0.5 percent or 2
Max number of cases:
- Opened cases: 0.5 percent or 2
- Closed cases without seller resolution: 0.3 percent or 2
No, it’s not easy, but it’s doable — obviously, since there are thousands of Top Rated Sellers on eBay. The biggest obstacle is the DSR, of course, because you can only have one low (1 or 2 star) DSR score per 200 transactions. This means that if you get two low ratings per 200 transactions, you loose your TRS status.
Here’s a final overview on what requirements you have to meet to qualify for a Top Rated Seller status:
Luckily, there’s a flaw in eBay’s system that you can take advantage of to get your TRS status quickly and easily. While eBay requires £1000 in sales and 100 transactions in the last 12 months, it doesn’t require any particular average sale value. This means you can get 99 transactions for a quid each and then one sale for £901. That totals 100 transactions and £1000 in sales, so you get your TRS status.
Use this to your advantage and start working on getting sales!
Begin by checking your sellers dashboard to see where you stand now, noting how much in sales and how many transactions you’re short of to become a TRS.
Next, create your action plan:
- How many more pounds in sales do you need to reach £1000?
- How many more transactions do you need to reach 100?
Then get moving. Remember, this data is taken from last 12 months on a rolling basis. So it’s always a good idea to get some extra sales in to cover any numbers you’ll be losing after a month or two — depending on how fast you’ll work on this.
Finding Things To Sell
Start with unwanted items from your home. They can be anything — books, toys, electronics, mobile phones and so on. Just list everything you can part with as auctions with low starting bids. You may have no idea on how many items you have sitting around that you can sell and not miss. So why not use your junk to reach TRS status AND make some extra money too?
Next, you have to decide on whether you’ll be making 100 small sales and one bigger one OR average it out and selling about 100 items for an average sale price of 10 quid. If, say, you have a car you want to sell, do that. Then sell 100 very cheap items and one or two more expensive ones.
If you don’t have anything expensive in your house to sell off, follow these strategies:
Buy used media off eBay and Amazon and resell it on eBay. Books, DVDs, video games (perfect), Blu Ray discs and audio CDs are all items that can easily be sold on eBay for the same price you purchased them for. Video games are very good sellers. If you list a used, popular video game on eBay with a starting price of £0.99, you’ll get enough bids to raise the price and sell it for the same price you paid for it or perhaps even more. When you buy these items, obviously try to find the cheapest deals possible. One way to do that is to buy bundles and resell items individually.
Buy sale items from eBay, Amazon and other online retailers and sell them on eBay. The key to success with this strategy is to buy a bit BELOW average selling price on eBay so it’s easy to sell an item back for the same price or an even higher one. Use Terapeak to research the average price an item is selling for. Only items with HIGH sell-through rates (50 to 60 percent or higher) are suitable for this strategy.
Here’s a typical example:
Buy sale items from offline shops, Poundland, market stalls, charity shops and similar places known to offer good prices. You may not believe it, but PoundLand alone can be used perfectly! One of my recent 60DBP clients purchased stock from PoundLand and sold it on eBay to get his TRS status — and he even made a profit doing it!
Concentrate on small items to get 100 sales and then on a few higher-priced goods to reach £2000 in sales.
If you hit 100 transactions but are short of volume — say, £500 pounds — simply purchase some hot, more expensive electronics from Amazon or eBay. Consider things like video game consoles, mobile phones and tablets. You’ll only need a few of them to reach your £1000 target.
Remember, during this phase, your focus should NOT be on making money! It’s all about getting those 100 transactions and £1k in sales to qualify for TRS status! Once you’re a TRS, you can start selling whatever you want, making money at your fullest potential because those items will be featured high in the search results — thanks to this foundation work.
Still, I have seen on many occasions that people make extra money while going down this route. If you choose to work with used items, it’s VERY possible to actually make money while doing this. That’s money you’ll be able to invest in your real, profit-generating items. Here’s a quick example on how it works:
Remember, it’s not only about sales numbers and volume though. Customer service is KEY! Follow my advice on keeping DSR high and provide exceptional customer support, then you’ll do fine.
eBay evaluates sellers for TRS status every month on the 20th, taking into account last month’s data. For example, to qualify as a TRS on 20th December, you have to reach 100 transactions and £1000 in sales by the end of November.
If you’re active and don’t waste much time, it’s very possible to become a TRS in one month — or less than 30 days, actually. I have seen this happen several times with my 60DBP students so I’m sure you can do the same.
Lastly, eBay doesn’t give you TRS for LIFE! Each month, your account is evaluated again, so you must keep providing exceptional customer support and maintain your record of 100 transactions and £1000 in sales in the last 12 months ALL THE TIME!
Even if you lose TRS one month, you can again qualify for it the next month — if you meet all the requirements.
That means that even if you slip up and lose what you’ve worked so hard to gain, the increased prestige, buyer confidence and ranking boost that comes with Top Rated Seller status could be just days away.