What Does Top Rated Seller on Ebay Mean?

When you’re perusing the listings, you often see little yellow badges proclaiming that the seller is “top rated”.  What does that mean?

Ebay confers this reward onto sellers who are solid sellers who ship on time, more or less.

Here are my stats today:

Transaction defect rate
3 of 463 transactions

Late shipment rate
12 of 456 transactions

Cases closed without seller resolution
0 of 463 transactions

Tracking uploaded on time and validated
49 of 51 transactions

Except the last one, these stats are measured over one year. Ebay store subscribers are shown these stats to motiviate us to be better sellers.

So, the first thing to notice: I don’t have a lot of transactions.  I haven’t  had that many sales.  I got the Top Rated ribbon only a few months into doing Ebay. So sales volume does not matter.

Let’s see what these other stats mean.

Transaction Defect Rate is the percentage of transactions that had one of two problems:

  • The order was cancelled because the item was out of stock.
  • The buyer complained, and the issue wasn’t resolved.

“Late Shipment Rate” is the number of times that the package didn’t get to the post office on time.  This can happen if you take the package late in the day, and it doesn’t get scanned  until the next day.  If it’s scanned late, but is delivered on time, then it’s not counted against  you.

“Cases closed without seller resolution” – happens when the customer complains to  you, but is unsatisfied, and elevates the problem to involve Ebay, and then Ebay determines that the seller is responsible.

“Tracking upoaded on time” – similar to the Late Shipment Rate, but for only the past month. It records when the item was scanned, not delivered.

To attain Top Rated, and keep it, it mainly requires shipping on time, all the time.

Above and beyond shipping, the listings must be accurate, to reduce the number of complaints, and also so the seller can prevail in the event that Ebay gets involved in a dispute.

Listing Requirements to Get Top Rated

I’m a top rated seller, but to get the “Top Rated Plus” badge to appear alongside the listing, the listing must have the following:

  • A 30 day return policy.
  • 1 day or same day shipping.

So, Does it Mean Anything?


Ever since I found out what it takes to get Top Rated, I favored buying Top Rated Plus listings.  It means that the item will get to me pretty quickly, and the item’s probably exactly as described.


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