Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed May 1 2019 21:52:42

eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay began charging sellers penalty fees in October for excessive claims and for under-performance, and in June, eBay will hike those fees from 4% of the selling price (plus shipping costs) to 5%, the company announced in its April 30th Spring Seller Update:

Final value fee increase for sellers not meeting performance expectations
Starting on June 20, 2019, we will increase the additional final value fees charged to sellers who have very high rates of "item not as described" returns and sellers who are not meeting minimum performance standards from 4% to 5%. See our selling fees article for information about how we calculate final value fees.

Yet the "Seller Protections" section of the Spring Update was an acknowledgement by eBay that it hadn't been doing enough to crack down on bad buyers who file false claims against sellers.

Sellers connected the dots on several threads on the eBay boards:

"What were they doing before when we were reporting buyers?"

"That sounds no different than what goes on currently. What has changed? In particular, if you are indeed listening to sellers, sellers want protection on their current transaction, not future restrictions on a whatever this buyer might do to other sellers."

"This totally ignores and does not address the fact eBay is still charging many sellers inflated 4% fees because of too many returns. Keep in mind, buyers can still lie about the reason for their returns. All it takes is for the buyer to state the item is not as described, then sellers get defects galore, charged more fees, have their account status dropped below standard, etc. All being said, everything eBay stated in regards to these supposed new seller protections is incredibly vague, it also doesn't address eBay's unfair punishment of sellers for circumstances that are clearly outside of their control (buyer changed their mind, lied about reason for return)."

What kind of impact will the June fee hike have on sellers who are impacted? Here's an example from eBay's help pages of how it currently calculates the 4% penalty fee:

Seller B sold a men's wristwatch for $9,640, including shipping. The seller has an Above Standard seller performance level and a Very High evaluation for 'Item not as described' returns on eBay.com in the Jewelry & Watches category, so an additional 4% final value fee applies.

Final value fee calculation: 10% of $9,640 = $964 (fee capped at $750). 4% of $9,640 = $385.60. Total final value fee: $750 + $385.60 = $1,135.60

As of June 20 when eBay raises the penalty fee to 5%, "Seller B" in eBay's example would pay $1,232, an increase of 8.5% from what they pay now, and 64% higher than what they would be paying without the penalty fee.

If it feels like eBay has its hand in your pocket, it's because it does. The value of items sold on eBay's US marketplace dropped 6% in the first quarter, year-over-year, yet eBay's revenue increased. 

eBay CEO Devin Wenig referred to it as a "GMV to Revenue gap" and said it would continue (GMV is the value of goods sold on the marketplace, aka sales). In other words, eBay will make more money from sellers for each dollar of sales.

Which begs the questions, does raising the penalty fee to 5% really act as more of a deterrent to poor seller performance than the current 4% penalty, making eBay better for buyers? Or is it about boosting eBay's revenue at a time of decreasing sales?

We don't know exactly how much the penalty fees eBay implemented in the fall contributed to that inverse sales-to-revenue number. But don't you wish your revenue increased when your sales decreased!



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Perminate Link for eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update   eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 1 22:23:03 2019

"does raising the penalty fee to 5% really act as more of a deterrent to poor seller performance than the current 4% penalty?"

No - it does nothing. There are MANY situations where a seller (as mentioned above) has ZERO recourse in how transactions happen (end). The %4 is wrong to being with - making it %5 is even MORE wrong.

I say openly many times - that the "boys from San Jose" are nothing but a mafia organization that should be prosecuted under RICO. Using the TOS as a weapon is no different then using a baseball bat or a gun.

NO seller large, small or even ones that sell old used airplane parts should be forced to work/sell under these conditions.

eBay neither sees the item(s) shipped, nor does it see the returns. Taking the opinion of only 1 side is abusive, unfair, it makes a prejudgement on the case before hand, and is basically FRAUD (hence RICO).

There are millions of lawyers out there - who/which ones can/are protecting US?

Perminate Link for eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update   eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update

by: thievesBay This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 1 22:52:39 2019

As I stated in another thread, I was guessing there would be something sneaky under the surface of what eBay says. It always has to be discovered by the public because eBay doesn't relay their schemes up front. As others have said, there is nothing new in this so-called seller protection "update". They won't implement anything. eBay's just getting more fees out of it as usual. Why anyone still uses them anymore is beyond me...

Perminate Link for eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update   eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update

by: ebayisscrewed This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 1 23:40:59 2019

The "Service Metrics" Penalty Fee is the most unethical thing EBAY has ever done.   It is nothing more than money grab to make them appear healthier to Wallstreet.  The house of cards will fall sooner or later.    As for the Seller Update - what a joke.    There is nothing different.   However you might want to check a much more alarming update to all of this in the terms of agreement which now allows eBay to make changes to policy and the site whenever they want.    

Perminate Link for eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update   eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update

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

Thu May 2 00:13:09 2019

Anytime that Ebay makes a change with a Sellers Update it is always about how to put more money in Ebays pockets, period.  Ebay only cares about their bottom line but have gotten so bad that they no longer have a clue that they are doing nothing but destroying their business and driving more and more Sellers and Buyers to other sites.  As Ebay continues to raise their fees, Sellers will continue to raise their prices and at some point the Buyers will stop buying items on Ebay because they have become the highest priced store in the neighborhood.

The problem is that Wenig has no idea how to fix the problem of bringing in new Buyers and Sellers and refuses to hire anybody that does.  He is such a cheapskate that all he does is hire the cheapest agencies to do what Ebay needs, including their advertising.  Cheap is not always the best way to go with things as Ebay has found out with Sellers Hub and their Catalog.

Perminate Link for eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update   eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update

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

Thu May 2 00:22:01 2019

There is a way around this little mafia 4% ( soon to be 5% ).
Just think 'friends', cheap listings and bank deposit.

Perminate Link for eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update   eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 2 00:22:54 2019

it's really tiring isn't it?  Same seller for 20 years - same service for 20 years - 100% TRPS s- April? How was yours? Mine was absolutely in the toilet thru no fault of my own.  So my sales slumped 60% - so now my metrics look bad so their gonna charge me more for that? After they've driven way buyers and sellers alike? Now it's my fault? I'm just really tired.

Perminate Link for eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update   eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update

by: Troy Stiffler This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 2 00:31:40 2019

We are all tired of this.

eBay is entering predatory territory with this move.

We received 8 of 507 returns and got the warning email. This is under the Business and Industrial category.

We will stay tight lipped about it for now. But if we can drive sales elsewhere, we will.

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by: 1st Armored Division 1971-1973 This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 2 00:57:43 2019

It is one of Romney's ideas at Bain Capital. It is called Self-Deporting.

Perminate Link for eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update   eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update

by: Laurie This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 2 01:04:11 2019

I supposedly have 8 returns and am hovering dangerously close to 4%.  But guess what??  Only 3 of them were for items not as described.  The rest were CLEARLY marked "ordered by mistake" or "changed my mind".  Why in "H" should I be penalized for that??!!  No one has been able to explain this to me!!!

Perminate Link for eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update   eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update

by: Valaset This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 2 06:19:02 2019

Frankly...this is a lot to do about nothing.

If sellers can't get their act together and take better care of their customers...they are welcome to move to another platform.  My transaction defect rate is ZERO out of 805 transactions in the last 90 days.  ($70K in sales the last 90 days).  My return rate is 3.15% and it is because the item is likely defective in some way (I sell used business electronics)

Stop whining and complaining and focus on IMPROVING YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE!

Perminate Link for eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update   eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update

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

Thu May 2 06:26:15 2019

"Final value fee calculation: 10% of $9,640 = $964 (fee capped at $750). 4% of $9,640 = $385.60. Total final value fee: $750 + $385.60 = $1,135.60"

That's fuqued up.

If they're laughing because they think nobody's looking,
Somebody's looking.

Perminate Link for eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update   eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 2 06:50:46 2019

eBay will hike those fees from 4% of the selling price (plus shipping costs) to 5%,
^^
This is the #1 reason I'm off of Ebay, done, gone.  When sales fell below standards, I was charged an extra 4% on sales....INSANE!  No one else does that.  And then I started getting threatening emails that my account would be closed, searches limited, etc. etc.  NO ONE ELSE DOES THAT!  It was like being in an abusive relationship.  And when I got to the forums I read all the complaints and whining and crying, and wonder why are you still with EB?  Try to get with AMZ if you can.  They appreciate sellers much more.  You won't get threats from AMZ.  You won't get "penalizing" fees.  Geez!

Perminate Link for eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update   eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update

by: hawk This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 2 06:54:59 2019

i also would like to know who they are paying off to be able to get away with this travesty. if i stole a loaf of bread for a starving child , i'd be in jail in a matter of a couple hours.

ebay is corrupt , immoral , greedy , and just plain not a decent human being for doing what they are doing. how much can they screw sellers without prison time. come on (law) , where are you?

Perminate Link for eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update   eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update

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

Thu May 2 07:26:53 2019

The net result is eBay is losing the Antiques marketplace ! Given all the changes, Sellers are slowing down their buying in flea markets and antique fairs. Sellers are NOT listing big ticket antiques on eBay! eBay is slowing down the independent mom and pop businesses in the USA economy. Meanwhile Facebook marketplace marches forward. Can we agree to sit down eBay board and discuss how eBay policies are destroying eBay and the USA economy?  

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by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 2 07:28:00 2019

"My transaction defect rate is ZERO out of 805 transactions in the last 90 days.  ... My return rate is 3.15% and it is because the item is likely defective in some way..."

Interesting how those 25 returns in 805 sales are somehow not to be deemed defective transactions.  Were those sales values deducted from the total boasted, or ignored like eBay does?

Interesting how 25 of those 805 items were offered without knowledge of those "likely in some way" undisclosed defects, and that such lack of certain knowledge or disclosure is considered an example of customer service to be emulated.

Interesting how defects such as buyer admitted faults, reasons, and requests that are not seller faults in CS, yet still blamed on and measured against a seller so to fund eBays "GMV to revenue gap" closure should be considered grounds for berating seller expressions of concerns for this unethical - and increasing - take rake.

It would also be interesting to hear how 'if you don't like it leave' should be an example to emulate in order to improve one's customer service.  

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by: plcombs This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 2 08:05:15 2019

Folks who sell in any volume should be selling via an eBay store, the MAX fee after June 1 will be $350 instead of $750.  

As for the penalty's, they seem a bit more than predatory.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Thu May 2 08:07:06 2019

It's an acknowledgement that they've driven so many good sellers away or under that taxing an underclass they've deliberately created is the only way to maintain revenue.

When my taxes were done, I finally saw that eBay accounted for most of the revenue drop last year.  This year,  I have averaged one sale per month on eBay.  It's embarrassing.  And they expect me to hand over access to a bank account for this?  Is Wenig eating a bowl of Stupid Flakes every morning or what?

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by: DevilishlySarky This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 2 08:10:36 2019

Sounds like Mitt Romney needs to self deport himself , with such blue sky thinking
Sounds like some of the sports ananlysts ideas , lets change the uniform , let's play in yellow
Why ? because only fast animals are yellow
What if they arent ?, well , at least we have the extra revenue off the change  

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by: Freeeeeeeee This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 2 08:28:16 2019

I object to the language used which suggests they are some sort of employer.  I'm increasingly seeing these platforms as yesterday's tech.  Why should I get fleeced by eBay when I can sell direct via Instagram or Pinterest. These sites have one advantage, they drive buyers to my product.  When I can do that for myself they will be forthrightly dispensed with.  In terms of extra fees for unprofessional conduct...tough.

Perminate Link for eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update   eBay Slips in a Fee Hike in Spring Seller Update

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 2 09:22:27 2019

Self deporting doesnt seem to work with illegal aliens - but this isnt a political roundtable.

"Stop whining and complaining and focus on IMPROVING YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE!"

That "sage advice" doesnt stop buyers from making fake SNADs or worse. It also doesnt stop people from just changing their minds, or telling eBay that the label on the grment that says L is really XS "in thier opinion cause they KNOW they lost 5 pounds last week".

Any kind of penalty should ONLY be applied to a seller if there was malicious intent. You ordered an Apple and the seller sent you an orange. Anything else is fraud on eBays part.

Even if the item you got was correct but it was just DOA (things happen), why is it the sellers fault? Should he take it back? yes - but he didnt make it (aka Obamas universal slogan "you didnt make that!")(oops no politics)(apologies). The point is "Stop whining and complaining and focus on IMPROVING YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE" is a BS red herring statement - since alot of things that happen are NOT in the sellers control.

"If sellers can't get their act together and take better care of their customers...they are welcome to move to another platform." ...... would you care to lead by example? You are close to that %4, now %5 - Im sure for the good of eBay and its buyers - you wouldnt mind showing us how leaving somehow makes things better? (just curious please).

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