Coming Soon: Performance-Based Listing Fees

Last year we did 2 big surveys, and the most common complaint from respondents was inconsistent performance across the hundreds of active sellers on the platform. We’ve already improved the measurement and reporting of key seller profile score metrics to help buyers know what to expect from any given seller, but we also want to do more to improve seller performance. Since we want all buyers to have an amazing experience on LEx, sellers with less than stellar performance will be financially penalized beginning April June 1st. Here are the details:

  • “LEXpert” Sellers who maintain a profile score of at least 90% pay NO fees
  • Sellers with active listings and a profile score < 90% in any given month will be assessed a fee of $199/month

Why 90%? Because that’s the minimum level of service that buyers on the platform expect and deserve, and because 90% is easy to achieve. As of today, there are 506 sellers on LEx with a profile score above 90%. Here are a few examples of those 506 sellers who won’t incur any fees unless they start dropping the ball:

And here are a few examples of sellers below 90% who will begin incurring fees if they don’t improve their performance by April June 1st:

If your score is below 90% and you don’t want to pay any fees, no problem! You can simply opt-out by removing your active listings before April June 1st! Seller performance has already improved since we made each metric more prominent on all listings, and we look forward to raising the bar further. As always, we’ll see how it goes and adjust the cutoff and/or fees as needed to get the results buyers expect and deserve.


Our rating is above 90%, key thing is that I get requests at all hrs of the night, weekends, holidays etc, and it would only take a few to dump me below 90%, response time at 22hrs is what I get beat up on. I see you have done some work on the weekend issue. I don’t sell a ton, and its stored at Country Malt and they don’t do anything on weekends/holidays. A lot of the brewers are like myself, they are not at a desk and are working all day in a way (think brewing/canning line) that does not work well with being interrupted, so requests tend to come after hours a lot. I barely have a life away from work as it is, and late night orders cannot be fullfilled until the next day. I don’t do a ton of sales, but I do some, and I would think I do the best I can mostly, and its been helpful to our company and those that we have dealt with who need what we have extra of. I will not pay out 199 if out of the blue at any moment I get 2 or 3 weirdly timed orders because that’s all it might take to push us over, so you better plan on some warnings or something before you send a bill, a bill which will cause a lot of irritation with brewers like myself whom tend to be both sellers and buyers. I realize that you want to improve response time and overall reliability by weeding out some bad actors, I get it, but this could be seen as a bit heavy handed if done by some sort of automatic system without warning or recourse.



Your track record (94%) validates that >90% is easy to achieve, despite a 22-hour average response time. You don’t have anything to worry about. Before any fees kick in, you’ll begin receiving updates as your profile score changes (similar to credit report alerts).

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I’d like to echo what Daron says here. I think I keep on top of our listings pretty well in the last few years I’ve been involved. This scoring metric puts us at !00% on Positive reviews and Reliability, and 95.25% on Ship Speed.

0% on Response time drops me all the way to 73.8%. I don’t think I’ve ignored anyone, and the interactions I’ve had I thought were prompt enough (I can’t see the time stamps now, so maybe I was slower than I recall).

Does our track record constitute a poor performing seller who should be financially penalized for our performance? Personally, I don’t think so, but maybe some buyers and you would disagree. For a brewery such as us who does not sell much, $199/month is steep. I just listed some Mittelfrueh this morning. If they’re not gone by April 1, that monthly fee more than negates the benefit of this platform and service in my humble opinion.


@brent , response time is organization-wide, so it includes the performance of your colleagues as well. When I look at your account, I see a lot of ignored messages. The good news is that you have plenty of time to improve that metric and it’ll only take you a few quick responses to get above 90%.

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I agree with the above sentiment. I get constant orders on holiday weekends, Friday nights, and all hours of the night. I feel we have been as responsive as we can with 2 warehouse workers doing their normal duties, and current staff getting overworked in different roles. I would hate to get charged because I am 89.6%. I understand the idea to make it better for the buyers, but I do not believe this is it. You want better response time, awesome! I see what benefit that has for those buying hops, but relying on overworked staff to act as a 3PL supply company may not be it.

Your service has been fantastic for selling extra inventory and communicating to buyers as well as providing a marketplace for breweries in the industry. But we are not YCH, Hopsteiner, or Amazon whose job it is for speedy fulfillment.


@mark as @daron pointed out above, weekends are excluded from the calculation. You’re super close to 90%. You just need to be a little faster on ship speed or response time by April to be among the nearly 500 breweries that are already above 90%.

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I must be missing something. Your performance algorithm description in the other community post describes the calculation as being based on the last 5 events. If I look at my (and my colleagues) accounts, I see the following in my message history:

3 pleasant exchanges (at least one of which I can easily see in my Outlook history were quick back and forths)
2 sellers giving me a heads up that they were accidentally slow to ship something

I didn’t answer the seller delays because I ordered with plenty of lead time and it was of no concern. I think there could be a healthy debate on if a no response on a trivial topic really should so easily drive you to a 199/month charge.

That being said, given that the other 3 pleasant exchanges occurred, shouldn’t that drive us to something higher than 0% for response time? A big 0 there is effectively dropping our average by 25%. If you called that 60% for 2/5 trivial ignores, I wouldn’t bother typing this out and hash it up to a simple disagreement on scoring metrics.



You’re missing that the only events considered for Response Time are when your company = the seller and the buyer initiates the message thread (ie the buyer asks the seller a question). I believe that’s discussed and described somewhere in the super long/old profile scores thread, but I’ll take a look and try to edit the post to make this clear. All of those exchanges that you started do not affect your score. That’s because we wouldn’t want to penalize you for something like this:

Seller: “Hey, I shipped your order, sorry it took me a couple of extra days.”
Buyer: “Yeah, I saw the notification from LEx with the tracking # but thanks for letting me know.”

So you have to look at only the last 5 events in which the buyer started the message thread. I’m going to send you a message now on this listing from one of my test accounts. If you reply to it quickly, you’ll see your score increase tomorrow.


Even though our profile has a score above 90%, it makes me super nervous for the potential of 1 minor mistake (after 5 years of impeccable service to brewery customers) to potentially cost my small farm far more than the hops sold in any individual transaction. I see the reasoning behind this, the desire to increase service/speed is commendable, but I also agree with the above sentiments that $199 is a high price to pay. Not to mention that this is effectively a 0 tolerance system. To play devils advocate, is there any recourse from Growers/Brokers/Breweries? If someone leaves a bad review out of spite, or other such infractions that would degrade the Score, can those be challenged or remedied on the back end to avoid penalties?

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@crookedyardhops, It’s not a zero-tolerance system. I gave a bunch of examples in the original post to illustrate that. It should be pretty clear that there is plenty of room for imperfection. 1 bad anything isn’t going to tank your score. And like I said, you will receive plenty of warning and profile score updates. And…


Sounds good, thanks for clarification:)

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Ahh, thank you for the clarification - I did think it was both direction whens I read through the system earlier.

How about this interaction though? Sorry, I’m not trying to be dense, just making sure I follow appropriately.

Buyer “hey, please wait and ship these until Monday”
Seller *no response, but follows the request"

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@brent, No worries - you’re good!

The system (and my wife :rofl:) would penalize that for no response. Basically, any time a buyer initiates a message thread, the seller needs to respond to that first message ASAP. And as you’ll see in my response on your listing, only that initial response matters…because things get really complicated: there’s no good way to know when the conversation has ended, you don’t want to penalize for not responding to “thanks” etc. But we absolutely want to penalize seller radio silence.

We’ve done our best to simplify a very complicated process and make it as fair as possible. Fortunately, there’s now plenty of years of battle testing & tweaks behind the calculations and I feel like we’ve found “fair” (…but I’m permanently scared by how many dev hours and how much :moneybag: it took to get there). We’re never going to make everybody 100% happy but… I’ve had hundreds of follow-up conversations with survey respondents about profile scores & seller performance and I have carefully studied & adapted to all of that feedback.

I should also mention (to everyone, not just Brent) that we don’t make decisions like performance-based listing fees flippantly. After follow-up conversations with hundreds of brewers last year, I’m confident that the majority of buyers really want sellers who don’t perform off of the platform and expect Amazon-like service from everyone. They really don’t care that another brewery trying to sell over-contracted hops isn’t in the business of selling hops. They’re busy too, and they need the seller to ship yesterday. They don’t have time or patience for inaccurate listings, out-of-stocks, slow responses, or mishandled orders, and there are plenty of other places they can go for hops in today’s market. And I don’t blame them - why would any brewer choose to purchase from an unreliable/slow/poorly rated seller when there are >500 sellers (growers, merchants, and breweries) with outstanding track records and a record surplus of hops for sale? Like it or not, sellers in today’s market need to be more on top of their game than ever before.


I really like the change. One note, if someone requests that you cancel their order and the seller does so, the seller gets dinged. I went from 100% reliable to 80% over one transaction. The buyer didn’t want one of the hops they put in their basket. .

@brian1, If a buyer clicks the cancel button on their side, the seller receives an “Order Cancel Request” email & alert. If the seller accepts that request, they do not get dinged. However, without an active Order Cancel Request from the buyer, if a seller clicks the cancel button on their side, they do get dinged. I believe you are referring to order 163743, which was canceled from your side (reason = inaccurate listing), not the buyer’s. Note that even with 80% reliability from that 1 cancelation, you are still well above 90%. And since you will probably have shipped more than 5 orders by the time scores recalculate tonight, your reliability will be back to 100% in short order.

We are new to selling on the platform and don’t have a track record. We’re still waiting for our first sale to hit. Does this mean we are going to have to start paying fees to sell?

@kurt, Of course not! No score, no history, no fees. Once again, fees do not begin until April and anyone who is in danger of getting hit with a fee will receive plenty of warning! I am just giving plenty of advanced notice so that folks who haven’t already been paying attention to their scores have plenty of time to get above the threshold.

Got it.

I’ll make sure to have the buyer cancels the order if this happens again. It’s a rarity.



What is the gold standard for response time? I am at 1.2 days. Is it a day or less? I am super responsive and click respond as quick as possible. Anything that has been dinged has been due to mandatory full day HR trainings or our major equipment install. But the longest it should have gone is Thursday evening to or Friday morning to Monday morning for response. Every other day I respond within seconds.