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Sat Apr 1 2017 23:31:54

The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change

By: Bob

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As Amazon flexes its logistics muscles to speed delivery to customers, eBay is making a change that will have the opposite effect, says a longtime seller - give a welcome to our newest AuctionBytes Blog columnist and let us know if you agree.

Beginning in May, eBay will implement changes to their Top Rated Seller program. Currently, this elite group of eBay sellers get a nifty little e-emblem next to their seller ID, a 20% discount on Final Value Fees and, probably, a boost in their search placement when compared to Average-Joe (or Jane) Rated Sellers.

But soon eBay will cut the Final Value Fee discount in half (from 20% down to 10%) while increasing the requirement that these sellers upload tracking information, within the seller's claimed shipping period, from at least 90% to at least 95% of the time.

eBay isn't alone in trying to increase profits by reducing its costs. In fact, all corporations do it. But often, short term profit come at the expense of long term goals.

The unintended (but likely) consequence of taking away an established benefit that your most decorated users have become accustomed to is that fewer sellers will seek this designation. If it were only an increase in the percentage of uploaded tracking information it could be interpreted as encouraging its sellers to ship faster. But when this is combined with a sharp decrease in the benefit for shipping faster it sends a mixed signal. 

This will surely discourage many overworked and underappreciated eBay sellers from shipping faster. As evidence, on January of 2015, EcommerceBytes received a message from an eBay Top Rated seller. From that note: "After losing Top Rated Seller status six months ago, for who know what reason, I decided to stop jumping through eBay's hoops... I changed handling time from one business days to two business days..."

While Amazon explores the possibility of using drones and other modern technologies to increase the speed of product delivery, eBay has apparently decided to go in the opposite direction. Perhaps they hope to focus more on the laid-back, eager-to-wait, consumer market.

About the Columnist
Bob has been buying and selling online for almost 20 years. Some experts claim that his limited budget was the major cause of the 2001 dot-com crash. He denies the charge.




Comments (48) | Permalink

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The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change   The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 1 23:54:21 2017

eBay NEVER thinks things through all the way - its why eBay is a mess.

In this case - its purely trying to get something for nothing (or as close to it as you can get).

I said before and Ill say it again - if you are going to try and reduce your bottom line - DONT do it on "your best sellers backs" - makes no sense at all.

Amazon chanrges 79-99 and Walmsrt 49 - free - and since eBay owns nothing, does nothing and refuses to spend any of their own funds - its just easier to throw it onto the sellrs and tell them some BS story of how it is going/will benefit them - when its a lie and it will ONLY benefit eBay.

Im sure that I like most here dont get INR complaints ever, and very rarely to we get "slow shipping issues" (unless its a USPS fault).

It would seem that since eBay has nothing "ELSE" to offer buyers (amazon has music movies and kindles) and Walmart has B&M stores that stay open late and on weekends - eBay has NOTHING to offer - so if eBay wants grow - it better come up with something better then yet another Cassini switch.

eBay has NO perceived value and thats the REAL issue. The other of course is that eBay doesnt promote YOUR brand/store so you can never get ahead.

2017/2018 should be an interesting yr for them - they are running out of cheapo gimmicks.

The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change   The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 2 07:14:18 2017

Quoted from above

Elite Group
Nifty Little Emblem Next To Name
20 Per Cent Discount
Boost in Placement
Decorated Users

And then the writer says

Overworked
Underappreciated

Gee I can hardly wait to see how the writer describes the rest of the sellers on Ebay.

The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change   The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change

by: quirkyantiques This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 2 13:09:00 2017

WOW-so the reward for being an outstanding seller, jumping through dog and pony show hoops and sucking up returns fraud in order to keep this big discount on fees, will now be.....nothing? Seeing as an Ebay ASS (Above Standard Seller) like myself pays 10% in FVF and I don't do any of the above, I can't fathom what incentive there is now to remain a top rated seller. Ebay has removed the carrot (that extra 10% saved on fees added up to hundreds of dollars a month saved for most) that encouraged sellers to overlook bad buyer behavior. What could go wrong?
That 10% extra in fees they just yanked back should be enough to employ several hundred more Customer service Reps-they're going to need it when this sinks in.

The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change   The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sun Apr 2 13:23:46 2017

Before the Spring Update:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Free Shipping

30 day returns

1 day handling (most of the time shipped same day)

After the Spring Update:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Paid Shipping + 10%

14 day returns

2 or 3 day handling time


If I'm doing this you can bet other sellers are too. . .I won't bend over backwards for 1% of the sale price! NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!

The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change   The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change

by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 2 13:31:41 2017

Any Ebay top executive has no emotional attachment to the company so their goals all always short term and self centered. It's basically get as much as you can as fast as you can, then pad up your resume and get out. If you don't believe me then just ask JD.    

The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change   The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change

by: 27tcle This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 2 14:37:15 2017

95% shipped on time when all my supposedly ''late'' shipments say: carrier says late delivery. It's pretty funny since when on the USPS website it's well on time for most of them. Check your shipping metric and you will see this is so. In other words it's rigged. Now it's been changed from just extremely difficult to almost impossible to be TRS. Oh yeah Saturday and Sunday count toward your handling time and delivery time days according to ebay's logic.

The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change   The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change

by: yesmikan This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sun Apr 2 20:37:22 2017

I'm a full time seller and ship every day with tracking. And yet for whatever reasons (lack of carrier scan on pick up etc) I hit just barely above the current 90% metric for Top Rated status. I have never hit 95%+ and am not even going to try to jump through this smaller hoop for an even more pathetic discount. I'll be going back to saving whatever money I can by stuffing flat items into an untracked First Class large envelope, thanks.

Remember when eBay's big push was for ''FAST AND FREE''? I guess they gave up on that one, just like they are soon to give up on their quixotic ''everything must have an MPN'' crusade. Another year, another dumb idea.

The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change   The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 2 21:26:44 2017

A rehash of what has been written on here numerous times recently. Really?  

The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change   The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 2 21:38:34 2017

Who will choose to ship fast when ebay will be just WAITING to steal your money and give it to the buyer.

If ebay wants fast shipping..let them strike a deal for the seller using one of the carriers so it doesn't cost us way more then amaxon.

EBay gets the deal actually but keeps it all when they charge you.

EBay needs to just hurry up and fail

The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change   The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change

by: phantom This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 2 23:52:42 2017

Since all this bull starts on May 1st, let's make May Day an eBay holiday. My ebay store will be closed on May 1st.

The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change   The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Mon Apr 3 00:14:55 2017

That's O.K
The flood of Real World Jobs will put Ebay out of business.

The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change   The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change

by: thebobman This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 3 00:32:15 2017

Toolguy...
>free shipping changes to paid shipping + 10%

I still can't figure out how that changes anything. Lets say the typical price for the item from other sellers is $75 including shipping. Lets say you currently charge $73 w/free shipping.

Are you changing your price to $73 + $15 shipping + $1.50 for a total price of $89.50? Are other sellers keeping their price at $75? Will your sale decline because your price is too high? Why not charge $89.50/free shipping?

Unless buyers are buying multiple items from you at the same time, free vs paid shipping seems to have little difference.

>>>quirkyantiques

You should look into a store subscription. For $20/mo, you get 250 free listings, and the FVF drops by 1% (in a typical antique category).

If you listed 100 items in a month for total sales of $1,000, that would cover the cost of the subscription. Anything more than that you are coming out ahead. Some categories, the FVF drops a lot and even $300/mo in sales s breaking even.

The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change   The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change

by: DVDsandMore This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 3 00:32:20 2017

I'll continue to ship within 1 day, BUT, I also need to compete on price, so my shipping method will change to Media Mail instead of First Class, taking longer to get to the buyer, while still meeting the eBay requirement.  

To compete with Amazon and their speed, maybe eBay should consider dropping, or a lower FVF on faster shipping services.  

The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change   The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change

by: handmedownheaven This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Apr 3 01:11:24 2017

After their spring announcement, looking at the lack of views, pityful sales I realized I could market our own brand and closed my TRS store the end of March.  Now we use Shopify on our Facebook page with over 19,000 likes, sell on another auction venue that has no limits, no fees and we will wing it on our own.  Can't see continuing to market a company that is sinking faster than the Titanic

The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change   The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change

by: brentandbecca This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 3 03:52:47 2017

Another way eBay's changes are going to backfire is the new 3-day guaranteed delivery where buyers will receive a shipping refund or coupon if late plus a free return if late. Well, that should force even more TRS out in my opinion.

The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change   The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change

by: tango This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 3 05:59:10 2017

Yup -  

- we have ALWAYS had same day shipping
- our 1000s of listings already changed to 1 Biz Day
- Now also using slower (aka Cheaper) ship mode

Ebay wants to take money out of our pocket, nope, we change the rules on them.  Sure we will not get some urgent sales, but the stress level is reduced by 100%, while profit margin will remain.

Chers.

The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change   The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change

by: tango This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 3 06:02:43 2017

good, Tool Guy - what venues and others forget, we don't work just to make money for them - but our primary goal is to make money for us & if possible, reduce stress and avoid manic buyers.... I am totally with you! :)

The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change   The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 3 07:36:12 2017

Ebay stocks no inventory, has no products, and ships nothing,

Their only control is the illusion of punishment or rewards to it's sellers,  

it's simple, they are in business just like us, to make money, if they want to hide our products thru punishment they only punish themselves and loose, if they want to show our products and sell they make money.  



it's almost hard to believe that We were once exclusive and loyal only to ebay, but thru eBay's constant bad policy changes, fee increases, and perceived control and punishment,  we also needed to make changes too, and  today,, a buyer can find our stuff all over the internet, ,

Ebay is now more of an advertising platform for our other venues,

Regardless of what ebay wants you to believe, An ebay buyer becomes OUR customer in the end, we enjoy many repeat sales thru our website everyday, less fees for us and way better prices for our customers, we win, ebay looses  

We fully understand there is no hope or future for ebay, those days are long gone,  

The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change   The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change

This user has validated their user name. by: Rural artist

Mon Apr 3 07:56:43 2017

Just a matter of time. Ebay dying slow stock holders death. A reasonable site could make a move or nobody likes shopping anymore unless it comes from corporate stores of old brick and mortar.  Well glad little ppl had a day in the sun. Maybe the idea of little ppl coming together to make a selling community wasn't a reality everybody wants bigger more.  

The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change   The Unintended Consequence of eBay's Spring Change

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 3 07:58:10 2017

While Amazon explores the possibility of using drones and other modern technologies to increase the speed of product delivery, eBay has apparently decided to go in the opposite direction. Perhaps they hope to focus more on the laid-back, eager-to-wait, consumer market.

^^
Ebay is not Amazon.  AMZ has the R&D funding to try drone experiments.  IMO the drones won't work well in a big city setting, maybe a country open space setting.  We need to stop trying to compare the two.

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