Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat Jan 23 2016 23:22:06

eBay Sellers Hit with Fee Increases

By: Ina Steiner

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You won't read an announcement from eBay that it is raising seller fees, but nevertheless, that's exactly what's happening thanks to the way eBay calculates fees and provides discounts. Specifically:

- When sellers' shipping costs go up, sellers pay more fees to eBay, since it charges a "commission" fee on the total cost buyers pay, including shipping.

- When eBay raises the bar for sellers in order to qualify for Top Rated Seller Plus fee discounts, there are always some sellers who can't meet those standards - for those sellers, eBay gets 100% instead of 80% of commission fees.

This EcommerceBytes Blog post from May 28, 2015 does a good job explaining how eBay "unofficially" increases seller fees when shipping costs rise. And this year, USPS significantly increased the cost of shipping packages with the rate change that took effect on January 17, 2016. 

UPS and FedEx also raised shipping rates, as they do every year. The annual increase in shipping costs guarantees eBay will see a bigger take rate in fees from sellers.

As far as Top Rated Seller Plus discounts, this year eBay will require sellers to offer a 30-day return policy, up from a 14-day return policy:

May 1, 2016 - Top rated sellers will need to update their listings to offer a minimum 30-day returns with money back in order to qualify for the Top Rated Plus discount and benefits

That's a deal-breaker for some Top Rated Sellers. Note that sellers can remain top rated, but they only get the 20% discount on their listings with a 30-day return policy.

There's no longer a reason for eBay to charge a commission fee on Shipping & Handling charges. Not only does it hurt sellers particularly hard with the USPS rate increases, but it's making the eBay marketplace more expensive to buyers.




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Hit with Fee Increases   eBay Sellers Hit with Fee Increases

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Sun Jan 24 00:54:31 2016

When ebay charges a fee on the shipping they are cutting off their nose to spite themselves. Every buyer I get on eBay I send them an email to go check out my other site where shipping is cheaper since I do not have to pay the 10% that ebay charges me on the shipping. I also have a lower threshold for free shipping. On ebay it is $50.00 and on my other site it is $30.00.
I am sure that many other sellers are doing the same thing.
Ebay just keeps shooting themselves in the foot.

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This user has validated their user name. by: baconsdozen
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Sun Jan 24 05:57:41 2016

I am amazed that people still buy anything via Ebay from sellers who have their own web site. Buying direct you must avoid paying ebays fees on the item and postage. I used to advertise tools for classic cars etc on ebay but I can sell cheaper without the said fees on my own site. So can anyone else.

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

Sun Jan 24 06:19:02 2016

Ebay's 10% Commission on shipping fees has never been justifiable regardless of the suggested concept that it helps keep sellers from exorbitant price scamming on shipping costs.   Scammers who scammed via shipping are still doing it.

Storenvy.com started charging a 10% commission on shipping also, which is even worse, since only flat rate shipping is possible.

As for eBay sellers paying more when the shipping costs go up, technically it's the customers who end up paying more. Ebay's so called USPS shipping discounts end up covering most or all of the 10% commission, if the seller doesn't have the check box tagged that gives the discounted rate to the customers.

Also, despite not always being a good thing, many sellers, based on Ebay's suggested now offer "Free Shipping" so again the customers are the ones who will end up potentially paying more.

Where many sellers end up eating the cost, is on packaging materials and costs associated with getting the product to the shipper.  

What won't be good, as ecommercebytes suggests, is the new policy for Top Rated Plus Sellers to offer a 30 Day Return Policy, especially on previously owned goods.

That means, a seller has to keep that money available for 1 month in case their are returns, and will need to be more creative in the terms of their policies.  I imagine many sellers will move to having a non-negotiable restocking fee.  

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by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 24 09:34:18 2016

Ebay is a thing of the past , let her die in pieces. I really have no use for the crooks of ecommerce.

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by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 24 09:40:07 2016

And, the postal service did a lot of barking about everyone else & their DIM weight. Now , gas prices are down , their excuse for their last increase. Whats their excuse this time? losers just like ebay ! I use UPS for all my shipping needs. A tiny bit more , though I can rely on things getting there in one piece , & usually on time. USPS is a crap shoot every time. Ebay & USPS SUCK!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sun Jan 24 10:11:11 2016

I have to agree with gizmo that eBay must be at thing of the past. Sales say so for sure.

This week, slowest sales week ever.  And get this, these were my three sales:

1) buyer cancelled right after he bought the item

2) A 0 feedback buyer received item and stated that a part was missing. No missing part--I counted each item as I placed it in the package and recounted the items inside the transparent sealed package.  I sent out a spare. We shall see how this ends.

3)Buyer issued a charge back stating unauthorized transaction. Since item was shipped and delivered, PayPal will likely decide in our favor.

Really, who wants to do business on this site anymore?  It is a train wreck.

3 sales in a week. I used to have 8-20 sales per day.  eBay is a joke.
 

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sun Jan 24 10:16:22 2016

Gameitworks says "What won't be good, as ecommercebytes suggests, is the new policy for Top Rated Plus Sellers to offer a 30 Day Return Policy, especially on previously owned goods."

Pigs will fly out of a frozen hell before I implement a 30 day return policy. They can give each and every one of my items the lowest visibility possible. I don't care anymore.  I get sales at other sites without the box of crazy eBay buyers.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 24 10:38:25 2016

SNADbay aka RETURNSbay LONG LONG ago stopped being an ecommerce site, so Im not sure why anyone is surprised at the tricks that they pull.

RETURNSbay's ONLY job (since the GENIUS JD came aboard) was to do as little work as possible, and rape (pardon my language ladies) every single seller and buyer as possible - but mostly sellers since RETURNSbay DESPERATELY needs buyers.

Amazon (as bad as they can be) understood this year and last, about how important 3P sellers are to its bottom line.

RETURNSbay pretends that sellers LOVE them (and as others have said here - if TOOLBOY has abandoned them - then theres REALLY no hope is there?), meanwhile the ONLY people that love them are the top brass and the BOD who get fat paychecks.

I dare ANYONE to give me a counter argument here (please) ... when was the last time RETURNSbay had YOUR back when you needed it? WHen was the last time they stood up for you and helped you out?

In my case ..... Its been since the last Republican President !

When I had a VERO issue, when I had a returns issue, when I had a payments issue - in NONE of those cases, would eBay stand up for me .... why should they? Ive only been here since 1998, I only do 300k a yr with them and I "only" have a %100 positive feedback rating. Geez - you would think Im the WORST seller they have, no?

As far as RETURNbays "take" .... its simple - they are the online equivalent of La Cosa Nostra. Tony Soprano had nothing on Devin Wenig. Think Im wrong? Amazon negotiated an amazing deal with USPS which virtually kep prices the same. RETURNSbay? any discounts they negotiated went into THEIR pockets.

Theres no reason on planet earth for RETURNSbay to to make ONE THIN DIME on the price of shipping - bought through them or not. Its not their business, its not their issue - why should they be allowed to profit on it? And if they ARE going to profit off it and be a part of it - let them take some g_d da_n resposibility for what happens when USPS (or Fed Ex) messes up on the delivery.

THAT is RETURNbay circa 2016 - take money and do nothing in return. They take money for listings yet dont show them. They take money for listing fees and FVFs but still put ads in your listing. The list goes on and on.

Ive already given up on the 30 day BS, TRS or no. Loosing %20 when ever RETURNSbay does give me a sale (we are off %35 from last yr) isnt enough to cover their BS MBG fake SNAD issues OR their dissertation on what IS is aka does NEW and UNOPENED "REALLY" mean that or can those words mean opened and used ... ?  (oh yeh - be happy you get anything back - eat the loss - its a faulty return).

As of now, theres no difference between Lucky Luciano and Devin Wenig. I said it before and I'll say it again - his BS of "reconnecting with his sellers" is/was and forever will be the biggest lie ever told (well except that Obamacare will make your premiums go DOWN by $2500 a year - but thats off topic).

RETURNSbay stealing money on postage fees has been in place for ages and an increase in postage costs means more ill gotten gain for RETURNSbay - it cant stop, it wont stop.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Hit with Fee Increases   eBay Sellers Hit with Fee Increases

by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 24 14:24:12 2016

Don't forget how Ebay fails to refund your fees on partial refunds, that's a joke. Thus, if you have a listing with free shipping and state in your return policy that the actual cost of shipping will be non-refundable if an item is returned....you won't get those ANY Ebay fees refunded when you do your refund unless it's a full refund.

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

Sun Jan 24 18:21:36 2016

I do not think it is fair to require top sellers to have a 30day return policy.  If I go to a local auction there is NO return policy!!  It's an auction!! There should be a line drawn between an auction and the store!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sun Jan 24 20:51:13 2016

If eBay were just a venue (it clearly is not), sellers would make their own return policies. This is why I love eCrater.

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

Mon Jan 25 00:32:51 2016

I've been searching Ebay for something decent in the last 3 months and have found NOTHING.
It has all dried up. No one wants to put up with the nonsense and ridiculously high Ebay fees. I now go to local markets and selling events with higher hopes.

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by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 25 00:35:04 2016

So to add insult to injury - I used to pay $2.04 for a 3 oz padded envelope. That was with the ebay discount. Now on ebay I pay $2.60 plus increased fee to ebay. How was that negotiating ebay? Looks like someone fell down on the job. Ebay didn't negotiate jack because now that same package costs me $2.54 buying directly from the post office. Do I have to print my labels on ebay? Their ripping me off.

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by: donald This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 25 00:47:44 2016



Looks like the ebay gestapo is at it again! They can no longer be original. Copying from the Amazon play book.  Am I glad I placed most of my money in real state long ago. I would have been sucking their you know what today.


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by: Interesting Antiques This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 25 01:14:28 2016

Its time to get back to brick and mortar shops and your own websites with YOUR policies. Times are changing!

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

Mon Jan 25 01:20:58 2016

I don't understand why people even fool with ebay anymore.  Between the favoritism towards Chinese sellers, increasing fees, never changing rules, etc.  eBay decided they wanted to close our store after 12 years with 100% feedback, 5.0 DSR all because we received 2 neutrals in one month, one neutral said excellent seller, will return.  

So we decided it was time to end thinking about ebay and opened our own website.  We tried other auction sites which were a total waste of time.  If we were going to market another business (the auction site) we would market ours.  We have received over 20,000 views since the beginning of the year with good sales.  I do not believe we would have ever received that many view on the so called improved ebay.

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by: BobNJ This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 25 01:49:07 2016

In my collectible category there used to be 2,000+ listings on eBay all the time if not more. Items were selling for a few dollars each and sellers offered combined shipping. So buyers would pick a number of items at a time to fill a package and cut their costs. Now those same items with "free shipping" have prices that are 3 to 4 times what they were before for each and every item and there's no discount for multiple items so there's no reason to buy multiple or extra items any more. So guess what, the category is now only listing around 300-400 items at a time and of those only around 50 or so are actually new auctions while the rest are auto-repeat buy-it-now listings that never sell. So what did it gain for anyone except a ton of lost sales. Oh, and buy the way, over half of the collectors I know have gotten so fed up with the way eBay is these days that they sold their collections and stopped collecting. So there's a large number of buyers that will NEVER return to the market.

And one more thing.... check your sales total on your seller dashboard ... somehow eBay only credits me with about one fifth of the sales I've made on eBay since I started back in 1999 and I lost over a third of my feedback over the years.... and NO ONE at eBay has ever answered any questions about the numbers being totally wrong no matter how many times I've asked.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Jan 25 03:17:31 2016

I don't agree with Ebay's FVF on S&H and I never have.  But this argument that since USPS raised rates, Ebay should reduce or do away with the FVF on S&H to me is unrealistic.

Ebay didn't increase USPS's rates, USPS did that. Why does their raising costs somehow make it Ebay's responsibility to reduce fees?

If you had a supplier that increased your cost on a product you sell, do you then expect Ebay to reduce their FVF when you sell that product?  Would you expect Amazon or Etsy to do that?  

Again, I hate this FVF on S&H too.  I'm not at all defending Ebay or the way they charge fees.    I'm just saying that I see the argument as flawed.

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 25 07:39:25 2016

If I don't make money selling on EB, EB doesn't make money (get fees).  This month, the fee payment has been pitifully low.  I know I'm doing well when my invoice is a fairly high amount.

As for USPS shipping, we sellers just have to factor in all costs into the product sell to make money.  We're retailers, remember that.
I'm not one to be anti-EB since I'm selling on the site and glad it allows me to sell anything and everything, as opposed to some other sites that have strict restrictions on pictures (no stock) and what can/cannot be sold and in what condition.
 

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by: frustrated This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 25 08:14:57 2016

JUST DON'T do it.

Screw em

It is NOT required on Amazon, shouldn't be on ebay

We get enough returns "item does not work" which in ebay buyer-speak means, "I bought the wrong thing", or "Sally didn't like it" after 14 days.

Two weeks is plenty of time for anybody to make up their minds, and/or try out the brand new in a box item and then LIE and say it's broken.

BS.

Stick together everybody.

Once they go to 30 days, I'm pretty sure the owner is going 7 days.

If we lose the discount anyway, at least we don't lose thousands more on returns from idiots who don't know what part they need, or who set our stuff on FIRE. (twice now)

??  

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