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eBay Listing Fees Lowered For Media – A Milestone In Many Ways

Hi gang,

Today,  for the first time ever,  eBay announced category specific pricing on the eBay US site.  They lowered Media category fees by .05 at several levels:

$0.01 – 0.99 (auction-style only)
Original Categories Insertion Fee: $ .20
New Media fee: $ .10

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$1.00 – 9.99 (auction-style and fixed price)
Original Categories Insertion Fee: $ .40
New Media fee: $ .25

$10.00 – 24.99 (auction-style and fixed price)
Original Categories Insertion Fee: $ .60
New Media fee: $ .35

I’m happy for several reasons:

1.  The categories affected are the Media categories -  Books, CD’s, DVD’s and Video Games – of course, this is where Inflatable Madness lives and breathes.  These categories are unique in that they have so many items that can be sold in them - combined, there are close to 2 million skus that we could possibly list.

2.  This is the first time eBay US has recognized that all eBay categories are not created equal and acted on it.  This is a very important action to me – it’s a move that shows that eBay is listening to us, the sellers, and paying attention to the ecommerce environment as a whole.   It’s the kind of move that signals that more changes may be on the way – possible expansion of category specific ideas, or volume discounts, or customized DSR measurements. 

In short,  it’s a big deal.

Now, to look at this from both sides,  our fees are still going up on February 20th, but not by nearly as much as we’d feared.

Specifically speaking of Media – what I personally believe is that eBay really hurt themselves last year when they raised Store fees from .02 to .05 – a 150% increase.  Because of the unique volume that we can put in the Media categories, this fee increase really hurt Media sellers.  The result should have been expected -  the large media sellers took down a giant chunk of items.  Books almost vanished.  DVD and CD listings dropped way down.

What affect did this really have to eBay?  Simple -  eBay was no longer the place to get “it” in Media.  We could no longer afford to put the items up, which affected buyer satisfaction and probably hurt eBay in search.    We’re all smart people here at StartupNation.com, and so nobody will be surprised to learn that Amazon.com had an amazing year last year – huge upturns in Media sales from third party vendors and they actually beat eBay in site visitors for the first time ever in 4th quarter.   A coincidence?

I think not.

While I am happy for any lessening of the upcoming fee increase,  I think eBay has not solved the sku breadth problem with this move.  We need to be able to get all our Store listings back up, and that means eBay still needs to lower or eliminate Store insertion fees – that solves the sku problem.

Overall, though,  this is a very welcome and positive change from eBay – congratulations!

-Kevin

About the Author: Kevin Harmon

Kevin Harmon is a freelance e-commerce business consultant and blogger. He is the former CEO of Inflatable Madness, LLC, one of the largest DVD and CD sellers on eBay and Amazon, and Red Shorts Media, LLC, which operated multiple e-commerce media buyback websites.

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