Changes were reecntly unveiled to the eBay system, causing shockwaves to flow throughout the eBay sellers of the world. The changes include:
- A slight lowering of the listing fees
- A significant raise to the commission fees
- Changes to the feedback percentage system
- A banning of negatives and neutrals given to buyers
- Monetary incentives for PowerSellers
- A change in the default setting for searches
- A preference for sellers who have high feedback percentages
- Non-paying bidders will no longer be allowed to leave negs or neutrals
The lowered listing fees are of course a welcome change to most sellers. However, some of the other changes may hamper the way that sellers do business, and will likely discourage new sellers.
Not allowing sellers to leave negative feedback for buyers is a step backward, according to many sellers. This will open the door to feedback extortion, which is against eBay rules. This occurs when a buyer demands something, such as money , and threatens to leave negative feedback unless they get it. Many sellers are worried about this practice flourishing because of the new system, and for god reason. Sellers will now have little recourse against buyers who are nothing more than scammers.
Discouraging to new sellers is the new default search pattern that will place listings by established, high-feedback sellers before other sellers. This replaces the older system of older listings ending first as the default setting. It remains to be seen as to whether the new search setting will result in more sales for listings featured first, or whether buyers will simply change the search parameters each time they search.
PowerSellers have long asked for some type of real incentive to go along with the program, aside from the simple icon they are granted. The new incentives offer them a discount on their final value fees. Not only is there a discount, there are two possible discounts- both of which depend on the seller’s feedback percentages. Higher percentages mean a higher discount. This is welcome news to many Powersellers, but it is difficult for high-volume sellers to maintain the feedback percentages required of the program. For the detailed percentages, including shipping time and communicaiton ratings, each category has to be at least 4.6/5 to be eligible for a final value fee discount. To get the larger discount, the ratings must be 4.8 or higher.
The changes are certainly shaking up the eBay world, and will likely scare away new sellers. PowerSellers are likely to stay and attempt to keep high percentage in return for discounts, which will result in fewer small-time sellers and more big-time sellers. This scenario isn’t exactly what most people think of when they thin of an eBay seller, but it soon will be. As fees grow and smaller sellers are crowded out of the market , the site is becoming more of a B to B marketplace rather than one for part-time or hobby sellers.
To help make sense of it all, do your research before continuing to sell on eBay.