The latest eBay changes announced in the 2013 Spring Seller Update means a simplified fee structure for merchants and an attempt to reduce the number of unpaid items.
Today’s announcement includes changes that give sellers with eBay Store subscriptions up to 2,500 free fixed-price or auction-style listings per month, allow merchants whose listing include a Best Offer option to continue accepting offers until a shopper actually pays for a product, aim to reduce the number of unpaid items on the site and more.“We’re thrilled with this release. … Our commitment is to make eBay the easiest place to sell”
Christopher Payne, the senior vice president of eBay Marketplaces North America, says eBay has been improving the buying experience on the site for the past six months. Now it’s looking to “reinvigorate the selling experience” by making eBay the best place to sell online.
“We’re thrilled with this release,” he reports. “… Our commitment is to make eBay the easiest place to sell.”
Merchants are also happy with the changes, say eBay selling experts and contributors to The Online Seller.
The new fees
With the new fee structure, eBay Store subscribers will pay no insertion fees on their first listings each month—in either fixed-price or auction-style formats—starting May 1.
Anchor Store owners will get up to 2,500 listing free a month, Premium Store subscribers up to 500 listings and Basic Store owners will have 150 listings, eBay notes.
They will also pay one of only five final value fee percentages, depending on the category in which they list. These rates range from 4 percent to 9 percent, adds Michael Jones, eBay’s vice president of merchant development.
eBay sellers who do not have a store subscription can list their first 50 listings per month without insertion fees, starting April 16. The free insertion applies whether they are auctions or fixed-price listings. These sellers will pay a flat 10-percent final value fee “only when your item sells,” Jones adds.With the new fee structure, eBay Store subscribers will pay no insertion fees on up to 2,500 listings a month starting May 1
Additionally, merchants without an eBay Store subscription will be able to schedule listings and add the Buy It Now option for free to their auctions starting April 16.
However, beginning May 1, when merchants add the Buy It Now option to their auctions, that price must be at least 30 percent higher than the listing’s start price, eBay reports.
“Final value fees will always be lower with an eBay Stores subscription compared to standard fees, so if you sell more than 50 items a month, an eBay Stores subscription may be the right option for you,” eBay states in its Seller Information Center.
Sellers are happy about new fees
Kat Simpson, an eBay seller and expert and a contributor to The Online Seller, says she was excited about the new fee structure.
“For years, Uncle Griff on eBay Radio has hinted that eBay is moving to zero insertion fees and just in the last few months he has been dropping hints about how some great news was coming for eBay store owners,” she writes on her blog. “Well, it’s here. How about free listings for store owners? Woohoo!”
She says sellers seem happy about the changes. This morning she chatted with other merchants and heard comments like, “This will bring me back to eBay” and “This will get me to open an eBay Store.”“Everyone that I have heard from today is super excited about [the changes]. For the first time, they all seem to be in our benefit”
The Queen of Auctions, Lynn Dralle, another eBay expert, also got the sense that merchants are content with the news.
“Everyone that I have heard from today is super excited about [the changes],” she adds. “For the first time, they all seem to be in our benefit.”
She says she ran her numbers and her fees will stay about the same.
Ryan Moore, an eBay spokesman, notes the eBay changes “dramatically” simplify fees.
“We believe the new pricing structure makes eBay the most competitively priced commerce platform in the U.S. today,” he tells us. “These changes continue to make eBay the partner of choice for merchants.”
Countering deadbeat buyers
But fees weren’t the only topics mentioned in the 2013 Spring Seller Update. eBay notes it will also try to reduce the number of unpaid items on the marketplace and protect sellers from bad buyers.
One of the ways it will do this is by keeping auction and fixed-price listings with the Buy It Now option up for sale until a buyer actually pays for the item. eBay will roll this out “slowly” this year, according to the announcement.
Additionally, items listed with the Best Offer option in the Computers & Tablets, Jewelry & Watches and Art categories will also remain for sale until a shopper “commits to buy, and in most case, pays, ” eBay reports. That means sellers can accept multiple offers until a listing is paid for. This starts in May.Items listed with the Best Offer option in certain categories will also remain for sale until a shopper “commits to buy, and in most case, pays”
Currently, when a shopper makes an offer, eBay counts that as a sale and the merchant cannot take more bids.
Sellers may also be happy to hear that, starting in April, when shoppers don’t pay for items, merchants will only have to wait two days to file an unpaid item complaint, not four like the current policy requires.
And starting in May, feedback will be removed from a seller if an eBay Buyer Protection case is ruled in favor of the merchant.
“I see a lot of positives aimed at closing more sales and having fewer nonpaid items overall,” reflects Rebecca Miller, an eBay seller of more than 13 years and the product manager of Auctiva.com.
According to eBay officials, listings with the Best Offer option account for 8 percent of sales on the eBay U.S. site. However, those listings have the lowest satisfaction rating—and the highest unpaid item rate, twice the site average. The changes announced today aim to change that.
eBay also notes in its announcement that beginning in June, sellers will be opted in to shipping, return and payment business polices, which it announced last year. These are meant to simplify the listing process.
Sellers will also have to take extra care with their images, as they must upload at least one photo per listing starting July 1, and all photos must be at least 500 pixels on the longest side of the image. eBay adds that merchants cannot have borders, seller-added text or artwork on their images, or use an eBay catalog stock photo as their main image when they sell in most categories. Read more about this on the Auctiva Blog.
eBay also notes it will allow sellers to offer same-day handing at attract buyers starting in May.
What do you think of eBay’s latest changes?