Author: Hillary DePiano

The Free Shipping eBay conspiracy theory

So when eBay first announced that they were mucking with the feedback system, there was general outrage. There was also specific outrage in the form of one hell of a conspiracy theory. At the time, I thought people were overreacting but I got to say, its starting to look closer and closer to the truth. It goes like this: eBay changes the feedback system so that whether a seller’s item gets shown in search results, how high it is shown and how much they pay in eBay fees is dependent on their star ratings, one of which is a rating of 1 to 5 stars on the shipping costs Sellers argue that this is unfair because we have no control over shipping costs as they are set by the Post Office, UPS, FedEx et all. This means that if John Doe thinks that $8 is too much to ship a package, regardless of the fact that the seller has no control over this cost, takes his anger at the post office’s cost out on the seller. I was at a workshop on eBay where a seller asked this question and, I kid you not, the official reply from eBay was that if you think buyers will be upset by your shipping costs, you should offer free shipping. Here is where the conspiracy theory comes in: When you sell an...

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No eBay Live next year? What is going on over there?

In a surprise move, eBay just announced that there will be no eBay Live next year. I haven’t read anyone else’s speculation on this but I have to admit is that my gut reaction is that this is a little odd. First they change the entire executive staff, make huge sweeping changes that anger a lot of sellers, basically take a “Silly sellers! You’ll get used to it.” take when people raise concerns, changed their method of dealing with sellers from “The Power of All of Us” to “We Have the Power, You Just Have to Deal with it” and then cancel their yearly face-to-face time? So is this just a marketing ploy to drive up attendance for this year’s eBay Live? Is the event too poorly attended that its not financially wise for them to do it every year? Why is Lorrie Norrington so much fun to say out loud? Personally, I wasn’t planning to go to eBay Live this year. I went last year and, while I don’t agree with their changes I have been making them work and so far have been earning the full 15% discount since it was implemented so I feel like I don’t have a right to complain. . .yet. I actually only had one buyer try to extort feedback from me so far (for something really ludicrous, may I add) and...

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eBay lowers some fees, raises others and bans sellers from leaving negative feedback

Every time eBay makes some changes to its program, my initial reaction is irritation because I usually like things how they are. There have been a few changes though where, right from the start, I thought it was a great idea (seasonal PowerSeller calculations are one of them). Even the ones I hate right away, I try to give eBay the benefit of the doubt and most of the time they turn out to be for the best. That said, a lot of the new changes seem like terrible ideas to me, but I am trying to give eBay a chance to show me it was the right thing to do. If you haven’t already seen, eBay announced that it was drastically changing a lot of its policies in February (see announcements). Here is my gut reaction on the changes: The Good: Lower insertions fees, free gallery and fee discounts, feedback from repeat buyers counts and greater protection for PowerSellers I love the idea of reducing the risk in listing an item as the previous high fees would often discourage me from just trying something unusual or listing an item that I wasn’t sure would sell so this definitely makes me eager to list a lot of merchandise. Making Gallery free is nice, but the fact that they really ought never to have been charging for it in the...

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Changes to the eBay Trading Assistant program: In plain English

For anyone that received the slightly intimidating letter from eBay today about changes to the Trading Assistant Program, I wanted to take this opportunity to quickly go over what these changes mean in plain English before anyone started to panic. Essentially, the TA program is changing in several ways, most of which are behind the scenes and will just lead to greater visibility. For the average seller, this means very little in how you run your business other than you may suddenly have more volume. But you do need to do something to “opt-in” to these improvements. eBay is trying to ensure that all Trading Assistants are aware of the new changes and are making sure of this by essentially forcing you to re-sign up for the program at http://www.ebaytradingassistant.com. There you can accept the new User Agreement and make sure that you are still eligible. You will also need to re-fill in your TA profile so I would recommend having your old profile open in another window so that you can just copy and paste. For all TAs, home based or retail stores, the following changes affect you: There is a new User Agreement. You will need to read this and accept it at http://www.ebaytradingassistant.com The terms for sellers have changed slightly. The new terms are, “To qualify, all Trading Assistants on eBay are now required to have...

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Why now is the very best time to have a consignment business on eBay as a Trading Assistant

As my newest book, The Trading Assistant’s Assistant got two great reviews recently, one from Blogcritics and one from Armchair Interviews, I wanted to take a quick time-out from part two of the buyer’s glossary to talk a little turkey (Thanksgiving Day pun intended!) about starting a Trading Assistant business. Why, you ask? Well, frankly, because there is no better time. I should clarify from the start that you can start a Trading Assistant business at anytime. In fact, you may even want to get your business started in a slower season so that you can work out the bugs in your service before you dive headlong into being a Trading Assistant in the busiest season. However, if you have even dabbled with the idea of being a Trading Assistant or are one already, there is something that you should know. October through January is the best time of the whole year to be a Trading Assistant. It’s tempting, as the holidays arrive, to get wrapped up in your own holiday rush and let your business fall to the wayside while you enjoy the festivities. From a money making and business standpoint, however, you would be missing a huge opportunity. This four month span benefits from several circumstances that give a boost to your service and marketing creating a perfect storm and the best opportunity for profit in your...

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About The Whine Seller

Hillary "The Whine Seller" DePiano
With two decades of ecommerce experience behind her, author Hillary "The Whine Seller" DePiano would never claim to be an expert on selling online but she's sure put in enough hours to play one on TV. Read more...

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