AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Fri Apr 25 2008 12:08:27

eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

A seller posted on the discussion boards stating she had taken an eBay survey about possible changes to eBay Stores. Posters guessed that eBay might be considering putting Stores inventory back in search results, but for a fee.

Most eBayers will remember the Stores in Search fiasco of 2006. eBay rolled out Stores in Search in February '06 - giving Store items exposure in core search results. They rolled it back in March, and a few months later, told sellers that the volume of Store items had hurt the core marketplace.

eBay often conducts exploratory surveys and it doesn't guarantee eBay's ultimate plan of action. But it's interesting they're considering it enough to conduct a survey.

Update 4/28/08: Someone sent me a screenshot that shows the following pricing proposed in the survey:

A Buy It Now (BIN) listing for a seller with no eBay Store would cost 30 cents.

A BIN for Basic Store owners would cost 10 cents, Premium Store - 5 cents, and Anchor Store - 2 cents.

Update 4/29/08: eBay Italy launched this very concept on Monday (effective June 3). While keeping Stores, they are eliminating Store inventory format, instead rolling out a 30-day BIN format that all sellers can use that will show up on the core search results. See story in Wednesday's newsletter here. Things are getting interesting!

 




Comments (28) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?   eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?

by: Patricia

Fri Apr 25 12:52:43 2008

As a 10 year seller I feel that ebay is definitely in trouble trying to keep up its image on wall street.  The times are getting tough, the economy is faltering due to high energy prices.  Ebay continues - instead of giving sellers a break so that they can lower their prices and be more competitive, they raise everything, tighten restrictions, throw their weight around and generally act the big bully all under the very weak guise of ''enhancing the buyer's experience.''  (nothing they've instituted so far enhances a buyer's experience!) They're coming to the end of their road fee-wise.  They're reaching critical mass in that sellers are more and more going elsewhere - making less sales BUT paying less fees and in some instances profiting MORE.  So, I can see stores being put into search for a fee.  Right now ebay would sell its own grandmother for a fee!  Its the only way this company knows how to operate...squeeze more fees out of sellers!

eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?   eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?

by: Ex-Ebay seller

Fri Apr 25 13:07:21 2008

I remember when looking at completed auctions was free, then they limited it to about a week....unless you paid more.  Ebay's greed is amazing.  Now I know why they want "new" sellers: because those who know what it was like in the early days are appalled by their greed, their paypal monopoly and greedy interest grabs, not to mention the excessive fees.
Ebay sucks, I am leaving for Onlineauctions.com and Ecrate and I am taking "it" with me.  My buyers will follow.

eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?   eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?

by: steve

Fri Apr 25 14:13:57 2008

What next?  A fee for editing listings? A fee to answer a buyer's questions?  A fee for telephoning their so called "customer service"?
It really does seem like they are scrambling to impress those Wall Street analysts to drive the stock price up.  At the same time every thing they implement seems to push their customers (the sellers) further and further away.   It is very much like watching the keystone cops.  I'd love to see those brainstorming sessions that they have at the corporate level on you tube.  Their mantra has to be "Greed is Good".

eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?   eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?

by: Randy Smythe

Fri Apr 25 14:15:30 2008

Ina, I think this is a done deal, it's just down to the details. They must feel they can manage all the listings with Best Match.

One question: Isn't there already a fee for SIF?





eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?   eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?

by: Randy Smythe

Fri Apr 25 14:46:21 2008

One additional comment! I looked at the proposed fees and they are very interesting.

This is the type of idea that should have been discussed years ago.

This is the new eBay. $299 Anchor store gets you free listings and 8.25% FVF in CORE for 30 days. Just do the math folks.

This idea will go a long way towards fixing the media category from an economics standpoint

eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?   eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?

by: Patricia

Fri Apr 25 15:02:59 2008

Yes Randy, but will all this bring one new buyer on board?  Where's the beef?  So far its just an Ebay gorge-fest!  Its going to take a lot more then surface redesign to make ebay into another Amazon.  They are far too greedy to put the sweat-equity into it and provide proper customer service.  They expect all their automatic policies to do the work for them and they can just scoop in the revenue.

eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?   eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?

by: Ric Roe

Fri Apr 25 16:08:58 2008

Steve... Are you floating balloons for them, giving them ideas, or did you grab a file Meg dropped by accident on her way out the door?

eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?   eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?

by: Randy Smythe

Fri Apr 25 16:10:40 2008

Patricia,

You are right, eBay won't become another Amazon, they don't spend the money, but moves in this direction make more economic sense for sellers on eBay.

There is still plenty of sales being made at eBay so this idea allows store sellers to get their share. Isn't that the idea of selling online?

eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?   eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?

by: Patricia

Fri Apr 25 16:31:35 2008

Randy, if they make it profitable for small sellers too then I might just reopen my store there.  One thing ebay is losing and I hope they realize it - they are losing loyal sellers who have been with them for years and as they leave, they bring some of their buyers with them.  Yes, I still list there but not nearly in the same capacity.  My listings are down to less than 10 from a constant of 50 plus items.  The rest are spread out on other sites.  Handled with a little dignity and respect for sellers simply as fellow human beings, ebay would not be losing them like they are now...but they just can't see it.

eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?   eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?

by: Patricia

Fri Apr 25 16:33:54 2008

Randy - I still say none of their new policies will bring in one new buyer.  If they want new buyers they have to allow sellers to make a decent profit.  Right now - its either sell with us and pay thru the nose or don't sell at all - but those tables are slowly turning...

eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?   eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?

by: oldschoolebayer

Fri Apr 25 16:36:20 2008

If they were to introduce something like this, I believe it might work-but only if they put controls in place regarding allowable shipping/handling charges for ordinary commodity items; otherwise the market will become oversaturated, as Meg Whitman would say, with a sea of ''poorly priced, identical, ordinary items''.

For example, Amazon only lets a seller charge the fixed price of $2.95 shipping/handling for a dvd or cd. There is no ''gaming the system'' with shipping charges at Amazon, so the seller can do the math and evaluate if there is any chance of being competitive against the biggest sellers-who are able to ship things cheaper via volume based pricing with shippers like DHL. Small sellers in 2008 are often disappointed when they realize they can't make any money selling at Amazon-but at least they can determine where they stand and perhaps move on to other catagories or sales channels...

Naysayers to my point will cite that large mega sellers with virtual only inventories would simply load up their ebay stores ANYWAY, the same as it is now in certain Amazon catagories. I don't disagree.

But, I think as long as ebay keeps prohibitive insertion fees (as opposed to free listings), core listing exposure based on DSR performance (its going to get alot more serious in that regard, mark my words), alot of the
bigger corporate commodity sellers will continue to leave ebay alone. It still won't look very cost effective to them. Also, commodity guys, like corporate DVD sellers, know by now that ebay is not a cost-effective means of customer aquistion.  

So, my hope, is that a smaller commodities seller, with great DSRS, and realistic expectations, won't get lost in this new possible stores scenario....

eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?   eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?

by: mindelec

Tue Apr 29 00:29:53 2008

randy,

how are you figuring that it will be free for an anchor store?  i think the fees listed are in addition to the store listing fees, not instead of.  nor do i want to see the cost of listing on ebay go up in any way, they are already the most expensive site to sell books on.

oldschool,
the last thing i want is for ebay to tell me i can only charge 3.95 to ship a 10 lb book.  you also forget that the amazon seller does not get that entire $2.95, amazon takes a hefty chunk of it for themselves.

eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?   eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?

by: Fruity

Tue Apr 29 04:42:21 2008

Think about what you say cuz chances are once you think you got a great deal. ebay will just have another team do something like ummm PLUNK the PPC ads ABOVE CORE. then you'll get the same ration as stores when they stuck the express module above our tiny link we had to beg for. lol. I'm going to put upp my entire ZIP CODE on 1 store. hehe

eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?   eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?

by: R.H.

Tue Apr 29 06:36:59 2008

What bothers me is that in recent years eBay has shown time and again they can't handle the technical side of their plans.

I'm talking about indexing of listings. Without "best match" and other new search factors involved (not to mention new security-based measures), eBay's system indexed new listings for viewing by buyers in anywhere from 1 minute to 12 hours (sellers love having a 1-day listing indexed in 12 hours!). How much longer is it taking to index listings taking into account DSRs and all the other new search criteria? How much longer will it take to index listings if some stores pay fees to get a better spot in a search?

If there is one thing eBay is known for it's glitches. The "message glitch" went on for more than 18 months before it was fixed (at least I think it's fixed).

Glitches cost sellers money in many ways. I see this as just another glitch-in-the-making for sellers to complain about while eBay spends a few weeks denying there's even a problem, and then the glitch-fix will cause another glitch, and so on and so on. This is business as usual with eBay.

eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?   eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?

by: Chris

Tue Apr 29 09:55:55 2008

Sounds great to have my store items show up in core... but based on the survey they either raise the monthly cost or raise the listing fee -- or both. Worth it? Guess it depends on your business model. For me I don't know that it would be worth paying 10 cents for 30 days plus the chance that the subscription fee might go up too.

The survey also made it sound like your store listings would show up in search based what type store you paid for. So spend more money and your items get placed higher up in search. Throw in the fact that they are talking about having a 30 cent 30 day listing for everyone, meaning more 30 day BIN for everyone and I am not sure the extra cost is worth it.  

eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?   eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?

by: judy

Tue Apr 29 11:03:38 2008

I also took the survey and agree with Chris.  It boiled down to as was said for them to raise the listing fees, store fees or both.  However, the questions made it clear that all forms of media i.e. books, cds, dvd, etc were not included in in the models that they  were proposing.  I am not sure that it would be worth it.  I told them that I sell alot of media in my store and if their plan comes to pass, I may close my store in favor of other sites or restrict the listings severly. I have already started listing on other sites and am feeling that I don't need ebay's continual hassels, glitches, etc.

eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?   eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?

by: Randy Smythe

Tue Apr 29 19:44:12 2008

mindelec,

The first survey I saw had free listing fees for Anchor Stores. The second survey showed 2 cents per listing for Anchor stores.

All of your items would be in CORE and store - a listing is a listing there would be no need to have store only listings.

Something like this is coming down the pike, it is just about the details at this point.

eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?   eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?

by: Don

Wed Apr 30 00:01:27 2008

I took the survey. Like most things eBay it was practically incomprehensible.
Personally I think the bottom line for sellers is:

1.One way or the other stores will get stomped.
2. Sellers will pay more.
3. eBay will screw up the implementation.

eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?   eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?

by: BeBopDeluxe

Wed Apr 30 06:14:39 2008

They are still trying to find more ways to suck the money out of the sellers before they tank.  Nevermind "Boycott ebay May 1"......LEAVE ebay May 1!!  It ain't gonna get better, folks!  They have gone to great lengths to defend their errors, so backing down is not an option by their way of thinking.  Take a lifeboat and get off the Titanic.  

eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?   eBay Mulling Stores in Search - for a Fee?

by: Beady Eye Guy

Wed Apr 30 13:19:31 2008

If they persist in this I will close up my shop and move fully to Amazon.

I don't want to worry about paying more insertion fees for inventory that may or may not sell in any given month.  $.03 is fine by me and I only list my better selling titles in my store here while parking all of my inventory on Amazon.

What Ebay isn't getting is I sell collectable limited edition CDs for example.  Some months, I can blow through 5 copies easy.  Others it could be 1 unit.  So why should I spend more time and energy on Ebay when the Store Inventory format is fine as is?

They don't get media or toy sellers, do they?

Click to view more comments
1 2  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.