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Thu Aug 4 2016 08:44:26

Casual Seller Encounters Issues on eBay

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I read almost all of your newsletters and I am grateful for the information that you provide. I was beginning to think, after reading some of the feedback and commentary that you receive, that most of these people were a bunch of whiners and complainers but I have changed my mind on that. 

I am just a "casual seller". I use eBay to make a few extra dollars every month. I have been a buyer since '07 and a seller since late '14. I have tried to build up my stats but I have noticed lately that my transaction numbers don't seem to be growing at all. 

I made at least 5 purchases last week and have made about 10 or 11 sales in that time and seen my transaction numbers go up only 2 digits. Is there some reason eBay would short me on my transaction numbers? 

And, as I was getting a package ready to mail this evening I noticed that the postage rate seemed awfully high 1lb 2oz for a package of that size 6x6x6. I moved the item to another box, cut one ounce of weight off of it, but couldn't get it under a pound. 

The eBay shipping chart showed a price of $8.26 if I shipped "parcel select" and $7.91 if I shipped "priority 1-3 days. What's wrong with this picture? 

So just out of curiosity, I checked the "parcel select" price at USPS website and my own personal account and it was $7.97, still cheaper than eBay's rate and I don't get any eBay "discount" on my own account. Is this what it has come to, eBay screwing us on the postage to put more money in their pockets?

Never mind that I face the same issues as the people who make a living doing this i.e. not being able to find my listings, getting notices that the item has been removed, etc.

And with eBay's commission rates, it makes me think that selling on eBay is like selling at a Barrett-Jackson classic car auction except that they are professional in their operation, their rates are cheaper, they have ample, well trained, knowledgeable helpers of all sorts and they stand in concert with their sellers.

Just a thought, thanks,
Tim




Comments (11) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Casual Seller Encounters Issues on eBay   Casual Seller Encounters Issues on eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Aug 4 10:10:14 2016

@ OP

Barrett Jackson charges the buyer 10% and the seller 8% + an entry fee.

My ebay fees are only 6.4% with my TRS discount.

Casual Seller Encounters Issues on eBay   Casual Seller Encounters Issues on eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Aug 4 10:12:05 2016

Last thought Tim

Why didn't you use a USPS Flat Rate Padded Envelope for $6.10 ($5.90 if you're a TRS)

Casual Seller Encounters Issues on eBay   Casual Seller Encounters Issues on eBay

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 4 11:42:22 2016

Ebay is not a site for the casual seller. It is fraut with minetraps and expensive.

If you don't understand exactly what you are doing don't sell on Ebay. You will probably fall into one of those minetraps and Ebay will just shovel dirt over you.

Casual sellers do better on other sites if for no other reason then their peace of mine.

Casual Seller Encounters Issues on eBay   Casual Seller Encounters Issues on eBay

by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 4 12:07:12 2016

A 6x6x6 object won't fit in a flat rate envelope. :)

Ebay isn't giving you any deals on shipping, that's for certain. :(

Casual Seller Encounters Issues on eBay   Casual Seller Encounters Issues on eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Aug 4 13:52:09 2016

@Tim

Transactions where you are the buyer does not increase your transaction numbers as a seller.

The 10-11 sales transactions you had are what count with some exceptions.  If any of them were international sales, they do not count as a transaction as a US seller.  If you had a buyer or buyers that made multiple purchases, that only counts as one transaction per transaction week.  Ebay transaction weeks are Monday through Sunday [I think, I'm not 100% sure about that].  So if you had a buyer purchase 3 items on Saturday, that only counts as 1 transaction.  But if you had a buyer purchase 2 items on Saturday and then 1 item on Tuesday, that counts as 2 transactions because they crossed weeks.

And don't confuse your FB score with Transactions.  They aren't the same.  Your transaction count is located on your dashboard.  If you are unsure where to locate it, just ask.

Also keep in mind that the numbers on your dashboard are NOT live.  The updates to those numbers have a lag time.  Usually they are not more than a couple days behind, but sometimes it is much more.

As for the shipping charges.  If you have concern because Ebay is showing you that it is more expensive to ship the package via Parcel Select and cheaper to ship it via PM, that isn't Ebay, that is USPS.  There are differences like that between shipping methods from time to time.  Sometimes, in certain cases it is cheaper to ship via a better method.  But that is just how USPS structured pricing, Ebay had nothing to do with it.

As for the pricing difference for Parcel Select on Ebay vs USPS, that one I have no answer for.  I couldn't get the rates you quotes to repeat when I looked at them, but I must admit, I did not spend a lot of time with it.  It may be that you have something set up in your site preferences for shipping that added onto the rate.  Sellers do have the ability to add fees on top of the actual shipping rate to cover for handling or packaging.  So you may take a look at your site preferences just to make sure it reads the way you want it to.

I personally don't have a lot of complaints about Ebay fees.  When things sell, I don't find the fees I pay are too high.  They do provide a service and should be paid for that.

Now with that said, my problem with Ebay fees results from how darn long it could take something to sell and/or how many things I have posted that don't sell.  Those listing fees / carrying costs can be quite a bit over time.

And that happens because of listing being hidden, search engine issues and/or lack of traffic on Ebay.  These are some of the vary reasons you see the reductions in your sales.  There are other reason too, but these are the main ones in my opinion.  It happens to all of us.  

I've been selling a long time on Ebay.  I do find that summer months are usually the slowest for me.  August is typically my worst month of the year.  For me things usually pick back up by late September.  Possibly you are experience the same type thing.

Casual Seller Encounters Issues on eBay   Casual Seller Encounters Issues on eBay

by: Ichabod This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 5 01:32:04 2016

Ichabod aka Tim (for clarification purposes)
I stand by my statement about Barrett-Jackson and the knowledgeable, well trained, helpful employees. As far as their rates is concerned, 10% to the seller. I pay ebay 12.9% and get conflicting shipping rates. I will likely never be a TRS because I sell a lot of used items, items that I cannot and will not offer a 30 day money back guarantee on.

I have done a fair amount of research, read more than my share of listings and I would recommend ebay for any starting seller, mines and expenses be damned. There is, for all its faults, and there are plenty, no better site, with more eyes on your product, than ebay.

I looked very hard at Amazon but that is a site that is not for the "casual seller", IMHO.

To offer a different opinion about the shipping rates and the USPS; ebay is supposed to negotiate on behalf of its sellers isn't it? Considering the rate I found with my own USPS account compared to ebay's "discounted" rate, it makes me think that their negotiating tack was, "Could you offer us a better rate?." and the USPS responded with, "No." and ebay said, "Okay." and that was the end of the negotiation. At least that's the way it looks from where I sit but there are many things I have yet to learn about ebay.

When I buy things, I ALWAYS buy with an eye toward the Christmas season. I do more business in November and December than all of the other months put together however, that is changing somewhat with my ongoing learning curve and experience. I have probably bought things from many of you who read and comment here. I look for bargains and resell.

I have looked at and have a few listings on Bonanza and it is much easier to get started but they don't have the traffic to compare and the views are much more scarce. Consequently, you won't sell as much.

Someday, when I grow up and get some big boy money, maybe I will dip my toe in the waters of the Amazon but for now, I have wear my life vest and try to keep my head above water on ebay.

Thanks for your feedback,

Tim aka Ichabod  or is it Ichabod aka Tim? Who knows?  

Casual Seller Encounters Issues on eBay   Casual Seller Encounters Issues on eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Aug 5 02:46:14 2016

@ichabod

There are only certain USPS shipping methods that can be negotiated.  It doesn't matter if it is Ebay or Amazon or some other site.  You just have a misunderstanding of how that actually works.  

There is a recent article here that may assist you in better understanding of this particular issue.

http://www.ecommercebytes.com/C/letters/blog.pl?/comment
s/2016/8/1470107881.html#comments

Casual Seller Encounters Issues on eBay   Casual Seller Encounters Issues on eBay

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 5 19:50:34 2016

I think selling online is fraught with pitfalls no matter which venue you sell on. As for fees, I use to pay shop rent and that is not cheap either. There is always a cost in doing business and each seller has to figure that out for themselves.  

Casual Seller Encounters Issues on eBay   Casual Seller Encounters Issues on eBay

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

Sat Aug 6 10:03:34 2016

Welcome to the club Tim! You can pick up your hat and t-shirt at reception.

Casual Seller Encounters Issues on eBay   Casual Seller Encounters Issues on eBay

by: jeanne*gene This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 7 12:25:21 2016

eBay is not giving a true discount for FedEx shipments.  We have a business account that was opened under the umbrella o a large national company and an eBay fee for a Fedex shipment is around $14, our business rate is around $8.  EBay is making lots of money on FedEx shipments.  With the number of eBay sellers, eBay should be getting a much greater discount from FedEx.

Casual Seller Encounters Issues on eBay   Casual Seller Encounters Issues on eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sun Aug 7 12:49:01 2016

@jeanne*gene

Similar statements have been said by others regarding Ebay and even Amazon as I remember it.  How do you know Ebay [or any other site] is keeping the difference?  I'm not trying to stick up for Ebay or anyone else.  I'm simply asking how you know this to be a fact?



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