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From my own blog:

Newsflash: Already profitable US Company raising prices to increase profits.

Okay now take a guess which one it is? Oil company? Cable company? Nope. It is eBay.

On January 29, they sent out an e-mail to all members heralding the lower costs of listing items on eBay. Nowhere in the communiqué did they mention that, in fact, they were raising prices. It is true that initial fees to list and promote your item are indeed lowering. However, if you read the fine print the final value fees are actually rising. The amount you save on listing is overshadowed by the amount you end up paying in the end in Final Value Fees. The Public Relations Department at eBay did a fabulous job of telling its users that this ****sandwich tastes great.

In addition to raising fees they are planning to do away with all negative feedback. Have a bidder that refused to pay and end up costing your money? Too bad. A seller send you something that wasn’t what was listed? Too bad. There is a reason that negative feedback is a good thing. It protects sellers from deadbeat and abusive bidders, of which I have been a victim of and left appropriate feedback prevent them from abusing others. It also protects bidders who get ripped off. Unfortunately eBay seems to have fallen into the school of thought that it must be positive, all the time, 24-7. The problem is that sometimes negative feedback can be constructive feedback.

These changes take effect on February 20, 2008 and I will most likely stop listing items on eBay. Nothing tarnishes a brand like arbitrary rising prices and diminishing quality in its user base. Granted, eBay is loaded with sellers who have insane starting bids, list everything as RARE, and charge a ridiculous amount for shipping and handling. There are regular decent sellers, including myself, who will find different venues to sell there wares or, worse yet, not bother to list them. What does this mean for the average eBay user? Pickings may be even slimmer when looking for exactly what you want. If you do find exactly what you want the price may be all that much higher.


Addendum for RMC:

What does this mean for Mac gear? It may weed out the cruft of sellers who try to mark up items so ridiculously high as their costs increase. It may also deter the average seller who lists quality items and makes just a few bucks. I doubt it will deter anyone who is looking to just clear their closet. What do you think?

Links:
eBay's new fee structure.
eBay's Feedback changes.
A Wired.com article on the issue.

Views: 2

Comment by Wholly Mindless on February 5, 2008 at 9:31pm
The feedback changes aren't as bad as it sounds:

* Buyers will only be able to receive positive Feedback.
* Positive repeat customer Feedback will count (up to 1 Feedback from the same buyer per week.)
* Feedback more than 12-months old won't count towards your Feedback percentage.
* When a buyer doesn't respond to the Unpaid Item (UPI) process the negative or neutral Feedback they have left for that transaction will be removed.
* When a member is suspended, all their negative and neutral Feedback will be removed.
* Buyers must wait 3 days before leaving negative or neutral Feedback for sellers with an established track record, to encourage communication.
* All Feedback must be left within 60 days (compared to 90 days today) of listing end to encourage timely Feedback and discourage abuse.
* Buyers will be held more accountable when sellers report an unpaid item or commit other policy violations.

Note: Buyers will ONLY be able to receive positive feedback. No more seller slamming you because you're a day late in paying. But you will be more accountable.

Fees are bad, but the rest isn't maybe as bad as this post made it sound. To lose negative feedback for sellers would be a HUGE blow to the trust of eBay.
Comment by Ken on February 5, 2008 at 9:49pm
You are right. The feedback system is not the worst of it. The thing that ticks me off the most is that there was no mention in the eBay-wide message to users about the fees being raised, only the touting of lower insertion and promo costs.
Comment by Wholly Mindless on February 5, 2008 at 9:51pm
Do you think that more auctions will have reserves to try to force enough to make it worth selling?

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