Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Feb 28 2023 21:23:52

How Free eBay Listings Could Lead to Higher Selling Costs

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is going fee-free for private sellers in Germany, but that could spell bad news for sellers who rely on revenue from sales on the German platform.

That's because the marketplace could become flooded with listings, making it even harder to stand out, which could pressure business sellers to pay for an extra boost through eBay's Promoted Listing advertising programs.

eBay Germany announced the new fee structure on Tuesday in a press release on the eBayInc.com corporate blog (excerpt translated by Google Translate):

"Selling on eBay.de will be free for private sellers from March 1, 2023. Sellers then do not have to pay a listing fee or a sales commission to eBay if the sale is successful. This used to be 11 percent of the total price plus a fixed fee of up to EUR 0.35."

eBay Germany said the new fee structure would add to the selection of items available on the marketplace, and noted that consumers who sell on eBay.de often buy on the platform - all to the benefit of business sellers.

European countries have stricter laws that require sellers to self-identify as private or business sellers, which is not the case in the US. But if eBay found a way to offer a fee-free plan for casual consumer sellers, do you think it would be good or bad for typical eBay sellers? And do you think such a fee plan could come to the US marketplace?



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by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 28 22:10:58 2023

Fee-free? I don't think that'll happen until Hell freezes over. I'd be satisfied if they simply stopped STEALING from us by charging a "Final Value Fee" on SHIPPING and sales tax. A fee ROLL BACK to something approximating what fees were in the early years of this current century would be nice, too.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Mar 1 04:42:34 2023

"would add to the selections of listings available on the marketplace"

Many speculate that eBay already hides sellers' listings. It will simply be more listings to hide.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Mar 1 07:01:46 2023

Forgot to mention. eBay is losing sellers.  They need high numbers of sellers to sell advertising.  If this is a test, first in Germany, and is adapted globally, one could say that this is yet another act of desperation on eBay's part due to the exodus of sellers from eBay.  I remember an ex CEO talking about (as it relates to fees) "we want them to have some skin in the game".  The fact that eBay, who has held on to selling fees for many decades is now willing to give them up, is very telling.

This move also adds risk to the platform.  There will be a lot of fly by night newbie sellers with no eBay selling knowledge or experience trying to make a quick buck.  Unlike seasoned sellers who know the ropes and play by the rules, there are going to be a lot of disappointed buyers who buy from the inexperienced.

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by: AddyUp This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 1 09:01:04 2023

Wouldn't this further reduce any obligation on eBay's part to help sell an item.

If you're paying nothing then you can't complain when you get nothing.

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by: Mr_Smee This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 1 13:06:04 2023

It's never going to be adopted here, they're a monopoly and they know it. Every announcement is something good for them and not the sellers. Mercari will never be a threat, and monopolies will never get broken up here unless the political landscape drastically changes. When German revenue plunges, they'll reverse course.  

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by: Nonesuch This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 2 00:11:33 2023

No fee would likely swamp eBay with zillions of China listings for China made crap.  And to stand out in that morass will require sellers to go premium and do promoted listings.  Maybe eBay’s calculation is that they’ll ultimately come out ahead through increased fee income, which is the name of the game for tech companies nowadays. Squeeze more water from the rock,  The real question is at what point do buyers give up trying to find anything useful on eBay.  The answer  based on the last couple of quarters is they’ve already started to give up.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Mar 2 01:30:43 2023

For many sellers we already have this.  Sellers that have a Basic store or above and sell in any of the following categories get a bonus of 10,000 free listings each month.

Sports Mem, Cards & Fan Shop > Sports Trading Cards
Toys & Hobbies > Collectible Card Games
Collectibles
Music
Books & Magazines
Movies & TV
Video Games & Consoles > Video Games
Stamps
Crafts
Home & Garden > Greeting Cards & Party Supply > Party Supplies

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Mar 2 06:42:08 2023

"For many sellers we already have this."


"We" don't already have this.  What you state is category specific.  This would be for the entire marketplace. We'll see if goes beyond the pilot in Germany. My guess is that you knew this already but I must admit that it is a nice attempt on your part to soften the noise.  

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by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 2 08:53:08 2023

The worse thing eBay did for sellers is to remove a listing fee.  Once there’s ‘no risk’ in launching an item, any ol’ piece of plastic mass produced junk can be listed - and was.   10,000 ‘free’ listings?  Who among their quality sellers has that many items or could possibly use this up, UNLESS they had thousands of multiple mass produced - usually from overseas - widgets to try and unload?

All that did was serve eBay’s purposes - increase listing count they could boast to the street, without regard to content, quality, or concern for sale.  And why not be concerned for sales?  They need space to plaster ads, to collect much more revenue than any listing ‘fee’ might generate.

Wanna believe they’re doing YOU a favor?  Ok, how’s that been working out for your ability to be visible?  Or what you pay eBay whether or not you make a sale?

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by: toastedmutt This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 2 11:26:23 2023

@marie - love your spin on this topic.

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by: candy7122 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 2 12:11:43 2023

@Marie guess you missed the part where it says there will be no FVF.  Even if your listings are free you are not exempt from the FVF.  AND those 10,000 extra listings for most of us are a joke.  PS been on Ebay since 1999 so I am an experienced seller.  I've watched it go downhill year after year.

Sellers then do not have to pay a listing fee or a sales commission to eBay if the sale is successful. This used to be 11 percent of the total price plus a fixed fee of up to EUR 0.35."

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by: ssusannss This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 2 13:27:18 2023

I don’t even care about listing fees or fvf. I just wish my listings would have sold. I refused to pay for promoted listings, so mine were buried. Then the enforced 30 (maybe now 60) day return policy killed me on used clothing. You can lose, or gain a size in 30 days, go on a trip, go to an event. I give up. My friend sold makeup, and her husband sold collectibles and they both gave up due to issues. Goodbye eBay, we won’t miss you!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Mar 2 14:55:38 2023

@REXFORD

I said that and I even posted the specific categories.  I have no need or desire to mislead anyone, nor did I.  The categories in which the additional 10,000 listings for free does cover a lot of sellers.  Granted not everyone but still a good chunk of sellers.  And this has been offered for a couple years now.  Rates did not recently go up because of this.

I also have no need, no matter how many times you say it to "soften the noise".  I have never once in any post of mine referred to what others have to say as "noise".  If you feel I have, please give us the post that I said this in.

I presented some FACTS that some may not have known, NOTHING more.  You choose to read more into it than was said or intended because you are always trying to dismiss anything that I might say.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Mar 2 14:57:32 2023

I posted this earlier, not likely on this blog, but another one on this site.  It is my opinion that they raise rates slightly to cover the decrease in fees and the protections Ebay is now offering in EIS [Ebay International Shipping] program.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Mar 2 15:02:18 2023

@candy7122

It is possible you missed that the article is about LISTING fees.  Just revisit the TITLE of the article for some clarity.  I did not post my opinion on this, I posted FACTS.  If you take issue with them or don't like them, take it to Ebay.  I didn't write the policy or have anything to do with approving it.

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by: Opalie This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 2 15:31:31 2023

No. The article is about FEE FREE - NOT just listing fees but no "commission" fees either (FVF).

It pays to read what is there, not what you THINK it says.

"Selling on eBay.de will be free for private sellers from March 1, 2023. Sellers then do not have to pay a listing fee or a sales commission to eBay if the sale is successful. This used to be 11 percent of the total price plus a fixed fee of up to EUR 0.35."

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Mar 2 19:09:48 2023

@Opalie

I stand corrected.  Thank you as you are correct.  It is about both, free listing fees and free FVFs.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Mar 3 07:09:27 2023

"I presented some FACTS that some may not have known, NOTHING more.  You choose to read more into it than was said or intended because you are always trying to dismiss anything that I might say."

Have you ever thought about a career in politics?  It takes a shrewd ability to spin, rationalize, and control or influence communication in order to deliver one’s preferred message. You possess all the trappings to be "successful" as a politician.

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This user has validated their user name. by: David Steiner

Fri Mar 3 07:17:10 2023

Keep to the topic

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by: at.world This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 3 07:51:40 2023

The main reason why Ebay Germany has made it all free for ''PRIVATE'' sellers only is a new law in Germany since 2023. ''Plattformen-Steuertransparenzgesetz (PStTG)'' With this law every venue (Plattform) like Ebay, airbnb etc. has to automatic report all sales of every ''private'' seller to finance authorities if it is more than 30 sales or over 2000 Euro per year. Therefore many ''private'' sellers don´t dear any longer - or just don´t want to deal with it.
The second reason is that Ebay in Germany got very unpopular for sellers because of managed payments - And for buyers because of the category change in antiques and collectibles. Collectors are simply tired to see all the rubbish when searching for antique or collectible items.
The probably third reason is the free plattform Kleinanzeigen what Ebay had to sell some years ago and got to a large competitor.

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