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Tue Feb 27 2018 23:03:38

eBay Disappoints Store Owners with Spring Update

By: Ina Steiner

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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.

This thread 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.



Comments (39) | Permalink

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This user has validated their user name. by: Castoman

Tue Feb 27 23:24:19 2018

The only silver lining (only one) that I read was that nothing changed at all with Premium stores (which is what I have). Waiting for the story on maintaining TRS status in order to get the 10% (cut in half last year) discount: Must offer FREE 30-day returns now, not just 30-day returns where the buyer has to pay to ship back. Now the seller must pay for that. Slowly chopping away at that leather neck of the small/medium seller.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Feb 28 06:30:40 2018

"We're constantly looking at the spectrum of our store tiers and trying to harmonize between the needs of our different tiers of sellers."

I cry a big BS on this one.  Just another money grab by eBay.

I would bet you that the sole reason that they cut their ties with PayPal is because they had to devise a scheme that would make up for the many millions of dollars that will be lost due to the many thousands of sellers who will be forced off of eBay, either due to not being able to afford these stores or due to the forced UPC requirements for pre-owned items. (there was a mention of this in the pre-owned clothing category)

When sales are at their lowest point EVER for many sellers who will pay even more for a store?

The hole in their growth plan (and I hope that it kills them) is that while they want to be a carbon copy of Amazon, they don't want to give up those fees, and instead of lowering them, they've actually raised them.  Remember that it is free to list a certain amount of items on Amazon.  eBay want their cake and eat it too.  I'm hoping that  they choke on it.

Based on the moderators' answers, you can already tell that this is going to be a fiasco of massive proportions.

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by: cillianred This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 28 10:14:10 2018

I wonder if eBay has plans to make it mandatory to have a store. In other words, in order to sell there, you'd have to open a store and would not be able to list/sell without one. That might explain the sudden appearance of a beginner level store AND a diamond tier store...

Just a thought.

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by: dander This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 28 10:22:36 2018

this one does piss me off. a 30 day return, lets just invite buyers to rent clothes trash them and send them back. Ebay is unique quit trying to be like amazon.

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by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 28 10:23:53 2018

People have been asking to fill that gap for years and that mod acts like they listen to feedback? Lol

Bunch of liars.

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This user has validated their user name. by: BuildingMyOwnSite

Wed Feb 28 11:59:46 2018

Ebay: “We will publish a matrix that shows the store benefits/features and you will be able to evaluate side by side.''   DUH, everybody does that WHEN they publish details on new stores, features, or options (not LATER!).  It keeps sellers from asking the questions, that they are all asking Ebay now.

Of course if Ebay thinks their customers are just TOO DUMB to ask those questions..... then it's pretty obvious, that in their tiny little minds, sellers are just a foregone conclusion..... In fact, what if they left out the COMMONLY used matrix on purpose?  WELL OF COURSE THEY DID!  Any Ebay employee DUMB enough to actually show sellers what was going on, in an easy to read matrix, would INSTANTLY lose their job when Wenig saw it!

My guess..... Ebay will become STORES ONLY, except for a minor “Freebie ?” “Membership” which will allow 5-10 free listings per month, but at higher rates than stores.  E.g. free listings, but 15%-20% Fvf's.  Gets you to list your Garage Garbage, and keeps you on the site.  Most will be happy with up to 20% Fvf's, as it's just junk anyway.  Plus they'll overprice it.  One membership only, per person.

This entire fiasco deserves a Giant Good Grief !

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by: papergoy This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 28 13:08:15 2018

Anchor store doesn't seem to have any changes, and that's where I am.  And a friend will save $8000 a month with the new store level available (and he's not a faceless overseas company- he's local and pumps a fair amount of money into the local economy between employees and his storefront) which is incredible.  So seems to have worked out for those of us at a certain level- and remember, both he and I started with zero listings- you can grow your store and business, if you choose to do so.  Is it more difficult than it was in the past?  Yes, it certainly is, but that just means being more nimble.

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

Wed Feb 28 17:49:34 2018

I would suggest watching my video on Ebays Spring 2018 seller update on youtube.  The video is good...but its the COMMENT section you need to pay attention to.  Im not voicing an opinion HOWEVER look at the comments trust me  

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by: Truth B. Told This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 28 17:51:19 2018

I have watched the integrity of EBay continually erode
since I came on board in 2012.

The first line customer service personnel, although well mannered, are basically cloned automatons,
spewing out the same canned answers to any
complaint a seller has.

I have raised many valid complaints about EBay's
penchant to look the other way when it's largest
volume sellers break EBay's own rules.

For example, Ebay has had a rule since I started
which stated, '' you shall not use a stock photo if
your item is used''.  Yet, in my sector, the largest
sellers use stock photos for every item they sell,
the majority of which are used items.

Therefore, in my case, I can't get full value for
my mint conditioned item because my scans
of the actual item look exactly the same as their
stock photo of the same item.

The buyer can't differentiate the superior quality
of my items condition, so, if my item is worth
$10.00 in mint condition, I can't get it when the
larger store is charging $8.00 for their used
item, but has a stock picture of a mint item
that looks as clean as my actual scanned item.

I have fought Ebay on this issue since February
of 2013. Every 1st tier customer service rep
agreed with me and said they would report
the seller breaking the rule, and they did on
no less than 15 different occasions.

Next, it got kicked up to the then vetting department.
Again, I got sympathy and agreement that I was
indeed correct and that they would file a report
to the next level.

Which landed me in the Trust and Safety department.
Again, I had everyone I talked to agree that I was
right and told me to wait a couple weeks to see what
could be done.  Guess what?

After 3 weeks no one had contacted me, which
they said they would, so I called again.
When I asked where we were at in the process
they told me they had forwarded the information
to the sellers Ebay sales manager.

Really?  No conflict of interest there. So the
person trying to increase sales for their rule
breaking client is left to enforce a rule that
would, of course, negatively affect their client's
sales volume. To this day nothing has been
done to level the playing field for those of us
sellers abiding to the rules.

Also, think of the buyer. They are getting screwed
as well. They see a stock photo of a clean item,
but received an item in used condition. Quite
akin to bait and switch methinks.

Yep, unfortunately the bean counter mentality
has emerged as Ebay has grown.
Profit over ethics. Short term greed over
long lasting relationships.

I will address duplicate postings in my next
writings.

Happy selling,

Truth B.Told





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

Thu Mar 1 13:42:40 2018

@rockstarflipper

Thanks but there is no need to check out your YouTube channel. The comments posted on ecommercebytes is suffice and in fact, I consider your comment here as spam. It's a way to help your YouTube business because although you sell on ebay, you're really in the information selling business. In the past month alone (only 28 days) you have 25 videos about ebay and about 10 hours of content. That means in about 12 months you have over 325 videos and about 140 hours of content. You use "clickbait" titles to lure views. You also have a paid membership for ebay. I guess this is for all those "ebay secrets". Most of your videos are about ebay but you sell on Amazon because that's where you really make most of your money (I don't see too many "how to make money on Amazon videos) .

It's interesting that you don't have an opinion on this but since you were a guest on YouTube for Ebay Open 2017, my guess is that you want to be invited back for future EBay Opens.

People here make comments and suggestions to voice their opinion and to make suggestions to help others and they do it for free. You have mention ecommercebytes on your vlog a long time ago but only now are you commenting here about ebay

I apologize to Ina and David if I can cross the line on this one, but rockstarflipper is not genuine and is only here to support his business. I don't say this because he is an ebay cheerleader and people are entitled to their opinion, but I have a problem when people's main purpose is to profit from another site like ecommercebytes.

.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Thu Mar 1 23:42:29 2018

Frank,

He also makes money on You Tube from his commission on the commercials that run on his Vlog. Pure and simple it is his money grab.

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by: smallstuff This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 2 01:56:14 2018

Just wondering - what does free return shipping mean if the customer is international.  I have no problem with free returns for domestic (US) customers, but it is an unpredictable cost if I must do this for the UK or Australia.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Mar 2 03:00:00 2018

@smallstuff

If you are a US seller, you can mark your listings as Free shipping for domestic purchases and then state a shipping fee for other countries or simply have them contact you for shipping charges to their country.

The returns are a bit more tricky.  Currently we can only state one type of return policy and that covers all sales you get.  But we will soon have the ability to have two different return policies.  Once for Domestic and one for International sales.  I think it is next month, but I could be wrong on that, it may not be until May.  I'm not remembering the timing on that right now, sorry.

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 2 03:44:11 2018

With all these changes & fee increases, will they promise to fix their glitches?

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by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 2 04:19:29 2018

Chicago - your not holding your breathe right?

On the mid term site between premium and anchor - I have 2 premiums - was going to add a 3rd but have opted for an off site website instead. For $29.95 I can list thousands of items instead of being restricted to yet another 1,000 for $75 - time to quit lining the pockets of Mr. W - he's sure not thinking about me. Another thing if I'm paying $60 for prem and jump to $300 for anchor isn't that a 500% increase? That's what holds me back - additionally if you anger the ebay gods and they suspend you for whatever bizarre reason they think up what then? all your stuff is piled up on one single store? I think not.

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

Fri Mar 2 05:16:00 2018

Sorry but if you can not figure out pretty quickly if you want something Ebay is certainly not helping buyers improve themselves. LOL Why not just say use it until you don’t want it anymore or it is worn-out.  I was pretty leary after Meg so, again, it will come down to big retailers and oversea’s. We will learn a new way.  

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 2 07:07:11 2018

Premium is probably for the big big brands like Overstock and Goodwill.  Which would be a bargain for them, because they sell in high volumes.

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by: spaky This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 2 07:36:43 2018

Im wondering if with the free returns will sellers still be able to deduct original shipping from the refund?  I have not seen any info on this.  

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

Fri Mar 2 08:33:14 2018

Funny Goodwill does great. Just bare bones auction site.  People pay more a lot of the time for what they can buy new. No complainers there. They ship practically anything.  Ebay buys a dollar store. LOL

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by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 2 08:54:47 2018

I thought I might downgrade my anchor store this year, but if they are charging higher fees if you go over, that will certainly not work.  Guess I will have to stay where I am on the store, was really hoping for something in between.

FYI whoever mentioned this:
Amazon has no fee for listings  all items are free to list.
The individual plan pays nothing but has a 1.00 per sale fee, so if you sell 40 items per month, you will want to be a pro seller who pays 39.99 but saves that additional 1.00 per sale.  There is no other level, it is the same pro seller account cost regardless of amount of listings, there are various fees from there for FVF's, FBA, Books, category, etc... However, I pay a little more to amazon, not due to sales which are about the same, but due to the minimum price of FVF because my items are low priced.
Before you start running to amazon, be aware with the new return system there, a bot will just refund the price in full at a whim after you have already provided the proper refund. This has happened to me 3 times so far so basically almost double refunds and that "saf T claim" system to get your money back, forget it, doesn't work for those glitches and thus far no one knows what to do and no one at amazon can add and the system only provides for a label refund, nothing more. You just lost double the price of shipping and item, but amazon gave you the label price on the buyer remorse item back...yeah!


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