Wednesday, January 30, 2008

More on eBay changes

Pictured is an ACEO of Lily.

One thing that may not be clear from the fee changes is that the final value fees (FVF) went way up. They keep talk about lowering fees, but it's listing fees and they buried the final value fee change. For my typical $20 item it currently costs $0.95 to list and $1.05 if it sells, so $2 from ebay (and another $1.07 from PayPal but that hasn't changed).

Under the new system - gallery is free and the base price is a nickle less, so it only costs $0.55 to list it. But the FVF is now $1.75, for a total of $2.30. So if it sells, it costs 30 cents more than before. If it doesn't sell, it costs 40 cents less than before (assuming you used gallery, otherwise a nickle).

So basically this could either be a cut or an increase depending on what percentage of your stuff sells.

Now, there's also some discounts to the FVF if your DSRs - the new star feedback system - are above some level. I actually qualify now because my DSRs are in the top 10% of everybody on eBay. But the numbers are fixed, and if you drop below in any category you're screwed. It's also over the last 30 days so you can't build up good points - one 4 star rating and you're probably out of luck. And everybody's expecting the changes in the feedback system to lead to lower feedback. So basically nobody is counting on this, it's just a bonus if you get lucky in some month, and realistically people who ship heavy things are always out of luck since they'll get dinged on the shipping cost category even if they're not charging any extra for shipping - most people don't realize how much it costs to ship heavy stuff.

So the good news is it makes it cheaper to flood eBay with speculative stuff - if I want to list a bunch of landscapes to see if they'll sell that's easier now. The bad news is it makes it easier to flood eBay with speculative stuff - there's likely to be even more crap than there is now which makes finding the good stuff harder.

This brings us to the other category of change which is that they're totally redoing search and feedback is supposed to be a factor. Which of course means it's now worthwhile to buy from the competition and screw them because whereas before frankly most buyers didn't pay a lot of attention to feedback now it's right in the algorithm - screw somebody and your items get listed first.

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