Got an email from eBay yesterday confirming some rumors I’ve heard. Mr. Bill Cobb did the “good news bad news” thing. He sort of confirmed what eBay had announced earlier this year: that listing fees would not be increased. That announcement, coupled with poor quarterly earnings has caused eBay stock shock lately.
Mr. Cobb´s good news was
Core listing fees will remain unchanged. So for the vast majority of eBay sellers who use only these formats, their fees are not increasing.
Mr. Cobb´s bad news was
For those of you who operate an eBay Store, we’re making changes to Store Inventory listing fees, as well as to the on-site exposure we provide for this listing format.
Making changes indeed! Let me put it more bluntly: eBay store fees are going up – way up. Listing fees will more than double for items under $25 and will quintuple (that’s 5x) for items $25 and over. Formerly, it was 2 cents across the board; now it’s a tiered system.
As I posted in this blog entry, the eBay store listing fees are like cheap rent. They provide an advantageous way to list lots and lots of items for not much money for long periods of time. This increase will make that less advantageous.
Final value fees are going up as well. In this blog post, I talked about high store final value fees as being a big drawback to eBay stores. Now it will be an even bigger drawback as the already high final value fees for eBay store items will go up 2%.
You can view the eBay’s store fee change table here.
Mr. Cobb also said
…we’ll also include an unlimited number of Store Inventory listings after all matching core listings, when the buyer clicks the Buy It Now listings tab at the top of every search results page. When the buyer hasn’t selected this option, eBay.com will display Store Inventory listings along with core listings as described above.
You can read the entire Bill Cobb announcement here.
What does this all mean? I’m no analyst but, eBay likely needed to do this please nervous investors and at the same time cause the fewest ripples among eBay sellers. eBay still does not seem to have a growth plan outside of raising fees. Last year’s purchase of Skype has yet to monetize for them and their recent acquisition of a partnership with Yahoo! also has yet to monetize.
In the meantime, I will have to study the impact of this on our eBay store. The fact is, only about 5% of our eBay sales come from our store, the rest comes from auction listings. So the value of our eBay store as a sales channel has been limited. I hear similar statistics echoed from a lot of eBay sellers; unless you heavily market your eBay store (as you would a website), it will be a limited sales channel. Whether this ‘additional exposure’ will create value for eBay stores to offset these fee increases remains to be seen.
What about you? Do you have an eBay store as part of your home-based business? How will this impact you?