As a website marketplace, we fully appreciate the importance of website buyers and sellers being able to trust the people they decide to do business with. Naturally this notion of trust is different for different people so, as of today, we are laying the single Flippa trust rating to rest.
There were three key reasons for us doing this:
- The weightings and values that the original algorithm placed on different components of a user profile were done at a point in time and could not hope to suit everyone. The importance one user places on an authenticated Facebook account won’t necessarily be the same as the next user …
- Once a defined algorithm exists, users who may not be so trustworthy may look at ways to game the system in their favor. Google arguably has the same problem with their search algorithm …
- The very notion of distilling a user’s trust profile down to one number over-simplifies the concept of trust. We have users on Flippa with a relatively low trust rating but I’d be more than happy to do business with them in a snap. Others have a high trust rating but have yet to make a successful website transaction.
To this end we’re dropping the notion of a trust rating and replacing it with a dual metric comprised of feedback and transaction size as well as a number of profile page enhancements that provide greater transparency on a given user.
So What Do I Use To Replace a Trust Rating?
Arguably, there is nothing to confidently gauge trust until someone has successfully bought or sold a website. In recognition of this, we are replacing trust with two metrics:
- % Positive Feedback: The proportion of the user’s feedback that is positive calculated as the amount of feedback divided by total feedback. For example, a user with 3 positive feedbacks, 2 neutral feedbacks and 1 negative feedback will receive a 50% positive feedback score. For sellers, this includes both transaction and quality feedback
- Total Transaction Value: The sum of all transactions conducted on Flippa. For example, a user who has bought two sites with a combined value of $12,000 who sold one of them for $11,000 will have a transaction value of $23,000.
Any users who have not transacted on Flippa before will be flagged as “new”.
Authenticated User Identification
In the case where a user has not yet bought or sold a website on Flippa, they are now able to provide further proof of authenticity by linking their profile to their facebook, linkedin or twitter accounts.
Note that this will provide a link on the user’s profile to the authenticated account on the respective social network. This will not appear for users who previously authenticated their accounts until they give Flippa permission to display – of course there is now no value in adding your facebook/linkedin account unless you do display it on your profile…
To add a social network profile to your own account, simply follow the instructions from the “Identity Manager” link from your dashboard. Be sure to click on the “Display on Profile” checkbox so that the icons appear. You can check out my account for a preview of how this looks.
In addition to the user-provided information, regular user may have noticed a few other components on the profile page that can be used to gauge trust. This includes:
- Verified phone number details – on the basis that a fixed or mobile account is more authentic than a voip number and to flag where the user’s claimed country may be different to the country from which the phone was verified.
- The number of disputes that the user has lost. If a user has lost a dispute, it is worth checking why.
Let us know your views about this significant change in the comments below. Will these changes allow you to buy and/or sell with greater confidence? Is this change more or less fair than the previous trust score?