EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2220 - February 10, 2010     1 of 5

So Who Exactly Benefits from eBay Fee Changes?

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This week AuctionBytes published the results of a survey of 1,100 eBay sellers to see how eBay's changes to the fee structure would impact them. After reading that 75.8% of respondents said that under the new fee structure, their monthly eBay fees would go up, an AuctionBytes Blog reader wanted to know who exactly was benefiting from eBay's fee changes.

We did some filtering of the data to answer that question - and although there were very slight variations across categories, three factors played a major role in impacting how the fee changes would affect sellers.

TRS vs non-TRS
About half (50.8%) of all respondents to the survey were eBay Top Rated Sellers (TRS). When the data was filtered to show sellers who said that their overall monthly eBay fees would go down, the number of respondents who said they were TRS jumped to 61%. When filtered to show sellers who felt that their eBay Store fees would go down, the number who said they were TRS was even higher, at 67.9%

Level of eBay Store
Respondents who felt that the fee changes were beneficial to their businesses varied according to the level of eBay Store they had. When we broke out respondents by type of Store they had (if any), here are the percentages of respondents who said, "Under the new fee structure, my monthly eBay fees will go down":

No Store: 6.4%
Basic Store: 10.4%
Premium Store: 29.2%
Anchor Store: 66.7%

Annual Sales (GMV):
One of the biggest factors in how likely a person was to report their fees would go down was annual gross sales (GMV). While 47.8 percent of all respondents generated up to $10,000/year in sales, only 28.6% of those who said their monthly fees would go down were in that revenue category. Contrast this with the 19 percent of respondents who said their monthly fees would go down who were in the $100,001 - $500,000 annual sales category - compared to the baseline of 6.7%.

In analyzing the data, it's clear that eBay's changes are intended to direct merchants into certain patterns of behavior - have them open an eBay Store or upgrade their current Store, maintain a level of performance that earns them Top Rated Seller status, and increase the level of a merchant's sales. So will it work?

When asked, "Do you plan to make any changes to your business due to fee and/or policy changes announced by eBay on January 26, 2010?" the overall respondents said that they would either list fewer items on eBay (44.2%), close their existing Store (16.6%), downgrade their existing eBay Store (2.2%) or stop selling all together (15%).

In contrast (and not surprisingly), when we filtered respondents to those who said their overall fees would decrease, here's how they answered: 13.5% said they would list fewer items on eBay; 6.3% said they would close their Store; 0 respondents said they would downgrade their eBay Store; 2.1% said they would stop selling all together.

Additional Survey Results

"Survey Results - eBay Sellers Say Fee Changes Will Cost Them More" - Link

"Survey Shows Small Sellers Taking Brunt of eBay Fee Changes" - Link

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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

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