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Will eBay Fee Hikes Recharge Growth--or Drive Away More Merchants?


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July 19, 2006

Will eBay Fee Hikes Recharge Growth--or Drive Away More Merchants?

Rob Hof

A lot of people, especially eBay sellers, assume that the online marketplace raises fees largely to extract more money. But the bigger reason is usually an attempt to alter seller behavior--to change what kinds of products they list, for how long, and so on, to keep the marketplace humming for both buyers and sellers. Same deal today, when eBay announced it's hiking listing and sales fees by an average of 6% on items merchants list in their eBay Stores. Apparently, the moves eBay made in the second quarter to promote auction listings over Store listings in search results didn't do the trick, which put a damper on U.S. revenue growth.

No doubt, a lot of merchants will scream bloody murder. Big whoop. The thing to watch for real insight into whether this will help recharge eBay's growth--which ain't bad but not good enough for investors--isn't how loud merchants yell. It's what they end up doing.

Will they dump listings of commonly available, often overpriced merchandise piling up in their eBay Stores, as eBay hopes, thereby improving the appeal of overall eBay inventory? Or will they get fed up and list those items on their own Web sites or on Google Base or somewhere else?

When I talked briefly this afternoon with eBay CEO Meg Whitman following the second-quarter earnings call, she sounded confident. She thinks the pricing moves will cull out sucky merchandise--my term, not hers--as early as the middle of the current quarter. "Some stuff will simply disappear" rather than get listed in eBay auctions, she said, because it's simply commodity merchandise at standard prices that you can find a thousand other places.

I get the clear sense that as eBay expands its other marketplace and ad venues, from its international classifieds sites to Shopping.com to the new eBay Express site, it's no longer trying to make eBay.com the place for all kinds of merchandise. That way, she hopes the fun experience of bidding on eBay for unusual items won't get further "diluted."

I think that's probably a wise strategy. As Whitman herself has noted, brands are like quick-drying cement. eBay's core brand appeal is set, and it isn't, as Whitman points out, interminable listings of Mariah Carey's latest CD. The big question is whether the pricing move will also spur bidders to return and buy more stuff. We'll know before three months are up whether eBay's latest gamble pays off.

05:11 PM

eBay

From what I have seen on the Ebay blogs is that merchants are cutting their loss and moving to yahoo auctions. Although Ebay may think it is a wise decision to hike prices up. In the end it is the merchants who suffer from the ebay monopoly. I really think what Ebay is trying to do is weed out the mom and pop stores with the stores like walmart and other superstores who have more to offer then the little merchant. Its only a matter of time that ebay will see their mistake.

Posted by: Jay at July 20, 2006 12:08 AM

Rob

Just a hint. Your article is a wee late. I just read the EBay is losing money.

Here is the little script. 19th July 2006 EBay to boost shares with buyback

Internet auction firm eBay is to start its first ever buyback scheme of up to $2bn shares over two years.

Ebay shares, which rose 5% on the news, have shed 41% of their value this year amid stiff competition.

The firm is also planning on raising the fees retailers operating on its site pay, to counter slower growth.

The announcement came as the firm announced second quarter profits had fallen by 14% to $250m ($135m) from last year's ?291.6m.

Posted by: Firozali A.Mulla at July 20, 2006 05:13 AM

The whole point of ebay is that there is a broad line of stocks available. From a pin to House. Extracting out items is not a good idea !

Posted by: Mercer at July 24, 2006 01:35 PM

Too many eBay vendors list overpriced dreary sucky stuff in their stores -- the lure for buyers visiting the site is the opportunity to buy an item that's unique, special + important to them. Buying it at auction increases the excitement. Actually eBay has got it right this time.

Posted by: a*list7777777 at July 24, 2006 05:49 PM

Rob -

If weeding out the gazillion copies of the same CD, etc., were the agenda, then this could be a good thing. If the increase were truly 6%, most sellers could absorb it. In reality, it is a 125-500% listing increase as well as a backend increase on items sold from 8 to 10%. In addition, sellers are now promised less site exposure for their money. And for this U.S. sellers must compete on the U.S. site with Asian sellers who pay ebay NO FEES WHATSOEVER.

Right now, listings are being pulled by the thousands. I don't know about Mariah Carey CDs, but there are an awful lot of collectibles dealers closing their shops and taking their customers with them elsewhere. They have been squeezed to the point where ebay is no longer a viable place to do business. Unfortunate, since the availability of low-end collectibles - coins, stamps, postcards, and the like - were always the one thing that made eBay a unique place to shop.

Posted by: Rad at July 24, 2006 06:27 PM

i dont not agree with the price hike on ebay and as a result of it i am closing my ebay store on august 21 first thing in the am. the majority of my listings are shapes in plastic canvas. i am the only one on ebay with the variety and the volume. my prices and shipping is not outrageous and does not gouge the buyer. my crocheted items are done by me and are all brand new and never been used. i have a scale i use to ship by zip code from the weight of the item so as not to charge too much. i dont think alot of people have thought this through and i know my customers will follow me to other places and they follow me to my web page as well. they all know how to contact me because i provide a service for some poeple that cant cut their own canvas. so in this category the ebay market place will be hurt because i am not going to share my shapes with someone that supports the price gouging to the small seller trying to earn a small extra income to support their family .

Posted by: smf1229 at July 24, 2006 06:54 PM

Sorry to say Mr. Hof, but you should have asked good ole' Meg how she figured the 6% increase. eBay's claim is based on averaging auction-style feels with store fee increases.

The last poster is right on the money. Store fees will go from 2c per listing per month to 10c per listing per month, with a backend increase to boot.

That sounds like chump change, but my store has 8500 items, that's a jump from $170 to $850 per month base operating cost, ontop of the $50 per month I pay for eBay to host my store.

Posted by: Jeff at July 24, 2006 06:56 PM

Sorry Rob, but you and Meg are dead wrong about eBay stores being full of duplicate items that can be bought anywhere. Many of use offer unique items that you can't go buy at Wal-mart, or even other places on the web. My own eBay store offers a number of items that are used by crafters and are not easily available on the web or off. So the idea that we have cluttered up eBay with items no one wants or that duplicate each other is simply wrong.

Are there stores full of merchandise that fit your description on eBay? Sure, and most don't stay in business long as they have nothing new to offer the consumer.

Will the changes force sellers to change how they list? Yes, but not in the way eBay intends. Over the past couple days since the announcement, eBay's "core listings" of auctions and BINs have not gone up. They have gone down. Sellers are not switching to auction and BIN formats on eBay.

I think this time eBay grossly under-estimated the wrath of their sellers. They may have a tiger by the tail that has very sharp teeth.

Posted by: Chris at July 24, 2006 07:41 PM

The fee hike is closer to 175% for me. I sell one of a kind collectibles with an inventory of over 20,000. No way can I afford to list these on Ebay at these fees. I've opened a site elsewhere and already opened two stores on Ebays competition. Many of my items will be right for Yahoo auctions and they will go there.

I'll continue to use Ebay to drive customers to my other sites but they will not get another penny from me.

The last fee increase saw me drop all auction listings and concentrate on store. My Ebay fee went from $500+ per month to around $125. That is what the fee increase is all about. I'm not the only one that found a way to cut the outrageous ebay fees last time. And, I listed more items than before.

This time around, I will have to list those on other sites.

Posted by: Linda at July 24, 2006 07:51 PM

As others have pointed out, eBay uses their own fuzzy math calculator when computing fees. They also rely on the media (such as yourself) to not fully understand the eBay model and simply regurgitate their corporate press release.

I might suggest you actually interview sellers and buyers for the complete picture and not just take eBay's PR at face value.

As for myself, I've been a seller (and buyer) on eBay for 8 years. Business plans change, they have to in order to adapt and survive. However, eBay's approach to throwing it out there, see what sticks, and make updates on the fly to paraphrase Meg, does little for the *community*. How would you go about finding an alternate path to your office in the morning if no one told you the roads have been moved or closed in advance.

Enuf said...

Posted by: DaWhip In Tallahassee at July 24, 2006 08:14 PM

We just ran our estimates. For us, the increase will be a little of 3% of our gross sales. We can certainly live with that.

There are so many ebay stores with hundreds of listings that maybe have $50 in sales a month. I looked at one store that has 7x the listings we have but last month only had 2x the sales revenue.

No one likes fee increases but I can understand the thinking behind it.

Posted by: Faerie at July 24, 2006 08:15 PM

Why will no one at eBay answer this question:

Why are US sellers being forced via this rate hike to subsidize the free listings for Asian sellers?

The Asian sellers, by the way, are not the buyers on eBay, but many of the US sellers are. When the US sellers are all forced out due to rate hikes, who will be left to purchase anything? How will eBay make any money then.

Or is this entire event just a very dramatic bit of stock manipulation before eBay is bought out by, oh, say, some company like Yahoo or Google? Who then will benefit from this bit of chicanery?

Posted by: Joy at July 24, 2006 11:00 PM

Rob - Many store owners are looking at 150% listing fee increases on top of final value fee increases. eBay is sugarcoating this by floating that 6% increase number, and stock analysts and reporters are falling for it, without doing any research or verification.

For the past few years, stores have been encouraged HEAVILY by eBay. In fact the latest eBay Live in Vegas was basically a roadshow for the glories of the eBay Store, i.e. "You aren't really selling on eBay unless you have a store" or "You need auctions, you need a store and you need a website" to be a successful eBay seller.

Then 30 days later eBay throws stores to the dogs, stating that they are "troubled" by this imbalance. Apparently, these wonderful stores were nothing but a millstone around eBay's neck. Yet up to the MINUTE before the announcement, eBay was heavily marketing stores to all sellers.

According to eBay, stores are the future of eBay .... no wait, eBay Express is its salvation .... no, auctions are "magic". Should be interesting to see what happens a few quarters down the road when eBay is not meeting expectations. Who will then be responsible?

Posted by: Patsy at July 24, 2006 11:06 PM

Yup, this time I'm leaving eBay. 10% Final Value Fees? Almost double what auctions cost? While Chinese sellers selling knock-offs and pirated goods get free listings and free stores?

I've had enough abuse from eBay about how I need to spend more to upgrade my store, I need to spend more for auction listings, I need to spend more for listing "enhancements."

If eBay is having so much trouble, why don't they get rid of some of the bloat? Like their Reviews & Guides, their non-function Wiki, and Blog spam?

Someone needs to whack eBay upside the head.

And I am not moving to another auction site, unless Google wants to step up to the plate and offer an alternative? I have a website, I am going to spend some money to make it better and more user friendly - and move everything I'd intended to list on eBay to my own webstore. Been meaning to do this for awhile, guess I have to thank eBay for the kick in the pants. :)

Posted by: Mona at July 25, 2006 02:20 AM

Since we pay by the listing doesn't raising listing fees make the one-of-a-kind collectible the item that gets priced out rather than the 100s of duplicate commodity items that are gathered into one listing? Isn't this going to do exactly the opposite of what they say they are trying to accomplish?

It's the one-of-a-kind items you can't find anywhere else that will be leaving. For the sellers who stock 10,000 copies of some CD album the listing fees are still cheap since they only pay for a single listing.

Ebay is about to capture all the magic of wal-mart online.

Posted by: Laura at July 25, 2006 08:33 AM

I too am furious at ebay. I was lured by them into opening a store 3 months ago. I then bought about $10K worth of inventory to stock the store. I bought at wholesale and sold at about 1/2 of retail. The store has just begun to make money for me. Will I stay? No. I can open my own store for $4 more a month than I pay ebay, and pay no listing or commissions to sell my items. Am I taking a risk? YES. But it is one I am willing to take. I am also going to list on the free auctions. Do they sell like ebay? No, not now. Maybe never. But at least I will not be supporting a company that does not support me. And all of my work will go to reward me, not ebay. That is the American dream.

Posted by: Audrey at July 25, 2006 08:38 AM

The online marketplace has evolved. It is now more convenient and even cheaper for customers to shop online.

The auction model no longer meets the needs of the buyer. The customer's time is more valuable - not to mention the cost and hassle of driving and parking -

They don't want to spend a week trying to "win" a product - they want to find it, buy it, and get it delivered quickly.

Ebay management is evidently struggling with warring factions - the old guard working with the auction model, and the stores team (ebay stores are a great bargain, even with the new fee structure).

Ebay management also seems to be struggling with the concept of a "free market" model... The idea that all things are equal, that value will always be reflected in price, that emotion does not affect the buyer's behavior.. in ANY venue, not just ebay - The management seems to be forgetting that ebay is the venue. The stores rent from the venue - and the stores are responsible for building market share..giving great customer service, quality products at fair prices, good value.

Each store is independent. If ebay wants to set "controls" on the type and quantity of inventories stored and sold on ebay, then they are going to have to hire a whole bunch of people who can make the judgements as to what is ok to sell, and what is not ok.

Ebay needs, in my opinion, to support the store model. It is the way of the future.

The market will determine who succeeds and who fails. That is as it has been and will be. Create a level playing field, and let sellers navigate the learning curves - some will fail, some will get along, and some will succeed beyond their wildest dreams.

Ebay needs to set their price and let the market do its magic.

martha

Posted by: martha at July 25, 2006 08:47 AM

Ebay is so incensed by the reaction to their outrageous fee hikes, that they pulled all the auctions that used the words fee hike in them. Although as of this morning, there is a new batch of these kind of auctions.

I wonder if they will pull all the store items that use the word fee hike in them as well, just before the fees go into place on Aug.22.

Posted by: Daddyo at July 25, 2006 01:43 PM

Ebay sellers were agressively courted just this spring to open stores with the assurance that their products would be available on the core search. They were told by upper management that fixed price was the new future of ebay. As a further enticement sellers would gain exposure in their new Ebay Express product.

And things for a brief time were very good for sellers, as buyers were able to find product through core search.

In a scant 4 weeks later, stores merchandise were pulled from search. The reason given to sellers is that it was diluting the buying experience.

Now, less than 4 months later, store sellers face huge cost increases and are told that they are no longer wanted on ebay. The great new buy it new on Ebay Express product will be featuring auction products. Auctions are now the new focus of our business.

In the midst of all this, ebay managed to buy a phone company, an apartment rental website, and persue a few very non-luctrative deals with several Asian countries.

Buy stock from Ebay.....you've got to be kidding. These people appear to have no focus as to where they are going with their business.

Posted by: J.Johnson at July 25, 2006 03:28 PM

Ebay stores were the best kept secret of selling online. Meg & co. don't seem to understand that. They are throwing away something that was working and angering their customers - the sellers - while they do it. They are manipulating the searches the way they try to manipulate the sellers with their fee hikes. It's going to backfire on them, because they don't know what they have. Meg wants to go back to the "essence of Ebay". Well - that was 10 years ago. Buyers don't want auctions anymore. They want it yesterday!

Ebay doesn't hold all the cards anymore with selling online. Buyers are now comfortable buying from just about any website they stumble across. And there will be many more soon. The ebay boards are ablaze with sellers saying they are not going to other venues, they are going to their OWN websites to sell.

Posted by: Lu at July 25, 2006 08:40 PM

It's clear now that there has been major dissension within the ranks at ebay over the Stores issue, which must be behind the departure of Jeff Jordan and Maynard Webb.

Posted by: Jean at July 25, 2006 09:36 PM

I've been with Ebay for 8 years as a seller and 10 as a buyer. I've seen ups and downs with sales. In April, 2006, I decided to go forward and open my Ebay store. My friend had much success for the past year, so I thought I'd try and see how I did myself. I've actually done decent in sales. Nothing spectacular, but turned a profit nonetheless after the fees and cost of goods. Then came this news last week about this huge hike. My store and store listing fees were going to go from $30/month to over $50/month. That didn't include the sales fees and paypal fees, which you're talking probably over $100/month. It turns out that I'm probably paying about 15% in fees.

The buyer is fed up with paying outrageous shipping costs. With gas prices rising (thank you oil hogs), the cost of shipping has gone up with several services such as fed ex and ups. Look for another increase probably by the US Mail early next year, like it did this year.

What I can't understand is how Ebay made almost $300 million dollars for last quarter and need to complain about business. Who cares if the stock is dropping? I can't see why it would drop if business is so good. But the major drop began to take place in Feb of this year, which is when Ebay announced some restructuring of fees.

I think Ebay has gotten too greedy and the sellers aren't standing for it any longer. They think by driving the small sellers to close their store, they will get what they want. What they don't realize is that we are BUYERS too, and I'm happy to take my business elsewhere. Unless I can get something dirt cheap, and I mean DIRT CHEAP, I'm abandoning Ebay altogether and taking my business elsewhere. I think many others should follow suit.

IOffer.com is offering a great site for selling, and you can import your auctions from Ebay along with you feedback. Wagglepop is similar to Ebay, but only charges $9.95 for their store with no listing fees in any format if you have a store! Free auctions, fixed price, and store listings, only for $9.95 per month. You can spend that with 25 Ebay auctions alone. These are the two I'm currently pursuing along with my own personal sites. I urge others to do the same. For $120 for the year, I'm willing to give Wagglepop a try and if others did the same, some of these smaller sites would begin to compete. Please make a stand!

Phil

Posted by: Phil Dispenza at July 26, 2006 12:57 AM

I don't know where Ebay gets off with this socalled "6%" fee increase. I have calculated that my Ebay store and final value fees will increase nearly 300%.

I am incensed, especially after Ebay went out of their way to lure me to open a store, offering promotions and freebies to do so.

I purchased a domain name last night, and registered with an ecommerce site.

I average $2-300 a month in Ebay Store fees selling very htf and rare collectibles to a very defined niche market, and Ebay tells me they are "troubled" by too many stores.

I find (with great difficulty, due to the rarity of my items), purchase and store the inventory, create the listings, pay fees to a third party photo hosting service to do so, stock bulk packing materials at my own expense, answer the bazillion emails, pack the items, and trek to the Post Office to ship them.

Ebay sits back, provides bandwidth, and bills me monthly for the privilege of permitting me to do all their labor for them.

Hell, in my day job I would be THRILLED to have a customer bring me $3,000-4,000 a year in commissions with so little work on my end.

See ya Ebay.

Posted by: Melinda Burnett at July 26, 2006 09:46 AM

I have a store and can be considered a small seller, however my items are my artwork and not interminable CD listings, so where are the buyers going to buy my artwork in future, unless things change NOT on eBay.

They forget we also list auctions to promote our stores so they will lose those auctions as well!

Posted by: Ken Gillam at July 26, 2006 11:12 AM

Here are two video interviews of Meg Whitman:

http://www.ebayauctionmasters.com/eBay_fresh_news.html#meg

Posted by: TBS at July 26, 2006 07:36 PM

I have a small ebay store. Small in the sense that my store is only 2 years old and I have only about 600 items. I have a specialty store. You can not find my items "everywhere" or "anywhere" else for that matter. My items range from 2.50 upto 13.00 for the most part. This fee hike will kill me and what little profit I was making. I keep my prices low so everyone can afford to shop at my store. The month they had stores in the searches was my best month in almost 3 years of selling. The month they took stores out of the searches I was down in sales by 33% of what I was making BEFORE they added the stores in the searches. Ive not recovered YET... and now their idea of fixing things is to add more fees to store listings. My items can not even be found in walmart or any other store. The whole point of having a store is so you can carry inventory and have it available for purchase. How long can we keep things in our store if the cost to have it there out runs the cost of the item ? THis is my living and how I support my family,,,,, im now searching for greener pastures and ive already waggled my store elsewhere and am in the processing of moving my inventory. They atleast dont charge me for putting things in my store as inventory. Im hoping that my 42% repeat business will follow me there as well... So wagglepop yourself along with so many other store owners over to greener pastures.....

Posted by: Lisa Curtis at July 27, 2006 07:05 PM

closing my ebay store they take 500 dollars a month from me and i make 500 dollars !! who loses more here ebay !! thats good for the greed bay people !

Posted by: JOHN chau at July 27, 2006 08:49 PM

Ebay are censoring the merchants who disagree with the fee hike :(

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Jzc1V_1gC0

Posted by: O at July 28, 2006 02:42 PM

You and Meg have got it so wrong, and this reflects that neither of you actually sell on eBay as a business.

I live and work in Thailand, using eBay as an international outlet for the handicrafts of Burmese refugees and Thai Hill Tribes, giving them access to markets they otherwise couldn't reach. Because of "back home" circumstances, I list on eBay UK, paying eBay UK fees.

In the UK we didn't have the eBay Stores visibility-Rollback that the US had earlier in the year (for UK it happens on August 4th), but we have had our fees "aligned" with the US as from Aug 21st = a double whammy - increased fees at the SAME time as reducing visibility of our goods.

Every month I list thousands of items in the sub-GBP 1.00 (approx US$ 2.00) category. In stores, this costs me GBP 0.03 per 30 days and GBP0.05 for a gallery listing for 90 days.

After Aug 21st, the fees will increase to a tiered system with my average listing fee increasing to GBP 0.10 and the gallery fee increasing to the same. Thus INITIAL listing fees increase from 0.08 to 0.20 = 250% not Whitman's 6%.

The Final value fee taken by eBay increases from 6% to 10% = 66% increase not 6%.

On an average GBP 0.99 listing, eBay plus PayPal will be taking GBP 0.53 of every sale = 53% of sale price is taken by eBay Corp. What incentive is there to continue selling individually unique items, that feed stateless people, via eBay?

Comments about Asian sellers selling for free are only partly true however - SOME Asian sites are free to list, others are not. With the exception of the Chinese-language eBays China and Hong Kong, all the others only display on their own national site - there is NO worldwide option for sellers. Therefore it appears that eBay.com is following the White House lead of sucking up to Beijing in this respect. Don't complain about the sellers taking advantage of it without first having words with your Congressman about the Federal example being set daily.

Will I quit eBay? Unlikely - yet! But I will be moving thousands of unique items and mass handicraft-production items from eBay to their largest UK competitor www.eBid.tv where it's FREE to List, FREE to sell - everytime, if you use the site to best advantage.

eBid has captured tens of thousands of disaffected eBay users over the years, around 5000 in July 2003 alone, and creeping up to 1,000 PowerSellers since July 20th this year. eBay has made at least one attempt to buy eBid, and the owners gave them the bird.

The writing may be on the wall for Whitman remaining head of eBay International.

Posted by: Gaz at July 28, 2006 05:10 PM

I agree with Meg's premise that ebay has lost its magic. It certainly used to be alot more fun to shop before all the junky stuff came in. But I think she has taken a giant swat at all of us, rather than just the junk dealers. In the jewelry category where I am, the junkers would have disappeared from discerning buyers' searches if ebay had kept their vow and stopped the relentless parade of items that were lies. It is not difficult to delete ads headed with the word "diamond" and described in the body of the ad as "cz"s. Keeping with its original beliefs and morals would have kept the market clean enough. Meg's decision to let the climate slide and then be heavy handed in a splashy show seems to me to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Ironically, I think in some ways it will work. I will definitely be more thoughtful about my listings on ebay....and few items will be either in my store or at auction....but, Meg, you have opened the door for your competition to develop. I for one will be listing on other sites quite actively, and will be putting more effort into the marketing of my website. I really didn't think it was possible to find buyers on other sites, but jeez! I listed one fine jewelry item on eCrater yesterday and it sold today! I think the fatal flaw is that ebay's sellers are also ebay's buyers, and as we congregate elsewhere to sell, we'll also begin our buying there. It's too bad. eBay was an amazing idea, and I'll always cheer them on... but mostly from afar.

Posted by: Betsy at July 28, 2006 08:25 PM

While some people go to eBay to pick up bargains - most of what I sell are things (like deleted/rare videos and first edition books) are items buyers deliberately search for as they cannot be bought in their local High Street. As I understand it - eBay stores that sell items like mine will be in a minority so these stores will be the ones that will show up where the auction listings are.

I would advise eBay store owners to diversify - by all means let eBay know of your concerns - but take this as an opportunity to develop your businesses. After all - our business success is our responsibility and if we can't adapt to change then that's not someone else's fault.

Posted by: Sunny Martin at July 29, 2006 10:51 AM

i had over 5000 items listed in my ebay shop - the vast percentage - collectible obscure one offs that have great appeal - i had a great sell through rate and pay ebay a lot in fees already - i was amazed that they wanted to decimate my business by changing the visibility of the shop listings and therefore make no money in fees - i wont be relisting these at auction on ebay as the fees there are already too high and the sell through rate is hit and miss - i will be moving them to my own website and other auction outlets - ebay has forgotten who its customers are - namely the sellers - the buyers are our customers - this decision is so way off the mark as to make you question the business acumen of the people who made it - can i trust the future of my business in their hands - no

Posted by: steve at July 29, 2006 02:35 PM

Yeah..man your regurgitated 6% fee increase contention is an absolute joke, and off by so far it's embarrassing. Besides not having an idea of what it takes and costs to sell on Ebay, you didn't bother to ask the people who actually know. As a seller of collectible books and vinyl, the increase is a direct stab in the back. My items sell well in my store, but take time. Auction sales are poor indicators of value, as I am waiting for the right person to come along, and not the freak occurence of two people willing to bid a book up to 20,30,or 40 dollars. My store is closing. Who can do business with a company that woos you to open a store, and then keeps changing the fees and parameters under which you operate. I have thousands of interesting saleable items that wont work under the impending Store fees.

Posted by: bruce at July 29, 2006 02:41 PM

Ebay's reasoning is to 'cut the crap' from ebay? Well, it's not working! It's all coming from Asia!!!! I am (until 20th Aug) Australia's largest seller of Hawaiian Jewelry on ebay Australia! I am closing up my ebay store and relying on my simplyjewelry website (click my name) for international orders and combination of this plus listing at oztion, ebid.net & aussiebids. Does this give ebay buyers the choice Meg wants!!!

Posted by: C Elliott at July 30, 2006 12:51 AM

I too would have been hit badly by the fee hikes and reduced visibility. I make handmade bath products and am one of few sellers that actually hold EU certification, making me a reputable seller and not someone selling 'cruddy' items. The move by eBay has forced me out, and I closed my shop on the 20th of July after the announcement- why should I line eBay's pockets any further after this latest insult?

Sellers and buyers alike know that the clogged categories are due to fraudulent Far Eastern sellers, NOT shop listings. Someone in eBay must have a massive ego to not be able to admit their mistake about search defaults or a report button...

I now sell on eBid.tv, it's easier, quicker, a darn sight cheaper, and I have found them to be approachable and flexible about their site. Already they have added new payment options and altered their listing editor to accomodate sellers needs.

eBay may well have shot themselves in the foot with this, the sellers are leaving- it won't be long before the buyers follow suit.

Posted by: Sam at July 30, 2006 04:27 AM

I wish here in Australia we were getting 10 cent store listings here we are going up to 50 cents.

what kills me is the 10% fvf.

We have to close To pay ebay fees would meen putting up prices to equal those off line.

No bargain there and no sale and no shop and no ebay fees and a new auction site for me.

It will be interesting to see how this goes for ebay. I feel that many ebayers have now been alerted to the alternatives and will list products there to see how they go, keeping an ebay presence if they can.

When the sales pick up in the alternative store, they will start questioning why they pay so much to ebay.

Rod

Posted by: Rod at July 30, 2006 10:18 AM

You have judged this so wrong this time.

I'm moving to www.eBid.tv - why?

NO listing.

No relisting fees.

NO minimum reserve.

Low sellers fees.

Good site policing for listing violations.

Level playing field for all sellers.

Available worldwide - with sites in UK, US, Canada, Australia and Ireland - a no brainer!

Posted by: BuddyBonthenet at July 30, 2006 01:47 PM

ebay does seem to be trying as hard as they can to give themselves competition. If they didn't have such a monopoly in the first place the ever-increasing fees would have killed them.

Posted by: Jim at August 2, 2006 04:01 PM

I had a store on ebay, take a look at some of the stores there now, just do a item search and check the number of bids, completed listings, that should tell everybody something about the FVF (final value fees) and why so many are jumping ship.

I am investing our time and effort into our website! will be trying to drive traffic to it. May take awhile but the way I look at it time is less costly than ebay fees!

Posted by: Phil at August 4, 2006 04:33 PM

From what I have read a LOT of store owners are moving there products to www.ECRATER.com . The question is will they get the sales that they got on Ebay.

Posted by: John at August 4, 2006 07:01 PM

Rob.. you have bought the eBay LIE that this is a six oercent incresase.... going from two cents per lsiting to either five cents or ten cents (depending on the price of the item is NOT SIX percent. Do the math

Posted by: Doug Fulmer at August 9, 2006 10:21 AM

Hello!

My name is Larisa Butcher, and my company is Kuntry Kritters.

I can appreciate that ebay needs to make some changes, and I need to make some too. In fact 35-40% of my gross income spent on monthly store fees, store listing fees, auction listing fees, relisting fees, upgrade fees, gallery fees, final value fees, and paypal fees is entirely unacceptable.

I am writing to you today in an effort that myself and other online business owners are making to put together a NEW online "mega mall" in an effort to provide the ebay giant with some much needed competition.

In order to make this effort successful, we need to make sure when customers come to shop with us they will find WHATEVER they are looking for.

We would very much like to include you in our community.

Please join us at www.PLUNDERHERE.com.

Please note that it costs NOTHING to join us.

The site administrator has joined our cause. She has agreed to waive all monthly store fees (the original cost was $7.50 a month with no fvf's on store items) through January 15, 2007. There are no listing fees, no gallery fees.

The only fees involved are listing upgrades and a 2.5% final value fee / backloaded sales commission on anything you sell from the site. In addition, you are free to link to your website on your "about me" page of your plunderhere store.

In addition to NO RISK, you have the added plug that the site feeds directly into the feeds of Froogle, Google-usenet, Googlebase, Bidhopper, and Bidfind. And we can all use all the advertising we can get.

This site is "virgin territory" as it just went live yesterday morning, and I think you will find it extremely attractive and easy to use. Should you have any problems setting up, there is live help available with just a click of your mouse at the top of your screen. The site administrator has been working around the clock to address any and all issues immediately.

We are not asking anyone to close down any other stores they have online. Only to add a little shop on www.PLUNDERHERE.com to help us form a viable online marketplace that doesn't require 35% or more of our gross sales revenue to operate.

Ebay was a giant long before it launched its first television commercial. It was built brick by brick by business owners just like you and me. It is a wonderful marketplace, but it desperately needs some good old-fashioned down-home competition in order to keep online auctioning viable.

Please join us in our effort at www.PLUNDERHERE.com.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Posted by: Larisa at August 11, 2006 08:04 AM

I can adjust for an increase in fees, but I cannot adjust for eBay's constant behind-the-scenes tinkering with search (they euphemistically call it "optimization"). You'll find many people discussing this on the eBay Stores Board in the Community section.

I refuse to pay store rental, plus increased insertion and final value fees just so I *might* have a chance at being seen if I don't draw the short straw of search for the month. That should be illegal. It's up to me to sell my stuff, but it's up to eBay to give me the visibility I am paying good money for. My eBay-provided Stores traffic report for June vs July is here -

http://stardustgirl.livejournal.com/176421.html#cutid1

I'm one of the collectibles (vintage Snoopy) people getting swept out along with the "sucky merchandise" that Meg so despises. What I find "sucky" is eBay itself. Along with their numerous search issues, they also have billing error problems that they acknowledge BUT REFUSE TO ADJUST FOR THEIR CUSTOMER! Here is the 2nd sorry response I've received over a two week attempt to get money owed to me:

""""Thank you for writing eBay in regard to the credits you are waiting for due to a technical problem on our end.

I understand you would like to be credited right away but unfortunately we are not able to issue the credits you have requested until this technical problem has been resolved. I assure you that it is a top priority and hopefully it will be corrected soon.""""

I strongly urge anyone else suffering the billing issues to file a report to the San Jose BBB and California Attorney General's office. That billing issue has affected many people for YEARS. Top priority? Don't think so.

Posted by: Maureen M McCarty at August 11, 2006 12:52 PM

Sorry Rob...I own two stores. First, Ebay did this to themselves when they added us stores into the general search. Business was GREAT! Now they move us into neverland and expect us to swallow a hefty price increase? How is this smart for shareholders? Why does Ebay tell potential customers they can get IT on Ebay if the ITs are being forced out?

Also, why doesn't Ebay chase after the shipping gougers, bootleggers and such instead of punishing the legitimate product seller? They have allowed dropshippers who don't own ANY of the inventory they list to clutter the boards with multiple listings of the same crap. How is that okay?

When they announced the changes they upped the number of duplicate items you can list for auction. You tell me how that makes any sense if Ebay is truly cleaning up the marketplace? Meg is all wrong here and the auction sellers will be next to bear the brunt of the next fee increase to cover Ebay's quarterly shortfalls. Mark my words...

Also: If Ebay says store sell through is so bad, how about asking them to break out the numbers on the month where stores were part of the general search? I bet sales picked up didn't they?

I sell a mixture of items Wal Mart won't carry at prices and service not many


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