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eBay Changes Strategy on Seller Promotions

eBay is running an unusual kind promotion in the month of June. Rather than offer free listings, it’s capping commission fees, called Final Value Fees; some receive an invitation for fees capped at $20, others capped at $50.

“An INCREDIBLE offer! The Sky’s the limit on how much you’ll earn,” one invitation stated. “We want to thank you for selling! Pay no more than $50 in final value fees for the entire month – no matter how many items you sell.”

Some sellers are miffed that the $50 promo means you must sell at least $500 in June in order to begin benefitting from the promotion. And since it makes no offer of discounts on listing fees, some sellers see it as potentially risky. “This is a gambling contest. You bet a ton of fees that you can sell $500.00 worth and if you don’t YOU LOSE. PAY UP,” wrote one seller.

But some other sellers disagreed. “It can actually save sellers alot of money in final value fees, while at the same time paying nothing to list their first 50 items. There are plenty of sellers who post higher ticket items,” wrote one seller.

Sellers pasted the invitation on industry boards and discussed the promotion, such as this thread on the eBay boards.

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Several sellers on various boards said they generally sell much more than $500 worth of goods a month on eBay and did not receive an invitation to participate – many speculated it was a very targeted promotion.

In a different discussion thread on eBay, some warned sellers not to expect free listing promotions any longer. Referring to the change in Store fees that went into effect in May, a seller wrote, “eBay has changed their business model beginning in May 2016 and now are emphasizing that sellers who need more than the 50 free listings should buy a store.”

They said Store subscribers now have more free listings (and pay higher Store subscription fees). “So,” the seller theorized, “the free listings that eBay used to give to almost all sellers are now being given to those who have a store.”

In addition, the seller added, “Griff announced in the weekly chat that the odds of seeing any additional free listings at least in the near future are slim and none so I would not hold my breath waiting. If you are in need of more than 50 but do not want to open a store, then open another selling account so that you get an additional 50 free listings each month,” they advised.

As for the new promotions, sellers should read the fine print and note that they must activate the promotion before the special rates apply.

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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). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.