|Tue Oct 15 2013 22:42:44|
New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees
I discovered a major problem the other day with an eBay format that most people are not aware of. Since eBay has changed best offer to require buyers to pay immediately, it has created a small skim for PayPal that could add up annually to tens of millions of dollars in extra fees that would not have been collected before the change.
In the old Best Offer format, after the seller accepts the offer, the buyer could add the item to their shopping cart, continue to shop, make offers, buy a few things from the same seller and make a single payment for all of the items they made offers on. That can no longer be done. Now, the buyer has to pay immediately and if they make multiple offers, they have to make multiple, separate payments to the same seller, with each payment getting hit with the $.30 fee.
That small fee doesn't seem like much, but it does add up and over the course of a year can add up to a substantial amount.
I noticed this a few days ago when I was printing my PayPal invoices. I had received 4 offers from a customer on the Best Offer beta format (another train wreck that has more negatives than positives) and I accepted all 4 of those offers. The buyer could not make a single payment for those 4 items, so they had to make 4 payments. What should have been a single $.30 fee was now a $1.20 in fees.
I then printed invoices from another buyer who made offers that I accepted and I had 3 payments from that customer because they could not add the items to a shopping cart and make a single payment. That cost me an extra $.60 in fees.
That is one day and a slow day (about a dozen customers) that I was dinged for an extra $1.80 in fees. Just as an example, if I am getting charged those extra fees every day at an average of $1.80 per day (because buyers are forced to make immediate payment), that would add up to an additional $657 in fees that would come out of my pocket annually. That is an extraordinary amount of extra fees collected on a small scale from a single seller. If you're selling hundreds of items a day on that format, you could end up paying in the tens of thousands of dollars in extra fees annually that would not have been charged before the change.
I contacted eBay about it and after speaking with a customer service rep, he passed me on to the department supervisor who I spoke with at length about this problem. I spent almost an hour on the phone with them and both said they had never heard about this.
They did some looking into it and discovered I was correct and she said she would be forwarding this to upper management immediately. We'll see if that happens, but from the tone of her voice and the depth of the questions she asked, I feel she was going to bring this to their attention.
I'm not sure if this was done intentionally by eBay, but if it wasn't, some decision makers at eBay will have some serious explaining to do and hopefully a boatload of fees to refund to sellers.
I'm also starting to think that is why my repeated suggestion to eBay over the past few years to add a "lot offer/bulk offer" option is not even getting consideration, even though I'm always told it's a fabulous idea by eBay staff. In that format a buyer can fill out an offer sheet, make a single lump sum offer for multiple items from a single seller and make a single payment. It works great (had it on my old website) and increases sales, but if eBay is intentionally forcing immediate payment, they would never consider that option because they have created a new, deceptive revenue stream at the expense of every last seller who takes offers.
Something is fishy and it's the new best offer immediate payment requirement.