Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Fri Sept 20 2013 10:45:49

eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?

By: Ina Steiner

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On eBay.com, sellers are debating whether paying for a Store subscription is worth it, a question that was raised by a seller who said he was hurt by being excluded from eBay free-listing promotions.

"I really feel like having a eBay PREMIUM store is a BIG RIP OFF. Every time I turn around eBay is offering FREE insertion fees, here are 3  the most recent ones. I get these offers EVERY MONTH MULTIPLE TIMES!

"I pay $50 a month for a premium store, WHY I'm asking myself, do I pay this when they are giving all these free insertion fees to the BASIC and non store people. I was crazy for signing up for the annual subscription, but now I'm stuck because I don't want to pay early termination fees for closing the store. If anything just sign up for the BASIC store so you get the reduced final value fees and use the promotions to save you money."

Another seller responded by asking why eBay doesn't give more free listings to Premium Store owners. "500 is not really a deal. It costs 10 cents to insert any listing above the 500 - which basically means, you get 500x .10 = 50 bucks (the price of the Premium store) = you get no FREE listings at all."

But another eBay Store owner said it depended on how you list. "I run almost entirely auctions, using the 500 included listings from my store to give me a discount. If I run into the occasional selling special, then even better. When I am up and running full time, I will run approximately 900 auctions per month...having a premium store reduces my costs dramatically. And, I don't always get invited to the special promotions."

Another sellers jumped in by reframing the debate. "eBay storefronts can index on WWWs & search engines outside of eBay, that non-store owners generally don't receive," wrote one, outlining the way he uses the Store subscription and ending with, "STOREFRONTS aren't about SAVING MONEY they are about MAKING MONEY."

What kind of seller is best off using eBay Stores, and do free listing promotions help or hurt your sales on eBay?




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Perminate Link for eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?   eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 20 11:54:56 2013

The more they get the more they want.  Are these people ever happy..

We have 3 anchor stores...Each has over 8000 listings...Who has the time to play the relisting game. Easier to keep them on GTC

Perminate Link for eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?   eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Fri Sep 20 14:28:59 2013

I don't do the annual subscription but like to leave the flexibility open to toggle between Anchor and Premium.  

All depends on sales & which type subscription makes best financial sense for the time being - Anchor or Premium being best choice can change from season to season.

Perminate Link for eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?   eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?

by: NetWatch This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 20 15:22:10 2013

I have been observing the ebay exodus of small sellers over the past several months- as well as the boost the numbers were given when ebay suspended 15,000 sellers on August 6, 2013. Ebay as it now exists is sufficiently unpleasant and distasteful to me as a small seller that I stopped listing items here by my own choice back in June. I also moved all of my stuff to other online selling sites. Look for thousands more to do what I have done, which of course brings increased traffic to those other sites.

Perminate Link for eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?   eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 20 15:58:28 2013

I have come to the conclusion that my store subscription is a waste of money.

Perminate Link for eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?   eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Sat Sep 21 16:10:38 2013

I am starting to agree- I have not had a new buyer added to my email list in over a year. They also do not seem to be sending any emails to these folks!
WHAT are they doing with our $$, except the bonuses of stock??
They are STEALING our $$, that is what they are doing.
MH
PS: God, please help me find a REAL JOB now.

Perminate Link for eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?   eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Sat Sep 21 16:12:34 2013

I just took a look at Ina's archives- OMG- LOOK at HOW LOW the FEES USED TO BE for what was real organic exposure 6-7 years ago- PENNIES TO LIST and BE SEEN- we ARE CRAZY for putting up with this and we should all go to ETSY today.
MH

Perminate Link for eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?   eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Sat Sep 21 16:25:18 2013

WOW !
It's Sep. 21, 2013.
As of right now Ebay's  First Page is BARELY functional.
I checked the encryption level only to find THERE ISN'T ONE !
That's right ZERO ENCRYPTION across the ENTIRE site. Including the pages with your account information !
You're NAKED ON Ebay !
People should be flying outta there like a thundering herd of Moose !

Perminate Link for eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?   eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?

by: thomaszr This user has validated their user name.
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Sat Sep 21 16:50:57 2013

Until ebay has a competitor to force them to have more attractive competing prices they are going to continue to strong arm people and spin it if as they are doing everyone a favor.  It's not like it used to be, They care more about their share holders and bottom line than they do about their sellers.  

Perminate Link for eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?   eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?

by: Will This user has validated their user name.

Sat Sep 21 22:19:15 2013

Depends on how many items you have to sell. I used to list around 100-150, so getting a store was a good thing (back in the day, you had to pay $6/month for Selling Manager, but got it free with a store).

Then, they let everyone have Selling Manager for free, but I kept the store for a little while longer.

Next, they started letting one have free listings every month.

It was a no-brainer at that point. Got rid of the store and saved myself $16/month.

This was over 3 years ago, and haven't looked back.

Consequently, my listing numbers have gone down quite a bit on eBay, and now focus on Amazon.

If and when eBay gets back on the ball with their site, I will list just a few things now and then. Can't begin to tell you how nice it is not have so many headaches in regard to eBay.

Perminate Link for eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?   eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 22 15:16:25 2013

''They also do not seem to be sending any emails to these folks!''
I don't know if anyone else is getting them but they send me one from my own store. Hmmm. I can increase sales by buying my own stuff.

Perminate Link for eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?   eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?

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

Mon Sep 23 00:08:36 2013

I sell about 600 items a month in two eBay stores.  Just haveng FB left automatically almost is worth the price of the store subscriptions.

Perminate Link for eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?   eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?

by: sirensong This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 23 01:52:09 2013

I closed my basic eBay Australia store when I was being charged a minimum of $70 a month(AUD and USD are on par at the moment). I had a small store and I can't afford the fees. All US companies charge more here because our economy is supposed to be good but we don't have the same kind of population. The whole of Australia is about the same as greater Los Angeles.

Perminate Link for eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?   eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?

by: Terry Gibbs This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Sep 23 05:18:27 2013

Basic store is $16 a month with a subscription. Final value fees on stores are 9% of buyer's cost. Final value fees without a store are 10%. If you sell more than $1600 a month a store will save you money.

The free listings just tell me I should list about 150 items a month. I have cases of new cheap and easy to pack items that I list towards the end of the month. I check the number of free listings and then list them. because the items are new, the only difference between auctions is the title and photo. They sell for between $4.00 and $20 with an average of about $10. I wouldn't list them at all if I had to pay 25 cent insertion fees.

A side benefit of blowing out all these cheap things - other than the money - is the buyers are always happy and leave me positive feedback. This keeps my feedback in the 99.6-99.8 range so I don't mind when I get a negative from a problem buyer.



Perminate Link for eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?   eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 23 06:28:47 2013

Stores are only good if you actually have a good item that sells enough to justify. That is becoming less and less the case.
Why did ebay come up with annual contracts- to help you out??? :-)

Perminate Link for eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?   eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Sep 23 08:01:30 2013

To get the best store rate, you had to "lock-in" for one year.

We can all now clearly see why they had sellers do that.

Perminate Link for eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?   eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?

by: Elizabeth M This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 23 08:39:40 2013

When eBay changed to store subscriptions four months ago, they advised me (based on my previous business record) to have a Featured store at $50 a month.  I followed their advice blindly, and agreed to the subscription.  During a slow period, I started doing the math.  Their advisors were incorrect;  the Featured store was not serving me any more than a Basic would, outside of the Bulk Feedback feature.  For $34 a month difference...I can copy & paste feedback myself.  

Called eBay, explained that their advice was not the best for me, and received a credit for THREE MONTHS of store fee (difference) within minutes. Yes, this was AFTER I had to explain that early termination fees should not be charged because EBAY professionals made the error... not me.  If they propose to financially advise me, they need to be right, and stand behind their advisors. The tech understood quickly.  Polite and calm wins every time!    

Long story short:  EBay is a huge machine that runs just as a large family does.  There are rules and routines.  When a special occasion pops up, eBay fixes it.  Sometimes you have to go to "Dad" instead of "Mom" to get the help you need.  Sometimes it feels like you are being picked on, and ignored by the others.  The fact is... after 9 years of selling... I see that eBay works HARD to try to make everyone happy, and screws up sometimes.  Instead of complaining, reach out to a customer service rep, and ask for help.  It is there.  With one of my past issues, the details were so complex, it took 6 different reps, and two months.  Finally, I got Melissa... a brilliant CS rep.  She not only fixed the issue (international postage is charged at full FVF on EVERY item on large orders... not at the USA discount, as promised), but gave me a generous credit, and written permission to generate my own PayPal invoices to avoid being slammed by huge FVF on international orders...just in case anyone at eBay ever suspected I was avoiding fees intentionally.  

It is curious how many grouchy, angry, unhappy sellers there are responding to ECommerceBytes as the weeks and months go by.  A friend of mine actually unsubscribed, because she was tired of all the cry-baby whining.  On eBay... you WILL sell if you have what people WANT.  Provide a clear precise listing, and people will find you.  It is easier to spot one person waving a bright red flag than it is to spot a person dressed like everyone else in a huge crowd.  Stop hiding in the crowd.  Stop whining, complaining, playing the victim, and blaming everything on eBay.  Been at it for 9 years... and everything relies on me, me, me.  When I do the work, and keep it fresh... the customers roll in.  When I spend time on Facebook instead of listing new items... nothing happens.  

Wish you all the best.  YOU...can make it happen!  

Perminate Link for eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?   eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?

by: gitasan This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Sep 23 08:47:00 2013

thank you Elizabeth M...everyone needs to make it work for themselves. I do look at ECommerceBytes to see what is new and how I can fix things and learn new tips and appreciate all the hard work. But it is hard work to make $ on eBay but it does work if you keep at it.

Perminate Link for eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?   eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Sep 23 10:03:03 2013

I don't think a store subscription is as bad as some are making it seem.  From the announcement of the new fees restructure this past spring I've said you have got to run you numbers before deciding if a store is good for you and/or what level of a store.

Blaming it on Ebay because you didn't choose the right level of a store in my opinion is not right.  It is the sellers responsibility to gather all the information, digest it, become intimate with it and then decide what is in your best interest to do.  Yes, asking Ebay what you should do is PART of the information gathering, but should never be the sole reason you make decision for YOUR business.

You need to understand why what the CSR may be suggesting is best for your business.  Ask as many questions as you need to until you are completely comfortable you fully understand.  Then make and INFORMED decision about YOUR business.

I have two selling IDs, one has an Anchor store the other has no store at all.  There isn't a whole lot of difference between the two as to when each gets invited to a promo.  The non store account may get a couple more a year than the other, but it isn't significant.  It certainly doesn't outweigh the benefits of having a store.

Many store owners run lots of GTC listings and there is rarely a promo that includes GTC.  In fact I only remember 1 in the past year.  

To start your info gathering you first need to look at how you list.  Are you running auctions, BINS, GTC or a combination?  You need to run numbers on approximately what it would cost you in listing fees on the average month.  Then estimate your FVFs.  Compare that to the cost of the different store levels with and without a years subscription.  Then you need to look at the benefits that each store level offers you.  Take all this information into consideration.  Don't rush it.  Evaluate and then make a decision on what you think will work best for you.

If you decided on a certain store level, try it out for couple months before signing up for a one year subscription, just to make sure you have chosen wisely.

Perminate Link for eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?   eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?

by: Bidonmine This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 23 11:39:28 2013

I see the ability to leave automatic-feedback as an insurance policy that I am paying for as part of the subscription. I have seen complaints from sellers regarding neutrals and negatives from buyers who were mad that feedback was not left or not left first. Avoiding a negative is worth more than any disparity in cost each month.

Perminate Link for eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?   eBay Stores: Saving Money or Making Money?

by: mrsc5inla This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 23 12:24:46 2013

I shut down my store after many years and went to the free listings.
It was too hard taking a hit on all the fees and low sales. Most months I was actually loosing $$$.  My fees are now lower and believe it or not my sales are up.  

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