Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Nov 17 2016 11:28:24

eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is raising commission fees for media sellers on Half.com. The news comes in the middle of the holiday shopping season, giving sellers only 4 weeks notice of what are in some cases double and triple commission fees.

Half.com commission rates will increase on December 16, eBay told sellers in an email that went out on Thursday morning.

Where sellers who sold an item for $10 would currently pay $1.50 in commission fees (15%), they will pay $2.50 beginning in mid-December. For a $25 item, instead of paying $3.75, they will pay $6.25.

For a $300 item, sellers will go from paying $22.50 to paying $52.50.

And for a $500 item, sellers will go from paying $25 to paying $75.

Here's the breakdown showing the current fees, the new fees, and the percentage increase:

$0.75 - $50.00 was 15.0% new 25.0% (66% increase)
$50.01 - $100.00 was 12.5% new 22.5% (80% increase)
$100.01 - $250.00 was 10.0% new 20.0% (100% increase)
$250.01 - $500.00 was 7.5% new 17.5% (133% increase)
Greater than $500.00 was 5.0% new 15.0% (200% increase)

eBay offered no apology and gave no explanation for the dramatic increase in selling fees in its notification to sellers:

Dear Seller,
We're writing to let you know that Half.com will be increasing our standard commission rates in all categories starting December 16, 2016. Here's a detailed look at how commission rates will change:


Please note that this rate increase applies to all Half.com categories, including Books, Music, Movies, Games, and Game Systems. All seller commissions from 12/16/2016 forward will be based on this new rate structure.

For additional information on Selling Fees, please visit our Seller FAQs.

Sincerely,
Your Half.com Seller Development Team

The reaction from one seller: "For small sellers, half.com was a reasonable alternative to eBay and Amazon, but with the new commission structure it will die. eBay wants to give its main site greater pricing power in commissions and fees."




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent   eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Nov 17 11:47:44 2016

Looks like ebay wants to shut down half.com

What better way then to raise fees beyond what sellers can afford.

I've never listed an item on half.com

I WOULDN'T PAY THOSE KIND OF FEES EVER

Perminate Link for eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent   eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent

by: JimBob This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 17 11:59:28 2016


Thanks Ina!
I am really disappointed by the timing, the short notice, and the lack of any explanation.

I have some rather expensive books to sell and will be looking for alternative venues on which to sell them.  I am familiar with ABEBooks ... does the rest of the community have any other recommendations for alternative sites?

Thanks!

Perminate Link for eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent   eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 17 12:15:46 2016

I have low-priced books that wouldn't warrant an increase.  I'll have to take them down.
I expect EB to come out with a similar notice.  I just got a notice from Tradesy that they're increasing prices too.
What's ironic, is that these sites want us to lower our prices (Tradesy, EB) to practically nothing.  I often get notices from Tradesy and EB that I should lower the price of goods so they sell "faster."

Perminate Link for eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent   eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent

by: JimBob This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 17 12:20:43 2016

Chicago:

yeah ... I've got to rethink my strategy all around ... fees going up, shipping costs are going nowhere but up, people are having to pay $15 for me to ship them an item from ebay that only sold for $20 ... then out of "my" $20 I have to pay ebay and paypal fees ...

sheezzzzzzzzzzz



 

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Nov 17 12:36:22 2016

@JimBob - I don't have any recommendations, but you might want to research Alibris, Biblio.com, and B&N Marketplace, as I believe all of those allow third party sales.

Perminate Link for eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent   eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent

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

Thu Nov 17 14:25:02 2016

Half.com??? That's an outrage. I'm going to contact all my friends from my MYSPACE.com account and mail them a letter written from my typewriter!  

Perminate Link for eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent   eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Thu Nov 17 14:29:43 2016

Heck, I didn't even know Half.com was still around......

Hopefully there are no carrot jumpers who will continue selling on there. This will justify eBay announcing a major fee increase in the Spring Seller Update for the "regular" site.

Perminate Link for eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent   eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent

by: JimBob This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 17 14:52:13 2016


Thanks Jack - I'll check into the places you listed!

In other news:

I will be appending a note to all my item descriptions on half.com that says something to the effect of: "Due to scheduled commission increases by half.com this item will only be available until 12/15/16"  

Perminate Link for eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent   eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Nov 17 14:54:27 2016

I don't think insulting and/or dismissing those that sell on half is really the answer to the article.  For those sellers on that site this is a real and critical problem.  Just as it would be if it were Amazon, Ebay, Etsy or some other site.

The effects of these ridiculously high increases is sure to decrease the presence on half by a large number.  And rightfully so.  

I don't sell on half, but if I did, I'd be outraged by these increases.  Mostly because of the amount of the increases but also because of the time of year it is taking affect and it is the holiday season.  

I'm confident that there are many small sellers that were looking forward and even depending on their holiday sales.  With this announcement there will probably many that will have to shut down before the rates are in effect.  This could have a significant impact to their holiday season in sales as well as personally.

I am so sorry that Ebay felt the need to destroy the sales / income of some folks just days before Christmas.  I find this inexcusable.  I would be bad anytime of the year that increases like this were announced, but putting it effect this time of year is reprehensible.    

Perminate Link for eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent   eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Nov 17 16:01:14 2016

I can't believe I'm actually agreeing with toolguy, of all people, but it certainly seems that eBay is intent on shutting down Half. Instead of giving everyone notice that the site is closing, they just raise the fees to a ridiculous level and the sellers leave voluntarily. I don't know if one looks better than the other to the investors. But a 10 percent increase at all levels is crazy. It's sad that this is happening right before Christmas, but hopefully most sellers will have experienced most of their holiday sales by the 15th.

Perminate Link for eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent   eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Nov 17 16:47:25 2016

I agree Jack.  But if their sales are anything like mine, the 6 week period [or so] are my best selling period of the year.  January typically will be a much higher sale period for me.

Not sure it is Christmas money being spent or people just going out and getting what they didn't get for Christmas that they wanted.  But it works for me.

Perminate Link for eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent   eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent

by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 17 17:45:52 2016

Yikes. Didn't Amazon just raise their fees for books and media? I am not familiar with either venue in this regard but it seems like ebay is just following Amazon.

Perminate Link for eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent   eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Nov 17 17:51:26 2016

@I Must be Crazy

Yes they did, but it was not even close to the ball park that these fees are.  

I mean just look at the list above.  On a $500 sale you use to pay $25 to Ebay, in a few weeks that same $500 sale will cost you $75.  No new services.  The same stuff as before, just higher selling fees to be paid to the site.

Perminate Link for eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent   eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 17 18:04:09 2016

The more I tell people here (and anyone else I meet industry wide) that eBay is a bunch of lieing, thieving SOBs, the more some here tell me that I overreact.

REGARDLESS of the reason(s) for the increase - doing it to sellers at this time of year shows the little (excuse me) NO respect that they have, PERIOD.

Even the biggest eBay cheerleader here admits that %25 commission is robbery - and if HE says it - imagine everyone/anyone else.

It may be as Jack and Marie said - that this is a foreshadowing of eBays closing it down or having eBay itself absorb all the listings - me personally ? its due to the miserable %3 earnings forcast from last quarter.

When your competitor does %58 and you do %3 - theres a problem. Whhen your stock is the same this year (year to year) as it was LAST year, you have a problem.

Whether its Wenig, Donohue, Burke or any of the OTHER mindless idiots that run eBay - it doesnt matter - there needs to be SOMEONE to hold accountable. When your top executives NO experience in the field - all you can do is raise fees. Raising fees shows Wall St etc that you are growing - when you ARENT.

Agreed, its a precursor for a Winter/Spring Seller Update with new fees/raised fees/new punishments and more lame brain ideas.

At least though eBay is consistant - the stupidity rolls on like theres no tomorrow. Great way to make your sellers during the Xmas season REALLY hate you!

And yes - they did it 'cause they saw Amazon do it .... I didnt know Jeff Bezos runs eBay - if he doesnt get a check from them, he should since all eBay does is COPY HIM.

Perminate Link for eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent   eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent

by: LJM This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 17 18:58:00 2016

This is just Ebay's way of saying "Merry Christmas" to it's sellers.

Perminate Link for eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent   eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Nov 17 19:21:01 2016

These decisions have to be being made by Amazon insiders working at ebay.

What other excuse is there?

It's like Boeing handing out pink slips 90 days prior to the Christmas shutdown so they don't have to pay you for the 2 weeks they are shut down.

Merry Christmas

I wonder how these CEO's live with this type of behavior?

Perminate Link for eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent   eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Thu Nov 17 21:24:30 2016

Ah, sudden and steep price hikes, the brainchild of "idea men" with no ideas.  Can't deliver traffic, the most basic responsibility of a marketplace?  Just soak anybody that does manage to make a sale in spite of your glaring failure!

Perminate Link for eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent   eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent

by: dans parts This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 17 21:24:56 2016

Few years ago, went to work 8am Monday, December 26.  815am, in walks the President of the company (from Houston), along with my boss (who was to be on vacation that week).  They wave at us (5 people in the office), go in his office, close the door.  5 minutes later, Plant Manager walks in to the office, goes into boss's office, closes door.  Phone rings, receptionist answers phone.  It's the Mayor's office.  She wants to verify that our plant is shutting down today.

Turns out the Company President went to our boss's house early, got him, then went to the POLICE DEPARTMENT to inform them he was shutting our plant down at 3pm that day, in case there was a problem the police would need to handle.  Police Chief then called the Mayor.  Result: we knew what was going on before they got out of boss's office to tell us.

On December 26.

eBay is nothing new.  This kind of carp has been going on for years.  The "Company" never cares for the peons, just the money to be made.

None of us here expects anything different from eBay.

Perminate Link for eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent   eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent

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

Thu Nov 17 23:35:33 2016

I started my on line selling career on half.com. In those days when you signed up to sell they sent you a package of shipping supplies. Somewhere along as ebay took over the management of half, I left. At this point it has been so long since I had heard of half.com I thought they were already gone. However with increases like this, they might as well be. While eCRATER doesn't get the traffic of the big sites, with no listing fees and minimal if any FVF it is something to consider. Minimum rules and little interference from the eCRATER team. You can do refunds in your own way if needed. We need lots of good sellers that will also help to promote the site as they promote their own goods. No way would I pay those sorts of fees to sell a book for $50 and only getting around $37 by the time fees and PP fees are paid. I don't know the shipping policies there so the numbers might be a bit wrong. I never would have sold books to begin with if I had been losing 25% for each one sold.

Seems time for them to close the place down.

Perminate Link for eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent   eBay Hikes Fees for Half.com Sellers up to 200 Percent

by: bookseller This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 17 23:36:15 2016

Buh-bye, Half.com. eBay tried to shut them down 12 years ago and then changed their minds at the zero hour. This is a different tactic but I agree with others here that this is just a way to drive sellers away so they have an excuse to shut the doors.

I sell so little there, taking my listings off the site is not going to make any significant difference to my bottom line. Guess eBay feels the same way about Half.

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