EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3026 - March 21, 2013     2 of 3

eBay Tests New Immediate Payment Policy

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eBay conducted a Town Hall meeting on Wednesday to answer sellers' questions about the spring Seller Release, and during the webcast, discussed its new test around Best Offers.

The Town Hall meeting began with calls from some sellers who said the fee changes would result in a 55% fee increase for them. The Town Hall panel, consisting of eBay managers, acknowledged that the fee restructuring would result in a fee increase for some sellers, but said it was done to simplify fees. Other sellers who called in later said it would be easier for them to adapt to the fee changes.

Some sellers called in to ask about eBay's new policy around immediate payments designed to curb deadbeat buyers (euphemistically called "Unpaid Items"). eBay described the change on the Seller Release pages:

Beginning in May, eligible fixed price listings and auction-style listings purchased with Buy It Now will remain for sale unless the buyer pays right away. This change will be rolled out slowly over the course of the year and will eliminate a significant number of unpaid items on eBay by the end of 2013.

The eBay panel said it does not apply to best offers because "the buyer isn't there when the seller accepts the best offer." Right now, the seller accepting the offer makes the transaction, an eBay manager said. However, he said eBay is testing a new kind of best offer in the effort to reduce Unpaid Items.

eBay is conducting a test in which, when the seller accepts a Best Offer, the item does not come off the site - rather, it remains for sale. "Since the transaction is not completed until the buyer commits (or pays), you'll be able to accept multiple offers to increase your chances of selling the item." eBay is testing the new feature in 3 categories in the spring (jewelry and watches; art; computers and tablets), and will expand it to all categories in the fall.

Read more about the test and Wednesday's eBay Town Hall meeting and leave a comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

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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