eBay strike will be non-event

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The strike by eBay sellers that is supposed to start at midnight already looks doomed to failure. Listings on the site are reportedly up 25% following a and a revision of listing fees for US media sellers to reflect those already in place for UK sellers.

To be perfectly honest I’ve never considered serious sellers as likely to strike in the first place, larger sellers have employees and business premises that need paying for and medium sized sellers rely on eBay for their income. The only type of seller that can afford to strike are those that use the site for pin money and don’t rely on it for their income.

Auctionbytes commenting “Is eBay Boycott for real” appear not to be talking to business sellers with their summation “What I’m hearing from sellers is not, can we afford to boycott eBay for a week, but rather, can we afford to continue selling on eBay once these changes roll out?” Quite frankly listing fees are down, final value fees are up, you’ll only pay final value fees if your item sells so setting your prices at a realistic level and making a real profit is the way to go.

For far too long many eBay sellers haven’t considered the real costs of running a business – think about the overheads you’d entail if you ran a high street shop and in comparison eBay fees pale into insignificance. If a seller can’t make a profit on eBay then quite simply you have to question if they could make a profit anywhere?

My predictions for the week ahead are that serious business sellers will carry on listing in greater quantities then ever before, in particular we’ll see a huge increase in listings from media sellers in the US. A few hobby sellers who use eBay for pin money will strike, list elsewhere for a week, and be back listing on eBay by the end of the month.

Alternative auction sites will report huge spikes in listings and a bump in conversion rates, but will fail to quantify hard numbers but report fluffy percentages. (Remember when eBid reported a sales increase of 57% in the UK and 221% in the US they were comparing Christmas sales with the previous June’s!)

Sellers will find that listing on alternative sites simply doesn’t bring in the volume of sales that eBay does. Sellers will happily buy from each other for a week before realising sellers buying from sellers doesn’t make money – more buyers than sellers are needed for a successful marketplace and that’s what eBay has and the other sites don’t.

In two weeks time it’ll all be forgotten and with the fee changes and pending feedback changes and volume discounts kicking in, eBay will have become a better place for all sellers.

15 Responses

  1. In two weeks time it’ll all be forgotten and with the fee changes and pending feedback changes and volume discounts kicking in, eBay will have become a better place for all sellers.

    Opinion or fact Chris?

  2. From my perspective I will just have to wait and see what happens when the changes roll out, I can’t afford a boycott, but then again when the changes roll out it might not be viable or worth the hassle to trade on eBay anymore…have to wait and see.

    Until someone else comes along we are stuck with eBay, its a monopoly that few sellers can afford to leave.

  3. I hope lots of sellers never use ebay again and go on strike forever,
    its buyers that I need

  4. 😉 @ Chris.

    I just think it’s far too early to say that it will be a better environment for sellers.

    No matter what ebay say.

    After Christmas 2008 will be the time to make an accurate judgement.

    IMO of course! 😀

  5. Hey Blighty, on the grounds that I’ve always left feedback on despatch and have worked out just how much I’ll save on fees I’d say it’s pretty much business as normal but better for me 😀 eBay are give pretty strong pointers as to the way they want sellers to perform, those that comply will be better off, those that don’t sadly probably won’t be here to complain by Christmas 😯

  6. Problem is Chris although you are a great seller you still have a 4.6 on your postage DSR rating, that rating is out of your control as you sell….you don’t deliver.

  7. I beg to differ on it being *totally* out of my control. I’m waiting for the 30 day DSR visibility to find out what’s going on there, have too many old feedback to measure if it’s changed recently up or down. 🙂

  8. Sorry….you sell you don’t deliver. Your discount is governed by the performance of your delivery company not you as a seller.

  9. Ah – but I can choose my delivery company, for instance with Royal Mail I can choose 1st Class Recorded instead of 2nd class unrecorded. I can choose Special Delivery over Standard Parcels, I can choose 24 hour courier over 48 courier. I can choose a courier I know is good at home deliveries over one that mainly caters to business deliveries….

    I know it’s not entirely within my control, but there’s a lot I can do that *is* within my control. For instance because I send everything (even the cheapest £2 cable) on a signed for service my lost in post rate is practically zero. I *know* if I send it not signed for it’ll sit in a sorting office unclaimed because I’ve tried it. That’s just one example of where I can control the delivery experience the customer gets.

  10. Just because it arrives doesn’t mean its arrived within the expectations of your buyer, paying for 1st class recorded doesn’t mean the royal mail will deliver on time, if they don’t you get the blamed. Your a good seller, I know that, but your buyers don’t and if they pay for a service and your service provider doesn’t provide you suffer. Your 5% discount is out of your control, everything else is within your control.

  11. I predict no-one will get a discount unless they provide free shipping, which off course costs more than the discount saves. Requiring 4.6+ on shipping is eBays way of making sure that they can charge everyone full final value fees. Unless you are a very high volume shipper, all you need is one or two people checking 1 (which happened to me when I charged $5.95 for insured priority mail shipping (my cost $6.35)) to knock you down below 4.6.
    Chris is of course correct when he says the strike is a non-event – it might feel good, but will accomplish nothing.
    I don’t mind eBay raising prices, as they are still quite reasonable, but the way they did it reminds me of politicians who say they are lowering your taxes when of course they are raising them.

  12. I sincerely have to disagree with you about listing and Final Value Fees being “reasonable” 6.5% of the sale against an ecommerce site with 0% listing and FVF.
    We raised our prices on EBay through the roof and added links to our reviews in the listings.
    For our robot mowers, people are going to shop the entire net. We use it is an advertising vehicle now, I no longer want to sell on EBay, just have a presence to point shoppers to my website.
    The departure from EBay will not be a flood, but a continous trickle like they are seeing now.

  13. The bottom line is noone should be penelized for something that is beyond his/her control. Being able to do so with feedback devalues the feedback system, rather than making it stronger and in certain instances it renders it useless.



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