Monday, April 1, 2019

At a Crossroads with eBay and Etsy

eBay now requires that all fixed-price listings be listed as Good 'Til Cancelled (GTC).  At least half of my listings are now GTC, and the rest will follow within the next two weeks as they are relisted.

I previously mentioned that I will no longer be able to float more than 250 listings because of this change.  On March 31, I had 211 active listings and one expired listing that needed to be relisted.  I had already used all of my 250 free fixed-priced listings, so I had to wait until my listings reset in order to avoid a listing fee of $0.25.  If all of my listings were already GTC, then that one extra listing would have auto-relisted and caused me to incur the fee of $0.25.  I still have slightly too many listings.

I have been trying to figure out how to handle this situation.  Am I better off paying higher fees on eBay?  Should I list on other venues?

On Amazon, sellers pay a $39.99 monthly fee in order to list items, and then they pay the transaction fees as items sell.  While the monthly fee is significant, Amazon does have the traffic and sales.  Sellers do not have to advertise their Amazon listings.  While intriguing, I decided not to pursue selling on Amazon at this time.

I am already on Etsy where I do not have a monthly fee.  I pay $0.20 per item for each item to be listed for four months.  That isn't bad.  I have been pretty satisfied with Etsy, but sales come and go.  I have really good periods and then nothing.

I do not care to expand my Etsy shop more than I have already done, because I am not certain about future Etsy policies.  Etsy sent out a survey to a portion of its sellers.  Sellers had to sign a nondisclosure affidavit in order to take the survey.  Read eCommercebytes for some information.

I looked into paying for a higher-level eBay store.  The screen captures seen below were taken from this page.

I have the Basic eBay store and have a yearly subscription, so I pay $21.95 per month.

This next table shows how many free listings are allocated to each store type.

There's a reason why I never mention my 250 free auction listings:  I cannot use them.  The books category is not one of the allowed categories for the free auction listings.  That really angers me.  I'm told that I get 500 free listings per month, but I only sell books.  I cannot use the 250 auction listings.  If I could use them, I'd list some of my better books in auctions.  I would then have enough free listings for each month.  It's a shame.

I've been eyeing the next level of eBay store, which is Premium.  I would get 1,000 free fixed-price listings, but that is way more than I need.  I would have to pay $59.95 per month if I go with the yearly subscription.  It's doable, but I'm not ready to seriously consider it.  $59.95 is a significant increase per month from $21.95, and I would still be paying all the final value fees and PayPal fees in addition to that.

I see myself as having three options.  For the first option, I could continue with stores on both eBay and Etsy.  I would have to keep my eBay listings down to my current level to avoid incurring any additional fees.

The second option would be to keep my stores on eBay and Etsy as they are but go ahead and incur some extra listing fees on eBay.  For instance, I could list 50 extra items per month on eBay, which would cause me to pay $12.50 extra in fees per month.

The third option would be to close my Etsy shop completely and change to the Premium eBay store.  That way, I would save the Etsy listing fees and would then list everything on eBay.  I would still end up paying higher fees on eBay than I currently do on eBay and Etsy combined.

For now, I'm going to stay at my current eBay store level and wait to see what happens with Etsy.  However, the second option is the most logical of the three options.

I have believed from the start that eBay forced all fixed-price listings to GTC in order to eliminate the float.  By eliminating the float, sellers must pay for all extra listings above the listing allocation, which is a sly way for eBay to raise fees to sellers.  My fees will increase once I decide to give in.  I do think I will ultimately yield and will go with the second option mentioned above.  The change in policy is about money, and eBay will get that money.

Meanwhile, I am still working on decreasing my eBay listings, especially the stagnant ones.  77 eBay listings are currently on sale for 15% off.  The sale ends on April 7.  After April 7, the sale will be null and void.

All orders of $35 or more on either eBay or Etsy will receive free shipping to United States addresses.

Jennifer's Series Books on eBay

Jennifer's Series Books on Etsy

No comments: