eBay Gives Fees a New Twist

Big changes are coming to eBay Stores, auctions and Motors.

by Auctiva.com staff writer
- Jan 26, 2010

eBay today announced its first round of changes for 2010 that will mean a new fee structure and adjustments for sellers who use the store inventory format, as well as for those who list on eBay Motors.

Starting March 30, sellers can list up to 100 auction-style listings without paying an insertion fee, when listings start at less than $1, notes Dinesh Lathi, vice president of eBay's Seller and Buyer Experience. eBay will also adopt a new final-value fee of 9 percent with a cap of $50 for all auction listings that sell.

A notable change in the fee structure is to eBay Stores subscription plans, which now range from $15.95 a month with 20-cent insertion fees for fixed-priced listings to $299.95 a month with 3-cent insertion fees.

eBay Store subscribers will pay different rates for auction listings, ranging from 10 cents for items starting at less than $1 to $2 for items beginning at $200 or more.

"If you're a larger seller, it would benefit you the most to subscribe to a store," says Auctiva Product Analyst Rebecca Miller, an eBay seller of more than 10 years.

eBay is providing a calculator to help sellers choose a subscription plan. However, sellers will need to separately calculate their listing upgrade fees to get a true reading of their potential selling costs.

End of Store Inventory format

While keeping eBay Stores intact, eBay will phase out the Store Inventory Format on its U.S. site by March 30—something it has already done on eBay Italy and eBay U.K. This change could give store items higher standing in search results. Under the current system, store inventory listings typically receive less visibility than auctions or fixed-priced listings. In some cases, store inventory listings only appear in the main search results when 30 or fewer auctions or fixed-priced listings are available for the search terms buyers enter.

"When eBay U.K. ended the store inventory format, store owners began seeing their inventory included in the regular search results," Miller notes.

eBay will continue to recognize items listed in the store inventory format during the transition but will display the listings as fixed-priced listings. eBay advises sellers to end listings they have in this format and relist them as fixed-price.

Any existing upgrades on store listings will remain, however, eBay notes it will begin charging for these enhancements at the standard rate. For example, subtitles—currently 2 cents per store listing—will go up to $1.50 on March 30.

Anytime you can give buyers more information about what they're buying, it's always a good thing

Motors gets a tune-up

Adjustments are also coming to the Parts & Accessories category on eBay Motors to improve the buyer experience, eBay notes. To this end, sellers will be able to create listings and specify in their listings which vehicle makes and models are compatible with the items they have for sale, reducing sellers' costs.

"You'll be able to list multiple variations of a product in one fixed-price listing in many more categories," Lathi says.

Specifying this information may enhance buyer-seller relations, says Auctiva Senior Product Manager Tony Maxey.

"This will help buyers order automotive parts and accessories, secure in the knowledge that the item they order will actually fit their specific vehicle," he says. "This will definitely help reduce the amount of product being returned to sellers due to the wrong part having been ordered."

"Anytime you can give buyers more information about what they're buying, it's always a good thing," Miller adds.

eBay also announced it will expand the multi-variation listing option into several categories, including Sporting Goods, Home & Garden, Health & Beauty.

"You'll be able to list multiple variations of a product in one fixed-price listing in many more categories," Lathi says.

Auctiva's upcoming Multi-Variation Tool, which will be released next month, will support the additional categories, Maxey says.

eBay Motors sellers should also take note that in June, eBay will begin enforcing the handing time and return policy requirement it announced last year, so sellers should double-check their listings to ensure this information is included and up to date, Maxey adds.

Auctiva developers have already inserted notes into the Auctiva One-Page Lister to remind users to specify this information. The requirement does not mean that merchants have to accept returns, but if they don't accept returns, they will need to specify this in their listings.

Maxey suggests sellers use Auctiva's Bulk Live-Listing Revision Tool to quickly and easily include handling time and return policy information. The tool was developed to help sellers adjust to a previous batch of eBay policy changes, and Auctiva will continue developing its software to adjust to any changes eBay announces in the future.

"We're always looking for ways to make sure Auctiva remains the solid, reliable and dependable listing tool that sellers have counted on for many years," Maxey says.

Minor changes

eBay will also make a push to attract buyers with its eBay Buyer Protection program, which aims to improve the buyer experience. "All over eBay, the message to buyers will be loud and clear: 'eBay's got you covered,' so buy on eBay with the confidence and satisfaction you expect from a trusted retailer," Lathi says.

Read more about eBay's changes.

About the Author

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.

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