Auctiva CEO Apologizes, New Flat-Rate Plans for eBay Sellers
By Ina Steiner
Auctiva founder and CEO Jeff Schlicht sent an email to customers on Tuesday night to apologize for the "frustration and anxiety" the company's new pricing plan had caused them, and announcing new pricing options. There are two new flat-rate plans, one for $9.95 a month, and a special $2.95/month plan for casual sellers. Auctiva's free marketing tools remain available.
Auctiva had announced it was moving from a free to fee model due in large part to changes in eBay's affiliate program on which it had relied for revenue. Customers made it loud and clear they did not like Auctiva's new pricing, and many took advantage of special invitations from the company's competitors.
In his letter to customers last night, Schlicht wrote about the new flat rate plans, "If you are asking yourself, "Why didn't they just use this pricing in the beginning?" the answer is that I thought our customers would like to have the choice of picking a tailored plan based on usage. Clearly, I was wrong.
"All too often, large companies fail to listen to their customers. Auctiva's brightest future includes the users who brought us this far. I am making this change now so you can get back to doing business. I sincerely hope that this pricing change allows you continue using the tools you have come to depend on."
Auctiva's new Standard flat rate pricing costs $9.95/month with no final value fees. It includes 1GB image hosting; a one-page lister; super-sized images; templates; its eBay scrolling gallery; free scheduling; 24/7 customer support; and other tools.
The special Starter flat rate plan for ultra-casual sellers costs $2.95/month for up to 15 listings and includes 500MB image hosting.
Neither flat-rate plan includes the Auctiva Commerce store, which lets sellers set up their own independent storefront.
According to the letter, customers who had already chosen a plan and want to switch to a flat rate plans must go back and select a new one, or they may stay with the plan they had chosen.
Within hours of Auctiva's announcement, InkFrog sent an email to its customers with an offer of its own. InkFrog is giving customers free storefronts through its Buyitsellit.com service, and access to webinars and an education center that Inkfrog is launching to teach sellers eBay strategies.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to email@example.com.
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