eBay discontinued its eBay Valet consignment program this month, which it had launched in 2014 after it closed its Trading Assistant program the year before. While the "TA" program had encouraged and helped eBay sellers to work with people who didn't want to list on eBay themselves, the Valet program was limited to just two consignment companies throughout much if not all of the program's existence (ModusLink and Ingram Micro Logistics).
eBay stated the reason for closing eBay Valet on the program's landing page: "We are always looking to provide the best experience for our customers. We're focusing on simplifying the selling process and invite you to sell at eBay.com/sell - opens in new window or tab or try our consignment program for luxury handbags and wallets, eBay Authenticate - opens in new window or tab."
The explanation leaves unanswered questions - but then again, it was never clear why eBay traded an army of Trading Assistants for two logistics firms to power eBay Valet. The eBay Authenticate program is in no way a substitute for such programs given it only deals with luxury handbags.
eBay seemed committed to the Valet program as late as 2016 when it partnered with FedEx Office to allow consumers to drop off goods destined for eBay Valet at FedEx Office locations to save them the hassle of packing and shipping the items.
eBay Valet stopped accepting new orders on March 12, 2018, but it didn't announce the closure - we learned of its demise from a reader.
eBay explained on the Valet landing page that items it receives prior to March 30, 2018 "will be listed for sale on eBay for up to 60 days, per the program terms. If they are not sold by the end of June, they will be returned to you at no cost." And, "If the warehouse receives an order on or after April 2, 2018, the item will be returned to you at no cost."
Here was the most recent eBay Valet fee structure:
For items that sold for between $50 and $99.99, the consumer received 50%;
For items between $100 to $249.99, the consumer received 60%;
For items between $250 to $499.99, the consumer received 70%;
And for items that sold for over $500, the consumer received 80%.
We dug into some numbers in this 2015 blog post
to gauge the profitability of consignment selling.
History of eBay Consignment Programs
2002: eBay launches formal Trading Assistant program
2004: eBay launches Trading Post program for drop-off stores
2008: eBay revamps programs, imposing strict new requirements
2013: eBay creates eBay Valet
(launched more formally in 2014)
2018: eBay closes eBay Valet
Let us know what you think of consignment selling in general and your thoughts about the demise of eBay Valet