eBay eCommerce Forum Announcements

Tuesday, 29 January 2008 at 8:01 am Pacific USA Time.

Hi. It’s Debbie from As Was, live blogging from the eBay eCommerce Forum.

New CEO John Donahoe gave the fist speech. They said these changes are for the USA, so if you’re not selling on eBay.com, check your regional site to see what the changes rea.

eBay is changing the fee structure. Effective 20 Feb 2008 in the USA, insertion fees are being reduced in the Core and Store. Gallery images will be free. FVF will go up. They say that mathematically, people should see their fees go down, and with lower insertion fees, sellers now have less risk when listing items.

John says they’re rewarding great sellers because eBay wants great sellres, large and small. PowerSellers, based on their level of "buyer satisfaction," will receive up to 15% off their FVF. Starting in March, sellers with more "customer satisfaction" as measured by the DSRs (Detailed Seller Ratings), wlil be given favourable positions in search results. eBay’s stats show that a disappointed buyer won’t just stop buying from that seller… they might completely leave eBay, which hurts the opportunity for good sellers to sell to that person.

Starting in July, PowerSeller standards will be raised, which I’ve been calling for for years. Sellers will need to meet minimum DSR scores. I wasn’t calling for that, but I’m for raising standards. :)

John says they’re going to be revamping Feedback. John says that Feedback is a big turn-off to buyers, who are afraid of retaliatory negatives. The system will be changed to try to improve buyer trust.

John closed by stressing how sellers and eBay need to work together to improve the buyer experiences.


Then Bill Cobb came and gave more details.

Insertion fees are going down 5 cents to 80 cents depending upon the tier.

FVF are going well up. 8.75%, 3.50%, and 1.50%. That first tier is a BIG jump, bu that’s only for the first $25. That means $2.19 of the first $25 instead of $1.31. I’m commenting to say that people shouldn’t be too scared as that’s only just another 88 cents. That’ll hit the lower ASP people more of course, but it is only 88 cents.

Featured Plus will be cut to $9.95 in some situations as it’ll have tiered pricing.

eBay calculates buyer disatisfaction from things like leaving neutral or negative, and a 1 or 2 rating in any of the DSRs.

More than 5% "dissatisfied" buyers in 30 days will flag a seller as not so great. Those people will see their items disadvantaged in search results.eBay will require the sellers who dissatisfy people to offer "safe" payments via PayPal or major credit card. These are designed to improve buyer trust.

The PS bar will be raised starting in July. Starting in July, you’ll need to have at least 4.5 on each DSR in a 12-month period to quality for/remain a PowerSeller.

Sellers who meet or exceed eBay standards will be rewarded through discounts, better payment protectoin, and greater exposure for listings in search.

PS Fee discounts: starting in April, 4.6 or higher on all DSRs will get 5% off on FVF. 4.8 and above on DSRs will get 15% off FVFs. Bill said that as of current stats, over 60% of current PSers would get these discounts. He joked that this is his retirement gift to sellers.

You won’t need to have shipped to a confirmed address to get Seller Protection. Any address to which you ship, even gift or work locations, will quality.

The $5K limit on claims will become unlimited for PowerSellers.

Right now PayPal only gives protection to sellers in certain countries. It will soon be offered to ALL countries that allow PayPal payments.

Since Best Match was rolled out, shoppers are converting more to buyers. Starting in March, it’ll be THE default way site-wide. High DSRs over the last 30 days will be given an advantage in search results. Search results will still favour items ending sooner, but eBay wants to highlight the better sellers since they think that’ll improve buyer satisfaction overall. That’s part of the whole Finding 2.0 thing. Other changes have to do with connecting shoppers more closely to what they are looking for.

New Feedback tool starting in May… a Seller Dashboard that’ll show PS status, billing status, FVF discount qualification, policy violations and risks, and buyer satisfaction measures (feedback, DSRs, and complaints). eBay hopes that sellers can use this to manage customer satisfaction. You’ll know how you stand at eBay since it’s similar to how eBay (internally) sees you.

Today, the biggest issue with Feedback is that buyers are afraid to leave honest feedback because of the threat of relatiation. The final straw for many buyers is getting a negative. Feedback is a two-way street, but eBay has a stat that retaliatory negs are way up, and sellers are 8x as likely to leave retaliatory negs than a buyer is. We need to regain buyer confidence on eBay so they’ll bid and buy more. eBay worked with Pierre on bold changes…

Starting in May, sellres may only leave positive feedback for buyers. WHAT?! They will remove a fb when the buyer doesn’t respond to the UPI. They wlil remove fb when someone is NARU, even retroactively. They will not allow buyers to leave neutral or neg within 3 days of the item ending. They wil reduce the number of days from 90 to 60 for buyers to leave you feedback. These are to help sellers avoid getting negatives.

Your % will be based on the last 12 months though the score will be lifetime. You will get credit for repeat business from 1 buyer/seller per week.

Bill says he knows not everybody will love all of these, but he feels the "overall package" of these changes is strong.


Well, we know sellers have a lot of questions and issues. How will they be found? Once they are found, how can they better convert shoppers into buyers? How can they use strategies to decrease fees, and how can they improve their shipping? Better and cheaper shipping will help those DSRs. Well, this is my plug for my company, As Was http://www.aswas.com as well as our upcoming conference, http://www.aswasconference.com. We’re all about getting the sellers the help they need to grow and be more prfitable no matter what changes eBay might make. If you want to keep selling on eBay, and especially if you want to grow, you have to evolve with the changes and be proactive.

I’m just saying. :)

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