The vaulted PowerSeller status.
It’s the envy of eBayers, especially new ones. If only they had enough sales to reach such a high platform, all would then be well.
How much emphasis should be put on becoming a PowerSeller? Is such a status overrated? Possibly.
In spite of possibly being overrated, being a PowerSeller certainly gives you slight advantage over sellers who are not PowerSellers. With millions of sellers on eBay, a slight advantage can be huge!
The Obvious Advantage to a PowerSeller Rating
Truly, there is only one obvious advantage to being a PowerSeller and that is buyers, probably the majority of them, perceive you as being slightly more solid and perhaps more reliable than a seller with your same feedback score who isn't a PowerSeller. That added trust is certainly something worth considering.
When you reach PowerSeller status you have the option of displaying or not displaying in your auctions the fact that you’re a PowerSeller. Some might choose not to display the status thinking buyers might consider them too high of a volume seller to provide personal service and support. That might have some validity but for most sellers, including us, we certainly prefer to list our auctions with our PowerSeller status displayed. The slight trust we gain from it is nice.
A Seller Reaches PowerSeller Status the Wrong Way
Don’t overdo the trust. We once had a friend who asked us about our PowerSeller status. He was new on eBay. We told him such a status helped develop trust and might result in slightly higher bids.
Here is what he did for the next 3 months: He bought gift cards on eBay then resold them, typically at break-even and often at a slight loss. He did this to ensure that he reached PowerSeller status in 3 months!
We didn’t realize he was doing this until well into his third month. He said the added sales once he reached PowerSeller would be worth the effort. We said it would not be worth the effort.
He did reach PowerSeller. He was there for 2 months exactly. He didn’t sell anything those 2 months. He didn’t know that if one doesn’t continue to sell at PowerSeller levels then one loses the status. He figured he had made it and once he finally got around to selling again on eBay then his sales would skyrocket because of his status. He was devastated when we told him he was going to lose his PowerSeller rating as soon as his average monthly sales dropped below the minimum threshold.
Don’t elevate the extremely slight advantage of being a PowerSeller to make it more than it’s worth. The status isn’t worth much. It's a real but slight trust advantage.
Why Reaching PowerSeller Status is a Good Thing But Not Because of the Status Itself
There should be an obvious advantage to reaching PowerSeller and it’s not the status itself. It’s that you successfully sold a high enough level to reach one of the PowerSeller tiers. That means you’re doing something right (as long as you haven’t taken a loss to get there as our friend so wrongfully and pitifully did)!
Two other PowerSeller advantages exist that you don’t hear much about. You get priority customer service when you have a problem. Without PowerSeller status, calling or emailing eBay for help puts you down on the waiting queue. Also, eBay gives PowerSellers some free eBay Keyword advertising dollars. (See Chapter 9, “Consider Investing in eBay Keywords,” in Jayne Perry’s book I Married an eBay Maniac for extremely helpful details about eBay’s keyword advertising program.)
The higher your PowerSeller status is, the faster you get eBay's customer support and the more keyword ad money eBay gives you.
The PowerSeller Levels
PowerSeller status is free and requires the following:
- You’ve been an active eBayer for at least 90 days
- You’ve maintained an average of at least $1,000 in sales per months for 3 consecutive months
- You’ve received at least 100 feedbacks with at least a 98% positive rating
- Your eBay account is in good standing (which is eBay codetalk for: you pay our eBay fees on time!)
The 5 tiers or PowerSeller levels are:
- Bronze: You must sell an average of $1,000 per month for 3 consecutive months
- Silver: Your sales must average $3,000 over those 3 months.
- Gold: $10,000
- Platinum: $25,000
- Titanium: $150,000
If our sources are correct, over 150 sellers now have the Titanium status. That would be nice, wouldn’t it?