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Ebay Seller Update Fall 2018

EBay just announced the Fall 2018 eBay Seller Update. This article looks at how the changes will effect sellers.

Most of these changes don't have a great effect on sellers who sell used items (Antiques and Collectibles) in auctions.

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Relevant Changes In The eBay Fall 2018 Seller Update

Before we get started here's a note from a reader:

"Whatever you are selling on eBay the most important aspect to your success is a thorough understanding of the process and reasons behind each action you take." So many people just do what they see others do without thinking it through or testing the results. I appreciate throughout the book that you took the time to say WHY you chose to do things a certain way.

You have encouraged me and affirmed what I already knew. I love your description of why reserves and BIN's are counterproductive. I have observed that they were not wise for collectibles, but would not have been able to describe the reasons why as well as you did. Thanks for all your hard work!

Elaine Smith

Improve your eBay skills quickly like Elaine did by reading the The IWantCollectibles Guide to Ebay Sales.

Ebay recently announced the fall changes. There are a bunch of them, but only five that I feel the need to comment on. The rest you can ignore, or are self-explanatory.

Phone Numbers

A while back eBay said we had to remove our phone numbers from our listings and contact pages. You can still sometimes see buyers phone numbers by looking adjacent to their address on eBay labels page, but sellers had no way to give out phone numbers.

Most of us got around this by sending messages with a combination of numbers and words for the telephone number or by sending emails to the paypal email address after the buyer paid.

This must have been a hassle for eBay so now they are allowing sellers to provide their phone number within the eBay Contact Seller menu.

You must make changes to your eBay account to do this. It's on My Account >> Manage Communications With Buyers page. On the bottom of the page select edit to right of “What Buyers Can Do,” then check the box beside “Share your phone number.”

Insertion Fee Credits

Insertion Fee credits are now only given to store subscribers with store accounts costing at least $20 a month. This is eBay refunding insertion fees for the first category when your item sells. If you get free box coupons with your store subscription on a quarterly basis you can get the credits.

I sort my purchases so I end up with lots of cheap easy to pack items that will mostly all sell at the end of the month when I've used up my free listings.

Think Matchboxes and Hot Wheels.

Since they don't take up much space, I can write the listings over the course of the month, and then list them all at the end of the month. I only list cars that should sell for $3 or more and start all of them below a dollar.

I'm sure you can figure out a way to schedule your listings so Items that are more likely to sell are listed at the end of the month.

Raising Final Value Fees

Final value fees for Books, DVDs, and Media are going up to 12% for all sellers. This sucks, but for me it beats selling them locally.

I sell books locally for $3 each or 4 books for $10. That's all I can get for them, and most won't even bring that so I give them away to children or donate them to the local clubs for use as door prizes. If I can get $5 plus shipping for a book on Ebay paying a little more in fees lowers my profits but is still more profitable than local sales.

I just hope this doesn't mean eBay will soon raise final value fees for everything. A 3% boost in my fees would cost me $3-500 more a month.

Whatever happens, I'll surely bitch and complain for a while and then deal with it. I've been trying to sell more direct and having the phone number available again will surely help me avoid eBay fees.

A quick side note here. . .

I have no problem with avoiding eBay fees. I had an eBay representative tell me earlier this week I had to ship to an unconfirmed address if the buyer paid, or forfeit eBay final fees and risk a negative. The buyer can claim he didn't get it, and he gets the toy car and his money back. I risk loosing the car, the money, the postage and shipping costs, and the eBay fees. Over the past 10 years I've lost about a grand due to shipping to unconfirmed addresses or problems with tracking.

I get buyers who buy broken trains clearly described as A NONWORKING TRAIN SOLD AS IS FOR PARTS OR REPAIR who complain to eBay that the train doesn't work and get their money back along with a free return label at my expense – in one case the buyer even sent a different train back.

Earlier this year I had a buyer complain his purchase wasn't as described, then return it with a label I provided to avoid the hassle of eBay finding against me. When the train came in missing parts, the buyer admitted in an eBay message that he had kept some parts. When I called eBay about this, the eBay phone rep told me to just take the loss and consider it a business expense to avoid the ding on my seller account.

So if I sell someone a $20 item and take payment directly through PayPal, the $2.00 I save on eBay fees doesn't even come close to covering the costs of scamming buyers.

But, and this is a big BUT, just because it's OK to avoid eBay fees and some buyers are scammers, doesn't mean it's OK to recoup the losses by ripping off other buyers.

Tracking Information Must Be Uploaded Earlier

The 2018 Fall Seller update says going forward you must upload tracking information BEFORE the estimated delivery date or you'll lose item not received complaints. If you use eBay labels tracking is uploaded automatically.

I think this change being done to force people onto the eBay labels system. As sellers we get a small discount on first class and Priority mail rates, but eBay still makes money on them. It's just adding a profit center to eBay's activities. I bet eBay will stop or greatly lower the discounts we get once they have a higher percentage of sellers using the labels system.

New Payment System Coming In 2019

Ebay also mentioned their new payment system – looks like they are going to allow sellers to take payments through eBay. We don't know anything about it at this time except they will figure some way to capture a bigger slice of our revenue.

EBay is currently asking for sellers willing to start using the system when it is released. I suggest waiting until most buyers are familiar with the new system.

Changes to eBay Labels

Ebay hasn't defined the changes yet. It seems like they are pushing estimated delivery times and increasing options other than the post office. I bet there will soon be a change to allow payment with a source other than Paypal.

I currently pay my eBay fees with a card that gives me cash back on my purchases. If I could use that card for labels I would. The cash back isn't much, but it's free money.

That covers the important changes in the 2018 Fall Seller Update.


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