eBay is making a major change to its Store program with new fees and benefits for each level. But readers are telling EcommerceBytes they're getting mixed messages in the run-up to the changes, which went into effect today (May 1, 2016).
There are two types of complications. One is whether sellers without a Store who sign up now will be able to lock in at the current (lower) price for the next 12 months, as is indicated on the eBay website.
The second is whether current Store owners can change their subscription level now without paying an early termination fee.
eBay announced the changes to Stores
as part of the 2016 Spring Seller update announced on April 5th. Basic and Premium Store subscriptions are increasing by 25%, and Anchor Stores are increasing by 75%. eBay is adding some perks, including offering dedicated customer service for Anchor Stores beginning in July.
One reader said he checked with eBay customer service and was told his annual subscription was automatically renewed each December, but that his rates would go up on May 6. When he said he was considering downgrading, the eBay rep told him he would have to cancel at the standard buyout penalty rate.
"My question is this; how can a company automatically renew my annual service/subscription for an agreed upon rate, then increase that rate just a few months into the service, yet not allow me to terminate the agreement if I deem it appropriate due to the changes in the terms of the agreement?"
However, it appears the eBay rep provided incorrect information. Here's the text of an eBay FAQ
about the new Store fees:
I'm an eBay Stores subscriber with an annual subscription. Due to these changes, can I change my subscription level without paying an early termination fee?
Yes. Sellers with an annual subscription have 60 days after this Seller Update (until June 4th) to change their Store level without a penalty. You may also cancel your Store subscription until June 4th without incurring early termination fees (if they apply). To make changes, please go to My eBay.
Another reader said they received an offer from eBay for locking in at the current price of a Store 15.95 per mo on annual sign up. "But the confusing part is when I go to look at the offer, it brings me to the current store fees page - then there is a "link" for the Spring Update with pricing at 19.95."
"So what gives," the seller asked. "If I sign up for a year, is the 15.95 going to hold for the next 12 months or will the Spring update increase the 15.95 to 19.95???" She wondered if it was deliberately made to be confusing for would-be sellers considering a Store subscription.