From the Editor – June 7, 2020

EcommerceBytes Editor Ina Steiner

eBay is reporting exploding sales growth after years of stagnant (and sometimes negative) growth. On Thursday, the company revised its guidance for the second quarter, saying it expects GMV year-over-year growth of between 23% and 26% for the combined months of April, May, and June.

It seems obvious much of the growth was due to shoppers being unable to visit retail stores for much of the quarter because of the pandemic, but eBay attributed the growth to “increased organic traffic, better marketing efficiency, and higher platform conversion.”

People posting comments on our coverage on the EcommerceBytes Blog are predicting how eBay will fare the rest of the year, with some mentioning some sellers’ resistance to the Managed Payments mandate.

One reader wrote, “Some sellers certainly plan to stop selling on eBay in mid July because they have been told they are going into MP and they do not want be in the program for whatever reason they have. Some are making this decision with good factual information and it just isn’t right for them. Others are making their decisions for other reasons. Either way, their right to make that decision.”

We agree that sellers should make a decision based on what is best for their business.

However, eBay is making it almost impossible to make a fact-based decision – it changed not just the payment processing fees, but the fee structure itself – and failed to publicly post the new rates. And because of the way it restructured fees, it’s difficult for sellers to estimate their new costs going forward – it is folding payment processing fees into category-based commission fees.

Further complicating things, eBay continues to avoid questions about category exclusions. It finally provided comment to niche publication Coin World about one such category (bullion), stating that sellers who frequently list in coins, paper money and bullion will not be required to register for Managed Payments “until these categories are compatible. Until then, there is no action required and sellers can continue to sell on eBay as they do today.”

Presumably sellers who only occasionally list in excluded categories and who are forced into Managed Payments in July will be out of luck.

Uncertainty is the enemy of the online seller, and that’s true in “real life” as well, as we struggle with the pandemic, civil rights and racial divide, political divide, and economic pain.

David and I remain committed to helping readers navigate ecommerce and giving online sellers a voice, and we hope you and your family remain safe and well.

Thanks for reading.

Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She’s a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of “Turn eBay Data Into Dollars” (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, “Blogging Heroes” (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.



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