Ebay to Cut Listing Fees, Hamstrings the Little Guy

Ebay claims it’s doing us all a big favor by restructuring it’s fees come Feb. 20th. They will be cutting listing fees by 50% in an effort to attract more listings from more sellers and to make relisting of items cheaper for the big sellers who list thousands of items at a time.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/01/29/ebay.fees.ap/index.html

That’s great, but this largesse isn’t coming out of the goodness of Ebay’s heart. They are raising the Final Value Fee across the board. On auctions under $25 it’s going up a staggering 67%, to 8.75% of the final total. This, in essense, screws the little guy. The mom and pop store or individual who sells limited inventory mostly in the $5-$25 range. People like me. (I sell a lot of collectibles, promos, video game stuff and other items under $25 thoughout the year).

Currently I’ll pay $0.45 to list a $10 item with the Buy It Now option enabled. When the item sells (for $10) I pay an additional $0.50 in Final Value Fees. Total cost, $0.95. Under the new system, I’ll only pay $0.25 to list the item, but if it sells for $10 I’ll pay $0.88 on the back end in fees, making the total cost $1.13, eating nearly 2% more of my end profits. That’s crap.

I understand the new system is designed to encourage mass listing and relisting of items. Currently you can relist an item that doesn’t sell, and if it sells the second time around your second listing fee is refunded. With the new rates in place, could afford to relist my item again with the profits I’m losing off the back end of the item if it sells, so I’m not really gaining anything out of the deal. It only makes it cheaper for people who’s items DON’T sell. Meanwhile it screws all us little guys. This is what 10 years of loyalty gets me. Thanks Ebay.

/searching eBay… keywords: tiny violin

I avoid eBay like the security-hole-riddled customer-hostile plague that it is.

No problem. Just up the shipping price. Pass it on to the real “little guy.”

Great. Because we need more shitty listings from thrift stores pretending to be auctioning off items blocking up my searches for any mainstream product.

All in all, I’m amused that eBay implemented a version of the Fair Tax.

Another vote for “Ebay sucks”. I used to peruse it quite a bit for computer deals, the occasional vinyl record that hadn’t been converted to CD yet, a variety of things. But over the past year or more it has become more and more just a web outlet for stores: the vast majority of what I find listed on there these days is from either “Ebay Stores” or actually brick/mortar operations that just don’t want to have to pay for their own web hosting. Either way, there’s no bargain hunting any more from folks just trying to clear out their crap. So I’ve given up even trying.

I just checked the list of changes and this one has to be my favorite: “Buyers will only be able to receive positive Feedback”. Yes, because clearly there is no such thing as a bad buyer.

Wonderful. I’d rather pay more listing fees and less final value fees.

Ebay is the only place I know of where I can order a replacement LCD inverter for my laptop. If anyone knows of an alternative, I’m happy to try it.

That said, does anyone need a YPNL-N017A LCD inverter for a LG LP171WU1-A4 or LP171WX2-B4 screen? Apparently it’s not compatible with a LP171W02-A4.

How does this hurt “the little guy” more? It seems like it hurts sellers of cheaper stuff more than more expensive stuff, but, you know, an individual could be selling expensive stuff, and a lot of big ebay sellers sell a bunch of inexpensive items. So I don’t really get this complaint beyond “this sucks for me.”

Free gallery listings, though, that’s pretty cool.

I believe this is intended to cut down the amount of revenge feedback posts. If, for example, a buyer gives a seller bad feedback he can be garunteed to get bad feedback at himself. I think this is a good move to close this gap, even if we do lose the ability to mark bad buyers.

Feedback more than 12 months old doesn’t count anymore?

Great, now I’m back to zero and my desire to list anything has completely gone away. Are they intentionally driving the small guys to Amazon?

OK, some updates now that Ebay sent out email explaining in more detail some of the changes.

On the topic of lower listing fees versus higher final value fees. It still sucks. However, they have mitigated the hurt somewhat by throwing Gallery in for free on a basic listing now. While not every listing really needs a Gallery picture, it does help drive sales a bit, so it’s a tradeoff I can live with.

To answer extrabags question, the new policy hurts the little guys because the little guys tend to sell low cost items. It’s fairly rare to find a “little guy” selling big ticket items (successfully) because people usually only trust Powersellers when it comes to spending $100 or more on Ebay.

As for the feedback more than 12 months old not counting, that’s only towards your feedback percentage. If you have 250 lifetime feedback, it still shows up as 250. If you have 251 feedbacks, and the 1 was a negative from 2004, it would make your current feeback percentage show as 99.7%. Under the new system, you would show as 100% because you’ve had ALL positives in the last 12 months. This is more to eliminate the effects of past retaliatory feedbacks than anything else.

The “sellers can leave only positve feedback” thing still scare me though. I understand that they are saying a non-paying buyer will have his feedback wiped out, so there won’t be any danger of ruining your seller rating when you report a non-paying buyer. Still, what about the asshats who complain about everything? A buyer will still be able to ding a seller for perceived wrongdoing, and the seller will have no recourse. They claim they will police this sort of behavior…yeah, good luck with that.

In the end, it’s still bad news for anyone who sells only occasionally or sells a few items at a time fairly regularly, especially if those items are usually under $25. It’s fantastic news for all the Powersellers out there with warehouses full of total crap merchandise who charge $8.00 shipping fees and pocket the $4.00 difference.

But supposedly Ebay is taking people who overcharge on shipping to task. They’re requiring that sellers have 95% of their buyers happy, and anyone who gets dinged for overcharging or bad item descriptions has their auctions be made less visible in search results. Read the news postings.

“Recourse” that consisted of waiting for the buyer to give feedback first, so that you as a seller could give negative feedback to the buyer (after being paid) if the buyer gave negative feed back to you as a seller was incredibly stupid.

Damn near any system will be better than that.

Sounds like ebay really screwed the pooch on this one. But this line of the OP caught my eye:

Loyalty? I don’t think you have this whole “free market” thing worked out. You’re not supposed to be loyal to a corporation. You’re supposed to be fickle & switch when it’s to your advantage. Ebay doesn’t owe you anything, and you don’t owe them anything. (Unless it’s explicitly stated in a contract, of course.)

But the advantage was over people who wouldn’t pay for Gallery. Who now don’t have to pay for Gallery.

Now, it’s just an advantage over the lazy.