EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3034 - April 02, 2013     4 of 4

Fees for eBay Media Sellers Jump 3900 Percent on April 1st, No Joke

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eBay media sellers learned the hard way on Monday that their listing fees increased by as much as 3900% as of April 1st. That's because eBay failed to renew an ongoing promotion that let them list books, music, movies & DVDs and video games for just five cents with free sub-titles.

eBay, which had extended the promotion many times since 2008, did not give sellers any advance warning that the promotion was ending, and some failed to notice the new higher fees. Sellers began reporting April 1st on eBay's discussion board that their fees had jumped:

"Just noticed that my new in-catalog book listings were being charged .20 instead of the normal .05 for insertion fees. Called eBay to learn that the .05 "promotional rate" ended March 31, but would go back into effect May 1 with the new fee structure. How dumb is that! Sorry eBay, you won't be seeing many listings from me this month!"

eBay charges sellers without an eBay Store 50 cents for insertions and charges Basic Storeowners 20 cents for media insertions. Sellers who have Premium eBay Store subscription already pay 5-cent listing fees for all categories, but like other sellers, they are also likely to find themselves being charged an extra $1.50 for sub-titles.

The special promotional price, which has been running for 5 years, required that sellers use the eBay Catalog in order to qualify for the 5-cent promotional fee, which also let them add a subtitle for free. Sellers who don't notice the promotion expired on Sunday could also inadvertently pay an additional 50 cents for the subtitle, which had been provided by free under the promotion - or an additional $1.50 for sub-titles for 30-day listings.

An EcommerceBytes reader said he was lucky to have caught the higher fees in time before he clicked submit.

A seller on another eBay discussion board wrote:

"Ironically, eBay probably just lost a lot of vintage games. While my Game Boy, original Xbox and PS1 games don't really sell, I leave them re-listing, because for 5 cents, it's like an advertisement, you might look at that old game then see what else I sell. For 5 cents, it seemed worth it.

I am not paying 20 cents and losing the subtitle to boot. So I have to cancel them for 30 days.

Well, they're free to list on the River and on my website, so when they go back to 5 cents on May first, should I re-list them? Of course not.

Many sellers with a large current inventory are going to feel the same way. eBay tried to trick me, and made me cancel them all for a month, why would I give them a nickel a week each in May? I won't. The River will be the go to place for vintage games."

Sellers discussing the sudden, unannounced jump in media insertion fees wondered why eBay had let the promotion expire a month before new fees go into effect on the marketplace. On March 19th, eBay announced it would be moving to a new simpler fee structure.

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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

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