At a CitiGroup conference call with three eBay sellers today, analysts wanted to know what effect August eBay Store fee hikes would have on Core. The fee increase was eBay's motivation to increase the quality of Store listings and move inventory back to Core (eBay.com).
I did not come away thinking any differently than I thought before the call. Sellers using Core right now will continue to do so, eBay Storeowners will not be able to justify listing on Core for much of their Store inventory and will expand off-eBay.
ChannelAdvisor CEO Scot Wingo was also on the call, and he said that he's actually seeing some Core sellers show an increased interest in listing on Stores. (Interesting!)
An analyst asked during the Q&A session that if eBay lowered Store fees in February and it had an effect of decreasing Core listings, why wouldn't the opposite be true? Why wouldn't an increase in Store fees cause Core listings to increase?
You can't put the genie back in the bottle!
As Movie Mars CEO Daniel Yen said, he could list a title in eBay Stores that might have a sale once a year, but can't afford to list that slow-selling item on eBay.com.
Interesting factoid: Scot said August 21 was one of their largest listing days, and we'll know what happens to core listings in a week.
I've noticed that analysts have been looking for some kind of dramatic effect from the July announcement. I believe it takes time. eBay left selers scrambling by increasing fees in August, just before the busiest selling season. I think people will adjust and stick it out through December/January, then take a long hard look at expanding off eBay.
In fact, our survey bears this out to a far greater extent than I had imagined. Tune into AuctionBytes.com on Sunday when we'll be publishing the results.