Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Aug 22 2021 10:05:35

eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

The following news headline caught my eye this weekend: "For Amazon and eBay, Advertising Is Another Way to Raise Fees on Sellers."

The author left out Etsy, which is being more brazen about it, since it doesn't give many sellers a choice about paying ad fees. We suspect eBay may join it in charging sellers mandatory advertising fees, given the launch of eBay Offsite Ads.

The column appeared Saturday in the Motley Fool, whose focus is on investors. So obviously its readers aren't so concerned about how sellers pay marketplaces, as long as the companies grow revenue.

But the author had a warning - "Shopify may become more attractive" to sellers given rising fees on online marketplaces. 

The competitive advantage of sites like eBay and Etsy is the low barrier of entry, while platforms like Shopify requires more commitment and investment on the part of sellers - and they don't necessarily bring traffic to an individual seller's listings the way online marketplaces do, leaving it up to the seller to drive sales.

Small sellers who don't have the skills or desire to set up shop on ecommerce platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce do have some options, however - Mercari, Poshmark, Facebook Marketplace, and niche sites.

While it's not an apples-to-apples comparison, marketplaces may want to look at Google Shopping. It went from free listings to pay-to-play, and now it's back to free, giving merchants the choice of whether to advertise or not.

The lesson Google may have learned: shoppers care about relevancy. It's something eBay learned in 2010, but in its hunger for fees as growth slowed, may have forgotten.

In 2010, eBay eliminated its Featured First advertising program that had allowed Top Rated sellers to pay for top placement in search results. The reason eBay provided at the time: "so that the listings most relevant to a buyer's search from sellers who provide great value and service are surfaced consistently at the top of search results-the underlying goal of Best Match."

In other words, shoppers weren't always finding what they were looking for because ads crowded out the relevant listings.

A few months later, eBay also discontinued its AdCommerce pay-per-click advertising program.

The bottom line as far as sellers are concerned: online marketplaces should provide exposure to listings of sellers who pay listing and commission fees; paying advertising fees should be optional; and ads should not negatively impact relevancy of search results.

So how much of a burden is advertising costs on eBay, Amazon, and Etsy? If you don't pay up, is there a loss in exposure of your listings that leads to fewer sales? And what are the alternatives?

Comments (28) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising   eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sun Aug 22 16:55:39 2021

I'm still buying on eBay but I have to admit I'm looking more and more on Mercari and Facebook Marketplace.

As a buyer I go where the merchandise is and it's still mostly on eBay.

I keep missing the good deals on Mercari and it's kind of frustrating.

Hot tip for merchandise for those seeking high quality product:

https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm

Perminate Link for eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising   eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising

by: Disgusted This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 23 07:56:02 2021

That is the reason I stopped Etsy.  It is up to them to charge an extra 15% whenever they want.   Gave up on ebay long ago.  Pay to list and not have it show up anywhere.

Perminate Link for eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising   eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 23 08:54:00 2021

This is why you cant sell just in one place, and you must have a website. Drive buyers as much as possible to your website thru these marketplaces.

I also seeing this coming to an end for me soon in the future. I am currently looking for other business opportunities. Just like anything else, in time, the small guys get swallowed up and put out of biz. Hopefully I can find something where Wall Street has absolutely nothing to do or is involved. These people dont realize you cant get a gallon and a half out of a gallon.

Perminate Link for eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising   eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising

by: HappyOne This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 23 09:06:17 2021

Ebay and Etsy have no inventory; just sellers with inventory. Etsy’s 30%+ total FVF on item and shipping (when Etsy says sale came from their Ad) has sellers listing and selling less. This has “real” artists/craft persons setting up their own websites and using Etsy with minimal listing to bring buyers to their full inventory. If Ebay’s fees become more than the average 20% (item and shipping) prices will go up and sales will go to other sites - that simple. Hobby sellers are mastering selling on Facebook. The online selling pie is growing but Ebay’s and Etsy’s slices are getting smaller. Maybe sneaker sellers will have to pay fees soon too (when will sneaker “investors” realize the sneakers that were made in China can still be “duplicated” in China). I am sure used designer clothing, sports cards, comics, postcards, coins and stamps buyers are looking at niche sites more than ever. A few successful hassle free purchases and they are repeat customers.
Shipping costs for a two or three pound package has become so high that only very light or rarer heavier items are being listed. Always listed on Ebay with the thought “don’t list anything you can’t afford to lose” My 2¢

Perminate Link for eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising   eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising

by: JohnGermaine This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 23 10:00:04 2021

smh - just smh

I'm working thru my piles and then that's it. Haven't bought anything new in ages to resell - it's gotten to be not worth the effort any more.  They forget that they are a platform where "I" run "MY" store.  The greed is horiffic.

Perminate Link for eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising   eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising

by: zeek6228 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 23 10:19:30 2021

Ebay needs more drop shippers from China. I hate searching eBay and finding unique items. When I search for an iPhone XS in the "cell phones and smartphones categeory" I am really not looking for an iPhone XS. I am looking for 52349 identical protective cases.  

Perminate Link for eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising   eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising

by: Tinysaur This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 23 11:29:51 2021

Shopify is a lonely and expensive place to migrate to, so I don't know why everyone's rage-quit fantasy includes them. They do not have a market place, and seldom show up on search results on the first page. They're also expensive for the return on investment. If you don't know SEO, have an active instagram feed, or have a big advertising budget, they aren't going to solve any problems that Etsy/Ebay/Amazon cause you. You have to generate traffic, and that's a full-time job.

I searched for an item on Google this weekend and it showed up on Etsy for the same price as Amazon. IOW, Etsy's blatantly not ''handmade'' any longer. The ads that rank next to Amazon must add a lot to the overhead for that seller.

The lower priced items on all of the sites are being pushed to the bottom in favor of higher-priced items. You can no longer use the minus operator in front of a search term on most of the ecomm sites. The search just adds more of the items you want to exclude.

I have a WooCommerce site that's virtually invisible. My Shopify store was the same, but for a lot more money. Shopify's day is coming too. They don't delete a store account, and tell their shareholders false numbers for the number of stores they host. Their stock was overpriced at $300. Now it's pumped up to $1,400. Their service hasn't changed in 5 years. It takes a bunch of add-ons that slow down your site to make Shopify and Woo functional. That hit in speed makes your Google rank below all of the major ecomm sites (IOW invisible)

There are too many big players in this game. Someone's going to consolidate them all like banks. For sellers, just like when your bank gets bought, it means higher fees and crappier payouts.

Ecommerce has gone the route of classified ads. Google put lots of small newspapers out of business by taking all their ad revenue away. Ecommerce is following the same trajectory for small sellers.

Perminate Link for eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising   eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Aug 23 16:15:13 2021

OFF TOPIC:

My wife is asking what this "Send Coupon" is?

She doesn't want to click on it without knowing what it does.

She dared me to do it on my account and I decided it's best to ask here 1st.

Perminate Link for eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising   eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 23 16:53:58 2021

eBay and to some extent Amazon are just jealous that they cant rip off sellers like other sites can.

Esty is the KING of ripping sellers off - with a take of almost %30. Theres NO true way to know where a sale came from - and I'd bet every penny I own - its just a simple computer java program that RANDOMLY pics sellers and sales and then claims "it was from our ads so pay us". IE %101 BS.

All large companies rip their users off - the question is "to what degree". The king of course is DISNEY - that charges $125+ per day for a single park ticket, rips you off if you want a park hopper pass, and now via the Genie app, turns fast pass into an additional $15-25 fee.

Amazon does it through FBA - moving goods to other places to suite THEIR needs then making you pay for it, miscounting goods, having insane returns periods, and gating a LARGE number of brands.

eBay - so hungry for revenue (the price of chicken has gone up like %30) - that makes the cost of wings MUCH higher and the Walmart goofball will be DAMNED - if eBay itself will have to pay for it!

eBay (for increased revenue) would push your blind aged sick grandma in a wheelchair off a cliff and then say she agreed to it in the TOS (when you asked us to push the chair you agreed that we have full control over where and how it will get pushed. If something happens to you while we are pushing said chair, you agree to absolve us of all legal responsibilities, and you cant take us to court in any case (with others who had grandmas we pushed over other cliffs - you can only contact us through arbitration) - all while SWEARING its for YOUR benefit.

DONT be suprised it eBay copies them in the Fall Seller Downdate. eBay has NO FLOOR for bad/cheap behavior and wont rest until the stock hits AT LEAST $100 a share. ANY kind of theft or bad behavior is OK - since getting the stock there is the ONLY goal this company has.

Perminate Link for eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising   eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising

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

Mon Aug 23 16:57:07 2021

Amazon / Ebay / Etsy = Controllers
Kick 'em to the curb.
Your Business / Your Website / Your Customers / Your Schedule.

Perminate Link for eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising   eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising

by: Nothingnewecrater This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 23 17:49:32 2021

You bet they drove many sellers away. I haven't had more then 18 items listed on eBay in months. Usually I only keep about 12 items on eBay. I went back to ecrater about 2 years ago. And have almost 800 items listed there. It's a lot of work promoting yourself because that's how ecrater works. Now eBay is playing that game and want to charge you for it?But you are not gouged out on anything like on eBay.I'm happy to be at a site that doesn't rip out your guts every time you sell something.

https://nothingnew.ecrater.com/

Perminate Link for eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising   eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 23 19:36:54 2021

I've said it before (but as my professors used to say) "it bears repeating".

If you as the seller have to take the FULL brunt of everything - what do (does) ANYONE need the site they pay fees to?

Maybe Im wrong and the eBay "genius's" here can correct me - isnt the exact point of sites like eBay - is that THEY do the work - and in return they get a cut of YOUR action. (notice how it sounds like the mafia - you sell or do something that makes money, then the mob comes by and takes their VIG ... lol).

If eBay makes you create the catalog, get the pics, get the data, do all the shipping, handle all the returns, do the SEO, and deal with returns - what exactly do THEY do? (besides engorge themselves @ Walkers West)

At least (yes here we go the comparisons), AMAZON does all the advertising and stuff, and so while they are pigs in their own right - at least they are doing SOMETHING .. as apposed to eBay and Etsy doing ...NOTHING.

Perminate Link for eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising   eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Aug 24 11:00:44 2021

@pace306

"what exactly do THEY do?"

They own a domain called eBay.com

A site where buyers come looking for merchandise, they don't need to do anything else.

Perminate Link for eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising   eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 24 11:28:21 2021

@toollguy

Except they are having trouble attracting new buyers to their site as they continue to lose sellers to other sites.  That blowup with PWCC is not going to help matters at all, especially in the trading card market where they have already been losing more and more buyers and sellers to other sites.  When PWCC opens their own site even that email about shill bidding will not set them back all that much as most buyers already knew about the shill bidding on their items along with a couple of other larger Sellers.

Ebay needs to spend money on advertising to attract new buyers and are to cheap to pay for it because that might impact their $10 million annual bonuses.  Ebay now wants the sellers to pay for something that we are already paying for when we pay listing fees, store fees, promoted listing fees and the Final Value Fees.  They see what Etsy has done so now they want to copy that because they think they are going to make more money off of the current sellers backs rather than spend any of the money they have already been paid to provide a site that also has active buyers coming through.  What they fail to realize is just how much business Etsy has lost because of that ridiculous increase in fees for outside advertising which they should be paying for anyway.  So once again Ebay will step in it and watch as more Sellers remove their items and take them to other sites which will further erode Ebays market share.

Perminate Link for eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising   eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising

This user has validated their user name. by: Carl

Tue Aug 24 12:41:06 2021

@Toolguy
OFF TOPIC: ...

You can now send buyer discount coupons. You can either 'Print Coupon' (to send with parcel) or 'send coupon' (via email/messages).
It is just to encourage extra sales through discounts.
Safe to click and look, as you have to fill things in on subsequent pages.

Perminate Link for eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising   eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising

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

Tue Aug 24 12:52:56 2021

I reiterate:
Venue "Seller Fees / advertising fees" are for SUCKERS.
Make your own eCommerce website.
You are in this to enrich Yourself. As it should be.
Save / keep TONS of Your money.
Remember : Having ONE location on the web is paramount in showing closer and closer to page 1 in the major search engines.
Even just having a small presence on Amazon, Ebay, or Etsy along with your own website leaves you competing with yourself....not good.....
So, consolidate your biz, go forth and prosper. It's O.K.

Perminate Link for eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising   eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising

by: Kiramis This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 24 16:26:14 2021

Ads have their place, but I think Amazon is over-monetizing and it is becoming increasingly hard to find the best deal on products (also tons of manipulated reviews but that is another issue).  

Amazon has a big issue with irrelevant ads because they are all PPC so expensive marginally related products can outbid closely related low cost items.  They need to take down ads that have very low click through rates even if they are using fixed bids.  Alternatively or in addition they could only allow ads on products within the same subcategory.  

Ebay has a decent ad balance now, but the new PPC may be too much.  They should probably run the PPC ads in place of sponsored listings by having all the bids compete in a weighted instant auction.  

Ebay does however have an issue with hiding listings behind their "we are only showing the most relevant results" banner and they never tell sellers about it or tell them how to fix it.  Also, if Ebay wanted to only show relevant results they should add a decent shipping time filter because the US only filter has been broken by scammers lying about item location.  

Perminate Link for eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising   eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 24 19:01:54 2021

Tool - anyone can own a website.

That’s not worth %12 fvf

Perminate Link for eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising   eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising

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

Tue Aug 24 19:02:33 2021

All of this NONSENSE goes away when you have your own website.
It's a pleasure to tend to Your Customers without any interference from anyone.
Such a pleasure....calm ....pleasant.......

Perminate Link for eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising   eBay and Amazon Raise Seller Fees through Advertising

by: Nothingnewecrater This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 26 13:31:53 2021

Anyone know the date eBay is starting the click for ads program? I want the few things o have on eBay before it starts.

Click to view more comments
1 2  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.