In direct response to users' requests, Auctiva unveiled a revised fee structure that will mean lower prices for customers.
After monitoring Auctiva's community forums, support cases, e-mails and other forums, a few things were clear, notes CEO Jeff Schlicht: Customers thought the original plan was too expensive and they didn't want to pay final value fees. They prefer a "simple, no-surprises flat-rate pricing structure."
And that's what they'll get with Auctiva's new plans, Schlicht says. A $9.95/mo. Flat Rate Plan gives users unlimited listings and up to 1 GB of image hosting, while a $2.95/mo. option with up to 500 MB of images is geared toward those users who typically post fewer than 15 listings per month. Additionally, as part of its complete e-commerce solution, Auctiva continues to offer its Auctiva Commerce off-eBay stores, which provide sellers the opportunity to diversify their online selling efforts while increasing revenue and lowering costs.
"If you're asking yourself, 'Why didn't they just use this pricing in the beginning?' the answer is that I thought our customers would like to have the choice of picking a tailored plan based on usage," Schlicht says. "We spent a lot of time developing our different pricing packages to best meet the needs of the many different types of eBay sellers who use Auctiva. Clearly, I was wrong, so we made changes."
In a letter sent out to Auctiva users, Schlicht acknowledges the frustration and anxiety many faced as they contemplated the possibility of not being able to continue using Auctiva's listings tools—which have become vital to their eBay businesses—under the original pricing structure. In essence, the new prices will make it easier for customers to get back to selling, he adds.
This new pricing structure offers our customers easy-to-understand pricing with no surprises or hidden charges
With each of the new plans, customers will have access to the company's 1,700-plus templates, visitor counter, Scrolling Gallery and other premium tools. And they won't pay listing or transaction fees.
"This new pricing structure offers our customers easy-to-understand pricing with no surprises or hidden charges," notes Spencer Smith, Auctiva’s director of marketing. "We learned that, in order for you to run your online business efficiently, it's important to be able to predict your monthly costs. You asked for flat-rate pricing and we listened."
The more generous image hosting allowances should make people very happy, Smith notes. But if customers need more storage space, they can add additional image hosting in 500 MB increments.
The company kept its free plan for customers who use other services to list, but still want access to Auctiva's Scrolling Gallery, shipping insurance, auto-marketing e-mails and other tools.
Customers who have already selected a plan have the option to keep the plan they chose or choose a new flat-rate option if they prefer. Customers can do this by logging into their Auctiva accounts and choosing the appropriate plan. The company is also encouraging users to check out the site's FAQs or contact customer support if they have any questions about the new pricing or the plan-selection process.
"All too often, large companies fail to listen to their customers," Schlicht notes in his letter to users. "Auctiva's brightest future includes the users who brought us this far. Among all third-party listings services, Auctiva remains the best-poised to meet your current eBay selling needs, help you grow your business and facilitate your journey beyond eBay."
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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.