If you’ve ever shopped for something on eBay, you may have noticed that to the right of the sellers’ name in parentheses, is a number and a coloured star. And if you hover over the star, you’ll see it displays “feedback score: (a number)”. But how are the stars assigned? What relationship do they have to a seller’s feedback score? And how you work your way to the zenith, a silver shooting star? FeedbackExpress has everything you need to know about eBay’s star system.

The eBay Star System in a Nutshell

The stars — and what colour they are — beside a seller’s name indicate their eBay feedback score. Every time a buyer leaves positive feedback on your page, you get one point that’s added to your cumulative feedback score.

eBay stars

However, if they leave you negative feedback, a point gets taken away from your overall total. If their feedback is smack dab in the middle, you neither get awarded points or have them taken away.

Each feedback score is assigned a type and colour of star. A plain yellow star is the lowest and indicates a feedback score of 10 to 49. Once you step into the five-digit threshold with 10,000 or more points, the star becomes a shooting one. The very best type of star you can get is a silver shooting star, which indicates a feedback score of 1,000,000 or higher.

Because the eBay star rating system takes both positive and negative feedback into account, think of the star as a symbol that says, “The number of good reviews minus the number of bad ones.”

Your eBay Star Isn’t a Permanent Thing

You’re also not locked into your star type and colour if you get too many negative reviews. For example, if you’ve just climbed to a turquoise star (100 to 499 feedback score) but just got hit with several 1- or 2-star reviews, you’ll fall down to the blue star level (50 to 99 feedback score).

It’s an ever-shifting system where your star foothold is never guaranteed and always dependent on how many buyers leave you positive reviews.

What’s Required to Jump From One Star to Another

As you accumulate more reviews and climb into different star categories, it becomes harder and harder to reach the next level. The distances between each star as your feedback score goes up gets bigger and requires more positive reviews.

For example, the yellow star level indicates a net total of 10 to 49 positive reviews. Once you hit 10, you only need 39 more points to get to the blue star level (50 to 99). But once you’re there, you need 49 more points to get to the next level, a turquoise star. The next two stars require 499 points, but then you’re faced with a huge leap of 10 times as many points (4,999) for the next two.

Becoming an eBay Super Star

If you can manage to rock it as a seller and get to 10,000 points on your feedback score, your star gets speed lines that turn it into a shooting star. Only the very best sellers get shooting stars, as they’re an indication of very high sales volume combined with good products and buying-selling experiences.

Sellers with shooting stars beside their name and feedback score generally translate to sellers you can trust. They’ve been selling for long enough and to enough people that they usually have the process down pat, with few bumps or mistakes along the way.

However, that’s not an absolute correlation, as many smaller sellers provide great experiences, too. While the bigger sellers who’ve been around for longer can generally provide a faster fulfillment experience, they can tend to group their buyers into categories instead of the individuals that they are.

Smaller retailers, on the other hand, tend to have the luxury of more time to spend on customer support, which can mean you have a more personalized shopping experience. Think of the differences you might have experienced in shopping at a giant grocery store versus your mom-and-pop corner market.

The former has endless racks of stuff that tends to look the same and cashiers probably won’t remember you because they deal with so many people on a daily basis, while the latter can order in your favourite vegetables because they know you and your preferences.

How to Improve Your eBay Star Rating

There’s a really simple path to getting a different-coloured star: improve the net total of positive reviews buyers leave on your page.

But as simple as that path is, getting from Point A to Point B is a bit trickier of a route to navigate. Once shoppers have received their product, they tend to think of the process as being finished — even if it’s not for you. And because unhappy shoppers are far likelier to leave (negative) reviews than happy customers, getting your feedback score to go up can be tough.

But treat each finished purchase with energy and determination, and you’ll be able to slowly improve your way out of the yellow star category at the bottom.

Related: 12 Ways to Improve Your eBay Feedback Rating

Final Thoughts

Getting buyers to leave a review is no easy process, but there’s no reason it should fall entirely on your shoulders, especially when FeedbackExpress is around to help you. Every time you’ve completed a sale on Amazon, you’ll get notified of it and be able to send out a professional-looking templated message that prompts the buyer to leave a review. And the more (positive) reviews left on your page, the more trust you’ll be able to impart to future buyers. Plus, when you sign up now, you’ll start off with a free 30-day trial. It’s a win-win situation all around that has your name on it.

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Related: 7 Ways to Get More eBay Feedback