Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Mar 26 2018 13:50:24

eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay discontinued its eBay Valet consignment program this month, which it had launched in 2014 after it closed its Trading Assistant program the year before. While the "TA" program had encouraged and helped eBay sellers to work with people who didn't want to list on eBay themselves, the Valet program was limited to just two consignment companies throughout much if not all of the program's existence (ModusLink and Ingram Micro Logistics).

eBay stated the reason for closing eBay Valet on the program's landing page: "We are always looking to provide the best experience for our customers. We're focusing on simplifying the selling process and invite you to sell at eBay.com/sell - opens in new window or tab or try our consignment program for luxury handbags and wallets, eBay Authenticate - opens in new window or tab."

The explanation leaves unanswered questions - but then again, it was never clear why eBay traded an army of Trading Assistants for two logistics firms to power eBay Valet. The eBay Authenticate program is in no way a substitute for such programs given it only deals with luxury handbags.

eBay seemed committed to the Valet program as late as 2016 when it partnered with FedEx Office to allow consumers to drop off goods destined for eBay Valet at FedEx Office locations to save them the hassle of packing and shipping the items.

eBay Valet stopped accepting new orders on March 12, 2018, but it didn't announce the closure - we learned of its demise from a reader.

eBay explained on the Valet landing page that items it receives prior to March 30, 2018 "will be listed for sale on eBay for up to 60 days, per the program terms. If they are not sold by the end of June, they will be returned to you at no cost." And, "If the warehouse receives an order on or after April 2, 2018, the item will be returned to you at no cost."

Here was the most recent eBay Valet fee structure:
For items that sold for between $50 and $99.99, the consumer received 50%;
For items between $100 to $249.99, the consumer received 60%;
For items between $250 to $499.99, the consumer received 70%;
And for items that sold for over $500, the consumer received 80%.

We dug into some numbers in this 2015 blog post to gauge the profitability of consignment selling.

History of eBay Consignment Programs
2002: eBay launches formal Trading Assistant program
2004: eBay launches Trading Post program for drop-off stores
2008: eBay revamps programs, imposing strict new requirements
2012: eBay launches alternative pilot called eBay Selling Assistant
2013: eBay officially closes Trading Assistant program
2013: eBay tests Sell It Forward
2013: eBay creates eBay Valet (launched more formally in 2014)
2014: eBay launches Consignment Center
2016: eBay launches Quick Sale program
2016: eBay Valet partners with FedEx Office
2017: eBay launches eBay Authenticate
2018: eBay closes eBay Valet

Let us know what you think of consignment selling in general and your thoughts about the demise of eBay Valet.



Comments (28) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 26 13:59:41 2018

Hate to say "I told you so" ...but I told you so!

"eBay Authenticate " is NEXT .......

(laughing SO hard!)

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

by: aim04744 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 26 14:27:29 2018

I get the Valet program. Some people WANT to consign their items. But these 2 sellers were so incompetent it was stupid. The fakes they listed alone would be enough to get other sellers kicked off.

I am guessing Authenticate is going to slowly go away too.

When is Ebay going to figure itself out? (Rhetorical question, the answer is never)

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Mon Mar 26 15:47:41 2018

Many lessons and questions come to mind.

1. In addition to the thousands of small businesses The Ho killed during his Reign of Terror, how many consignment store and trading assistant businesses has ebafia killed? Ebafia is your "partner" until they're NOT with the emphasis on the NOT.

2. Ebafia seems incapable of understanding who their customers are so they keep making expensive and damaging mistakes day after day.

3. Ebafia consistently attempts to conceal its numerous mistakes from Wall Street.

5. Ebafia's long history of serial strategic blunders stems from an endemic flawed decision making paradigm in which ebafia punishes, exploits, and steals from their actual customers who are their sellers.

6. Ebafia's post Whitman slide began when sellers left ebafia en masse and launched a massive word of mouth and online campaign against ebafia in response to the destructive changes The Ho made and The Devil continues with his BS ebafia speak and business killing policies.

7. IMO, ebafia likely could NOT survive if sellers launched another massive anti ebafia campaign that equaled or exceeded 2008.

8. A decade ago, many alienated and angry sellers left ebafia for Amazon and their own websites and took their customers with them. Ebafia doesn't understand that Amazon's increasing maltreatment of 3rd party sellers and price creep is a golden opportunity to possibly re engage with some of these sellers by initiating policies that HELP sellers rather than hurt them.

9. Ebafia's ad media ad campaigns were/are too little and likely too late and of questionable effectiveness. They didn't listen to us when it really mattered because ebafia's arrogant, singularly uniformed, and paternalistic Daddy Knows Best management thought they knew best.

They didn't and don't now.

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 26 15:51:32 2018

Back in the day did a lot of consignment selling. Never saw any point to join any of ebay's programs to do so. Stopped when eBay increasingly became a floundering disaster.  

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 26 16:04:54 2018

@ Ming

''Ebafia doesn't understand that Amazon's increasing maltreatment of 3rd party sellers and price creep is a golden opportunity to possibly re engage with some of these sellers by initiating policies that HELP sellers rather than hurt them.''

Absolutely! I'm on of those sellers. I have increased my eBay operations again, but see it only as a temporary transient situation as I don't see eBay actually making sensible changes and procedures to actually make me want to stay long-term again.

For me I am re energizing my eCrater store and website and putting a bit more into advertising instead of pushing eBay again as my primary selling platform.

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

by: JQ This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 26 17:39:05 2018

The few listings I ever saw listed by eBay valet were very poorly done. For example a box of comics, with no list of what comics were in the box, no grading, and with a crazy high shipping cost. I am sure most of these comic listings received no bids, or sold for next to nothing. The company seemed aggressively clueless as to how to sell most items on eBay.

But the bigger issue, even sellers like myself who understand the market and knows how to create high quality listings, we cannot sell items on eBay any longer. What once was a reasonable way to make a supplementary income is now just a very low paying drudgery job. Why did eBay expect outside companies lacking expertise to make a go of selling on eBay why receiving less than half the revenue per sale as private sellers? Unless the valet items were being shipped overseas where they could be processed by people being paid $1 an hour this program never made sense. And it only took eBay four years to arrive at the obvious conclusion and pull the plug, which is fast action by that band of clowns.

Remember when every town had a shop or two of people who actually made their living by selling consignment items on eBay? And they all closed around five years ago when Super Storm Cassini was unleashed? In other words, remember when eBay actually functioned as a selling site where hard working people could earn a fair income? Yeah, those days are long gone. My hope is that every member of eBay management ends up mingling with the former Valet workers in the unemployment lines in the very near future.

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 27 02:50:35 2018

CLOSED .....   Color me SHOCKED.      not

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 27 07:07:13 2018

@JQ

Ebay keeps saying that China is their future which is why they continue to have the race to the bottom.  They also have stated that they want the bottom 40% of the economy purchasing from them as they feel that is what Wal mart has and that they should be as great at this as Wal mart.  What they forget is that Wal Mart owns their inventory where Ebay doesn't, and that will always be what keeps tripping Ebay up with their copycat ideas.  

They have no skin in the game and until they do will never be able to make an intelligent decision in my opinion.  Ebay needs to make changes in upper management and on the BOD and get some people who understand the marketplace that Ebay has and how to make it work well like it used to.  Wenig just does not want to be the CEO of the worlds largest Flea Market, yet that is what Ebay always was and will be unless he destroys it for everyone except the Chinese.

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Mar 27 07:19:33 2018

Surprised it last long as it did.  Ina, your list of eBay Consignment Programs should be called the boulevard of broken dreams.

eBay love a scheme, and no one can kill a dream like eBay.

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 27 10:56:43 2018

I had a long comment - but MING said it better - so please see his comments.

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

by: b86fiero This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 27 11:45:41 2018

Another One Bites The Dust

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Mar 27 12:36:20 2018

I would never trust ebay to park my car!

I self park in the large lot out back. . .

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

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

Wed Mar 28 00:20:56 2018

I have done eBay consignment full-time since 2011. It's very labor intensive to do a good job and honestly, I turn away a lot of low-end stuff so that I can focus on larger (and more profitable) collections and high-end items. I looked at those consignment sellers a few times and would have to agree that their quality of work was rather poor. You could compare their top items sold to other sellers with similar items and they often sold for a good bit less. Additionally, I would say that they were not charging enough to make it worthwhile, so it's a lose-lose for everyone involved. Hopefully, eBay will return to their trading assistant roots.

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

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

Wed Mar 28 02:48:01 2018

Back in the day when I actually sold on ebay, I would take some items by consignment and sell them. But for the most part I stuck to selling my own things because no matter how high the price would go, the actual seller didn't understand that the ebay fees AND MY share of the selling price came out before they got their money. And then I would have those who would ask me about selling something for them. On woman thought perhaps I could sell the Tyco picnic table that her children had grown out of. I asked her how much she wanted to get out of the sale. $10 was what sounded like the right amount to her. Have you guys seen the size of those tables? I can't even begin to think what it would have cost for the shipping plus the time to somehow package it up, the listing fees, the FVF fees, MY share, there was no way in the world she would get $10. She would be lucky if she didn't owe me money.  Selling for others is more work than I wanted to do as I could pick and choose which of my items to list for a potential profit.

Ebay is run by people if they ever had any common sense, they checked it at the door when they got hired or elected to the BOD. With ebay share prices so incredibly low, every seller should buy at least one share so that hopefully average sellers would have the voting power through those shares to chuck out the current BOD! Now that is a plan that might work or would get the BOD running scared to know that sellers now had some legitimate power and that they now needed to listen to the 'noise'!

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 28 03:10:01 2018

Why doesn't Ebay do the consignment itself?  Or buy a string of consignment stores?  In Chicago we have Crossroads, Plato's Closet and Buffalo Exch. to name a few.  It would be easy to just buy those chains and since consignment is for household goods AND clothing/accessories, it would be natural for Ebay to open a B&M chain for consignment.  I've been taking my "unsolds" to consignment stores and getting cash money for it.
"For items that sold for between $50 and $99.99, the consumer received 50%"--this is the same amount that consignment stores give consignees.
In the clothing section, Ebay need only look at Thredup and Tradesy, those sites have store locations where the returns go back to them (not the seller) and they resell the clothing and accessories in their stores.  That's the trend.

On another note -- I made 3 sales on Poshmark this month, and can see why that site is so popular with sellers.  Easy Peasy - A straight 20%, they charge the customer shipping and send the postage to the seller.  

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Mar 28 06:37:49 2018

Chicago48 says "On another note -- I made 3 sales on Poshmark this month, and can see why that site is so popular with sellers."

You certainly are right.  I have over 800 items there now and sales are great and growing.  And zero lashings.  I sent a package to the wrong buyer once and their customer service agent said "don't worry, we will email a shipping label to that buyer and have him forward the package--and Poshmark paid for it.  What a breath of fresh air that site is.  Another iron in my fire that is doing incredibly well.  Sellers are so happy there.  

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 28 07:52:51 2018

@Rexford, I only hope and wish that Poshmark would start a new subsidiary or division for non-clothing.  There's another site SWAP that's on Ebay and a standalone and it's a rip off.  Would not reco Swap to anyone.

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

by: encoreresale This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 28 09:25:23 2018

We've been doing consignment sales on eBay for 13 years. Many of our clients are seniors / retirees who are downsizing, and know that eBay is a good market for their items, but will never sell things themselves - it's a daunting process, especially shipping! We hand-hold them through the process of finding new home for their precious items (that the kids do *not* want), providing a personal level of service that eBay Valet never could. There was never a way our clients would ship off their precious treasures to some unknown 3rd-party. They want to have a conversation about their things and see the research that shows them what they can expect something to sell for.

Like Ina says, we never understood why eBay didn't leverage the hundreds of Trading Assistants / Drop-Off Locations. All they've done is given alternative markets, especially FB Marketplace, time to grow into true competition.

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

This user has validated their user name. by: iBuyers

Wed Mar 28 09:52:26 2018

The question is to Support:

How will eBay de-score erroneous counting SNADS  as they had to eventually concede implementation to of defect strikes?

Perminate Link for eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program   eBay Shutters eBay Valet Consignment Program

by: spooky This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 28 10:03:56 2018

All those little eBay consign stores that had proliferated every town 10 plus years ago are all gone with very few exceptions. The entrepreneurs all thought easy money selling everyones junk for a percentage but soon came to realize the nightmare reality of being unable to keep both the buyer and the consignor happy! I have been selling on eBay for 20 years and many years ago I used to take requests from friends to sell for them. Not anymore. Way too much work for a new percentage of pennies. I simply tell them now I have too much of my own junk to sell.

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