Ebay has just recently changed it’s store subscription prices. Originally, both the Basic and Featured stores were available for a somewhat over priced already 24.95. Now, the featured store price has been bumped all the way up to 49.95, pretty much double the original cost.
Here is an official statement from Ebay:
“From 15 September, the monthly subscription fee for Featured (and until it’s retired, Basic) Stores will increase from $24.95 to $49.95.
This increase has become necessary as the fee changes made earlier this year (most of which were reductions) incentivised more sellers than expected to take advantage of Stores pricing. Buyers have different expectations about the service they receive when dealing with businesses compared to individual sellers, and Stores on eBay have become the easiest way for buyers to identify a business.
This new subscription fee is aimed at allowing the more serious businesses on eBay to continue operating a Store, while individual sellers should consider taking advantage of the 30 free listings* available every month.”
Essentially, Ebay has increased the price of their Featured store fees due to their inability to cope with an influx of online sellers who have been using both the featured and basic store options. By increasing the price of the Featured store, Ebay is restricting small time Ebay sellers, with limits applying to how much you sell, how often you can sell and more. In May of 2012, Ebay was offering a free 30 listings to Ebay sellers, which lead to a great increase in the amount of sellers on eBay.
Does that make it okay for Ebay to just double the price in order to weed out the small time sellers?
Legally, Ebay is covered, as always. There is no doubt they have a million and one lawyers out and about making sure that they won’t get done for doubling their store prices. But this does come down to ethics. Should eBay be allowed to essentially rip off and dog its own sellers, the same sellers who make up the Ebay site and make it as successful as it is.
The new pricing favours more serious sellers, however in the case of Ebay, these more serious sellers are already Power Sellers and are almost impossible to compete with. This new pricing means that any seller who wants to take on the power sellers of Ebay will need to fork out more, and a lot more, as this fee is monthly, in order to even have a standing chance.
Fair? Not a concern according to Ebay. The unfortunate part is, for countries like Australia, sellers will suffer due to having to compete with international sellers who already hold a majority of the market share.
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