Truth be told, with at least 60 million users, eBay has the recognition and traffic that other online sales venues just don’t have … at least until now. eBay’s new fee increases may be just the thing that many sellers need to put them over the edge and have them run as fast they can to other online venues … just waiting with open arms.
This morning I received an email announcing that come July eBay will start charging final value fees on shipping and handling. Yes, they are reducing the percentage by 1%-1.5%, but they are also “retiring” (let’s say, eliminating) the 5% discount for power sellers. But if you’re a “top rated” seller, you get 20% discount.
I was a “top rated” seller until a few folks decided they didn’t like my shipping costs and gave me low ratings. Well, there goes my discount! Funny thing is I don’t make any money on shipping costs, purposely keeping those costs low … sometimes even losing money. It’s ironic that in order to get my “top rated” status I have to keep shipping costs low at a time when UPS and USPS are raising their rates. Hmmm, what was eBay thinking?!!
So what other venues are available? Just to name a few: Etsy, Amazon.com, Bonanza, Overstock.com, MSN Shopping, etc. And, let’s not forget Craigslist, although eBay does own a portion of CL. They also own Kijiji (eBay classifieds) and Half.com, but they may be worth looking into.
What’s a girl to do? I’ve been having a fair amount of success with clothing auctions and want to continue with that, maybe even expand to other items. And after some number crunching, here’s what I’ve decided to do:
- Downgrade my Premium store ($49.95 with 5 cent insertion fees) to a Basic store ($15.95 with 20 cent insertion fees)
- Clean up my store inventory by removing items that haven’t sold in over a year.
- Remove books and list on either Half.com or Amazon.com
- Remove all craft items & supplies and list on Etsy
- Review remaining store inventory and list any vintage items on Etsy.
- Focus more on my Bonanza booth and look into selling larger items on Craiglist.
I did some major cleaning of inventory in January which reduced my inventory from about 800 items to 500 +/-. Moving more items into other venues would further reduce my eBay store inventory to about 150, which would help with the 20-cent insertion fees. I estimate that I can keep up to 225 items in my store to break-even with the Basic store.
How much money will this action plan save me? Maybe $30 a month or maybe not much at all. Will I make more sales ($$) this way or not? I don’t know. What I do know is that the auctions have been working for me. So I will give this new plan a try and we’ll see what happens. I’m sure there are MANY MANY eBay sellers who will be looking at other venues and hopefully that will encourage buyers to visit these other online sales venues as well.