Articles from January 2008

Ebay Lowers its Auction Fee’s $0.05

Ebay LogoWell that will teach me to believe headlines in the press.  I posted the earlier pieces on eBay during my lunch hour.  When I got home, I was able to read the information on eBay itself.

It appears that the reduction in fees for listing an auction is $0.05.

  Basic Fees

Insertion Fees
The insertion fee for Auction-style and Fixed Price listings will be reduced as indicated in the chart below. Also, all listings will now include the Gallery picture feature for free!
Starting or Reserve Price Current Insertion Fee Insertion Fee (effective 02/20/2008)

Insertion Fees for Auction-style listings
Starting or Reserve Price Current Insertion Fee Insertion Fee (effective 02/20/2008)
$0.01 – $0.99 $0.20 $0.15 Lower fee!
$1.00 – $9.99 $0.40 $0.35 Lower fee!
$10.00 – $24.99 $0.60 $0.55 Lower fee!
$25.00 – $49.99 $1.20 $1.00 Lower fee!
$50.00 – $199.99 $2.40 $2.00 Lower fee!
$200.00 – $499.99 $3.60 $3.00 Lower fee!
$500.00 or more $4.80 $4.00 Lower fee!

The 50% reduction appears to be derived from the elimination of Gallery Fees.  Formerly an extra $0.35

The Gallery picture feature fee for all listings will be free

On lower price items, the reduction of $0.05 on the listing and the elimination of the gallery fee would reduce the current combined fee by 50%.  But of course not all of us used the gallery on every listing.

Bottom Line – I don’t think this will lead to a significant long term increase in listings.  What do yoy think?


Unfinished Projects – OA Images

OAImages.comJohn Pannell has posted on his blog about one of the unfinished projects  on his main site, the Internet Guide to OA Insignia. In this case Lodge Anniversary Issues.

… have been giving some needed attention to one unfinished segment of the site over the past few days, the lodge anniversaries section on the National & Special Events Patches page.  

There is no consistent way that lodge anniversaries are denoted in Blue Book.  I can search for phrases like “NNth Anniversary”, but that doesn’t find everything.  Even so there is still much to do.  It takes a lot of busy work to manually sort through listings and add a key for each significant anniversary into the databases that power this site. 

I started with 5th anniversary issues and worked upwards in five year increments.  Sorry, guys.   While Awaxaawe Awachia’s first anniversaryor Papago’s 39 1/4th anniversaryflaps might be interesting curiosities, those anniveraries are not significant enough to merit their own pages!

I guess this means that John won’t be devoteing a page to Shu Shu Gah Lodge’s 33rd Anniversary R3.  😉

Seriously if you can help John out with any missing items it only makes his site (and its usefulness to us all) stronger.


Ebay to Lower Listing Fees, but Increase Commissions

Ebay LogoThe rumored changes have begun.  eBay has announced changes to their pricing structure.  They are both reducing the listing fees and raising the commision on items that have sold.

The Associated Press reports:

EBay Inc. said Tuesday it will cut by up to 50 percent the fees it charges sellers to list their goods online, in an effort to boost listings and keep pace with other burgeoning e-commerce sites.

To balance the fee cut, the company plans to increase its commission on items that do sell — a method eBay says sellers prefer because it lowers their risk if items do not sell.

EBay will also increase fees on some items, including auctioned goods selling for less than $25. EBay’s fee for those transactions will rise 67 percent, to 8.75 percent of the final sale price.

Apparently the new fee structure will take effect on February 20, 2008.

  • What effect it it have on Scout Patch Collecting?

Of course, the main concern to you and I is what effect it will have on our collecting niche.  As a longtime eBay member going back to 1998; I remember a time where virtually any OA flap put up on eBay would sell for a minimum of $5.00.  Sell-through rates of 95-100% were not uncommon.  Most times there would be a mini-bidding war on at least one of the items I put up for auction.  Even what would be charitably referred to as common flaps would sell at $4.00 on the first listing. 

Fast forward to 2007-2008, many OA flaps (and other collectibles) go unsold at $4.00 and $5.00.  Sell-through rates are sometimes only 20% of items listed (or less).  This has led to a reduction in the number of listings in the Boy Scout area.  Most weeks, there are about 10 – 11,000 items for sale at any given time.  A couple of years ago, average listings were probably about 20-30% higher on the typical week.  Now this only seems to happen on free or reduced-price listing days.

  • In the short term, I would expect listings to go up.

Once the reduced listing fees are in place, I would expect the average number of listings to go up.  If a seller’s listing costs are cut in half, they will likely to list more items.  It also means that the overall break even point for a seller will a lower even with a small sell-through rate.   

  • Longer term – Where are the buyers?

In the longer term, eBay will need to drive enough buyers to their site so that sellers are willing to list.  While a lower cost will help sellers, they can not and will not continue to list if the sell-through rates are too low.



Ebay to Fight Fraud, Acquires Fraud Sciences Ltd

Ebay LogoIn a move to improve (or restore) public confidence in its services, eBay announced the acquisition of Fraud Sciences Limited.  While it may not be as big a problem in our niche, instilling more buyer (and seller) confidence can only help in bringing new and repeat buisness to eBay.

Fraud Sciences Ltd.SAN JOSE, Calif. & TEL AVIV, Israel–eBay Inc. today announced that PayPal has agreed to acquire Fraud Sciences Ltd., a privately-held Israeli company with expertise in online risk tools, in a cash transaction with an aggregate transaction value of approximately $169 million. Fraud Sciences’risk tools and analytics are expected to enhance eBay and PayPal’s proprietary fraud management systems and accelerate the development of next generation fraud detection tools.

The acquisition of Fraud Sciences fits into eBay’s recently announced plans to significantly improve trust and safety across its sites in 2008. “Integrating Fraud Sciences’risk tools with PayPal’s sophisticated fraud management system should allow us to be even more effective in protecting eBay and PayPal’s hundreds of millions of customers around the world,” said Scott Thompson, President of PayPal.

Hat Tip: TechCrunch


NY OA Trader Blog is 4 years old today.

CakeOn January 26th, 2004, I wrote my first introductory post on Blogger, the first home of the New York State OA Trader.  I eventually moved to my own domain and converted to WordPress and now am closing in on 800 posts.

Thanks to all my contributors and readers who have been with me since the early days and to those who have only recently found the blog. 

If no one was reading, I probably still do this, but it’s a lot more fun knowing people are coming by.  I appreciate all the comments, and I hope to hear more and more from people that are reading. 

I won’t always get it right, so you can comment to correct me, or tell me I got something right, or suggest another way to describe something I’ve shown, the history of the issue or the story behind the issue. 

Hopefully this site will continue to prove useful in your collecting goals.


100 Years of Scouting in the US

Jamboree 2010Here’s a link to a video clip for the 2010 Jamboree celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Scouting here in the US. The Jamboree will run from July 26 until August 4, 2010. I believe that this is longer than previous ones. Check it out.


Ebay Update – Whitman Out

Ebay LogoA follow up to yesterday’s eBay post from an posting on the Wired Blog.

Whitman will be replaced by John Donahoe, current president of eBay Marketplaces, effective March 31. Although Donahoe’s a relative unknown, the Street is already impressed.

How this will effect us sellers and buyers remains to be seen, I’m interested in what this means:

The news comes after a tumultuous year for eBay, whose core auction business experienced two quarters of sequential declines in listings. Although the company reversed the trend in the fourth quarter, eBay is still desperately scrambling to spur growth.

In an effort to shake things up, eBay plans to announce a new pricing structure next week, which it hopes will motivate sellers to list more items on the site.