Feb. 15, 2008
eBay said it will soon introduce its new fee schedule for sellers, along with some other
administrative changes. The new fee structure is slated to begin Monday. Some sellers are so
angry over what they perceive as a bad deal, they're planning to boycott eBay from Feb. 18
through to Feb. 25.
In the past, eBay sellers have banded together to boycott eBay and will probably do it again
many times over, and usually for the same reason: its ever-increasing fee schedule and, in the
views of some, policies and guidelines that truly ignore the needs of sellers. For the most part,
these efforts have failed either to change eBay's mind or even to make any significant dent in
its overall daily or weekly traffic.
However, this time things appear to be somewhat different, with more sellers publicly saying
they will boycott the large auction site.
Overall sales commissions have reached new highs, and many sellers are infuriated by new
feedback policies that forbid them from making negative -- or even neutral -- comments about
buyers. For their part however, buyers still have free rein to comment on sellers as much as
But some sellers are in fact switching, either because they cannot afford to stay with eBay,
or simply no longer want to, claiming that eBay's fee structure keeps rising all the time.
Debi Pieraccini, who until Feb. 12 was selling Christian and Jewish items on eBay, is among
them. For its part, eBay has pretty much shrugged off the complaints, noting the additional
protections it has put into place to guard against buyers using the feedback system against
sellers for vindictive reasons.
Additionally, eBay representatives have pointed out that the traffic one typical seller receives
on eBay compensates for the slightly higher fees.
Pieraccini is relaunching her operations at OnlineAuction.com, which was created by a former
eBay power seller. Fees are very reasonable compared to eBay, she said. "Last month my fees at
eBay were $700, which was more than I actually made."
Few sellers believe eBay will ever be displaced, precisely because of its volumes -- it
basically invented the e-commerce auction category and still dominates it more than 10 years
later. Also, eBay's overall monthly traffic has been increasing steadily for the past four
Pieraccini added that "some people depend entirely on eBay for their income. I am not one of them."
The new fee structure and feedback guidelines have "pulled the rug out from a lot of sellers,"
Pieraccini lamented. Nancy Baughman, founder of eBiz Auctions, said she would be forced to cut
back on her two part-time employees' hours because of the changes eBay is implementing. "All of
these changes are hitting us at once. It is getting harder and harder to make a living off of the
Some eBay sellers are getting out of business entirely. Corey Kossack, president of Club E
Network used eBay for years to sell videos and DVDs. The site's policies and fees were one reason
he left. "I started an eBay business in 2005 that quickly became one of eBay's larger sellers,"
Kossack said. "In just two years, my company did $1 million in revenue on eBay."
Stan Lisk, another self-described eBayer said that he and his wife have always looked for other
ways to sell their wares, from listing on Craigslist to selling directly from their own Web site.
"But unfortunately, eBay has the millions of followers and is still the best at bringing them in,"
Kossack knows, of course, that for many sellers, there are no alternatives. The investment in time
and inventory is too costly to maintain without eBay's promised volumes. "I think it would take a
company with a huge commitment and deep pockets to give eBay a run for its money," he said.
When he spoke in front of the eBay Live Town Hall last summer, he specifically told the president
of eBay North America, Bill Cobb, that eBay needed to reduce its insertion fees to reduce the risk
of selling in the eBay market.
"After big applause from the audience, Bill said they would consider looking into it," Kossack
recalled. "Eight months later, they have done exactly that -- but now are jacking up eBay final value
fees so high that they are driving sellers out of the market," he complained. "If you ask me, eBay is
losing their way and is not looking out for its most important customers, and those are the sellers.
Without the sellers, there is no marketplace full of great deals for consumers."
Kossack pointed out that "part of what fuels growth on eBay is the public display of eBay success
stories, so that aspiring eBay entrepreneurs see the success and want a part of it. But as eBay
continues to make it harder and harder for even its top sellers to flourish, more entrepreneurs
will seek out other avenues to run their businesses. They may go to other auction sites, or they may
go to other sales channels or start new businesses entirely."
More than likely, eBay will continue to dominate for quite some time, Kossack acknowledged, but
it will also experience major declines in its growth.
Overall, sellers feel less and less loyal to eBay and the general feeling many observers are
getting is that many would drop it without hesitation.
Source: eBay S.G.A.
This article was featured on Business 5.0.
Advertise on E-Commerce News
If you have a product or service that deals with the ecommerce
or ebusiness field, advertising on E-Commerce News can bring
you new sales leads and close new marketing channels. This news
portal is read by over 25,000 people a week.
Businessmen and woman that either own an ecommerce website, an
ebusiness franchise, a B2B commercial exchange or by people in all walks
of life that need to keep abreast of this fast-changing field. For
more information on the many advantages of advertising on our news
portal or to request pricing information, please send us an
and a marketing representative will be glad to answer you