It’s been two months since eBay changed the fee schedule for business sellers, and since then they’ve also altered the fees for private sellers. Private sellers will now pay a flat 10% in almost all categories capped at £40.00, which now matches the auction fess that they pay.
Media reaction to the business seller fee change was muted, whilst The Metro carried a scathing piece on the private seller fee increase claiming that eBay’s plan to raise sales fees could leave sellers out of pocket.
“In truth most private sellers are unaware of the fee structure and simply glad to convert their unwanted possessions into cash”
In truth most private sellers are unaware of the fee structure and simply glad to convert their unwanted possessions into cash. Business sellers however are only too aware that they’re on eBay to make a profit and the fee structure directly impacts on their bottom line.
Alongside the business seller increase came the retirement of fee discounts for above standard sellers. Only eBay Top Rated Sellers now receive a discount on their final value fees and this combined with the new fee structure has seen many sellers paying increased fees over the last couple of months.
The sellers impacted the most are as suspected those that sell high average selling price items. If the closing price is in the hundreds or thousands then the new fees are significantly higher than under the old fee structure and unlike private sellers there is no cap for business sellers.
It’s hard to find a way around the fees, other than for those sellers who can list in alternative categories. For instance if in the past you sold multi-function printer, scanner copier fax machines in the Business and Industrial category on eBay which now attracts 10% final value fees then you are better off listing in Computing as a printer. The tech categories only pay 3% final value fees and this is the only category on eBay where fees actually dropped. However even for tech products when the final selling price is more than a couple of hundred pounds you’ll still be paying higher fees than in the past.
Many sellers have looked at Amazon as an alternative marketplace to eBay, however Amazon fees in all categories are still higher, and in some cases such as jewellery Amazon charges over double the eBay cost of selling.
Whether eBay still works for your business will largely depend on your profit margins. Its worth checking your competitors prices as doubtless they will have had to raise their prices to cover the increase in fees. However profitability is not just about the fees you pay when you sell, your business viability on eBay is also determined by sales velocity.
Even if the fees you pay are higher if you can sell significant volumes of stock on eBay then it’s a worthwhile marketplace for your business. We’ve got some tips on how to get your products ranked highly in eBay’s Best Match search algorithm, but also consider running some auctions to get greater visibility for your products.
Don’t forget to promote your products at every opportunity using social media such as Twitter and Facebook, eBay’s own email marketing in your eBay shop, eBay Markdown Manager to hold sales, and of course on your listings and shop front with cross promotion tools. If you’re a Frooition Pro customer than cross promotion tools are already available in your eBay shop design but make sure you update your preferences and change your star items and other cross promotions on a regular basis.
There was little doubt when eBay announced the fee increases that it would result in a fee increase for most sellers, and that’s proved to be the case. However by maximising sales, cross promoting products and using tools such as eBay markdown manager to boost sales eBay is still an incredibly powerful selling venue.