Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Where Will Esteban Beltre Be Sold, eBay?

I’m sure most of you who have eBay stores have heard about the new pricing. When I first heard the news, I was rejoicing about it too. Lower selling fees and more exposure seemed too good to be true. Then, I read further into the new pricing structure.

I have a lot of baseball cards in store inventory. Over 1,000 cards. Fixed pricing was too high of a cost, so I went with store inventory which has the added benefit of automatic renewal every 30 days. With a gallery feature, it cost a grand total of 6 cents per card, per 30 days. Some cards I make money on, some I don’t. It all depends on how long the card is in the store. If it sits there for months, I’m probably going to lose money in the long run. That’s OK though. I usually even things out on other items.

I enjoy putting commons in my eBay store. Especially older commons. You don’t see a common card from 1992 up on eBay too often. I like to think that if someone is looking for a common to complete their older set, they might be able to find it in my store. The way I set things up, you can find a common as much as you can find a star. I think it’s a pretty good mix. Some cards you just can’t get in a trade. Some cards are too much baggage to haul to a show.

Then on Monday, I found this notice on eBay that goes into effect on February 20, 2008.

Insertion Fees for Store Inventory listings

Price fee.............. before fee............ now (effective 02/20/08)
$0.01 - $0.99 -------$0.05 ---------N/A
$1.00 - $24.99 ------$0.05 ---------$0.03 Lower fee!
$25.00 - $199.99 ---$0.10 ----------$0.05 Lower fee!
Above $200.00 -----$0.10 ----------$0.10

Starting Price: Fixed Price, Store Inventory, and Buy It Now
The "N/A" in the charts above reflects a new minimum start price for Fixed Price listings, Store Inventory listings and the Buy It Now feature. Store Inventory and Fixed Price listings must have a starting price of at least $1.00. The Buy It Now feature, which can be added to Auction-style listings, must also have a minimum Buy It Now price of at least $1.00.

I couldn’t believe what I read. So, I e-mailed eBay right away with my concerns. This morning, I got a reply back.

Dear eBay member,

Thank you for writing eBay in regard to our new pricing structure. Based on the new pricing structure, you will not be able to list Store Inventory items for less than $1.00. You can still list Auction and Fixed Price items for under $1.00. All new fees will become effective as of 00:00 PST (midnight) on February 20, 2008. Listings that begin on and after midnight on February 20, 2008, will be charged the new fees, regardless of when they were created (e.g. through a listing tool or through the Sell Your Item form using the listing scheduler feature).

We encourage you to also provide your feedback on February 1 during our webinar. The webinar will be at 10 am PST and can be accessed by visiting www.ebay.com/sellerwebinar

If you need further assistance, please don't hesitate to reply to this email and let us know.

Sincerely, Alexis Va.
eBay Customer Support

This contradicts what the original memo says about fixed pricing, but it still doesn’t change store inventory. I don’t have the time to reactivate over 1,000 items a month, do you? I liked the way that you could set up the store inventory to renew automatically every 30 days.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t justify charging $1.00 for a card that’s worth a quarter or lower. This is more than likely a way to stop the sellers who charge 1 cent for the card and $5.00 for the shipping. I can understand that. What about the honest sellers out there, who charge a reasonable price for their cards and charge a fair shipping price? They are left out in the cold with a limited inventory and consumers with limited selection.

I want my commons back! This decision will hurt card sellers on eBay. It will cut into sales and result in consumer anger and seller anguish. Sure, we’re getting free gallery features, but at what price?

Plus, despite what eBay claims. Prices are going up across the board.

Does this sound like savings to you? I didn’t think so.

4 comments:

Fleerfan said...

Steve,

You may want to consider listing your cards on http://www.sportlots.com/

I often go to this site when I'm just looking for a few common cards (and the occasional Fleer sticker!).

I'm not sure about their fee structure, but it might be worth checking out. It certainly won't get the amount of traffic that you would get from ebay, but this might be a reasonable alternative.

If nothing else, now you know a resource for tracking down some White Sox cards you need.

White Sox Cards said...

Very cool alternative. I may check that out further.

Thanks!

Bay Rat North West said...

I have a friend that works in ebay customer service here in Utah. The "phones are ringing off the hook" according to him. The overwhelming consensus from workers is ebay is trying to end low end items like commons and concentrate more on higher profit items.

White Sox Cards said...

Store items under $1.00 make up a good chunk of eBay's business. I'd say that 75% of my meager sales are from cards that are under $1.00. I sell off cards that I don't want to get cards that I do want. Now, I may have to rely on trading more to supplement the holes in my collection.

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