eBay Hikes Auction Fees To Discourage Auctions

eBay Hikes Auction Fees To Discourage Auctions

eBay Australia has made no secret of its desire to encourage new goods over second-hand ones, but this is the strongest evidence yet: from September 22, fees for auctions will be raised to match those charged for Buy It Now options. In other words: eBay doesn’t really want to run your stinking auctions no more.

Picture by David Goehring

On September 22, eBay will increase the percentage final value fee charged on auction listings from 5.25% to 7.9% — the same rate it already charges for fixed-price listings. eBay is quite up-front about wanting to switch people to fixed-price formats. In its press release, it proclaims:

The fee changes announced today are aimed at encouraging more professional and business sellers to list their stock in an eBay Store using the fixed price format/.

The sop to Joe and Juanita Average who just want to get unwanted stuff out of their garage — an option where an auction makes much more sense — is this: you’ll be allowed to list up to 30 items a month with no insertion fees. That might sound tempting, but since you’re now stuck with paying 7.9% of the value no matter what you’re selling or how much for, eBay is likely to end up with a bigger chunk of your change most of the time.

Let’s suppose you sell a lamp for $20, with a starting price of $0.99. Under the current system, you’ll pay an insertion fee of 30 cents and a final value fee of $1.05, for a total of $1.35. Under the new system, you’ll pay $1.58. That’s not a massive difference, but it is a difference. And if the lamp happened to sell for $40, you’ll be up for $3.16 rather than $2.40. Over a garage of items, those differences will add up.

The maximum final value fee is ‘capped’ at $49.95 for the first 30 transactions, but that doesn’t help most people; a final value fee of $49.95 equates to selling an item at $632. When was the last time a non-professional seller flogged more than 30 items worth that much?

eBay is currently saying the changes are a trial, which it will make permanent from the end of the year if they’re successful. So it might be time to protest.

eBay-bashing is often a professional sport, and I’m all for recognising useful initiatives, such as the recent deal with Australia Post. But this feels a little like unfair exploitation of power to me.

Realistically, if you want to sell off your household junk, eBay gets the biggest audience; most of the other alternatives have much less traffic. And now eBay has jacked up the cost for most casual sellers. Doesn’t sound particularly fair or consumer-friendly to me. What are your thoughts?


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  • If you’re Ozzi use ‘Gumtree’ or ‘quicksales’ Maybe eBay’s new direction will give our guys a chance! I personally very rarely use the auction part of eBay anyway, and I never sell there!!

  • I think eBay is probably changing their sellers behaviour the appropriate way with this method. There are better value sites for seeking 2nd-hand stuff out there now anyway, such as the ever-popular gumtree.com.au

  • True, true…

    However, where the benefit may lie is in avoiding paying out on unsold items – which I know is the bane of my existence.

    Taking your example – if I sell 30 items from my garage, but only 15 sell at an average of $10, then under the old system, I’m looking at 0.30+0.59 gallery fee (who doesn’t?)X30=26.70 plus final value fee of $10x15x5.25% = $7.875 which comes to $34.58.

    Under the new system, it comes to $11.85 and the unsold items go to the Salvos.

    So, yes, if I sold everything I listed, eBay wins. But how many of us sell everything? If anything, this may ENCOURAGE more people to list items they are unsure about whether they would sell or not as it reduces the risk.

  • Graysonline are bunch of crooks, massive fees and ZERO service, the basically tell you to go jump yourself!

    Quicksales is full of ebay rejects, the ones paypal kicked out for shoddy offerings and practices

    this those 2 examples, nothing makes me want to check out Gumtree

    • Im a seller on quicksales and gumtree. Its a bit harsh saying rejects…as i moved directly because of paypal and there higher final fees. I do get a sale time to time…

      These new changes aren’t surprising. They need to keep there earnings higher and higher each quarter. Nothing is wrong with that, but the way Ebay does it is wrong.

  • Gumtree is owned by eBay. Joy.

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gumtree
    “In May 2005, Gumtree.com was acquired by Kijiji, eBay’s internal classifieds group, for an undisclosed sum. At the time of the acquisition, Gumtree already was available in multiple cities in a number of countries including the United Kingdom, Poland, France, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Hong Kong and Dubai.”

  • Gumtree is the next best alternative, but it is a pretty poor Ebay substitute. It doesn’t have all the trimmings of Ebay – An attractive site, good third party template software, Ebay reputation/feedback tools, and guaranteed payment methods like Paypal. All the stuff I’ve bought off Gumtree I’ve tried to arrange pick up and pay cash.
    Also, there’s no “Buy it Now” – It’s a classifieds site, not a p2p auction/garage sale site.

  • Have and am using Graysonline and Gumtree, agree with previous comments – GO fees are way to high, Gumtree is really buy and pick up (due to lack of security). Hope Ebay high fees will encourage competition to move into their space….

  • I use ebay to gtrid of most of my childrens clothes and toys they no longer want!I get great please that they always go to other parents that could not afford to buy brand new!So ebay you can shove it!I will close my account down,i find such a high rise is money grabbing and selfish,as if we are not having tough times as it is to get by in life!I am a single mum with 3 kids,lets band together and boycott ebay i say!!!

  • Trading Post is still a good platform for fixed price goods. Free to list items under $500 too – so handy for these sorts of things.

    Still based on traditional buy and collect – but i’ve posted items to buyers before, same as I would from eBay.

  • i think it’s fine, as when i put up things they are niche items, and not all sell. under the new scheme i save cash.
    just means to up the buy it now price.

    either that or if you believe that they are crooks, use shill bidding.

  • I think eBay is really greedy. They are obviously now only interested in high volume sellers. The days of eBay being a fun place to buy and sell are over.

  • quicksales is really becoming a viable alternative now that carsales own it. No listing or relisting fees and an honest FSF.
    The site has a similar security structure as eBay and an easy to use platform. You can even download your Turbolister into the quicksales Expresslister. It can only get better.

  • Clearly want to move casual sellers to Gumtree.
    eBay’s practices and ethic are getting worse and worse.
    Those who made eBay what it is now are shunned and taken up the 2773.
    Avoid eBay of cough up.
    If unhappy, vote with your feet.
    Gumtree is a poor website experience, shame.
    Quick should grab the opportunity.

  • i also find ebay fees unreasonable and unjust. freels like working for ebay instead. selling your goods and give all profits to ebay. That is fun! with profit margins paper thin these days and high ebay fees most products on ebay are no longer priced competitively.

  • There you bloody go , I have spent hours looking for items at a great price only to find that ducking doen to our local stores such as True value, bunnings, etc, similar products in a lot of cases are cheaper or the same price as ebay and guess what a 2 year warranty on top AND you don,t pay freight .
    So come folks give the local fellows a hand at keeping their head above water,
    have a great day.

  • Gumtree –
    1. people want a deal on everything. had a guy spend a day trying to drive my price down from $100 to $95. what for? just dig around the car or couch and find a few coins mate!

    2. people rarely show up. I’ve had about 3 no shows. They change their minds about the purchase but havent got the balls to pick up the phone and tell you, so you waist your day. Sellers have no power

    3. I have the choice of putting something on Ebay for say $120 and have ebay and paypal zap my final profits with fees. Or I can put it on Gumtree for a lower price at $100 and have bozos message me all day offering $40 for it.

    Idk how but Gumtree needs to implement some sort of regulation. Its a bit like the wild west in there. I dont know the economics of websites but surely running banner advertising would bring home the bickies?? didnt the megaupload guy make a ton off advertising on his site? no need to charge people $7.99 to bump up their adds. But at the end of the day its the people on GT that are the worst part of the experience.

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