Fee changes in Toys, Photography

No primary category set

eBay have just announced big changes to fees in the Toys and Photography categories. Insertion fees are down, FVFs are up, and Gallery is now free of charge. The new pricing will run 23rd October and 31st December 2007 inclusive.

As Doug McCallum said last week, the changes are intended to bring fees more closely in line with seller success: more of the fee structure is now paid only if your item sells. With many sellers really struggling with sell-through rates, this was obviously intended to keep the site full of listings in these two high-profile categories in the run up to Christmas.

Free Gallery is certainly great news for buyers and sellers alike: Gallery pictures make the site look so much better, and make browsing both easier and more fun. I’d hope this is the beginning of making Gallery compulsory across the site.

So will sellers do better out of the new schedule? As the figures (below) show, on 100% sell-through rate, this is a fee hike: but who has 100% sell-through these days? On the figure that eBay themselves have used in the past, 33%, it’s not a bad fee cut.

However, the timing of this announcement really needs to be questioned. Toys and Photography both are likely to do very well in the run up to Christmas, and this is around the time that spending should have been picking up anyway. The better sell-through rates are certainly what sellers will have been hoping for, so to introduce this now might look a bit like profiteering from eBay: and why else make the FVFs in Toys so much higher than the FVFs in Photography?

If they’d done this earlier in the year, when many sellers were suffering, it would have been much more convincing as an attempt to rebalance the marketplace. I’ll be reserving judgement until I see what happens across the rest of the site, after 31st December.

Comparison of fees

Based on Toy category FVFs, for BIN listings (let’s keep it simple 🙂 )

100% sell-through 33% sell-through
BIN Price New Fee Old Fee New Fee Old Fee
£4.99 0.56 0.61 0.86 1.31
£29.99 2.96 2.47 3.96 4.27
£99.99 7.31 6.97 9.31 10.37

4 Responses

  1. Sue, this is the direction they will be heading site wide. Category specific pricing, gallery included for free. They won’t make a wholesale sitewide change though they will go category by category.

  2. I’d like free gallery for jewellery of course, but compulsory gallery for CDs, if you have to pay extra for it, would just be an expense. As long as you include a pic in the listing for CDs (and other media) that’s fine – no need for gallery really as people know what they are looking for.

  3. I agree with Sue and Randy generally, but with recent announcements from Amazon and (particularly) eBid concerning adjustments to seller costs, I can’t help wondering how much the announcement was timed to steal some thunder?

    The truth of the test will come out between Christmas and New Year if there is or is not an announcement that the current fees in Collectibles & Media, and Photography & Toys, are to be made permanent like the ones for DVDs etc.

    I am also left wondering if this was intended to be a tempter to pull core inventory back onto UK and out of the SIF dumped onto USA because of pricing differentials?


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