Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Apr 29 2015 19:53:44

eBay Rolls Out May Day Fees - Are You Prepared?

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay fee hikes and adjustments take effect on Friday, and many sellers will find the cost of listing on eBay going up if they make no changes to their listing strategies. Especially hard hit are sellers in the media categories.

As we noted in our Guide to the eBay Spring Seller Release, there are two changes that could help some sellers: eBay will provide credits for insertion fees for auction listings that sell; and it will eliminate the 10-day auction duration surcharge (however, it's instituting a new $1 surcharge on short-duration listings).

One thing we failed to highlight in our initial coverage was the impact on sellers with Premium and Anchor Stores who run auction listings. Currently, the Premium Store comes with 500 free listings and the Anchor Store comes with 2,500 free listings - in any format. 

Beginning on May 1st, eBay will limit the 500 free listings that come with Premium Stores to fixed-price only - likewise with the 2,500 free listings that come with Anchor Stores. eBay will provide all Store owners with an additional 100 free listings that can be used for auction listings, but they can only be used for collectibles. 

An anchor storeowner who has been using the 2,500 free listings to list 2,000 fixed price listings and 500 auction listings will now pay an extra $50 for those auction listings (500 x 10 cents). If they had listed 1,500 fixed price and 1,000 auction listings, they'll now be paying an extra $100. That's on top of the $59.95/month (for Premium Stores) or $199.95/month (for Anchor Stores) they pay in subscription fees. Note the additional fees would be slightly less if the seller is listing certain collectibles.

So with eBay limiting the number of auction listings you can run for free, but giving an insertion-fee credit should the auction sell, does eBay like auctions or not? Some things to think about:

This month, eBay note its problems with Google SEO continued to impact growth negatively in the first quarter - and that could explain why it likes fixed-price listings and longer duration listings.

It also revealed auction GMV was down 12% worldwide (excluding the impact of foreign exchange). "FX neutral global fixed price GMV grew 10% and auctions GMV declined 12%," eBay noted on an earnings slide for analysts.

In general, sellers don't like upfront listing costs, but that's exactly what eBay is doing with the May 1st fee changes (for auctions).

One seller wrote on the eBay boards they believed eBay was trying to increase visibility while limiting junk, but said (s)he believed the changes would actually result in small sellers limiting obscure items that they aren't sure if there's an interest in - the type of items that makes eBay interesting to shoppers.

We'd like to know what changes you're making as a result of the May 1st fee changes, or if you're waiting to see it play out.

Comments (43) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Apr 30 09:38:50 2015

I don't have anything to say to eBay. They're only a venue ~ LOL

The only issues I have is that shipping labels don't always print and I don't like paying a fee on shipping.

Otherwise eBay is paying the bills.

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by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 30 10:34:26 2015

@toolguy

I agree. They pay the bills. As long as that continues its business as usual. People need to realize Ebay sets the rules and fees as they see fit as it is their play ground.

You don't want to play by their rules I'm sure contrary to ones belief they won't miss you.

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by: Small Guy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 30 10:37:06 2015

I am a very ''small'' seller.  Selling only 500 items over several years with 100% positive feedback.  Selling antiques, etc.

I have listed interesting items, with good photos and descriptions and always honest dealings with bidder/buyers.  I realize Ebay doesn't want flea market noise like me.

I've tried to hang on and list and sell, but I am drowning and fighting for last gasps of air.  I will never understand why Ebay felt they had to get rid of us small sellers listing interesting (often one-of-a-kind) items that made Ebay a fun place to look and buy.

Learning that Donahoe is hosting a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton explains a lot.  He is the type of deceitful person who says one thing and does another and hopes he isn't caught too quickly.

Sellers on Auction Bytes keep saying they are going to quit Ebay or have quit Ebay.  I have been loyal and tried to continue to sell - not big enough to invest in my own site, nor motivated enough to take the time to experiment and learn another ''venue''

Ebay was fun while it lasted, but yesterday is gone.

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by: minnie This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 30 11:20:51 2015

I've had 2 store subscriptions for the past several years.  Each of them only lists Fixed Price, and in the collectibles categories.  Therefore, the change in listing format for stores will have no impact on my fees.  I do like the decrease to 9% for FVF though.

When ebay had those promotions for thousands of listings, I never participated (the few times I was invited), feeling my listings would get buried.

The extra $1 fee for 1-day and 3-day auctions, as well as the increase for reserves does not affect me at all, since I never use those features.

For the fall update, I hope ebay addresses the return shipping and the defect policy.

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by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 30 11:27:57 2015

I hope ebay fails , & goes bankrupt , its what they deserve. Drop dead , deadbay. JD , I hope you suffer from migraines for life. You deserve worse. Low life CEO with an criminal agenda.

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by: Mark4 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 30 12:12:09 2015

So glad we are moving on. We opened our store on Amazon 3 months ago and could not be happier with them. Our media items are FREE to list always. I another 2 months we will have moved our entire inventory over to amazon and ebay can kiss our ass goodbye. We are also informing everyone we come into contact with about how awful ebay is and to stay from them. We have informed each and every ebay buyer and can't believe the amount of support we are getting from our buyers. They hate ebay as much as we do!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Apr 30 12:56:07 2015

That is a horrible thing to hope for.  Not only because of all the employees of Ebay that would now become unemployed but because of on the sellers that may not have an alternative to selling on Ebay.  

It is selfish and self serving to wish for such a thing.  Not everyone is as hurt by Ebay as others may be.  I get it that many or upset with Ebay.  And if they are that upset, leave the site.  But to hope for their demise and the financial damage of 1000's and 1000's of people to serve your anger is beyond sad.

I don't like these changes either.  There are so many things that Ebay does that I don't like.  But never would I wish damage to others for my satisfaction of seeing a company fail.

Instead, I cancelled my anchor store subscription as I was lucky and it would have renewed on May 1st.  I am building an exit strategy and hopefully it will all work out for me.  As for others I hope they do whatever is right for them.  Whether they stay or they go, it is their decision and I respect that.  

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by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 30 13:27:54 2015

Most all out there have alternatives to ebay. Anyone who says there is not , is just lazy , or scared.
Ebay & their employees ? Really? What about the thousands of sellers screwed over. I guess they are not important?

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Apr 30 13:34:15 2015

That is not completely accurate.  There are a variety of reasons why someone may not want their own website.  And other sites as an alternative to Ebay do not always get the traffic.  There are sites out there that do OK in certain categories, but not others.

We don't all sell the same stuff or in the same way.  We don't all come from the same set of personal circumstances.  We are a diverse group of people with different wants, needs and reality.

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by: GotToGetOut This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 30 13:44:18 2015

@toolguy -- what is your Ebay name.  I'd love to see your site where you make such a great living and only pay 15% in fees. There's only one toolguy on ebay with only 3 feedback.

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by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 30 14:24:58 2015

I will have nothing to do with ebay failing ,unless its hundereds & thousands of sellers saying goodbye , then yes I am one . They are destroying ebay quite well on their own. The declines will continue until they are nill , void ,a has been venue.
I speak true from the heart , I dont care if they fail. They will feel the same fate they have bestowed upon sellers , & could not come soon enough. They continue to dig their own hole. So be it!  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Apr 30 15:04:41 2015

I realize you don't care if they fail.  You are in good company with that feeling as well.  I just took exception to what you said originally which was "I hope ebay fails , & goes bankrupt , its what they deserve."  To hope that is to hope hardship on a whole lot of people just because you [and others of course] hate Ebay.  

You have every right to your feelings.  Most certainly Ebay is its own worse enemy and create many situations that harm others without reason or regard.  Sometimes it appears that they do it just because they can.  It is a deplorable way to run a business.  Of that there is no doubt.  I too have many things that I detest about Ebay.  But my feelings about Ebay, no matter how deep they are or how angry I get, I will never wish for their demise as too many innocent people will be hurt in their wake.  

Moving on is really the best answer for many sellers.  Help to build up the other sites that are out there in the hopes it will become a better place to sell and a better place to pull in the customers.

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Apr 30 15:19:59 2015

@Small Guy - Have you thought about moving to eCrater? I sell collectibles, and I sell a lot of them on eCrater. It's easy to list, there are no listing fees, and only a small FVF ONLY if an item sells from a search started from their home page. If I can set up a store there, anyone can as I'm a computer moron. And best of all, you set your own policies and aren't forced to acquiesce to liars and scammers.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 30 17:11:16 2015

Marie - you are correct - but its hard for any seller - myself included, to feel bad for an eBay employee should it ever implode.

It wont, since the majority of the money eBay makes DOESNT come from the marketplace fees directly.

As most know, eBay has a few other business's - half.com, alot of GIS business's, a packing wharehouse or 2, plus they make money off things like Global Shipping.

I cant directly speak for Gizmo - but what I think he means is that when an eBay employee sits there and sees eBay stealing from a seller and does nothing - that makes them complicit in the theft.

Im not talking about label purchasing or sillyness like that - Im talking about the new Returns business with its multitude of "liar buyers", the people in VERO - who admit they make up laws as they see fit and use them to terrorize sellers "just for sport" and many OTHER things that people here speak of every day.

"If you see something, say something" doesnt only work for unattended bags on buses - it works in business dealings as well.

While I agree with you that "it may go to far", I can sympathize with Gizmo - being a victim of eBay theft and abuse myself.

To each their own.

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

Thu Apr 30 18:05:27 2015

If sellers show up at the "Meeting"
they'll just be locked out anyway.
Kill Ebay.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 1 14:48:37 2015

<---- Im prepared - I just has a LONG phone conversations with both eBay and Amazon.

eBay admitted that despite any other policy OR my local , state or federal law(s) ... their money back guarantee trumps them all - even if you are defrauded - its irrelevant. "Eat the loss - we dont care - he could have sent you a box or rocks and he would have won - be happy didnt"

Amazon - "thank you for helping us update our listings, we appriciate your dedication to making our listings better and serving our customers. Please tell us what we can do to help you get into other categories, and oh did you need an account specialist to go over your listings and make suggestions?". "Will you be trying to enter the B2B section of Amazon, your items seem like a natural fir - do we have your tax resale number on file?"

So YES I'm ready for the fee hikes - I moved over more inventory to Amazon.

(Even though I don't sell media - first them came for the antique auction dealers and ruined THEIR business, but since I don't do auctions so I said nothing. Then they came for the media sellers, but I don't sell media so I didn't care. Now they are here for me - an electronics seller of new goods ... but there's no one left to stand up to help me ....

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This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Fri May 1 15:55:29 2015

I sell mostly vintage long-tail items that are fairly inexpensive. Paying listing fees on such things would eliminate any profit, depending upon how long it took to sell. The sell-through rate has been on a downward slide for the past few years, so it's just not financially sound to spend on listing fees or store subscriptions at this point. I took advantage of all the free listing promotions that came my way and did manage to sell and make a little money. The decrease in the number of free listings is definitely going to hurt my bottom line. I was expecting this year's sales on Amazon to at least catch up with those on Ebay, but now I think they'll exceed them, since I likely won't be listing as much on Ebay.

Those complaining about use of free listings have a point, but those of us who do use them aren't necessarily casual or hobby sellers. I'm a business and I'd be happy to pay for listings if I had a decent sell-through rate but since I don't, I simply take advantage of any freebies I can get.

My plans for this year are being revamped because of these Ebay changes. I'll be focusing more on building up my listings on other venues to make up the the fewer sales I'll probably see on Ebay. I'm also going to work on setting up my own site, as well.  

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by: E-pins This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 3 17:06:48 2015

@GotToGetOut

tis z50com

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by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 4 15:41:34 2015

RE: The follow-on article to this one, ''eBay Overcharges Sellers on Last Day Before Fee Hike'': I'll bet they programmed the change to occur at Midnight or 12:01 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time, which was still the evening hours of April 30 all across the U.S., and taking a lot of sellers by surprise as a result.

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by: Mark4 This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 22 08:30:45 2015

Why should I pay an insertion fee on ebay when I can list for free on amazon all the time, as much as I want??? No intelligence going on in ebay management.

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