16 August 2006

eBay Changes

Just when I think I have figured out eBay, they change the game.

One recent change is to the fees for eBay store items. Instead of 2-cents for a 30-day listing regardless of price, the listing fees will be $0.05 for items $0.01-24.99 and $0.10 for items $25.00 and over. Then the final value fees (fees after you sell something) also will increase from 8% to 10% for itmes under $25, and from 5% to 7% for items $25-100.

While these changes may seem minor, they do add up. For example, if I list 20 items in my store for a year, that used to cost $4.80. Now the listing fees will be $18.00 (if 10 items are under $25 and 10 are over) for the year. That's 375% increase!!! Now, multiply this times the number of eBay stores, say 200,000, and you can see we are talking some serious money for eBay. ($3.6 million/year) This is just the listing fees -- add the final value fees and it's really serious money!

So, rather than put a lot of items in my store and have them continually available, I'm going to have to be a bit more selective. (Okay, I can afford the $18.00/year, but I'm one of many artists who are very upset at eBay's greed!) I'm not sure what I will do -- list things related to what I'm putting on auction, list things that are too expensive to list at auction, list .... I don't know. I'll think about it.

Another possible change has to do with how things are found when one searches for items on eBay. eBay doesn't admit they are tweaking the search methods, but.... well a number of artists insist they are. Everytime they change how search results are found (all itmes listed by ending date, featured items first, no store items,...), it's a lottery as to whether it helps my items be found or not.

Anyway, I've decided not to list anything on auction until at least mid-September, so I can figure out what is going on. Also this will give me a chance to get caught up on portrait commissions. In the meantime, I will be listing about 5 items per day in my store (before 22 Aug when the new fees take effect), all with Best Offer options. Hopefully, I will sell a few items and clean out my store, so I'll have less store inventory.

Now, if eBay just leaves everything alone for a while, I might actually figure out how to make the new changes work for me!

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