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  1. #1
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    eBay Raising Final Valuation Fees for Sellers
    eBay has just announced it's new fee structures. While they have slightly lowered the insertion fees, and are no longer charging for Gallery Images (a move I applaud), they have upped the Final Valuation Fees from a base of 5.25% to 8.75%. You know the Sellers are going to be hollering about this ... but more charges to them means more income for us.

    New eBay Fees Effective 2/20/08

    As a Seller, I like the free Gallery Images and lower insertion fees. But, considering the hike in the Final Valuation Fees, I think they could have lowered the insertion fees further.

    As an Affiliate promoting eBay ... this means a raise, and since I earn much more from promoting eBay than I do selling stuff on eBay, I'm not going to complain about the changes.

    Evidently, there's more to come from eBay now that they have a new chief executive:

    John Donahoe’s Plan to Save eBay: Better Search

  2. #2
    Full Member fg20878's Avatar
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    Great! More CJ/Ebay $ for us.

  3. #3
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Just read a story about that in Yahoo Finance. Looks like they're also lowering their insertion fees, dropping charges for hosting images, and changing how search results appear. Sellers with high feedback and who accept PayPal or credit cards will be listed higher.

    All good changes, IMHO!
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  4. #4
    Full Member bobby131313's Avatar
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    Great! More CJ/Ebay $ for us.
    You'd think so until you read the new feedback policy that starts in May.

    Sellers will no longer be able to leave anything but positive feedback. Yes, you read that right, they will no longer be able to leave anything but positive feedback. Buyers can leave whatever feedback they want, sellers get to choose from positive or nothing.

    Regardless of your thoughts on this rule, if it stands, sellers will be leaving eBay in droves, including myself.

    This could hurt affiliates bad.

  5. #5
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    Wow! That's not good. What about buyers who don't pay for items. How do sellers warn against these creeps if they can't post negative feedback for them?

    Whoever came up with this idea didn't think it through.

    I just found the announcement about it here:

    Upcoming Changes to Feedback

    The reasoning:
    buyers will be more honest when they leave Feedback since they will not fear retaliatory negative Feedback
    I find fault with that. Still doesn't address the problem with non-paying buyers.

  6. #6
    Believe knight01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobby131313
    You'd think so until you read the new feedback policy that starts in May.

    Sellers will no longer be able to leave anything but positive feedback. Yes, you read that right, they will no longer be able to leave anything but positive feedback. Buyers can leave whatever feedback they want, sellers get to choose from positive or nothing.

    Regardless of your thoughts on this rule, if it stands, sellers will be leaving eBay in droves, including myself.

    This could hurt affiliates bad.
    Sounds like eBay is saying to the buyers it's ok to screw a seller, go on to the next one and they won't know what you just did.

    eBay has had issues with fraudulent buyers for quite awhile, and one reason I stopped using it, I don't see this helping that image.
    Someday starts today
    Military Discounts

  7. #7
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    The "positive feedback only" thing really doesn't bother me. I am also an eBay Powerseller and I have probably only left negative feedback for buyers a handful of times. Not that big of a deal. It is not saying that the buyers do nothing wrong. Of course they do. But I think it boils down to another issue.

    I would say that only 1/2 of the time does my wife (whose buyer's account we use) ever get feedback at all for following through with the purchase.

    Sellers, and especially huge-quantity sellers just don't have the time unless they use scripted feedback, and where is the personal touch there?

    I think with the millions of transactions/week that occur through eBay, they are seeing this more as a move to free up some (though fractional) server space and CPU use.

    Anyway, I will stay on as a Powerseller with them as long as I qualify as such.

    -sfcom


  8. #8
    Full Member bobby131313's Avatar
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    The issue concerns me more as an affiliate than a PowerSeller. I can sell my coins a myriad of other places and I will. I get enough extortion attempts now, I can't fathom what it will be like when this rule changes.

    The point is, sellers are going to leave in droves as I said, and it will impact us hard.

  9. #9
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    IF they leave, they have to have a viable alternative to maintain their living. So far, there has not been one established.

    Ebay has more cash to burn than many companies out there. If there is one conglomerate business I trust is being led correctly, it is them.

    Did anyone also know about them discounting fees for Powersellers?

    -----PowerSeller Program
    13. Where can I get details about the new PowerSeller DSR requirement, PowerSeller fee discounts and other new PowerSeller benefits?
    Several new benefits will recognize and reward PowerSeller contributions to the success of the eBay marketplace including PowerSeller fee discounts, unpaid item protection and expanded seller protection from PayPal. You can get complete details on these benefits and the new DSR requirement on the PowerSeller Portal.

    -sfcom


  10. #10
    Full Member bobby131313's Avatar
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    IF they leave, they have to have a viable alternative to maintain their living.
    I'd be willing to bet less than 5% of eBay sellers "maintain their living" there. Most sellers can do without eBay and pay the bills. This is a real concern and shouldn't be taken lightly in my opinion.

  11. #11
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I hadn't read about the changes for feedback.

    From a buyer viewpoint, I like it. There have been several times where I should have left a negative feedback for a seller but I didn't because I didn't want to risk having my perfect record (192 positive, 0 neutral or negative) tarnished by a retaliatory feedback.

    From a seller viewpoint, it's not very good unless they have other solutions in place for taking care of bad buyers. And I think they do have some. You can report non-paying buyers. And if a buyer gets deactivated (and eventually, fraudulent ones usually are), any feedback they left gets removed.

    I think it'll lower overall seller feedback ratings somewhat, but good sellers will still have overall good ratings. I think overall it'll just make buyer feedback more honest. It'll hurt the dishonest sellers much more than the honest ones.

    They've already been heading down this path, by allowing buyers to anonymously rate listing accuracy, seller communication, shipping speed, and shipping charges.
    Michael Coley
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  12. #12
    Full Member bobby131313's Avatar
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    It'll hurt the dishonest sellers much more than the honest ones.
    I'd like to believe that but it will be exactly the opposite. The scammers and extortionists will hit the honest sellers first because they are the ones that care about their feedback. This will start the very first day of the new policy.

    If you try to feedback extort a seller that has lousy feedback if they even respond at all, it will be along the lines of "Bite me", or something to that effect.

  13. #13
    Full Member GoColts's Avatar
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    More money is good money for us.

    Maybe they'll be able to "afford" a full time forum staff member to dedicate to their affiliate's discussion board to actually respond in an intelligent, clear, and timely manner.

    Probably not.

  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager buyjewelry's Avatar
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    The new rates are really bad for sellers. A lot of these eBay merchants have to squeeze profits and make money on volume. Not leaving negative feedback for buyers is also a bad thing, for the reasons already stated. But realistically - where are auction sellers and buyers going to go? I think I am going to search for an original Monopoly game on ebay

  15. #15
    Full Member bobby131313's Avatar
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    I hope it's OK to post this link, it's not my auction, or an aff link and its already over.

    Be sure to read all of the questions to the seller, but while laughing, realize that as silly as most of them sound, there is a LOT of truth in them.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=280196667075

    My Pop-Pop used told me once that sometimes things said in jest.... are the most meant.

  16. #16
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    Wish you had copied those questions because eBay has removed the item and I can't read it. I did a search of Google for the item number, and it's been talked about and linked to a lot at other forums. Can you enlighten us as to what it was all about?

  17. #17
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    Never mind ... I found a forum in the UK where somebody had those questions in their cache, and posted them via a link:

    http://dropshipforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?p=39113

    Too funny. No wonder eBay removed it. Sure does point out the flaws in their system. I could only read page one of the comments because evidently you have to have a UK login to read further.

  18. #18
    Full Member Amy_S's Avatar
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    RE the feedback changes: I think they are a bad move, personally. I speak as a longtime buyer & seller- since '99. Any of you guys had to deal with 419 scammers? They are rampant on ebay. In my personal experience, ebay takes weeks/ months to deal with them and remove them from the site. The last one I dealt with started with 0 feedback and had racked up a few dozen negs before ebay took care of the situation. Now imagine the same scenario, with the scammer merrily scamming away, and no telltale negs to warn other sellers. People get taken in by these scams even with the feedback system as it is. It is already relatively easy for scammers to operate on the site. So, I don't see that as a positive change.

    RE the new search: does anyone else remember when Yahoo auctions made similar changes to their search algorithm? I was an active seller on the Yahoo at the time. It was a complete disaster. I could elaborate at length about it, but I doubt any of you would want to read a rant that long!

    RE whether sellers will leave in droves, I can see both sides of that issue. There are, and there aren't, plenty of other places to go/ ways to make money online. There isn't anything else out there quite like ebay, but there are plenty of opportunities. You might see, for example, more ebayers jumping ship as a seller to begin promoting ebay as an affiliate. I'm one of them. (Although I've also been working on promoting other merchants.) And that also means, I am no longer buying on ebay. When I was actively selling, I was also actively buying. I still bid on a few things here and there, but not like I used to.

    Which brings up another point. Many of ebay's sellers are also buyers. When they stop selling, they stop buying too. I participate in a few ebay groups, and I've seen this happen often enough to think that it could definitely become a concern for affiliates.

    I do think that free gallery will be a change for the better. I have wondered why they didn't do that sooner. Can you think of any other site that could get away with not showing pictures of all the items for sale upfront?

  19. #19
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    When I was reading the New York Times article I linked to at the beginning of this post, I noticed the first commenter mentioned a site called Etsy.com. I checked it out and it looks like a great place to sell hand-made items. Only it looks like all fixed priced, no auctions. Still, with a 20 cent listing fee (no matter the price) for four months, a 3.5% final valuation fee and up to five pictures for free, it's sure one alternative for crafters who sell their wares.

    I'm guessing more alternatives like this are going to get a boost after eBay implements all the changes it has announced.

  20. #20
    Full Member Amy_S's Avatar
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    Tracy, I agree. Alternatives are seeming more attractive all the time. Etsy is a viable venue for sellers with the right merchandise. I've made some sales there in the past. I sure wish etsy had an affiliate program (they don't, do they? I don't think so but haven't checked lately.)

  21. #21
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    No, I don't think they have an affiliate program, but they certainly are a great alternative for that niche.

    My sister tried selling her hand-crafted bags that are similar to Vera Bradley at eBay with little success. She said that they buyers at eBay weren't willing to pay reasonable prices for hand-made items. They were just looking for bargains. When I found Etsy I sent her the link. Certainly, visitors to Etsy might understand better the value of hand-crafted items.

  22. #22
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    nice
    It is a new ebay alternative online auction site for sellers who are tired of paying huge fees. We only charge 15cents per listing and no closing fees. Unique custom built website is unlike any other auction site. [SPAM LINK REMOVED]
    Last edited by MichaelColey; February 14th, 2008 at 09:34 AM.

  23. #23
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    The "no negative feedback" for sellers is a great change. As a buyer, I'm not afraid to leave negative feedback when I get screwed - and as a result, I have several negative feedbacks - 100% of them in retaliation for a legitimate complaint I had with the buyer (whereas the feedbacks they left were either complete lies or too vague to contest).

    On the other hand, if you look at all of the sellers I complained about - I trusted them because their feedback was so high. But why was it high? Because buyers are too afraid to leave negative feedback in fear of retaliation!

    I've actually received messages from fellow buyers who got screwed by the same sellers, saying things like "you're brave for standing up to that guy, I got screwed too".. yet they wouldn't leave the negative feedback because they didn't want the blemish on their record.

    I'm really glad to see this change, and I think it will keep sellers in check. When buyers don't pay, it sucks, but eBay can deal with that in a completely different manner than "feedback".

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    I think the feedback standard will change. When you see a seller with a rating below 98% (or perhaps even higher) you have second thoughts about purchasing from them. Now that buyers will have no fear of leaving a neg, negs will be flying like crazy and lower the average rating. I've worked very hard (obsessed) over keeping my 100% rating and am at 2000 feedbacks and counting. It's going to become very difficult to maintain that rating as buyers become fearless. You can't please everyone and someone will kill my score. Over time the standard will probably drop down into the low 90%s and perhaps even into the 80%s or lower. I'm not going to be the one causing the drop though. It will be all those sellers who don't really know how to properly operate a business and give good customer service who drop the standard.

    BTW, part of eBay's new pricing structure will be final value fee discounts for those sellers who maintain a good rating. So, listing fees are lower, final value fees are higher but will be discounted for good sellers, but the average seller ratings will eventually drop resulting in higher final value fees. Looks like eBay has it all figured out and makes it look like a positive change for sellers by lowering some of the fees. In reality eBay (and affiliates) is looking forward to the future and will eventually see an overall increase in fees. That's just good business!

  25. #25
    Full Member bobby131313's Avatar
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    The problem will be the scammers and extortionists, not the honest buyers.

    Here's one buyer that thought the rule had already started and was attempting to feedback extort sellers already. The actual emails from this buyer have been posted around various boards. I won't go into detail but the phrase "or I will neg you and there isn't a dam thing you can do about it" was reported to be in several of them.

    The fee discounts are only for powersellers. All DSR's must be 4.8 or above which is extremely difficult for the most upstanding sellers, heck I know a powerseller with a 100% feedback score of over 6,000 that has a 4.8 DSR for shipping charges, but get this.... She hasn't charged shipping to one single customer in over 3 years! She sells ebooks and recipes and such. All emails or digital downloads, but her shipping charge DSR gets dinged all the time. One word. Duh.

    Also, powersellers will be the first targeted by the scammers and extortionists making is very difficult to qualify for discounts. Trust me, eBay knew exactly what they were doing.
    Last edited by bobby131313; February 14th, 2008 at 04:52 PM. Reason: Fixed Link

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