Ebay Morons Galore!

January 30, 2008

Ebay to sellers: SCREW YOU … Analysis Part One (Fees)

Filed under: ebay is the moron — Tags: , , , , , , — J @ 4:27 am

I’ve spent a very large majority of my night reading and posting on various message boards about the new ebay changes. In summary, almost everything they’re changing is for the worse, in some cases, mind-boggling so. Over the next few days, I will be posting my personal detailed analysis of the changes. I was going to put it all in one post, but it was getting extremely long. I don’t think anyone wants to read a 30-page bitch session on ebay in one sitting. Today I’m going to look at the new fee structure that will go into effect on February 20.

Again, here’s the link to the official 2008 Ebay Changes Overview page: http://pages.ebay.com/sell/update08/overview/index.html

Fees are going up considerably, no matter how ebay spins it.

Anyone who disagrees either sells one item a month, or cannot do math. Listing fees have been reduced by $.05 on items with a starting bid of $.01 – 24.99, $.20 for items $25 – 49.99, $.40 for items $50 – 199.99, $.60 for items $200 – 499.99, and $.80 for items $500 and up. However, the base rate of the final value fees (FVFs) have gone up from 5.25% to 8.75% of the first $25. The gallery upgrade is also free instead of $.35 per auction. Ebay says, “You asked, we listened. We’re reducing Insertion Fees and adjusting Final Value Fees to lower your up-front cost to sell on eBay.”

I’m fairly certain that when people complained about high fees, they meant TOTAL fees, not just insertion fees. Seriously, who cares if listing fees are reduced by a nickel if FVFs are increased by 3+%? The total amount of fees is all that matters. We asked for this? Piss off, no we didn’t. Yes, ebay, charge us more, I insist! It’s nice that gallery is free now, but it still doesn’t make up the difference. I’ve taken a look at some common scenarios I run into on a daily basis and here is the math:

Item starting at 9.99, ends at 17:


listing fee: .40
gallery: .35
FVF: .89

total: $1.64


listing fee: .35
gallery: free
FVF: 1.49

total: $1.84

Difference: $.20

Item starting at 24.99, ends at 32:


listing fee: .60
gallery: .35
FVF: 1.31 + .23 = 1.54

total: $2.49


listing fee: .55
gallery: free
FVF: 2.19 + .25 = 2.44

total: $2.99

Difference: $.50

Item starting at .01, ends at $80:


listing fee: .20
gallery: .35
FVF: 1.31 + 1.79 = 3.10

total: $3.65


listing fee: .15
gallery: free
FVF: 2.19 + 1.93 = 4.12

total: $4.27

Difference: $.62

For me, it seems my total fees will be going up around $.50-.60 per auction. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but multiply that by 50, or even 100, and that is a good chunk of change lost per month. I’m simply going to have to raise my shipping/handling fees by $.50 on Feb 20.

The only new fee scenario that doesn’t conclude with a net loss is this:

Item starting at .01, ends at $1:


listing fee: .20
gallery: .35
FVF: .05

total: $.60


listing fee: .15
gallery: free
FVF: .09

total: $.24

Difference: -$.36

So essentially, whenever you list an item for under a buck, and it sells for around that amount, it ends up being cheaper under the new system, mostly because gallery is free now. I don’t even know if you would have used gallery in the first place for a $1 item, so in that case, the difference is zero.

The free gallery also spells the end of the usefulness of the Value Pack (gallery, subtitle and the worthless listing designer for $.65). Ebay is still keeping it around, in a modified, insignificant form. It will stay with the subtitle and listing designer, but instead of gallery, it will come with gallery plus, which is somehow more unessential than listing designer. Subtitles are handy, but if I really need one, I’ll just pay the fifty cents.

I’ve never included a reserve price on any of my auctions, but ebay is really doing their best to get rid of these completely, because they’re doubling the reserve fee *again* to $2. Also, this fee is now non-refundable, while under the old system, if the item met the reserve price, you were refunded the reserve fee. Honestly, it’s hard to care about this one, because reserve prices are pretty damn useless.

I also don’t run an ebay store, but those fees are going up too. The base rate FVF is now 12%! That’s insane. They just raised the FVFs for store items to 10% about a year and a half ago. It’s simply not worth running a store over listing items manually, the “normal” way. Gallery for store listings will be free now, but they were only a penny to begin with, so big freakin’ deal.

Interestingly enough, when the changes go into effect, you won’t be able to set up a fixed-price or store listing for $.99 or less. Again, this is another new “feature” that doesn’t affect me personally, but what about people who rely on a steady stream of low-priced items, like sports card dealers? They’re screwed, simply put. This also hurts buyers who are looking for specific, individual, common cards. Who’s going to list that Neil Lomax rookie card now? These card dealers aren’t going to waste their time listing and re-listing thousands of relatively worthless cards every week. It was only worth the time and effort when you could post each card once per year and maybe sell one or two over that span.

Tomorrow I’ll look at the new feedback changes and what they mean for sellers. (Spoiler alert: it fucking sucks)


  1. I just got the email notifying me that Ebay will join in on the great sucking sound of the world. Less Options! Yah, “you asked for it!” I don’t care why or who it is supposed to benefit….it’s just depressing that it is never enough for some people. Why not make changes that benefit everyone and let EBAY take the hit? Why not spread it evenly and let all take the hit? Why do companies have to keep hitting? Like I said, I don’t care what their reasons are, they are not good enough. I don’t use gallery mostly so I would be losing more than what is shown in your figures. I just know that Paypal is next. MORE MORE MORE! Also, they solved the feedback problem by letting buyers now threaten sellers. Fucking brilliant Ebay!
    I will be boycotting throughout February. I wish more sellers would do the same and if you make your living at it, just hold back a few items, just a few and maybe it will be worth it to you in the end. Thanks for the forum!

    Comment by GeorgeandMartha — January 30, 2008 @ 9:24 am

  2. Management at Ebay is inept. The final value fees went up 40% and they could care less what anyone thinks. I have cancelled my account and I use either craigslist.com or overstock.com. The later has a better program anyway.

    I recommend that everyone cancel there accts, or at least have a 30 days moratorium on listings, and really hurt theses “jerks”.

    But, as usual the Americans will rollover and be screwed like they have in everything else.

    Good luck you fools.

    Comment by Ebay management are "jerks" — March 1, 2008 @ 2:00 pm

  3. I would like to say that selling on ebay gets harder and harder,especially with the ever increasing fees.

    A few tricks to help ebay sellers remember

    First, you must be aware of eBay’s™ policies.

    Second, you need to insure that you do not violate these policies.

    And third, you must monitor your competition to insure that they too are not violating eBay’s™ policies.

    You have to understand that eBay wants you to purchase every possible option because that is where they make their money.

    Don’t use the list in second category if your profit potential is not there to support it, any additional images or upgrades doubles your fees so don’t use it.

    Always use the second chance offer , when you have sold a item and there were other bidders ebay will send them a email giving them a second chance offer so if it sells to one of these other bidders you win. If they do not purchase there are no listing fees , it is a way of getting free listings on ebay.

    There is also a little know tool you can use to evaluate your products selling potential. Example: If you are selling a Fujifilm Finepix A700 Go to advanced search ,enter the phrase of the item you are selling and select Completed listings only , now remember this sometimes you can select advanced search and ebay does not show you the complete advanced search.

    So do a regular search ,wait for the results then select advanced search again and your phrase will automaticly be included.

    Now you can compare your price to auctions that sold or did not sell and evaluate wheather or not your item has a selling potential for the price you paid and how much profit you can receive after fees.

    The green Prices are auctions that had winning bidders and the red prices are auctions where the item did not sell.

    We hope this will help auction sellers we have more tricks and stratiges use the contact us page on our website


    And ask us a question or need advice on dropshipping or something else we will be glad to help as many of our resellers are ebay sellers also , we have a little knowledge on selling on ebay.

    Comment by Charles — July 2, 2008 @ 8:19 am

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