Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Oct 5 2015 15:53:08

eBay Surprise Announcement Impacts Fees and Seller Limits

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is restructuring its selling fees in advance of the holiday shopping season, it announced on Monday. It's giving sellers more free listings beginning October 15th, and it's also increasing the listing limits for tens of thousands of sellers. The news came as a surprise since eBay had already announced its regularly scheduled Fall Seller Update.

Sellers who like to list in the auction format got some good news: sellers without a store had been limited to only 20 free auction listings - and those were restricted to Collectibles categories - as well as 20 free fixed-price listings in most categories. Now, they get 50 free listings that can be used in either auction or fixed price in nearly all categories.

One seller wrote, "While it's better than the 20/20, it's still not the 50/50 we used to get. But that said, I'll take it. The 20/20 was horrible if not for all the free listing promos they had been giving out."

Here's an excerpt of eBay's announcement:

Starting on Thursday, October 15, the following price and listing changes will go into effect:

For sellers without an eBay Stores subscription:
You'll get an increased monthly allotment from 20 to 50 zero insertion fee listings for auction-style, or fixed price listings, in nearly all categories. This increased allotment also replaces the 20 zero insertion fee listings dedicated to auction-style listings in Collectibles categories

And, for those of you ready for the next level, you can try a Basic eBay Stores subscription for one month - FREE. But, space is limited, so you'll have to activate it by October 31.

For eBay Stores subscribers:
Basic-level subscribers will get an increased allotment from 150 to 200 zero insertion fee fixed price listings per month

And - for all eBay Stores subscribers - the monthly allotment of 100 additional zero insertion fee auction-style listings will be extended to apply to listings in both Collectibles and Fashion categories.

Between the changes around free listings and the changes around selling limits, it's clear eBay wants to stock its site with more items in advance of the holidays. "Holidays are coming up, so I guess eBay wants a lot of listings," wrote one user - but added, "Now if they could only improve their search so I can find them."

You can see the full announcement and see a chart that breaks down the changes on the eBay Announcement Board. Let us know what you think!




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by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 5 16:57:24 2015

One word--desperate.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Mon Oct 5 17:34:41 2015

Ab-oooou-t FACE!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Oct 5 17:36:43 2015

As always, it sounds good, but I'll wait and see how it affects my bottom line.  If I see no changes it will be a "meh".  If I see an improvement I will give eBay a pat on the back.  Time will tell.

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by: alaska This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 5 17:47:22 2015

WTF? MORE free listings???? It's the free listings that is killing eBay, and they are so obtuse that they don't even understand that, because they DON'T USE EBAY the way we buyers do! For the eBay used and rare marketplaces to rebound eBay has to fix some of the serious problems that have ruined them for buyers. I’ve been buying and selling on eBay since 1997. I've spent an enormous amount of time on eBay over the years. I spend most of my time in the collectibles categories. I remember how as sellers we would wait for that once-a-year free listing day that came after Christmas. Then one year it didn't come and we were all so bummed. Then John Donahoe came on the scene and we went from no annual free listing day to nearly unlimited free listings. This has all but ruined eBay auctions. The sellers love it, but they don’t understand that it has driven away most of the buyers who have more money than they have free time. It has also hurt eBay’s bottom line because a lot of us are obsessive collectors, and we don’t list items for sale until our searches are finished. Having thousands of relists to wade through each week means that most of us never get around to selling on eBay because we can’t get our searching done.
The same overpriced or uninteresting items get relisted over and over and over. For hardcore collectors of unique or rare items it has become a nightmare. Constantly seeing the same unsalable items in our searches is driving us crazy. And it is killing auctions. One of my favorite categories is daguerreotypes.
http://www.ebay.com/sch/Daguerreotypes-/408/i.html<
BR>It’s
shocking how many of the auctions in this category have been relisted 5 or 10 or 50 times. It’s taken all of the fun out of searching eBay. This never happened when sellers had to pay for listings.
If eBay wants to save its vintage collectibles and antiques markets, it needs to immediately address this problem. We need to be able to filter out relisted items from our searches. The relists will still be seen by the vast majority of eBay buyers as most buyers aren’t the serious “power searchers” like I am. The buyers who have been very active on eBay for a very long time will be the ones who will use the filter. Another option is to segregate the search results for relisted items. EBay segregates the domestic from the international listings in search results. They could also put all of the relisted items below the ''listed for the first time'' items, separated by a line as they do now with international.
EBay should allow us to set a site preference to filter out auctions that have been relisted once, or twice, or three times. Forcing a buyer to see the same auction item show up in search results over one hundred times is only hurting eBay.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not against free listings, I am against not having a way to filter out auctions that have been relisted multiple times. That is what has ruined eBay auctions for buyers of vintage collectibles and antiques. Without the good buyers anymore the sellers of quality items have mostly left. This pertains to the collectibles and antiques categories only. When eBay is ruined for buyers it is also ruined for sellers.
For years I have monitored, every week, about 100 buyers who collect the same items I buy and sell. (Recently eBay took away the ability to view other bidder’s purchases.) They are hardly buying anything these days. They used to have a long list of purchases each week, now they are only buying a few items on eBay each week. Why? They are as passionate as ever about collecting, many of them are very wealthy, but they just can't deal with the huge proportion of relists to wade through, and the lack of quality items.
Since 1997 I have faithfully run, every week, my very long lists of bookmarked searches. Every week for 17 years I ran these searches! About a year ago I gave up and now I only run about 5% of these weekly searches, just the most important ones. I know I am missing a lot of items but I just don't have the time or the patience to find a needle in a haystack. If I could filter out any auction from my search that has been relisted more than 2 or 3 times, I could go back to running all of my searches again, and find a lot more things to buy. And maybe have a little time left over to sell. If I haven't bought an item after seeing it twice, there is zero chance that I'm ever going to buy it, so why do I have to see it again and again and again in my search results?
I'm buying only a tiny fraction of what I was buying when I was running all of my searches, because I don't have the time to wade through the tens of thousands of auctions I have already seen countless times. Some sellers are relisting the same item (unique antique items) every day, to get more exposure. With a way to filter out these multiple relists eBay will bring some sanity back to the site, and the good auctions and good buyers will return. Many of my long-time collector/dealer friends say “Oh, I never look at eBay anymore.” I will never understand why John Donahoe believed that the ultra-competitive ''new merchandise'' market was more attractive than the market that eBay was built on, the used and rare items, a.k.a. everything that was ever made!
I’ve been amazed that eBay has never reached out to their most active buyers and sellers, their longest members, to find out what we need and what problems and suggestions we have. We occasionally get survey questions from eBay, but they are always about “how do you like the design of the new home page” or “how likely are you to recommend eBay to your friends,” the questions are never about ''how can we improve search to be more efficient for you.”
For years I tried to get eBay to allow searching in multiple categories at the same time. Instead of having to run three separate keyword searches in antiques, collectibles, and art, we should be able to check boxes for those three categories and have one search do all three at the same time, and only in those three categories. Maybe 10 or 12 years ago I stumbled onto a way to do this, so eBay must have been working on it, but it quickly went away.
Another serious problem with search is that a keyword search searches all of the listing, including the sellers business name, the boilerplate, etc. I asked Meg Whitman if there was a way to restrict search to just the words describing the item, and excluding the boilerplate and spam words that most sellers use to draw attention to the listing. She told me that one engineer told her they could design that into search, and another said no. That was the last I ever heard of that idea. When I keyword search for “Alaska'' items I get every seller who says “Shipping is extra to Alaska and Hawaii.” Someone searching for Ohio memorabilia will get “Ohio residents are required to pay Ohio sales tax.” The boilerplate should not be included in the text to be searched.
When eBay took away the wild-card search, after many of us had spent years creating very sophisticated searches using the wild card, there was a huge outcry from thousands of eBay users. Did eBay listen to its users about why the wild-card was vital to eBay search? No. They weren’t interested.
But right now the issue of being able to filter out relisted auctions from search is the critical issue. It’s the problem that is ruining our eBay experience and preventing eBay from seeing the growth that one would expect for a site with so much potential.

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by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 5 18:18:08 2015

Now that is funny. HURRY SPACE IS LIMITED FOR NEW BASIC STORES.

Ebay needs new writers. The ones they have display the worst of stupid statements.

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by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 5 19:02:59 2015

Sweet! More stuff to list that wont sell!

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by: Ebay Seller-Ebay Buyer This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 5 19:08:42 2015

Ebay should have ALL FREE listings.  That is what Amazon does and that is why Amazon has completely crushed ebay the past 10 years.  Back in 2005, Meg Whitman made the horrible decision to double store fees and to raise auction fees by 50%.  The net result was an absolute ton of great ebay sellers quit and moved  their stuff to Amazon and most of them never came back to ebay. Those who had items that they could not move to Amazon, either tried other sites or quit for good.  And along with millions of items leaving ebay, came the huge drop in buyers.  And many of them have never come back.

I moved over 6,000 music items to Amazon and have done very limited ebay listings ever since.  If listings were free, my 6,000 items, which have grown to about 10,000; would still be on ebay and I'd be motivated to run many auctions also.

Instead I wait for free promos and run my list and add a bit to it each month and maybe now with 50 free I'll write a few more.  

As a buyer the numbers of items in what I buy continues to drop.  Only when ebay has ALL free listings, will ebay turn the sinking ship around.

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

Mon Oct 5 19:35:28 2015

OMG- Space is limited- hehehee.

What a RIOT!!

(Better hurry).

sasikat youbeatmetoit- LOL!

MH

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Oct 5 19:37:57 2015

Additional free listings are nice, but to what end....

eBay's user agreement makes it clear that your listings may or may not be visible on the site.

eBay's Best Match search prevents buyers from seeing all possible items available on eBay.

Based on a recent survey eBay sent out, the new manglement ( yes, manglement) team continues to make a mess and is even giving consideration to further reducing seller visibility by serving only 5 listings to potential buyers initial search inquiries.

Given all that, and so many more operational defects imposed by eBay, there appears to be little benefit to increasing the number of free listings sellers receive.

Needless to say... 20 listings, 200 listings, 2,000 listings or 2 million listings matter little when eBay deliberately throws the invisibility cloak over a seller and buyers are unable to see those listings.

It apparently is above the ability of the MBA's leading eBay to comprehend, but since eBay began changing their policies and system 12 years ago, sales on the platform have been in steady decline and are approaching negative numbers while Amazon continues to generate consistent double digit growth.

If eBay would fix their broken search... if eBay would undo whatever process they implement to intentionally hide seller listings, if eBay did away with their manglement team and hired real management dedicated to growing sales not rules, then and only then would additional free listings be meaningful to sellers.

This additional free listings charade is created by the same folks who tried to tell sellers that they were rolling back the 90 day holiday return policy when the reality is that PayPal affords buyers twice the number of days to file a claim.

Someone needs to tell the man behind the eBay curtain that we can see him, and he is not fooling anyone.

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Oct 5 19:42:56 2015

It's $10 a month

For a basic store owner it's a extra 50 fixed price listings x .20 cents each.

Nothing to get excited about but it's a move in the right direction.

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by: LightWing This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 5 20:26:24 2015

So they gave sellers BACK the 30 listings they took away a few months ago and think this is a really big deal?

ROFLMAO!

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

Mon Oct 5 21:17:34 2015

Well Well, let us see how long it takes Wenig to get Ebay back to the Good Ole Days. We don't refer to them as the Good Ole Days for nothing.

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by: Frank F This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 5 22:56:46 2015

Hmnnn. Well, let's get this straight EBAY, THEY ARE NOT FREE LISTINGS!! We pay $60 a month for a premium store so that's $60 for our 600 supposedly 'free listings'...

Why didn't premium and anchor stores not get a carrot here? Its pathetic that they pick the winners and losers.. They ALWAYS DO, pathetic azz company....

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by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 6 00:34:54 2015

ALL of the above AND--

A NEW wrinkle:::   IF YOU USE THE NEW EBAY MOBILE APP:::::  Make sure what SHIP TO ADDRESS you have on file---my one and only package ordered this way went to an old out of date addy after EBAY CHANGED THE SHIP TO ADDY---of course this is a GLITCH and of COURSE they want me to file AGAINST THE SELLER who did nothing wrong.  

Just BEWARE.  

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by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 6 00:41:53 2015

There was one odd thing I noticed on the announcement of the new "fees"--something in the teensy fine print at the bottom about fees for --maybe--the FREE listings;  that were going to be CHARGED for--not sure if I read this right or not.  It is the number (1) annotation at the bottom.  

And yes--they STILL held back 50% of the OLD "Free" listings and tried to tell us it was raining instead of them pissing on us.  

AS it is my items are NOT being SEEN;  if I do manage to sell things it is a brief window and clustered in the same region.  This happens far too often to be unplanned on ebays part.  

And all too often this means that the Southern States get to see my Northern based ski and cold weather gear--not really the best market!  

If ebay could only get their heads out of their butts long enough to SEE what is going ON here--that sellers and buyers HATE these ridiculous "systems"  where you can't SEE anything TO buy---maybe they would DROP the CANTSEEME "search"---not holding my breath here.

Desperate sums it up quite nicely tho.  

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by: harkinfan This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 6 00:48:09 2015

eBay has increased my Listing Limit to $3.5 million but keeps my sales around $4,000 a month.  I even tried
15% and 25% off sales for a couple days.  Would you believe, I only got 3 sales between the 2?  If that isn't proof of rolling black outs, then what is?

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by: Done This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 6 05:56:49 2015

For some reason, I wasn't able to find out the details of the duration of these free listings, or maybe I was just tired last night!  Anyone know?

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by: boardwalk This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 6 06:49:20 2015

In response to FREE Listings, I disagree with buyers that too much inventory on Ebay is a bad thing.  All one needs to do is sharpen their search.  There are many other search tools that one can use.  Its better to wade through a lot of goods than very few as sellers continue to leave Ebay.  Free listings is the way to go, as it will bring the most goods available for sale to the site.  I also wish that Ebay would not hide listings and have searches that are not dependent on other selling metric factors.  But that is another topic for another day....

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Oct 6 06:52:49 2015

Others have mentioned this on this thread, and we've been screaming at the top of our lungs about this for years, but free listings are meaningless when one's items can't be seen.

I guess eBay needed to manufacture some feel good news to report to  Wall Street and the press.

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 6 08:14:03 2015

@alaska makes good points -- although he could have shortened his rant.  From a commerce point of view, changing & scheduling free listings doesn't help Ebay's bottom line.  However, look at the big boys like AMZ, they have unlimited free listing and just take a bigger chunk % out when your item sells.  I've product up on AMZ for decades it seems and I don't have to worry about the "deadline" date.  Same with Ecrater.  AMZ has the capacity, not sure that EB has that capacity to hold so many sellers.

@rexford also has good points.  We need better search tools for the customer to find our product.  How many customers know to go to "advanced" search and use keywords to find exactly what they want?

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