Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ebay Reserve Price Fees

I just finished chatting with an Ebay Representative about their Reserve Price Fee structure and I thought I'd share the conversation here. I found while putting up an auction for some bike shoes that I appeared to be paying 2 fees for choosing to have a reserve price but it was not clear through their fee structure.

Their fees page states if you don't use a reserve price the insertion fee is free up to a .99 cent starting price. So I set my start price to .99. When I chose a reserve price I reviewed the reserve price fee chart and it states I will incur a $2 fee. OK, I'm cool with that. When I finish my listing it states my insertion fee is $1 and I am paying a $2 fee for my reserve price. This seems odd so I go and review the insertion fees chart again. Now I notice that the insertion fee goes up as my reserve price goes up. This isn't immediately clear to me but after reading it again, and again, I see the title of the left column. See image below:

So I then think, it seems I'm actually paying a double fee for a reserve price and it's not clear until you really dig. You pay a $2 flat fee plus a sliding scale fee based on starting price but none of this is listed in the information about how much their Reserve Price Fee is. This seems odd, I should tell Ebay I think this is odd. So I navigate through about 5-6 pages of FAQ questions before Ebay will offer me the "Chat with us" link to talk with a rep. I start my chat session with a nice lady named Cara C.

I have including my entire chat transcription below. I have to say it was odd. In the end they said they would credit me the insertion fee. I reminded her I hadn't incurred the fee yet since I hadn't made my auction live. She stated she would credit it after I made my auction live. I then asked if she was waiting for me to submit. She apologized to me for my troubles and said if it happens again to contact them immediately. Well, I don't think it was a fluke, it's the way the system is setup so I told her I thought it would happen everytime I list a similar auction. She then responded that Ebay is currently working to fix the issue. Good news but are they really going to change their fee structure or how they disclose their fees? Time will tell.

I applaud Ebay for trying to "make it right" in my case. They did do what they could in the short term to try to make me happy. I think they could put some effort into a more transparent fee chart, mainly in the information specific to Reserve Prices. Not everyone is going to take the time to dig. It also can't be helping their reputation for being "Feebay".

1 comment:

Leyonce said...

Interesting input from Cara C. If not for about three of her messages it appears you were not even talking to a human. I guess they use canned responses to speed the process. I use inserted text on my phone.

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