eBay Sellers Upset over Loss of ChannelAdvisor's Pro Offering
By Ina Steiner
Sellers were upset to learn that ChannelAdvisor is pulling the plug on ChannelAdvisor Pro, an auction-management tool for eBay sellers, encouraging them to use its more expensive Marketplace Advisor offering instead. In addition, some sellers had been "grandfathered" into a special pricing agreement when ChannelAdvisor promised users they would get life-time access to the Pro product for $120/year. Marketplace Advisor costs $29.95/month and has a higher commission cost structure than under the Pro plan.
Users posting questions on the ChannelAdvisor forums seemed unclear on whether the old rates would still apply. "I'm another long time since auction rover days subscriber and am also hoping my grandfathered rate for life will still apply if I make the switch, seems really unfair to me if it doesn't." (http://pro.channeladvisor.com/Forums/Thread.asp?fid=40&pid=92048&tp=1)
One user wrote to AuctionBytes, "What I find extremely unfair is the promise of the lifetime $120.00 is not being honored."
ChannelAdvisor CEO Scot Wingo said that after eBay rolled out all their changes recently, the company looked at what it was going to take to bring the Pro product up to snuff. "It was already pretty behind on a lot of things, it doesn't have automated UPI filings for example. With the eBay changes around Item Specifics and the DSR changes coming out, it became clear to us it would not be profitable for us to keep it up to speed with where eBay's going."
When asked why not give the users who had been grandfathered into the pricing a special rate for using Marketplace Advisor, Wingo said, "We gave all Pro users several months free - the faster they move over, the more free time they effectively get."
When asked if it was feasible for small sellers to be confronted with pricing that's 3 times greater than what they had been getting, particularly in the current environment, Wingo said, "That's all relative. $300 a year to run a business on an offering that's going to automate everything should more than pay for itself given the time-savings it will give you."
Approximately 1,500 users are affected, with smaller sellers (less than $1,000 in sales/month) making up the bulk of them. Wingo said ChannelAdvisor wrote a bridge technology that will move users from Pro to its Marketplace Advisor. For sellers who choose to move to an offering from another company, Wingo said his company would give them the ability export their data in CSV format.
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About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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