February 3, 2008

eBay announce 2008 changes: fees, management, feedback, & rewards

Scott and Milinda attended the eBay Top Seller ecommerce forum in Washington DC January 28th -30th where eBay introduced their new top management team, fee changes, feedback changes, and a host of other changes all aimed at providing buyers a great experience using the site.

First of all on fees – the listing fees were lowered, but final value fees were raised for both auction and store listings. eBay estimates that the overall fees will be less, but it depends on how you list your items, for us they will be going up. Here are the charts from eBay.

All gallery images are now free! These are the thumbnail images that you see (or don’t) when scrolling through eBay listings. Expect to see everyone using this now.

Feedback Scoring – Many changes were made here as well.

Sellers cannot leave negative feedback – Actually we never have. eBay’s research found that sellers used this for retaliation against buyers who left them a negative and when they did, those buyers stopped buying on eBay.

Sellers will be able to report bad buyers to eBay – But now using non-public tools, like the unpaid item reporting process, and new processes to be announced. eBay promises to take serious actions with buyers that leave inaccurate feedback.

Negatives & Neutrals cannot be left within 3 days of the end of the auction – I wish it would have been 3 days after they initially contacted the seller, but it is still better than before.

Feedback window is shortened to 60 days – It is currently 90 days.

Feedback % based on last 12 months – The feedback% calculation will be changed going forward to reflect the ratio over the past 12 rolling months, not lifetime as it is now.

Multiple positive feedback credit – Starting immediately, feedback ratings will be calculated based on multiple feedbacks from repeat buyers, up to one per week. In the past feedbacks only counted once in the feedback score from each buyer. So even if one person bought 50 items over the course of a year and left 50 positive feedbacks it only counted as 1. Now up to one per week will be counted, recognizing good sellers who have a lot of repeat buyers.

Negatives and Neutrals will be deleted when buyers do not respond to eBay’s unpaid items process – currently they are just removed from the feedback calculation.

Negatives and Neutrals will be removed from suspended members – If eBay suspends a member, all of the feedback that they left for other members will be removed, and they are doing this retroactively.

PayPal protection to sellers increase – Buyers have more flexibility

PayPal announced that now any address in PayPal will be treated as a “confirmed” address. This means that sellers can now ship to wherever a sellers asks them to, as long s they put it in PayPal and PayPal will cover the seller against all unauthorized and non-receipt claims. This applies to Power Seller’s only. You must sell over $1000/month to be a Power Seller.

There is no longer an annual limit of $5,000 in claims from sellers.

Seller protection will now apply to 190 countries worldwide instead of just the US, Canada, and the UK.

Great Sellers will be rewarded

And finally, eBay is going to start rewarding its best sellers! eBay defines their best sellers as those that get 4.8 or better out of 5.0 on their feedback DSR’s (Detailed Seller Ratings), which are the star ratings that you see when you leave feedback.

Now in order to be a Power Seller, at any level, you must have a 4.5 or better for each of the DSR ratings, not an average.

Great Power Sellers’ items will show up higher in the search results when eBay changes its default sort order to “Best Match” in March. This will be based on the sellers DSR score over the past 30 days.

Great Power Sellers will also earn feed discounts based on their monthly DSR scores. 4.6’s or better on all four will earn you 5% off your Final Value Fees (FVF). 4.8’s or better will earn you 15% off your FVF’s. Currently only 15% of Power Sellers qualify for this 15% off discount, but it is clearly eBay’s intention to motivate Power Sellers to achieve this.

That’s the bottom line – better sellers mean better buying experiences, which mean more buyers, more purchases, and more money for eBay – and for great sellers. So it is good old American Capitalism at work.

All in all, I think the changes are well intended and well aimed. I don’t like the higher fees, but I sure like the refunds, so expect to see us working even harder to ensure the satisfaction of our buyers.

New Management

Meg Whitman is retiring at the end of March. Meg has always said a CEO shouldn’t stay past 10 years, well her 10 years are up and she is retiring. Meg has really done a great job with eBay – when she started eBay’s revenues were $300,000! John Donahoe is taking over as the new CEO.

Bill Cobb is also retiring as the President of President, eBay Marketplace Operations effective at the end of this year. He is being replaced by Lorrie Norrington.

Rajiv Dutta is now EVP, eBay Inc. and the President eBay Marketplaces. He had previously been the President of PayPal.

Scott Thompson is now the new President of PayPal.

There were many other management changes, but these are the primary ones. You can read their bios here.

Thanks and sorry for the long post, but there is just a lot happening!



Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information. I have a question. My e-bay seems to have been updated and I can't seem to find how to sort lionel listings by date of manufacture as I used to. Anyone else experience this? Was it part of the changes already listed here?

Scott said...

Actually I am note sure how you were able to sort by manufacture date in the past. You can sort by listing date on the site, but since most listings don't have the manufacture date, I don't know how that would be possible. The eBay changes didn't have anything to do with this. Thanks.