"... we will introduce Condition values "Brand New", "Like New", "Very Good", "Good" and "Acceptable" in place of the current values "New" and "Used"...
... These changes won't affect items currently listed on the site. However, during the relist or revise process, items that currently have their Condition as "New" will be defaulted to the "Brand New" value and items with the condition "Used" will be defaulted to "Acceptable". Sellers may of course change the Condition value for their item at any point after these changes are introduced. Condition will also be defaulted to "Acceptable" on new listings if the seller has not selected a condition value."
Based on this announcement and what I've been hearing will be happening this fall, it looks like the media category on eBay will be soon be looking a lot like half.com. I'm not sure what this means for the future of half.com, but here are some of the changes you should expect:
- 30-day Fixed Price listings in the 3 cents per listing range. This would replace the SIF format (Store Inventory Format) for media.
- Single Item Detail page for each SKU with listings underneath the item description.
- Listings will be sorted by product condition: Brand New, Like New, Very Good, Good and Acceptable and I'm hearing that there will only be 5 listings per condition with a link to additional items for that condition. I'm hoping they choose the Amazon model of new and used condition tabs rather than the half.com model.
- I'm still not sure if they will sort by Best Match or by lowest price, but lowest price makes more sense. It could also be lowest total price, including S&H.
- I am hearing rumblings that they will also require limits to the S&H fee a seller can charge for standard shipping.
- There may also be some requirements in regards to "time to ship"; something like must ship within 2-3 business days.
- No word yet on FVF increase but if they are charging a 3 cent per 30-day listing fee then expect the FVF for media to rise to at least 12% plus PayPal fees.
- Haven't heard yet whether PayPal will be required.
I actually don't have many problems with these proposed changes as long as they don't stop there. I would also like them to:
- Add a shopping cart. I realize that the cart wouldn't work site wide at this point, but at least make it work for the media category.
- If the item goes out of stock during the 30 day listing, sellers should be able to change quantity to zero so that it doesn't show in search until more inventory is added. As long as these inventory updates are completed within the original 30-day listing time frame, there should be no additional listing fees. This will insure that the "buyer experience" is improved and that inventory can be managed more effectively.
I'm not sure what effect these changes will have on the auction business in the media category and it is possible that eBay will display auction listings within these same results but it is clear the advantage will go to Fixed Price listings.
The reason these changes won't happen until the fall, is because eBay does not want to rock the boat during Textbook season on half.com, which ends in mid Sept. Waiting until then to implement these changes doesn't give sellers much time to prepare for Christmas and is a signal that half.com will close, though I haven't heard anything about that.
I am also hearing that similar changes are planned for the Consumer Electronics and Motors -Parts and Accessories categories, but media seems to be the perfect test category.I'll write more as I get some more detail.
Just my 12%