On February 28th, eBay announced the annual ‘Spring Seller Update’. Most sellers have probably heard or read about some of the changes that are planned and may have some questions or opinions on what’s coming. I wanted to share my thoughts on how this will potentially affect or change my business and possibly yours.
I’m going to highlight a few of the announcements but you can read the entire update here.
My summary and action plan are detailed at the end of this blog – Don’t miss it!
- The Top Rated Plus final value fee discount will change from 20% to 10% on qualifying listings on May 1, 2017.
MY INITIAL THOUGHT: That Stinks. Not much more to say.
- The tracking requirement to qualify for Top Rated Seller status will increase from 90% to 95% on June 20, 2017. Top Rated Sellers will be required to upload valid shipment tracking within the promised handling time for at least 95% of your transactions with US buyers in the last 3 months.
MY INITIAL THOUGHT: Okay, that’s a little more strict but I can deal with it.
- The final value fees for Store subscriptions will INCREASE on May 1, 2017.
MY INITIAL THOUGHT: That Stinks. However it is MINIMAL. So minimal that it will practically go unnoticed. SO….not that big of a deal.
- The eBay-branded shipping supplies coupon for Anchor Store subscribers will increase from $75 to $150 per quarter.
MY INITIAL THOUGHT: Cool, I’ll take more supplies. However, this only applies to Anchor Store subscribers.
- eBay is removing third-party product listing ads across the eBay platform effective May 1, 2017. They will begin replacing the ads with eBay promoted listings at that time, with additional placements coming over the course of the year.
MY INITIAL THOUGHT: That makes sense but what’s this promoted listings stuff all about? I’m hearing eBay executives talk about it like crazy but it doesn’t seem to really apply to me…
- With new location-specific shipping rate tables coming this summer, you’ll be able to provide more accurate shipping charges to buyers. Also this summer, you’ll be able to customize the days you work and your cut-off time for same-day shipping with a new calendar tool.
MY INITIAL THOUGHT: I don’t need to worry or think about this right now. Talk to me in the summer when I can actually do something about it.
What is eBay doing with the money from increased fees?
One Word. VELOCITY.
They are INCREASING their advertising budget on all platforms including eBay fashion which affects my business directly and many others I know. The goal is to generate more traffic to the site and increase sales.
MY SUMMARY / ACTION PLAN:
I’ll start here —> I’m a glass is half full kind of guy. I’m competitive and I love challenges. Are there are few bummers in this update? Yes, but I look for the benefits from change and will make my plan based on what will make my business grow.
These are three steps that I plan to take moving forward.
1. To offset the increased fees, I am raising my prices.
I have traditional price points that I always use and moving forward I’m adjusting those prices by raising them each $2.00. If I normally sold something for $24.99, I will now be selling it for $26.99. This will cover the increase in fees and put a few extra bucks in my pocket.
As I’ve stated in my previous blogs, I do think competitive pricing is important but more than anything exposure is what matters.
2. I will work hard to maintain my Top Rated Seller status.
I think some sellers will get frustrated at the rate increases and start to care less about being a professional, top rated seller. Also, the tracking requirement for shipping will eliminate some. Therefore, the amount of top-rated sellers will decrease and those who maintain the status will BENEFIT by standing out more.
I want those benefits.
If you’re not currently a top rated seller, I would still work to get there.
3. When the time comes, I will PROMOTE like crazy.
Currently, the promoted listings feature doesn’t affect me or most other sellers I know. Promoted listings are only eligible for MULTI-QUANTITY, FIXED PRICE listings. However, the exciting part is that they plan to make promoted listings available for ONE OF A KIND items soon. It’s already being beta tested and could roll out within a month or two. This could be an absolute game changer and I can’t wait to test it out.
There you have it. My thoughts.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
I’d like to know what thoughts or questions you have. Does the seller update make any difference to you? If so, how?
Let’s talk about it in the comments below.
Have a great day!