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eBay to the Max: How to Become a PowerSeller, Trading Assistant, and Trading Post Owner

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eBay developed the PowerSeller program to recognize exemplary sellers. The PowerSeller program gives you extra credibility in the eBay community itself. Buyers often have more confidence in PowerSellers, reasoning correctly that experience counts. This chapter explains the many perks of being a PowerSeller, and how to become one.
This chapter is from the book

In this Chapter

  • What's a PowerSeller?

  • What's a Trading Assistant?

  • What's a Trading Post?

  • To Franchise or Not?

eBay developed the PowerSeller program to recognize exemplary sellers. This does several things. First and foremost, the program is designed to make you feel good about yourself and about your relationship with eBay. Heck, everybody likes recognition. It's human nature.

What’s a PowerSeller?

The PowerSeller program gives you extra credibility in the eBay community itself. Buyers often have more confidence in PowerSellers, reasoning correctly that experience counts. Given a choice between buying similar items from a PowerSeller or an occasional seller, especially a part-time seller without much feedback, most buyers will go with the PowerSeller. So, PowerSeller status can mean extra money in your pocket and membership in the PowerSeller program is free.

We’ll also look at some other PowerSeller perks in this chapter. There are many.

Becoming a PowerSeller

People know that you are a PowerSeller because a special logo like the one in Figure 3.1 appears in your listings and next to your eBay name on search results.

Figure 3.1

Figure 3.1 The eBay PowerSeller logo shows others that you know your stuff.

The minimum entry level for eBay PowerSeller status requires you to consistently sell at least $1,000 per month on eBay. You must do this for three consecutive months to be recognized as a PowerSeller, and then you must continue at this rate or above to maintain your PowerSeller standing.

PowerSeller status is not just about how much you sell, however. Experience is another element. You must have been selling successfully for at least 90 days. Your account must be in good standing, which is to say, you must pay your eBay bill on time, not be suspended for eBay policy violations, and so on.

Quoting eBay here, you need to

"Comply with all eBay listing and marketplace policies, and uphold eBay community values, including honesty, timeliness, and mutual respect."

You must also achieve and maintain an acceptable level of positive feedback. Currently, eBay requires a minimum of 100 feedback entries for PowerSeller status, of which 98% or more must be positive. Which is to say if you have only 100 feedback entries, no more than two can be negative. If you have 1,000 feedback entries, up to 20 negatives are acceptable, and so on.

PowerSeller Levels

There are PowerSellers, and then there are PowerSellers. eBay ranks us by the monthly gross sales volume achieved, and assigns us to one of five tiers shown in Table 3.1.

Table 3.1 PowerSeller Ranking

Level

Monthly Sales

Priority Support

Toll Free Phone

Account Manager

Bronze

$1,000

Yes

 

 

Silver

$3,000

Yes

Yes

 

Gold

$10,000

Yes

Yes

Yes

Platinum

$25,000

Yes

Yes

Yes

Titanium

$150,000

Yes

Yes

Yes


Advancing to Higher PowerSeller Levels

To advance to higher PowerSeller levels you will need to continue to comply with all of the PowerSeller program criteria. It takes three consecutive months at a new level of performance to be assigned to the next tier. So, for example, a Bronze PowerSeller will need to sell $3,000 or more each month for three months to become a Silver PowerSeller, Silvers need to sell $10,000 or more for three months to become Gold sellers, and so on.

Confirm that you have opted-in to receive advanced selling communications for PowerSellers by mail, email, and telephone. Do this by visiting the Notification Preferences area of your My eBay web page. If you have done this, eBay will automatically notify and congratulate you via email when you reach the next tier.

What If Your Sales Slip?

If your selling success falls below the level for your current tier (Gold, Silver, and so on), you will automatically receive an alert email. You will have 30 days to bring your account back into compliance. If, after the 30-day grace period, your account still falls below the criteria, your status as a PowerSeller might be downgraded to the appropriate new tier, or if you are selling less than $1,000 monthly your PowerSeller status might be revoked. You can get back in the club by reaching the necessary sales goals in the future.

PowerSeller Recognition

As a new PowerSeller you will receive a welcome kit including an official certificate of achievement from the CEO. The kit also contains essential advanced selling tips.

As mentioned earlier, when you achieve PowerSeller status the PowerSeller icon will appear next to your user ID as shown in Figure 3.2.

In addition to the automatically inserted logo next to your name, you are permitted to manually insert larger versions in your item listings and on your About Me web pages.

Figure 3.2

Figure 3.2 The PowerSeller logo will appear next to your ID in listings.

Within specific guidelines it also is possible to use the PowerSeller logo on letterhead and business card templates, in advertising, and in other customer communications. You do need to follow the correct procedures, however, and in some cases obtain eBay’s prior permission. A great way to study up on the latest rules and regulations is to visit eBay’s Help Search page and type logo use into the search field. You will get results similar to those shown in Figure 3.3.

PowerSeller Priority Help

eBay provides PowerSellers with priority help. The level of help varies for the different tiers. The following sections provide an overview of the various help plans and levels.

Prioritized Email Support

All PowerSellers receive priority General email support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Most Trust and Safety questions will be answered within 36 hours. Some examples of PowerSeller email support include the following:

  • Requesting removal of specific feedback

  • Reporting a listing violation

  • Asking why your listing was ended early

  • Reporting excessive or disruptive bids

  • Reporting other Trust and Safety issues

  • Asking general questions

  • Asking billing questions

Figure 3.3

Figure 3.3 Search eBay’s help for the latest logo use regulations.

Toll Free General Phone Support

Toll free general phone support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Titanium sellers. There’s a separate number for Trust and Safety issues (such as feedback removal, non-paying bidder, ended listings, or suspensions). It’s answered 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday.

Your Own PowerSeller Rep

What a godsend these folks are. Imagine having someone at eBay who will pick up the phone when you call, probably recognize you by name, and will then either answer your questions or find someone who can! PowerSeller reps work for Gold, Platinum, and Titanium sellers only. What a perk!

PowerSeller Swag

And of course there are PowerSeller shirts, and caps, and business card holders, and who knows what all (see Figure 3.4). PowerSeller collectibles should be an eBay category. In fact, if you are a PowerSeller and you attend one of eBay’s eBay Live events, you will come home with tons of PowerSeller swag.

Figure 3.4

Figure 3.4 PowerSellers have their own shirts, caps, and other identifiers.

The PowerSeller Community

Naturally, PowerSellers have their own subculture within eBay. We get an exclusive PowerSeller-only discussion board that most folks use to trade tips, techniques, best practices, and so on. You will also find some sniveling there, as on any discussion board, but generally the folks are friendly, helpful, and encouraging.

You can also opt into a monthly PowerUp! email newsletter discussing the latest programs, special promotions, and advanced selling education. A quarterly, printed PowerUp! newsletter will be sent to you in the mail.

Reseller Marketplace

As this book is being written eBay is establishing a new feature for PowerSellers only called the Reseller Marketplace (see Figure 3.5). It will be a source of wholesale items for you to purchase and resell. The Reseller Marketplace is open to all eBay PowerSellers. You need to register to use the Reseller Marketplace.

Other PowerSeller Benefits

Additional PowerSeller benefits are discussed in detail in Chapter 29, "eBay as a Partner," but here’s a peek at some of the other help you get from eBay as a PowerSeller:

  • eBay Co-op advertising—reimbursement for your advertising efforts

  • eBay Keyword ads—free banner ads up to $200/quarter

  • Health insurance solutions for PowerSellers and their employees

  • Invitations to participate in eBay events, online seminars, and more

  • Additional special values from eBay service providers

Figure 3.5

Figure 3.5 The new Reseller Marketplace lets PowerSellers purchase discounted bulk lots for resale.

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