Free free, set Gallery free (with apologies to Sting)

November 4, 2007

Marketplaces ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

From November 6th through December 12th, eBay is giving the gallery listing upgrade away FREE. WOOO!

As die-hard readers have probably noticed, I’ve been on the Free Gallery bandwagon for years and its great to finally see eBay testing this for a prolonged period.   In fact, I’ve gotten to the point where I argue that eBay should charge for people that DONT offer images+gallery in their listings because of the negative buyer impact.

It’s going to be interesting to see what this does to conversions.  For those sellers that haven’t been using gallery, it’s going to help, for those that have, they could actually have a little negative hit as there are now more gallery images to compete for eyeballs. could be time to add a sub-title, gift icon or even border.  I usually don’t recommend these listings up grades, but I think if you sell > $50 items as we go into the holidays the extra conversions pay for it.

On a Wall St. call with Merrill Lynch last week, an attendee asked the question along the lines of, “what do you think eBay should do to change fees”.  My thoughts on that one:

  • The pendulum has swung way too far towards the listing fee side of things.  Of the fees sellers pay, 60% are going to listing fees and 40% to FVFs.  eBay needs to swing the pendulum the other way.  Note: last week’s listing fee discount is an example of how to achieve this.
  • Gallery wants to be free, set it free!!!
  • Category based fees are being tested in the UK and I believe other countries.  This makes a lot of sense.  Your average media seller is never going to have 50% conversions, thus price appropriately and differently for that market so that the supply comes to the site, vs. incenting it to go elsewhere.
  • Stores need to go back to a reasonable FVF and very low listing fee (.02!!!), the current store fee structure pushes so much inventory off eBay it is really negatively impacting the selection, and thus the buyer experience.

Readers, what do you think eBay should do with fees?  Should gallery be free FOREVER?!