In the first of two major release announcements for 2011, eBay has made some significant changes to pricing, policy and requirements.
Like most of the large eBay updates, there is good and bad and some misconceptions.
The Good and the Bad
For eBay Store subscribers, the Final Value Fee for both Fixed Price and Auctions has been reduced to compensate for the fact that shipping is now included in the Final Value Fee that eBay charges. This is good for those selling feathers, bad for those selling bricks.
For eBay Store subscribers who are top rated sellers, they will still get the 20% discount; however, this is only on the item price, not the shipping. This is again good for those selling feathers, bad for those selling bricks.
For those without an eBay store, instead of the 100 auctions starting at $0.99 or lower, eBay will provide 50 free auctions starting at any price. This is good for those with higher-priced items, bad for those selling $0.99 items.
For those without an eBay store, the Final Value Fee percentage charged will remain the same, however, shipping is now included in the Final Value Fee that eBay charges. Again, good for those selling feathers, bad for those selling bricks.
For those without an eBay store, the 50 free auctions starting at any price listings can have a buy it now price added at no charge. Good for those who are selling items that they know the value, bad for those selling items with unknown value.
eBay will be moving to a unified shopping cart for buyers. This should make it easier for buyers to purchase items. The shopping cart will work when the only payment option offered is PayPal. In the near future, this will include the other supported eBay payment methods. This should also be good for the overall bottom line, but may be bad for sellers who offer combined shipping as part of their marketing.
(Vendio has been prepared for the unified shopping cart for a long time. Most Vendio merchants will not notice a difference, but may have to make a few settings changes. Please watch the Vendio Announcements board for details)
Powersellers will no longer get a 5% discount; however, top rated sellers will continue to get the 20% discount on item final value. This is good for top rated sellers, bad for Powersellers who are not top rated sellers.
Catalog coming to more categories. eBay will require the use of their catalog in more electronic categories. This is good for standard items, but may be cumbersome for items not in the catalog.
Item specifics will be required for Clothing Shoes & Accessories. This is bad for sellers who have already created listings with the wrong or old item specifics, but good for buyers to have a unified set of selections.
If you have an eBay store, consider getting an additional account to take advantage of the 50 free auction style listings. Vendio supports multiple eBay user IDs from one account.
Take a look at your overall strategy and see how you can best adapt. Look for lower cost shipping options, such as media or parcel post. Balance the lower shipping options with your DSRs. Media mail and Parcel post are less expensive, but take longer.
Specify the least expensive shipping rate first – In Vendio, you can set the order in the “adjust these settings for eBay” section of your shipping profiles.
eBay will not be charging the highest Final Value Fees on international shipping. This will work as follows:
“When an international or 1-day shipping service is offered and selected by your buyer, your Final Value Fee is calculated on the least expensive of your options—your international/1-day option OR the first domestic service offered other than 1-day. If your buyer chooses international shipping and you specified free shipping as your first domestic option, you pay zero Final Value Fees on shipping.”