Author: Frooition

eBay Spring 2011 Fee Changes

As we mentioned last week the first eBay seller releases are now out for both and, and sellers now know the fee changes that will affect them from April in the US and May in the UK.

There is a marked difference this year in the fee changes at different sides of the Atlantic. In the US there is a modest 1% or 2% decrease in fees, but for the first time eBay fees will be levied on shipping charges. In the UK out go the free tranches for Business sellers which are replaced by flat rate fees representing an increase for most sellers.

This is fantastic news for sellers who already offer free shipping as it equates to a real and actual decrease in your eBay final value fees. You’ll benefit by a 1% or 2% decrease Fee Changes keeps the fee tranches for final value fees, so you’ll pay a variable amount for the first $50, $50-$1000 and a third rate for the portion of your final value (including shipping) over $1000. In most categories the amount you pay drops by 1%, although for Clothing Shoes & Accessories, Motor Parts and Media your final value fees will drop 2%.

This is fantastic news for sellers who already offer free shipping as it equates to a real and actual decrease in your eBay final value fees. You’ll benefit by a 1% or 2% decrease in your fees. For sellers who’s shipping price is low relative to their final value fees the decrease will cancel out, result in a small decrease or at worst be a modest increase in final value fees. The sellers who will be hardest hit are those whose shipping charges are high in comparison to the final value of their item. In this case there will be a rise in final value fees.

Charging final value fees on shipping costs is something many sellers have called for a number of years. The effect will be to remove all financial advantages for those who move some of the sale price of their items into the shipping cost thus avoiding eBay fees. However now that it’s coming into effect in April it is naturally causing alarm for those who will see their eBay invoices rise.

If you ship internationally or if you offer a one-day shipping option eBay won’t charge final value fees based on these costly options so long as you also offer a standard domestic shipping option. Whenever your buyer selects international shipping or a next day service your fees will be assessed on your quoted cost for the first non-one-day shipping service offered. Fee Changes

The fee changes for eBay in the UK are more radical than those in the US. In the UK all business sellers will pay flat rate fees of between 3% and 12% dependant on the category that they trade in. Most sellers will pay fees of 10%, unless they trade in Clothing Shoes & Accessories (12%), Media (9%), Motor Parts (8%) or Tech (3%).

It’s when you delve deeper into the fee structure the differences really start to show large fee increases. For instance for a fixed price sale of £100 in the past you would have paid 9.9% of the final selling price up to £49.99 plus 5.9% of the final selling price in excess of £50.00 totalling £7.90. Under the new final value fee structure coming into effect in May this year you’ll pay a flat 10% in most categories resulting in a £10.00 selling fee – that’s a 26.5% increase.

The rise in fees will affect sellers of higher average selling price (ASP) than those of low ASPs. The increase in fees for a £10.00 item is just a penny or 1%, but for a £1000.00 item final value fees rise from £45.00 to £100.00, that’s an increase of 122%.

Sellers will need to examine the new fee structures carefully to understand the impact on their business. In all categories with the exception of Clothing Shoes & Accessories you’ll be saving money or paying very minimal increases for items with a sub £50.00 selling price. However if your items have a high ASP then you should be prepared for significant increases in the cost of selling on eBay in the UK.

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Making the best use of tabs in Frooition eBay templates

Your Frootion template has five tabs underneath the description area, which are a great place to supply additional information about your company and to convey important information about shipping, payment and support. Although the default tabs are named “About Us”, “Payment”, “Shipping”, “Terms” and “Returns” you’re free to rename them at will.

eBay have expanded many of the non-description areas of a listing in recent years and you now have to specify certain information in the correct eBay mandated areas. This includes sections such as Postage and Returns, so why use the Frooition tabs? Well the first reason is that the eBay fields are pretty restricted in the information you can offer so the tabs allow you to expand and give you the opportunity to sell the full service you offer along with the products you sell.
Take postage as an example – if you happen to use Royal Mail or ParcelForce it’s pretty straightforward to specify the carriers and anticipated length of time delivery will take in the eBay postage fields. If you use an alternative carrier such as CityLink or InterLink, you’re forced to use the “Other Courier” designation. In this case the Frooition shipping tab gives you the ability to let your customers know exactly which courier you use and how their item will be delivered.

Some couriers like Interlink will email the recipient on the day of delivery with an anticipated 2 hour delivery slot. If your courier offers services such as this then use the Frooition tab to expand your shipping information and let customers know they’ll be kept informed of their parcels progress.
The payment information tab is also useful, eBay allow you to select certain payment methods but you can use the Frooition Payment tab to let customers know which your preferred payment methods are. You might for example want to let customers know that paying via PayPal is the fastest way to receive their purchase. If you have a merchant credit card account you can let customers know that they can pay you simply by ringing your payment telephone line to ensure that their order will be dispatched promptly.

“Be careful of the wording you use however – cash is now not an accepted payment method, and on paper payment methods are banned so don’t include words such as “cash” or “cheques/checks” on your listing”

Be careful of the wording you use however – cash is now not an accepted payment method, and on paper payment methods are banned so don’t include words such as “cash” or “cheques/checks” on your listing. Including these banned words could cause your listings to be ended and leave you with strikes against your seller account.
From time to time eBay do update their selling policies so it’s important to realize that you may have to edit your Frooition tabs from time to time. You can use Frooition Bulk Revision to edit the tabs on all of your live listings in one operation to update them, remove or add information and ensure that you’re fully compliant with all of eBay’s latest changes.

Other tabs can help you convey additional information to your customers. For instance if you sell customized items, such as personalized party invitations, you may need to contact your buyers to obtain photographs, dates, text and other information to enable you to fulfill their order. Using one of the Frooition tabs to explain how you’d like the information supplied is a great use of the tabs.

The first tab (with the default title “About Us”) is the one whose content is expanded and displayed on your listings when they load – all of the other tabs have to be clicked on to view the content. If you have information which is critical, such as for personalized items, make sure that this is placed on the first tab. You can rename one of the other five tabs “About Us” if you still want to let your customers know more about your company and the people who run your business.
When you’re setting up the tabs in your Frooition dashboard plan what information you need to supply to customers, whether that information is already supplied in the fields that eBay provides, and if you need to expand further on that information by using the Frooition tabs. Choose the information you’re going to include on the first tab based on its importance to your customers and your business.

Finally don’t forget to keep your tabs updated with the Frooition Bulk Revision tool whenever eBay makes changes or your business evolves. The more information you provide up front to your customers, the better the service you provide which will be reflected in your feedback, your sales, and ultimately the success of your business.

Frooition Timestudy – eBay SYI vs Frooition Software

Frooition have devised an experiment to see which method is the quickest for listing to eBay.

We will be testing the Frooition software against eBay’s standard Sell Your Item flow.

We will be testing the separate stages of the listing process to show which is the faster method and where the time sinks are!

This experiment will demonstrate the ease of use as well as the swiftest method to list your items.

For this example the description will be pre-written, ready to be pasted into the appropriate description areas. For the eBay Sell Your Item method we will be selecting the Advanced Sell form with a very simple HTML template typical of most eBay sellers.

Frooition ask that you determine which eBay domain you are listing to and which listing method you are using (whether it be direct from Frooition or a third party listing tool).

eBay’s SYI form requires you to select the category first. You can search for a category, browse the category trees or use a recently used category.

The Frooition Software also offers category browsing or searching on one page without the need to click through tabs. As before with the eBay method, category listing is simple and broken down into sub-categories for easy selection. The Frooition software also allows you to specify your eBay store categories in this step.

eBay gives you the option to add a picture, with the first image for free and a limit of twelve images maximum. A text box allows the item description to be entered in a simple WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get!) editor or with the option of HTML. However, there are few less editing features in comparison to the Frooition Software coding box. For this experiment we are using a simple HTML template that will need to entered in the HTML view.

The Frooition Software asks you to add images (up to 20) plus the option to add videos. Then you enter the product description where you can set the font, size and colour, as well as further options to justify the text and include the use of bullet points and hyperlinks using a simple WYSIWIG interface. For this experiment we can just paste the description in from our notepad software.

Clicking the ‘Source’ tab will allow advanced users to edit the HTML code.

The arrangement of product images can also be determined with a choice of three layout options.

The eBay item specifics are on the same page as the item description, you simply choose the relevant features from the drop downs or add your own.

The Frooition Software offers the same drop down specific details such as size, colour, brand etc.

In the penultimate part to the listing process you set the payment and shipping details for your auction.

EBay provides a form to enter payment details such as starting price, quantity, duration of auction as well as many alternative options such as donations to charities, giving it a complicated, congested feel.

The Frooition Software uses a very concise approach, offering a clear interface to make the completion short and swift, whether it be for an Online Auction or a Fixed Price sale.

Postage & Packaging details can be entered by selecting methods from drop-down menus and tick boxes.

The final part of the process comes to the overall review of the auction. Listing enhancements are on offer from both platforms such as Gallery Plus and Subtitle.

Frooition Software also offers optional features such as listing the product in Bold or highlight. There is also the choice of showcasing your listing in the Featured area of the search results. A larger image option may also be purchased.

As long as you don’t have a great deal to amend, the final review will only take a matter of seconds. In this case, Frooition Software provided the slightly quicker alternative due to its concise page format.

See the end results!

Frooition Update: List directly to eBay Motors!

Frooition are delighted to announce that eBay sellers can now list directly to eBay Motors with the Frooition software!

This highly anticipated update means motor part sellers will save several hours listing, creating great looking listings with all the added benefits of listing to eBay Motors and added search functionality.

“Frooition have re-developed the listing tool to enable users to list directly to eBay motors”

What has changed?

Frooition have re-developed the listing tool to enable users to list directly to eBay motors and pull in all of the available fields, such as Manufacturers part number, part brand and placement.

Frooition have also incorporated the Motors Parts Compatibility functionality to enable users to state which vehicle a part is compatible with.

Frooition have also added the ability to search the eBay product catalogue for specific products, meaning you will get accurate descriptions whilst saving hours worth of work researching and writing your descriptions. The descriptions are then beautifully displayed within the Frooition template. The product catalogue will also allow users to import which vehicles a part is compatible with, again saving hours of research!

These features make it much easier for a customer to find your parts as well as being reassured that the item will definitely fit their vehicle.

So, what does this change mean?

It means that users can list directly to eBay motors from Frooition, previously motors users needed to grab the code from Frooition and then paste it into a different selling tool.

It also allows users to create more accurate listings, and open the listings up to more users through utilizing the full capability of eBay’s search functionality.

How do I use this new functionality?

The functionality has been enabled for all users so all you need to do is create a new listing profile and select eBayMotors from the “Listing to eBay Site” drop down:

See it in action:

Read More about Frooition software features.

Use eBay Shipping Features to best Effect

With the recent VAT rise it’s a good time to review your postage prices. Firstly almost all couriers will be charging VAT and so will Royal Mail for some business account customers so you’ll probably want to adjust your selling prices. There are two reasons for this – even though you can reclaim VAT on your courier costs you still have to charge VAT at the new 20% rate. Secondly, for Royal Mail and ParcelForce you will be paying VAT for the first time so if you can’t reclaim it you definitely need to adjust your prices.

The Royal Mail services attracting VAT for the first time are International Airsure (to EU destinations), Special Delivery by 9am and Royal Mail Tracked. In addition if you access any Special Delivery service through a contract then it will also attract VAT. All Parcelforce domestic and EU services will also attract VAT at 20% from 31st January 2011.

While you’re editing your postage prices it’s a good opportunity to make sure you’re offering attractive shipping rates to your customers. eBay changed the way postage is displayed to customer last year so different couriers will fall into one of three bands – Economy, Standard and Express shipping.

“Even if you think that your product doesn’t ever require an urgent delivery it’s still worth offering a choice to your customers”

Customers will have different priorities when ordering your items, regardless of whether you sell car parts, consumer electronics, clothes or antiques. Even if you think that your product doesn’t ever require an urgent delivery it’s still worth offering a choice to your customers.

The industry standard for shipping is generally to offer a standard delivery service with an optional upgrade to Express shipping (24 hour courier) and a downgrade for those customer who really aren’t in a hurry for their purchase to Economy shipping. Even though you might want to keep your postage costs on eBay as keen as possible consider offering other options for those customers that want to pay a little extra to receive their item faster.

It’s also worth looking at how you price deliveries. You may for example always ship using Royal Mail Tracked, or deliver with a 24 hour courier service. Even if you only use these services you can not only offer customers a choice but make additional profit into the bargain. An example could be to offer a standard delivery as "Other Courier 3-5 Business Days" and then offer an upgrade for a slightly increased cost for "Parcelforce 24 Hour". Even if you then ship everything as Parcelforce 24 Hour you’ll find some customers that paid for the slower service are delighted at the speed in which their item arrived. Those customers that do choose to upgrade will be paying you extra for the service they would have received regardless. This turns customers with urgent requirements into additional profit generators for no additional work on your part.

Don’t forget as well as pricing your items for single quantities to also include options for buyers who make multiple purchases from a single listing. If you don’t add in the cost for additional items then customers will be charged a multiple of the delivery cost for a single item. This can make your postage costs uncompetitive and for those buyers who don’t notice until they come to pay can also result in poor feedback.

eBay don’t have an easy way to differentiate postage costs and there can be a big difference in cost for someone who buys 10 items compared to someone that buys two. However again this can be solved by offering a range of services – you may offer Royal Mail Special Delivery at £8.65for a single item but that only covers the cost for products up to 2kg. If a purchase is more than 2kg then the cost shoots up to £21.65. In this case it might be worth offering Special Delivery at £8.65 plus £8.65 for each additional item but also include another option for Parcelforce 24 Hour at £10.00 with each additional item with free carriage (Parcelforce offer the same cost up to 30kg so it’s much easier to combine multiple purchases).

By offering two or more services buyers can then opt for the cheapest service based on the number (and weight) of the products they’ve purchased to get the most cost effective delivery method.

Remember not to choose the delivery options that may be the most convenient for you. Offer delivery options which will appeal to your buyers and give them the choice of receiving their item quickly, or to opt for a slower service and save some money. By offering a range of services you’ll not only appeal to more buyers but you can also improve the feedback that you receive as buyers can select the service that meets their requirements at the price they’re willing to pay.