This Super week is coming to an end. With the Super Bowl and Super Tuesday behind us, we can all refocus our efforts on making money on eBay.
Here are the selections for this week:
- The latest acquisition rumor is courtesy of the San Jose Mercury News. They are reporting that eBay may be interested in buying AOL. Ah, you have to love those rumors!
- File this one under bad product sourcing ideas!
- A Pennsylvania seller faces a stiff monetary fine for consignment selling on eBay. This is a case of bureaucracy run amok. Keep in mind she was what eBay calls a Trading Assistant, which means she sold items for other people and took a commission.
- A New York Times article about how eBay seems to be favoring larger sellers. (This is something that we disagree with, as we wrote yesterday.) But, what do you expect from someone (i.e., the reporter that wrote the NYT article) who doesn’t totally understand the eBay marketplace?
That is it for this week. Have a great and productive weekend making money on eBay and we will have more great posts starting Monday!
Image: James Cridland
Today, we continue our discussion about the 2008 eBay changes and how they affect those that sell on eBay. We are going to talk about the upcoming changes to the eBay PowerSeller program.
On the heels of eBay’s recent changes to the PowerSeller program minimum requirements, they have gone ahead and announced further qualification changes. In eBay’s words, the new requirements, effective July 2008, are as follows:
“We’re taking steps to give new meaning to PowerSeller status on eBay. Starting July, a score of 4.5 or more on all DSRs (based on the last 12 months) will be required for membership in the PowerSeller program.”
eBay has added this additional PowerSeller requirement to ensure that only the highest quality sellers can call themselves PowerSellers. This will only benefit the community and cause sellers to create better listings and provide better customer service.
Another change for those making money on eBay, and who qualify for the PowerSeller program, is that there will be additional discounts that you might be eligible for on sales on or after 20 February 2008 (discounts will hit your account starting in April 2008). The new PowerSeller Final Value Fee discounts are as follows:
- If you are a PowerSeller and all four of your Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs) for the past 30-day period are 4.6 or higher, you qualify for a 5% discount on Final Value Fees.
- If you are a PowerSeller and all four of your Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs) for the past 30-day period are 4.8 or higher, you qualify for a 15% discount on Final Value Fees.
We see the only real problem for most good eBay sellers is keeping the DSR for Shipping and Handling Charges high enough to be eligible for these new PowerSeller discounts. eBay buyers don’t seem to understand the concept of what it costs to ship items, and you will even find people with free shipping getting less than a perfect score in this category. We previously ranted about eBay’s Detailed Seller Ratings, which you might be interested in reading.
These eBay Final Value Fee discounts are most likely in direct response to the call by many people who sell on eBay to offer some sort of volume discount for the larger sellers. We think that eBay has implemented these discounts in a very fair way, in that the discounts will not only be for the high volume sellers. In fact, anyone that meets eBay’s fairly minimal PowerSeller requirements will have an equal shot at being eligible for these discounts.
As a side note, there has been a lot of discussion on the eBay Boards about how eBay is now catering to the larger seller because of these discounts afforded to PowerSellers that meet these certain requirements. The reality of it is that the eBay PowerSeller requirements are not that tough to meet, so anybody who does any amount of selling on eBay can become a PowerSeller, and thus be eligible for the Final Value Fee discounts.
So the only major change to the eBay PowerSeller requirements are ones that are meant to ensure only the highest quality sellers are able to call themselves eBay PowerSellers. This should only benefit the eBay community and shouldn’t be a problem for anyone who is serious about making money on eBay.
Image: The Consumerist
It has been just over a week since the big eBay announcement that has gotten almost everyone who is making money on eBay in an uproar. We have been sitting back digesting all of the hubbub in the blogosphere, waiting for the right time to chime in. Now is the time for us to put in our two cents worth.
We will tackle what appears to be the most controversial subject first – eBay feedback changes. If you are just beginning in your quest to learn how to make money on eBay, then you might be wondering what the big to-do is all about. We aren’t just starting out, but we, too, wonder what all the ruckus is for.
To quickly break down the changes, we present you with the following list:
- Buyers will only be able to receive positive feedback, which means sellers will no longer be able to leave negative or neutral feedback for buyers.
- 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, thus 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.
What will happen is that sellers will no longer be able to hold buyer’s feedback hostage with the fear of negative feedback being held over their heads. This will allow buyers to give honest feedback to sellers, which translates into a more accurate buyer feedback rating.
Yes, you will get buyers that will take any opportunity to leave a negative or neutral feedback with a seller for the most minor of reasons but this, most likely, will be the minority. For the most part, people are not vindictive and they understand the value in leaving accurate, appropriate feedback. We hope!
This new feedback system brings eBay’s feedback more in line with that of their competition, such as Amazon. On Amazon you can’t leave buyers feedback, and that marketplace is doing quite well. In fact, a bunch of people making money on eBay also do so on Amazon. It is called diversification and is something that you must do in order to survive.
One very positive point that doesn’t seem to be getting much discussion (go figure, people are concentrating on the perceived negatives) is the fact that the feedback you get from repeat customers will count towards your feedback score (the displayed number, not just the all positive number). This will help increase the feedback score of sellers who have a large number of repeat customers.
Gary, at The Auction Rebel, has created 12 tips to combat eBay’s new feedback policy. Instead of being one of those eBay sellers that is whining about the upcoming changes, you might want to heed Gary’s advice and be proactive.
Griff, eBay’s resident goodwill ambassador, has some interesting thoughts regarding the new eBay feedback policy. One wouldn’t expect him to say anything negative about the upcoming feedback changes, but he brings up some great points that those making money on eBay should ponder.
Listen, the eBay feedback system is what it is. Don’t be one of the complainers that is threatening to leave eBay, or go on strike. Be someone who is making money on eBay and can adjust to the changes. You might be surprised to see they are not all that bad after all!
If you are making money on eBay, then chances are that you will eventually have a buyer who doesn’t pay for the item that they purchased from you. These nonpaying bidders can be very aggravating, to say the least. About the only way to avoid them is to only list with the Buy It Now feature and require immediate payment. Good luck limiting yourself to this option!
Yesterday, AuctionBytes published an interview with Steve Grossberg, President to the Internet Merchants Association. Steve threw out some interesting statistics regarding nonpaying bidders.
Steve mentioned that 6% off all eBay transactions end up with non-paying bidders. eBay puts their daily listings at 7 million on eBay.com. This translates to 420,000 nonpaying bidders per day on eBay’s US site alone!
Steve goes on to state that if you assume an average listing fee of $0.70, there is almost $300,000 per day in revenue for eBay just for these listings that end up with nonpaying bidders. Or, think about it this way: That is $107 million in revenue per year for eBay from sold items that never end up being paid for.
It is those that sell on eBay that suffer, not eBay itself, because of these nonpaying bidders. Yes, you can recoup the listing fee if you go through the nonpaying bidder process, but that is a royal pain in the butt! And we wonder how many sellers actually carry through with this. In other words, how much of that $107 million ends up lining eBay’s pockets?
Steve goes on to offer a solution to the problem of nonpaying bidders. He suggests that eBay should collect payments for those who sell on eBay. In other words, PayPal would become the automatic processor of all eBay transactions.
Steve doesn’t elaborate on this, so we will give our opinion of how this might work. PayPal would become the required payment method for all eBay transactions. This means that you could pay via credit card, e-check, bank transfer or PayPal balance, but it is all done via PayPal. One would assume that eBay would withdraw the funds from the associated PayPal account immediately once the auction is over.
This would really piss some people off! Think about how all of those that sell on eBay that have a thing against PayPal would react. If they are thinking of going on strike over the current eBay changes, they would all have coronaries over the thought of only being allowed to accept PayPal. This would definitely be the straw that broke the camel’s back for a lot of the small time eBay sellers.
However, if you are currently happy accepting PayPal, you probably think this is a wonderful idea. After all, who wouldn’t want guaranteed immediate payment once the item is sold? Think of all the headache and heartache this would prevent.
This is an interesting idea. Not that it is ever going to happen, yet still interesting. If you are one of the many that sell on eBay, what do you think of this idea?
There is a movement afoot from certain people who sell on eBay to have a listing strike for the week of 18-25 February in protest of the eBay changes that are coming about later this year. This is one of the most ridiculous things that we have heard of in a while. And believe us, we have heard some doozies!
The funniest part is that the eBay sellers who are pledging to sign up for this boycott really think that they can make a difference. What percentage of people making money on eBay are going to take part in this strike? We have a feeling that it will be a very, very small percentage of eBay sellers and it will be the sellers that don’t push any sort of volume on the site. It is the vocal minority who really like to complain in the eBay Discussion Boards. Give us a break!
If you are going to sell on eBay, then you darn well better be ready to accept the terms that eBay requires you to comply with to sell on their site. Yes, it is their site, not yours. It is their rules, not yours. If you don’t like it, then take your merchandise and go play somewhere else!
To those that are planning on going on strike later this month, we say good luck. Now, if you think that this will make eBay reconsider their position, then we have some oceanfront property in Arizona we would like to sell you.
Our advice to would-be strikers is to quit spending so much time on the eBay Discussion Boards and instead concentrate on learning how to sell on eBay so that you will be a success, instead of a wannabe.
P.S. You will only be hurting yourself by striking, not eBay.
The year is one-twelfth of the way over; can you believe it?! How are we all doing in our quest to make money on eBay? Hopefully it is going well, and you are well on your way to becoming the next great eBay PowerSeller!
This week has been very busy in the world of eBay. Below, we hope you will find some interesting items to get you through the weekend.
Here are the selections for this week:
- This week, eBay announced that PayPal has agreed to acquire Fraud Sciences Ltd., an Israeli company specializing in next-generation online fraud detection. The idea is to integrate Fraud Sciences’ technology into PayPal to make your online transactions that much safer. Seeing this press release got us thinking about safely accepting eBay payments.
- In case you missed it, eBay made some rather large announcements about the future of commerce on eBay. Here is a Reuters article that hits the high points. In the days to come, we will be digesting and discussing the implications of these changes.
- eBay UK has announced that the UK eBay Express is being shutdown. They are citing integration of eBay Express features into the main eBay UK site as the reasons for the closures. This makes you wonder if the US eBay Express is on the chopping block as well.
- Microsoft has made an unsolicited offer to purchase Yahoo for $44.6 Billion. There has been noise about how Yahoo and eBay should join forces. Looks like that isn’t going to happen.
- With everything going on at the Lizard Wisdom headquarters, it is hard to believe that the great eBay announcement of 2008 was just this past Tuesday. In case you have yet to read about the finer points of the changes ahead for eBay, you can do so here.
That is it for this week. Have a great and productive weekend making money on eBay and we will have more great posts starting Monday!
Initial reactions to the great 2008 eBay change announcement has been swift, and at times brutal, from those that sell on eBay and those that pretend they do. This has got us thinking about the people that comment on the every move that eBay makes.
We are not talking about fellow eBay bloggers. No, we are talking about those that seem to have nothing better to do than to comment on blogs and in the eBay Discussion Boards about how the sky is falling.
If you have spent any amount of time on the eBay Discussion Boards, you would come away with the impression that it is impossible to make money on eBay. You would get the impression that with all of the fees and restrictions and requirements and roadblocks (you get the picture) that eBay throws up in front of people trying to make money on eBay, you would be better off selling used shoes at a flea market. We can only take the eBay Discussion Boards in small doses because of the rampant negativity that sometimes pervades the place.
The problem with listening to the majority of the people who post on the eBay Discussion Boards, and make snarky comments on blogs, is that they don’t really understand how to run a successful business, never mind an eBay business. If they spent half of the amount of time they spend complaining on building a viable business, then they might be able to weather the changes that eBay always makes and are to be expected.
Unfortunately, it is human nature to bitch and complain rather than to adapt to the changes in their environment. People tend to forget that doing business on eBay is not some constitutionally protected right. It is a privilege to be able to do business in the eBay Marketplace. There is no law mandating entry to anybody who wants to hang his or her shingle out and create an eBay Store.
If you want to have any degree of success selling on eBay, then you need to understand how eBay works. You need to understand that they have every right to make any changes they see fit and they do not need to ask permission before they do so.
Yes, we understand that without eBay sellers, there would be no eBay. But you need to understand that eBay itself is a business. They will do whatever it takes to maintain the viability of their business model and they only have to answer to their stockholders. The sooner people understand this, the sooner they can devote all of their energy to learning how to sell on eBay, and be successful at it!
We are incredibly busy this week doing many things, including making money on eBay, so we haven’t had time to fully digest yesterday’s announcements by eBay. There are a whole lot of changes coming up early this year and our heads are spinning!
A couple of things that we wanted to mention while we are still digesting (not sure we are fully satisfied with this meal!). First, for those that want to have their heads spin also, you can check out what eBay is calling the 2008 Update. Here, you will find all sorts of glorious details about yesterday’s announcement. And second, if there is nothing good on TV tonight, you might consider watching the now available archives of the webcasts from the 2008 eBay eCommerce Forum. This is where you can see the eBay bigwigs giving yesterday’s announcements. We haven’t had the time to watch these ourselves, as we are busy, busy, busy, so please let us know if we are missing anything.
And finally, there is an eBay seller webinar this Friday, entitled Fees, Rewards & Standards. If you want to learn even more about the upcoming eBay changes, you might want to attend this webinar.
We are hoping to find time later this week to fully digest the large amounts of changes that we are soon to face as eBay sellers. Once we have an understanding of everything, we will let the posts fly! In the meantime, enjoy the above links and continue making money on eBay!
As promised, eBay made some rather big announcements today that will affect everyone making money on eBay. There’s a lot in the news, and in the blogosphere, so we are not going to rehash what has already been said. However, if you wish, you may check out these other blogs about eBay that might be of some interest, just to see what other bloggers are saying.
What we plan to do in the coming days is to digest these big announcements and give our take on how this will affect those of you who sell on eBay.
Stay tuned to Lizard Wisdom as we discuss how today’s eBay announcements will affect those that sell on eBay.
OK, maybe the title of this post is a bit exaggerated. However, if you are one of the millions who sell on eBay, you personally are not losing billions but, as a group, eBay sellers are.
A new study talks about the billions that consumers save each year by making purchases on eBay. The flip side of this is the people who sell on eBay are losing billions in potential profit (funny how that works!).
If you have been selling on eBay for any length of time, you will not need a report to tell you this. Anytime you find a very profitable product to sell, and are selling any quantity of it, you have to worry about someone muscling in on your territory and undercutting your price. This starts a vicious cycle of never ending price cuts that ruin any of your profit potential. The only one who benefits from this is the consumer, as they are getting a great deal on your products.
We have talked, in the past, about the importance of finding the right product to sell on eBay so that you do as much as possible to eliminate the problem of this competition. We have also talked about whether or not you can get retail prices for items sold on eBay, and the real measure of your eBay success: are you making a profit? Lastly, we have written about how everybody is looking for a deal on eBay. So this new study should come as no surprise to anyone who both sells on eBay and reads Lizard Wisdom.
We have never lied to you. Selling on eBay is not as easy as some would have you believe. You are going to have competition and you will have to run your eBay business as a real business.
Product sourcing is one of the hardest, if not THE hardest, parts of running a successful eBay business. Finding a product supplier that will do business with you and can supply you with product that you can make a good profit on is key to making money on eBay.
Put some thought into what you are going to sell on eBay. Think about the potential to be leaving a huge chunk of profit on the table as an eBay seller before you blindly decide to sell a particular item. Do your research to see how well the product sells on eBay, what the competition is like, and how much the item is selling for.
There is a lot that goes into being successful on eBay. Learn as much as you can about how to sell on eBay before you decide this is right for you. eBay can be very rewarding, but it can also be very frustrating. Being prepared is one of the keys to your success!