A few months ago at the end of 2012 eBay they announced eBay 2.0 The Feed. The Feed gives a cleaner more consistent more contemporary experience for buyers. Now want to continue theme and include sellers.
eBay’s goals are to connect as many sellers to buyers and make the process for sellers a lot easier. They say that one of the of the ways they’re doing this is making the price stucture easier to understand, less complex and easier. This means generous allowances of free listings (either auction or fixed price – you choose) and flat rate final value fees. eBay also want to be more consistent than ever, with policies and experiences that reflect retail standards (free shipping, returns, same-day handling, better image quality).
Some interesting stats are that sales from Top rated sellers in 4th quarter was 42% and that represented 20% growth year on year. eBay are now selling $2,100 GMV per second every day of the year!
The big change for eBay.com is that they’ll be moving to a simply flat rate final value fee schedule instead of the more complicated fee tranches from the old eBay.
The Standard fees are effective from the 16th of April and eBay Stores fees are effective from the 1st of May 2013.
The flat rate fees are likely to cause as big an upset in the US as they did in the UK for sellers of high value items. The fees are proportionately much higher than the old fee tranches as the final sale value of your item rises. It’s equally valid to point out that under the old free tranches the fees were actually higher for sellers of low value products than under the new flat rate fees.
On the plus side are discounts for committing to an eBay store for a year and a free listing allowance which is considerably more generous than those for UK shop owners. Up front costs are virtually eliminated once you’ve paid for your eBay.com eBay shop.
Top Rated Plus qualifying listings will continue to attract a 20% final value fee discount so long as they offer same-day or one-day despatch with a 14 day returns option.
eBay have emphasised that they believe eBay is still the most competitive commerce platform in the US today and that they don’t ever compete directly with their retailers. In a direct comparison with Amazon fees eBay say that for their best sellers, eTRS+ fees are at or lower than Amazon’s, including payments and shipping in all categories.
It’s worth saying that many UK sellers told me that the new fee structure was the end for their businesses on eBay and that there was no way that they could pay 9% in final value fees. However, whilst I don’t expect it to be much solace for those in the US just about to face flat rate fees, most of the sellers that complained about flat rate fees when they were introduced in the UK still appear to be selling on eBay.
eBay are aiming to cut down on unpaid items with similar measures to the UK. Fixed Price items will still be available for other buyers to buy until they’re paid for. Best Offers in the Art, Jewelry & Watches and Computers & Tablets categories will be available for sale until confirmed and paid for by the buyer and you’ll be able to file Unpaid Items after two days instead of four.
eBay will also remove all feedback (Rating, DSRs and Comments) from transactions in which an eBay Buyer Protection case is resolved in the seller’s favour by eBay.
From the 1st of July eBay will start enforcing the new picture requirements, some of which are already mandatory on eBay.com. The requirements are:
1. All photos must be at least 500 pixels on the longest side of the picture.
2. Photos cannot have borders.
3. Photos cannot have seller-added text or seller-added artwork.
4. When you list a used item outside of books, movies, music, and video games, you cannot use the eBay catalog stock photo in the primary photo position. You must upload your own photo.
5. Sellers must upload at least one photo per listing
Business Policies goes live
The features which enables sellers to define and manage their shipping, payment, and return policies in one place and apply them to their listings when the sell is to go live. You’ll be able to update the information once in one place without having to update each listing individually.
Same Day Despatch Time Display
ClockAs well as displaying a same day despatch time on your listings you’ll also be able to specify a cut off time (default 2pm, but you can change this according to your courier collection arrangements).
Estimated delivery times displayed to buyers on your listings will be set according to your settings. For instance if a buyer looks at your listing at 10am they may see a next day delivery estimate, but the same buyer looking at the listing at 4pm would see a 2 day delivery estimate.
Finally there will be some category updates which could mean fee changes if you need to list in a new/different category and some item specifics to update.