eBay must really be hurting badly. They are now announcing that they are going to offer free listings (no insertion fees) starting in June of 2009. As I mentioned in another post, June seems to be bringing quite a few changes for eBay. I see that they finally appear to be doing something to save the sinking ship.
How the Free Insertion Listing Fee Deal Works Staring June 16, 2009
The free listing deal only works with eBay’s “Auction Style” format. This is a bummer because “Auction Format” is my least favorite. You have to haggle buyers to send the money on time, and it is guaranteed to take at least 3 days to end in most cases. In fact, I don’t even use it at all.
Anyway, when you list your first 5 items each month, there will be no listing (insertion) fees. This helps a little to save money off the “up-front” costs to sell on Fee-Bay.
The Final Value Fee for these 5 listings with $0.00 Insertion Fees will be 8.75% of the sales price or $20, whichever is lower. So you still get pegged with the final value fees in the end (assuming your item actually sells).
Does This Even Help eBay Sellers at All?
Really it helps most eBay sellers very little, if at all. I only like to use the “Buy it Now” format for selling on eBay. I used to do auction format on occasion, but to be honest I haven’t ran an auction in years! It is too much of a hassle, and really aggravating. You risk getting no bids/low bids, and you have to deal with the buyer paying (non-payment runs rampant there), etc.
The only people this will help are the “occasional” eBay people who sell a few items (unwanted gifts, etc) on eBay every month or two. I don’t see it making any kind of dent in a big seller’s fees at all. But I suppose it is a good way to attract those occasional sellers that might want to sell on eBay, but will be turned off by the up-front fees.
eBay Bans Paper Payment Methods and Sellers with Low DSR
eBay also just announced in a new announcement in late October, that they will be removing sellers with a detailed seller rating (DSR) of less than 4.1 in any category. So basically if you get burned by a buyer who wants to be a jerk and rate you bad without giving you a chance to resolve the issue, and your DSR falls below a 4.1, you can forget about listing any products for sale! Crazy!
I don’t know what exactly eBay hopes to achieve with all of these policies. If their goal is to upset sellers, and make them leave the site, then I would say they are doing very well at achieving this goal.
Plus, telling sellers which payment methods they can accept seems a bit harsh. Don’t get me wrong- I use paypal almost exclusively on eBay. I tend to get annoyed when people ask to send a money order, because 9 times out of 10, they never do! You wait for weeks, email them, and then finally they say, “Can you just cancel the order.” It is very frustrating. That is why I accept only paypal.
But at the same time, it doesn’t seem fair to other sellers who may want to accept other payment methods other than Paypal or one of eBay’s accepted methods. Oh well.
I guess as the saying goes…We sellers gotta roll with the punches. The only problem is, eBay is punching so hard that I am afraid one day we are not going to be able to get back up!
eBay Restricts Selling, Places Seller Limits on Certain Categories
Just last night I was trying to create a new listing and list it for sale. Everything went well, until on the first sales page (you know, where it allows you to enter the details). Then I clicked to the next page to review the listing and submit. There was just one problem. I had a big warning from eBay that said the following:
“You can not submit your listing due to the following problems
Thank you for choosing eBay.
In order to help maintain a safe trading environment, selling limits are occasionally placed on listings. At this time, you are limited in the number of certain items you may list and/or revise in a 30 day period.
Sellers who have built a long-standing and consistent positive history of selling items may be eligible to have their selling limits raised. If you believe that you would qualify, please click here for more information.
We sincerely value you as a member of our trading Community and look forward to a continued successful relationship with you.
Click here for a window with more information on eBay’s listing guidelines.”
This was really frustrating since I had just spent time creating a listing, adding a title, etc. They provided a link and said eBay can review your account and possibly raise this limit. So I thought to myself, “okay, I better just email them to fix this little issue.” So I shot off an email telling them about the restriction, saved the listing for later, and went to bed.
I thought I would wake up and everything would be resolved. Boy was I wrong! I had an email reply from eBay when I woke up (I know, shocking that it didn’t take them a week). This is basically what is said (just a summary):
“Thanks for choosing eBay,
We reviewed your account, and unfortunately we cannot raise this selling restriction limit at this time. We consider many factors when choosing whether or not to raise the limit. You may try to request this again in 90 days. Thanks, blah blah”
Needless to say, I was in complete shock that they would not “raise” my limits of the items I can sell. Here is why.
Why eBay Should Not Have Restricted My Selling Activity:
1. I am a Silver PowerSeller (business-the point is to sell as much as possible and make money)
2. I have no policy violations AT ALL in the past year (ZERO).
3. I always pay my fees on time (ALWAYS).
4. I always maintain at least 99.9% positive feedback (sometimes 100%). Plus I have thousands of feedbacks.
5. All of my DSR’s are above 4.7, usually 4.8 or above.
6. I have been on there for nearly 8 years (2 years on this account alone).
7. All of the items I sell are 100% authentic, and comply with all eBay policies.
8. They shouldn’t have done it, simply because it inspired me to write this post (negative publicity), and I am already getting plans together to starting my own site to market my inventory, and also taking advantage of other online selling sites. I hope to eventually phase eBay out completely, unless they repent and fire this terrible management.
Can you believe it! All of that, and they still are limiting the number of items I can list in certain categories! GET REAL EBAY!!!
Eventually, I just changed the category but kept everything else the same. It worked and I was able to list my item (but not in the category I originally chose). So it all worked out in the end anyways. The point is, eBay is really going crazy with all the restrictions. It is nothing but a hassle. It is a hassle dealing with the occasional pain-in-the-you-know-what customers I get from time to time. It is pain dealing with feedback. It is a pain shipping. It is a pain dealing with all the new policies they come up with weekly. And now it is even a pain to list an item!
Gee, I wonder why poor eBay keeps going down in traffic, listings, and revenue?
The truth is, it has terrible management right now. If a proven Silver PowerSeller who obeys all the “rules” can’t list an item because I have “too many similar items in a category”, when they are a business, who in the world can? Sheesh!
Anyways, just thought I would share. I am going to work on spreading my inventory across several selling sites. eBay is just getting worse and worse, and they don’t even realize the problems!
eBay Announces New AdCommerce Pay Per Click Program
Ebay just announced their new PPC advertising program called AdCommerce. Apparently, eBay sellers can opt to sign up for this program to run pay per click advertising links within the search results page on eBay. So far, it seems you can only use it to promote your own eBay listings or your own eBay store.
It seems like it works similarly to Google Adwords, but it does have some differences. It seems that sellers can add text, and even a small gallery picture. This will be displayed on the search results page, and if a potential buyer happens to click an ad, you get charged money for the advertisement. So pretty much the same as Adwords, but for eBay listings only.
Should eBay Sellers Use AdCommerce? Will It Increase eBay Sales? Would I Use it?
First, it is just common sense that the more traffic you get to your listing, the more products you will sell (at fixed price), or the higher the bids will get (in auction format). So, of course the more traffic you get, the more sales you get, PERIOD. But the real question is will it be profitable for sellers to use it? The answer to that, is IT DEPENDS!
If a seller could play around with it and tweak it to the point where it could be a cheaper form of promotion than going for a different promotional tool (such as featured plus), then it may be worthwhile for some products with high margins. However, it seems that simply paying for the feature or other advertising or promotion would be a heck of a lot easier than having to constantly tweak an advertising campaign! That way you would ensure consistent results towards the top of the search results.
Would I personally use it…NO! And here is why…The reason I sell items on eBay is for the built-in traffic they already offer! Stuff sells well (sometimes) because eBay has so many affiliates driving traffic to the site. EBay forgets that sellers go there not because sellers can have people bid, but because they have the built-in traffic. If I am going to have to pay for my own traffic, then I think I will just send it to my own website…DUH! When I pay eBay fees I look at like I am just paying for traffic. But if I am going to have to start paying for ppc advertising on top of the normal listing and final value fees, then I would just build my own site and send all the traffic there. Then I won’t have to worry about ‘Feedback,’ the high final value fees, all of the other annoyances that go along with selling items on eBay in the first place. Not to mention that they will shut your account down at the drop of a hat if you do something wrong.
Another complaint I have, is that if I am going to pay for PPC traffic, then I am going to use Google because they get way more traffic than eBay! Plus, I can use Google Adwords for all of my other websites or PPC campaigns, whereas with eBay you can only use it for your store/listings only.
Is eBay’s AdCommerce PPC Advertising Worth It?
If you are a hard core eBayer you may want to try this to see if it can increase your sales. I definitely would only use it on products with a huge markup (at least $40 after all fees in my opinion). Then you could tweak and track your results to see if it is better than just featuring it.
I would not likely use it at all, but then again, I may test it out here in a few weeks and post my own results with the program. It just seems silly that you can only advertise your listings (and not a website, etc.). And I already pay EXPENSIVE fees to sell on there which majorly cuts into my margins, so I don’t see why I would want to give eBay a raise?? And like I said before, if you want ppc, why not just use Google Adwords? Much more reliable, and you can send traffic to eBay, your own website, or anywhere!