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eBay Changes Fees with 2013 Spring Seller Update

Policy changes also tackle unpaid items, images.

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

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.

Other changes

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?

About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

  • PhilipCohen

    Wot, not another “reduction” in eBay fees …

    As usual the devil is in the detail that media release regurgitators never examine …

    Regardless, this latest “reduction” in fees has nothing to do with competing with, or any pressure from, Amazon; this latest nonsense is simply Donahoe’s latest attempt to prop up eBay’s GMV and maintain the fragile façade for Wall Street …

    ‘eBay said the fee changes are a “part of an ongoing effort to reduce the basic upfront cost of selling on eBay for all sellers, and to make it easier for sellers to see at a glance what it costs to sell.”’—

    In fact, this latest “reduction” in fees represents a quite dramatic increase in fees for items sold for >$50 and is a further indication of the parlous state that Donahoe has brought the eBay marketplace to as it continues its slow slide into oblivion …
    The very many negative comments on the blog are informative …

    Still, we can always tell when an eBay/PayPal spokesperson is being disingenuous—their lips are moving!

    And, the ugly reality for consumers dealing with the clunky, manipulative, unscrupulous eBay/PayPal complex …
    “eBay-Facilitated Shill Bidding Fraud on eBay Auctions: Case Study #5” …

  • John

    very biased and untruthful article. Read the Ebay boards to get the real picture especially with the not sold till paid and how it totally shafts combined shipping

    • Steve

      If you properly set up your shipping rules by taking the time to weigh your products as a stand alone website site would do you’ll have no problems. I actually prefer that our customers use the shopping cart since we have taken the time to properly set up our shopping rules.

  • I spent several hours researching what this new fee schedule would mean for my business as a powerseller. You can read my take at Love it or hate it I do think every seller is now compelled to consider opening an eBay store if the numbers work for you. Their “free listings” are an opportunity for what is really a discounted listing fee when you consider the cost of opening a store. Still I like the fact that auctions / fixed priced are being flattened out so that the fees are very similar.

  • Jonathan Fountain

    My Ebay Final Value Fees will MORE THAN DOUBLE thanks to this “thrilling release”!!! After NINE YEARS of selling on Ebay with a 99.9% feedback rating, I literally can’t afford to sale on Ebay anymore! As John says below, read the Ebay boards…sellers are worried and very upset about this as I am. This is NO SMALL CHANGE…this is going to push big sellers like myself elsewhere. Regardless of what picture Ebay tries to paint, they have been slowing killing honest power sellers with fee increases and decrease of control over the sale from start to finish. I should have seen this coming when they removed the ability for sellers to leave negative/neutral feedback!

    A real life example of what these fee increases are… I sold an item last night for $1900 and my Final Value Fee was $64.60. Under Ebay’s new fee structure my Final Value Fee would be $136.80!!!!!! Someone at Ebay PLEASE TELL ME HOW THIS IS FAIR!?!? Better yet, tell me what exactly I’m suppose to be excited about????? Sure, I will be able to list for “free”, but it was only costing me $0.20-0.35 cents to list an item anyway. The backlash of this for Ebay will be sellers like myself that sale items of value and worth will leave out of necessity and Ebay will be flooded with junk sellers and junk items as a replacement.

    • @google-f2eef1ed236a1a1842d5a1bc860a94ad:disqus All eBay sellers will simply raise their prices to compensate for any eBay fee increase. For 5.5 years, we have been selling high volume of 80-100 orders/day on 2 eBay accounts. I’m not so happy about the fee changes/increases either. But I do know it affects ALL eBay sellers. Therefore ALL eBay sellers will increase the selling price a bit to compensate. It shouldn’t hurt your sales. What you do is EXPAND to Amazon and your website while still keeping your eBay going. Don’t loose what you have built up already. Rather, build upon that. That is what we are doing.

      • What?? Simply raise our prices to compensate for Ebay Fee increase?? Some of us did that when they want us to offer free shipping. We`ll be priced out of the mnarket. What happened to MEG WHITMAN. We need her back.

    • disqus_IVg5Ho7ptQ

      Well said…my sentiments exactly.
      We need a few ebay execs/developers to come up with an alternative auction site. They would make a killing from the huge number of sellers who can’t wait to kiss off ebay. Someone please make this happen. This is the moment in history that your dream can come true.

      • Jayne Armstrong

        I absolutely agree, the day someone comes up with a platform with a similar format as ebay but without all the recent nonsense I would LOVE to leave eBay for good! I don’t have the resources to do so at this time but there has to be some investor out there who could make it happen and my goodness it would be huge for whoever accomplishes it!! I am actually back in school finishing my degree so I can go work outside the home again because that is how over it I am with ebay’s “wonderful” changes over the past 2 to 3 years. I think it will be regretted by ebay one day. But that’s my humble opinion. 🙂

      • Jim Allen

        No eBay execs they are the problem today we need someone who cares about the seller.

      • RockLuben
  • Julie Gormly

    Just chatted online with Ebay, asling if Aussie sellers will get the same benefits – especially the basic store (which is no longer available here) and the free listings. They seemed very interested in where I got the info! Apparently there will be some announcement to Aussie sellers on 2nd April.

  • Very biased and untruthful article.
    Lots of sellers are NOT HAPPY about the proposed changes to the requirements needed for TRS status.
    That includes me,oh and don’t forget to mention that shop fees are increasing and so will FVF when the postage is added to the total!!!!

  • Seema

    It is just nonsense with the nonsensical
    management that is ruling ebay. They have increased the cost of the store if
    you are going to keep it month to month. And over the said Free listings, the
    price of listing has been doubled. COMPLETE CHEATERS, who are just depriving
    sellers of any last penny they might be saving through selling on ebay. Look
    for the reason they give for charges also on shipping: Because the buyer
    considers shipping+item cost while purchasing an item, so that gives ebay the
    entitlement to charge money on shipping also(when sellers are trying to pay partial
    money for shipping from their own pocket to keep the shipping price lucrative,
    charges on the shipping for the last several months are taking away more and
    more from seller). At the end of the month, Ebay is the only one Profiting. It
    won’t last, with all sellers sooner or later preferring to find alternate ways
    of selling.

  • Ken Brooks

    I have compared the costs and this will save me money, as I am already a store owner. If you are not a store owner, with this change, you need to consider becoming one.

  • Dale

    I have had an anchor store for years. With this latest increase in fees my basic cost will be about $225 more per month. I am a book seller so there is not much to be made here anyway. I have decided to pull most of my inventory from Ebay (about 22,000 items) and just keep the items that are $20 or more listed with them. The rest will go to Amazon and other book sites that do not charge such high fees to sell. I knew it was too good to be true. Better do the math before you jump for joy on this one.

  • disqus_IVg5Ho7ptQ

    Everyone is super excited about the changes??? Are you kidding me???

    These changes are anything but that! This article has got to be the biggest joke I’ve ever read. These changes are going to decimate and destroy auction sellers of mid to high end items. This has got to be the most inaccurate article I’ve read on this subject. Talk about looking through rose colored glasses. Ebay is about to destroy many businesses that have been faithfully making them loads of money for years.

    What needs to happen is for a new credible online auction site to rise up. Now is the time for a few disenfranchised ebay management and developers to get together and make it happen. You guys would make a mint because there is a huge conglomeration of auction sellers just waiting for the day that we can kiss off this huge, self-serving, uncaring, corporate bully.

    Come on entrepreneurs….get started and make a killing. The time is now!

    • Jayne Armstrong

      PLEASE! I am so on bored with this guy…. any entrepreneur who has the resources needs to cash in now!!

  • I gave up on “Fee-bay” a couple of years ago. I got so tired of them slowly taking away my control of sales, bit by bit, just as someone else said earlier. eBay has become a breeding ground for bargain basement sellers, and buyers alike. I want no part of it. I’ve worked too damn hard over the last 10 years building up my brand, my reputation, and my selling skills to be pushed around by the huge monster eBay has become. I am one of the ‘little guys’ who helped eBay grow to the monstrous size it is, and this is how they repay me? No thanks. I have moved to Etsy and my own website exclusively, and have been an Amazon seller for the past 10 years–who, by the way, are just about to have their FIRST fee increase in 10 YEARS.

  • pamela mclemore

    I am one seller who was left absolutely speechless when I read the updated fees. It is clear to me that ebay no longer wants to sell anything but technology-realted items! Those of us who sell designer clothing, fine china, vintage and other collectables are getting killed. I recently sold a Chanel Tote Bag for $1925 at Auction. I paid 7.5% for the 1st $50, 4% for the next $950 and 2% over $1,000 for a final value fee of just under $61. Under the new scenario this sale would cost me 9% x $1925 = $173.25. Do you think I am happy about that? Big deal no insertion fees: I paid a total of $261 in 2012. Two such sales as the above at the new rate will wipe out that savings. I will sell until 1 May, after that I will have no choice but to sell off my inventory and close shop. Who in my categories can afford this? How can ebay be so unconscionable to try to say what a great deal they are giving us. I am shattered, this is my retirement income.

    • Jayne Armstrong

      Yep, I hear ya…. I am focusing more on my own website sales and only using ebay as advertising basically at this point. Ebay used to be my only store. They lost the bulk of my business as well as many others I am sure. Not sure why ebay figures the recent changes over the past few years were good moves cause clearly they are only making people leave. There are several other places to sell your items, you just have to research and be creative. EBAY IS NOT THE ONLY ONLINE MARKETPLACE and I can’t wait till the day they have driven everyone away and sit there wondering what went wrong… lol Craziness!!

  • pamela mclemore

    Sorry, I forgot to add: “shame on you” for writing such nonsense about ebay sellers being pleased that ebay will be making additional $billions while we make nothing by having to give them 9% of total sales.

  • kevin

    It is amazing how eBay puts out these Disingenuous Press Releases about how their “Increase in Fees” is to provide “better service” BULLSHIT!! . Like we are a bunch of idiots. I see a Huge Market for an eBay replacement.

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