Getting a five star customer rating as an online seller

Reputation counts on online marketplaces. We look at how to avoid problems and get top seller ratings from your customers.

Online marketplaces are more popular than ever. So, whether you're selling on giants like eBay and Amazon, or on Etsy and Not On The High Street, it's important to get it right. 

According to research, online marketplace shoppers spend an average of £58 per month*.

That makes online marketplaces very competitive. It also means customer ratings rule. If your products or services fall short in any way, customers will go elsewhere. They might also leave you negative feedback, and that could seriously harm your business. 


How much marketplace shoppers spend on average per month on marketplaces

Delivery Matters Online Marketplaces 2017
Delivery Matters 2017 report cover

So, how can you make sure this doesn’t happen? And how do you get a great reputation as a marketplace seller?

Follow our top five points to make sure you become a top seller.

1. Trust is everything

It’s essential to make the most of positive customer reviews and seller ratings. Amazon reviews and eBay feedback reassure customers and act as word of mouth recommendations. In fact, a good seller rating can convince customers to buy your products instead of someone else’s. They may even nudge undecided shoppers into buying.

So it's worth taking the time to build up your seller ratings. And here, proof is important. The more proof you have, the more powerful it becomes. For example, a 4-star rating based on 250 reviews has more credibility than a 4.5 star rating based on 8 reviews.

In general, more reviews look better and are more convincing. They’ll also boost your visibility when someone searches for your product on Amazon, eBay or your chosen marketplace.

2. Building your reputation

Start by buying and selling some low value items. This will get you used to how the marketplace works. You can also see how other sellers do things and start collecting some feedback.

The quicker you can build up feedback the better. Potential customers are generally reassured by the fact people have already bought things from you. Once you become more established as a trusted seller, people will also be more comfortable buying higher value items from you.

Above all, make sure you give detailed and accurate descriptions. If you’re selling used items, always highlight any defects or damage. This lets customers know you’re trustworthy, and makes them more likely to buy. It might encourage them to leave positive feedback too.

You should add great photos. Clear, high quality images will make your listing look more professional. They’ll also let people see exactly what they’re getting. That, in turn, will make buyers want to watch it, buy it, or click to see your other items.

Finally, try to respond to customer emails as quickly, politely and thoroughly as possible. Being open and friendly could be the difference between a good rating and a great one.

Basically, be the seller you would want to buy from – professional, communicative, honest and trustworthy. No one wants to buy from someone who doesn’t care about his or her customer.

Customer feedback and reputation is everything. Using Royal Mail and the 48 service, our feedback levels have hit all-time highs.

David, Deciem
Logo for Deciem - The abnormal beauty company

3. Do you offer a range of delivery options?

Fast, efficient delivery is one of the most common reasons for positive feedback, so it pays to get it right. When buying items from online marketplace sellers, 90% of shoppers say the delivery cost is an important factor in their decision*.

Try to offer a range of convenient delivery options, from a premium guaranteed service to a low-cost option. And always be upfront about delivery costs. If you only reveal this information at the checkout, you risk frustrating your customers. They might even abandon their shopping carts and look elsewhere.

You could also include a professionally printed, handwritten compliments slip inside the parcel. This could thank your customer for their business and ask them to email you if they have any questions. You could even ask for positive feedback or a review at this stage too.

Finally, be sure to use a trusted delivery partner. Because once that parcel leaves your premises, your reputation is in their hands.

See our delivery options

4. Many happy returns

Whether it’s shoes that don’t fit or a simple change of mind, returns are inevitable. How you handle them is crucial to the success of your business. According to research, 62% of marketplace shoppers would be unlikely to shop again with a retailer if they had a difficult returns experience. A sizeable 59% also say the returns experience will impact the rating they give the seller*.

In contrast, a positive returns experience makes customers more likely to shop with you again. So, if you want to get positive feedback and increase customer loyalty, make the returns process as inexpensive and painless as possible.

Offer returns


The number of online marketplace sellers who say the returns experience impacts their feedback.

Delivery Matters Online Marketplaces 2017
Did you know? The easier it is for shoppers to return an item, the more likely they are to trust the seller and buy from them again.

5. 5-star service

In the end, there’s no great secret to earning a 5-star reputation as a marketplace seller: you simply have to provide a 5-star service.

From the way you present your sale items to the speed you despatch orders, set yourself high standards in everything you do. Put the customer first, and the positive feedback will follow.

Remember too that getting a 5-star reputation is only the beginning. Maintaining it is the real challenge, so you should constantly track your performance and processes and try to improve them. And if problems do arise – as they inevitably will – be sure to address them promptly and thoroughly. After all, you’re only as good as your last review.


*Delivery Matters Online Marketplaces 2017

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