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Spring 2010 – eBay Raises Selling Fees Again, Lies To Sellers

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Ebay has recently announced some pretty major changes to their seller fee structure. Following their recent trend of the past few years, they continue to slightly reduce insertion fees while raising final value fees–each time boasting this will help customers. This time, the final value fee increase is HUGE.

The real problem here is eBay’s attempt to cover it up as a positive change for everyone. eBay has sent out mass emails advertising wonderful new changes, with fee reductions for sellers, however in reality almost nobody will see any reduction while most will see medium to HUGE fee increases.


CHANGES: Auction Style

  • Sold item (final value) fee sees a HUGE increase for any item over $25.
    (Previously only the first $25 was billed fully, the rest of the sold value was given a cheaper rate. Now only a flat 9% rate for the entire price is charged–this is a huge increase on more expensive items.)
  • ALL auction listings see at least a fee increase from 8.75% to 9% of the sold price
  • TINY savings on insertion fees, the biggest being 100 free listings starting at $0.99 or less. (Old cost was $0.10 — big whoop)

Example: You start your item at $0.99 bid. It is bid up to and sells at $125. You save $0.15 listing your item but end up paying $11.25 in final value fees - a $5.56 increase or over 200% increase! More expensive item? Bigger increase in fees.

CHANGES: Fixed Price Style

  • Medium to small increase in final value fees for electronics in the $50-$1000 range (raised from 4.5% to 5.0%)
  • Other final value fees seem to be mostly unchanged
  • Insertion fees RAISED from $0.35 to $0.50 across the board.
  • Books, Movies, Video Games insertion fee RAISED from $0.15 to $0.50! – HUGE increase

eBay’s FAQ for the changes reads:

In general, are eBay fees going up or down?
For most sellers, the new fee options will bring significant savings with dramatically reduced upfront cost. Across the board, Insertion Fees are being dramatically reduced. Final Value Fees for Fixed Price listings are for the most part staying the same. See the fee charts for details.

Now tell me, how do the huge increases listed above equate to “significant savings”, or even “staying the same”? Saving a dime on insertion fees means nothing when you end up paying an extra $5.00, 200%, or more when your item sells!

The single demographic who will benefit from this will be a seller who lists a few dozen items at $0.99 every month but only has a few of them sell. If a good amount sell, or if they sell for over $25.00, the final value fee increases will VERY quickly overtake any new savings he might have from the slightly reduced insertion fee. This is a tiny demographic.

Here are links to eBay’s website for the old and new fee structure: The new fees VS The old fees

Conclusion:

Expect to see fewer people using auction style listings since there is no way to cover the increase in selling fees. More fixed price (immediate purchase) listings will be used and prices will be raised moderately to cover the increased final value fees. New users who don’t notice the hidden final value fees will be shocked when they are billed $35.00 for selling their Playstation 3 (or whatever), have to pay $25.00 in shipping, and another $9.00 in PayPal fees. Suddenly that $300 they got from their sale has dropped down to around $225.

The real crime here is eBay’s poor attempt to disguise their massive fee increases. I hope this article has helped shed some truth on the changes since most people probably will not take the time to calculate how this will negatively affect them.

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4 Comments

  1. I have been doing business with Ebay for eleven years. During that time their fees have increased at a rate of 800% of the rate of inflation. During this time of picking the pockets of sellers they have continued with one anti-seller policy after another. On ebay any dishonest buyer can steal anything from a seller, all they have to do is claim they recieved the wrong item and send you back sonething they no longer want while keeping the item you really sent. If they seller says they sent the correct item, Ebay will ignore that assertion but always agree that the item returned to you by the buyer was the correc itemt. If you send a twenty pound item out and a twelve pound item is returned, Ebay will assume it was the same item and force you to give a refund. You can ask Ebay how this could be the same item and they will just ignore the question. The buyer does not have to prove anything and almost all proof supplied by the seller is ignored. Ebay is very clear that in their mind, all sellers are dishonest and all buyers are angels. A seller is guilty, no matter what. With high fees and an open invitation for buyers to steal from sellers, Ebay is quickly becoming a place where only buyers and ebay make money….all sellers lose.

  2. Ebay has been ripping off sellers for ages. Ebay charges 4% PayPal fees on the Total Sale Price INCLUDING SHIPPING FEES. Prior to that, Ebay already ripped-off 12.5% of the total amount of the sale INCLUDING SHIPPING FEES- so what they have been doing is applying DOUBLE FEES to the Shipping part of the total sale price. Aside from the fact that Shipping fees should be excluded form the TOTAL sale price, afterall I have to transfer the amount of shipping to the shipping company: It is not my profit and Ebay makes sure that no Seller makes money on shipping , which is fine. But then Ebay turns around and includes shipping fee in the total SALE PRICE, then charges Ebay fees on that Total ,including shipping portion and then charges you again PAYPAL fees on the Total ,including shipping portion . So in fact Ebay is running a scam and making money on shipping charges, TWICE!!!! While posturing and making sure sellers do not make a dime on the Shipping.
    Ebay is ripe for class-action lawsuit . They are one of the most manipulative and dishonest companies that is still operating in US.

  3. Hello, When I sold my last item on Ebay I assumed the $20.00 max. Final Value Fee was still in effect.
    “WRONG” ?????? They raised it to 2.9 % which meant the F-V-F was $35.00 instead.
    They also charged a Fee including a F-V-F for an item that didn’t sell because the “Buyer”
    was too cheap to pay USPS Priority, which would have cost him an additional $5.
    So, the final bill was $78, instead of $45. I refused to pay, so now I’m “BANISHED ” from
    the” Hallowed Ground”, ………so be it. The additional $33 wouldn’t break me, but, it was this
    “BAIT & SWITCH” policy that I was not going to tolerate. I offered to pay their “Collection” goons
    $45 for reinstatement of my privileges, “REFUSED”, so now they get ZERO !!!
    P.S. NEVER SELL TO BUYER WHO WANT’S SHIPMENT TO NIGERIA, NEVER !!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. oh well — last year I grossed over $600,000 on E-Bay–new “reduced fees” will bring that gross to less than $100,000 this year–E Bay should hire some more Wharton school of business graduates. E BAY WILL PASS AND PASS FAST …….. RALPH

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