Has anyone read or seen this email from bidstart regarding ebay? I would be interested in your comments on this article:
Ebay's Dramatic Push to Remove Collectibles Over the past few years, Ebay has taken steps to turn away sellers of collectibles, and focus solely on big brand retailers. With each new seller update, it's come to be expected that sellers of collectibles will see increased fees and new hurdles to overcome. Whether it be fee increases, being forced to accept PayPal, being charged final value fees on shipping costs, or new rules which make absolutely no sense when applied to collectibles, Ebay continues to make it clear they don't want collectible on their site anymore.
However, with their latest announcement, once the sugar coating was cut through, even we were shocked by how far they've gone this time! If you're currently a seller on Ebay of stamps, postcards and other collectibles, it's likely that you're a Top Rated Seller, as long as you maintain a relatively high feedback rating. Two of the main benefits that Top Rate Sellers on Ebay enjoy is a boost in search results, and on average a 20% discount on final value fees. However, for collectible sellers that's all about to change!
By May, almost every Top Rated Seller on Ebay in the collectible categories will lose their Top Rated Seller Status, and many will instantly see a fee increase of 20%! This is mainly due to the fact that all sellers on Ebay will be required to upload tracking information for at least 90% of their shipments to remain a Top Rate Seller! This means that if you sell a stamp or postcard, and send it in a plain envelope without tracking information you'll lose your Top Rated Status! Obviously this new requirement doesn't make any sense for collectibles, but that's the point - to force out collectibles, and collectible buyers and sellers like you. Even if you do spend enormous amounts of time and money to add tracking information to your shipments, you'll likely still lose your discount, because you'll also need to ensure that all orders are shipped out within one business day! Even if you're only a buyer of collectibles, these large cost increases will need to be passed along to you by the seller, so it's truly a grim situation for collectibles on Ebay.
While these new changes are truly shocking, but the good news is that you have until May to abandon Ebay, and move to bidStart if you've not already done so. Easily import (or sync) your entire inventory from Ebay to bidStart using our Import/Sync from Ebay feature. It takes only a minute of your time to set up, and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Additionally, if you still have friends selling collectibles on Ebay, make sure they know about these upcoming changes, and send them over to bidStart - the Collectibles Marketplace!
For more information on Ebay's latest changes, see their2012 Spring Seller Update page
Duncanvr, Stallzer's SCF topic below goes a LONG WAY to explain what could be Ebay's motivation with the tightening of 20% discount, tracking etc etc when one has to compete against societies riff-raff.
duncanvr, I find bidstart and My Little Auctions so much better for stamps than ebay. The only interest the latter has is making as much money for themselves at the seller's expense as they can. With bidStart and My Little Auctions the sellers knows they are advertising to only genuine enthusiasts who are much more likely to honour the agreement they make when hitting the 'buy' button. This site is a worthy alternative too, for that very reason.
I read a lot of what duncanvr posted on Ebay itself and through my own seller dashboard system (MyEbay). It is true that if you do not use Ebay's shipping system to upload tracking information for 90% of your DOMESTIC transactions, then your top rated seller status will be moved and you'll lose the discount on the fees. Ebay has been pushing their shipping system very hard - "print free shipping labels & postage along with tracking" promos. There's a few reasons why it's such a horrible feature for someone like myself: 1. As a philatelist, I use real stamps for postage - no meter labels. I'm sure my buyers like this too as many request it. 2. I ship at exact postage costs with no added fees unless there's something requested by the buyer. 3. It's an additional cost that neither I nor the buyer need to bear. Also remember Ebay takes 9% of all postage & shipping fees from the buyer. The attempt by Ebay to push the tracking is a thinly veiled attempt to increase revenue through the fees. 4. Ebay's shipping/tracking report system is BROKEN. It might be fine to report such information for a few buyers, but try to do that for a hundred buyers or more. There's no one click feature like Delcampe. Delcampe has a beautiful system to report items shipped and the feedback system is equally simple and quick. As for Ebay, you have to pull down menus for each individual buyer, select mark items as shipped and then wait for the WHOLE page to reload which is why it's so slow. The more buyers you have the longer it takes to reload and there's nothing quick about it. 5. Have you seen the price of printer ink? Seriously, it's the most expensive liquid in the world. I have seen Canon printers at Walmart with ink that's cheaper than buying a set of refills. It's cheaper to buy a new printer every time you run out of ink - I'll have no part of that. I address my envelopes by hand and sometimes I use a pen I got for free from a hotel or motel and I can do it faster than trying to print out a label from Ebay. Call me a Luddite, but sometimes new technology is not always better.
As Ebay has it, I will never use Ebay's shipping & label system just like I will never use their Mr. Magoo picture services. There's is an alternative to clicking buttons and it's called communications. I email every buyer when I ship an item to let them know when I shipped an item. I also leave feedback the day I ship so that acts as a record of when I shipped as well. It's a system that works very well.
Devil's advocate time: I've been selling on Ebay since 1999 and for each auction I sell 50% to 95% of my stock on each auction. I owe that to the time I put into the descriptions, photos, low starting prices and service. I have was a Powerseller at one time back in 2005 or 2006, but I don't have frequent auctions all the time so I keep losing and regaining my Powerseller status. I found that very annoying so at some point I disabled the Powerseller function. Later this top-rated seller status came into being and I checked into it to see if I qualified. When I had regular auctions, I did qualify and currently do to this day, except you have to be a Powerseller. There's no feature on Ebay to re-enable Powerseller status despite the fact it says I qualify. I probably can contact Ebay and see if it can be turned back on, but again if I go three months without an auction it will just be turned off again and selling dollar amounts will too low. But you know what? Without powerseller and/or top-rated seller status hasn't hurt me a bit. I do just fine because again I can stand on my own two feet through my own actions as a seller.
Oh no don't get me started with Tony Abbot and Julia Gillard!
Regarding printers I agree that the cost of ink replacement cartridge is ridiculous. I to hand write every address, well my wife does. But the last time I ran out of ink I had an option to buy a $40 printer all in one with scanner etc or $70 for a cartridge. I had to choose the new printer and donate the old one to charity. All have a read of Stallzer's SCF topic.
By the way what does everyone think of selling on bidstart? I've tried to sell on delcampe but no luck. KMP.com I also have not sold a thing. However even with ebays fees I am currently selling lots every day and still getting a small profit. I was listing US Covers the other day and found people viewing my listings less than one minute after I listed. For the moment I'll stay with ebay even though the fees hurt because things just seem to sell better. And I am getting returning customers which I am please about.