The New York Times sports the title “The End of eBay’s Egalitarianism“, saying that the discounts for volume sellers now disadvantage the smaller seller compared to “I.B.M. unloading a warehouse full of computers”.
The article points out that PowerSellers in the US qualify for discounts of 5% (For lowest DSR higher than 4.6) or 15% (For lowest DSR higher than 4.8). In the UK discounts range from 20% for a bronze PowerSeller to 40% for a Titanium PowerSeller.
This really isn’t the end of the level playing field though, it’s not like the discounts aren’t not only available to all, but are highly achievable. To be a bronze PowerSeller the requirement is to sell just 100 items a month or Â£750 per month in sales ($1000 in the US).
The entry level to attain discounts doesn’t result in just the largest companies such as IBM being able to qualify. Â£750 per month sales isn’t out of reach for small sellers, in fact I suspect that there are thousands more sellers at the bronze PowerSeller level than at the silver, gold, platinum and titanium levels combined.
If bronze PowerSellers qualify for discounts the bar for entry certainly isn’t too high to say discounts are available for everyone. If everyone qualifies on equal terms to an open published set of rules then the level playing field is still level, It’ll remain level unless eBay give preferential treatment to a certain group of sellers and bar entry to others.
The biggest bonus coming from the changes is that all sellers, large and small, will up their game on customer service. The discounts are just too attractive not to plan to qualify which will result in better service for buyers.
Better service, happier buyers and smaller sellers qualifying for discounts on an equal footing with the largest merchants. Not only is the playing field still level, but those who give the best service to buyers will benefit the most. 2008 is going to be a great year on eBay.