Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Apr 29 2015 19:53:44

eBay Rolls Out May Day Fees - Are You Prepared?

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay fee hikes and adjustments take effect on Friday, and many sellers will find the cost of listing on eBay going up if they make no changes to their listing strategies. Especially hard hit are sellers in the media categories.

As we noted in our Guide to the eBay Spring Seller Release, there are two changes that could help some sellers: eBay will provide credits for insertion fees for auction listings that sell; and it will eliminate the 10-day auction duration surcharge (however, it's instituting a new $1 surcharge on short-duration listings).

One thing we failed to highlight in our initial coverage was the impact on sellers with Premium and Anchor Stores who run auction listings. Currently, the Premium Store comes with 500 free listings and the Anchor Store comes with 2,500 free listings - in any format. 

Beginning on May 1st, eBay will limit the 500 free listings that come with Premium Stores to fixed-price only - likewise with the 2,500 free listings that come with Anchor Stores. eBay will provide all Store owners with an additional 100 free listings that can be used for auction listings, but they can only be used for collectibles. 

An anchor storeowner who has been using the 2,500 free listings to list 2,000 fixed price listings and 500 auction listings will now pay an extra $50 for those auction listings (500 x 10 cents). If they had listed 1,500 fixed price and 1,000 auction listings, they'll now be paying an extra $100. That's on top of the $59.95/month (for Premium Stores) or $199.95/month (for Anchor Stores) they pay in subscription fees. Note the additional fees would be slightly less if the seller is listing certain collectibles.

So with eBay limiting the number of auction listings you can run for free, but giving an insertion-fee credit should the auction sell, does eBay like auctions or not? Some things to think about:

This month, eBay note its problems with Google SEO continued to impact growth negatively in the first quarter - and that could explain why it likes fixed-price listings and longer duration listings.

It also revealed auction GMV was down 12% worldwide (excluding the impact of foreign exchange). "FX neutral global fixed price GMV grew 10% and auctions GMV declined 12%," eBay noted on an earnings slide for analysts.

In general, sellers don't like upfront listing costs, but that's exactly what eBay is doing with the May 1st fee changes (for auctions).

One seller wrote on the eBay boards they believed eBay was trying to increase visibility while limiting junk, but said (s)he believed the changes would actually result in small sellers limiting obscure items that they aren't sure if there's an interest in - the type of items that makes eBay interesting to shoppers.

We'd like to know what changes you're making as a result of the May 1st fee changes, or if you're waiting to see it play out.




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by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 29 23:03:37 2015

If I think , many are leaving at this point. I have left , told them I have left , & my reasons why. If falling on deaf ears is their present course , & remains so , many will be "prepared" to move on. Ebay ! - Why bother ?

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by: Enough Is Enough! This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 29 23:13:20 2015

Certainly they are trying to go ''oldschool'' (auctions of collectibles) which made the site popular in the first place, before ebay Stores were ever thought of.

But didn't the Hoe kill this segment of the marketplace off permanently in favor of big box and Chinese sellers? Time will tell.

Until the policy of sellers having to pay shipping both ways on most any return is changed, I doubt that most folks who have high-end collectibles and other interesting items will use ebay to list them. Not to mention the proliferation of scammers and cheats who know how to game the system. There is just too much risk involved.

And if they want to compete with Amazon, they shouldn't raise the costs substantially to list books and media items. Yes, it is an attempt to relieve pressure on servers (while the number of these items decrease), but their competitor charges no fees to list, whether you have a store or not.

Amazon will be the site of choice for rare books and media even more so than they are now. Ebay Stores sellers will not pay an increase from 5 to 20 cents a month for items that do not sell quickly, and will send them ''down the river''. Quadrupling this fee is not a logical solution to their troubles.

 

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 30 00:07:51 2015

.... Will Sellers Speak at Friday's eBay Shareholder Meeting?

LMAO ... You're KIDDING right?

eBay has NO interest in hearing from sellers. Returns, VERO fraud, SHill bidding, Postage ripoffs are the ONLY business plans eBay has ... they dont need "stupid sellers" talking to people about it.

As Moe (3 stooges) would say "shut up, I dont want to hear from you!"

The meeting is like Strawberry Fields - where NOTHING (on eBay) is real .. except fraud and THEFT.

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by: handmedownheaven This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Apr 30 00:13:39 2015

Who are they going to preach this new policy to?  Most of us old power sellers have already left and are doing our own thing

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by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 30 00:17:15 2015

I have nothing listed so i'll just sit back and watch them slap themselves silly with new rules and higher fees.  They no longer matter to a lot of us so now their latest mumbo jumbo is just a bad joke.

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by: sellerfish This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 30 00:19:05 2015

Yes they will hear from sellers. Probably a few shills planted with prepared ebay approved concerns.

Nothing they can do for me now but toss those direct China sellers that have devastated many businesses like mine.
How can I buy 1000 gizmos from china only to see same single being sold for same or less than I paid for 1000 ? Ebay need to protect US sellers form junk dumping by China of we will all perish

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by: BobNJ This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 30 00:43:31 2015

No longer selling on eBay so why worry. Just ran a small test with 20+ rarer collectible items and there was NOT ONE SINGLE BID! Not to mention my category on eBay is now down to less than 400 listings at any given time when it was typically 1,500 to 2,000 listings all the time a few years back. Compare that to what's on Delcampe for collectibles and there's no real comparison. Over 3,900 items on Delcampe in my category currently. Some collectible categories on Delcampe have 1,000 times what's on eBay these days!

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by: tb This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 30 00:58:38 2015

I'm in the dreaded media category. Come Friday, poorly performing listings (most) will come down. Amazon has been a much friendlier marketplace for us. We can list thousands of item for free. We're getting more and more sales from there.

Heck, as a buyer, I have shifted buying business supplies (packaging supplies, toner, etc) from eBay to Amazon a couple of years ago.

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by: pfft!! This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 30 01:36:02 2015

I actually DO like the way they're FINALLY doing away with all the THOUSANDS of free listings.  

Too many "sellers" would sit out there and just WAIT for a free listing promo and then DUMP thousands of listings on the site every single time.  They didn't have to concern themselves with whether or not the stuff actually SOLD or was worth listing since they paid NOTHING for it to begin with.  And frankly, it was getting ridiculous and cluttering up the site.  

Seriously, then they complain about around $20/month for a store.  If you can't afford THAT then maybe the things you're listing would be better off NOT clogging up the site.  

20 "FREE" listings a month is plenty for someone just casually selling something here and there.  

Anything more than that.........they need to have some skin in the game like the rest of us.  

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by: xxstamps This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 30 02:24:03 2015

1 year ago I was paying average per month $700, now it reached $25!!
All because of very wise policy towards sellers, almost out.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Apr 30 02:54:48 2015

@pfft

"I actually DO like the way they're FINALLY doing away with all the THOUSANDS of free listings."  If you are referring to the allotted amount of listings for whatever store level you have, those listings are not truly free.  They are paid for in the subscription fee the seller pays.  So they aren't free, they are paid for by the seller.

With a store subscription a seller is paying at the beginning of the month an amount to purchase a bulk amount of listings at a reduced fee.

The Spring Seller Update has not address free listing promotions at all.

The real free ones come from promotions that Ebay runs on a regular basis or at least they have up to this point.  For those, we won't know if there is going to be a change until some times passes.  Only time will tell about the real free listings.

These are two completely separate things.  Ina's article is the impact the fee changes will have on sellers and these changes will significantly change how many sellers with a Premium or Anchor store will conduct business.

For those that are trying to figure out what is going to work best for them, there are a couple things to keep in mind.

Since the listings you pay for in store subscription is now ONLY for Fixed Price listings, each seller needs to determine what if any store is best for them.

If you list 66+ FP listings per month, it will be cheaper to have a Basic Store.

If you list 350+ FP listings per month, then the Premium store will save you on listing fees.

If you list 1900+ FP listings per month, then the Anchor store will save you on listing fees.

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

Thu Apr 30 07:12:01 2015

So glad I left eBay 6 months ago.
Better sales on my website and Amazon.

I really hope EBay get their act together before they become another AOL.

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by: Not A FOOL This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 30 07:15:59 2015

I can read the writing on the wall and have already transitioned away. Bye Bye eBay!

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by: GotToGetOut This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 30 07:33:53 2015

Marie, you are right about the free promotions.  My friend doesn't have a store and gets thousands of free listings a month.  Sometimes it's general and sometimes specific but he always gets free listings.  Yes, they pay 1% extra in selling fees but I pay 20% ($199.99 for store and $.05 X 4000) now for my anchor store and selling fees for my 6500 listings (down from 8500) and sales way down to $2000.  That extra 1% Ebay non-store sellers pay over the 9% I pay for my china replacement items would be a much deal for me.

I am in the process of having 20-30% off sales for all my old listings and then when I'm down to 2000 or so listings I'll go into a premium store for a year until I can whittle all those listings out too and go to free listings with the slightly higher fees.  

People with less than the #s you've indicated as the break-off point are crazy to have a store, especially when taking into account the sell-through rate now which is about 1% in my store versus 8% several years ago.

Sellers, just remember to keep in mind that if you have an annual subscription and intend to end your store at any time, you have high termination fees for each month you are in the store.  For instance, if your new subscription just started for an anchor store and you ended the store subscription a month later, you would have to pay a $714 termination fee -- that though the monthly savings for the anchor store are only $20 a month for a yearly subscription versus a monthly subscription.  Keep that in mind if you're planning on exiting a store category.  My subscription ends the end of April so I just converted to a monthly anchor store so I can take a month or two to whittle down my listings.  Bottom line, it takes some planning to convert your store category!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Apr 30 07:48:58 2015

They should get an ear full over the sellers having to pay for buyers' return shipping policy. If they do not get it at the shareholders' meeting I am most certain that the CSRs are getting an ear full.

I'm really hoping some hot shot cracker jack attorneys get involved on that one. As far as I am concerned that is out and out theft by eBay, and doubling so when they charge more than the return shipping actually is.  

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by: GotToGetOut This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 30 08:00:19 2015

I agree with that return shipping deal.  I thought at one point they had a policy that we would never be responsible for more than the actual shipping we paid to ship out but I can't see that any more -- just some crazy schedule that is exorbitant -- another way for Ebay to make money.

I also take big offense to Ebay holding the money for a 30 day hold whenever someone does a claim for not as described, etc.  I've been selling on Ebay for 15 years and do they really have to worry about me having the money to give back to the seller if there is truly a problem?  I am still waiting on a $39.99 held payment for a bogus claim that 2 glasses my buyer bought were 3'' high when they were 6'' high.  I had another 2 in another listing and put a measuring tape next to the glass but Ebay said I have to wait for the 30 days to get my money back unless the seller returns it (and, of course, I still have a defect because Ebay thinks the buyer is entitled to their negative opinion whether they are right or wrong).  I didn't approve any return shipping for that and the seller, of course, isn't going to return it -- 5 more days to go and Ebay has had my money for 30 days.  I think these 21 day  holds and 30 day holds are just another way for them to cook the books -- it looks like that's their money and that 2% they lost is actually 10%!  It will catch up them eventually though.

Seriously, when I think there is just no way for Ebay to tack on any more fees, they get creative and come up with something else.  It will never stop until we stop them but going elsewhere.  

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by: Cyclestripper This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 30 08:41:54 2015

The issue Ebay is facing is that buyers no longer view Ebay as a destination. Search results are dismal. The few unique items are buried by the commodity items that can be found anywhere.

Simply put, why shop on Ebay when Amazon and Walmart offer a better experience and, usually, lower prices.  

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by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 30 08:46:35 2015

fees are up sellers will leave and buyers will follow, sellers pass the fee hike on to buyers or chance shortening their profits

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by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 30 08:50:52 2015

more fees surprise surprise

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by: traceyg This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 30 08:56:05 2015


obscure items that they aren't sure if there's an interest in - the type of items that makes Ebay interesting to shoppers.<< I think she is correct I list a lot of photos on ebay. The sell through rates on ebay used to be better then any where else now it isn't. I plan over the summer to try Pinterest and use that and facebook to sell the photos. . . I can put them up with no fees and they can stay there along with others things of historical interest until the person that wants them comes along.    There is much more traffic on those sites then ebay etc. . . . I have watched how others are doing it. It is a new way to sell but I think it makes more sense then paying all those fees to ebay. I will use the free listings ebay gives me to list. However,  I am not going to pay a lot of money in insertion fees for a site that the sell through rate is so low. Traffic is low compared to facebook and P interest and you never know when you are going to be or where in ebays own search. I have nothing against ebay for many years it did well by me and others that isn't the case anymore. . . . so it is time to move on a little more. Over the years I have made other changes. It seems with each change they make I change my selling strategay. Not to fit in with ebays model because it is getting to fee intensive for what they give you anymore and frankly as much as they think they are they are not all that anymore. . . Over the years bordened my horizons and that has been working well. I make just as much as those places I used to on ebay. I think they are just tossing more dirt on their grave with these changes. Little business people have been around a long time. They will adapt to a new place and new ways of selling. . .  big business just go bust when they get bloated with ego and forget  their customers base.  

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