Hoping you had a safe and restful Independence Day.

In this issue of "here and NOW" you will find updates on the latest with eBay's new insertion fees and the best way to use that to your selling advantage.

There's also some more reviews of some eBay alternatives to expand your marketing campaigns and Amazon introduces a new addition to their selling tools.

Have a great summer!
Coach Danny


- eBay's Free Insertion Fees for Auctions
- AdWords Secrets Revealed
- Amazon Displays Optional Feedback Responses
- eBay Traffic Down
- eBay Alternatives: Alibris, Atomic Mall, Etsy, OnlineAuction, Wigix
- Fighting PayPal Rolling Reserves

"Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning."
-Bill Gates

eBay's 5 Free Insertion Fees for Online Auctions

Recently, eBay issued the following announcement about their new listing insertion fees:

Here is some exciting news about $0.00 Insertion Fees. Starting June 16, you’ll get 5 free Insertion Fees every 30 days for Auction-style listings.

Here’s how it works: Regardless of your start price, your first 5 Auction-style listings will have NO Insertion Fees when you list with eBay’s Sell Your Item form or Simple listing form.

The Final Value Fee for these 5 listings with $0.00 Insertion Fees will be 8.75% of the sales price or $20, whichever is lower. Any additional items sold during the same 30-day period will have the same Insertion Fees and Final Value Fees as they do today. Learn more.

Choose the option that works best for you, based on how you list:

• eBay’s Sell Your Item form or Simple listing form – If you’re currently using one of these forms, you can either take advantage of the 5 free Insertion Fees every 30 days, or opt out by listing your items via an eBay tool or third-party listing solution.
• eBay tool or third-party listing solution – If you’re currently using one of these tools, you can either take advantage of this new pricing structure by listing your first 5 Auction-style listings every 30 days through eBay’s Sell Your Item form or Simple listing form, or continue with your current practices at the current pricing.

We’re continuing our efforts to lower the upfront costs of selling on eBay. The 5 listings with $0.00 Insertion Fees are especially helpful if you don’t sell a high volume, but offer the kind of unique and hard-to-find inventory buyers expect to find on eBay.

eBay Forums Posts

Is it just me or has the 5 free insertion fees robbed you too? Let me give you a rundown of how you lose. With free insertion listings, you are charged a flat FVF of 8.75% or $20 whichever is lower. Normal auctions charge 8.75% of the first $25 then 3.5% of the remaining up to $1000 i think. So, heres an example of one of my "free listings" this month:

Normal auction:
Starting Bid: $0.99
End Price: $75.00
Insertion Fee: $0.15
Final Value: $3.94
Total: $4.09

Free insertion auction:
Starting Bid: $0.99
End Price: $75.00
Insertion Fee: free
Final Value: $6.56
Total: $6.56


Other postings had this to say:

Good, I thought I was the only one who saw this as a scam. Shame (on) you eBay.

I think Ebay was hoping you and the rest of us wouldn’t notice.

While its not a scam or a rip off per say it's misleading and
that is wrong.
Whether you had the time to read the whole explanation on
"free listings"--and dutifully compare the FVF's--the fact
that ebay has the possibility to make more out of it in the
end--provided your junk even sells... is typical corporate BS.

One posting had this suggestion:

It’s a bargain if you know how to work ebay. I put up 5 auctions
that were over $9.99 starting price but knew wouldn't go over
$25.00 selling price.

Therefore, I saved .55 cents on each listing. Only 2 of the 5
sold which is average for ebay. The other 3 didn't cost me
anything and were relisted in my store for .03 cents.
That's how you've got to figure it.

AdWords Secrets Revealed

Need more tips on how to make your AdWords campaign get more
attention and more successful?

Some great ideas include making keywords bold, how to make
titles more provoking and instruct your visitors to
"Download Here" instead of "Click Here."


You can find out more at


Amazon.com Displays Optional Feedback Responses to Sellers
By Ina Steiner

Amazon.com announced it was making additional buyer
feedback information available to sellers in the Feedback
Manager tool in the Seller Account section. Amazon has
been asking buyers three optional questions as part of
the feedback collection process:

• Did your item arrive by (date)?
• Did your item arrive in the condition
as described by the seller?
• If you contacted this seller,
did you receive prompt and courteous service?

Sellers will now be able to see the answers to those
questions in three new columns in Feedback Manager
called Arrived on Time, Condition Described, and Courteous
Service. The buyer's answer to each question is indicated
in the corresponding column. A dash in the column indicates
the buyer did not answer that question.

Amazon.com said buyers would not be able to view
this information.

eBay Traffic Down in April and May

By Ina Steiner

eBay traffic declined in April and May 2009 both
consecutively and year-over-year, according to
data provided by Nielsen. eBay page views fell
6.8% in April 2009 compared to the previous month,
and dropped another 7.9% in May 2009. eBay page
views for May 2009 were down 32% from a year ago
and were down 40% from four years ago in May 2005.

eBay Alternatives: Alibris, Atomic Mall, Etsy, OnlineAuction.com, Wigix

By Ina Steiner

Here is a roundup of news coming from online marketplaces
and eBay alternatives.

Alibris is publishing a new column by founder Richard Weatherford that promotes books that could be considered
affordable collectibles as opposed to "antiquarian books
sitting in a glass case." Alibris said sellers with
those types of books ("Whether its an autographed Janet
Evanovich or a modern first edition, like Stephenie
Meyers New Moon"), should expect to see an increase
in sales of this type of material.

The world's largest book fair. Buy and sell blue-ribbon
books at bake-sale prices.

Atomic Mall added two new store functions.

Coupon Codes allows merchants to create and store up to
three unique promo codes with attached discounts (either
a percentage or a fixed dollar amount) to give privately
to select buyers or to advertise publicly. Country
Discount helps sellers who ship items internationally
and wish to offer shipping cost adjustments to buyers
in certain countries.

Atomic Mall is a storefront setup wherein members can
list items in their Mall store in a fixed-price format
with or without multiple items within each listing.
Atomic Mall offers free membership, 100% free listings
with commission fees, and a free Storefront with
various membership upgrades for a fee.

Etsy.com posted a message from its Product Team to summarize
recent developments and to announce its priorities for
the second half of the year. The marketplace said its
top focus continues to be helping shoppers find and
discover unique items and making it easier for them
to check out, more information is found in
the announcement.

If you aren't familiar with Etsy.com, it is a
marketplace devoted to all things handmade,
everything from crocheted toys to custom made
corsets, as well as vintage items and craft supplies.
Etsy is the largest selling venue online for handmade
products with $12.9 million dollars worth of goods
sold in December 2008 and growing.
Etsy has kept its fees steady and low with constant
improvements, the latest being the addition of
Google Analytics for users to track their visitor stats.

OnlineAuction.com said sales are at an all-time high
and still climbing. The auction site said year-to-year
sales increased over 185% during Q1-2009 and increased
over 350% during Q2-2009, and reported that second-quarter
sales in 2009 exceeded sales for the full-year 2008.

Wigix launched Craigster to publish items to Craigslist.
Wigix spokesperson Steve Young said, "We believe in
doing whatever we can so that our sellers are able to
maximize their sales. Craigster is just another way for
us to do that. We already have tools for sellers to
publicize their items on Twitter and Facebook and now
with Craigster, they have a localized option."

Fighting PayPal Rolling Reserves

by Henrietta

PayPal Background Overview

In Europe PayPal (Europe) Sarl et Cie SCA,
is legally registered as a bank and is
regulated centrally by the Luxembourg
bank authority.

In the USA PayPal is not a bank and is not
directly regulated by the U.S. federal
government although it is subject to
reporting provisions of the Bank Secrecy
Act. Because PayPal serves as a payment
intermediary, it is treated as a money
transmitter or a money service business.
PayPal is subject to state regulation,
but state laws vary, as do their definitions
of banks, money services businesses and
money transmitters. PayPal is not subject
to the provisions of the Electronic Funds
Transfer Act and Regulation E (EFTA/E).
Consumers using PayPal with a credit card
(not debit card) are covered by the
provisions of the Truth In Lending Act
and Regulation Z, (TILA/Z) through the
card issuing bank.

Keyword = State Regulation

The Banking Departments of states which
regulate money service businesses website
is maintained by the Association of Regulators
from states which do regulate and has
many valuable links.

Most states have links to the laws and
statutes which regulate money services
businesses, many have links to the
Attorney General.

Keywords to help in your search:

• MSBs or Money Service Businesses
• Consumer Protection
• Money Transmitter
• Department of Financial Institutions
• Banking Department

Most Regulatory Statutes for MSBs contain
wording that states the maximum time period
within which money transmitters must perform
the function they are licensed to do,
ie. give you the money

I have not seen a single statute with a period
of 180 days or 60 days. Most seem to be 10
business days, unless you are suspected of
committing a crime. This is America, you are
innocent until proven guilty. PayPal will not
be able to say that every seller who has had a
reserve imposed is suspected of criminal activity,
especially since no action has been taken to
report that suspicion to the appropriate
authorities or police.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) does not
resolve individual consumer complaints. The
FTC collects complaints about companies and
business practices. The FTC enters all complaints
it receives into Consumer Sentinel, a secure
online database that is used by thousands of
civil and criminal law enforcement authorities
worldwide. These collected complaints can help
detect patterns of wrong-doing, and lead to i
nvestigations and prosecutions.

Tough Talk

You can sit there in your office and tell
yourself “I am not selling in a high risk
category. I will not be affected by reserves”

You should know that the phrase “high risk
category” is BaySpeak, meaningless. “High
risk category” sellers who have had reserve
accounts imposed include:

• Collectibles
• Toys and Hobbies
• Pottery & Glass
• Antiques
• Baby - Nursery Bedding

as well as the categories that we would
expect to see like Cell Phones & PDAs.

Yes ALL Merchant Credit Processors have the
ability to require a reserve account in
their legal agreements. However, it is not
something which is implemented across the
board for all accounts regardless of risk.
If you have zero or bad credit and a bad
track record or history of chargebacks
(if they will even accept you) then you
should expect a reserve.

PayPal are not following accepted industry
procedures or risk standards. I have been
told that when PayPal have all the planned
reserve accounts in place on eBay they
will be requiring them on websites. Seems
like fair warning to me. Our Australian
friends proved that when everyday people
get off their rear ends and make noise
consumer protection happens. PayPal
backed down.

If you don’t like it make a written complaint.
If you can’t be bothered to take action you
must bear the consequences of your inaction.