The Whine Seller read the 2015 eBay Spring Seller Update and what happened next will surprise you because I actually can’t find much in it get annoyed about!

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I’m only just now getting a chance to go over the eBay Spring Seller update that came out March 17. I know, I’m so behind. But here’s my take anyway.

This update focuses a lot on auctions which is of great interest to me. Because I’m a Selling Assistant, I still use auctions because they are fast and they are often a bulk of my sales when I’ve got a lot of client items. Most of these updates look like they’ll make it easier and cheaper to use the auction format, though I’m not a fan of the way they’re adding what amount to penalty fees for using certain durations and upgrades on principle.

You can read the full release here. These changes will go into effect on May 1st, 2015.

What I like:

Unlimited insertion fee credits for listings that sell in auction. As an incentive for using the auction-style format successfully, sellers will be credited for the insertion fee on auction-style listings when that item sells.

I really like this. I like that it encourages more auctions and that it rewards those of us that know what we’re doing when it comes to auction pricing and moving inventory. It should basically just reward me for the things I’m already doing.

The 10-day duration on auction-style listings will no longer have an added feature fee.

This is really great stuff. I never used the 10 day in the past because it burned me to pay that extra fee but I’ll be extending the length, and thus bidding/selling power, of all my listings from here on out.

They added a bunch of new Product Identifiers

I really think the eBay of the future will have very minimal descriptions with seller’s just putting in identifiers and this is another step towards it. While this is a big change for many of us, I think it’s a necessary step for us eBay sellers to survive in this increasingly mobile world. The easier it is for people to find things quickly and the clearer the details of what they are buying are, the more likely we’ll make the sale. The one thing I don’t like is when you have something really simple, such as a NYT bestselling book, and for some idiotic reason the eBay catalog has no record of it, making it very difficult to list correctly. I don’t expect something to work perfectly right away but these Product Details have been around for a long time now and it’s still astonishing to me how poorly they work sometimes.

What I don’t:

A $1 special duration feature fee per listing for sellers who choose 1- or 3-day auction style listing. Charging this fee will help discourage the use of shorter durations where they are least successful.

This is dumb. If short auctions don’t work, I’d rather they get rid of them rather than penalize people for using them with a fee. But I guess I can see some uses for them and understand why they wouldn’t eliminate them entirely. But I still don’t like this.

Reserve price will increase. This feature fee will increase in price to the greater of $3, or 2% of the reserve price (the minimum price that must be met for your item to sell), with a cap of $100.

Reserve price is a psychological game and I get why buyers hate it but, as a seller, I also know why I need it sometimes and it annoys me to have to pay more for it when I do.

For sellers with an eBay Stores subscription, the monthly allotments of free listings* will now be dedicated to fixed price listings, and, for listings in Collectibles categories, sellers will receive 100 additional free auction-style listings* per month.

I sell collectibles. Collectible TOYS, though, which means this update doesn’t do me any good. I really hope they expand this to other categories. That said, if this is your category, this could be very good news for you. Non-store owners get 20 additional free collectible auctions as well which should be great for adding more good stuff to the marketplace in general.

Fixed price listings in media categories will no longer have a different insertion fee.

On one hand, this is good because it makes the ludicrously complicated fees structure a little simpler. But it will also probably mean a fee increase for a lot of sellers which is annoying. I don’t know what it says about me that I prefer paying more for simplicity but I lean towards the positive on this. Sort of.

Overall: Auctions are what make eBay unique. While they may not be the biggest sellers these days, putting the focus back on the auction format highlights what’s special about the eBay marketplace in a very crowded e-commerce landscape and I think that’s a very good move for them. For me, everything above will mean an overall fee decrease and more free listings and give me the license to experiment more and lengthen my auctions for more bids.

I just can’t find anything to get that grumpy about with this update! Maybe I’m losing my edge…

What do you think?