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Is Ebay Becoming too Greedy and too Difficult for Small Sellers?

Updated on August 23, 2017


Is Ebay Becoming too Greedy and too Difficult for Small Sellers?

I've been selling on a small scale on ebay for about 4 years now. I used to see all the complaints from ebay sellers back when I started selling and I didn't understand what the fuss was over. Now that I've been through several years of pro-buyer policy changes and pro ebay fee changes I'm starting to see the problem.

I love the idea behind ebay: a place where anyone can go to sell merchandise with a feedback system and a dispute process to protect everyone. In theory it should be a level playing field for both seller and buyer alike with equal risk for both.

Instead ebay does little to protect honest and trustworthy small sellers. The last several years have seen ridiculous policy changes that are far too biased and one-sided. All the policies seem to protect buyers and actually make things much more difficult for us honest sellers. We have to deal with malicious buyers who want to abuse the feedback and "item not as described" dispute processes. Malicious and dishonest buyers can easily use negative feedback and poor detailed seller rating scores to hold honest small ebay sellers hostage. While I certainly understand the importance of buyer protection policies, ebay is focusing far too much on this topic and creating a hostile and alienating environment for its sellers.

As if the pro-buyer biased policies and dispute process weren't enough, ebay continually raises fees. The latest change has basically resulted in ebay not double, but triple dipping into what slim profits remain for small sellers. Ebay now charges a final value fee based on the the total transaction amount. In other words...ebay now charges sellers a final value fee on the shipping charges they collect from the customer. I understand this is intended to prevent sellers from hiding profits in their shipping charges by over charging for shipping. Unfortunately this new fee policy does nothing but hurt the honest seller once again. Many sellers, like me, simply pass the exact cost of shipping on to the customer. Now ebay takes a percentage of the money the buyer pays me to cover the exact shipping charges. This means I either have to raise prices, which in turn just means ebay will take more, or I eat a small loss on shipping charges now on top of all the other ways ebay manages to snatch profits.

Consider the typical listing process. You want to list a product. Of course you need to pay a listing fee. Not so bad right? Do you want a subtitle for your listing? That will cost extra. Do you need a bold title? Extra. Will you need more than 1 photo? That's gonna cost you more too. How about a gallery view so you can offer larger images in search results? We'll just tack on a fee for that too. Oh you want your listing to run a few days longer? That's another fee.

Now that your item is listed you can take a breather. I guess that wasn't so bad right? I mean after all, many of those listing fees were optional expenses you could simply say "no thanks" to. (That is unless you are competing with any other motivated higher volume sellers).

If you are lucky enough to sell your item the real fun starts. Your customer pays you the final bid amount/listed price plus shipping charges. Of course there will be a final value fee based on the total transaction amount. At least your ebay fees are done right? Not so fast! That customer of yours probably paid via PayPal, right? Well PayPal just so happens to be owned by none other than ebay and guess what? Paypal has to charge you a fee yet too. So kiss another 2.9% plus $.30 goodbye.

Don't get me wrong here. I totally understand ebay needs to make a profit. I realize ebay gets my products in front of a great number of visitors each and every day. I have no problem paying for services rendered. I just ask, when is enough enough? I recently did some calculations and discovered I'm losing, on average, 17-18% of my profits to ebay. Pretty scary considering I don't even take advantage of most of ebay's optional upgraded listing fees.

Things are getting to the point where small sellers like me will be forced out because we are continually caught in a vicious cycle caused by ebay greed. Ebay raises fees so we are forced to pass those fee increases on to our customers. So we charge more. That results in reduced sales and less satisfied customers because we raised prices. After we raise prices that means ebay gets to take slightly more based on the increased final value fee and the cycle continues.

Now It's YOUR Turn!

What do you think? Voice your opinion below!

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF EBAY'S FEES? NOW IT'S YOUR TURN! - What do you think about ebay's fees?

Now It's YOUR turn! What do you think?

Are ebay's increasing fees a hindrance to the little guy? Are its increasingly one-sided and buyer-biased policies making it harder for sellers?

Leave you opinion below. Don't worry, you don't even need to be a squidoo member to join in on the argument!

Is Ebay Becoming too Greedy? Are ebay fees becoming too overwhelming for smaller sellers?

What's YOUR Opinion About Ebay's Policies? - Are ebay policies too biased and one sided?

Do you think ebay's policies are too biased toward "protecting" buyers. Does ebay favor the buyer too much? Whatever your opinion is please share it (cleanly) below. You don't even need to be a Squidoo member..just leave your vote and your opinion below.

Are Ebay's Policies Too Buyer Friendly and Too Harsh on the Seller?

Poll: Are you an ebay seller?

Are You an Ebay Seller?

See results

Poll: Are You an Ebay Buyer?

Do You Buy Things on ebay?

See results
Just a Word of Caution and Please Read the Disclaimer/Terms of Use section at the Bottom of the Page before Continuing or Posting!
Just a Word of Caution and Please Read the Disclaimer/Terms of Use section at the Bottom of the Page before Continuing or Posting!

A Quick Word About this Lens

I started this Squidoo lens to create an area where squidooers, ebay members and the general public alike can all voice their opinion on ebay. This is NOT intended to be an "ebay sucks" lens or a hostile environment where we do nothing but unproductive bashing of ebay and each other. There is a fine line between expressing your opinion and libel or defamation. If you hold a negative opinion of ebay by all means express it. I just ask that you do it maturely, tastefully, and without offensive language or other questionable behavior.

I still love ebay and overall I enjoy being an ebay seller. Unfortunately I keep watching ebay drift further and further from what it used to be, what it could be, and what it SHOULD be. Although it's probably naïve, I'm hoping we can all tastefully and respectfully voice our opinion of ebay and create a voice that the ebay powers that be will listen to.

Remember, whether you have a positive or negative opinion of ebay's fees and policies we want to hear about it here. Just have respect for one another and exercise good common sense. The ultimate goal is not drag any one individual or company through the mud but rather to convince ebay and others there need to be changes in the opposite direction from the way the company has been headed.

Before posting you must read and agree to the Disclaimer and Terms of Use section posted at the bottom of this page.

Disclaimer/Terms of Use

Read Before Posting

Use, posting, or participation of the discussion within this website constitutes acceptance of and complete agreement with the following User Agreement/Terms of Service Policy.

The author and creator of this lens, user-name ClinicallySignificantProductions, will henceforth be referred to as "author". The term "you" refers to any other user or viewer including, but not limited to ebay and associated third parties.

No portion of this website/lens may be reproduced in whole or in part with the expressed written consent of the author. Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners. and all logos, slogans, and other elements associated thereto, are the sole and exclusive property of ebay, Inc. This lens is in no way affiliated with, or endorsed by, ebay,Ince or any of its subsidiaries, employees, or associates. We offer no suggestion that the work presented on this web page is "official" or produced or sanctioned by the owner or any licensees of the aforementioned trademarks. The author of this lens will take all steps necessary to ensure that any usage of trademarked items in no way confuses the audience of this site as to its origin. This lens, and its creator make no claim to own ebay or any of the copyrights or trademarks related to it. Images that are displayed on this site have been released into the public domain, are derivatives of images and works released into the public domain or are copyrighted and used with permission.

You will not hold the author responsible for any other users' or submitter's opinion, post, content, actions or inactions. You will indemnify and hold us harmless from any claim or demand, including reasonable attorneys' fees, made by any third party due to or arising out of your breach of this Agreement, or your violation of any law or the rights of any third party.

The author of this lens reviews all content submitted and reserves the right to edit or remove content as deemed necessary.

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