Feb. 8, 2010: eBay Motors undergoes fee changes

By Karin Gelschus

Associate Editor

eBay Motors is changing its user fees, encouraging dealers to list more of their used inventory with the likelihood of paying less after the sale.

Beginning March 30, eBay Motors will basically chop their fees in half for sellers in the local format, said Anson Tse, senior manager of eBay Motors. The local format stays within 200 miles of the seller, and the national format gives sellers international exposure.

Tse discussed a number of changes with Powersports Business, some of which have already been implemented and others that will be done in the coming months. Dealers currently get charged $15 for each vehicle they post on eBay’s Web site in the Local Classified Format.

After they post 12 vehicles, they’re then charged a $30 fee. At the end of March, dealers will be charged $10 for each vehicle posted, and after the 12th vehicle, it’ll be $15. The first six vehicles listed will continue to be free.

“We know a lot of these dealers aren’t listing all their inventory online,” Tse said, “so by cutting the fees, it gives them incentive to post more inventory.

“We’ve reduced the prices for both the national and local classified formats,” he said.

eBay added another tier to its national pricing format, which makes pricing more cost effective for less-expensive vehicles.

“We’re aiming to get more volume, and we realize that for lower-priced vehicles, having a lower-tier pricing point on the back end helps keep the cost of the overall sale a little lower.”

Before, dealers had an insertion fee of $15 for national sales and the back-end fee, for sold vehicles, was a flat, $80 fee. In the new pricing format, there’s now a $20 insertion fee, but the sold fee changes depending on the price of the vehicle.

“If the value of the item is less than $5,000, the final successful listing fee is $30,” said Tse. “If it’s above $5,000, it’s a flat $60.”


This change is a result of feedback eBay has received from its dealer base, Tse said.

Local format

eBay Motors also modified its local format. In 2008, Tse says the company conducted a series of tests to see how a local, classified product would do. The local format is like a classified ad in the paper. There isn’t bidding or an auction format. “We weren’t sure how this was going to be received,” said Tse. “In 2009, we’ve discovered this is great for the powersports industry. We’ve seen a lot of our traffic increase.”

eBay changed the local format in November to expand the area in which customers would see the vehicle. “When we launched the local format, we gave the radius of 100 miles,” said Tse. “In November we doubled the radius to 200 miles, which results in quadruple the exposure.”

Merchandising improvements

“We’re exploring ways to find more information for enthusiasts,” said Tse. “eBay Motors is working with its parts and accessories group to help surface other types of inventory people may be interested in. Lets say you bought a 1999 Fat Boy, we might go ahead and merchandise specific parts and accessories that specifically fit that Fat Boy. We’re refining how we do that.

“This is very complex technologically. We’ve been working on this for quite some time.”

There already have been some merchandising changes, but Tse says users can expect to see more throughout this year and into 2011.

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