Shoestring Theory

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eBay wants you to work weekends

February 21, 2008 at 10:18 am by thetheorist

Power Up logo
Thanks for the tips power up newsletter, but I think I know what I’m doing.

The February PowerSeller newsletter (Power Up) hit inboxes yesterday afternoon, glorifying the changes and providing “tips” on how to improve Detailed Seller Ratings.

Communication: Even on weekends. Today’s online shoppers expect 24-hour communication lines and prompt response. That doesn’t mean being tied to your email 24/7–consider automating emails at key steps and using Frequently Asked Questions.

I would say eBay expects shoppers to expect 24-hour communication lines. PayPal (an eBay company), doesn’t offer weekend hours for its customer service.

Shipping cost: Keep it real. Buyers leave lower DSRs for sellers who pad shipping costs so make sure yours reflect real costs. Better yet, offer discounted or free shipping–and combined shipping for multiple item orders. Itemize costs in the listing (handling, insurance, etc.) so there are no surprises.

eBay has really been pushing free shipping for awhile. Unfortunately for sellers, shipping costs keep increasing. UPS, FedEx and DHL all raised their rates about 4.9 percent at the start of this year. The post office just had a raise last year and will likely be raising prices again this May (a First Class increase has already been announced, new Priority and Express prices won’t be announced until March). Of course, eBay has a vested interest in trying to get sellers to include shipping charges into the item price. Sellers pay fees on the item price, but not on what is charged for shipping.

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The Submit button may not be appearing or working correctly in IE6. I would suggest upgrading to IE7 or Firefox 2 for full functionality (I'm still looking for a solution to this if anyone knows one).

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  • 1 JoshDM Feb 21, 2008 at 11:48 am

    I like how the initial message from eBay a couple weeks ago announcing the reduced insertion fees, seriously played down the greatly increased final value fees.

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    I’m sick of the eBay fees; and combined with the fees they charge from Paypal, which they own (as far as I know), this is robbery.

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    eBay needs to create some sort of reduced fee discount if your customer pays for the auction via Paypal.

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    By the way, eBay. I wouldn’t pad my shipping costs with a handling charge if you didn’t charge so much for the final value fee and Paypal charge. In fact, if there were some form of combined eBay/Paypal discount, I’d encourage my buys to pay me with Paypal.