eBay Introduces Multi-Seller Shopping Cart, Changes Fees
By Ina Steiner
eBay will announce changes to its fee structure and a new shopping cart on Tuesday as part of its first Seller Release of 2011. The multi-seller shopping cart supports both auction and fixed price listings, and eBay's goal is to have it the new shopping cart be entrenched before the 2011 holiday season. eBay will also announce changes to fees and will eliminate the current 5% discount that PowerSellers who are not "Top Rated" receive. In a surprise move, eBay will begin charging Final Value Fees to the total amount of transactions, including shipping.
eBay will also start holding sellers funds for PayPal payments for sellers with a limited selling history or for those with a "Below Standard" rating.
Changes to Fees
eBay is making a number of changes to fees, but what will surprise most sellers is its decision to apply "Final Value Fees" to the total amount of the transaction, including shipping. Currently the FVF applies only to the selling price. Other changes to fees eBay will announce on Tuesday include the following:
eBay will reduce FVFs for Store subscribers for fixed-price and auction listings and will leave insertion fees untouched.
Beginning April 19, sellers who do not subscribe to an eBay Store receive up to 50 free auctions with a Buy It Now option - no matter the start price (currently they can run up to 100 free auctions for listings with a starting price of 99 cents, with BIN incurring an extra fee). Also for non-Store subscribers, FVFs will be reduced for Fixed-Price listings only.
eBay will eliminate the current 5% discount for non-TRS PowerSellers; Top Rated Sellers (TRS) continue to earn a 20% discount on Final Value Fees.
Initially the new multi-seller, multi-item shopping cart will support PayPal only. Other eBay-approved payment methods (ProPay, Moneybookers, Paymate and credit or debit cards processed through a seller's merchant credit card account) will be supported later this summer.
If items from different sellers in a buyer's cart all accept the same payment method, the buyer can pay for all the items in the eBay Shopping Cart with a single payment. Fixed Price items added to a buyer's cart but not paid for remain available for other buyers to purchase, and listings stays active until payment is sent.
The new shopping cart supports third-party checkout; buyers will be routed through third party checkout separately from the other items in their eBay shopping cart. However, third party checkout will no longer be supported on eBay as of June 30, 2011.
eBay is promising sellers that a new merchandising platform to come later in the year will help them cross-sell their products.
eBay will also start holding sellers funds for PayPal payments for sellers with a limited selling history (90 days or less from their first sale, or 25 or fewer transactions, or $250 or less total sales) or for those with a "Below Standard" rating.
Those affected by the new Payment Holds policy will see buyer payments as pending in their PayPal account. Funds will be available 3 days after eBay receives confirmation of delivery when the seller uploads tracking information, or 7 days after the seller's latest estimated delivery date if they don't upload tracking but mark the item as shipped. If no shipping information is provided to eBay, funds will be available 21 days after the buyer pays.
Sellers who print shipping labels on eBay or PayPal will have funds made available for the cost of shipping.
Top Rated Sellers and sellers with a "Standard" or "Above Standard" performance rating and an established selling history will not have funds held as part of this new policy - funds will be available when the buyer pays.
eBay also announced additional changes, including making U.S. sellers meet minimum global standards for international sales beginning May 20, and introducing Listing Bundles in the electronics category.
eBay will hold a webinar and Town Hall Meeting to discuss the changes, and has set up a special discussion board to discuss the changes.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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