On March 30th eBay Is Really Shaking Things Up!

POSTSCRIPT: THIS WAS PUBLISHED JANUARY 2010

Here is the text of the announcement. I’m going to add my two cents in a response to this thread and I invite anybody else who has an opinion to do the same.

 

Coming March 30: 5¢ Fixed Price Insertion Fees with full search exposure, Free pictures, new low fees for Auction-style listings

 

The upfront cost of selling on eBay is about to be dramatically reduced with our lowest Insertion Fees ever. I wanted to personally let you know about this exciting change and how it can help your business in particular.

 

In short, on March 30, 2010 we are changing the fee structure to provide a range of fee options designed to improve profitability for sellers of all sizes. New standard fees are being simplified and work best for sellers that sell occasionally.

 

Higher volume sellers like you will want to choose from one of three new eBay Stores subscription packages offering Fixed Price Insertion Fees as low as 3¢ and reduced rates for Auction-style listings for a modest subscription fee.

 

Based on your past year of selling activity, we recommend the new Premium Store subscription package.

 

For just $49.95 a month you get:

 

Fixed Price with full search exposure for just 5¢ Insertion Fees with Final Value Fees for the most part staying the same.

 

Free pictures

 

Discounted fees on Auction-style listings

 

Free Selling Manager Pro, eBay’s powerful online selling tool to help you manage the listing process, post-sale activities and your inventory–including automated listing and relisting.

 

Only one Fixed Price format

 

“Full search exposure” is key because starting March 30, there will be just one Fixed Price listing format on eBay. Store Inventory Format listings will automatically become regular Fixed Price listings with the same duration and renew at the new rates–and they’ll surface in search results right along with all other listings.

 

Act now before February 16 and save!
We want to make sure you have plenty of time to get ready. If you need to change your current Stores subscription to get the best fee package for your business, do it now and pay no additional monthly fees until April 2010. Act now–this early subscription offer expires February 16.

 

Start now to optimize your current Store Inventory Format listings
Remember, starting March 30 your Store Inventory Format listings will become regular Fixed Price listings with the same duration and renew at the new rates. Start now to evaluate your current Stores inventory–decide which listings you want to keep and explore options for the rest of your inventory.

 

Get complete details about the new fee options, including a Fee Illustrator for understanding the best option based on your selling activity.

 

More updates to boost seller profits

 

Building buyer confidence: New eBay Buyer Protection program

 

The new eBay Buyer Protection program launching soon is a major step to inspire confidence in buying on eBay. Find out more about what this means for you and how sellers are protected.

 

The eBay Top-rated seller badge also ensures quality service and keeps buyers coming back. More and more of you are now enjoying the benefits. U.S. sellers can also qualify for Top-rated status in more countries.

 

More ways to boost your efficiency

 

You’ll be able to list multiple variations of a product such as color and size in one Fixed Price listing in many more categories.

 

Category and Item Specifics changes are also coming with the rest of these updates to help you make adjustments only once. Find out if your categories are impacted.

 

In keeping with the practice started last year, we’re continuing to consolidate changes that impact your business into two or three major releases a year. Get details on all the updates coming in spring 2010, including the new fee structure.

 

For more insight into the upcoming changes, including fees, you’re also invited to:

 

Take part in the upcoming webinar on Thursday, January 28.

 

Join me and other leaders from eBay and PayPal in a Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, January 27. Check the Announcement Board for more details coming soon.

 

Talk with members of my staff during the next two days on a special discussion board we’ve set up for this purpose.

 

As always, thank you for partnering to make eBay a thriving, successful marketplace.

 

Sincerely,

 

Dinesh Lathi
Vice President
Seller and Buyer Experience

 

 

Comments

Here is why this announcement matters. There are over 50,000 Boy Scout items currently listed in eBay stores. Now those sellers have to make a choice. Store owners will have to upgrade their store subscription (for most an additional $35) so that they can get the .5 cent rate for fixed priced listings (which by the way is an almost 50% increase in the current price for listing in a store). Those who choose not to do this will most likely pull down their listings or blow them out in an auction format listing hoping to get a sale.

Another impact of this change in policy will be that instead of store items being virtually hidden in search results, they will now appear along side auction style listings. If you assume that most of the 50k Boy Scout store items roll over to the new fixed priced format that means instead of us having about 11,000 items on a typical day in the category it will be more like 60,000+. All of this could make it hard to really sift through these mountains of listings to find the good stuff.

The wild card in all of this is the new policy allowing sellers to run auctions starting below $1 min bid for free. Each seller will be allowed to run upwards of 100 of these .99 cent style auctions with no up front fee (final value fees apply if the items sells). I see this playing out two ways. Some sellers will flood the market with items from their junk box figuring what do they have to loose. The other consequence could be inflation in s&h costs as buyers try to make a little more money on these fees to offset the eBay price hikes.

Those of us who have been on eBay for a long time know that there isn’t another game in town so we will grin and bear it. However, the Boy Scout category might be in for some growing pains based on these new policies.

By jason on January 31st, 2010 at 1:50 am

I find for store owners they are trying to grab about $300 more a month (those with 3000+ items). It used to cost me about $77 in insertion fees to list them. On a $1000 of sales I paid about $80 in FVF.

However, I was reading, I don’t believe store sellers get the 100 free auctions a month, only people without stores. These people are called: Standard Sellers
My understanding is that with those free ones you pay a higher FVF. They also recommend that if you have fewer than 50 items at fixed price, that is cheaper not to hve a store and use the 50 cent fixed price (up from 35 cents)

When I have 3000+ items up, I know there are some that don’t even get 1 person looking at it.

One of the angles is the prostores, I’ve only seen 1 person successful in the scout cat’s with a successfull prostore. We all know who that is. I tried it for several months and didn’t sell one item through it. – items were synch’d with ebay too. Whereas the pure ebay store, since 2001, I’ve only had 2 months where I wasn’t successful.

One of my questions that I am ponders, what is going to happen to the buyers?
There used to be quite a few people looking at every item, this has dropped in the last couple of years.

Another problem is that they don’t enforce their policies, for example, a seller can’t ask for money to pay for insurance.

By CogMan on January 31st, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Oh I forgot to mention, based on your selling profile, you got a different email. There were at least 4 different version of the email for the 4 different selling levels. Notice that in your email, the didn’t tell you that you’d be getting the 100 free auctions.

By CogMan on January 31st, 2010 at 5:48 pm

The advantage of this policy is that it might get rid of those thousands of overpriced items sitting in stores hoping to find a sucker to buy them. I would like to see stores and fixed price items go away and only have auction items. I don’t look at stores since all I see is overpriced patches. If I read the policy right it will shut down the stores of sellers with a lot of stagnent items.

BigJim

By BigJim on January 31st, 2010 at 9:41 pm

Well it might actually do the opposite. Store items where off in another world, not in the auction or “Fixed” core. It now takes them and puts them in core. The sellers that aren’t watching their fees, and there are many of them, will just pay more. It would be interesting if someone could find out the sell thru currently for store items. I know store items are more likely to sell than auctions for a lot less money. 35 cents for 9.99 for 7 days versus 3 cents for 30 days for under $24.99 or 36 cents for a whole year. In other words, 35 cents can get you an auction for 7 days or a store item for a year. The store items were fed to google, which means they buyer doesn’t have to search eBay.

So if a person has a premium store, they will have to list more store items to cover the 2 cent per item increase and the monthly $16 to $50. So the numbers of items will have to expand to me the high priced ebay fees.

I haven’t set down to figure out, but what would be the new minimum price that an item would have to sell for to break even on fees, not including the price of the item. It used to be $3 a patch just to break even, not including the price of the patch. Anybody know what the new amount would be.

By CogMan on January 31st, 2010 at 11:01 pm

Great points! There are 14 eBay stores that have more than 1,000 items listed in the Boy Scout category. All told there are over 60,000+ store items listed. BigJim is probably right about a lot of these items. I’ve seen guys put up 1980s camporee patches for $5-$8 in their store. Maybe eBay got tired of people putting thousands of crap items in their stores and clogging up the system. As CogMan said it wasn’t like anybody could easily search things in the store inventory format. I have taken a look at trying to answer your question of how do stores do. Its a tough question to answer. There is no way to search closed listings and pull just store inventory items.

I can take one case study to give you an idea. John Wallace has the biggest Boy Scout store (by far!) in terms of items listed. You might know him by his eBay handle “kindanic“. In the last thirty days he sold $1722 worth of stuff in the category with 150 total items sold. This total brought him in at #47 on a list of the top 50 eBay sellers in the category during this January. However, he has 9,336 scout items listed in his store. So let’s see what his fees would look like under the new plan (assuming he chooses a premium store).

Store subscription fee: $49.95
Fixed Price listing fees: $466.80
Final Value fee based on sales: $206.64
PayPal fees (best guess): $96

So all together if you used his January sales figures under the new pricing model it would have cost him $819.39 in fees to operate that month. Doing the math that means 48% of his total sales would have been eaten up in fees before he accounted for his time, cost of goods sold etc!!

Can he really ignore those numbers? I hope not!

Your point about the ProStore option is well taken. I launched my ProStore over two years ago and I can tell you its a real struggle to attract buyers. The fees are practically nothing compared to listing and selling on eBay but the exposure all has to be generated by your own marketing. Honestly, I started my whole email marketing campaign about a year ago with the sole purpose being to drive traffic to my ProStore. I’ve found myself over the last couple of months sending items from my ProStore to eBay at auction so that I could attract some buyers. So CogMan is right that’s not the ideal option. Today there are less than 5 major sellers I can think of that are running their own webstore off of eBay. There’s no way to know how they are doing since there is no transparency there like you have on eBay. Personally when I am building the Hot Finds I ignore all buy-it-now items and just search auction format. Hopefully, eBay won’t mess with that and still give buyers and window shoppers the option to click on that tab and stick with the good old auctions.

I’m going to print out the current roster of eBay stores in the Boy Scout category and check back in a few months to see if there are major changes. It will be interesting to watch what sellers like kindanic do with the new reaility on eBay.

By jason on February 3rd, 2010 at 6:25 pm

I meant to mention this earlier. If you read in the announcement it does state “Start now to evaluate your current Stores inventory–decide which listings you want to keep and explore options for the rest of your inventory.” To me that clearly indicates they want to get rid of the dead weight of all this dusty stuff listed in stores. They just announced a special listing offer for store sellers that they are running from now until right up to the policy change. This offer is for any fixed priced listings which presumably is an attempt to get sellers to push things out of their store and into the core format now to generate some sales.

Attention Store subscribers:
List for just 10¢

Feb 2-Mar 29

Applies to all Store levels and qualified sellers*
Take advantage of full search exposure
Ramp up your Fixed Price listings

By jason on February 3rd, 2010 at 6:43 pm

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