Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Jan 27 2013 21:58:58

Mulling over eBay Fees and Platform Changes

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay used to raise fees every year like clockwork. Sellers would protest the higher fees, and Meg Whitman would tell the media the "passion" of the community was a positive phenomenon. The hike in listing and commission fees for Store inventory in August 2006 was a classic example - it was something the mainstream press could easily understand and write about.

But something interesting has happened over the past few years. Rather than announcing annual fee increases and dealing with the accompanying drama, eBay has been raising fee through policy changes. That's something much harder for reporters to understand and harder for sellers to rally around.

For example, in 2011, eBay began including S&H costs in the commission fees. But that was not a one-time fee increase. Each January, shipping carriers raise rates. Because both eBay and PayPal take a percentage of the shipping costs in their commissions, eBay sees an automatic increase in revenue from fees each year.

For example, if I sell a jacket that fits in a medium Priority Mail flat rate box, the USPS now charges me $12.35 instead of $11.35 thanks to rate hike that went into effect today. eBay charges a 10% commission (FVF) in the Clothing Shoes and Accessories category; 10% of the extra $1 in shipping charges is 10 cents. PayPal charges 2.9%, so they get an extra 3 cents.

That means I pay eBay an extra 13 cents for my jacket transaction, simply because the U.S. Postal Service raised its rates.

As I outlined last month, USPS Priority Mail service will increase overall an average of 6.3%; UPS is increasing Ground services by 4.9 percent net in 2013; FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery rates will increase an average of 5.9%.

Another example of a fee increase disguised as a policy change was in 2012 when eBay changed the criteria for receiving the 20% Top Rated Seller discount. You can still be a Top Rated Seller, but you have to meet stricter guidelines in order to qualify for the discount.

Will eBay figure out another way to increase fees through policy changes?

And speaking of changes, the head of eBay Marketplaces Devin Wenig tweeted on Friday afternoon, "our job is to give ebay sellers the best platform to expose not just their products but who they are-their brand, style, story. Stay Tuned."



Sellers are currently limited in how much self promotion they can do on eBay - the About Me page is the primary platform for introducing themselves to shoppers.

Any guesses as to what eBay has up its sleeve with regard to sellers being able to share more about their brands?




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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Jan 27 23:51:40 2013

Is Wenig referring to the "Live Search Chatroom" and "Social Network Payment System" that Julia reported on her AuctionBytes Blog on July 12, 2012?

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

Sun Jan 27 23:55:18 2013

OK, Phil and the Seller Chorus:

How do we know when ebay is lying?

CHORUS: When their lips are moving.

Surely Devil Wenig misspoke -- surely he really meant to say that he wants the "best platform to exterminate products" and the noise that sells them.

It's about how this Ho in training defines "best." Best venue to steal from sellers? Best venue to scam buyers? Best venue for scamming sellers?

Define "best," Wenig.

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by: AgendaSwallowsAll This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 28 00:45:30 2013

More Smoke & Mirrors, ebay's latest beta makes sellers almost faceless and when I fired up our 4 systems this morning one of them had an ebay beta that displayed 5 other sellers listings near the page top, between the gallery image and the item description which you'd have to scroll way down the page to find with 10 more other sellers listings beneath. Please keep in mind, these were ACTIVE listings that had this displayed.

With respect to up sleeve-increased fees, they've already made that move both through an increasing number of Ghost DSR ratings and a theft of Top Rated status duplicate listings. As an example, one can have 500 fixed price listings running and have their Policy Compliance rating dropped from high to medium over 2 duplicates in a 4 month time-frame, I'd have to asume it would be dropped from medium to low over 1-2 more, all of which anyone with a shred of intellect would identify as an honest error in the Real World but in ebay's World, it's yet another avenue to theft.

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

Mon Jan 28 01:18:10 2013

“Our job is to give ebay sellers the best platform to expose not just their products but who they are—their brand, style, story. Stay Tuned.”

Who does this turkey think he is kidding? This guy is ever more delusional than his compatriot David Marcus and his media spin doctor, Anuj Nayar, at PreyPal …

Though, both Wenig and Marcus have the same serious problem, they have not been on board the rusting old hulk long enough to enable them to well provision their personal lifeboats, so they both have to go along with the Wonderland fantasy—and keep on bailing …

And, yes, it’s so easy to tell when an eBay/PayPal spokesperson is lying … their lips are moving.

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

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This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Mon Jan 28 01:36:45 2013

Devin Wenig tweeted on Friday afternoon, ''our job is to give ebay sellers the best platform to expose not just their products but who they are-their brand, style, story. Stay Tuned.''

Well my story is ebay has made my life a living hell full of stress with all the hoops, demands, never ending greedy fees, double dipping on shipping fees, limited to no exposure..so Wenig you keep tune on the destruction ebay is causing on the Mom & Pop sellers at the expense of corporate greed.

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by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 28 01:45:16 2013

RE: other sellers listings

I found the same thing on some listings, but none, above or below, on some TRS+ listings, and none, of course, when viewing one's own listings.  Sellers who do not do any browsing most likely will not be aware that this is happening to their listings.

On the plus side, if it can be called that, the listings displayed rarely were directly competitive, and the 10 competing ads shown below were always the same ones, on the listings I viewed, so again were rarely competing directly.

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This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Mon Jan 28 01:51:03 2013

Every time I hear that "Stay Tuned" from Griff, Wenig, corporate entity .. I cringe. It leaves a sour note and you know nothing is good that is going to come out of it.  

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by: BackInBlack This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 28 05:52:49 2013

@Philip - 'Delusional' is correct; at least some of these guys actually seem to *believe* their own lies, as many liars do after a while.

Perminate Link for Mulling over eBay Fees and Platform Changes   Mulling over eBay Fees and Platform Changes

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 28 09:38:35 2013

Fees are too high verses sales. Anything ebay does is too promote the sponsored advertising on the site all over every page now. This company is horrible. I wonder what the bottom line is without all of that money they are getting from advertising in our ads that we paid for and their pages. sales are like a seesaw on ebay. I cannot get a handle on it all I know is that I am paying too much money for the stress involved. I estimate that 10 percent of buyers are now out to get a freebie. This is quite alarming,that 100% guarantee is not working it it has just tilted the actual bad seller problem into a bad buyer problem. So you have higher fees, bad buyers, lower sales thank you ebay and wall street. on the brighter side I see other venues producing more and more sales like a lot of other small retailers. Those were ebay sales but the other revenue producing ebay acquisitions, adsvertising and fees on shipping and handling are masking a complete failure for ebay marketplaces.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Jan 28 10:11:13 2013

eBay refugee camp says "100% guarantee is not working it it has just tilted the actual bad seller problem into a bad buyer problem"

I was  thinking this very thing last week.  After this policy was put into place, coupled with sellers inability to leave negative feedback, fraud has become the norm and eBay seem to be ok with it as long as it comes out of the sellers' pockets and not eBay's pocket.

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This user has validated their user name. by: permacrisis

Mon Jan 28 10:46:27 2013

AgendaSwallowsAll, you got it dead right.

It's true- with the item pages as plastered as they are with other guy's ads, it's like a Nascar racer that has so many laundry detergent stickers slapped on there, you can't read the number.

"And coming into turn four, we have car number... Ah, number,um, can't quite make it out... Oh never mind- the Amazon Dot Com car has just lapped them AGAIN!"

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

Mon Jan 28 13:20:24 2013

Ebay started as a way for private people to sell stuff they did not want anymore.
Now its a "way for corporates to expose their brand?"



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