Thursday, January 31, 2008

I'm quoted on CNN!

Now there's something I never thought I would be able to say!

I got an email yesterday from a really sweet reporter named Katie who was writing a story on the changes eBay dumped on us Tuesday, which I am sure most of you have heard about. She said she loved my stuff, and would I mind talking to her for her story?

So we chatted on the phone and I tried not to be too negative, since all the poor woman had heard all day was ranting from angry sellers. It was hard though, there is plenty to be negative about! (More on that in another post, I am still figuring out how the changes will affect me and my business. There are numbers to be crunched, and strategies to be devised - it will probably take me a few days!)

Anyway, here is a link to the story. She gave not only my store address but my blog address also, which was way more than I expected. Thanks again Katie, if you are reading this! :)


Marty @ ohexpress Video & Music said...

Liked the quote in the story, yea, we sellers are getting it handed to us bad!

Mama Brook said...

'God only wants 10 percent.'
I love that!!!

Mitzi said...

hehe yeah, I read that on a board yesterday about God only wanting 10 percent. Too funny!

Marty, have you run numbers yet to see if the fee changes will hurt or help you?

amodernguy said...

Glad to see CNN was seeking out someone at the "grassroots" of Ebay.

I've been trading on Ebay for years and the fees are making it less and less attractive. Ebay is an important part of my business but I'm searching for ways to make it less.

I've seen lower sale prices which, when coupled with higher fees, are making me think very hard about Ebay.

Also, the inability of sellers to leave negative feedback places us in a very bad situation. While I've only left one or two in over 6 years, this leaves sellers in a position to be prey to "feedback extortion" - where the deck is always stacked in favor of the buyer. I've had a few real crackpot buyers - including one who was threatening negative feedback because I wouldn't drive his purchase 75 miles to deliver it FOR FREE! It was a $10 item. Instead of negative feedback, he left me very low ratings.

Anyway, I'm going to run our numbers for the year through and see what the fee difference does.

amodernguy said...

Just some fast calculations on new fees -

Example 1 - An item opening at 9.99 and selling for $25.00

Previous Fee Total - $2.06
New Fee Total - $2.58

Increase of 25.2%

Example 2 - An item opening for 9.99 and selling for $100.00

Previous total fee - $4.50

New Total Fee - $5.16

An increase of 14.6%


Mitzi said...

Hi Marty, yeah those numbers are a little scary. What may help me is that I use Gallery for all my listings, so having that free is essentially cutting my listing fee in half from what it currently is.

My average auction sell through rate is about 35%, so I am hoping the extra I will pay on the back end will even out with what I am saving on the front end.

What worries me most is the store fee increase, 10% was already too high, now it is 12%. Add another 3% for PayPal fees, the cost of the item, and my time and other regular business expenses... I don't think it is worth listing things in the store that are under $25.

I'm debating on moving the lower priced items to my new Etsy store, where the fee is only 3%!

Mitzi said...

Oops! Not Marty, Hi Just a Modern Guy! hehe What is your first name? Maybe I will remember it... ;)

Mitzi said...

Oh and yes I am worried about the feedback issue also, it doesn't seem like a good idea to make that change at the same time they are making the feedback scores so much more important with Best Match and your Powerseller status... it is going to be tricky for sure.

amodernguy said...

Mitzi - I'm Chuck...

Frankly, the feeback and ratings worry me most. I've had too many problems with buyers over the years.

Like the one when the rating system started who gave me all zeros because I wouldn't claim that their International shipment was a gift. I declared the actual amount they paid. this is what the law requires.

My rating is still recovering from that.

Now, the buyer has even more power when they want us to do such things because they also know our fee discount and listing placement will be based upon our rating.

I'm still trying to digest all of this.

Heck, it would be easier (and cheaper) to just have a 30% off sale in our shop! That may be my new strategy.

Mitzi said...

Ugh Chuck, some buyers are just a nightmare! I've been fairly lucky so far, though I got my first neutral the other day because my box (not the item itself, it was china) smelled like smoke, even though it says in every listing that items don't come from a smoke or pet free home.

Some people you just can't please, and I worry too that the buyers will figure out they have the upper hand and try to take advantage where they wouldn't have before.

jimmosk said...

I'm quoted too, and in fact they even used my picture - although I wasn't as smart as you were, and so didn't give them a link to my classical-CD auctions.

Mind if I do so here? :^)

Mitzi said...

Hi Jim! No problem, link away! Glad you stopped by, are you figuring out how the changes will help/hurt you yet?

jimmosk said...

Hi Mitzi, it looks like the fees will hurt me pretty hard, since the new structure is more costly for people who sell items ending at under $25, people who don't currently use Gallery, and people whose auctions almost all end successfully... and I'm in all three of those categories (CDs don't really benefit from a gallery photo; mine end up going for an average of $11, and about 90% of my listings sell).
I'm especially bothered by the Gallery bit -- if its purpose is to make an item stand out and so attract more buyers... then it seems to me that making every item use Gallery defeats its purpose completely.

I also think the no-nonpositive-feedback for buyers is just dumb. Better to remove feedback on buyers entirely than have a "In Soviet Russia every candidate win their election, because each election have only one candidate" system.

Mitzi said...

Yeah Jim, it seems like you are exactly the type of seller who is going to be hurt the most, that really sucks!

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Wow, contrats to you for this bit o' vintage fame. :)

I'd been thinking of selling some extra dishes I no longer needed on Ebay... until this. Now I'm wondering whether I won't just donate them back to the thrifts from which they came!

Monica said...

Congrats for your exposure on CNN!!!!!!!! I agree with all of you about the changes!!!!! We have to think of something!!!!

As of now I am not selling on ebay but I will think about this as to what options everyone has!! said...

Consider using it is a complete system that is free for the first fifty products.