Friday, July 25, 2014

ASK THE EBAY QUEEN: Was opening an eBay store a bad idea?

By SUZIE EADS, Ask the eBay Queen | 4/4/2013

Dear eBay Queen: I’m getting very confused about listing fees. I’ve been listing 50 items free for months, but I want to list more. I’m planning on listing 150 items a month. I used the page you linked in a recent column, and it suggested that fees would be less if I opened a store. For $15.95, I opened a store. It also suggested that I get 150 free listings for opening a store instead of having 50 for not having a store.

I went to list my first item and they want to charge me $1 in listing fees. I’m now thinking that if I list 150 items, that’s $150 in just listing fees without the final value fee. I list many things that cost more than $100, and that listing fee is $2. Maybe I should have stuck to just listing 50 items a month.

Now, let me explain that I’m listing things in the starting price range of $50 to $200 and my sell-through rate is about 20 percent. I’d rather list high over and over than drop the price and have it sell low. I’m thinking if I’m listing lots of things (80 percent of my listings), that don’t sell, opening a store wasn’t such a good idea. Maybe I should list fixed price, but I really like auctions.

I’ve studied the rates tables over and over and I’m still confused. Could you explain what’s going on to me? — Tina

Dear Tina: It was a little confusing to me too. The new fees for stores do not start until May 1. So, at that time, you can get a basic store for $15.95 per month if you commit to the annual subscription, or $19.95 if you don’t commit. When you subscribe to this basic store rate plan, you will receive either 150 free auctions or fixed price. The current rate is only get 50 free auctions with no store. Read more at http://pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/news/springupdate2013/springfeesimplification.html

Dear eBay Queen: I read your opinion about the changes on eBay. I’ve thought many times of selling elsewhere, but it pains me to think of throwing away more than 10 years at eBay to start over elsewhere. Yes, I’ve been burned by a few customers, and by eBay, but I am not passive about it. I carefully follow all the hoops eBay requires to keep my badge, rating and discount, and still, I’m just a 10th of a percent away from losing it all.

After researching other venues, I’ve come to the realization that the grass always looks greener on the other side. No matter where you go, there will be problems, and certainly a big learning curve before one feels comfortable again with someplace new.

I think the kind of books I sell, and the level of attention I give to each listing, cannot be attained by going to Amazon. Some of my listings take close to an hour to make because I describe every aspect about the book I am selling. I don’t use those scout scanners that I see sellers use in thrift stores and library sales, but just the absorbed knowledge I’ve gained through the years. Many of my books are only $10 to $20 items, but they are the backbone of my selling, with the occasional $100 book that makes my heart go pitter-patter!

Actually, I love the hunt more than the sale, but that’s why it’s so much fun doing it in the first place. It’s like the lottery, really! If I don’t get that ticket, I just know that I would have won if I got it. When I walk into a store, I’m excited with the anticipation with what I’ll find. If I can’t find the time to get to a store that I usually go to, I’m just deflated because I know I’m missing something. The past few weeks I’ve let my listings drop, as I’m training to be a headhunter. I didn’t think in my senior years, I’d take up a new profession, but this would give me the opportunity to drop the $10 and $20 items, and concentrate on the higher-end books — especially vintage children’s books, cookbooks and Bibles.

I am reconsidering accepting sales from “newbies” with less than 10 feedback, as they are the customers who have given me the most problems in the past. I wish there was a way to select buyers, or deselect them. I’d be sure to block the 20-somethings who are in college, or just out of college. Their heads are too big, and their demands to slanted! — Linda

Dear Linda: There is a way to block buyers. I’m not sure you can do it by age, but you can do it by the number of feedback, where they live in the world, and the amount of non-paying item strikes they have. Here is a link to the page that will help you with the buying requirements you desire:  http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/manage_bidders_ov.html

Strange eBay item of the week: eBay item No. 271131122614. Here’s a cute little mustard jar. “Rare Texaco Mayer China 2 part mustard, sugar jam jar.” It sold for $1,025 at http://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-TEXACO-MAYER-CHINA-2-PART-JAR-MUSTARD-SUGAR-JAM-HONEY-EXCELLENT-CONDITION-/271131122614

Suzie Eads is a nationally known eBay marketer and eBay trained education specialist. She lives in Rantoul. Have a question for the eBay Queen? Email the eBay Queen

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