Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Oct 11 2012 22:58:52

eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay launched a new homepage design and diverted everyone's attention from changes it has been making to the listing page, which the seller who paid for the listing no longer fully controls.

It's probably a smart move for eBay to leverage ad revenue - search engines and other marketplaces do it - you'll see ads on Amazon.com listing pages. But for eBay sellers, the proliferation of ads on View Item pages mean shoppers can easily be distracted and move away from the page. And they aren't seeing a corresponding lowering of fees.

I was looking at a piece of vintage jewelry, and the square ad across from the picture (underneath the Seller Information) enticed me to go to eBay's sneaker page. When I scrolled down to read the description of the item I was viewing, I came across competing products in sections called "People who bought this item also bought" and "See what other people are watching."

True, it's possible that seller could benefit if her items appeared on other sellers' listing pages, but keep in mind, not all listing fees are the same.

The "Sponsored Results" ads continue to display at the bottom of the page, and you'll also find another ad underneath that, currently displaying eBay's own promotions.

Diamond sellers are already getting free listings, and these days, many low-volume sellers are taking advantage of eBay's 50 free listings/month.

Given eBay's recent spate of free listing tests, would you be surprised if eBay moves to eliminate most listing fees (and possibly increase commission fees correspondingly)? I'm working on a story for next week that supports this theory, in the meantime, let me know what you think - and if eBay did eliminate listing fees, how would that change your eBay listing strategy?




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Perminate Link for eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees   eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 11 23:39:24 2012

Personally, the 20 cent per item listing fee has nothing to do with what I list, how often I list, and when I list.

Those issues for me are based on what I can get from my suppliers, what season it is, whats popular in society and of course - how asleep VERO is on any given day.

I have approx 200 items listed - sometimes more, sometimes less - but I OWN all the items I sell, unlike alot of eBay megasellers who use Ingram Micro or D&H 's feeds as thier wharehouse. Of course those people dont pay the 20 cents - but thats not up for discussion here.

If eBay put the dogs of Vero down for good, I could list 1000 items. Its not my bank account that stops me - its eBay illegally allowing VERO to serve me illegal policy violations.

eBay recently asked sellers to tell the SC to continue to allow and refine the FSD, yet as of today its the law of the land and they STILL hand out MC019 Unauthorized violations! Unauthorized what?

eBay panders to the manufactorers (it happened before Noah but its been accelerating at breakneck speed) by allowing them to illegally hand out copyright and trademark violations willy nilly - simply because they dont want their goods on eBay - NOT because the listing actually violates any laws.

eBays gimmicktry doesnt impress me - I dont care about thier logo, or about any of thier other stupidities. What I do care about is how they run thier business and how thier illegalities effect me.

The stupidest part of it all is, when I do get one of VEROs calling cards, I just sell the goods on Amazon instead. I make money, Amazon makes money, eBay doesnt ... so whos the moron now?

Perminate Link for eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees   eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 12 00:00:12 2012

As to those ads, everyone should be running firefox with adblock plus.  

No ads.  

Perminate Link for eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees   eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 12 00:02:34 2012

BTW, Pace 306, if you haven't read the Tabberone site about that VERO stuff, it's great reading.  

I actually think you probably did but everyone else similarly situated should read that.

A husband and wife, not lawyers, sued a huge corporation over that nonsense and won. Cleaned their clock.  

Perminate Link for eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees   eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Fri Oct 12 00:57:18 2012

So, just about no one is paying listing fees now; that's nice; then, who would want to pay listing fees knowing that the sell through rate is going to be so abysmal. The real test will be when all the desperate shill bidding merchants finally realize that buying most of their own stuff, and paying the eBafia a FVF thereon, is no way to run a business. The eBafia “house of cards” is going to be then very close to collapsing …

Indeed, the financials due in a few days should be interesting given that eBafia must have by now exhausted their supply of hot air …

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

Perminate Link for eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees   eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: eBankrupted

Fri Oct 12 02:03:53 2012

I'm sick and tired of the spam on listings. I now see outside links with PRICES on the ad copy! The stupid flashing box below the seller info makes my right eye hurt.

Descriptions used to start above the fold, now the description starts on page 3, below, below the fold. I cannot shop on ebay anymore because I get vertigo from all the spam bot links.

I'm renting a permanent space at the flea market, where life is predictable and happy. I hate ebay.


@pace306

If your listing is Vero'D, you can put it back up and demand to be sued. If you aren't violating copyrights, or trademarks, a jury will award you damages.

Perminate Link for eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees   eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees

by: Ebay's Slow Death This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 12 03:33:02 2012

So much is broken on Ebay lately!

They keep piling all this new stuff on, and the site works worse and worse every day.

Ebay loads painfully slow. I just sit here and wait sometimes. No other site seems to have a problem.

Search is completely broken. My husband looks things up on my computer for our antiques shop, in order to see what items are selling for.  He has been complaining more and more about not being able to find things. Often times he doesn't need to find the exact item, but wants to see what similar items are going for.

I was doing some searching today, and found the problems he has been complaining about.

When you type several words into search, nothing comes up. Then when you type fewer words, you get lots of listings. Then if you add words to search, what you searched for in the first place comes up. Also, search will change the spelling of what you entered a lot of times. Then there are all the listings that show-up that have none of your search words in the titles.   Also, he complains that so much new junk comes up in search that he can't find the old stuff, and too much shows that has nothing to do with what he is searching for.

Then of course if you get frustrated and type the same words into Google Search, voila! up comes a list of Ebay items. Usually the very item you had been looking for.  Why do I keep finding the Ebay Items I am looking for through Google, but can't find them on Ebay?

Then tonight I was leaving feedback, and the last two I tried to leave, won't allow me to do it. When I clicked on the ''View Item'' it says my listing is no longer available and shows a long row of other people's items. I tried everything I could think of to find my item, so I could leave feedback for the Buyer, but they all said my item, from a couple of weeks ago, didn't exist on Ebay any longer.

It seems to me that Ebay is getting more difficult to navigate and use every day. Why don't they fix what is not working, before they keep adding new stuff nobody cares about!  It is so frustrating!

Ebay is becoming unusable. It is bad enough for Sellers, but Buyers aren't going to go to the extra trouble trying to figure out how to make things work correctly. They are going to give up faster than us die hard Sellers.

No wonder our sales keep declining. Nobody can get the darn site to work anymore!

Perminate Link for eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees   eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Fri Oct 12 03:49:27 2012

Please understand that eBay’s new "search" is not intended to help you find anything; it’s purpose is to try to direct potential buyers to the listings of eBay's “diamond” and  national-brand merchants, for if and when they get tired of wasting their time for abysmal sell-through rate that eBay is presently supplying, eBay is finished ...

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

Perminate Link for eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees   eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees

by: andanotherthing This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 12 03:51:16 2012

Oh thank goodness for that. I have found the same problem as poster eBay's Slow Death above (I sell antiques and collectables in the UK). I too use eBay search for research purposes and am more and more frustrated with the lack of results (or too many results) my searches bring.

My sales are down to 40% of what they should be ... if I can't find the item I am after (and I have years of experience), how can the buyer?

I don't care about the ads - mostly they don't relate to the problem of the searches. I DO care about leading buyers away from my page, and the fact that buyers can't find my items in the first place.

I am exploring alternatives to eBay - it's more work but at least I have the satisfaction of maybe, just maybe, I will be able to dump eBay and list where my buyers can find me and I'm not bound by petty rules and regulations.

The latest one to hit me is ox bone. Now we all know the history behind bone and related products and that it has its roots in the misselling of antique ivory. I was told, via a warning, that although I can refer to my item as oxbone in the description, I cannot refer to it as such in the subject title. How mad is that?

Perminate Link for eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees   eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees

by: This a joke, right? This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 12 04:57:39 2012

I've been selling on eBay 13 years and have 0ver 30K feedback with around 24,000 items listed
If listing fees are not removed soon I will be closing my store. The sales are no longer there to support listing fees.
Even though I have twice the number of items listed I am selling 1/2 what I was selling 4 years ago
On Amazon, where there are no listing fees my sales are way up.
Where do you think all of my new merchandise is listed? It sure isn't eBay

Perminate Link for eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees   eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Fri Oct 12 05:20:56 2012

I have several concerns with eBay doing away with listing fees.

First will be the size of the increase in Final Value Fees. Surely eBay will increase FVF's so that they more than cover their lost listing fee revenue. With FVF's already at painful levels, any increase is going to be painful.

Second, if eBay eliminates listing fees, there will be no end to the non listing related garbage that ends up placed on sellers listing pages. This will surely antagonize, annoy and further alienate eBay's remaining buyers.

No more listing fees will likely signal the beginning of the end of stores on eBay. eBay has been slowly killing store traffic anyway, so when they knock off listing fees I bet they will announce the end of stores at the same time. This will be another reason the hike in FVF's will be greater than needed to replace lost listing fee revenues as eBay will seek to recoup lost store fee revenue incrementally from every seller across the board.

As is always the case with fee (and postage increases) they are passed along to buyers in the form of higher pricing which in turn drives down traffic and sales across the board.

eBay is starting year 6 of John Donahoe's 3 year turn around plan, and about the only thing he has succeeded in turning around is buyers... Buyers come to Donahoe's eBay take one look at what it has become, then turn around and head over to Amazon to make their purchases.

If John Donahoe woke up one day and found he had been transformed into Picasso, the SOB would still not be able to draw traffic.

Perminate Link for eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees   eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 12 08:41:37 2012

@Philip.  Agree with you except for one thing. Financials, exhausting hot air supply. They spend all the time looking for new ways to ''manipulate'' numbers. The MBA (more bs added) idiots are not trying to fool wall street. They are just lying to themselves to ease the mind in thinking it is all legal (Not moral or just plain the right thing to do). Wall street sees right through. Good numbers - bad numbers-wall street just looks for an angle to cash in. Sometimes if they(wall street) cannot find they create. Doing same as Ebay and others (Enron etc).
Ebay will drop fees when when they can no longer sell the lies to sellers. Then increase FV and other fees drastically. Amazon does this also. Read Amazon raised fees in electronics from 8% to 15%. BIG jump.
I blame the board on ebay as much or even more than Donahoe. He had a 3 year plan - didn't even come close to turn around or whatever. So why is he still around? Read somewhere where he rec'd paycut. Big deal, like it would hurt his status or the way he lives. (was going to add way he thinks-but he doesn't). So the ebay board are either being paid off or just don't care as long as they get a piece of the action every month.
Can you imagine what wall street - plain investors, and mainly sellers would do if they fired him- replaced with someone who actually cared about the job and ebay (not the dollars). Go back to the start. Listen to sellers and help the sellers. It worked before and right now the time is perfect to go back to the way it was. The sellers made the company, not outside advertising. Me thinks ebay might have a problem if they did this. Would not be able to handle the increase in new sellers and listings etc..  Also, someone new on the helm may discover what they have been hiding these past few years and have an additional problem of it not being legal. Then what would happen to ebay???

Perminate Link for eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees   eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 12 09:10:53 2012

@ eBankrupted  :)

Ive NEVER been sued, not from ANY of the companies that supposedly had a problem with my listings.

Skullcandy, Denon, Tivoli, Tanita, Monstercable and all the other eBay corporate favs have used eBay to try and threaten but have NEVER once tried to sue. They all have my attorneys contact info - but they have all been too chicken. Why? They could EASILY outspend me 10000x over, but they have no standing so they cant.

The point is that eBay who wants the laws to be applied to them fairly - now that they are being sued in France by Vitton - wont extend the same to thier sellers, and worse are trying to get those same sellers to troll for them by writting to the SC when eBay hands out violations that are incorrect (thats DMCA abuse).

Its a stupid game - and eBay knows it well. 1/2 of those companies magically now have eBay stores ... my how convinient!

Amazon gets the business instead of eBay ... stupid eBay ecommerce isnt for kids! (like you).

As for the 20 cent listings .... for real sellers its irrelevant (the cost), and I agree with Ric that it will be an excuse for ebay to go to %15 commission across the board (which is what I hear is comming next yr anyway)(which in turn is why they arent exhibiting at CES this yr in Jan 2013 in Vegas).

If its free to list then eBay will turn into the flee market that JD swore he didnt want it to be! (stupid ebay never thinks things through).

eBay can bea strong B2B or B2C platform if they would spend thier time working on real things, not logos, not stupid pet tricks to mollify the low end crappy buyers they seem to love, if they sepreated themselves totally from Paypal (another out of control eBay nightmare) and of course stopped the VERO nonsence.

Small minds produce small results - thats eBay - listing fees or no!

Perminate Link for eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees   eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees

by: Analiz This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 12 10:26:17 2012

I don't see a problem with the ads. If you have a large enough description, chances are most buyers will never scroll down far enough to see the ads below it. But if your description is one or two lines, nobody is going to see it.

I use Google Adwords for my website and get lots of traffic from those sponsored ads at the bottom of eBay listings. Take advantage of it and get an adwords account. My adwords also show up under my Amazon listings.  

Perminate Link for eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees   eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees

by: baghera This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 12 11:41:25 2012

On eBay Radio, I heard Griff alluding that the big ad in our listings is taking the place of listing fees. To listen, go to ebay radio~~~> http://groups.ebay.com/forum/Ebay-Radio-Town/Home/1279?

Click the 'Archives On Demand' button and look for the show titled 'Ask Griff & Lee - Show 272 - Segment 3'. Currently, it's on the 2nd page of the archives, next to last entry on the page. Once you start the audio, you'll see that the time on the player counts down. Griff is talking about this from -26.27 thru -24.30.


 

Perminate Link for eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees   eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees

by: retiredcatlady This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 12 13:31:19 2012

I try not to buy from the diamond sellers, I try to buy from the ma & pop sellers.  Although, if I wanted something new - I would go to Walmart because it's easy to return and I don't have to pay for shipping.  My experience of late has been out of 5 purchases on Ebay, I had to return 2 items that were not described properly and I do not like paying for shipping back.  The other 3 items were all from the same seller and were all the same item-dog leashes.  After Meg left, eBay has deteriorated so bad, I don't see why they don't have a mass exodus.  

Perminate Link for eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees   eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees

by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Fri Oct 12 14:15:51 2012

Over there are ebid.net they have hardly made any changes to their fees and set up for the last 3 years.
They just keep growing slowly.

Perminate Link for eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees   eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Fri Oct 12 17:03:52 2012

@FREDDY,

I agree about "Wall Street" seeing through eBay; you only have to compare the current stock prices of eBay and Amazon with what they both were five years ago: ~$40 ...

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

Perminate Link for eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees   eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Fri Oct 12 17:59:28 2012

@Ric: to continue your art analogy, Donahoe is to ebay what that elderly Italian woman is to that fresco painting she "restored."

For myself, the removal of listing fees would be a good thing. My sell-through has been so bad in the last couple of years that I simply can't justify paying listing fees for anything. It will result in a flood of junk on the site, but there's already a lot of that, so more probably won't make much difference. I wonder if they'll have two kinds of listings: free, with ads and premium, with no ads but a listing fee and perhaps greater search visibility. Or maybe they'll convert stores into some sort of subscription model like Amazon, where you can get preference in searches. All I know is that they'll probably implement everything right in the middle of holiday selling, causing us to all have more work to do. I wouldn't mind having more work to do during the holidays, provided it's the kind that comes with actually making sales.

Perminate Link for eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees   eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees

by: Ed This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 12 23:44:50 2012

@FREDDY
I think ebay has burned so many bridges with the sellers I am not sure any one would want to help them any more.

Perminate Link for eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees   eBay Devalues Listing Page without Lowering Listing Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Spartacus

Sat Oct 13 00:21:08 2012

I might consider returning to eBay if they dropped listing fees. Listing fees kill sellers like myself with 5000+ unique and OOAK collectible listings.

With collectible and OOAK sellers there was always a symbiotic relationship because collectors would spend their money in the marketplace they were making money.

It was one thing when eBay had a 20% or better sell thru rate. Most could even survive at 10% but at the end for me my STR was around 4%. No way it can work paying $50 per month for a store and 5 cents per listing.

I'd much rather pay a higher FVF than front load fees.

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