eBay PowerSeller Status - Gaining/Losing/Keeping FAQ's

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A lot of new eBay PowerSellers are confused about the process by which they lose / keep / upgrade / downgrade their PowerSeller status. The question is asked frequently on the PowerSeller discussion board:  "Help!  I'm about to lose my Power Seller Status!???"

This guide is intended to help Power Sellers understand this process.  For those of you reading this who are not PowerSellers, I apologize if any of this guide sounds completely nuts.

BASIC REQUIREMENTS

At the time of this writing, a PowerSeller needs to meet several basic requirements to qualify for membership in the program:

* Monthly sales average of at least $1,000 per month for the past 3 months. NOTE:  This is the last 3 CALENDAR MONTHS, not a running 90 day average.  More on this later.

* Average at least 4 items sold per month for the past 3 months.  Again, this is CALENDAR months, not a rolling 90 day period.

* Maintain a feedback rating of at least 100, with at least 98% being positive.  NOTE:  For POWERSELLER purposes, your feedback percentage is ALL POSITIVES (not just unique positives) divided by ALL (POSITIVE PLUS NEGATIVE).  Thus, one person who leaves 50 positives counts as 50 positives.  One person who leaves 50 negs counts as 50 negs.  This is why you will sometimes see PowerSellers with less than 98% positive feedback on their profile, where the only positives that count are unique.

* Keep your nose clean - no shooting sprees in the newspaper, no blatant violations of certain eBay policy, etc.  This last requirement is obscure, and falls under the "we'll know it when we see it" category.

WHEN YOUR STATUS IS CALCULATED

PowerSeller status is usually calculated ONE TIME PER MONTH, usually around the 10 to the 15th of the month.  The stats used are from the previous three CALENDAR MONTHS.  For example:

Around April 10, status will be calculated based on performance in January, February and March.

Around May 10, Status will be calculated based on performance in February, March and April.

And so forth.

To see where your current numbers are, go to the "PowerSeller Portal" by clicking on the PowerSeller symbol pretty much anywhere you find it.  When you log in, you should see the sales that eBay is basing your current status on.

IF YOUR STATUS IS IN JEOPARDY

You will not be yanked from the PowerSeller program the second your sales fall short.  You will get an email along the lines of "shape up or ship out.  We'll be checking back on you in a month."  (This is paraphrased).  Then, the next month, around the 10th to 15th, you'll get a follow up email based on the prior 3 months.  Either:  "Congrats!  You dodged a bullet"  or:  "Better luck next time".  Then the next month, the calculations will be performed again, and if you qualify, you can rejoin the program like nothing ever happened.

NOTE:  This also applies to the various LEVELS of PowerSeller status.  A silver powerseller whose sales fall short of the $3,000 average will get a similar email warning them to shape up or become a lowly bronze.  A gold PowerSeller might be demoted to Silver, and so on.

IF YOU HAVE SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

You can put your PowerSeller status "on hold" for a time if you contact the Powers That Be at eBay.  If you're going on an extended vacation or have a family emergency or something along those lines, they can put your PowerSeller status on hold for a time on a case by case basis.

BENEFITS OF BEING A POWERSELLER

PowerSellers get to have an icon next to their name that identifies them as a PowerSeller.  However, some PowerSellers prefer to keep their PowerSeller status under wraps.  PowerSellers can opt to not display the PowerSeller logo next to their name by changing their preferences in My eBay.

PowerSellers also get to participate in the PowerSeller Discussion Board, where a lot of serious eBayers discuss business strategy and customer coping skills.

Certain levels of PowerSeller will get prioritized support at eBay by email or phone.  

In times past, PowerSellers were given certificates and mugs but that practice seems to have been discontinued.  Darn shame too, because it was a nice sturdy mug with an easy to grip handle and a cushioned base.

NOTE:  Different levels of  PowerSeller (bronze, silver, gold, platinum, titanium) have the EXACT SAME ICON.  Only your hairdresser knows for sure what your status actually is.  (Though it's fairly easy to guess with some of the top echelons).

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR STATUS IS IN JEOPARDY:

It's not the end of the world if your PowerSeller status lapses.  You can always be a PowerSeller later.  However, if you are bound and determined to keep your status consider doing one or more of these:

* Sell more stuff - the general, all-purpose cure to all that ails your eBay cash flow.

* Sell other people's stuff - if you don't have enough of your own stuff to sell, you could sell consignment items for a percentage of the proceeds.  Ask around with friends and relatives.  You'd be surprised how much stuff is sitting around, waiting for you to sell it.

* Open an eBay store and stock it full of goodies.  With an eBay store, you can post as much stuff as you like for 2 or 3 cents per item per month.  Post when sales are slow and you'll have plenty of stuff listed when people are buying hand over fist. 

* Let it go.  You can always go on a selling spree later and regain your status.  

I hope this guide has been helpful.  Good luck!
 
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