This is one of those posts that will probably tick some people off but I have a real issue with this train of complaint.
I see this all over the blogs and even in listing texts. Some people feel that the new quality standards (which is what the DSR ratings basically are) are unfair to hobby sellers. Now, I agree that DSRs are set up stupidly (Reasonable vs very reasonable on a charge we have no control over? Don’t get me started.) but, for all their issues, as long as you are providing a reasonably good service, you should have nothing to worry about from DSRs.
I’m sorry but this is a fact. You have to be pretty terrible to have below a 4 in anything.
I really got into it was a so called “hobby seller” over this issue a few days ago. This seller sold on eBay “for fun” and she was convinced it was terribly unfair that DSRs were ruining her search ranking. Now, her DSRs were truly terrible and nearly all were for slow shipping time and description as she only ships once a week and writes pathetic 2 word descriptions with bad pics. She whined on and on about how unfair it was but when I suggested stepping up her game a little she balked. It was, after all, just her hobby. It was like she was wearing her “hobby” status as a badge of laziness that said she didn’t have to work as hard as a “real” seller.
To a buyer, there is no real seller vs hobby seller. That is the point of DSRs. To warn buyers who they are going to get good service from and who they aren’t. You may want to run a bare minimum eBay business. But I have a right to know that ahead of time and avoid you because of it. If you are going to take weeks to mail my package until you get around to going to the post office, I am going to go with the seller that will mail it tomorrow, no questions asked.
That isn’t unfair to you as a seller. It would be unfair to me as a buyer if I WASN’T warned about how crappy you are.
Because, seriously, if you cannot meet that bare minimum of quality to keep your DSRs up, you aren’t good enough to do this hobby.
There is no hobby that doesn’t have some kind of responsibility or cost.
If your hobby was racing, you would have to show up on time for the race. Yes, you might have to rush a little to get there on time, fixing your car would cost money and you would have to give up the time to actually run the race.
If your hobby was model airplanes you would need to make time to put together the model and deal with the time it takes for the glue to dry.
So why is having eBay as your hobby the only hobby where it is not supposed to inconvenience you in any way? If your hobby is eBay, then getting your items shipped quickly, packing well, taking good pictures, answering emails, etc are a part of the hobby. If you cannot meet these simple requirements of the hobby then, guess what, you cannot do the hobby and DSRs will issue that smackdown.
When I was in college, I was what you could call a hobby seller. I sold when I could find time to list and it was often only a few items a month unless I was on break because I had classes and a ton of work. But during my “hobby” phase I didn’t totally slack off. In fact, when I was only selling a handful of items, it was even easier to give good service because I was only mailing 1 or 2 packages instead of hundreds, answering only a few emails, etc.
My point is that being a part time, hobby or casual seller doesn’t have to mean bad seller. But, for a lot of people, it does because they think that the badge of part time, hobby or casual gives them license to give poor service. As long as you can give full time attention to your few items on your part time schedule, there should be no reason this affects you.
As a buyer, it makes me happy that eBay is holding everyone to the same quality standards and if you can’t stand the proverbial heat, get out of the proverbial kitchen.
You can totally do eBay as a hobby but, like all hobbies, it’s going to take a little work to keep up.
I have a very low tolerance for whiners this week, can you tell? 😉