Inside eBay Live! Town Hall 2007 from Boston
Corey Kossack is a Managing Partner at Game Change Ventures, focusing on partnering and consulting with startups in the areas of social media, consumer Internet and e-commerce. Corey is also an Operating Partner at Game Change Ventures' first Internet startup, Addoway, a social marketplace that helps you buy and sell with your friends and the people they know. Formerly Corey was one of the world's largest retailers on eBay, built a $1M company from scratch at age 23, has led multiple startups and received numerous awards for his entrepreneurial achievements.
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Today I stood in front of what I can only imagine was somewhere between
1500-2000 eBay sellers at the eBay Live! Town Hall. Town Halls are put
together by eBay to allow the community to speak their mind about the
good, bad and everything in between as it relates to their eBay
businesses and how they feel eBay is doing as a company to make the
marketplace a better place.
I planned to announce a very specific request at the event, and I did so in the first twenty or so minutes of the Town hall.
As a seller that has sold more than $1,000,000 in products on eBay, author of eBay Millionaire or Bust and creator of ProfitBuilderSoftware.com,
I personally have experienced and have heard from many sellers that
their sales are continuing to grow, but their profits are not growing
along with it.
So what’s the problem? What’s causing this?
While there are clearly a number of reasons why an eBay business
may or may not be profitable, I believe one of the top reasons can be
traced back to eBay insertion fees.
As I constantly harp about on my blogs, eBay insertion fees are set
up in a way to charge sellers for every time the item is listed until
it sells. The problem is, if items are listed and are not selling right
away, the seller is continuing to be charged for each listing,
diminishing their profits with each week that passes without a sale on
For example, if we were to sell an item in a fixed price listing
with a listing price above $50, as the seller we will be charged a
$2.40 insertion fee for the listing. Let’s say we would profit $5 if
the item sells right away. If it does not sell in the first 2 weeks,
you would have lost $2.40 (twice), leaving you with almost no profit
whatsoever ($0.20). If it goes on longer, you will end up with an
overall loss on the item instead of generating a profit.
With sellers listing so may items at a time, its easy to let items
like this get automatically relisted again and again, driving the
overall profitability of the company downward.
My argument was that fees like this are causing many sellers to be
hesitant to list their items in the core marketplace unless they
generate enormous profits. My request to Bill Cobb (President of eBay
North America) was to reduce insertion fees on items specifically above
$25 and $50 to reduce the risk of losses for sellers and continue to
grow the marketplace. I believe that this will help eBay sellers become
more profitable, continue to grow eBay’s profits and keep the
marketplace a vibrant place for buyers and sellers all over the world.
Bill Cobb said that he understands and that eBay will be looking
into possibilities to accommodate exactly what I was talking about.
We’ll see if we can be the catalyst for a change that can revitalize
the eBay community!
You can download and listen to the town hall broadcast here.
Corey Kossack is one of eBay’s “Top Sellers” through his eBay store, Koss DVD. He is also author of eBay Millionaire or Bust and creator of ProfitBuilderSoftware.com, an online software tool designed to reduce eBay fees and maximize profits for eBay sellers.