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eBay Answers Questions about New Fees

eBay answered questions on Wednesday about the fee restructuring announced this week during a Chat session on the eBay boards, and it was interesting to see responses from eBay staffers to specific questions and concerns.

The new fees take effect on October 15th and give many sellers a greater number of free listings they can post each month. But some eBay Store sellers say they got the short end of the stick, with no extra free listings for Premium or Anchor Store owners (unless they sell in the fashion category) – this despite having to pay monthly subscription fees.

And, as one seller pointed out, more free listings for other sellers means more competition in the search results for the larger store owners.

“Why would eBay offer a third more listings to Basic Store subscribers with the latest new allocations promotion, and not offer the same increase to your other store subscribers who pay more and sell more,” a seller asked. “It seems very prejudicial. Unless they happen to sell collectibles or clothing there is nothing for Premium or Anchor Store subscribers in this allocation. I find this very discouraging.”

Another seller said that with the new changes, the Basic Store is more attractive than a Premium Store. “You can have 3 Basic stores and 900 listings (600 fixed price + 300 Auction) cheaper than the cost of 1 Premium store with 600 listings (500 + 100). It makes no sense punishing people who support the site by spending more money. Shouldn’t the customer who sends more get more not less, what is the incentive to have a Premium store and receive less?”

Another seller raised a similar issue: “I would like to know if and when eBay is going to offer those who PAY for a store the benefits that those who don’t pay for listings (non stores) get? Specifically free scheduling and free BINs on auctions.”

A moderator responded to such concerns, writing, “Premium store sellers also have lower insertion fees above allotment, get Selling Manager Pro, and the increased free listing allotment you mention. In addition, having everything together in a single store also gives the benefit of cross-merchandising, and can be simpler to manage in terms of orders, questions, fulfillment, etc.”

And, she added, “We will be continuing to evaluate the right allotment for each tier – and you can also expect many Holiday listing promotions in the near future.”

That response didn’t satisfy a seller who said their listing fees had doubled in the Media category in which they sell, and that not all sellers would benefit from the extension of free auction listings to the fashion category. They also pointed out that Selling Manager Pro as an added bonus would become moot once the new Seller Hub rolled out. “Our point is, if eBay is going to increase free listings for one store level, then the same ratio should be offered to the other two tiers also.”

The eBay moderator explained, “The intent behind increasing the Basic Store subscription allotment was to ensure there was still a clear value for Store subscribers (versus not having a store at all) – especially for those sellers who do need the increased listing allotment over the final value fee discounts. We made this change now ahead of the holidays as we do want to get everyone excited about selling this season. In terms of changes to the various tiers, this is where we are constantly evaluating how to improve.”

The weekly chat session was devoted to questions about the “Free Listings and Listing Formats and Categories Update,” but most of the questions focused on the on Store subscribers.

You can read the complete thread on the eBay website.

Feel free to post a comment on this post on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.