Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Ebay and Its Continued Demise

Here's a rather complicated PDF file that explains some of the pitfalls of the rise in fees at Ebay:

As I said once before I'm a small time seller on eBay or was since the new default search Best Match makes small time sellers' listings hard to find. So I used to list 10 things at a time and at least 6 would sell, but now only about 5% of what I list sells---I end up paying more in fees than I make in selling. Here's just a taste of what's being said on the Discussion Boards:
Did you know that if you don't take paypal in bold red letters the buyer will read "THERE IS NO BUYER PROTECTION ON THIS ITEM" and ebay will list similar items with "buyer protection" in your auction (that you paid for)?

Did you know that if you do happen to have a crazy buyer who negs you for no reason your listings drop down in listing position?

Did you know that multiple fb from same buyer counts towards your fb score? So one crazy buyer and you my friend are at the end of all the listings, and in bold red letters your auction will state "SELLER HAS A LOW FEEDBACK RATING FOR SHIPPING TIME OR SHIPPING CHARGES OR ITEMS ARE NOT ACURATELY DESCRIBED." Are buyers really so stupid that you need to point this out to them?

So you may have 100% now (and I know how hard you worked for it) but how long with that last. I have given away items to placate an irrate buyer (when most of the time it wasn't even my fault that they were irrate)to avoid a neg (the customer is always right lol).

Now you have no voice as a seller. You can not protect yourself from bad buyers, scammers and even your competition. Your competition can neg you to get rid of you as competition.
DSR--detailed Feedback Score Ratings --a 5 star scale that the buyer can rate you on your description of the item you are selling, communications with buyer (mostly you don't need to), shipping, your shipping and handling (last two really means to new buyers in particular how long it takes to get there)---now eBay tells the buyer 4 out of 5 stars is good but tells the seller 4 is bad---wants sellers to work on their stars or face the possibility of their listings being left to the last page of 40 because they didn't give free shipping and even those who do offer free shipping rarely get 5 stars for it. When eBay first started the DSRs, I wasn't going to give them to anyone--but then I realized it would be hurting good sellers--so I started giving 5 stars for everything I bought no matter how I really felt.

I might as well give all the inventory I have left away which is what I will be doing if I offer free shipping.

One recent workshop on DSRs suggests that the seller should spell out what the DSRs mean in their auctions. Frankly those auctions that give me more than info on the item I am interested in usually don't get my bid and I suspect this may piss off a number of buyers--it's like begging for feedback.

Sadly, I have bought a lot of neat stuff on eBay and sold to some really nice people that would buy from me again if they could find my listings but with eBay shuffling the deck constantly these days---It's like I said earlier I have lost more money listing this year than I have made. And from the detailed sales thingy eBay offers---it turns out that when I was selling well I was still spending like 70 bucks a month in listing fees and being a small time seller if you aren't selling but 140.00 dollars in merchandise a month--70 dollars is way too much. Like I said or maybe I didn't---the little figurines I sell don't cost much and don't sell for much.

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