eBay Changes Fees, Seller Rewards, and Feedback System

When I logged into my eBay account last week, I got a message about changes to fees, seller rewards, and feedback. These changes go into effect today, February 20. Here's the full scoop, copied and pasted from their website, followed by my thoughts on some of the changes.

Seller Update: Fees, Rewards & Standards

eBay buyers want value and selection from sellers they can trust--and good sellers deserve rewards for delivering great customer service. That's why we're making a number of important changes that may affect you:
  1. Reduced Listing Fees
    You asked, we listened. We're reducing Insertion Fees and adjusting Final Value Fees to lower your up-front cost to sell on eBay. You wanted free Gallery, now you've got it--plus more feature discounts.
  2. Rewards for great sellers
    There will be discounts and incentives for those who satisfy customers best. Who decides who gets rewarded? Customers do, by giving sellers high Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs).
  3. Feedback Changes
    Significant changes coming soon will increase buyer confidence and showcase good sellers.
Lower insertion fees, free gallery, and cheaper Picture Pack: Free gallery is a smart move. This will encourage small-time sellers (maybe--was 35 cents per listing for gallery that much of a deterrent?) and help level the playing field between us and the big guys. However, merely lowering the fee for Picture Pack isn't going to win back people like me who use third-party listing services. Personally, I have quit listing anything directly through eBay because of their fees and annoying listing interface. About eight months ago, I started using a service called Auctiva because they store your listings and photos forever (on eBay, they expire after sixty days, which is a real pain sometimes), they provide extra-large photos, and you can put a ton of photos in your listings for free. They also don't charge you to schedule listings. Unfortunately, their listing interface is at least as bad as eBay's. The lower insertion fee thing only applies to a few categories, like books and movies, and the change is pretty insignificant compared to. . .

Adjusted Final Value Fees: As far as I can tell, eBay has used tricky wording here to make you think that they are lowering final value fees when they are actually raising them quite significantly. If you click on the link and examine their new chart, you'll see that for auctions, final value fees are increasing from 5.25% to 8.75% on listings with a closing price of $0.01 to $25.00. They've increased the final value fee for all other closing prices as well.

Buyers will only be able to receive positive feedback: What a horrible idea. This change puts sellers almost completely at the mercy of buyers when it comes to leaving feedback. Buyers can cause problems for sellers by taking forever to pay or being overly picky about an item after purchasing it. Sellers should have a recourse against these types of buyers to keep them on their best behavior.

Overall, it appears to me that eBay's new changes are making them a much less seller-friendly company. I plan to continue selling with them, but my opinion of them has been substantially reduced. Considering that eBay is nothing without its sellers, I really think they should treat us with more respect.

What is your impression of eBay's recent changes? Am I overreacting? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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