When last week Ebay held a ‘backstage party’ it was mentioned that the fees for Toys categories would be changed. As an old dog it’s hard to adjust your business plans to change but also exciting. Especially when the word reduce is mentioned.
It has been a long hard summer in the toy category, to the point on occasions fees outweighed the profit. A lot of the long standing toy businesses operate where you tread through 9 months of the year and make your profit in just three months. eBay is an ideal platform for part time sellers who can just sell for those three months. Some of us are in it all year. The satisfaction you get from that is you do have return customers who do buy all year long, or have a birthday in say March to buy from, they can come back to you. Good Old Toy Town Express will have it in stock, and be open!
When the fee structure was announced this week, my stomach dropped as I read the FVFs’ increase.
The initial shock comes from the dates that are announced. Even before doing number crunching in your mind it goes “if I sell such and such, great I save 10p on the listing fee, but in those months I know it will sell so it’s actually going to cost me more.”
After a few (ok a lot) of deep breaths and quite a long conversation with my eBay account manager, I started looking at my figures and working it out.
As with all things, some it will work in favour of and some it won’t. What will make the difference is whether this is just until the New Year, or whether it will become a permanent change.
If this was announced in June, I would have likely said eBay, you are wonderful! Announce it in October and I wasn’t best pleased. Spread this over a year and yes, it will be a benefit to me.
So, although I resist initial changes especially when this time of year comes around, I can see the logic behind it, but I really do have to question their timing and wordingâ€¦. “Selling fees are now more closely based on your selling success in the Photography and Toys & Games categories.” From my workings, the more success the more you pay BUT under the current climate if a lot of us could be more successful we would be willing to pay that bit more.
Another question that has to be raised is, it will encourage a lot more inexperienced sellers on eBay, whilst at the same time, Amazon have implemented stringent criteria for sellers on their site over the Christmas months. I have to be honest, what Amazon did not only make me feel a little bit special but it gave me something to strive for. It has also reassured me that at my busiest and hair-ripping-out time, they are looking out for my customers.
I think the clinch will be to see whether the dates for these fee changes are extended or not.