WTF happened to Ebay fees

So I haven’t sold anything on ebay in a few years.

I recently sold something and paypal charged me 3.2% for their services and ebay charged me 9% for their services.

I’m not bitching about the money so much as I am shocked that their cut has gotten this high and people tolerate it.

It seems to me that they are getting greedy enough for some large reputable intermediary to step in and undercut them by a LOT.

If you eventually purchase more than $10,000 worth of stuff, they will also hassle you for extra financial information. Even with a perfect payment record.

Also, a seller can cancel a transaction, even after you have agreed to make the purchase and would at that point be penalized if YOU wanted to then cancel, and then the seller can relist the same item at a higher price.

I stopped using eBay years ago when most auctions seemed to require the use of Paypal.

eBay has amazed me for a long time, simply because they do have a virtual monopoly on this type of business, and they have been immune to competition.

Considering the barriers to entry in this business are small, the reason for their success is volume. They were the first successful auction site on the web, people from all over the world post sell their products on there, therefore most buyers go to eBay first.

eBay has not hit the financial gouging point that sellers and buyers are unwilling to pay. Sellers get more eyes on their product on eBay, and buyers can almost always find what they are looking for. Until another company can match that, everyone’s default choice is eBay.

I remember a while ago trying to break my habit of eBay first for precisely the reason in the OP. They continue to take a bigger and bigger chunk of the transaction price. As a buyer, it’s usually charged to me as higher shipping prices, so sellers still have some recourse. As a buyer, where else do I go?

Give me a viable alternative to eBay and I’d drop them in a heartbeat. I hate that company for so many reasons. But they are the best at what they do, and until someone else comes up with a site that attracts the sellers to post their product, eBay will continue to eat into everyone’s profit margin.

I was thinking a company like Craigslist or Amazon easily has the kind of street traffic necessary to attract a market.

Ironically, eBay has acted to prevent the sellers from “gouging” by using that tactic. At least in some categories, eBay now sets maximum shipping charges. For example, you can’t charge more than $4.00 to ship an LP record within the USA, even if it’s a heavy box set. Four dollars is just about enough to cover Media Rate shipping for one LP plus the cost of a cardboard mailer. If your record will cost more than that to ship, eBay directs you to factor in the additional cost when setting your minimum bid. :rolleyes:

Actually (as a seller) this has now changed, although it may be that I just ran into the change.

I had listed 5 video games, and was trying to set the shipping fee at a point where I wouldn’t lose money. I like sending items priority with tracking. That would cost eight bucks or so for the games. EBay wouldn’t let me set the shiiping cost higher than four bucks. Similarly, they limited shipping for a single music CD to three bucks or less.

The above limits were in place even when I went through the estimated shipping cost route, that showed that the real shipping costs were higher than their limits.

I know this is in reaction to sellers charging artifically high shipping fees so that E-Bay’s cut would be smaller, but it seems they’ve swung too far the other way by not allowing sellers to charge realistic shipping fees.

The only reason eBay did that is because they don’t take a chunk of the shipping costs so people were selling things for a $1 and charging $200 for shipping.

Do they allow you to offer the buyer a choice of shipping methods, some of which cost more than others?

This. Exactly. People were gaming the system and screwing eBay out of their cut on the price of the item. Now, normally I don’t get too worked up about whether or not a company is getting enough money, but these sellers were defrauding eBay of its rightful fees, and sometimes the buyers were caught by surprise at the shipping charges, too. More than once, I found something that I wanted, and it was at a great price, and I was ready to bid on it…and then I checked the shipping costs. I figured that I was probably better off if I didn’t buy from someone who was willing to defraud others.

A few people screwed it up for everyone.

Check out this auction; $50 for a used iPhone but $275 shipping:

eBay should make the seller justify why their shipping should be that high before accepting the listing.

I don’t see 9% as an outrageous fee, if you compare it to the price you would pay to an auction house to sell something, or to a consignment dealer. eBay opens your product up to a HUGE market. They’re going to charge a reasonable fee for that, and I don’t really see the problem. You might argue that for very expensive items it should be lower, though. I’m not sure eBay deserves to make $20,000 if you sell a Ferrari online.

Now, if you want to talk price gouging and a rate that’s being set so high it threatens the entire delivery model, how about Apple charging 30% for anything sold through the app store? And worse, they’re forcing publishers to sell their subscriptions through the app store. So if you order a Kindle book for $10, Apple wants a $3 cut. And they won’t even let people sell through the App like Kindle does today, and they won’t let the vendors charge higher prices on the iPad.

That will almost guarantee that the publishers will pull the ability to buy books, magazines and newspapers on the Apple device. The New York Times and Amazon are not about to give 30% of their revenue to Apple.

What’s wrong with Paypal?

Why the rollie? What’s wrong with that?

AFAIC, they could drop “shipping” charges entirely and give sellers a point back on the percentages.

Several things: the illogic of barring sellers from charging their actual expense; the fact that if you factor the difference into your MB, you’ll also have to factor in an extra slice for eBay–because this way they get a cut of the postage, which ain’t how it’s supposed to work; and the fact that if your item gets multiple bids, you’ll probably end up with the same final value amount that you would have gotten without adjusting the MB, so in effect, you end up covering the difference out of your own pocket anyway.

I don’t know. As far as I can tell, almost none of the things I buy through the mail have “shipping” charges that directly reflect actual costs of shipping. It’s just an arbitrary fee with the effect of making the consumer price look smaller.

I’m in favor of anything that will prevent artificially high s&h fees. I’ve been burned by those in the past and I feel it undermined myt confidence in ebay (its why I stopped buying stuff off of it, it was too much buyer beware.

My point is that 12.8% is too high a cut for ebay and paypal, it seems like monopolistic pricing power at work.

Paypal is evil. I’d vastly prefer to do my shopping by check, or just directly through my credit card. I realize that people have abused checks, but there’s no reason why eBay can’t just use my credit card without making me remember yet another damned login that has to have a frequent password change.

While a paperback book has a pretty standard size and weight, some items are quite heavy for their size. Some sellers DID abuse the shipping fees to increase the effective selling price without affecting their liability to eBay, but a simple way to report the listing would have enabled eBay and the buyers/browsers to find the people who did abuse this, while those people who wanted to sell something that’s cast iron, for instance, could charge for the extra weight.

But what do you base that on? Is that in comparison to what other auction houses cost? Or compared to consignment fees at a second hand store? Maybe the wholesale vs retail cost of goods? Or what? You must have some benchmark you’re measuring against.

As for monopoly power, it seems to me that there are quite a lot of shopping sites on the internet, including ones that cater to used goods.

An awful lot of shops on eBay also have their own online shopping sites, and sell their goods at fixed ‘buy it now’ prices - which makes eBay the equivalent of a retail dealer for their products - it’s like putting your goods into Wal-Mart even though you have your own stores - they bring volume.

If you sell your product wholesale, you’ll typically get somewhere around 50% of the retail price. By that standard, or by Apple’s 30% cut in the iTunes store, 9.8% for eBay sounds pretty reasonable. Lumping in Paypal’s charge isn’t really fair, because it’s an optional payment service. In any event, VISA and Mastercard charge similar amounts for online purchases, so I don’t see any monopoly pricing there. I also don’t think PayPal has anything like a monopoly as an online purchase broker. They’re in direct competition with credit cards, cheques, and money orders.

I love Paypal. It’s secure and trusted, and on websites that use it, it saves me a lot of hassle because they get my name and address from Paypal so that I don’t have to create yet another login on another shopping site. And I don’t have to give my credit card information to yet another third-party web site.

All else being equal, I’ll always buy from the internet store that takes PayPal.

Not optional for the seller, who is required to offer it as the default payment method, and barely optional for the auction winner, who automatically receives instructions from eBay to pay by PayPal. That said, I like PayPal myself, but having to pay fees both to eBay itself and to their PayPal subsidiary seems like double-dipping.