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eBay hands badges to top-rated sellers

Fee discounts for the popular

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eBay plans to hand out new discounts and merit badges to big sellers who leave more customers happy.

The online auction house said Monday it's conjuring a new "top-rated seller" status to those given high marks in customer feedback. The status nets celebrated sellers a 20 per cent discount on their final value fees while elevating their auctions in search.

Sellers are currently ranked on eBay using the website's longstanding "PowerSeller" designation, which factors consistent sales volume, customer feedback, policy compliance, shipping time, and shipping and handling charges. PowerSeller benefits also include discounts of up to 20 per cent of final value fees.

The new ranking scheme will roll out in the US, UK, and Germany this October in what appears to be a nod to those who don't push enough product to make the PowerSeller rank. It's also doubtlessly an attempt to reverse fortunes of eBay's steadily shrinking bread-and-butter marketplace business for the upcoming holiday shopping season.

Sellers of tat with a minimum of 100 transactions a year and $3,000 annual sales volume can qualify for top-rated status - assuming they're a beacon of positive of buyer feedback. The honor will be bestowed based on unspecified "further refinements" to eBay's feedback program. We gave eBay a buzz to learn more about the upcoming qualifications, but we've yet to receive a reply (F minus minus minus minus PR call. Telephone conversation not delivered as advertised).

By whatever algorithmagic is employed, the company says it expects to immediately qualify 150,000 eBay Top-Rated sellers in the US alone when the program goes live.

ebay also announced it's coming out with a search visibility tool to provide insight into auction placements in search results, a new "streamlined" resolution process for unpaid item claims, bulk editing tools, and an update to its seller dashboard. ®

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