Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Aug 7 2018 11:00:11

Fall Update: eBay Raises Fees as It Makes More Demands on Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is raising fees even as it makes more demands on its sellers. The bad news came in the third and final Seller Update announced today.

eBay explained, "We are increasing our investment in our platform, marketing efforts, and tools to enhance both the seller and buyer experience."

But the decision to raise fees comes less than 3 weeks after eBay revealed another quarter of stalled growth, coming in at single-digit sales growth compared to Etsy and Amazon's strong double-digit growth in sales.

One change in fees is remarkable as it comes at a time when consumers are turning to digital content (ebooks, music subscriptions, and streaming movies), including from its arch rival: eBay is increasing commission fees for the Books and DVDS & Movies categories to 12%, and is removing the fee advantage it had given to Store owners:

Starting September 15, 2018, the final value fees for Books, and DVDs & Movies categories will increase from 9.15% to 12% for Store subscribers and from 10% to 12% for non-Store sellers.

Starting September 15, 2018, the final value fees for the Music category will also increase from 9.15% to 12% for both Store subscribers and non-Store sellers, with the exception of the Records category, which will remain at 9.15% for Store subscribers and 10% for non-Store sellers.

Some auction sellers use a Reserve price when they are uncertain if eBay will be able to net them a profitable selling price on auction listings, but that safety net is becoming more expensive:

Starting September 15, 2018, the feature fee for Reserve price will increase to either $5 or 7.5%, whichever is greater and the Reserve fee cap will increase from $100 to $250. In some Business & Industrial categories, the feature fee will remain at a flat fee of $5.

And sellers who try to boost visibility in search results by paying extra to include a Subtitle in listings, or use a Value Pack, will also see fees go up in certain cases:

The feature fee for Subtitle will increase from $0.50 to $1 for listings with 1-, 3-, 5-, 7- and 10-day listing durations and an item price of up to $150, and from $1 to $3 for listings with an item price of more than $150. For 30-day duration and Good 'Til Cancelled listings with an item price up to $150, the feature fee will remain unchanged at $1.50. For 30-day duration and Good 'Til Cancelled listings with an item price of more than $150, the feature fee will increase to $6.

The feature fee for Value Pack will increase from $0.65 to $1.15 for listings with 1-, 3-, 5-, 7- and 10-day listing durations and an item price of up to $150, and from $1.30 to $3.15 for listings with an item price of more than $150. For 30-day duration and Good 'Til Cancelled listings with an item price up to $150, the feature fee will remain unchanged at $2. For 30-day duration and Good 'Til Cancelled listings with an item price of more than $150, the feature fee will increase to $6.50.

And finally, eBay is removing the incentive to list auctions for lower-volume sellers:

Starting October 4, 2018, unlimited insertion fee credits for auction-style listings that end in a sale will be available exclusively to US and Canadian Store subscribers with Basic, Premium, Anchor, and Enterprise Store subscriptions. Starter Store subscribers and non-Store sellers will no longer receive these insertion fee credits. Only listings created after you sign up for a Store subscription will be eligible for a credit.

At the same time eBay is raising fees, it's delivering less (see eBay's second-quarter results) and demanding more, pressuring sellers to offer free 30-day returns, forcing them into the new Seller Hub, and charging them penalty fees for having high rates of SNAD returns. In addition, eBay is giving such sellers less visibility, announcing today, "Starting November 1, 2018, if you have very high rates of "item not received" requests, you may be subject to extended delivery estimates in affected categories."

There are a many changes coming as part of the Fall Seller Update, be sure to read and study all of the changes, and then let us know how the changes will impact you.

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Readers Comments

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by: thievesBay This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 7 14:52:53 2018

Meanwhile eBay's stock is down yet again while the overall market is up. This has been happening quite often. eBay is getting destroyed by everone else in their segment of the industry! Consider this information taken from Morningstar:

eBay vs Specialty Retail segment

YTD: eBay -9.94% SR +28.73% !!
1 Year: eBay -4.58% SR +45.69% !!
3 Year: eBay +6.47 SR +31.41% !!
and similar expanding to 5/10/15 years

eBay is a failing company and their only solution is to continue screwing over their sellers, which are their source of income. Makes a lot of sense doesn't it?

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by: Just Plain Irritated This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 7 15:05:18 2018

@MoonWishes

Maybe you are on to something.

Maybe Amazon hired those eBay goons to kill eBay.

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by: ebaigh_sucks This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 7 15:08:07 2018

I stopped selling on eBay over 3 years ago. Poor sales, high fees. I started selling on oldandgold.net last month. They don't have the volume of users ebay does but ZERO commissions, ZERO fees, I can accept check, money order or paypal (my choice) and retain more in my pocket.
I am sure at some point they will charge fees but right now I am selling there and keeping 100%.
My idea of a great web site.

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by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 7 15:18:54 2018

To me, the biggest thing that was hidden in the announcements was that they are not going to de-score false INAD returns under the reasoning that "other sellers also must experience the same thing".

Yeah....I only have a law degree.....but something tells me they may want to review that because that almost certainly wouldn't hold up to a legal challenge. I am not going to pay them more money due to facially false/fraudulent INAD returns and have them hide under the irrelevant reasoning that "others must be having the same thing happen to them, too, so it doesn't really matter."

Just curious....if you were falsely charged with a crime....would it be OK to be convicted on the basis of "well, others are probably falsely convicted, too."

Yeah, didn't think so.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 7 15:26:32 2018

Sasi :)

"you actually have to make sales if you are going to worry about eBay and its lies".

My sales are probably at the lowest they have been in ages - so if eBay raises the fees on DVDs - it doesnt effect me.

Yes I am angry at it - I have care and concern for my fellow sellers - but I cant get a SNAD return - if I dont make sales.

"In reality" returns are a numbers game (or at least they are on Amazon). When I get an Amazon return, I take it back with a big smile and with %100 pure sugar, then buy one from Amazon itself (never a 3rd party seller) and return my returned item. I can also send it into FBA non comingled and let Amazon figure it out.

On eBay .... there are so few sales that it doesnt matter (anymore).

I have PLENTY of connections - I can do LOTS of business and I can have/have/would have receipts for everything (so Im not worried about fakes etc.) I have access to watches, electronics, fashion, shoes - from Coach to Timex .... but nothing happens on eBay ... nothing.

I wouldnt need eBay if Amazon wouldnt gate every big brand - but they do - so Im stuck.

eBay can make any demand they want - I (like most) will continue to do what I do - if eBay wants the FVFs - then they will have to show my listings. In turn I will list more and better items - its "the circle of life". (LOL)

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 7 15:38:58 2018

EB is probably seeing more book & CD listings because of Amazon's gating of those items.  EB has to make revenue somewhere.  I'm trying to liquidate all my books, CDs and DVDs, unless they are rarities.  I recently sold a rare DVD TV series for $69 on AMZ.  It cost $2.  That's the only way I would buy DVDs/CDs.

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 7 15:41:51 2018

@Thievesbay:  Ebay has an identity problem.  Mercari is making sales, Letgo and Offerup are competing against Craigslist, and Posh is doing well.  Ebay doesn't know where to turn.  Identity problem.
In a way it should go back to what it was in the beginning and play that up:  a site for the odd, the rare, collectibles, art, auctions.  That's what drove people to Ebay and that's why it was created.  Maybe they should emphasize those strengths again.  Maybe it should invite all art and antique sellers to re-join the site?

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by: uppercutknives This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 7 15:42:55 2018

Ebay is raising prices to prop up its poor earnings this quarter. And sellers will pay for it. However, it won't hurt me at all. I closed up shop after 20 years and left ebay on July 5th. After reviewing the new updated policy I'm glad I did. I don't shop there anymore either. And I do not recommend anyone start up an ebay account today. Its just to risky.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Number 6

Tue Aug 7 17:53:15 2018

With the exception of the small number of books, CDs and DVDs that are rare or out of print, most are fairly worthless or low-priced these days in the age of Kindle and downloading/streaming.  

It is actually usually more profitable these days to trade the low-value but decent bulk titles in at large book/music stores for a store credit (which is always higher than cash) then use the credit to buy one or two dead certs from the stock they do have, and then list and sell them - even if they only sell for the same price you paid for them, you make all the money you got on store credit back (over the lower cash offer), and have only a few items to list/ship.

Voila, same income, less profit, dead stock gone.  Goodbye eBay stores...if you only have to list a few items a month and they sell you can just pay the one-off listing fees, and get on with your life in the real world.

Way to go eBay, you won't get the cheap listings to plunder from, and you're cutting your own throat again.  

Unless, of course, this is part of teh anti-flea market 'branding' excercise to rid the site of cheap used goods - a lot of which are of course, books, DVDs and CDs.







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by: ThebigR This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 7 18:03:42 2018

When the tracking is uploaded by EDD date and the tracking meets the requirements a seller is protected from an item not received. Ensure you are choosing a carrier that can provide can provide tracking that meets our proof of delivery requirements.


Tracking information needs to include:
A delivery status of "delivered"
The date of delivery
The recipient's address
Signature confirmation, if an item has a total cost of $750 or more

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by: ThebigR This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 7 18:05:22 2018

Buyers address is going to be the big INR winner winner winner USPS only posts the zip code...

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Aug 7 18:15:25 2018

@comments
"Return of return defects but this time no dispute process will exist to fight buyers remorse returns opened as SNAD. Though it also appears they will not count towards seller performance either which is better then nothing."
Not exactly.  They aren't "defects".  Defects affect your Seller Status, which is NOT the same thing.  Ebay is implementing a SECOND level or area in which they can impose a penalty on sellers.  You could be a seller with zero defects and still get penalized by Ebay if by their metric your SNAD Requests are too high.  You could even be TRS w/ perfect FB and fall into a FVF penalty with Ebay under the new rules.

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Aug 7 18:25:53 2018

I want to know how many shares of Amazon stock does Devin Wenig own?

That would be something the SEC should investigate. . .

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by: P.Dorf This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 7 18:28:41 2018

10 years after I stopped selling, ebay invite me to sell some items....well, go swivel ebay!

ebay = Ethically Bankrupt Avaricious Yobs

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by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 7 18:56:46 2018

At the extreme, if non-Chinese sellers don't list on ebay, ebay is Alibaba West.
Why does ebay use ZERO tactics/incentives to attract NEW sellers, RETAIN current sellers, and ENTICE former sellers to return?

ebay, the world is your oyster. You need a qualified oyster shucker as CEO...
...not that stock grubbing, polysyllabic spouting dimwit you have now.

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by: quirkyantiques This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 7 19:09:07 2018

@toolguy What???? This must be serious-you used to be eBay's biggest cheerleader! I'm sure where ever you land you'll do alright :O)

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

Tue Aug 7 19:10:25 2018

Something that I have noticed that the blues keep bringing up yet have not responded as of yet to requests for clarification.  Every blue keeps saying to win an INR you must have proof of delivery to the address on the shipping label from Ebay.  The only problem with this is that USPS does not show proof of delivery to an address, only to the zip code.

If this is the stance that Ebay is going to take and that Sellers are then responsible to reimburse the Buyer there is going to be a mass exodus of sellers or any products that are worth any kind of money at all because once again Ebay is going to tell the sellers this is a Cost of Doing Business.  Ebay knows that USPS does not verify the address and this would also force sellers to use a more expensive delivery service which Ebay gets 10% of so its another win win for Ebay.  But can you imagine the reaction from the buyers as they suddenly see the price of shipping go up at least 50% to cover these increases?  

Sales will tank if this happens.  I know I will have to move all my items off because using anything but USPS is ludicrous.  

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by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 7 19:41:02 2018

I want to cry, but it's also funny.
At the rate of sales this month, I will be paying single digit fee instead of double/triple digit fees. Now multiply what's happening to me by how many sellers?  What an impact on eBay income.

I am so glad that last year I have done more work on eCrater and sales are starting to pick up. I joined someone's group Pinterest boards to pin my items for sale and this is helping along with my own pinterest account.

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by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 7 20:00:54 2018

This seller has some advice for anyone looking for alternative marketplaces.

I Stopped selling on Amazon,they kept giving me issues with my photo's and the fee's were too high and very limited to what you can sell!  Sales were rare and they took forever to pay you,you don't control the money like on Ebay . It was like selling in a bad antique mall,high fee's little results. Amazon is more for bulk selling mailing them your stuff and letting them do the work/shipping! Try PRAIRIEGRIT OR RUBYLANE for collectables.

I Sell on Audiogon for last 13 years,picked up hundreds of sales and feedback since May and only relist on Ebay. Audiogon is for audio related or stereo items only. Records.cd's,laserdiscs,reel to reel, audiophile items,etc. DISCOGS is excellent too for records/cds for some!

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

Tue Aug 7 20:09:52 2018

I expect ebay will raise fees in other categories in future updates. Ebay likes to raise fees or lowers discounts gradually.

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