Lower listing fees, or just wishful thinking?

CATEGORY: News

Skip McGrath passes on an interesting rumour about changes eBay will announce at Live! later this week. The headline asking will eBay announce lower listing fees is probably too good to be true, but the rumour is that the “lower insertion fee, higher FVF” model that’s been running in the media categories on eBay UK is about to be spread further.

It wouldn’t surprise me at all: recent cheap listing days on both .co.uk and .com have strongly emphasised “list more now we’re charging you less”, almost as if they were a test run for a change in pricing strategy.

For myself, this would work: selling low-cost items, insertion fees take up a horrendous percentage of my eBay turnover on all IDs, and I’d love to be able to list more without having to obsess quite so much about sell-through. It remains to be seen, though, whether this rumour is correct, or just so much wishful thinking.

What about you? How would it work for you? Would it mean you listed more, or would the extra FVFs put you off eBay altogether? Leave a comment and let us know.

11 Responses

  1. It’s also worth noting that the Shop Inventory Format visibility changes last year resulted in a higher FVF and lower insertion fee (although in truth the insertion fees actually rose a little overall).

    The one thing eBay have always had going for them is that listing fees prevented the site being over run with crud, if they go to an Amazon model of no insertion fee it will be. Somewhere in the middle may be good, but I’m wary of hoping for it as if FVF go up it could be by more than listing fees are lowered ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Either way sellers will live with it, they have no choice but to adapt if they want to sell on eBay!

  2. I can see this happening in Q1 of 2008 but I don’t see it being announced at eBay Live. They traditionally don’t announce fee changes at Live. I would love to see it though.

  3. I have to say Randy I’m not actually that much in favour, sure it works well for people that want to offload junk onto eBay in the hope it might sell, but it does nothing for sellers who are already selling successfully (apart of course from penalise them on FVF because they are successful). It’s a certainty that listing and selling the quantity you did this week will cost you more in FVF than you save in listing fees.

    The other thing of course is that SIF was flooding the site hence the loss of SIF visibility last year. Reducing listing fees will have a similar effect to putting SIF back into core, or at least to an extent depending how much they’re lowered by. Why have SIF at all if you lower listing fees too much?

  4. Sorry, Chris, gotta disagree here. What lower listing fees would allow me – and other professional sellers with essentially unlimited stocks – to do is raise our visibility. Back to where it was when SIFs were in search? Yeah, why not ๐Ÿ˜€ It does a LOT for me, because for every buyer who clicks on an item and is lured into my shop, there are a dozen who just browse down categories. And those buyers are the expensives ones to find at the moment: I’d be happy if it were cheaper to do so.

    The key, of course, is to pitch the prices so that they’re not so low that the site *does* get “flooded with crap”: I think SIF in Search demonstrated that too low is bad, but I think something in between would work, especially if Gallery prices are left at their current level: NEEDING all those 15ps to be visible at all is still a strong disincentive to list something that isn’t going to sell at all.

    That said, eBay fee changes always benefit eBay more than sellers, so maybe I should be careful what I wish for.

  5. Don’t get me wrong I’d be happy if it was cheaper to list more items. I’ve changed my listing strategy massively since the SIF changes and it was a hell of a lot easier three years ago. I can just see the site becoming flooded, conversion rates dropping, and eBay going “Oh heck, we’ve messed up again – buyers can’t find what they’re looking for, lets screw over our sellers again and reverse it with another price hike hidden in the reverse” (Or at least that’s what happened with SIF :-()

  6. I don’t think they’d do it if there weren’t a reason to, Chris, and one reason might be massive drops in numbers of core listings. As I believe there is.

  7. I am new to selling on ebay as a business and I am finding listing fees are crippling me. Admittedly I need to be more strategic in my approach to ebay than other sales channels I use but it would be good for businesses to have reduced fees to avoid overkill on the crud listed on ebay. Checked out the site for the first time today and very impressed….

  8. Hello Sue,

    I have to say I do hope ebay consider reducing fees for businesses. I limit what I sell on ebay purely because of listing fees and cannot see how people survive by already working on low margins by selling on ebay.

  9. I regularly read about complaints about ebay prices and would not object to a lower fee myself (though I do not want higher FVF) but do wonder if it is down to a deeper issue that Ebay has created.

    I think the big problem is you have a lot of people who think they can run a business when the cannot, or simple lack the knowledge how to do it, but because of ebay and all the rags to riches stories out there they go out buy some stock, list it, sell it, and then wonder why 6months later they are not making any money, and then that start blaming ebay prices.

    They do no proper business costings or plans. Covering what Ken says above people are not surviving on the low margins, they just do not realize it! I mean just because an item can be sold on ebay(or the Internet in general) does not mean it makes business sense to do that.

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