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Wed Mar 16 2011 23:08:08

Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting

By: Greg Holden

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eBay held a Town Hall Meeting on March 16, 2011, to let sellers ask questions about the Spring Seller Update eBay announced on Tuesday. AuctionBytes Contributing Editor Greg Holden tuned in and reports on what took place.

Editor's note: This is not a transcript, please note that many questions and answers are  summarized/paraphrased. Apologies in advance for misspellings of people's names - we're happy to correct if notified.

Griff: Welcome to the eBay Town Hall. Lee Mirabal assists.

Focus will be on yesterday's announcements: changes to fee structure; new shopping cart; updates for new or below standard sellers; changes to fashions and parts accessories; and shipping international. "Huge room full of experts" from eBay available.

Panelists:
Todd Ludwak, Seller Experience.
Brian Soo, on Seller update
Seller standards: Mike Moffia
Communications: Yardley Ip (Sr. Product Manager, eBay Engagement team)
Shopping cart: Andrew Shearer (Director, Product Management: New eBay Shopping Cart)
Seller Standards: Christina Clausen
Also 600 employees in the room.

Todd: overview of what was announced. Highlights include fees: Buyers tell us they love free shipping, we wanted to create a platform where we incented sellers to offer free or low-cost shipping. eBay will begin charging based on fees and shipping. For sellers who don't have a store, we are moving to free insertion fees at any start price up to 50 listings per month.

Significant improvements to the buyer experience, he says. "Every change we make, we do in the spirit of improving the buying and selling experience." Want to improve "trust, value, and selection" for buyers.
Most comments coming from fee update, and from sellers who believe "not always correctly" they will be negatively impacted on this.

Let's read a few email comments:

Q. "Huge mistake basing FVF on shipping. "

Q. "This might put sellers out of business - I won't ship internationally any more, I can't afford the fees."

Griff says that is a misconception.

At the other end of spectrum:

Q. "Bravo, I will see a real fee decrease. "

Q. "New fee structure is not bad business."

Q. "Overpriced Chinese shipping will level the playing field."

====

Q. Caller on phone (Syracuse): I too love eBay and buying and selling since 2004. Been paying close attention to what was said. I don't understand what made the persons who make the decisions at eBay think we were charging way more. We are selling things for less money to stay visible. Most of us are not adding anything to the charges. When I sell and send it for free - I will make zip, I will make way less. Friend in San Diego ships paintings, will have to add fee to cover shipping charge.

A. A lot of the questions we get are about this. We have lowered the final value fees in our fixed price area and store auctions to accommodate a reasonable amount of shipping. We realize there is no such thing as free shipping. Look at our fee calculator and fee illustrator to see if you will be impacted negatively. Many sellers find they will be better off. People who provide cheap or reasonable shipping are going to be better off through this.

====

Q. Richard, Colorado: We sell lot of stuff at $3.99, $4 shipping. People say we will buy five items, and get them in one box for $4. If I list them now, I have to list every section at $7.99, so they pay $20 shipping.

A. Are you not using combined shipping rules?

Q. We have 1300 items in store. People buy 5, we use same shipping - $4 for each.

A. Brian: When you have multiple items sold to a buyer, you give them a combined shipping discount. We are only going to charge the FVFs on what the buyer pays for shipping. The $4 they will actually pay.

Q. If I sell one item you are doubling my fees.

A. Brian: That's true. It will be a price increase for you on that item.

Q. If I put free shipping on there, it's not going to sell, I'm not going to do it.

A. Griff: You've tried?

Q. It's not going to work.

A. Griff: It is never smart in any business to assume that something won't work. You have to test. Right gang?

====

Q. Brandon, Texas: I'm really unhappy with the new change. How can eBay charge a fee for services it does not provide?

A. Todd: This is similar to the call that just came in before. This has a lot to do with what buyers' expectations are. A previous caller mentioned that he charged a shipping cost that was in excess of the item's price. That's not what buyers want. More and more sellers have moved to free or low-cost shipping and we're working to make this happen. Roughly 30% of sellers on site charging free shipping.

====

Q. Tom, Illinois: I understand the desire to charge FVF on shipping. Why not allow a TRS discount on shipping and handling? And if we offer three shipping options, it sounds like the fee will be assess on Priority Mail is $5, I'm going to pay more based on what the buyer wants.

A. Brian: On the Top Rated Seller discounts, what buyers really expect today is free and low cost shipping. We're driving an incentive for our Top Rated Sellers to do free shipping, to maximize their 20% discount. We're hoping our Top rated Sellers will do more of that?

A. On the other question, you will be charged more on what the buyer pays.

A. International and domestic: If you're offering a one-day service or international service, we will charge you on your first non-domestic one-day service.

A. eBay staffer asks: What do you sell? What's the average price of what you sell?

Q. $11-$12, I charge $2.95 1st class, $5.95 priority mail.

eBay: Griff asks: have you considered adding the cost of the shipping into your item cost?

Q. No, because people see me as charging a reasonable price.

eBay: The shopping cart will give us the chance to offer discounts like this (for multiple purchases from the same buyer).
 
====

Q. (email): What happens in this scenario: buyer puts item in cart. Seller wants to make change to listing. Can a seller make change while it is in cart?

A. When a buyer adds an item to a shopping cart it is not the same impact as clicking Buy It Now. Seller is not obligated to reserve that item. Yes, a seller can make a change to a listing. If this happens, an alert will appear that the buyer will see letting them know a change has been made to the listing.

[Phones ringing off the hook, Lee remarks.]

====

Q. I'm a small time seller, no store, how can eBay add a shipping fee to my sales fee and charge me a percentage off of that? I don't make anything off of shipping. They make a ton off of my sales already. How can they do that? They don't provide a service for shipping. How can they get a percentage of my materials cost and handling cost.

Griff: What I'm hearing is, How can you do this? Is this legal that you do this?

Brian: There's a lot of precedence for this, there are other marketplaces that do the same thing, Paypal, Half.com, Amazon, they all do this. It has become industry standard. We're slow to adopt it. To the comment, this feels like a price increase for me, you're not a store subscriber, if you are selling fixed price, fees coming down; if you sell at auction, fees are being taken away at the front end.

[Lee mentions that tomorrow, you can speak to someone at eBay, 10:30 Webinar.]

====

Q. Suzanne, PA: It's naive for all the people calling in, asking why is eBay charging fee, eBay wants to make more money, and they want people to go to fixed price, and why bother to call yourself an auction site any more. You're all getting too big for your britches. I don't think there's any reason for us to ask, "Why do you do it?" because you've already done it, like so many other things. Also, how many times have you searched for your item, and you don't see it come up at all, even if you put in words that you know are in the title. You have paid advertisements for wetsuits and other items at the top. It's all about the money.

A. Griff: I want to disabuse this notion that eBay is trying to get rid of auctions. If we were trying to get rid of auctions we would shut them off. We have made them free up to 50 per month.

Other eBayer: This is the single largest step we've taken in favor of auctions. We are indifferent at eBay. We are a marketplace. We're doing to this because this is what buyers are telling us to do.

====

Q. Laurie, NY: I have no store, small seller, shipping calculator, I charge actual shipping to my customers. I'm feeling the way this is set up is unfair, it is affecting people differently based on where they live. People buy from West Coast. I don't feel it's fair that people should live close to me because I'll pay less in fees compared to California.

A. Griff: Have you considered moving shipping into cost of item?

Q. I would have to calculate the shipping to the farthest point and that would not be fair to buyers close to me.

A. Most will take the average shipping price.

A. Go back over last 12 months, determine average shipping price, and see what the outcome is over different periods. That's what every business does. [cuts her off while she is trying to speak.]

====

Q. Paula in CA: I'm a seller on eBay for 10-12 years. I'm upset about this on so many levels. I live on West coast and sell wide variety of antiques and collectibles can weigh 2 to 12 lbs. I price by taking shipping into account. Now I won't be able to do heavier items because it would be ridiculous for me to do FVF based on the shipping.

Griff: You won't get a refund for FVF on part of the shipping if you …if you offer shipping discounts in the form of a refund back to the buyer, you won't get a refund for your fee.

[Griff invites everyone to email him, and try it out. ]

====

Q. How is eBay going to handle the price increases with the post office - eBay will make money every time the P.O. increases fees.

A. Griff: Fees go up generally. I want to disabuse the notion where there were a bunch of us rubbing our hands and thinking, how can we make more money. We want buyers to come back to us and keep thinking of us first.

A. (Yardley?): eBay makes more money when our sellers make more money and when they are successful. They are more successful when they offer what buyers are looking for. Sellers, previously, wouldn't do this because they would pay higher fees. We have tried to remove the disincentive.

A. Todd Lutwack: We have run the fee illustrator for every seller on eBay. The majority of sellers will experience a fee decrease or no impact on the business.

====

Q. How clear would it be to buyers using the shopping cart that they are buying from more than one seller?

A. Andrew: We made the decision to organize the shopping cart by Seller ID. It's very important to us that buyers know who they are interacting with. From there, everything happens the same way it does today.

====

Q. Beverly, CA: Suggestion for future town halls: Lot of the same complaints over and over again. Prescreen the calls?

A. They may say something different than what they said to us when we screened them.

A. This is a hot topic because it affects peoples' money. In the next week or two, more and more questions will come up, so keep listening.

====

Q. How is the checkout going to work? We have adopted free shipping. However, we sell big and small items. With offering free shipping for jewelry under $10, will the checkout look at the one person who bought three items and take that as one payment?

A. Great question. I hadn't thought about it.

A. Fundamentally, the process of buying three items from a single seller doesn't change in shopping cart. You pay for all three items at the same time.

====

Q. Richard, WV: I'm disgruntled over changes, I am TA, I sell collectibles, I realize this will charge me double what I normally pay in fees. Thinking of leaving eBay. Average sale $10 or $11. I'm going to get hurt, dramatically hurt, by the new fees. $2.75 for handling fee. I consider that reasonable; most of my customers do too. Most buyers don't understand shipping, especially from the east coast to the west coast.

A. Is the bulk of stuff you sell on eBay consigned to you? Yes. Consignors pay all fees for selling? Yes, I charge an additional 10 percent. Are you charging your consignors, are you deducting the proceeds, the cost to sell, including fees on eBay. Will eBay consider in future, since you are charging us a fee for shipping, will the add'l cost towards becoming a PowerSeller?

A. You might be able to try, the advice if you're not yet TRS, and what has been holding you back is shipping, best thing you can do is charge free shipping.

A. That's something we're contemplating right now. If you put shipping into your item, you would do that.

A. One of the best practices is not to charge handling fees any more. This is not what buyers expect.

====

Q. Joel in PA: Sounds like you guys are serious about this and you feel this incentivizes us. How does it save me on fees if I offer the customer a better shipping option. If seller selects upgrade to priority mail, and I am already charging free shipping, I pay more, and you guys are going to tax me 11% on top of that.

A. What is the average selling price of items you sell on eBay?

Q. $15.

A. We have lowered the FVFs in all categories. This seller would save and go from 12% to 10% fees on all items he sells on eBay. …his answer is that on average, he will come out ahead because buyers only request upgrades 6 percent of the time.

====

Q. Nat in PA [This guy is angry]: OK, I have been selling for a living since before there was an eBay. This whole new deal is an insult to my intelligence. Telling me that somehow I will benefit from this is ridiculous. My shipping is three tiers: one for small items - flat paper items. One is a small cardboard mailer I pay for, I charge $2.75, that includes first-class shipping, the cost of the mailer, delivery confirmation. (charges $4 to $7 in retail for those items)

The next level for $4 is a large cardboard mailer, merchandise is generally $8-10.

And the third flat rate priority mail envelope $11 and $15 costs me $5.65 fees exactly. There is no way I can build any of these into my item price.

A. You've tried it?

Q. Telling me that somehow I should raise my prices - I know sellers that have charged free shipping and got low DSRs for shipping. And when they went back to charging it adjusted.

A. But that's not possible, because if you offer free shipping, no one can rate you anything on your DSR except a five.

Q. Let's not argue about that. I've got an item that is $11.95, something I've been selling for the past 28 years. I know exactly what the market is for this. It weighs 13-14 oz. I cannot send it first class. For $5.65 in a flat rate envelope do you want to tell me seriously to add this $6 into my price?

A. You've tried it?

Q. I know better than to try it, I've been doing this for 30 years.

A. There's always room for trying and testing and changing.

Q. No one will buy it! There's room for you telling me something that insults my intelligence …you somehow know something more about my business than I do.

====

Q. Mary, Massachusetts: I need some advice. I sell a handmade product. I am a small time seller, I ship all over the world, unfortunately my item is first-class everywhere, I put in fixed price - GTC. Usually people come in, buy one item, put it in a polybag, ship it. Some people buy 4-5 items, I say in my listing, please request a total when you're buying multiple items. Very rarely do I ship anything over 13 oz. so everything goes 1st class. How will this affect me with the Good 'Til Cancelled? Sometimes people buy 4-5 or 6 items and pay the for all 6 items - I have to weigh them and refund the difference in the shipping, and I know that's going to impact me. How do I change my platform so this doesn't happen? I can't afford a store.

A. I'd love to know what this seller is paying and charging for shipping in aggregate. How much of those shipping prices should they build into their sale price? I'd love to see an experiment to offer free shipping.

A. You're providing combined shipping, but you're not using any of our combined shipping tools.

A. Having a store or not will not affect your shopping cart. You have access to the cart regardless.

Todd: The reason why we made the changes we are making is we think it will bring more buyers to the site, who will buy more items.

About the Blogger:
Greg Holden is AuctionBytes Contributing Editor. He is a journalist and the author of many books, including "Starting an Online Business For Dummies," "Go Google: 20 Ways to Reach More Customers and Build Revenue with Google Business Tools," and several books about eBay, including "How to Do Everything with Your eBay Business," second edition, and "Secrets of the eBay Millionaires," both published by Osborne-McGraw Hill. Find out more on Greg's website (GregHolden.com), which includes his blog, a list of his books, and his fiction and biographical writing.

 




Comments (189) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting   Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting

by: Donkey

Wed Mar 16 23:35:58 2011

"A. You've tried it? "

How many times did ebay say this during the meeting?

If ebay did not have a good answer or better yet a believable answer they seemed to get defensive.

Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting   Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed Mar 16 23:57:41 2011

As an illustration of how disingenuous eBay management really is, eBay sent out an email announcement inviting everyone to the Town Hall Meeting which took place from 3:30 PM (6:30PM Eastern time) to 5:00 PM (8:00 Eastern time).

Nice announcement, but it was not received by this eBay seller until 10:42 Eastern time, more than 2 hours AFTER the event ended.

eBay's inept management wants the public to believe they are listening, however they apparently do not want all interested parties to be able to participate and be heard.

Dispicible

Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting   Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting

by: Bob Travaglione

Wed Mar 16 23:57:50 2011

I sell old small unique collectables. I always get good ratings because I always ship Priority Mail on everything. Since I am in the middle of the US I am lucky on shipping. But it is much more expensive to ship far East or far West US Coasts. So I average around $8.50 So what I will do is raise my shipping to pass the increase on to the buyers. Probably to about $9.75 on average. I think my customers want their items in 2 or 3 days Max and they are willing to pay for it. So in the end, your crazy plan will be passed on to all the buyers. Corporations will eventually destroy our country. They are worse than politicians. Plain old Greediness to give bonuses to a bunch of weasels in suits.

Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting   Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Thu Mar 17 00:01:49 2011

As an illustration of how disingenuous eBay management really is, eBay sent out an email announcement inviting everyone to the Town Hall Meeting which took place from 3:30 PM (6:30PM Eastern time) to 5:00 PM (8:00 Eastern time).

Nice announcement, but it was not received by this eBay seller until 10:42 Eastern time, more than 2 hours AFTER the event concluded.

eBay's inept management wants the public to believe they are listening, however they apparently do not want all interested parties to be able to participate and be heard.

The level of incompetence displayed by eBay management is exceeded only by their ability to reach deeper and deeper into their sellers pockets with impunity.

Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting   Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting

by: pbreit This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 17 00:20:19 2011

I'm confused. Assessing fees on shipping means 5-10% on $2-8 or 10-80 cents. Is this really what eBay sellers are complaining about? Sure, no one wants to pay more in fees but this hardly ruins businesses.

Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting   Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting

by: Todd

Thu Mar 17 00:35:07 2011

EBay is fooling only itself and a few die-hard cheerleaders. No, the latest changes are not good news for anyone except competitors such as Bonanza.com, which is bound to experience a little more growth from eBay defectors.

EBay has a history of standing by stupid decisions such as PayPal-only and limiting sellers to filing only positive feedback. I hope it doesn't take PayPal with it when it finally finishes circling the bowl and goes down the toilet.

Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting   Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting

by: Rick1313

Thu Mar 17 00:58:42 2011

eBay states, ''We realize there is no such thing as free shipping.''

Then why does eBay,inc. call it ''free shipping''?

Why not call it what it is, ''shipping and handling included''?

eBay keeps on talking about what buyers (Mr. Lutwak, over on the other AB thread calls them ''our buyers''. Interesting to say the least.) expect. ''Free shipping'', no handling charges, etc. However...

There is a BIG difference between what a buyer expects and what they are getting (hidden fees in price of the item).

It would be interesting to find out if the buyers that eBay keeps talking about realize that eBay, in granting their expectations, is expecting them to pay MORE for their purchases (hidden cost + FVF on hidden cost) than when costs are separate invoice line items. And soon, even that will will have buyers paying more for their purchase(s).

Lastly, there that old devil-phrase ''industry standards'' that eBay is using to give justification as to why they are allowed to do what they are doing. However...

I go by what eBay,inc. says in their site literature titled ''Your User Agreement''. They state that they are just a selling venue and do not take part in the transaction.

I would dearly like to see eBay,inc. use that ''industry standards'' line of defense in a court room. Somehow, I do not see it happening.

The response was a complete avoidance of the issue at hand. The legality of eBay,inc. wanting to profit from S&H charges and taking place in the transaction (charging the bad faith fee which the seller will have to transfer to the buyer).

As I have always stated, it is nice when eBay,inc. provides the ammo one needs when one has to have eBay,inc. realize the errors of their ways (of which grows by leaps and bounds under Mr. Donahoe).

Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting   Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Thu Mar 17 01:19:38 2011

If the answers I heard actually came from the Seller Advocate and the VP in charge of the "Seller Experience," I'm sure I'd really hate the answers the buyer adocate and the VP in charge of the "Buyer Experience" might have given.

You know what Griff? If ebay doesn't refocus itself on what SELLERS EXPECT, you'd both better be looking for new jobs.

These corporate toadies could care less about the actual seller experiences on ebay. They are about coercing, forcing, and browbeating sellers to do whatever it is ebay wants done to enhance its bottom line.

There's a special place in hell reserved for the likes of sellouts and suckups. I won't call them clowns because they're not funny.

They're evil.

Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting   Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly
Web Site

Thu Mar 17 01:23:53 2011

IT WAS ALL A DIVERSION!

The Town Hall DID NOT WANT YOU to see this news that broke on ebayinkblog.com on Wednesday:

EBAY INC HONORED AS ONE OF THE WORLD'S MOST ETHICAL COMPANIES

Go read this BULL:


EBAY INC HONORED AS ONE OF THE WORLD'S MOST ETHICAL COMPANIES

http://ebayinkblog.com/2011/03/16/ebay-inc-honored-as
-one-of-the-worlds-most-ethical-companies/

eBay
Inc has been recognized as one of the world’s most ethical companies by the Ethisphere Institute, a leading business ethics think tank. eBay is among 100 global companies chosen for the designation in a year with a record number of nominations for the award. Other companies on the list include Google, American Express, Starbucks, and PepsiCo. The results are based on a review of companies’ social responsibility efforts, corporate governance and business practices.

This is the fifth year Ethisphere, a think-tank dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability, has published the WME rankings, which appear in Ethisphere Magazine’s Q1 issue.

Ethisphere reviewed nominations from companies in more than 100 countries and 36 industries.

“As companies strive to maintain a competitive advantage, good ethics translate into better business, and better business means better bottom lines. eBay recognizes the important role that principled practices play in brand reputation, which ultimately is the most valuable asset for a corporation,” said Alex Brigham, Executive Director of the Ethisphere Institute. “Each year, the competition gets more intense for the World’s Most Ethical Companies and this year was no exception with a record number of organizations vying for this distinguished honor. Ethisphere congratulates eBay on being one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for 2011.”

The methodology for the WME ranking includes reviewing codes of ethics, litigation and regulatory infraction histories; evaluating the investment in innovation and sustainable business practices; looking at activities designed to improve corporate citizenship; and studying nominations from senior executives, industry peers, suppliers and customers.

Read about the methodology and view the complete list of the 2011 World’s Most Ethical Companies at http://ethisphere.com/worlds-most-ethical-companies-rankings/.


Cheers,
RBH

* * * * * * *

Well... isn't that something.


I guess now IT'S MOST ETHICAL TO STEAL MONEY FROM PEOPLE FOR SOMETHING YOU DID NOT DO.

I was going to just grab the ''Social Media sell-outs'' link and my jaw dropped when I saw this.

Ethisphere Institute... wow. What gifted minds.

If I made this up you would never believe it - but it's real.

Will you do NOTHING???

Where's nimrod? I've got a few comments.

Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting   Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Thu Mar 17 01:28:23 2011

Please excuse my partial duplicate posts above.

Mr Lutwak refers to industry standards.

Mr Lutwak points to the fact that PayPal and other companies collect fees on shipping charges dismisses the FVF on shipping as eBay simply catching up.

Perhaps Mr Lutwak would be so kind as to explain then why PayPal issues fee credits when sellers issue partial refunds to credit excess shipping back to buyers, but eBay has stated there are absolutely no plans to do the same.

One of two things is going to happen here.

Either a) eBay will revise their policy so that sellers refunding excess shipping charges will receive the fee credit they rightly deserve or b) PayPal will discontinue issuing fee credits for partial refunds and confirm what sellers already suspect...this is another money grab by eBay & PayPal.

Memo to Mr Lutwak; If you are going to offer consistency as justification for this fee change, then you should assure your policies with regard to refunds are equally consistent before rolling the policy out.

It is interesting how eBay executives defend the FVF on shipping move one one aspect, receiving revenue into eBay's coffers, but refuses to be consistent when it comes to treating sellers honestly and fairly when shipping is partially refunded.

Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting   Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting

by: Rick1313

Thu Mar 17 01:35:06 2011

Okay! Back on this thread to say that eBay,inc. likes talking about ''low cost shipping''. Yet I have not seen eBay define exactly what that terms means, given that they have sellers worldwide that are selling worldwide.

Another vague, meaningless (like ''industry standards'') term to give justification for breaching, yet again, elements of their UA site literature.

Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting   Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting

by: another side of the coin

Thu Mar 17 02:30:36 2011

Todd: The reason why we made the changes we are making is we think it will bring more buyers to the site, who will buy more items.

How about taking all those sellers fees and release your tight fisted grip on all that money and do your part and ADVERTISE to get buyers to eBay! Also, give all sellers equal and fair visibility for all the fees you have sucked from them.

Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting   Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting

by: Rich

Thu Mar 17 02:50:40 2011

The people running Ebay could not even grasp what the seller was explaining when he said he sells items for $3.99 with $4.00 shipping.  He tried explaining that 5 items bought at $3.99 with a combined shipping cost of $4 would be a total cost to the buyer of $23.95. Or maybe the added items make the shipping say $6 for a $25.95 total. But adding the $4.00 ship into the $3.99 cost would make each item $7.99 with free shipping.  But the geniuses running Ebay didn't catch on. Now a shopper buying 5 at $7.99 bid price would be $39.95; instead just $23.95. So the buyer who's shopping for several items from 1 seller; doesn't buy from the seller with free shipping who's jacked his price higher due to free ship bs; he buys from the seller who has the much lower bid price.  As Ming said; this goes beyond anything funny; it's pure evil to take money that sellers collect for USPS and boxes they use. both my ebay stores will close in June if Ebay goes through with this

Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting   Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting

by: Ebay's Slow Death

Thu Mar 17 04:13:21 2011

@Rich-

Excellent comment!  That is absolutely true!  If the shipping is already priced into the item listing, how can you give discounts for one Buyer buying multiple items?  We all know reduced combined shipping works by encouraging people to buy more than one item from us.

I kept hearing, ''Free Shipping'' over and over. They are obsessed with it, even though they say, they know there is no such thing as free shipping. Are they admitting they are trying to trick Buyers?

Also, interesting comment about the Shopping Cart. As I understand it, the Seller can alter or take anything out of the cart at any time. When a Buyer puts an item into the cart, is it no longer listed for sale on the site?  I haven't heard how that will work, but I see a lot of potential problems there.

Ebay has become too darn complicated! Also, too many people work for Ebay. That is why Bonanza, eCrater, Delcampe and others can offer such low fees. Those fees don't have to support a billionaire CEO and gobs of his minions.

I agree, greedy corporations are bringing this country down, with the help of the bought and paid for politicians, but that's a discussion for sites elsewhere on the internet.

Ina-Thank you once again for your blog! I think if I couldn't sit here and commiserate with other Ebayers, my head might explode! I use to make good money on Ebay, dealing with reasonable Buyers. It's almost all gone now.

Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting   Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting

by: Anthony colacicco

Thu Mar 17 07:11:27 2011

It's a fee increase for small business sellers, A HUGE one, there is no such thing as free shipping anywhere, the total cost is what counts and of course service and item quality. All this does is make sellers mesh their shipping cost to the item cost and hence you have a magical illusion called free shipping. People are in business to make profit and satisfy the customer, this fee on shipping is narcisism and sociopathic abuse by the rich and wealthy in this country, period. SINCE WHEN SHOULD SOMEONE DICTATE WHAT I CHARGE FOR MY BUSINESS. AND THEY DON'T EVEN GIVE YOU TIME TO PREPARE FOR IT, THE SLIME, Don't let anyone try to sugarcoat what is actully happening, it is a huge increase in profits for a select few ebay ceos period. Don't listen to any of this, its essentially a fee increase again, a huge one for small busines. They will increase fees again soon, and then what will you people thik then. They are going to fee you to death until you leave because that is what they want. WAKE UP, they can fee you anytime they want, ANYTIME on ANYTHING, anyone who likes this fee increase is crazy and not very bright, even if you offer free shipping they will come up with another disturbing rule soon to make you pay more again. LOL, wake up.

Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting   Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting

by: anthony colacicco
Web Site

Thu Mar 17 07:28:29 2011

It is also very disturbing to listen to these ebay robots who want to sugarcoat what is really going on, IF YOU WANT SELLERS TO OFFER LOW SHIPPING OR FREE SHIPPING REWARD THEM FOR IT!!!!, YOU ARE IN FACT PUNISHING them by CHARGING THEM A HUGE FEE FOR IT!!!!! LOL WHAT IS GOING ON HERE. DON'T LISTEN TO THESE PEOPLE THAT WORK FOR EBAY, THEY WANT YOU TO LEAVE, THEY WILL FEE YOU AGAIN SOON, THEY CAN FEE YOU ANYTIME THEY WANT ON ANYTHING, C'MON, CAN'T YOU SEE HOW CRIMINAL THIS IS AND EVIL, MY BUSINESS AND MANY OTHERS WHICH I FEEL BADLY FOR HAS COMPETELY HALTED ON EBAY BECAUSE THEY GAVE ME ONE MONTH NOTICE OF THIS GARBAGE

Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting   Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting

by: Not a Hobby

Thu Mar 17 09:25:18 2011

Expect the next FREE will be FREE RETURN SHIPPING.

Watch for it being forced upon sellers in the near future

Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting   Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting

by: Folbaum

Thu Mar 17 10:03:24 2011

Griff gets his business skills from Nancy Pelosi.  "We have to pass the bill to see what's in it".

Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting   Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting

by: Stew

Thu Mar 17 10:14:22 2011

It is possible to tack the cost of shipping onto the selling price, I did it,  but the cost of selling does go through the roof.  My fee's went from $500 a month to almost $1000 a month.

Not only that,  buyers do not understand that just because shipping and handling is FREE TO THEM that it is NOT to the seller and that the price is actually part of the selling price so when they make offers on Store or fixed price items they just do not grasp this and then are offended when the offer is declined.

They also do not realize that the item costs the seller money that we do not pull these items out of a mysterious black sack and they are suddenly just there, they don't realize it can take weeks or months to find that item and a lot of miles of driving to do so!  

I still make a living on ebay and live very comfortably but...

...my expenses are far higher than they used to be and a lot of items take longer to sell than they used to.

eBay still does not do anything for the seller as to forcing the buyer to read replies when they have complaints,  I received a negative and one star ratings for item as described and communication.  While the item was exactly as described because I had inspected it and counted the bars of soap myself and knew they were getting exactly what was asked yet they disputed this.  I gave them a full refund and asked them to return the product since they were not happy.

They said in their negative feedback that they had tried,  I got no response to my emails or the phone messages left to the customer and they refused to return the product,  when I started a request for my fee's stating that they were returning the product they flagged it as a negative statement and so I lost my fee's.   That transaction cost me over $50 and ebay said that it's all about the buyer.

Yes it's all about the buyer but when the buyers are blatantly stealing from the sellers because they can do so with eBay's coersion using the threat of disputes as blackmail then it means that eBay is party to the theft.

There is no level playing field,  no ability to be truthful in your  feedback! Unless you prepared to give glowing feedback then you can't give any and not giving any is a lie because not giving anything if you can't give neutral or negative feedback is not honest feedback for that buyer.  It would also  reduce the amount of fraud from buyers.

eBay has/are under the impression that the only fraud that takes place on their site is Sellers defrauding the buyers,  they do not and never will acknowledge that there are a great number of people that buy on ebay with the intention of getting that item for free from the sellers they purchase from using threats of negative feedback and disputes.

As to the person called 'not a hobby',  they are spot on with their comment.  Yes expect to have to pay for return shipping on an item that they want returned.  Buyers already expect that even when it is clearly stated in the listing.

eBay will continue to do things to control the sellers because the smaller sellers that made eBay are not really the ones that they want on eBay.  They want the big box sellers and they are treated differently from small sellers.

Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting   Questions about eBay Fee Structure at Town Hall Meeting

by: Fred

Thu Mar 17 10:14:50 2011

Folbaum,

No matter what your politics or how you feel about Pelosi, don't put any human being into the same trough as these idiots who think they can roll out some changes and 'see if or how it works' after the fact.

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