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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2871 - August 16, 2012 - ISSN 1539-5065    1 of 5

eBay Sellers Cope with Doubling of Store Fees in Australia

By Ina Steiner
August 16, 2012

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eBay Australia has increased the cost of operating a Store to help shoppers differentiate business sellers from individuals. In May, eBay Australia made both Basic and Featured Store subscriptions $24.95. (Basic Stores had been $19.95, and Featured stores had been $99.95, prior to the May 2012 price changes.) Beginning September 15th, it is doubling the price of Featured Stores to $49.95 and is eliminating Basic Stores.

To put it in a nutshell, sellers who had a Basic Store in April and want to continue to operate a Store on eBay will see an increase of over 150% in their subscription fees, while Featured Stores will see a 50% savings from what they had been paying prior to May.

According to a spokesperson for eBay Australia & New Zealand, Sandy Culkoff, it became necessary to increase the monthly subscription fee because the original fee changes made earlier this year incentivized more sellers than eBay had expected to take advantage of Stores pricing.

"Our buyers tell us they have different expectations about the service they receive when dealing with businesses compared to individual sellers," Culkoff said, "and Stores on eBay have become the easiest way for buyers to identify a business. This new subscription fee is aimed at allowing the more serious businesses on eBay to continue operating a store, while we are encouraging individual sellers to consider taking advantage of the 30 free listings available every month."

A seller reacting to the changes wrote, "If it's about meeting buyer expectations of store owners, then a fee increase is not going to change a darn thing, because some of the highest volume (i.e. serious business sellers) stores have less attractive terms, policies and practices than many small hobby sellers who are dedicated to their products and their customer service."

Culkoff also said that, in total, "the May and September 2012 fee changes still represent an overall reduction in fees for the vast majority of sellers." However, not everyone would agree. A seller from Australia wrote to EcommerceBytes this week to say she closed one of her eBay Store immediately, even though that meant closing all of her fixed-price listings at the same time. "I am continuing with one store although I was a top rated seller in both. Its not worth it. I am moving the store to another Australian site," she said.

Some sellers who are unhappy with the new eBay Store fees and other changes taking place on the site say they are turning to eBay alternative QuickSales.com.au, a marketplace formerly known as OZtion that was sold to Carsales.com Limited in 2010.

eBay's announcement about Store fees and other changes that are coming to the marketplace is available on the eBay Australia announcement board.

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 ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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