Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Oct 12 2021 14:05:25

eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees

By: Ina Steiner

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Threads are popping up on discussion boards today with sellers reporting eBay has levied an extra $1 fee on their listings, and it appears it's related to the latest round of category changes eBay has rolled out.

Last month, eBay announced it was making changes to categories in October "to create more intuitive buying, selling, and search experiences." In the announcement made as part of the Fall Seller Update, eBay warned: 

"Starting in October 2021, if you listed an item in an affected category and your listing is impacted by the changes, eBay will automatically move your listing to the most relevant category. As a result of the changes to the category structure, if your listing is moved to a different category, you may experience a change in the fees (either an increase or decrease). See new category changes."

Sellers who report they are now being charged $1 for the optional Gallery Plus feature say it impacts their listings for postcards - though it may be impacting other subcategories as well. 

Sellers who see the new fee say that while eBay did change the category structure of their listings, they remain in the main Collectibles category, which doesn't charge the dollar fee for the Gallery Plus feature.

The fees are outlined on this help page where eBay displays a table of optional fees that shows Gallery Plus is "Free for listings in the Collectibles, Art, Pottery & Glass, and Antiques categories."

In a thread titled, "I am being Charged one dollar an item for gallery plus all of the sudden for my item. Whats up," the original poster explains, "I sell postcards in collectibles. I am getting charged for every listing including relist. I have 44000 items."

In another thread titled, "Charged Gallery Plus Fee in a Collectibles Category which does NOT have a Gallery Plus Fee," the poster said, "Today I was charged a $1.00 Gallery Plus fee in a Collectibles category. There is NO Gallery Plus fee for items listed in the Collectibles categories. I'm waiting to get a call from Customer Service. Was told it was a 1 minute wait about 10 minutes ago...Is anyone else getting charged a Gallery Plus fee incorrectly?"

Another seller who reported the Gallery Plus surcharge in this thread recommended sellers revise their listings immediately, but another seller warned that might not be the best plan, writing, "Ebay has advised us NOT to revise items for at least a wk, pending a second round of THEIR revisions..."

eBay opened up a thread on the Selling board this morning to remind sellers of today's category changes, where it does indeed state, "you may see irregularities on some listings for up to a week."

"Keep an eye on this page over the coming days," eBay said, "we'll be sharing up-to-date information on affected categories and listings, and answering any questions you have." But despite some sellers reporting problems with Gallery Plus fees, eBay has yet to respond.

While the fee changes are most worrisome today, sellers appear equally concerned about the impact the new category structure will have on their sales and exposure. In a thread titled, "The "collectibles: photographic images" sub-categories, like daguerreotypes, are GONE," a seller said it had taken years to develop eBay sub-categories in Collectibles. "I for one helped with that, participating in conference calls with the collectibles manager about 20 years ago. If this change is permanent, it's a disaster!"

Update 10/12/2021: Another issue sellers are experiencing as a result of the category changes - eBay forgot to enable eBay Standard Envelope for certain subcategories, according to readers.

What makes it so frustrating is that eBay made the exact same error with past category changes - one seller wrote in part, "I'm really disappointed to see the standard envelope shipping label issue that trading cards sellers had in May repeat with the postcard categories this Fall. eBay overlooked that error from the May updates to trading cards and history has repeated."

Update 10/13/2021: Should you update your Item Specifics?
Warning - eBay provided an answer about whether sellers should update their Item Specifics during today's weekly chat:

"Please don't change your item specifics quite yet. the goal is to get your items to a broader category and work to automatically add relevant item specifics based on the old category it came from. 

"This process will take some time, but we expect this to be completed by the 19th at the latest, though most changes will be complete by the 14th."

Update 10/13/2021: Will eBay issue credits for incorrectly charging sellers Gallery Plus fees?
Depends? In a thread eBay created yesterday after the changes started rolling out, an eBay moderator posted information *this afternoon* about the big billing glitch. But she was addressing questions from two sellers whose listings were impacted but remained in categories where there's no Gallery Plus fees:

"We've heard back that this was determined to be a technical issue impacting a small number of listings, and has now been fixed. We will be crediting impacted Sellers as quickly as possible - no calls to Customer Service are needed, as this will be done automatically."

Update 10/13/2021: Don Heiden tackled this issue in a video on his Auction Professor channel on YouTube today, and he's spitting mad about how this is impacting him and eBay's response - customer service knows nothing and is blaming sellers, he said.




Comments (45) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees   eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees

by: Opalie This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 12 15:28:35 2021

This exact same thing happened on their LAST category change.

This morning I was charged a GP fee for an item which was moved from one Collectible category to another where the GP fee should still be free(and when I did an 'edit' on that listing it DID still show as free), yet they STILL managed to charge me for it.

Of course back when PayPal handled payments it would be added to your invoice and you could have it credited from the invoice before payment became due.

Nowadays with ebay's new (mis)Managed Payments the fees are deducted from any of your payments immediately.

At $1 a pop these fees can rack up incredibly fast. They take them immediately but even when they credit them back (IF you call) it takes some time for the credit to show up (as per ebay SOP these days).

Why is it that no matter how many times these ''glitches'' happen, ebay NEVER seems to be able to stop them from happening the very next time they make the same type of changes? It couldn't possibly be because ebay gains when some sellers either don't notice or don't call in to get credits could it?

Perminate Link for eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees   eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Oct 12 16:26:30 2021

""to create more intuitive buying, selling, and search experiences."

Hogwash!  To create more revenue for the insatiable, greedy eBay.   It's never enough for these hogs at the trough.

Perminate Link for eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees   eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Oct 12 16:30:23 2021

""to create more intuitive buying, selling, and search experiences."

Hogwash!  To create more revenue for the insatiable, greedy eBay.   It's never enough for these hogs at the trough.

Perminate Link for eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees   eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees

by: COVID-19 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 12 17:46:26 2021

Eh heh heh heh heh. "eBay forgot to enable eBay Standard Envelope for certain subcategories".

What can you do but laugh at this joke of a multi-million (some would argue billion) dollar company?

Perminate Link for eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees   eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees

by: DTSM This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 12 19:33:07 2021

It is ridiculous to make this kind of change during 4th quarter. Who thought this was a good idea to do now?  

Perminate Link for eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees   eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees

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

Tue Oct 12 20:06:55 2021

The seller who has the 44,000 listings used to be ebay largest postcard seller years ago but then switched to delcampe in 2006. Now he's doing both.  

Perminate Link for eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees   eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees

by: Mazdaman This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 12 21:02:27 2021

To "Opalie's" comment: I've been a programmer for over 45 years now, and most professional companies having a programming department of any consequence employ a "version control" scheme of some sort to ensure that the code pulled by a programmer is the most current code, includes any previous bug fixes, etc.  This is intended to make sure that the programming staff doesn't waste time "fixing" the same problems over and over.

I first noticed issues with this kind of thing shortly after eBay outsourced their programming (to India, as I recall) a year or two ago - when Managed Payments was forced upon us.

At that time it seemed that a lot of problems I'd logged (I keep a binder of eBay bugs I encounter) that I'd seen before, particularly with their mailing labels, feedback system and listing pages.  I simply include screen prints and such giving the situation, the code I looked at (you can view almost any of eBay's code quite easily) and what if any "fixes" were promised/known about or, if there were none, that as well.

Somewhat disturbingly I found very few things actually got "fixed" and most that did re-appeared approximately six months later - often I'd find the same code snippet that had been "buggy" before had reappeared!

My conclusion is that eBay or the subcontractor simply isn't controlling the source code very well at all, and thus someone grabs code that has since been fixed by someone else, but the two programmers are unknown to each other, and thus buggy code reappears.

While I have no magic wand or proof of this, if you think back to the bugs you've encountered yourself, and realize how similar they often are to others (that "deja vu" feeling), it's a bit surprising.

I never noticed this before eBay had their programming staff in the U.S., and this is just my opinion, but it's made sense of a LOT of their bugs.

And I just encountered another bug with the ability to leave feedback for a buyer a few minutes ago - with eBay's offshore reps completely getting THAT mixed up with another bug I reported a day or two ago.

Honestly, it's as if eBay DOESN'T want their system's problems reported at all! I'd be curious to know if anyone else has noticed this.

Perminate Link for eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees   eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees

by: ebaysellerqwerty123 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 13 00:35:50 2021

I have been selling postcards on Ebay for 4 years. I have a premium store subscription and 30,000+ postcards listed. This morning, my surprise charges were $1,400+ and this evening my account is already at $2,700+ from these Gallery Plus bogus charges. I contacted Ebay twice already and they could not fix the problem for me because the amount I've been charged is over $1,000. I am waiting for a supervisor to call back tomorrow Wed Oct/13. I do not have sufficient funds in my associated checking account to cover what Ebay is demanding. When I asked who will pay for the overdraft fees, they categorically stated that it will not be them. I am out of words to express just how upset I am with Ebay.

Perminate Link for eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees   eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 13 06:08:31 2021

“My conclusion is that eBay or the subcontractor simply isn't controlling the source code very well at all,…”

On point.  eBay performs absolutely NO configuration management or version control. which, as described, are critical steps needed to ensure the integrity of their epileptic ‘upgrades’, so to both avoid zombie glitches, and to provide the ability to quickly and efficiently ‘restabilize’ their platform when new changes that glitch (what’s changed AND elsewhere, unintended to be affected) are experienced.  

Such ‘errors’ are also typically uncovered during extensive software testing at BOTH the functional, and system interface(s) levels.  

None.  None of this does this third-world class eBay organization perform, or ‘manage’.  Never have.  This is computer science 101, and they just purposefully ignore it.  Always have.  

Instead, they spew these spit-patches out and take a wait/see approach (when they bother to at all) to gather ‘user feedback’ - at their own sweet pace - which they can then use to decide whether its profitable enough to bother responding to, much less acknowledging and correcting.  

And if they can suck in any ‘undeserved’ income in the interim, and garner that interest as revenue pending a reluctant refund ‘eventually’ returned, all the better.  Especially in Q4.  Imagine that.

Perminate Link for eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees   eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees

by: nsc This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 13 06:34:52 2021

Check your listings. Everything I had listed under Pottery seems to have been shifted to some subcategory of Pottery and Glass>Cookware, Dinnerware and Serveware.
Usually a random subcategory.

Perminate Link for eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees   eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Oct 13 07:54:44 2021

ebaysellerqwerty123, I smell a class action lawsuit.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 13 09:35:53 2021

... it doesnt seem to effect the items I sell - but maybe someone can explain it to me - since it doesnt seem to make any sense at all to me ...

If you sell (lets say) postcards and you DONT choose Gallery Plus.

From reading this it seems that eBay is comming in, creates a new category or modifies an old one to default to Gallery Plus - then puts all your OLD listings into the new with (with the upcharge) ?

Is that whats going on ?

Seems like fraud to me if so - you cant just do that. What if they decide tomorrow that its not $1 its $5?

If you go to a car rental agency and you choose economy for $50 a day and they dont have a car for you - they move you up to standard (or what ever its called) and they eat the charge. You cant force someone UP into a higher cost category without permission or agreement.

I guess unless eBay is using the TOS and the Update as "the warning" that sellers should have moved all their items already ... Thats how I see eBay covering its @$$.

Seems like another eBay mafia move to me ... can someone please elaborate?

Perminate Link for eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees   eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Oct 13 09:59:58 2021

It's a programing error

I'm sure it will be fixed and all monies returned

Perminate Link for eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees   eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees

by: Opalie This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 13 11:24:56 2021

@tool.

Ya think? It wasn't the last time this happened.

Perminate Link for eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees   eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees

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

Wed Oct 13 15:12:28 2021

@tool

I agree that Ebay will fix the problem eventually, but as far as the refunds go, once again it will not be automatic as it should be, but only to those sellers who catch it and call in to complain over and over.  Everybody else will only feel Ebay digging deeper into their pockets as usual.  This is nothing more than Ebay once again intentionally stealing money from their customers with no intention of refunding them unless they are caught.  I am sure when all is said and done with this so called glitch, Ebay will have once again illegally added a few million to their pathetic bottom line.

Anything to show growth to Wall Street.

Perminate Link for eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees   eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees

by: Opalie This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 13 15:24:31 2021

@Pace

No, it's much worse than that.

If you had items listied in a category where GP was free and they have been moved to another category where GP is ALSO free, ebay STILL slaps the $1 fee on you.

They have worked this same scenario time after time. Sure, they'll refund IF you call in (sometimes after some argument with the rep who hasn't a clue). They SAY "all affected sellers" will be refunded but they're not (in my experience anyway).


Perminate Link for eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees   eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Wed Oct 13 15:52:14 2021

eBay answered some questions this afternoon, I added updates to the blog post above.  

Perminate Link for eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees   eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees

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

Wed Oct 13 18:50:34 2021

This is terrible for sellers like ebaysellerqwerty123. Ebay is just negligent to allow fees to be charged en masse without any warning or seemingly no concern.

None of my listing have been impacted. But I can see that changes abound. As I prepare my listings through Auctiva, the drop down for the warranty field is gone on many items that I am listing. I also see many new fields that weren't there yesterday.

It seems to me this "shifting" of categories that has been occurring fairly regularly is nothing more than keyword spamming in disguise. Am I understanding this correctly?

Perminate Link for eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees   eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 13 22:59:52 2021

"this was determined to be a technical issue impacting a small number of listings"

Who are they kidding?

what a scam !

Perminate Link for eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees   eBay Moves Collectibles Around Resulting in Higher Fees

by: boardwalk This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 14 01:02:04 2021

Got charged almost $3,000 not only gallery but listing fees for a category in collectibles....photography.  Called two days ago and still no fix.  Tomorrow is 3 days and the charge might be sent to my bank account.  What a mess.

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