By Marsha Collier

Consider this very important reason to be recognized on eBay: eBay’s Best Match search algorithm weighs every item and every seller. Attaining recognition as a seller who is in business seriously makes a difference in how prominently your listings are displayed on eBay.

Joining PowerSeller ranks

The ranks of PowerSellers have five levels of membership, depending on your monthly sales. Each PowerSeller tier gives the seller more privileges from eBay. One of the most valuable benefits is that when an issue needs to be addressed with eBay, PowerSellers can access priority customer-service support.

PowerSeller Tier Sales Volume Requirements

Tier Annual GMS ($) Transactions
Bronze $1,000 or 100
Silver $3,000 or 300
Gold $10,000 or 1,000
Platinum $25,000 or 2,500 items
Titanium $150,000 or 15,000 items

To become a PowerSeller on eBay, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Be an active eBay member for at least 90 days.
  • Sell a minimum of $1000 in sales and 100 transactions, over the past 12 months.
  • Buyer Protection cases must have no more than 0.30 percent of transactions result in the eBay Money Back Guarantee and PayPal Purchase Protection cases closed without seller resolution.
  • Maintain at least a 98 feedback percentage in the past 12 months.
  • Keep your eBay account current.
  • Comply with all eBay policies. To obtain or keep PowerSeller status, you must not exceed the following:
    • Bronze level: 4 violations in a 90-day period
    • Silver/Gold levels: 5 violations in a 90-day period
    • Platinum level: 6 violations in a 90-day period
    • Titanium level: 7 violations in a 90-day period
  • Maintain a minimum rating of 4.5 or higher for the past 12 months in all four Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs). Occurrences of 1s and 2s on DSRs with U.S. buyers may not exceed the following rates and counts:
    • Items as described: 3 percent and a count of 3
    • Communication: 4 percent and a count of 4
    • Shipping time: 4 percent and a count of 4
    • Shipping & handling charges: 4 percent and a count of 4
  • Run your business by upholding eBay’s community values (see the earlier sidebar).

PowerSeller eligibility is reviewed every three months. You can track your progress on your Seller Dashboard.

Becoming a Top Rated Seller

Becoming a PowerSeller is good, but Top Rated Seller status gives you better ranking in searches and more benefits (read on). Top Rated status is reviewed monthly. As a Top Rated Seller, your Feedback profile page will show your ranking.

eBay top-rated seller feedback
Feedback profile page of a Top Rated Seller.

To become a Top Rated Seller on eBay, fulfill the following requirements:

  • Be an active eBay member for at least 90 days.
  • Complete 100 or more transactions with U.S. buyers within the past year.
  • Sell a minimum of $3,000 in annual sales to U.S. buyers.
  • Buyer Protection cases must be less than .5 percent of your total number of transactions with U.S. buyers.
  • Maintain at least a 98 feedback percentage.
  • Keep your eBay account current and comply with all eBay policies.
  • You must have less than 3 percent of your transactions show late shipping.
  • Your defect rate is the percentage of your transactions that close with some violation of the eBay Money Back Guarantee or the PayPal Purchase Protection. No more than .5 percent of your transactions may have one or more defects.
  • Tracking numbers must be uploaded to eBay/PayPal for at least 95 percent of your transactions within your promised Handling Time.
  • 1 Business Day Handling Time. Handling time is measured in business days (Monday through Friday). You must upload tracking information no later than 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Time the next day. If purchases are made on weekends, tracking must be uploaded Monday before 11:59:29 p.m. Pacific Time.

All the above shipping requirements are based on whether your carrier (USPS, FedEx, or UPS) has scanned the package into its system. Sometimes the USPS is lax in this regard. Be sure to ask the person receiving your package to scan it. You can stand there and watch them. Really, it matters. eBay receives this electronic information from the post office and bases your ratings on the scan times and dates.

Top Rated Seller eligibility is reviewed every three months. You can track your progress on your Seller Dashboard.

Getting highlighted on eBay: Top Rated Plus

To align with evolving consumer expectations, eBay updated the Top Rated Seller status to “Plus.” These are the only sellers that receive a badge; the Top Rated Plus seal appears on all these seller’s listings.

Top Rated Seller Plus eBay
The eBay Top Rated Seller Plus badge appears in item search results.

Also, on the Feedback profile page of all Top Rated Sellers, this recognition is displayed: “Top Rated: Seller with highest buyer ratings.”

It isn’t a very big jump to attain “Plus” status after you’re a Top Rated Seller. After you meet the Top Rated Seller requirements, you have to meet only these two additional requirements:

  • One-day handling: Include one-day handling in your listings (meaning you ship within one day of purchase) and post the tracking.
  • Money-back return policy: Offer a money back, 30-day (or longer) return policy.

Many sellers find these last two requirements too onerous and don’t even attempt Top Rated Plus status. That’s a bit short sighted. Read on to find out about a benefit that affects your bottom line.