Last week eBay released the details of their Spring Seller Update for 2016. As with any any eBay update there are both good and bad aspects of the update. Overall the changes are more minor then some of the previous updates.
First let’s talk about the fee increases for store subscribers. eBay has not raised the store subscription prices over the last few years. (I actually think these might be the first price increases since the store concept was first launched.) The increase for basic store owners is $3 per month. $7.50 per month for premium stores. And $90 per month for anchor stores. The increases for the basic and premium stores is pretty modest but so are the benefits to those store owners. The premium stores are having a pretty hefty price increase but eBay is also giving them a dedicated customer service line, $75 per quarter in shipping supply coupons, eBay coaching and “Proactive policy consultation”, whatever that is.
The vast majority of sellers have a basic store subscription so lets focus on the value add for those store owners. For the spring update eBay has increased the number of free listings you get each month. Fixed price has been raised from 200 to 250 listings. Auction style has been increased from from 100 to 250 listings. Between the two you now have 500 free listings every month. This is quite a large increase in the number of free listings but the increase mostly comes from the raise in auction style listings. These free listings are still unfortunately restricted to only the fashion and collectibles category. If eBay really wanted to do us a favor they would of removed this restriction. I would assume a large percentage of basic store owners didn’t use up all of their 100 free auction listings so the increase to 250 may not affect these sellers at all.
One thing you may want to consider when creating new listings is if there is an appropriate category under collectibles for your item. For instance I sell a lot of tools and they really can be listed in several different places. Sometimes they will be listed on eBay Motors or in a more specific eBay.com category. However their is also a small variety of eBay tool categories that are listed under collectibles and I believe you can make a reasonable argument that any tool could be considered a collectible. The plus side of this is you would be able to use up more of these free auction listings. The down side is you would be listing in a more generic category and may get less views on the item.
It will be interesting to see if eBay continues with the listing promotions that they have done in the past. The increase in free listings could mean the end of these promotions. In that instance they have really negated the main value add with this spring update. For some sellers the free listings won’t make any difference in how they sell or how much they sell but for others this could really give them a low cost opportunity to expand their business.
The other benefit in this spring update is that eBay will issue store owners an eBay branded shipping supplies coupon on a quarterly basis. The coupon, for basic store owners, will be $25. (For more information, see our previous post on eBay branded shipping supplies.) To access your shipping supply coupon follow this link. From that page click on “see details”. The top of the next page will have a coupon code that you will use when going through the checkout process. You can find the qualifying shipping supplies here. This is absolutely free to you so even if you feel you don’t need the supplies right now I would encourage you to still use the coupon. The fine print says that the code is non-transferable but if you are not going to use it go ahead and pass the code along and see if it will work with another account.
Let us know what you think of the spring update! Will you be taking advantage of the increased free listings? Will the increase prompt you to change the type of store you subscribe to? Maybe go from premium to basic?