New Feature: Profile Scores

We’re excited to announce the release of a long-overdue feature here at The Lupulin Exchange: Profile Scores! All listings now prominently display the seller’s past performance so buyers know exactly what to expect before checkout. You can find your own score by clicking My Public Profile from the My Account icon:

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Why are we doing this? Because The Lupulin Exchange isn’t just some company that sells hops. The Lupulin Exchange is thousands of companies that buy & sell hops. It’s an ecosystem; a community of brewers, growers, and hop merchants. And in a community with thousands of members interacting, it’s helpful to have easy access to each member’s track record so you can avoid dealing with folks who typically don’t ship within your desired timeframe, have a history of creating bad listings, or are just good at creating headaches for others.

We’ve had a peer rating system for 7 years, but as you can see from the reviews below left by a couple of brewers for another brewer (whom I won’t name), clearly ratings alone aren’t enough:

We needed a better way to communicate an individual community member’s performance across multiple metrics. Version 1 of Profile Scores does just that; taking peer ratings to the next level (or “to the HNL” if you’re a Eugene Struthers fan). Now, in a glance, you can figure out how quickly any given seller ships, how often they cancel because they ran out of stock but forgot to update their listings, how long it takes them to respond to messages, and more.

I say “version 1” because I hope the community gives feedback that helps us improve these metrics & scores over time. Are there other accountability metrics that you want to see? Let us know. Like any v1, it’s not perfect but we’ll iterate like we always do, so you should feel it get closer to perfect over time.

We spent a lot of time agonizing over how to make Profile Scores fair for everyone, and boy was that a challenge! What score should someone with lots of purchases but no sales have? How should they stack up against big hop merchants with lots of orders every day & super-fast shipping? What about the small brewery that only shows up every other year to buy or sell 1 box of hops? Should we give buyers & sellers separate scores? Things got complicated, fast. Here’s where we landed…

How it Works
First of all, this isn’t a competition of who can buy or sell the most hops; the focus is on responsible behavior and accountability. Metrics are displayed (and weighted) in the order of greatest importance. Your reviews & reliability matter most, but if you don’t have any reviews because you’ve never sold hops on The Exchange, you’re not penalized. You’re also not penalized for Shipping Speed or Response Time if you’ve never made a sale or received a message. And if you’re logged into the community site, you’re getting points right now just for reading this post!

  • Reviews = 100% - (Positive Ratings Received / Total Ratings Received)
  • Reliability = 100% - (Orders I Canceled / (My Sales + My Purchases)) *Only applies to orders after 10/15/2021
  • Shipping Speed = 100% - (1 / 336 x (Time of Carrier Pickup Scan - Time Action Required Email is Sent to Seller))
  • Response Time (AKA Seller’s 1st Response Time) = 100% - (1 / 7200 x (Time of Seller’s 1st Response - Time of Buyer’s 1st Message for a Given Order or Listing))
  • Community Engagement = Percentile rank of participation in The Lupulin Exchange Community, calculated as follows: :heart: Received x 100 + Days Visited x 1 + Time Read x 20
  • Recent Purchases = Number of purchases in the last 90 days as a percentile, ranked by account type (ie Merchant/Grower, Brewery, etc.)
  • Recent Sales = Number of sales in the last 90 days as a percentile, ranked by account type (ie Merchant/Grower, Brewery, etc.)

Your total score is a weighted average of all scored metrics (ie all metrics ≠ “N/A”). Reviews & Reliability have double the weight of Shipping Speed, which has double the weight of Response Time & Community Engagement, which has double the weight of Recent Purchases & Recent Sales.

Keep in mind that your score only gets updated every 12 hours, so if you had 0% community engagement before you started reading this, check back tomorrow to see your improved score.

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Looks real nice, thanks!

Will the negative or neutral scores have a link to them in the future? It would be nice be able to go to those immediately without drilling through pages in order to see how we can do better. Luckily, it is rare for us, but even a handful out of thousands of positive reviews, means there is room for improvement.

Thanks for all you do!

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Great Idea, we’ll add it to the list!

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Lots of cool new features here! Will vendors be able to see any reporting based off this info? I’m currently very curious what makes up the “Response time” for messages.

Thanks, LEx Team!

Thanks! What type of reporting are you looking for? Response time is calculated as follows:

  • Response Time (AKA Seller’s 1st Response Time) = 100% - (1 / 7200 x (Time of Seller’s 1st Response - Time of Buyer’s 1st Message for a Given Order or Listing))
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Reporting to see our response times per messages aka the times that build our score. I’m a bit of a stat keener over here (seriously love the new visibility into things!) and am a bit surprised by our calculated response time for messages. We have a 4 hour SLA for messages so seeing 28 hours caught my attention. I was wondering if maybe there are some outliers affecting that score or maybe it’s simply the fact that we’re not open on the weekends? Any visibility possible would be great for helping us improve in that area. Thanks so much, John!

We don’t have any reporting like that on our roadmap, but that could change if we get lots of requests for it. As you suggest, not responding over weekends will definitely hurt the score. Remember, only initial responses are scored, so responding to new messages quickly is the key to improving performance for that particular metric. That said, you’ve already got LEXpert status overall…which is as good as it gets!

I have the same concern about response time calculation. I find it hard to believe that my average response time is more than 48 hours. I am certain that we have always replied within a day.

I went and looked at my message history and calculated my average response time. I calculated about 3 hours on average.

The only thing I can think of would be when we received a message that did not require a response, so we never did respond. I am not sure how that would calculate.

Hey Randy, You’re on the right track: no response (or taking >= 7200 minutes (5 days) on your 1st response) when you’re the seller will result in a score of 0. Here are a few examples of order numbers where that happened to your score:

  • 103031
  • 91959
  • 43309

As long as you reply to all new messages going forward, your score should improve quickly.

John, Thanks for the feedback.

A 5 year old message from a seller thanking me for fast shipment is bringing my score down. I will be sure to respond to all messages going forward.

Thanks, Randy

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Thanks for that insight, John! I checked back and saw some unanswered from when we first opened as well.

Just to confirm, does this include responding to feedback (comments or Thumbs up/Thumbs Down) as well?

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I assume you’re referring to ratings/reviews (ie here). No, those are not included. Only messages that show up here are scored.

p.s. Just FYI, there is 1 known bug that will be fixed soon. It’s hard to explain (and barely relevant to your score), but I’ll try:

All scores get recalculated ~2x per day. Currently, if you receive a message but don’t reply before the next round of calculations, the response time for that 1 message will be calculated as 0, which could temporarily (until the next round of calculations catches your response) tank someone’s response time score if they don’t have a lot of messaging history. The fix for this will be in the next code deployment (in ~1 week). We also have a few other minor improvements related to Profile Scores in our next sprint (ending April 11), for example:

  • better use of decimal places
  • better use of “days” vs “hours”
  • display brand new account profiles as “Newbie” instead of “LEX Luthor” (how the worst performance gets labeled)

However, none of those changes will affect your score.

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Thank you for the info! Please give whomever came up with LEx Luther a big high five for me.

That would be @aaron :raised_hands:

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Looks good, great addition.

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This looks like it will help! :smiley:

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We’re liking the new rating system. Thanks for the continued improvements. Cheers!

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I think this is great, we also like the storage detail regarding temps. Great time for some changes.

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John, First off, I have been looking at the profile scores for a few months and think they are a great addition, well done.

In the effort for constant and never ending improvements, here are some suggestions to consider.

Think about adding a time limit on pulling your data for calculations, that is historical for when someone joins the Exchange. Pulling all historical data on response time, ratings etc will skew the numbers to a historical plain, not telling the purchaser what the selling is currently doing.

Case in point, Randy from Mar 16 post is penalized because he did not send back a message to the buyer for thanking him. How many years will this be pulling down his score. He would be better off starting over with a new name. In my opinion, this metric should be started with the metric rating rollout and only look back 1 year. This would let the buyer know what the seller is currently doing.

Same with ratings. With an ag product, crops are different each year. Heat domes and wildfires made a difference last year. Many European hops are not irrigated, so they have even bigger fluctuations in quality. I have one bad rating from a buyer that did not tell me he got the wrong crop year. Zero communication till he sent in a rating. No chance to fix the issue, by replacing, refunding etc. A great addition would be to require all low rankings to contact the seller first, then make a rating.

Glad you like the scores. It was a far more work than I bargained for but we’re also happy with the results. Thanks for the suggestions for ongoing improvements. I’ve made a few quick responses below to some of the various points you brought up.

What you suggest was considered during the design phase but we decided that using all-time data would give us better numbers in more scenarios and better reward members with long-standing track records. Take, for example, a brewery that needed to sell a bunch of hops in 2020, then zero in 2021, and is now selling again. Seeing their past performance is far better than having no score at all.

Randy will forever be penalized for that 1 missed response, but the penalty decreases with each of his subsequent timely responses. It looks like he’s already up to 80%.

The quality of each lot is rated via a separate process and is not part of the Reviews metric.

Sorry to hear about that. We already encourage folks to communicate with the other party to resolve issues first. This seems like an isolated event but please let us know if you see a lot more of this so we can consider how to best address it. With a score of 99.6% and over 1800 positive reviews, I don’t think you need to worry about 1 bad review, but we can always remove a review if the person who wrote it requests for us to do so. So, you could always message them directly and ask them to rescind their review.