Rumour – eBay fee Changes

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Everyone is on tenterhooks waiting for the news on the 2008 eBay fee changes and no one knows for sure what they’ll be…. or do they?

We’re getting thus far unsubstantiated rumours that one of the changes in the offing is bulk discounts for sellers. Could this be the end of eBay’s famous level playing field? We’re also hearing that listing fees will decrease somewhat although probably balanced with higher final value fees.

Stay tuned for more news as we hear it and get in touch if you have any snippets of information to add.

20 Responses

  1. Do ‘bulk offers’ or ‘bundles’ end the level playing field? Let’s wait for the substantive detail.

    My personal definition of the level playing field, when it came to fees, was always:

    If it’s published and transparent and open to all (if the criteria are fulfilled) then that well-trodden field is level.

    The real enemies of the LPF are:

    – Backroom deals that give preferrment and aren’t acknowledged.
    – Opportunities that aren’t open to all.

    I’m watching keenly: the LPF is an eBay fundamental. Kill it and then it’s time to shut up shop.

  2. I think you’re right there Dan – really depends how high the bar for bulk discounts is set.

    If it means prolific sellers that can afford to list 1000s of items are the only ones to qualify then it does disadvantage the small guy and not disadvantaging the small guy is and has always been the fundamental beauty of eBay. We all started off small sellers once ๐Ÿ˜‰

    If the bar is low enough that the majority of sellers could realistically achieve savings then I’m all in favour ๐Ÿ™‚

    As you say the devil is in the detail and we don’t know that yet.

  3. I’m not sure it matters where the ‘bar’ is. As long as everyone knows how it’s and there aren’t exceptions.

    But, you are right Chris, if it means that new sellers can’t effectively compete then something eBayesque will be lost.

  4. wadda ya mean we were all small sellers once, we still are!

    no one will convince me such as disney ,microsoft, canon, sony etc
    dont get a deal now , or could get a deal, so I have never believed the level playing field,

    the ebay fees I pay are cost effective, and successful
    that is all that worries me,

  5. I’m not convinced that eBay fees being the same really does equal a level playing field. Many professional eBay sellers are competing mainly with hobby sellers: that’s to say, people who don’t think they need to make a profit on their sales, and who don’t (whether legitimately or not) pay tax on their profits. Frankly, I think I deserve a discount on my eBay fees just for continuing to compete with those people ๐Ÿ˜ฏ


    Or if there must be injustice, let it be in my favour”

    Nah, personally I think many of eBays’ recent changes indicate a move away from the LPF model & while it is purely speculative at this stage, I would be surprised if the fee changes didn’t reflect this also. But this thread shows we all have different ideas of what would constitute a LPF anyway.

    I personally perceive Dan’s model as not a LPF but an arena which everyone knows is not a LPF when they go into it. Which is a fair system, but not a LPF. For me, if the person with the biggest bankroll is given an advantage (aside from being a cash daddy in the first place), I would not define it as a LPF.

    Conversely, I don’t really think hobby sellers have that much impact against ‘the professionals’ in the long term. Most hobby sellers are hawking used goods, or goods without warranty, & while many buyers will go for the cheap option, many others will always prefer to deal with reputable sellers with reassuring returns policies. Plus the number of a particular item listed by non-professionals will always be inconsistent – Mrs Harris from Droitwitch may undercut me on a mobile phone sale today but tomorrow, her phone will be sold & I’ll still have plenty in stock.

    For this reason, I think the best way to go is to keep it simple (something eBay seem to be forgetting imho) & keep fees the same for everyone & leave it up to the user to work their business model round them (or not).

    Beyond that, people will accuse them of being unfair whatever they do.

  7. You don’t sell much in Crafts or Jewellery or Clothes, do you Sam? ๐Ÿ™ Mrs Harris might have sold her phone, but she still has the ร‚ยฃ50’s worth of beads that she’s going to sell for ร‚ยฃ75 (“and make a profit!!!” :roll:), and a couple of dozen pairs of earrings she bought from her sister the party planner. It pays for the kiddie’s Xmas presents, and she “isn’t making enough of a profit for the taxman to need to know”.

    Multiply her by a few thousand.

  8. I was actually looking to buy something a couple of days ago, not insignificant but wouldn’t break the bank – about ร‚ยฃ250 worth.

    Trouble is every single one of the first dozen I looked at were shipping from Hong Kong or China, including a couple that declared their location as UK but admitted they weren’t in the description ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

    I don’t care how much I want something I’m NOT being suckered into paying customs charges especially when the location says UK. I also don’t want a grey market product. I want a legit UK spec from a legit UK source so that I can have legit support channels. I’d sooner pay full whack direct from the manufacturer than buy abroad!

    Trouble is not everyone will – and looking cheap will sucker many in and they’ve got limitless supplies of stock ๐Ÿ™

  9. Interesting variations on rumour found elsewhere:
    ~ fee changes said to be for PSs only. I find this very hard to believe…
    ~ PSs must register as businesses. I really hope this is correct: though how they’re going to police it in the UK, I’m not sure. (Easy to police in France :-D)

  10. Sue, that’s exactly why I suggested a flat rate which people can work their own business models around – different sellers in different categories have different needs & face different challenges. Having bulk offers caters for high volume sellers only.

    If my business is failing because of Mrs Harris & her clone army, then should I a) expect eBay to adjust their pricing structure to suit MY business model when it’s really in their interests to cater to Mrs Harris if her clone army really does number a few thousand b) whinge about how eBay owes me a living on the PS/Q&A boards (I know you wouldn’t do this, I’m just generalising), or c) find a way to make my business work (presumably what you have done, which is why you’re a baaadddasssss shooting star PowerSelling machine with her own website on the subject).

    I’m gonna stick my neck out & say that imho a LPF has room for Mrs Harris, self-made giants like Biddy & large corporations, too.

  11. “~ fee changes said to be for PSs only.”

    Yeah, I wonder which forum THAT originated from ๐Ÿ˜€

  12. Err, was it Q&A? ๐Ÿ˜†

    Going back to Mrs Harris, (c) obviously ๐Ÿ˜› But eBay is the ONLY supplier I have where if I spend more money with them, I don’t get some kind of a discount. It seems to me that the Mrs Harris’ of the world will continue to list on eBay because it’s there and it’s easy: eBay don’t need to encourage her. I think they DO need to do something to encourage business sellers to stay on the site right now: every other day now, someone else tells me they’re quitting.

  13. One thing that does occur to me re discounts/rebates…
    PayPal already give discounts based on bulk purchases (or transaction processing in their case).
    Discounts can encourage people to undertake more activity if they’re going to get a rebate on costs. I know I actively encourage payments through PayPal as I don’t want to drop down a discount tier.
    If eBay implement the discount/rebate in a sensitive fashion it could be good for both eBay and for sellers and on that basis I’m in favour ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Have spoken to our Account Manager at ebay today, and they said they knew nothing about any fee changes, and were aware of the various rumours on the net – which they said were totally unfounded.

    Company policy not to discuss it? – probably.
    Account Managers out of the loop? – probably.
    or no sweeping fee changes?

  15. What would be the motivation behind these changes?

    Is it possible that Ebay are indeed losing sellers and sales, who are now “maturing” onto their own websites?

    If that is the case, then then next stocks/shares/profit report should be proceeded by some fee targeting I would suspect.

    All speculation of course, but logical speculation.

    Anyone have any idea when the next profit announcements would be?

    Ebay also have to consider the current uneasiness in the world markets. Tightening purse strings will affect the whole economy.

    2008 should be very interesting Ebay wise.

    Those that have managed to survive the last couple of years could be seeing some real benefits if these fee reductions are more than a rumour.

    Smoke and fire come to mind though.


  16. No rumors-check Ebay’s announcements. The final value fees will be so high as to offset the decrease in listing fees and then some on most auctions. Also sellers will no longer be able to leave negative feedback for bad buyers, so we will have no way to know bad bidders and cancel their bids. All sellers will be required to accept Paypal (antitrust issues here, I would think), Paypal will be able to hold payments for 21 days, but the seller is required to send the merchandise. This means the seller will have to pay shipping out of pocket and pray that buyer does not raise an issue or seller will never receive the payment (banks can only hold deposits for 5-10 days, so I suspect this will cause legal issues). I for one have put my store on vacation as part of a boycott-no buying, selling, listing until this changes (I will probably leave either way for or ecarter. I don’t like the idea of doing business with a company that thinks it can do anythng it pleases.)

  17. Hi Peggy, the eBay fees in the UK are actually much more generous than in the US. In the UK final value fees are definately more than compensated for by the lower listing fees – almost every single seller in the UK will have lower eBay invoices.

    This time around sadly the US sellers haven’t been so fortunate, although I’ve not done the math to work out the exact figures.


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