Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Jan 17 2016 00:08:04

Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay sellers jump through hoops in order to receive Top Rated Seller Plus discounts that include a 20% discount on final value fees and USPS Commercial Plus Pricing (CPP).

But the USPS is phasing out Commercial Plus Pricing, taking away a key incentive for TRS sellers. As of Sunday (January 17, 2016), Commercial Plus prices as a whole are going up by 13.3 percent. And the USPS will eliminate CPP completely sometime in 2017.

TRS sellers can get the lower Commercial Base pricing from online postage providers - without having to jump through the hoops eBay requires. And there are benefits of using an independent postage provider: their services work across all selling venues - and some work across multiple shipping carriers as well.

eBay offers TRS Plus discounts to encourage sellers to offer same- or one-business-day handling plus a 14-day or longer return period with money back option. Will eBay's 20% discount on Final Value Fees alone be enough of an incentive to keep TRS sellers providing generous policies? That's a big question mark.

The fact is, the USPS is doing away with CPP pricing while at the same time it's raising rates for its shipping services. The USPS is only playing ball with extremely high-volume shippers by offering Negotiated Service Agreements, so it's the smaller sellers who get a double whammy with the eventual loss of all CPP pricing.

eBay revealed it had been involved in closed-door negotiations with USPS, and just days before the USPS rate increase, it had yet to provide TRS sellers with details about the TRS Plus discounts they could expect beginning on Sunday.

As you start to see the new rates show up, let us know how they affect you.




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller   Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: FamFash

Sun Jan 17 02:39:56 2016

The only true benefit is the actual 20% off your final value fees( which does not apply to the shipping service fee ebay takes) so for every 5000 in sales or so you get $100 back. With the new standards which are to kick in per the fall seller update; they really essentially remove the hoops. Yes there are still requirements as long as you follow through with the sale and make sure you get the item out within your stated time frame qualifying for TRS top rated seller should be easy. The huge problem and elephant in the room is along with the 20% discount  you are SUPPOSED to get  HIGHER search rankings in best match. Now that’s far more important than a discount of 20% on a final value fee of 10%. Sales are what matters. So evident is “ sales matter” this rate hike is one of many to follow being that since ebay, the USPS, and china agreed on a deal they it public record that the post office was losing on avergae $1 per ePacket package and they do 30-50 million meaning losing 30-50 million dollars. They have to charge someone (the American sellers!) Look what happened possibly 75% of ebay is Chinese sellers and if that’s not the case I would bet money that 75% of the sales are from Chinese sellers. It’s one big machine and now that its going they have to continue. Reasons for American eCommerce death.

1.The United States Postal Service (our own national carrier)  needs the volume to continue to keep its employees, this is why a few years back we heard all these postal offices were closing. Yet it just went away; why? ePacket! The epacket applies to all internet sellers from china so this is happening on individual websites and places like Amazon and etsy.

2.Ebay needs volume since the only time they make money (for the most part assuming they don’t charge Chinese sellers to list) is when a Chinese item sells. Because we all know the real life story of items coming from china sold for $0.99 and free shipping. The only way money can be made is with volume. This is the reason why when you search on ebay these days what dominates the rankings? Not American sellers, well nun that are not Big Box. The whole system is rigged and controlled. This is now a reality and what is happening to All of American's eCommerce not just ebay but all. American eCommerce has become a hobby and not big business. Its sad!

3. China of course needs volume to sell items for pennies and make profits of pennies they need volume to add to billions.

What can we all do? Vote?
Complain?  

Does this even work anymore?

Perminate Link for Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller   Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sun Jan 17 02:53:42 2016

FamFash

Yes.  Great thoughts!

Another thing we can do is STOP buying from the sellers from China.  Some come here and complain about what these sellers are doing to Ebay yet they also admit they buy from them.  As long as it is fruitful for them to sell on Ebay, they will continue to do so.  

So in addition to what you state, I'd add that.

As for TRS, I haven't seen this as an important thing for a long time.  While I am TRS, it is just because many of the current requirements are just what I do as a seller.  I don't really jump at what they say.  

However with the loss of these shipping discounts and in the wake of some huge increases for shipping [especially international], Ebay is going to need to come up with something.

And I don't understand how they could have been behind closed doors with people from USPS for a few days and come out with NOTHING but the currently announced rate increases.  It just doesn't make sense.  Why would USPS attend if they had no intention of participating?

Perminate Link for Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller   Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 17 06:42:32 2016

I guess not the TRS people who have before laughed at everyone else who was crying over postal rates can now join the rest of the world. Hard to feel sorry for them.

Also why would the post office give Ebay great rates when they were being scammed by Fleecebay themselves. When you made a label via ebay and were not a TRS who do you think keep the difference between what you paid and the TRS rate. OF COURSE EBAY THE SCAMMER.

It makes sense that Ebay didn't get a big discount. They didn't really care as they are probably going to make more money on final fees than what they were making on the profit of the discount.

So carrot jumpers you now have a new bean to eat to get your 20 per cent.

And from a seller who has been just a seller HA HA HA HA

Perminate Link for Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller   Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 17 09:38:23 2016

I have no idea (aka I dont care to even look anymore) if Im a TRS or TRSP - or what ever it is today.

Why? I made ALL my listings NO RETURNS. I believe (and I may be wrong) that this is part of the requirements - but I simply DONT CARE.

I wanted the %20 off fees - but the losses incured by eBays excuse me - RETURNbays "buyer remorse BS" is too much for me. I'll take buyers remorse returns - but not when you open the items and then use them. Thats not a sale - thats a rental. In RETRUNbay parlance its a "faulty return", one RETURNbay is more then happy to FORCE ME to "eat".

I already use eBay labels (so I dont have to hear the crying about tracking being added into sales) and because they gave me a discount, so for me its not an issue.

One $200 or so loss is more then what ever the %20 would be anyway - they lost me on that ages ago.

Sellers on RETURNbay are guilty until proven innocent, while buyers are innocent until proven guilty - which almost NEVER happens (at least not to me and Ive been here since 1998).

Position (ranking) when listing is/was also supposed to be a benefit .... except that I see its not.

US sellers are supposed to be listed on top, with international sellers on the bottom in the "also found from these international sellers" section. Except since RETURNbay is crooked - they let Chinese and other foreign sellers get either fake address in the US or by pass it altogther "ships from USA, USA, USA" as an address - when the listing CLEARLY states "ships from China, Hong Kong, Singapore".

Since nothing RETURNbay does is honest - I guess I shouldnt be suprised.

Theres an idiot on the Motleyfool who swears that 2016 will be RETURNbays BEST YEAR EVER ... I wonder what crack hes smoking?!

Perminate Link for Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller   Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sun Jan 17 10:55:58 2016

1st time in 15 years as a full time seller I have ENDED all listings until I can decide how to handle this new RATE HIKE by both the USPS and eBay!

Paying the USPS $6.90 for a small flat rate box plus eBay another .70 cents for NOTHING to eBay.

My eBay model will change from FREE shipping to charging $7.60 or more per shipment.

I was also thinking of charging a flat $5 for shipping and up my prices $1 or $2 additional dollars.

I blame both USPS & eBay for the decision I am being forced to make.

PS: Growing cannabis comes with a lot less headaches and the profits are much larger. I guess it's time for a career change. . .

Perminate Link for Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller   Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: FEEbay

Sun Jan 17 11:05:19 2016

The incentive for TRS status went away for us a LONG time ago...As is the incentive to sell on this crooked site at all!
1.) Build your own site
2.) Learn how to use Social Media
3.) Email Marketing
4.) Learn Google Adwords and Analytics
5.) Break free of Ebay once and for all

Perminate Link for Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller   Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller

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

Sun Jan 17 11:20:39 2016

It is an individual decision. Readers of eCommerceBytes are a spectrum of sellers and buyers. There is no one size fits all - eBay proves it.

In any case, you either have to play the hand you are dealt or find another game.

I decided a long time ago that going for Top Rated Plus designation was a futile, for me, exercise. I adjusted my parameters for eBay accordingly.

Over the last few years, I've gotten rid of the "Free" shipping bru-ha-ha and just replaced it with "calculated shipping". Incorporating "free" into the selling price became another task I didn't need. The calculation includes a handling fee to take care of eBay's vigorish. My customers have not voiced any objections.

But that is my take. I do not compete in the high stress areas of commerce and try to fly below the radar as best as I know how. Even so, you have to count on your selling world changing at least twice a year.

Oh well, if things were constant, you would be bored.

Peace, love & Cherry Garcia  

Perminate Link for Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller   Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sun Jan 17 11:37:51 2016

I'm also thinking of going with Fedex shipping only as it appears the USPS no longer wants my Priority Mail business. I would rather give my money to Fedex then to subsidize chinese sellers!

I'm really getting tired of everyone reaching into my pockets for every last penny I have!

Perminate Link for Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller   Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Sun Jan 17 18:52:35 2016

The sky is falling!! The sky is falling!!!

THE SKY IS NOT FALLING!!!

Putting the postage increase in perspective.... all eBay sellers (free shipping or calculated shipping) face these increases - no one seller is alone with this postage sticker shock.

Each seller will handle the increase differently...

Some will find this to be the straw that breaks their online selling back, and will close up shop.

Some will abandon the free shipping model and return to calculated shipping.

Some sellers will continue to list with shipping included, and will eat some or all of the additional costs.

Other sellers who sell with shipping included will simply take this opportunity to raise prices to cover the new postage rates as well as a small increase to improve their own bottom line.

Which approach will succeed varies from category to category, from seller to seller.


Most certainly, how the buyer perceives the new pricing arrangements will determine whether sellers will need to make corrections after making their initial adjustments.

Higher prices across the board will surely incentivize some buyers to return to shopping in brick and mortar stores in order to avoid paying higher costs for their purchases. If buyers can not find a price that they feel is realistic, they will simply not purchase from eBay or any other online marketplace.

Other buyers will look at the new prices on eBay and compare them to other marketplaces - if the prices are similar, they will quickly settle down and accept the higher prices for what they are - pricing structures that reflect the increased cost sellers are facing to conduct business which must be recovered in order for the seller to survive.

Perminate Link for Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller   Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 18 09:26:04 2016

Has it struck anyone else that Toolguy may be the ONLY person whose thinking has actually gotten clearer since he started dealing pot?

Perminate Link for Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller   Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 18 09:34:12 2016

Trs is not worth the trouble.

Usps can go to the abyss

Perminate Link for Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller   Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller

by: Donkey This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 18 09:47:52 2016

Title should read "Sellers losing incentive to remain ebay sellers".

With no sales and 16 ads on my paid listing to buy somewhere else, why even try to sell on ebay anymore.

Perminate Link for Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller   Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller

by: joshua This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 18 11:14:34 2016

About half of my sales are for items $7 or less. Some items are sold at very little profit just to keep my sales numbers up. Losing the shipping discount is a 7%-10% profit lose for those items. I could raise the price however the item will no longer be in the lower 20% price area. Oh well it is only money.

Perminate Link for Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller   Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller

by: anonymoose This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 18 12:19:29 2016

"Will eBay's 20% discount on Final Value Fees alone be enough of an incentive to keep TRS sellers providing generous policies?"

Yes it absolutely will, for most serious sellers this discount is a couple hundred dollars, and keeps costs lower than amazon. (Now of course this might be one of the only advantages ebay has over amazon). But still, this seller would be out a couple hundred dollars a month, which ain't chump change to my 'broke as a joke' self. So yes. Earlier last year paypal got rid large volume discounts, which screwed me out of a hundred or so dollars a month as well, if they ever got rid of the discount I would be pretty peeved.

Perminate Link for Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller   Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller

by: meccarose This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 18 12:20:31 2016

The only winner here is EBAY. Not only have they been winning due to charging fees on the ''shipping charges'' but now they are winning with the elimination of shipping discounts. Sellers must now re-think their dealings with ebay. There really is NO incentive to stay.

Perminate Link for Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller   Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Jan 18 14:26:08 2016

I've learned over the past 2 months that I can make more at the local swapmeet working 2 days a week then listing on eBay all week long. And the buyers at the swapmeet use CASH! No worries about chargebacks, returns or scams.
The only thing I worry about is getting a bad bill but I bought one of those pens for that.

I might be ready to throw in the ebay towel for a while. I need a rest, I got EBAY BURN OUT.

This postal rate increase and ebay's (hidden) increase comes hand in hand with the USPS. Not to mention how chinese sellers can ship cheaper then I can.

Perminate Link for Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller   Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller

by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 18 16:07:56 2016

Pretty sad that Ebay was able to negotiate pretty much no discount. Meanwhile, Amazon was able to negotiate NO INCREASE (READ 0%) on PRIORITY and PRIORITY EXPRESS services. Not too bad.

Perminate Link for Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller   Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller

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

Mon Jan 18 16:20:40 2016

"I've learned over the past 2 months that I can make more at the local swap meet working 2 days a week then listing on eBay all week long."—Toolguy

Funny, that comment appears to be a total contradiction of every previous remark Toolguy has ever made about his beloved eBay. Do I sense an estrangement? Or has eBay simply removed him from the payroll?

Perminate Link for Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller   Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Jan 18 16:42:36 2016

Has some alien being possessed Toolguy's body? The lover of eBay, the eBay who can do no wrong in Toolguy's eyes... the head cheerleader who always wonders what other sellers are complaining about?  Can it be?  Someone please check to see if hell froze over.

Perminate Link for Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller   Sellers Losing Incentive to Remain eBay Top Rated Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: Shop and Ship

Mon Jan 18 21:07:08 2016

Pretty sure that ToolGuy is not going to reach his 2016 eBay Sales Goal now, and yes, I too noticed that it's suddenly freezing all over the country now that ToolGuy is complaining about eBay  

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