Carrots are good for you

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This was going to be a comment on Scott Wingo’s post about eBay fee changes and the upcoming eCommerce forum. It got a bit too long for someone else’s comments: in general, when a comment is longer than the post you’re commenting on, it’s probably time to stop!

I’ll go out on a limb and guess that with the “stick” of the fee increases, we will see a “carrot”. I’d guess it will be in the form of some seller’s reward program that is geared towards giving growing sellers a break on their fees in the form of some PayPal $, etc.

I really hope you’re right with this, because we are long overdue a carrot.

It’s not about the pennies here and there on the fees: any seller worth their salt should be able to deal with a 5c increase without much pain. It’s the bigger message that these increases give: give us more and more and more and more of your turnover, and if you don’t like it, go away because there are a thousand more wannabe sellers queuing up behind you. It sometimes feels like eBay think sellers are a magic porridge pot which will keep spewing out fee payments whatever they do to us.

I’d like to see eBay rewarding seller loyalty. Give us a reason to put other channel plans on the back burner, and make eBay a cornerstone of our business again – whether it be a Paypal-like tiered fee system, the ability to “bulk purchase” listings or upgrades (“buy ten Galleries, get two free”), a certain number of store listings free with your subscription, whatever. Frankly, just about anything that gave the message that we’re all in business together, that eBay are there to facilitate things for their sellers rather than just screw them harder into the ground, would be very much appreciated right now.

And ANYTHING AT ALL they want to do to promote Stores is good with me 😀 Despite last year’s changes, 80% of my sales STILL are from store listings. Stores work. They work beautifully. I just wish eBay could appreciate that. They’re so stuck in their old-style auction mindset, I don’t think they realise how many of their buyers and sellers have moved on from that way of dealing, that the novelty of the auction format has largely worn off. eBay is now “the place where you can get anything”. But if you cripple Stores, you stop that happening. The obscure items we might need to list for a month or two before we find a buyer are no longer worth what eBay will charge to sell them, so we won’t bother. Result? A site that’s filled with the same crap you can buy on Amazon. This sure as hell affects the vibrancy of your marketplace. Recognise what you have in Stores, eBay, and work with us to promote it.

As for what else we’d like from eBay, well, Mountie already wrote a list.



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