Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Mar 15 2012 10:15:35

Would Eliminating Basic eBay Stores Hurt Your Business?

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is eliminating Basic Stores in Australia in May as part of its Spring Seller Release, effectively boosting subscription fees by 25 percent for many small sellers. As EcommerceBytes Newsflash reports today, eBay Australia will move to a two-tier subscription plan and is lowering the cost of a Featured Store subscription from $99.95/month to $24.95/month.

Sellers in the rest of the world will no doubt be wondering if eBay has plans to roll out this change worldwide.

eBay used to reveal the number of Stores in its quarterly financial results (eBay had 532,000 eBay Stores worldwide at its peak in 2007), but stopped providing that number several years ago after a series of radical changes to Store fees and policies, including a move to "Store in Core" in 2010.

Here are the last numbers I could find before eBay stopped reporting eBay Store stats (note: the numbers exclude storefronts in eBay China):
2007 (9/30/2007): 280,000 eBay Stores in the U.S., 520,000 worldwide
2007 (12/31/2007): 532,000 eBay Stores worldwide
2008 (12/31/2008): 516,000 eBay Stores worldwide

Clearly Featured Store subscribers would be happy to see a 75% decrease in fees, but what would it mean to smaller sellers on eBay.com if Basic Store subscription fees increased 25 percent? Would the benefits of an eBay Store outweigh the hypothetical increase in fees?




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This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Thu Mar 15 12:12:08 2012

Clearly the eBay assault on small sellers is far from over.

The disingenuous nature of eBay's announcement of their fee increases continues as they attempt to spin the fact that a minority of sellers will see lower fees while at the same time that fee structure will amount to an unconscionable increase to small and casual sellers.

Once again, eBay's double speak rules the day and deliberately obfuscates the real intent of eliminating Basic Store subscriptions; i.e. sellers who currently subscribe to a Basic Store and believe having a store benefits their business will simply have to pay higher subscription fees to maintain a store presence on eBay, or pay higher listing fees if they choose to continue selling on eBay without a store.

Either way, eBay wins... Management will deceive and manipulate their Wall Street masters into believing they are lowering fees when in reality, their fee decrease will end up surreptitiously forcing small sellers to pay significantly higher monthly fees one way or another.

Of course Wall Street will once again fail to comprehend the true nature of this latest debacle and instead will swallow the deception hook, line and sinker.

The corporate atrocities of the 1% continue unabated as small sellers are led to financial slaughter, all in the name of boosting revenue to pay for the increased compensation packages lavished on eBay's already over compensated executives.



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

Thu Mar 15 12:24:17 2012

@Ric, Actually “Wall Street” does recognise that eBay is going nowhere: look at the share price performance of eBay compared to that of Visa or MasterCard over the past five years. Yuk.

It’s the coterie of faux journalists/analysts that do no more than regurgitate the PR nonsense from the likes of the eBay Dept Of Spin, and who don’t have the intelligence, or are simply too lazy, to see the forest for the trees that are the real problem.

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

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by: BetterThingsToDo This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 15 14:28:30 2012

Wouldn't hurt me a bit. I'm an anchor store owner and believe the basis stores are just dust.

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by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 15 15:00:27 2012

Eliminating ALL of Ebay wouldn't bother me a bit.  After 14 years I have nothing listed there!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Thu Mar 15 16:06:42 2012

I've been getting a callous from sitting here on this fence... unable to decide... wondering whether or not I should cancel my store subscription (for the dozen or so items that I list).

If this new policy and pricing-plan comes to the US, then my decision will be made for me. I'll just cancel the store at that point.

Ahhh... but maybe that's what they WANT me to do anyway. (The double-negative triple-backflip-reverse psychology may just work on me.)

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Thu Mar 15 17:56:18 2012

The Ho's hand once again caught in other people's wallets.

This represents a clear and unadulterated push toe xterminate still more sellers or further decrease their profitability by forcing them into a more expensive store.

And, Wall Street, it's also another example of The Ho's Revenue Shifting play. A shifty person with shifty plays.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Mar 15 18:38:32 2012

They have to pay for that big recent pay boost they gave Donahoe somehow.

I just wish they'd be more transparent about how they do it.  Ebay is notorious for these little schemes that are cloaked in rainbows, lollipops and pixie dust.  

This reminds me of when the USPS raises the price of a stamp by a few cents........they never tell you about the more substantial increases in the packaging costs. Smoke and mirrors.  It is the eBay way.

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by: Ed This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 16 00:41:22 2012

Every honest seller that leaves will hurt ebay because they will all take some buyers with them. Buyer like honest sellers and will follow them.

Being a midsize store may not affect our fees as much. I find that ebay shows favor to the West Coast buyer and forgets that taking advantage of the East Coast buyers and seller is going to hurt them in the long run.

ebay need to stop being greedy and make it good for all buyers and seller and stop letting the 1/2 of 1% of the buyer hurt the sellers.

ebay need to stop showing favor to Free Shipping start promoting all the great deals on ebay. Its a sad day when you get Negative Feedback for shipping when you are the lowest price with the shipping included. No one has increased shipping more than ebay & PayPal charging fees on shipping pushing sellers to inflate shipping charges calling it Free Shipping. Shipping is not Free

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by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 16 01:01:03 2012

Not really. I figure my days on Ebay are numbered as it is, due to the annual 10 to 20% increase in fees. The only good news is that Ebay's days are numbered, as well. For when they finally chase all of us small sellers off their site, we will no longer shop there and that should cost them 20 million or so buyers. And if we all tell our family members to boycott, then that should bring the total to 75 million or more loss of Ebay buyers. I know that when I finally go, I will take about 8 family members with me.  

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by: blaumann This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 16 01:44:04 2012

If they raise the fee and eliminate my discount I would have no choice, no more store.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Fri Mar 16 02:13:08 2012

OK here is the math.
If they raise the store fee by 25% by eliminating basic stores that means the listing fees on fixed price will go down to $0.05 instead of the $0.20 that is now paid.
For a store that run a 100 fixed price listings per month that will be a decrease in cost of $15.00 for the listing fees with an increase the store fee of $4.00 for a net saving of $11.00.

For those that only sell by auctions it is another price increase.

Then again how long will auctions last on eBay.

Bill

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Mar 16 10:59:26 2012

@anonyomous Annie

You should close the store.  You are just giving Ebay money that you would not otherwise do if you closed the store.  If you are only running 12 BIN listings per month, it's not enough to offset the fees for a basic store.  And if those 12 listing you do are auctions, then again, you are just giving away your money to Ebay with no benefit to you.

*******************

As for this potential Australia change coming here to the USA.  On the face I don't think this will hurt small sellers at all.  In fact it may very well help them.  For an additional $5.00 per month they get even lower listing fees for BIN listings [from 10 cents with the basic store to 5 cents with the premium store] as well as other benefits.  So it could be 5 bucks very well spent.

And for other small sellers that have premium stores [yes those still can be small sellers], they save a few bucks [$20] on the cost of their store per month.  So this type of fee structure could benefit sellers.

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by: 10 year seller This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 16 12:35:35 2012

I think this is where ebay is going.
As far as becoming an advertising site.

                       'Google an advertising company': former executive hits out at company                    

                                               March 15, 2012                  


A former Google executive went public on Tuesday with a lament that the internet star has become obsessed with advertising and seizing the online social networking crown from Facebook.

           James Whittaker left Microsoft in 2009 for a high-level software engineering job at Google only to recently jump back to the California-based firm's rival.

           In a personal blog post he explained why he left what is considered one of the world's most desirable workplaces.
                       
           ''The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate,'' Whittaker said.

           ''The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus.''

           That focus was to conquer the online social networking realm where Facebook rules and Google stumbled with offerings such as Buzz and Wave, according to Whittaker.''




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by: matursuksema This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 16 15:44:15 2012

I sell on World of Good by eBay, a fair trade, green, sustainable site, which doesn't have auctions.  Eliminating stores would mean everything would have to be BIN at higher listing fees so my costs would definitely go up.  If and when it happens I'll have to do the math and decide whether it's worth it.



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