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The New Changes to eBay are Evil

Updated on March 13, 2011
Photo by ross666
Photo by ross666

The eBay Changes

This hub is just my opinion, etc., etc...

The eBay changes recently announced will make it harder than ever to be an eBay seller. Among the worst new changes are:

  • sellers can no longer leave a negative, or even a nuetral, for problem buyers
  • the feedback percentage will only take into account the past 12 months
  • preferences will be given to people with very high (4.6-4.8) individualized feedback percentage scores
  • the default search will now be the one that gives these preferences
  • the final value fees have skyrocketed

All of these changes add up to a very, very hard time for new sellers. Even seasoned sellers will be hard pressed to keep their profit margins intact. The changes clearly indicate that eBay intends to punish smaller sellers and encourage everyone to become PowerSellers. The larger sellers, PowerSellers, will now be given lower final value fees as long as they keep their feedback percentages high. Of course, it will be impossible for anyone to do so since buyers will have the ability to give them negatives for no reason and without fear of any reprisal. Great work there, eBay.

What the Changes Mean

The last time there was a major shake-up on eBay, the changes were explained as a way to get people to stop listing so much in their stores, which was costing the site a lot of money, and get them to either not list stuff that wouldn't sell or list it as a regular listing. This was done by raising the eBay Stores listing fees by 400 percent (from .01 to .05) and raising the final value fees on those items to a whopping 10 percent. Those changes brought about an enormous outpouring of concern from eBay Stores sellers, and prompted the closure of many of them.

Those changes apparently meant nothing. The listing fee to list in a store has now been lowered, negating the previous explanation. But, the final value fee has gone up again. The new fee on items sold in a store is 12 percent. Unless the percentage of items that were sold in stores has skyrocketed, and looking at the decline of eBay stock, it probably hasn't, the previous explanation was a complete lie.

Those who have a hard time affording the exhorbitant listing fees for auction and fixed-price listings use store listings to keep those fees lower. The profit margin for many sellers is low, and this increase in fees is simply going to wipe out many of those sellers.

Once the frustration of being at the mercy of unscrupulous buyers hits, many more sellers will be leaving. There are just as many scam buyers as there are sellers, and losing money to a scam buyer can wipe out the small profits brought in for many small-time sellers.

PowerSellers, who have long been given preferential treatment, are now being given lower commission fees as long as they maintain high percentages in their feedback scores. If you haven't seen the new model for feedback percentages, it lets buyers rate their sellers on four criteria: item as described, communication, shipping time and shipping and handling charges.

The change to this system was never necessary, and most sellers suffer from it because many buyers leave a 4/5 no matter how well the transaction went. This choice will now impact sellers in more ways than just their reputations- it will actually give heir listings less preference, even if they have little or no negative feedbacks. It will also affect them monetarily in the case of Powersellers.

What eBay Got Right

eBay did lower the listing fees moderately. The changes are small, but they could have encouraged new sellers if the commission fees hadn't been raised. What they will do in reality is to encourage a few new sellers, who will then see their profits taken in fees, sour from selling on eBay and spread the word. eBay's reputation will get even worse. Great idea.

But, the gallery fee has finally, finally been rescinded. The gallery picture, so necessary in many categories, was free for years until the last round of changes. Gallery pictures are now free, as they should be. I don't know how much it will help to keep sellers after this round of changes, but it is a nice gesture.

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