While many of us eBay store owners were excited with the new eBay fees coming in March 2010 and happily chatted away on Twitter, not everyone was thrilled.
I wanted to share with you this email from a reader who wished to remain anonymous. Sure, I expected non-store owners to feel slighted but, to my surprise, this email comes from a store owner who is against the new fees, a group I didn’t think existed!
I have had a store on eBay for the past two years (my other account has been buying and selling since 1998), and I am not happy about the changes.
My MO was to list about five items per day as auctions. If they didn’t sell, I rolled them into the store where they could sit for 3 cents a month. Some sat for a long time, but almost all have sold, sooner or later. At least 50% of my sales are from my stores.
I didn’t list many things with Fixed Price, as most of my store sales came from browsers who had either won an auction or purchased from me before. So having those listings bumped from 3 cents per month to 20 cents per month is a significant fee increase for me.
I have one very active Basic store, and one pretty static Basic store. I am going to close the slower store altogether and just do auctions with that account. It will mean more paperwork for me to roll both in together (the more active store is stock I am disbursing from the estate of a deceased relative, and I’ve been keeping the two separate for now, but won’t in the future.)
Frankly, I liked things the way they were, and wish this weren’t happening. It means I’ll be opening my own selling website, and it will take time to build up my business that way. I feel like the two years of hard work I’ve done building up my eBay business is about to be tossed away, and my profits sucked up in fees.
The one thing I find strangest about this is that this is very very similar to how we run our eBay business and I am excited about the changes. We list things as auctions (under $1, no reserve, just about always) and usually only re-list things as fixed price if they were items that didn’t sell at auction. (Recently, I’ve tried to do more fixed price but 99% of our FP items are former auctions). Most of our Buy It Now sales are from people who grab a fixed price item after winning an auction item. We set up sales specifically to achieve this end and use auctions to advertise the Fixed Price.
We used to use Store Inventory for these items that didn’t sell at auction until they debuted Fixed Price 30. Once they added FP30, however, Store Inventory was dead to us and we only used Fixed Price. Meaning that since we were paying 35 cents a month for those listings, going down to 20 cents a month is a big decrease. I think that may be the big disconnect with the people who are happy with this change and the people who aren’t. Many of us stopped using the 3 cent Store Inventory format a while ago and so we see 35 to 20 cents as a savings. But if Store Inventory was your preferred method, 3 cents to 20 cents is a huge jump. It all comes down to whether you used Store Inventory anymore whether you see this as a fee increase or decrease.
To me, placement in search results was too good to pass up and was well worth the extra cents so I made that jump long ago. Thus, for me, this is a fee decrease. But if you didn’t want that extra exposure, this must seem like a forced upgrade.
I wanted to share this with you because here was someone with just about the same business model as me (though I only have one store which I imagine is a big savings) who is unhappy about the changes.
The moral of the story is that we are all running our own businesses and coming from our own perspectives. What may work great for my business, no matter how similar it may seem on the surface, may not work for yours. In turn, something that you see as a horrible, business crushing change may actually be a good thing for me. Just something to remember whenever something like this comes up. We are each living our own lives and taking in news and changes from our own perspectives.
I’d love to hear your perspective on these new eBay fees, eBay store owner or not. (If you want to rant anonymously, email me and I will post it with all details changed to protect the innocent).