eBay to simplify sales on the site

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 20, 2013

Anyone still using eBay to buy and sell products? I have to admit that I visit the site maybe once or twice per year now. That was different years ago when I used it very actively to buy and sell items. This probably has something to do with me trying to spend less money on items that I do not really need, and probably even more so with all the changes and fees that eBay introduced to the site over the years. The biggest reason for me was that eBay turned from a marketplace where regular people like you and I could sell their wares to a merchant dominated marketplace. Sure, you can still find bargains on eBay but to find those you will spend longer on the site.

Even my parents, who sold part of my father's vast book collection - think more than 10,000 books - on eBay stopped using the site for that.

Ebay announced yesterday that it will simplify sales on the site in the coming months. The changes, first only rolling out in the US, are designed to make the selling process less complicated for sellers. It is for instance quite difficult to understand the current pricing structure of the shopping site.

Sellers have to pay fees for listing items on the site. In addition to that, they also have to pay fees for successful transactions and extras that make the product stand out on the eBay website.

The new system will "virtually eliminate" all upfront costs for sellers. Fees will range from 4 percent to 10 percent depending on a number of factors including the type of product and the seller.

Amazon has seen an incredible growth of its Amazon marketplace in recent time, and it is likely that eBay's move aims to make its own marketplace more attractive to sellers who may prefer Amazon's simpler selling system.

Bloomberg has additional details on the changes. Ebay will introduce a system were eBay merchants pay a flat fee of 10 percent, capped at $250. Ebay Store prices for selling items will be between 4 percent and 9 percent depending on the product type. Stores pay a monthly fee and will get a number of free listings per month in return depending on the type of store. Top sellers get a 20 percent discount.

It remains to be seen if the new system is indeed beneficial to sellers. It seems that at least some will have to calculate with higher overall fees when the new system goes live.


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  1. Xi said on March 21, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    This won’t be better.
    The main thing is they must reduce/cut the fee for sellers. If they increase the total fee of the sellers, the sellers will increase the price of the products, thereby most products will be expensive than other competitors. So naturally, the sellers will leave ebay and ebay will be in the same current stat/lower than now.

  2. DC Sleeper said on March 21, 2013 at 11:23 am

    ebay stores are just a way for ebay to charge sellers for items that DON’T sell.

    Donahoe needs to go.

  3. kalmly said on March 21, 2013 at 9:13 am

    My experience with e-Bay has been both good and bad.

    The good: I can find things there that I can’t find anywhere else, and get them at a decent price. I’ve had nothing but good results purchasing these items.

    The bad: Right away I noticed that some items would get a new bid immediately after my own bid. Whenever that happened I quit bidding. Several times I received an email saying I had a Second Chance. That’s what happened when I bid on a CD that I’d searched the world for and could only find on e-Bay. That time, I grabbed the second chance.

    When the CD arrived, it was obviously a used item, though it had been touted as brand-new, never out of the package CD. I complained to the seller. They claimed some mistake and promised to make it up to me by sending me another CD (of my choice) for free. Appeased, I waited for the promised CD to arrive. Long story short, it never did. And, the time ran out to complain about the seller on e-Bay. I felt stupid and I’m still mad. Didn’t go back to e-Bay for a very long while.

    I did, however purchase a cover for my Kindle on e-Bay last December, but I didn’t bid, I just bought it outright. I have some jewelry I’d like to sell, but it is just too complicated – and expensive – to make it worth my while.

  4. Philip Cohen said on March 20, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Wot, yet another “reduction” in eBay fees … when will it all end?

    As usual, the devil is in the detail that the simple regurgitators of corporate media releases never examine …

    ‘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 higher-priced items sold for >$50 (a flat 10% instead of a tiered scale) 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 ecommercebytes blog are informative …

    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 eBay’s fragile façade for Wall Street …

    This latest desperate fee grab by eBay will undoubtedly drive away many more sellers of other than “under $50 junk”; it will probably be cheaper to take anything of value along to your local traditional auctioneer, where at least your item(s) will be seen …

    Still, at least we can still 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” … http://bit.ly/11F2eas

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