eBay motors in the US is to introduce a fixed monthly subscription for trade dealers. For $1000 a month they will be able to upload as many vehicles as they have in stock at a fixed selling price. This option could be taken in preference to the current listing fee of $40 per vehicle which would be paid for each listing period of no more than seven days. For each successful sale a final value fee would be charged at $50 per sale (up from $40).
Reuters report that eBay expect a significant jump in the number of vehicles listed from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands as dealers rush to upload a listing for every car on their forecourt instead of cherry picking a few to list.
This news represents a sea change in eBay’s philosophy. Up until now eBay have staunchly defended the famed and fabled “Level Playing Field”, refusing to give discounts to larger sellers. Fees have always been the same for the small seller with one unwanted DVD to the largest media seller with thousands of DVD’s listed. This subscription listing fee is the first time eBay have effectively capped listing fees for larger sellers allowing them to upload unlimited inventory. You can argue that the playing field is still level, but the dealer that uploads 1000 motors will get much great overall visibility than the guy who just wants to offload his old motor.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out, and even more so to see if national chains upload inventory multiple times for each location on the grounds they are willing to deliver any of their vehicles “locally”, so they list them all multiple times with different stated locations. Suddenly your local dealer instead of listing a few hundred cars could be listing the same thousands of cars that every other dealer is listing too.
The big question is will we see subscription based listing fees in other areas of eBay in the future?