By: eBay Strategies
March 15, 2012 at 15:38 PM EDT
Guest Blogger: Top eBay stamp seller shares his concerns on SR1
In an earlier post, I talked about the tough situation for collectibles sellers in eBays SR1 release - specifically around the increase in costs due to eBay now requiring sellers to provide tracking if they want to keep/achieve top rated...
In an earlier post, I talked about the tough situation for collectibles sellers in eBays SR1 release - specifically around the increase in costs due to eBay now requiring sellers to provide tracking if they want to keep/achieve top rated seller status (eTRS).
I've been active in the eBay World for > 10yrs and part of the fun is there is a great group of super-smart people that come from all walks of life, all geographies, all categories, etc. One of the long-time people in the community that I always enjoy talking to is Larry Phillips. Larry has been a ChannelAdvisor customer since at least 2007 and always has great ideas about eBay, e-commerce and business.
As a stamp seller, the eBay SR1 changes will probably be cataclysmic to his business so I thought it would be interesting to have him explain the impact from his perspective.
Now without further ado, is Larry's take on SR1 - Enjoy and let Larry know your thoughts in comments.
Guest Post from Larry Phillips
First, I want to thank Scot, for giving me the opportunity to discuss SR1, and the impact both for me, and the Stamp category. Now, a little about my business. I sell stamps to stamp collectors, and would call myself a “retail” stamp dealer, as collectors buy individual items from me, and inexpensive packets of stamps. I’ve been selling on eBay since 1999, and have an Anchor store with about 13,500 listings, and an ASP of just under $8.00 (although many of my items sell for $4.00). I complete about 2,000 sales per month on eBay, which represents about 40% of my overall business. My feedback rating has never been below 99.9%, and has frequently been 100%. I have qualified as a Top Rated Seller in all but one month since the program’s inception. Almost half of my business is from repeat customers. So without tooting my own horn too much, I would say that I am EXACTLY the type of seller that eBay wants to put in front of their buyers.
In looking at SR1, I have been focused on one change which affects me and all stamp sellers in a hugely negative manner, effectively preventing me from ever achieving Top Rated Seller status again. That change is the delivery confirmation requirement. Because I sell stamps, which is in effect a piece of paper for shipping purposes, I am able to ship by First Class LETTER rate. Delivery confirmation is only available for First Class PACKAGE rate, NOT for First Class Letter rate.
Doing the math...
eBay says buyers want it, but do they?
And based on the way the question was asked, they probably got that type of response. “Do you want tracking on all shipments?” That’s going to get a hugely positive reaction. “Do you want tracking on all shipments at an additional cost of 20 – 35% per item?” I submit that the results will be significantly lower. My DSRs tell the story of what my buyers want. For 1,580 domestic transactions in the last three months, I have one low DSR in Communications, and none in the other three categories. Does that sound like an outcry of customers wanting Delivery Confirmation?
Where do I go from here?
What does this mean for eBay?
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