Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ebay Goes to Hell

Well, tonight was it for me.. a longstanding part of my ecommerce career might have just fallen into jeopardy thanks to eBay's new policies.

As of next month, ebay is jacking their fees to sellers (me) from 5% per transaction to 8.75% per transaction. This means that if I sell on my normal threshold of MAXIMUM 20% markup on an item, my profit just fell through the floor.


I sell widget 1 for 20 dollars and I paid 16.00 for it. (that's on a good day) and the customer pays on a credit card.


My cost: 16.00

Selling Price: $20.00

Gross Profit: $4.00


Insertion Fee = .15 cents

Final Value Fee = 8.75% (20.00 x .0875) $1.75

Paypal Fee = .30 + 4.9%  = $1.28

Total Fees: $3.18

Net Profit: .82 cents.


You see now why some sellers HAVE to screw buyers to make any profit on eBay? It's horrible, but they do it. Now, it's only going to get worse. And to top it all off, eBay has a wonderful new idea titled:

· Buyers will only be able to receive positive Feedback.


I saw this and completely flipped out. You mean the guy who screwed me for 192.00 last month on a sale that I had to pay the fees for can't be reprimanded for ending my auction, wasting my time, AND making me have to eat the fees and Relist the item (paying the fees again). Wow. If sellers screw a buyer, buyers leave negative feedback, which KILLS a seller. If BUYERS screw a seller, "ehh.. that's ok... we need the buyers to make eBay more money."


Thank you so much eBay.. you officially suck!


Want to see what other sellers have to say? It's only been released for a couple of hours and already sellers are screaming their heads off.

I found a link thrown in boards about petitioning Google to open up their own auction site (God I would love that). When the petition was posted (10 minutes ago) there were about 3000 signatures from awhile back. In the 5 minutes it took me to sign it, there were another 2,000. I was petitioner $4627. I wonder how long it will take this to hit national news.. any comments, feedback?



What did eBay have to say for themselves? Well, here is their response to WHY they are doing this. (Official copy located here)


"We believe that we will reduce any imbalance in the Feedback system with these changes. Buyers will be able to more accurately assess sellers and sellers will be protected from buyers who violate our policies without risking a cut in good buyer activity.
We believe that: (WTF is wrong with that statement?)

  1. buyers will be more honest when they leave Feedback since they will not fear retaliatory negative Feedback. (BULL!)
  2. buyers will bid more and higher since their trust in the Feedback system and the sellers will increase. (True.. cause they're screwing sellers)
  3. our best performing sellers will be able to differentiate themselves from all other sellers and increase the amount of business they receive as buyers gravitate towards them.  (Whoo.. I can differentiate myself.. to myself.. cause.. why again?)
  4. sellers will leave Feedback upon payment more often in order to increase their chance of receiving positive Feedback. (we good sellers ALREADY do that you scumbags!)

Is eBay favoring buyers over sellers with this change?
The change in the Feedback system is designed to improve the eBay marketplace which should benefit both buyers and sellers. Improving the Feedback system should increase the number of buyers whose expectations are met. This should result in more buying activity which will benefit sellers." (How long did they have to study that one on the blackboard to make sure it SOUNDED like it made sense?)





  1. What about the fact that powersellers will receive preferential search exposure and discounts on the FVF and they will be covered by Paypal protection no matter where they ship the item. Why only powersellers? What about the smaller seller who misses being powersellers by only $153?

  2. Yeah, I haven't even GOT that far yet. I just created a new seller account for MY company after spending three years building an account for my former employer with over 3000 perfect feedback. Now I have to rebuild my entire powerseller rep from the ground up, with little help from eBay it seems.

  3. Whoa.. ok..not expecting that much traffic... Apparently people are REALLY ticked about the new ebay rules. LOL. Ebay emailed me and told me they were removing my posts from their boards.. aww.. a measley 500 hits to their forums within the space of 5 minutes broke their little hearts?

    Not to sweat.. it's on Digg too..
    Here's ebay's response:

    Hello twnetworx,

    We appreciate your participation in the eBay Community Forums.

    Unfortunately, this email is to notify you that we are temporarily revoking all privileges for posting in eBay forums and groups for a period of seven (7) days, specifically for the following policy violation:

    Using JavaScript or active code, making repetitive posts, or otherwise taking actions that interfere with site operations. For clarification of this policy, please visit this page:

    As we have notified you of inappropriate posts in the past, we feel that it is best to give you some additional time to review the Board Usage Policy and policy explanations. We understand that most posts that are removed were not intentional violations. However, in order for the community forums, which are based on the eBay Community Values, to be a place where all members can feel comfortable interacting with each other, there are certain types of posts that we cannot allow

    During this sanction, you may continue to bid and list. You do not need to appeal this sanction, as you will be able to start posting again after 7 days.
    However, it is important that you do not register and/or use an alternate User ID to post on or sign into any eBay Discussion Board, Chat Board, or the Answer Center during this sanction. Doing so is a violation of the terms of this sanction, the Board Usage Policy, and the eBay User Agreement, and this can lead to an indefinite sanction of your account(s) and/or a suspension of your account(s), buying, and selling privileges.

    Please understand that our goal is to help you understand the guidelines for
    participating in the eBay Community Forums. Therefore, once your board
    sanction is over, we respectfully request that your future board activities comply with these guidelines. The Board Usage Policy and policy explanations can be reviewed at the following URLs:

    Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this important matter.

    eBay Moderation Team

    Active code? I placed a link!

    Repetitive posts? I posted ONLY in the forums for which this issue was becoming a major focus.. which is about every single one ON ebay at this moment in time.

    Nice try eBay.. you are SO on my shortlist right this moment.

  4. LMFAO! I've been sanctioned by eBay! Sanctioned? That's funny... now they're a governmental internet regulatory entity imposing sanctions.. wow.. I'm still laughing that I got "sanctioned". Can I get a plaque or something that says that?

  5. Greed is taking over eBay, they have lost what started a sucessful multimillion dollar company. The rates are out of line, now the feedback is down the tubes. Lets face it ebay is down for the count. What happened to IF ITS NOT BROKEN DONT FIX IT ? Focus on security, the site is out of control, accounts get taken over, identity theft, thats the bad publicity. Dont blame the seller!

  6. I gave up posting to ebay's forums long ago. They're obviously going to remove dissenting posts.

    As primarily a buyer who has been screwed numerous times, I'm glad to see the feedback changes. Sellers have to realize, when the day is done, it's the buyer showing up at the doorstep who makes the deal, not ebay who is a middleman.

    Ebay has seen a decline, because, even though every seller reading this is a good one, there are too many who are not. Ebay sees the numbers, and buyers are drying up. So now they are getting around to fixing the feedback because of that.

    The fee increase stinks (as it effects < $25), and I've never liked paypal as they are truly scum. I'm sure that ebay knows that sellers are grumbling, but it truly is a calculated move.

    I'm sure that ebay will sing a different tune someday. There are meaningful competitors coming around. Craigslist and ecrater comes to mind.

    The thing they really need to drop like a hot rock is that scummy new search experience they got going. What a piece of crap.

  7. What a depressing thing to wake up to. I am fairly new (about 68 feedback) and I was thinking that there was something in the international marketplace that made sense. Maybe if they just emailed me and were honest and said, hey, we are going to be like every other huge company (or government) and bloat ourselves into incompetence and then finally oblivion and we would like to begin by asking you for MORE MORE MORE! We would like to make irrational changes that one group will have to pay for while others (buyers and ebay) will benefit from....But instead they acted like it was a present and it just made feel dirty. So now buyers can threaten sellers, great! Now sellers save a nickel and pay a dollar, brilliant! Now sellers get less options, wonderful- I rarely used Gallery but gee thanks! Sometimes I used reserve prices and stated it at the top of the listing page in bright red, to SAVE money, thanks for ridding me of this pesky device too! Boycott through February!!!! If not totally, at least hold back something! Anything!

  8. Ebay are a disgrace, they should treat sellers much better than they do.

    But without serious competition they rule the roost!

    Sally :)

  9. I'm new to this,so forgive me if I don't do it right, but I want to get the information out about a new auction site...It's called still in the beta stages but you can log on and take a look. The fees are going to be a straight $2.99 up front, no back end fees and you can post up to 6 pictures free. Check it out and try to get the words out. The time is right for a new player. I hope ebay will feel the burn!

  10. Go here guys!

  11. Ebay Sellers United For Change! Come see us, link to us, help us, Digg Us, whatever you can to help.

    This is a place to vent your frustrations (because face it, we need that right now) but it's also a place where we can collectively put our heads together to offer eBay promising alternatives to their proposed changes.

    Help the cause and spread the word, please!


Thanks for taking a moment to leave a comment! Please keep the language clean. (If you are considering spamming the blog, don't bother. It's going to be deleted anyway.)