Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Mar 17 2015 06:53:27

Will eBay Spring-Update Fees Succeed in Growing Auctions?

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is announcing its Spring Seller Update later today. It includes some major changes: new fees; a new requirement to include product identifiers in listings; and category changes. 

Most hard hit are media sellers: they will see insertion fees for fixed price listings in Books, DVDs & Movies, Music, and Video Games listings go from 5 cents to 30 cents

Surprisingly, there appear to be no changes to seller performance standards, feedback, or defect rates, nor any news about policies such as eBay's Global Shipping Program or Managed Returns.

We had previously marveled that the head of eBay had seen no difference between fixed-price listings and auctions and had actually tried to maintain a zero-percent growth rate for auctions. eBay CEO John Donahoe had said eBay was indifferent to auctions versus fixed-price "because we monetize the same way."

Clearly shoppers and collectors saw things differently.
Auctions are a strange animal, and as we wrote in October after noting their significant decline in growth, "eBay will likely find that the more auctions decline, the harder it will be to revive them."

The new auction fees contain some positives and some negatives for those who sell items that do best in the auction format - see details in today's Newsflash newsletter.

- eBay will provide credits for insertion fees for auction listings that sell. 

- eBay will eliminate 10-day auction duration surcharge.

- eBay will institute a $1 surcharge for 1- and 3-day durations.

- eBay will increase auction Reserve Price fees. 

Will these changes help grow auctions on eBay? How will they impact your listing behavior? Let us know!




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Will eBay Spring-Update Fees Succeed in Growing Auctions?   Will eBay Spring-Update Fees Succeed in Growing Auctions?

by: Maui5150 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 17 07:34:00 2015

If I am reading this correctly, - being a basic store subscriber - my 150 free listings went from Auction and Fixed, to just fixed price alone?

Majority of my listings are auction because fixed price for me tends to get buried and loses all traction after the first few days (i.e. people looking at newly listed items)

Looks like my store subscription is going bye-bye.  

Thing that peeved me as well was as a regular seller, while I got 50 free listings, those listings generally had the Buy-It-Now included, where when I used it as a store, I was paying $0.25 a listing.  

Looks like time to downgrade, list less, and only list cheaper margin during promotions.  

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by: frustrated This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 17 07:53:41 2015

WOW.

I guess I'm confused.

How will raising the prices "revitalize" auctions??

Sounds to me like they want to get rid of them.

I'm not going to have more than about 30 of them if that's all the freebies they are giving.

REMEMBER guys, auctions are 8 times the price of fixed price.  They only go for a week, and they cost 2X the price.  So even if I go to 10 days it's 6 X.

HUH??

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by: OnlyPollyPocket This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 17 07:59:27 2015

@Maui5150

I agree!  If I am reading that correctly, store subscription free listing will be limited to Fixed price, not auctions?

I, too, will be closing my store and probably not listing at all.  As if the first of the year I quit paying for listings and only listed my 150 free for the store subscription.  Now I'll ne listing nothing it seems.

I don't get it!  They have been touting store subscriptions but if others feel as I do, they lost a bunch...I'll be canceling mine today.  And they want to revive auctions but have just lost, at least, the few I still list each month multiplied by how many who feel as I do?

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by: Filadelfos This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Mar 17 08:02:34 2015

Wow, how far will eBay go to make a store subscription completely worthless?  It's worth less & less w/each update.

Ina, where did you get the images from in the article?  They look official, but I can't find anything anywhere about this update... is it an inside source you need to keep confidential?

Bill

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by: spooky This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Mar 17 08:06:06 2015

Biggest killer of auctions has been the nonsense allowing high bidder WINNER to cancel. Every week now I get what is normally my next auction hit a messaged telling me the winner declines. Insane logic. As a seller can I decline the sale when it does not meet my expectations?  

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by: nothingnew This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 17 08:09:23 2015

Looks to me like JD and company, couldnt have their heads up their asses any more then they did. But in the words of Gomer Pyle SURPRISE SURPRISE its buried deeper now!

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by: Linda This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 17 08:10:59 2015

No mixed listing for my 150 for my stores allotment? The main reason I have the store is because of auctions otherwise BIN gets lost, ignored and buried!! Auctions made my store! OK, time to shut the store down....

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by: Caroline1 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 17 08:20:43 2015

Auctions died at least in part because sellers couldn't count on consistent exposure and got burnt too many times when items ended up going for the opening bid.

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by: LJM This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 17 08:30:56 2015

What good does raising/changing fees accomplish when you can't find anything?

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by: frustrated This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 17 08:31:23 2015

STUPID question.

Where do the NINE YEAR OLDS who run ebay think I am supposed to get 15,000 GTIN numbers?

And who do they think is gonna waste 10,000 hours inputing them ('cause it sure as HELL ain't gonna be me)

Oh yeah, and if they expect ME to input them, where the HE** is my CHECK?? Because if I work for ebay,I want to get paid.  

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by: frustrated This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 17 08:44:29 2015

Another stupid question.

This requirement is mostly for NEW items.

How would I find my "NEW" items??

You cannot even SEE that in active listings anymore. Been gone since July 2014.  And they have NO intention of fixing it. EVER.

BECAUSE: It makes it too easy for a seller to list their stuff on AMAZON.

If you do it through file exchange,the item specifics are truncated to 10 characters.

ON PURPOSE.

Because: Makes it too easy to move your stuff to the river. But we did it anyway, and sold an item the very FIRST DAY.

There are about 5 million people who REFUSE to use ebay for various good reasons.  Why cut yourself off from all of those SMART folks?

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by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Mar 17 08:56:57 2015

If eBay REALLLLLY wants to revitalize auctions, make them the default search result. Make it at least a little harder for shoppers to find fixed price and stores items (my apologies to those of you who prefer selling that way, just trying to help eBay do what they claim to want to do!).

I list on eBay at random times during the year, mostly when Etsy is slower than frozen molasses (like it has been so far this month). I've had about 20 things listed on eBay for 10 days or so now ... all are auctions and most (I think all) also have a BIN option at the nearest whole dollar amount to the REQUIRED 30% above starting bid amount. I have had some (but not many) views, have had a few watchers (mostly worthless, as we all know), and have only sold ONE ($6) item! I have lowered prices on several items as the items relist. I can't/won't go any lower than where the prices are now.

I'm going to tack on a maybe-unrelated question here and ask if there's any SEO stuff that I can do to my eBay auctions. I have an Etsy shop and that's the BIG thing there ... being sure that titles & tags are multiple-word phrases that shoppers will search for. Is there anything similar that will help shoppers find my eBay listings? I use lots of good keywords in my titles, but is there anything else? Should I be concentrating on phrases, like on Etsy? If you have an answer or suggestion regarding this question, please contact me thru my Etsy shop (see web site link) as it's not likely that I'll find my way back to this discussion anytime soon. Thanks!

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by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 17 09:02:54 2015

Last I saw of auctions , they perty much suck on deadbay. Most everything that comes out their childish minds , sucks.

Ill reserve my opinion till I see the updates. Im sure its designed to tic sellers off.

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by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 17 09:06:52 2015

And a comment/suggestion for those of you who may be giving up on eBay.

Look into FB selling groups. I'm not talking about the ''yard sale'' (anything goes) type of selling group, but more specialized ones. There are selling groups for handmades, shabby stuff, jewelry, handbags, maternity & baby things, large-size clothes, destash craft supplies & fabric, and of course ANTIQUES! And if there's not a group that fits your needs, START ONE!

Many of these selling groups are AUCTIONS!!! And, guess what, there's NO FEES! Just PayPal fees, which we're all used to. Some of the groups do have listing/posting limits and ''bumping'' limits, so BE SURE to read the rules for any group you join. Each group owner can make their own rules, so they vary widely.

I've been selling on Facebook for 4+ years now. The first month I sold more than $900 in ONE group! I think there were many fewer selling groups then, so it has become more diluted in the last 4 years. I'd suggest looking for larger groups and, of course, ACTIVE groups. Good luck!!!

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by: thebobman This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 17 09:08:47 2015

I'm sorry, but if I have a $100 item and do a buyitnow with best offer, I'll probably sell it for $85-95 within a month. If I do a penny auction, it will probably sell for $50-$60, If I do an auction with a start price of $75, I'll have to keep listing it for months with it never getting any bids. Thats why auctions are down

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by: yotman1 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 17 09:11:52 2015

Looks like the $ .30 listing price is for non-store subscribers.  I have 100's of items listed under books BUT it looks like I will still pay the same since I have an Anchor Store.  is this correct?

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This user has validated their user name. by: SalesBoy

Tue Mar 17 09:13:57 2015

It seems to me that fixed price is growing so much because that's what today's buyers are into.  When I buy I also tend to want the best fixed price deal because it's fast, and I've got better things to do.

I really don't think putting more rotting meat in the showcase will cause rotting meat sales to rise at all.  More of a bad thing is just that.

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This user has validated their user name. by: baconsdozen
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Tue Mar 17 09:44:20 2015

Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic again. The first thing you do if you are in a hole and want to get out is to stop digging. Ebay just can't let go of the shovel.

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This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles
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Tue Mar 17 09:55:06 2015

''eBay will institute a $1 surcharge for 1- and 3-day durations.''

WTF!? How you want to increase interest in auction when you limit the days? You must let free the sellers decide the time limit. Same cost not matter the duration.

''eBay will increase auction Reserve Price fees.''

The only thing I consider good for auctions. As buyer, I avoid any auction with reserve price. Because it is a lost of time. I'm still don't understand some sellers. For example. It is start an auction in $0.99 The seller want like $100 for an item, but it only cost $50.  

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by: Orwellwasright This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 17 09:57:24 2015


Ebays Policies DELIBERATELY repeat DELIBERATELY Killed Auctions
And nothing has changed that will revive them

I am speaking as someone who has a 16 year history on ebay and who had listed thousands of auctions,in the PD (pre donahoe) ERA , BUT will longer use that format at all.

Here is why:

1) Hidden listings at ebays whim mean My item may be invisible for an part or the entire listing, which Guarentees it will not achieve real value , let alone a premium

2) insanely anti seller policies such as actually penalizing a seller if the buyer cancels or renegs, Mean that buyers can bid away, change their minds if they win, and the seller gets a defect. this guarentess sport bidding, competitor interference and a madhouse free for all where the seller has no rights.

3) Insane paypal buyer fraud enabling policies whereby expensive items can be stolen so easily and so free of consequence that high dollar ebay sales are closer to gambling then commercial transactions. meaning that even if the item bids up the risk of loss is very high

4) The schizophrenic, unreliable
and outright vindictively vicous attitude of ebay management means that reformatting or retooling your business model to conform to ebays latest boardroom bullcrap is an exercise in futility.

No matter what , two things are guaranteed , .
First whatever this weeks nonsensical policy change is, it will be invalidated and changed, and
Secondly, Management will NOT support sellers in any way, and will blame them when their latest brilliant scheme blows up.

Finally I will state that unless and until The defect system as well as the guardrail programs are removed entirely and ebay management shows that policy is changing toward respecting and supporting their beleaguered seller base. I will believe and trust NOTHING that emits from a management base who has a six year history of patent dishonesty and demonstrated loathing toward us

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