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eBay Tries to Drum Up Store Upgrades

eBay is running at least two new promotions to encourage sellers to upgrade their eBay Store subscriptions. In one promotion, sellers who upgrade by February 23, 2015, will receive 25% off their monthly subscription fees for three months. In the other promotion, sellers receive upgraded Store benefits for one month and will pay only for their current Store level.

For sellers on a yearly plan who may worry about committing to an upgrade, eBay said they could change back to their original store level during the 3-month promotion period without penalty, “So try risk free,” it urged sellers in both promotions.

eBay offers three levels of Stores: Basic ($19.95/month), Premium ($59.95/month), and Anchor ($199.95/month). Each level provides sellers with a different number of free listings per month. See eBay website for details about each plan.

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Here was part of eBay’s pitch to one group of invited Store owners with the “25%-off for three months” offer (see terms here):

An upgraded Stores subscription has so much to offer

 

  • More monthly FREE listings (up to 2,500 with an Anchor-level upgrade)

  • Lower listing fees after you use all of your free listings

 

  • Free access to Selling Manager Pro – a $15.99 per month value

This was the example eBay used to explain the promotion to sellers: “Invited seller upgrades to a Monthly Premium Stores subscription on February 16, 2015. From February 16 to May 15 2015 seller will receive the promotional rate of $44.96 per month on their Store subscription fee. Seller will renew into the Monthly Premium Stores subscription thereafter.”

Here was part of eBay’s pitch to another group of invited Store owners with the “StepUp” offer (see terms here):

GET MORE WITHOUT PAYING MORE

Get upgraded Store benefits for one month but pay only for your current Store level

 

  • More free listings – up to 2,500 per month

  • Lower listing fees thereafter – as low as 5 cents per listing

 

  • Activate and sign-up by February 23.

And this was an example eBay used to explain the Step Up promotion: “Invited seller upgrades to a Monthly Premium Stores subscription from Monthly Basic Store subscription on February 16, 2015. From February 16 to March 15, 2015 the seller will pay the Basic Store subscription fee of $19.95. Seller will renew into the Monthly Premium Store subscription and pay the Monthly Premium Store subscription rate thereafter.”

Sellers discussed the promotions on this eBay discussion board thread. Some reservations about the promotions revolved around “gotchas” in the fine print of eBay promotions and the instability of the site.

“Oh, don’t forget the poor saps who signed up for a store only to find that they had listing limits,” wrote one seller. “Sure, they got 150 freebies a month, but theiir listing limits was 50!!”

Another wrote, “I’ve been contemplating upgrading one of my stores…… but every time my sales seem to support such a move eBay does something (new rules or whatever) or sales dip causing uncertainty. If eBay would ever be stable, small sellers would buy and sell and invest. That said I may take advantage of 25% off store upgrade, but I only ever subscribe monthly. The small added expense of a monthly subscription is worth it to me to stay flexible and keep some semblance of control.”

But one poster said seller must evaluate each offer to see if it would work for them. “Any offer isn’t necessarily going to be attractive to everyone……..We see people complaining about each one for one reason or another……. Each seller has to make their own decision based on their own business………glad you’ve figured out what works for you……..”

Sellers invited to participate in the promotions should read the terms carefully.

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Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. Send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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