eBay is raising commission fees, but it buried the news in the Spring Seller Update announcement on Wednesday. It's also complicated for sellers to determine exactly how the new fees will impact their bottom line.
A year ago, eBay made a major change to the way it charged sellers enrolled in Managed Payments, melding together commission fees and payment processing fees into a single Final Value Fee.
At the time, eBay executive Brian Burke told sellers that under change to the Managed Payments fee structure, "most sellers can expect to see overall savings."
We explained why it was difficult for sellers to assess
if they were one of those who would see a savings or not, and we also noted how easy it would be for eBay to raise commissions after sellers had adjusted to the new fee structure.
Just as we suspected 10 months ago, that day has arrived.
But nothing about the new fees is easy to digest. First, new fees depend on if the seller is enrolled in Managed Payments or not. Second, it depends on if the seller pays for an eBay Store subscription or not. And third, fees vary by category.
What you need to know:
- We're reinvesting in our platform to create the premier global marketplace
- Zero insertion fee allotments increase when eBay manages your payments
- Final value fee increases for all sellers in select categories
- Promoted Listings Store credit and eBay Top Rated Seller credit retirement
- eBay will require all sellers to register for eBay to manage their payments in 2021
- Selling fees and expenses will be collected from your earnings
- Fast, flexible financing from eBay Seller Capital
And eBay provides more information about fees on this page
. (We couldn't find a side-by-side chart of fees by category to help assess the impact of the fee hike.)
eBay attempted to dull the pain of higher fees by offering more free listings for those enrolled in Managed Payments: "We're increasing zero insertion fee allotments when eBay manages your payments, which means you can list more of your inventory on eBay for free."
It's important to point out that the fee hike means eBay is charging more on shipping costs and on state sales tax, a practice to which many sellers object. (Sellers understand the rationale for paying *payment-processing* fees on the total transaction amount, but it is not industry-standard to charge sellers a *commission* fee on shipping and sales tax. As we've noted before, we're not even sure if it's legal for eBay to charge a commission on sales tax it collects from buyers on behalf of states - note the word commission, not payment-processing fee.)
With more states instituting sales tax, shipping costs going up, and higher costs caused by claims from ever-more-frequent shipping backlogs, the impact of eBay's fee hike may hit harder than before.
Another change introduced in the 2021 eBay Spring Seller Update: no more credits for sellers to put towards Promoted Listing ads. eBay had offered a quarterly $25 Promoted Listings Store credit and a quarterly $30 eBay Top Rated Seller credit, however, it announced today:
"Starting April 1, 2021, we'll retire our existing Promoted Listings promotional credits."
It's time for sellers to break out their calculators and spreadsheets and assess the damage.