eBay to Make Changes to Seller Fees

    February 1, 2010
    Chris Crum

eBay announced  that starting March 30, it will be "lowering the cost of selling for sellers of all sizes," a notion that is heavily disputed. The company claims it will introduce its lowest insertion fees ever, and that may be true for the lowest-priced auctions, but many are claiming prices are higher. Just read through the comments of this article to get a feel for what is being discussed.

Note: Some edits have been made to this article, but it has always said that the price change represents an increase for some sellers (now bolded below).

Here are the new options for sellers, as described in eBay’s announcement:

Option 1: "eBay Everyday" Standard Rates

– List up to 100 items a month Auction-style free—no Insertion Fees—when you start your Auction-style listing under $1.

– Get new, lower Insertion Fees for all other start prices.

– Either way, pay one easy Final Value Fee of 9% of the winning bid—and never more than $50—pay only if your item sells.

– List in Fixed Price for 50¢ with Final Value Fees mostly the same as today

Option 2: eBay Stores Subscription Packages

– List in Fixed Price with full search exposure for as low as 3¢ Insertion Fees with Final Value Fees for the most part the same as today

– Get FREE pictures

– Get deeply discounted fees on Auction-style listings

eBay says option one is ideal for those who sell occasionally, while option two is better for most sellers with 50 or more listings a month.

eBay’s price change does represent a price increase for sellers who don’t have a store. This is brought up in an interview (though supplied by eBay itself) with eBay VP of Buyer and Seller Experience Dinesh Lathi. His response is below (there is more to the interview, which can be viewed here):

When asked about why eBay will now only offer zero insertion fees for auctions starting under $1, as opposed to 5 item listings for free at any start price, Lathi says it is because eBay feels like the under $1 price is where the auction format works best.

Not everything from eBay’s announcement is targeted at sellers. For buyers, the company is launching a new buyer protection program, which they see as a way to bring in more buyers and keep them on eBay. There is another series of videos discussing this aspect of the announcement with eBay Senior Director of Resolutions Lynda Talgo here. When asked whether or not the program could be perceived as eBay favoring the buyer over the seller, she says:

Another key component of eBay’s announcement is what the company refers to as a boost to seller efficiency. For example, sellers of auto parts will be able to create a single listing with a complete list of compatible vehicles, which will save the seller on insertion fees and time. Sellers will be able to list multiple variations of a product in one fixed price listing in "many more" categories.

More details that reflect upcoming eBay changes can be found in this interview, this interview, the 2010 Spring Seller Update overview, and this announcement itself. In addition, there will be a webinar Thursday, and more details announced on the announcement board.

What do you think of eBay’s upcoming changes? Discuss here.

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> eBay Previews Possible Geotargeting Feature For Sellers