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:

CURRENT FEES:

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

total: $1.64

FUTURE FEES:

listing fee: .35
gallery: free
FVF: 1.49

total: $1.84

Difference: $.20

Item starting at 24.99, ends at 32:

CURRENT FEES:

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

total: $2.49

FUTURE FEES:

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

total: $2.99

Difference: $.50

Item starting at .01, ends at $80:

CURRENT FEES:

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

total: $3.65

FUTURE FEES:

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:

CURRENT FEES:

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

total: $.60

FUTURE FEES:

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)

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January 29, 2008

Ebay to sellers: SCREW YOU

Filed under: ebay is the moron — Tags: , , , , , — J @ 7:37 pm

Ebay just released major changes that will go into effect sometime in the next few months, most of them horrible for small-to-mid-range sellers, including higher fees and the inability to leave negative or neutral feedback to buyers. This is actually making headlines and it was one of the lead stories on cnn.com.

Everything can be found right here: http://pages.ebay.com/sell/update08/overview/index.html

I’ll write more about this later and in great detail. Fuck.

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