eBay.au hikes stores fees to discourage use

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Surprise, surprise, the only reason that eBay subscribe to an eBay shop is to save on listing fees. That’s just as true as when selecting the level of eBay shop to choose, as whether to have one at all and is a lesson that eBay UK learned a long time ago and thus eBay Featured and Anchor shops are only available to business registered sellers, but one that eBay Australia have just discovered.

eBay Australia (where, as with the rest of the world, shops are known as stores) have just hiked the fees for basic and featured store from $24.95 per month to $49.95 per month, and later in the year will be retiring basic stores and just have two levels to choose from. The come into effect on the 15th of September, and in truth there’s very little difference between basic and featured anyway on eBay Australia.

The reason eBay gives for the fee hike is that for $24.95 too many sellers are subscribing and it’s the wrong sort of seller. Stores they say are indicative of a business and buyers expect a higher level of services than from a private seller. However private sellers are attracted to the low insertion fees and final value fees that come with a store.

Private sellers, eBay say, should be taking advantage of the 30 free listings available every month and not subscribing to eBay stores.

If you’re considering a shop on eBay UK the only thing you should really be looking at is the cost. I don’t know a single seller who uses all the free custom pages available, sends regular email marketing (and has enough subscribers to hit the limits), sends out promotional flyers, or uses eBay shops promotional materials…. and if I did I doubt they’d think it worth the subscription cost.

In the past there was an incentive to drive traffic to your eBay shop so that buyers could find your Shop Inventory Format (SIF) listings. When SIF disappeared from eBay UK in 2008, to be replaced by 30 day and Good til Cancelled (GTC) listings that were visible in the main eBay search it removed the prime incentive for sellers to drive traffic to their eBay shop and more importantly removed the incentive for buyers to browse eBay shops. Why browse a single shop when all of the seller’s products show up on the main eBay search anyway?

The only reason for choosing a certain level of eBay shop is the fees. Nothing more, nothing less. eBay Australia, shame on you, you should have known better!

4 Responses

  1. Don’t suppose it occured to anyone to just not let private sellers have a shop?

    No, I guess it didn’t.

  2. They should not allow unregistered businesses from having shops – simple as that. And you’re right, the only motivation for having a shop is the savings on fees – money talks and bullshit walks.

  3. I thought eBay was done with doing stuff like this after Meg left. I remember back in 2006 when eBay decided to radically change their fees for stores on eBay.com. The excuses then were:

    1) Getting back to basics by focusing on auctions.

    2) Stores taking longer to sell products therefore they should charge a lot (almost 3x) more. This was despite the fact that stores listings were not visible in normal search so they were kind of hard to move.

    3) Store sellers tended to put up really bad prices and buyers don’t like those prices so increased fees would discourage use of stores and promote selling on core at reasonable prices.

  4. I would think that it is inevitable that ebay uk will have a fee hike on the shops/stores and eventualy decrease it from 3 tiers to 2 tiers.

    But surely it would be in ebay’s interest to get rid of stores/shops all together ?


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