eBay defended next month’s fee hike in the sneaker category, which it announced today, by saying it was still lower than the fees found on rival marketplaces – and proceeded to cite its competitors by name. “eBay continues to remain the most cost-competitive online marketplace for sneaker resale among competitors like GOAT, StockX, and Stadium Goods,” it wrote on its Sneakers Final Value Fee FAQs.
Former eBay CEO Scott Schenkel, who had taken over after the abrupt departure of Devin Wenig in September 2019, had justified the free model for high-end sneakers at a Goldman Sachs conference in February 2020.
Schenkel said free was not a strategy, explaining that sellers were buying more Promoted Listing ads – “so we are getting a take rate.” Apparently it also stemmed the bleeding inflicted by rivals – the number of listings was going up, he told the analysts, and the buyer base was starting to get more interested “because now the inventory is here.”
But his successor, Jaime Iannone, is rethinking the approach, even after eBay bragged last month that sneaker sales were growing at double-digit rates as overall it saw a 10% decline in third-quarter sales.
eBay is expected to announce fourth-quarter earnings in a month or so, at which time it may address the change in strategy. For now, eBay told sellers: “This investment will allow us to continue to bring new features and services, like Authenticity Guarantee and 3D true view, that drive trust and transparency in the sneakers categories.”
eBay also told sellers it was and would remain the most competitive destination for sneaker resale. “We have the lowest fees among competing marketplaces and offer the latest resources to help accelerate, grow and scale your business: no-fee verified returns, seller protections and Authenticity Guarantee. To date, eBay has authenticated about 2 million sneakers globally, with a pair of sneakers purchased every four seconds. eBay is committed to delivering the most trusted, engaging and exciting shopping experience and to provide you, our sellers, with the best tools and largest buyer base.”
eBay explained in a “What are the new fees?” FAQ the following:
- For sneakers selling for $100 or more (including taxes, shipping, handling fees and applicable fees), the new final value fees are 8% for non-store sellers and 7% for Basic and above Store subscribers.
- Insertion Fees for Sneakers with a starting price over $100 will be waived.
- Per order fee ($0.30) is waived for sneakers selling for $100 or more.
- For sneakers under $100, final value fee rates are unchanged. Final value fees are 12.55% for non-Store sellers and 11.7% for Basic and above Store subscribers.
You can find the news about the new eBay fee hike on the eBay Announcement Board.