Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Jan 1 2013 20:48:21

Would You Take eBay Credit in Exchange for Lower Fees?

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay has been polling sellers to see if they would be receptive to accepting credit for transactions instead of cash - in exchange for paying lower (or no) fees.

The model is not unheard of. For instance, Coinstar has a "coin to card" program in which users can receive ecertificates or gift cards at Amazon.com, retailers, restaurants, movie theaters and grocery stores. Where Coinstar charges a fee for its coin counting service, users who opt for the gift cards pay no fees.

Said an eBay seller who received a survey, the thrust of the research was, "how would you feel about taking a credit instead of cash for the things you sell on eBay....Sell an item for $100 and get cash of $91...or eBay credit for $100."

While it could be something casual sellers might be interested in, it's hard to see how such a program could work on a large scale unless subsidized by eBay's retail partners or advertisers. Nor does it seem likely business sellers would want their revenue tied up in eBay credit.

Under what circumstances could eBay offer this type of program? And would you take eBay up on such an offer?




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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 1 21:43:59 2013

Personally, I cant pay my vendors in eBay credit .... Its like Washington fiscal easing ... printing money out of thin air... what would I do with "ebay credits"?

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

Tue Jan 1 21:51:17 2013

Well... it certainly sounds like an attractive offer at first glance. ~~ But what's-the-catch? There's *always* a catch.

So, is the catch that the funds can ONLY be spent at eBay? (Is that it? Did I overlook or misread anything? Did I misunderstand something?)

Seriously, eBay? Is eBay *that* out of touch?

I don't know about you, but my profits go toward many of life's basic necessities. Food, gasoline, electricity, heating-oil, insurance, medicine. ~ Some of what I make is ''fun money'' but to limit myself to eBay-only purchases is insane!

Looking beyond the headline, what this suggests to me is that eBay might be feeling left out in the cold.

It's pretty clear that more and more sellers are leaving eBay (and taking their purchasing power with them).

And then there are those sellers who may reluctantly continue to sell on eBay, but who will be damned if they'll ever spend another dollar on an eBay purchase. (That describes me.)

I'd hope that sellers aren't short-sighted enough to fall for this trap.

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Jan 1 22:22:10 2013

Annie says: "So, is the catch that the funds can ONLY be spent at eBay?"

That's the first question that popped into my head.

I doubt that lower fees and "eBay credit" would entice me to sell there again. There's still the problem of visibility for my listings. Now, if they guaranteed me high placement in Best Match searches as well as lower fees, I might consider it. But as Annie also stated, there's always a catch when it comes to eBay.

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by: cutfingers This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Jan 1 23:07:46 2013

So, no cash? (What does the IRS do?)

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

Tue Jan 1 23:09:29 2013

Every time I think ebafia has reached the highest level possible of larcenous absurdity, some new junior high hot shot MBA conjures up some new anti seller con game.

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by: mimi51 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 1 23:13:38 2013

I agree with Annie.  I very rarely make a purchase on e-Bay and there's no way I would tie up my earnings in e-Bay credit.  I wouldn't sell on e-Bay if I didn't have to.  I'm definitely a reluctant seller on e-Bay.  It's just another ''great'' idea created by out-of-touch MBAs with no real world experience.  

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

Tue Jan 1 23:14:12 2013

Really, this is nothing more than another ill conceived scheme to persuade sellers to become heavier buyers which means more FVFs and PayPal fees.

The cookie jars have become few and far between these days, so ebafia is inventing larger cookie jars for their ever grasping, dirty hands.

Get new revenues from buyers and leave us the hell alone, ebafia!

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by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 1 23:19:24 2013

Sure, I'd take this offer ... just as soon as I figure out how to pay my rent, utilities, insurance, gasoline, groceries, dentist, doctor, etc. with eBay Credit!  

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by: blaumann This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 1 23:27:56 2013

Once again ebay is fishing to determine what percentage of sellers are fools.  

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by: BackInBlack This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 1 23:30:48 2013

It'd work for me on the 'small seller' scale, because 'virtually' (pun intended) everything I buy, I buy on eBay or Amazon, except for most grocery & food items. But the dream has always to sell enough to pull out usable cash with which to pay the household bills.  Can't do *all* of that on eBay!

To answer the question, I think the 'catch' is that a gift card of any kind is an interest-free loan and is often converted to an outright gift to the vendor/merchant when it is forgotten about and expires.  I've read the percentage of never-redeemed gift certificates/cards is actually quite high.  I have in-hand right now probably close to $1k of them!  But I do know where they are and intend to use them all.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rocky
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Tue Jan 1 23:32:10 2013

You folks have covered it pretty well!  As soon as the USPS takes my eBay credit for shipping I'll look at the deal.  As long as it's not all or nothing that is.  Give me some options on percentage of sales and I'll be more receptive.

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by: Disillusioned-Seller This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 1 23:35:14 2013

You know, instead of eBay coming up with these endless gimmicks, here's a clue, stop jacking up the fees and start providing actual customer service.
I will say one thing, their f**cked up way of doing business is providing revenue to their competitors. If it weren't for their ransom-like fee structure and the countless hoops they keep forcing sellers to jump through, I never would have started my own website or listed on Etsy and other platforms.
What I really find ironic is that if we ran our businesses like eBay does or received the low feedback scores they get in seller surveys, they would suspend our accounts. And their attitude is take it or leave it and we can't please everyone. We the sellers are not allowed to take that attitude with our clients. Yet they can.
What the hell would I do with eBay credit? Can I pay USPS with it? Order my supplies with it? Quit the gimmicks and just treat the sellers fairly. Is that really to omuch to ask?

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by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 1 23:42:52 2013

Credit instead of cash for transactions??  Sounds like desperation to me.  I can't see it any pother way!

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by: nsc This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Jan 1 23:56:40 2013

The offer of ebay credit would be attractive for those who intended to use the cash to buy on ebay anyway. Probably mostly hobby sellers, as Ina said.

It sounds to me like ebay is starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel for new sellers. Since until now they seemed to think they had an endless supply, this might mark a change in their thinking.

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This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Wed Jan 2 00:26:59 2013

Lets see..would I rather have $100 to spend anywhere or a lousy captive ebay gift card.  Reminds me of the birthday cards that read - ''I couldn't decide on whether to buy you a big expensive gift (open the card) and opted to give you this card instead''.

The only time I would want an ebay gift card would be to pay my ebay monthly bill.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
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Wed Jan 2 00:41:58 2013

What?

Another unlicensed, unregulated, un-FDIC insured, eBay “pretend” bank? An “eBafia” pretend bank in addition to the existing PreyPal pretend bank … eBafia now wants to compete directly with its ugly adopted daughter, PreyPal, for depositors’ funds?

Surely, they have to be joking … else they must be thinking of a quick IPO for PreyPal—before the banks’ new digital wallets finally steamroll the clunky PreyPal … what other reason can there be for such hallucinations?

eBafia is so desperate, it too is going to offer to hold your funds “safely” on deposit in consideration of a fractionally lower FVF?

Who do they think they are kidding? The rusting old scow is taking on water faster than PreyPal can pump and PreyPal’s capacity to pump is atrophying, along with the eBay marketplace ...

Passengers should get off this leaking old tub as soon as they can before it finally slips beneath the waves and takes them all down with it …

Clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk …

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

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by: BlueHoundAuctions This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Jan 2 01:05:07 2013

For the longest time we have been posting things up on eBay, and for the longest time we have taken it on the nose from eBay as far as fraud was concerned.  People winning auctions, paying form them and within 15 minutes of getting the shipping confirmation - putting in an item not received notification.

We did this until eBay had a loss this year of over $2K.  

If I were to take lower fees, I would take them as lower fees, not as a card that I would use to turn around and continue to pay - MORE FEES.

If my vendors, yard sale folks, auction houses don't take the card - it helps me with nothing.

What will help us is leaving eBay.  We have had up to 4,000 items online at one time, and now have 3.  Once those items run their course - we're done.  

We have moved our business over to Proxibid, and that is where we are going to stay.

No more eBay - no more PayPal.  Proxibid, ACN via Proxibid, and Google Checkout is it.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Wed Jan 2 01:06:19 2013

"I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today"

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by: lalin This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 2 02:14:56 2013

I can't stop laughing long enough to make a response. I'll take credit from ebay when ebay takes credit from me, or rather when the proverbial pigs fly. Dumbay took my listings down because I owed them $2.91 even though I've been an "honored" seller for 13 years. they have no credit with me, and never will. I'll be gone from there as soon as my own store is up and running.  

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by: spirit-of-shiloh This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 2 02:28:58 2013

Heck no...I want cash.

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