Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Mar 26 2018 13:50:24

eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

By: Ina Steiner

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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
2012: eBay launches alternative pilot called eBay Selling Assistant
2013: eBay officially closes Trading Assistant program
2013: eBay tests Sell It Forward
2013: eBay creates eBay Valet (launched more formally in 2014)
2014: eBay launches Consignment Center
2016: eBay launches Quick Sale program
2016: eBay Valet partners with FedEx Office
2017: eBay launches eBay Authenticate
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.

Comments (28) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 28 13:39:00 2018

"They also have stated that they want the bottom 40% of the economy purchasing from them as they feel that is what Walmart has and that they should be as great at this as Walmart. "

what they are failing to notice is even Walmart is struggling - I hardly shop there myself.  They continually RAISE their prices. Know what's growing? dollar stores.  So if I can go to the dollar store and get what I need why would I buy dollar stuff on ebay then wait for it to arrive?

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

by: val2525 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 28 13:51:09 2018

I don't think buyers rejected eBay Valet ''in favor of an Amazon-style catalog''.  The two entities eBay chose to run this program were the problem.  As was the difficulty in getting  your items to the Valet service to sell. The Trading Assistants were local.  Ebay was foolish to shut down the TA program just so they (eBay) could get a bigger slice of the pie. Now no one gets any pie at all.

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 28 14:23:56 2018

Off and on while selling on eBay, I took in consignments.  When an item sold, my share and eBay's left the consignor with the "short end of the stick".  For me there was too much work for too little profit.

Last year looking at the "Valet" posters in my local FedEx store and hearing the details how it works or does not work, I thought a lot of shipping back and forth extra expense and too little profit.

Most folks cleaning out the basement would rather sell those old "treasures" in a yard sale or simply leave the stuff on the curb on garbage collection days.  

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

by: booklover27 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 28 19:16:13 2018

Years of anti-American and anti-small business philosophy has made it hard for sellers and it is also hard to comeback from all the lies.  They destroyed way too many people in a crude manner and that stench will always be upon them.  The worst experience for me in all this is watching my favorite sellers list dwindle to about 30% of the number I had just ten years ago.  The names are still on the list but with no activity like ghosts from long gone era...I am still waiting for the Millennials  to rise and create true and honest markets in the future where ingenuity will bring the opportunities back to the small sellers!  Obviously Ebay can't do it...

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 29 06:03:07 2018

There is a portion of the eCommerce market demographic well served by an autonomous, flash shot transaction and fulfillment process, but no matter it's relative size to any other, it's still only a portion.

Which means that market's needs, and buyer expectations, will differ from the other portions.  A couple surviving consignment specialists have attested here, for example.  Selling 'value'.  Economy of scale balancing increased attention to detail.  Personal attention for two customers for every unique transaction.  Not well served by flash bang uniformity overlorded by inapplicable compulsory process.  And that's just comparing two demographic sets where they don't intersect.

It's a simple concept.  But it's easilly overlooked in myopically derived goals as 'envisioned' by eBay, and then first 'disrupted' via ''Store to Core.''  Overnight, that first carpet-bombing of eBay's OWNED true overall eCommerce niche rendered your consignor's true vintage mid century treasures potentially being shown as equitable with everything of the same color, similar name, and/or stylized copy indiscriminately netting into an unmatched buyer pool.  That's where it started.  And with every arm gathering of other markets and their best practices into the eBay way, geometrically impacted them all.

No.  Not at all surprising to see eBay abandon this model - at least from a direct managerial aspect.  They already HAD a thriving resource.  And with it, THREE customers - and potential eBay buyers - per solicited transaction.  They thought it all worthy of disruption.  But as this result demonstrates, they didn't have a clue.  

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Mar 29 06:33:03 2018

Chicago48, my ONLY concern with Poshmark is that they may want to go Public.  We all know what happens to sites when that happens--the Wall Street goons have way too much influence on their business then and it is monetize, monetize, monetize.  That worries me, but for now I am enjoying the ride.

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 29 13:28:17 2018

Going public creates a constant demand for exponential growth.

When it DOESNT happen - you lie, you get "creative", you get vindictive - then you "eat yourself" trying in vain to come up with numbers to impress.

THIS is where eBay is now. eBay ISNT going OOB. Not now, and not any time soon. AND, as long as eBay continues to play games, fudge the numbers, steal money from sellers (in various ways), all will be fine for them (unless as merchant of record THEY have to pay sales tax).

As for eBay valet - whats the point if you HIDE LISTINGS? It was as bad as eBayNOW - which was also another failure.

Its nice to sit back and see eBay screw up, over and over again .... verifies what we have all been saying "eBay simply doesnt understand ecommerce" (no pack of ex lawyers do)  

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

by: thomas1010 This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 1 13:24:21 2018

Hi my name is Thomas and I'm writing an academic paper about the various programs that eBay has run (trading assistant, consignment, valet, etc). Many of you have extensive experience and I would love to interview you if possible. Feel free to reach out to me if you're willing. Thank you so much!

Best,

Thomas

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