eBay disappointed some of its best sellers - those who pay monthly fees for Stores - by announcing a fee increase. eBay also introduced two new tiers to its Stores subscription program today as part of the Spring Seller Update, but failed to fill in a gap in the current structure.
Surprise #1: Starter Store FVFs
eBay left out critical information when describing the new "Starter Store" tier (it also published a mistake that was pointed out by a seller that has since been fixed).
As a result, some sellers were left with the impression that the new Starter tier had the same FVF (commission fees) as other Store tiers (3.5%-9.15%). But according to eBay employees responding to seller questions on the boards, that's not the case - Starter Stores pay 10% FVFs across the board. And that wasn't the only are where details were lacking.
starts off with questions from a seller seeking clarification:
"Will the new Starter level of Store subscription get any free auction-format insertions? If not, then a change to this subscription means that a seller's free insertions will change from 50 in either format to 100 in fixed price only, and the seller will pay 35 cents for each auction-format insertion. Will the new Starter level of Store subscription have access to all the same tools etc. as other Stores, such as vacation settings and Markdown Manager?"
After more questions and a moderator's attempts to answer them, along with references to information found in other threads, this clarification from a moderator helped clear things up:
"From a seller tools point of view it is identical to a basic store. Store home page, web address, categories, Seller Hub features. Everything you list right above will be available with a Starter store. Where Starter diverges is different allocation of included listings, 10% final value fee, no eBay shipping supplies coupon. We will publish a matrix that shows the store benefits/features and you will be able to evaluate side by side."
(The OP wrote, "So now we have learned that the Starter store doesn't get a FVF discount and doesn't get the supplies coupon. I wonder what else they're not telling us? Apparently my question above about "Will the new Starter level of Store subscription have access to all the same tools etc. as other Stores" was either too vague or too specific.")
Woe to those who don't dig deep in the forums for answers before running the cost-benefit analysis on opening a Starter Store. (And it raises the question of whether eBay customer service reps have the correct and full information about all of today's changes.)
Surprise #2: eBay Leaves Chasm Unfilled
What's also surprising about the new Store tiers: neither one fills in the gap between Premium ($74.95/month) and Anchor ($349.95/month). To make the leap, growing sellers would face a 367% jump in monthly subscription fees.
When a seller explained what the chasm meant for her business on this thread
, an eBay moderator provided the following response:
"This feedback is being heard, I'm sorry to hear you don't think it is. We're constantly looking at the spectrum of our store tiers and trying to harmonize between the needs of our different tiers of sellers. We definitely want to keep/preserve the relationship with intermediate level sellers. I don't have a definitive timeframe but we are looking at some things that may help with sellers in your situation down the road."
That response didn't satisfy, with one seller stating: "There are eBay execs in several of the Facebook groups I am in so they have heard about the need for more store levels in between premium & anchor many times. It's obviously not important to them."
Another seller called it a slap in the face, referencing the new "Enterprise" Store tier that costs nearly $3,000/month: "I knew I was not the only one medium seller that will like to go full time correction who is full time but has to do it with 2 premium stores and sell on 3 non-eBay platforms. This update is a slap in the face. Was it really necessary to give mega sellers their own store. eBay is just going to be an online department store filled with cheap emotionless overseas sellers. Aren't we suppose to be a community - doesn't that separate us from other platforms. Highly disappointed a true low blow - I love eBay but the direction it's going concerns me."
Surprise #3: Higher Fees for Operating a Basic Store
eBay raised some fees today, including an increase in the monthly fee for a Basic Store subscription - from $24.95/month to $27.95/month (a 12% hike).
In addition: "When you exceed your 250 zero insertion fee listing allocation in fixed price listings, the insertion fee for each fixed price listing will change from $0.20 to $0.25" (a 25% hike).
If you found any silver linings in today's announcement around Stores, let us know.