eBay’s recent changes

Gosh its been an exciting few days in the world of eBay watching.  The site has made some pretty radical changes to how their fee structure works.  Interesting, all very interesting

The end of the level playing field (in the UK at least)

eBay has done two things to the way their fees are structured

  • Reduced their insertion fee and increased their final value fees.  The idea is to make the fees more success driven, aligning the interests of eBay and the sellers.
  • Offering a scalled reduction of final value fees based on powerseller status and detailed seller ratings i.e. if you are a volume seller who gives a good service you will get a discount

I think that the second change is particulary interesting.  When I have talked to eBay in the past, they were most adamant that their marketplace was going to be for now and evermore a level playing field where sellers pay the same fees if they are a sole trader or multinational.  In most other lines of business bulk users get a discount, which is what eBay is now offering in the UK. 

I remember Randy Smythe complaining in his after bankrupcy debrief from Ina Steiner that he thought that eBay should offer a bulk discount on fees.  Well move to the UK Randy and your dreams will come true!

I presume that this is as the result of eBay’s poor performance of late and increased competition. 

eBay Express RIP

eBay express UK is to be scrapped.  Whilst I could see what eBay were trying to do with express, I am not sure if anyone ever used it.  I think markets tend to consolodate, a fact that has given eBay near total monopoly of the online marketplaces.   Getting people to use express was asking them to leave the consolodated marketplace, where a) all the action is and b) they are used to going.  Not surprisign that it didn’t work really

End of Seller Negative Feedback

Sellers will no longer be able to leave buyers negative feedback.  I think that this is sensible as  I think that after a buyer has paid, they have done their part in the transaction. 


  1. Increasingly today there are plenty of alternatives to ebay for sellers. Not only is there Amazon Marketplace and a similar facility on Play.com but there are auction sites where they are increasing numbers of buyers. In the UK you have Specuialist Auctions, ebid, Tazbar, to name but three. When I sell something I want the riht to be able to give a negative or a neutral if the buyer has behaved badly. I’ve only had to give such ratings on a tiny handful of occasions. But if sellers lose that right, then a dishonest buyer can hold the seller to ransome for extras, reduced postage etc etc by threatening a neg. So for me as a seller its goodbye ebay as I’ve had enough. As a buyer I occasionally go there as a last resort but the unpredictable search results are a pain. Nothing stays static for long and to my mind the direction ebay is heading is clearly downwards. Does it matter? I don’t think so.

  2. Adam J Sulkowski says:

    I think that the change in the fee structure is an attempt to pull the wool over people’s eyes and it’s laughable to claim that it’s an attempt to better align the interest of eBay with that of the sellers.

    Listing fees alone were negligible anyway when you exclude the extras, but the increase in final value fees mean that eBay will make more money on every single item selling for more than, what, a pound or so?

    As for not being able to leave feedback for buyers, I think this is unreasonable as well. I have over 500 feedback on my account, and the two negative feedbacks I have were left in revenge by non-payers both of whom were removed from eBay shortly after. Why should the feedback ratings of buyers who have been removed still remain?

    Now we’ll be in a position where a buyer doesn’t have to pay for the item at the end of the auction and can still live a negative feedback rating safe in the knowledge that they cannot be touched. Perhaps it would have been more sensible to give sellers two different feedback ratings, so you can see their buyer rating when they’re buying from you, and you can see their seller rating when you’re looking at the items they have on sale.

    eBay works on the principle that people are basically honest, and that will be its downfall, because the fact is that they aren’t and you have to be realistic and put safeguards in place to give people an incentive to be honest rather than opportunistic.

    I’m in the process of setting up a reseller business along the lines of auctioning4u (it’s only thanks to your blog that I’ve learned that they’ve gone bust) and perhaps I too should look at alternatives to selling these items only on eBay?

  3. karl says:

    As a powerseller with over 3000 positives in the past year i will very probably have to leave ebay as soon as is possible for me to do so.This is purely due to the changes in feedback and the fee rises.I am now paying £150 a month in ebay fees + the paypal fees and on top of having a supplier to pay there’s very little money left at the end of it for me, despite the fact that im working 24/7 and shipping about 300 parcels a week.

    The problem is that there are a great deal of fraudulent buyers on ebay and i have had numerous occasions where buyers have started paypal disputes within a day of paying.Also the fact that sellers now have no way of protecting themself against fraudsters means that anyone can now defraud paypal, all they need to do is know that the seller hasnt sent the item with a tracking number and they will win a paypal dispute.

    Also there are a lot of rude buyers on ebay and now there is no way of protecting yourself against that either.It has opened up powersellers to numerous scams and fraudulent paypal claims and i’m disgusted about what ebay have done.

    I’m currently going thru a paypal dispute with someone that claims that 2 parts of a model kit frame arrived broken, they started a paypal dispute without telling me there was a problem and without giving me a chance to fix it.They have told me numerous times that they are seeking a full refund and wont be sending the items back to me.I am totally defenceless as allthough the models were undamaged when i shipped them and i wrapped them well the buyer blaims me for this and as i see it believes it’s ok to defraud me because of this.I have offered to send replacement parts and to refund them once i have recieved the items back but they want me to pay them back first + they want the price of posting the items back.I believe they are being so unreasonable in this transaction as there is literally nothing i can do to defend myself.

    The way i will defend myself in the short term is to stop accepting paypal as it leaves me open to fraudulent paypal claims and to up my prices to increase profit whilst decreasing the amount of buyers i deal with.

  4. “KARL” i geniunlel feel sorry for you, its clear that you have spent a serious amount of time trying to make a living on Ebay, they have gone from bad too worse & IF i get any more hassle with sellers or buyers (Mainly sellers not giving feedback when they should or not sending out the items when they should) i will leave Ebay, i think there website is on cruise control & its heading for a mountain, i cannot belive how patheticly stupid they have made the changes, whats the point..?
    Good Luck Karl i wish u well my friend..!!

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