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View Full Version : Ebay's new feature CHECKOUT?????


leesmith
10-21-2001, 07:50 PM
Hi Everybody,

I wanted to know if any of you have read up on this new ebay feature checkout? Seems that it is optional, BUT even if you don't want to use it, it is going to be on your listing pages anyway. Lots of gripes and complaints about it. Also, it may not be compatible with some of the listing programs sellers are using.

For me, I think it is ebay's effort to eliminate some person to person contact between buyer and seller, and off ebay sales.
Now, related to this it seems that people ( I haven't ) are receiving emails from billpoint stating a name change to Ebay Payments.

I would like to hear some opinions from you all, pros and cons, maybe. Thanks!

Sumafra
10-22-2001, 12:14 AM
Lee, I haven't read up on this but I don't think I'm going to like this new checkout feature if it's going to eliminate the personal contact with the buyer. That's one of the best things about selling on Ebay. Most of my buyers have been so friendly, not to mention very complimentary. I may not get much for my paintings but what a boost to my self-esteem. I would certainly hate to lose that. In fact, as long as the email address is visible, I would still want to email and hopefully hear back from my buyers. I also keep an email list and a mailing list of all my buyers. At Christmas time, I'm planning on having some cards made with one of my paintings and sending everyone a greeting. Keep that personal contact going. Every little bit helps in building a long-term career, right?

timelady
10-22-2001, 04:20 AM
I read a few posts about it then ignored it. There is a forum just for Checkout in the ebay forums - go to the Community link on the top right, then click Forums on the right. Probably more exhaustive info there. I'm wary of it, but supposedly you can indicate any method of payment and not just Billpoint. Most people seem to be worried about adding shipping charges.

Tina.

leesmith
10-22-2001, 08:48 AM
Hi Suzette, that was my first response too, when I read that that it was to "save seller's time" by cutting down on the emails. I don't want anything to cut down on my buyer contact.

As I understand it, sellers are saying it's useless because there are so many variables that you cannot figure the shipping upfront when you do a listing. Ebay's response to that is seller's can go back in to the checkout system to revise that part. See, that's already 2 extra steps, dealing with checkout during the listing, and then revising it! I'm am NOT going to use it whether they put it on my pages or not. And I do think the timing of their roll out sucks; Ebay hasn't yet recovered from 9/11, there's hope for Christmas sales. Rolling out a new feature is NOT a good idea during the busiest sales time. But anyway, we'll just have to deal with it. Sellers are wanting ebay to wait til January to roll out. You know there was a seller outcry about some AFA policies, and ebay revised some of their policies as a result. It may be the same with this checkout feature.

I've noticed too that something has happened to ebay's end of auctions notification. Hey, last night before I ever received the end of auction notice from ebay, my buyer had already paid and I had already contacted him! This was another point the sellers made, are we sellers going to be waiting around for ebay to send their notice? ( and waiting to get paid as a result)

Yep Tina there were over 400 responses to the ebay discussion thread! The pinks couldn't keep up with the volume of questions.

KatieMoe
10-22-2001, 01:43 PM
I've been keeping up on this topic and I have found many of the "concerns" voiced to be valid and I also clearly see that eBay has a plan and the voice of the sellers has no real input in the process at this stage of the game.

I think you are right, eBay has already stated in some press releases that they are moving towards the Half.com model. They are taking control over the full sales cycle as much as possible, pushing sellers towards fixed shipping prices (which doesn't actually save the buyer money for those sellers who were charging variable, actual shipping costs), and trying to solidify Billpoint as the exclusive monetary exchange system. It is also clear that eBay will close the gap on collecting fees on shipping and handling costs where they haven't been able to do that in the past unless the buyer paid through Billpoint, and not a large percentage of buyers did that apparently.

Currently, you can opt out of checkout as a seller but that doesn't mean much. The whole checkout boxes will still appear on your auction listing, with a statement that information will be provided by the seller, BUT in all closed auctions and ebay emails and so forth, the buyer will be heavily pushed towards using a convenient "checkout" button to click on when they win an auction. So getting the buyer to do anything but that will definitely cause some buyer confusion. And definitely cuts the direct relationship between buyer and seller, which is pretty much the system on Half.com

There are complicated issues around insurance and state sales tax that Checkout does not support if it is used and so there are some complaints on these issues as well. (i.e. some states require you are responsible for collecting sales tax in every state that you have a physical presence. Currently, Checkout will ONLY add sales tax if the customer's address is in the same state as your billing address, and yet eBay states in their User agreement that the seller is liable and responsible for collecting all appropriate sales tax...stuff like that...)

You can also, at least for now, still use payment systems other than Billpoint, but they are hidden to the buyer under an "Other" category when Billpoint's system and their visa and echeck logos are prominently inside the box on the checkout portion of the auction listing. They hope to make all other payment scenarios too inconvenient for the buyer to find and use.

There are a lot of vocal sellers on the eBay message boards but they are yelling and screaming to deaf ears, because the corporate decision has been made. It's odd eBay just didn't come out and say 'hey- this is what we decided to do for our business, we're moving forward and we'll take feedback after it rolls out'. Instead they created a strange climate of hide-the-ball and ignore the questions and a group of sellers that frequent the message boards are flaming mad. Not sure they represent a strong percentage of all sellers, but those people said most sellers won't see what has really happened until it does roll out and they experience the impact themselves.

eBay has been an interesting experiment for me and a way for me to move some old inventory but I don't rely on it as a primary tool and found the prices for art too low for the quality being offered overall, so I'm someone who has decided to just stop listing on eBay for awhile, monitor the checkout rollout and consequences, and the decide if its a venue I still want to participate in. I know others here rely on it more heavily.

The really mad sellers in the message boards are trying to pick another auction site together as a group and try and "create" a competitor to eBay that has the more traditional auction approach eBay had in the earlier days. I don't think they will succeed but Yahoo and Amazon and a couple of other small auction sites have certainly all experienced a dramatic increase in sellers due to the frustrations at eBay. But with little to no buyer audience, its doubtful any of these other auctions can exploit this opportunity and become a real competitor to eBay.

If nothing else, its an interesting situation to follow and see how it will turn out. If eBay's strategy does become a big mistake, it won't be the first time a corporation was successful and then expanded into a strategy they were not successful at. People use Montgomery Wards as an example of this. But success in eBay's mind may be now pursuing larger corporations to put their overstock rather than small sellers selling collectibles and the like. And controlling and collecting fees over the entire sales cycle, "owning" the customer relationship but not having to develop or manage any product inventory. We'll see how it all shakes out, I guess!

leesmith
10-22-2001, 06:38 PM
Hi Katie,

Boy are you up on this checkout! One big point that you made is that all this is concocted ( sic? ) largely towards forcing billpoint as the primary payment service.

I guess I will have to stick around for a while to see how this plays out BUT I'm not adverse to checking out another auction site. Problem with the others, there just don't seem to be many buyers. Yahoo seems to be the largest but isn't any real competition to ebay, just doesn't have the volume. I love ebay, but maybe they love the high volume dealers; many are seeing this as an effort by ebay to force smaller dealers out. But as you so astutely pointed out, this might work against ebay in the long run. I think many sellers, including myself also buy on ebay. If enough left en masse and started all using another auction service, notified all ebay customers of the switch, that might prove interesting. Time will tell as you say. Right now I have so much studio work, I wouldn't mind laying low on ebay for a while but just joined [email protected] and need to keep some listings on to stay in that.

tammy
10-23-2001, 12:34 AM
The atmosphere I get on the eBay boards are that a whole lotta people are saying they will say goodbye to eBay if this feature is implemented! And the way I understand it is that it will be implemented no matter what anyone says.

tammy
10-23-2001, 12:49 AM
If this pans out in a bad way, it makes me wish that John seed's ebsq Auction site had of made it. It was going pretty good if you ask me although I couldn't sell much there, others did.


I tried one of the other auction sites and sold 1 thing but there seems to be some in fighting on the message boards. Something going on, I just don't know what. Kind of uncomfortable at best.

leesmith
10-23-2001, 08:41 AM
Hi Tammy,

I spent some more time on the ebay boards last night, and there's a dealer granny who has set up a web list of "alternative" sites and is currently researching each one. There has even been a private site set up to discuss ideas, plans to either set up a new auction or try to figure which one the dealers should move to, en masse.

Will ebay really care if they lose a few thousand of their dealers? One guy on the board said his ebay MONTHLY fees were almost 4 thousand, and he was mad also.

The reason that this program is going to appear on EVERYONE's ad is that ebay has a plan, we just don't ( or didn't ) know what. However one of the posters, posted a link ( another news site) to an ebay press release, after reading that it becomes clear, the long range goal of ebay: they are combining half.com with ebay and they are moving toward a "fixed price retail" situation and away from an auction format.

I read someplace that the closing of the EBSQ auction, was because it was part of the agreement between ebay and EBSQ.
In other words, the powers that be at ebay,required the closing of the auction in order for ebsq to continue to have links in evay listings, along with ebsq having to offer a "service" also. So, that tells me that ebay is going to squelch competition and ebay must have considered ebsq auction a threat; that's interesting when you consider the size of ebsq as compared to ebay's seller base. But you know, there are people who do love an auction format, wish I knew the % FOR and AGAINST. I read in the boards, that when the Buy It Now feature was added, 85% of the dealers were for it. In the Pink discussion thread, you can read, many of the sellers' questions WERE virtually ignored and never answered; primarily because the PINKS are ebay's employees, they are given standard responses.

Sumafra
10-23-2001, 01:09 PM
Hi everyone,

One thing is for sure, though, we still have to ship the product so we will always have the name and address of the buyer and no one can stop us from commnicating that way with our buyers.

I have to agree with Katie, the prices are too low for the quality of the art being sold, but then that's the benefit of an auction (from the buyer's point of view of course). Perhaps under a fixed price system, we could actually get better prices for our work as there wouldn't be this 'deadline' (the end of the auction), our work could stay on longer until the right buyer came along. That might actually be a good thing.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

timelady
10-23-2001, 03:30 PM
Well, I went over and read the posts in the forums again (the FAQ ones, NOT the ranting and raving ones). From what I understand, if you choose not to use Checkout it will appear in the auction and the buyer can click it to pay - BUT - since there is no payment or shipping information they will simply enter their info and hit the button which requests the rest of the information from the seller. In other words, they fill out a form sending their details to YOU for exact costs.

Okay, it's more annoying eBay graphics in the listing and more encouragement to use Billpoint. But really I'm not sure we'd lose control. We could simply ignore the Checkout stuff. You can still contact the buyer as you usually do, although if you have already received their information through the Checkout email all the better as they don't have to provide the information again.

I'll give it a go, but will probably opt out of Checkpoint because I need to know where the buyer is before I know if they need to pay insurance. But I might try it on a few smaller items where the shipping and insurance is included in the auction bid anyway.

Tina.

tammy
10-23-2001, 11:29 PM
I think that I'll opt out too, but I don't think I'd leave eBay yet. Maybe it won't be too bad to opt out of the feature and do as we've always done and if it comes to pass what everyone fears well maybe that won't be too bad if we can grow with them. I thought that the checkout feature would be pushing the Stores myself and who knows I think that if I was more financially stable well what would be so bad about having a fixed price thing. I'm a member of World Wide Art resourses and they are fixed priced when you look at the art in the Artists portfolios and also Artistnation is fixed price too. So who knows?
I'm just saying that I don't think I'll do anything rash like leave until they do push me out as a smaller seller. By then if that happens, more than likely then the many many other small seller will have migrated to another auction site and have the buyers follow them. You never know but if the buyers don't follow the sellers than it won't be any better moving to a least famous auction Site.

leesmith
10-25-2001, 12:30 AM
I forgot to mention. Ebay has done away with the instant pay feature and the instant pay button, the new checkout feature replaces that.

CarlyHardy
10-25-2001, 12:37 AM
I haven't listed a new auction since checkout was implemented...but I've been reading some of the problems that are occurring already.

Tina, one problem about having the 0.00 in shipping is that buyers are paying their high bid and not adding any shipping costs! Then the seller has to notify them that they haven't paid for shipping yet.

I would really like to have the option to not having the checkout on the auctions...but it looks like eBay is sticking with it, regardless of the amount of negative feedback. All the eStores are using it now...even for sellers who don't want to use it.

Ebay seems to be moving in the direction of a wholesale/retail business. I don't know where that leaves me!

I would love to have another art auction site exclusively to list with...but right now - there is none!
carly

leesmith
10-25-2001, 01:04 AM
Hey, Carly

I listed about a week ago, and didn't even notice the checkout in the listings. I was revising tonight and notice it in there, so I went ahead and deleted it out and put an attention notice up at the top of the page for buyer not to use it.

Well I'll just have to see what happens so I'll wait for a while. I wonder what Vera V thinks about this.
Anyway, I think I'll go on to bed now.

'Night!

Lee

tammy
10-25-2001, 01:12 AM
I relisted an item today and I also opted out of the checkout thing and put a notice to my buyers that I want to keep the personal touch!

Lee, when you say instand pay, you don't mean "Buy it Now" right? Because I was able to have that option on my auction.

leesmith
10-25-2001, 01:39 AM
Hi Tammy,

Right, I'm not talking about the BIN, but the Instant pay button that used to be on the listing page; the button that allows the high bidder to pay right from the listing page immediately after the auction ends. I loved that feature. It was simple. Auction end, click instant pay, and you were done as a buyer. Now you have to go thru this Checkout mess.

tammy
10-25-2001, 02:11 AM
Well ok I've been on the checkout message board and I know that I'm gonna wish that I've NEVER heard of this new feature Period.
Some are saying that they tried to opt out and had friends try the checkout on the auctions anyway and it offered Billpoint to them to pay the opted out seller. Yuk! What about people who opt out like me? I only take check or Money Order and checkout offers the buyer billpoint anyway to pay me with? If they wanted to pay by billpoint even though I opted out, does that mean that I'm penalized for not selling to the winner because they used my opted out of checkout feature to pay for my check & money order only auction?
yuk! This is getting ugly!

CarlyHardy
10-25-2001, 01:45 PM
If you opt out, are you unable to put a message in the return/shipping information block?

You could state there that the only payments you accept are Money orders and Checks....that Billpoint is not an option.

Since I use Billpoint (because customers requested it), I don't mind the checkout feature...but I'd prefer to not have it there at all. I really like PayPal much better...its faster, less expensive for me, and simple to use for my buyers.

I think with all the problems with the mail now, that buyers will prefer to use the online methods of payment more, too.
carly

tammy
10-26-2001, 12:39 AM
I dunno Carly. I don't understand quite a bit of what the nay sayers are saying. They talk as if the sellers opts out but at the end of the auction the winning bidder can still fill out the checkout form for that auction thereby picking whatever form of payment they want even if the seller did not chose the form. That's from what I understand. Of course, if this is really happening perhaps it really is just a kink that they have not worked out yet.

tammy
10-26-2001, 01:07 AM
Ok, I went back and read it again and the way I understand it is that if the Seller opts out the checkout feature will be on you view item place but with no info in it unless you put something like email the seller for buying info even though you opted out. Then at the end of the auction, the checkout button will be at the top of your closed auction and supposedly the buyer can use it and email you for buying details.
It will appear on ALL closed auction wheither you opt out or not so maybe these people who tried it out with opt out are saying that it still gives people the option to pay by billpoint even if you don't include details on checkout! I don't know. I guess I'll just have to wait and see if a buyer trys to pay me with billpoint even if I opt out. Otherwise, if it don't I see no problem with it. As others have complained it would just be a little extra stuff on my auction that I didn't put there.

Carly, I think you are right about online payments being more enticement for people to buy a person's stuff it they offer that option but I'm just not able to do that financially yet! One boo boo would plunge my checkbook into nonexistence! LOL!

CarlyHardy
10-28-2001, 12:18 AM
Lee, I read the statement that you put into your auctions about not using the checkout. It sounds really good.

On one of the boards I read that if someone uses the 'buy it now'....they are automatically sent to the checkout! So get ready to deal with that one.
carly

leesmith
10-28-2001, 09:56 AM
Hi Carly,

Thanks, I saw something similar in other ads, many dealers don't want this checkout thing because they already have their own system down pat.

I lady has bid on 2 of my kitties, so I don't have to worry about the BIN price on those; not expecting any bids on the still life, I think I set that at $59.95 minimum. And I usually set the BIN price right much higher than my minimum. Those have been some of the best prices I've received. But it takes one person to come along that really wants the piece. I've had enough success with BIN that I always include one.

Lee

tammy
10-28-2001, 10:46 AM
I enjoy BIN too. I've had a statement on my auctions too about why I'm not using checkout.

CarlyHardy
10-28-2001, 09:28 PM
I found that if you choose the 'opt for no checkout', you can still put information into the information block for returns/refunds and checkout info.

I put...Please do not use checkout at the end of the auction. I will still provide personal service as a self-representing artist. and my return policy.

Which I am thinking should be no refunds...no returns! I like the auction by one artist who concludes his description with...I ain't Walmart! No returns! No refunds!
carly

tammy
10-28-2001, 10:37 PM
Originally posted by CHClements

Which I am thinking should be no refunds...no returns! I like the auction by one artist who concludes his description with...I ain't Walmart! No returns! No refunds!
carly
:D Good one!

leesmith
10-28-2001, 10:37 PM
Carly quoted, "I ain't Walmart! No returns! No refunds! "

ROFL! That is so funny! We should all adopt his philosophy!

arteitaliana
10-29-2001, 12:00 AM
I just listed today and did not choose BIN, so Checkhout gave me no problems. I guess if you want to use BIN (which I don't like because I enjoy the excitement of the auction's action) you will have somehow to deal with Checkout one way or another.

leesmith
10-29-2001, 12:39 AM
Hi All,

I think the checkout thing may be an even bigger problem looming. I've spent some more time on the boards and wondered if any of you have an ebay store? The checkout MUST be used on ebay stores. The checkout feature is not working on multiple items purchased by one buyer; seems the buyer must go thru checkout for each individual item when before a seller just combined all the items into one email. Just like I thought, the sellers are not liking all these individual emails, time consuming each of them is saying.

I've read some news links ebayers have offered on the boards,
some of the larger businesses on ebay are not having to use the check out feature, presumably because big bizs already have their own check out program. Ebay has made an agreement with MS that is long reaching. They are wanting a complete integration of the MS passport feature from place to place on the net and that is why the checkout feature is necessary on ebay. I wish I understood all this computer jingo. The goal is for ebay to sell "practicals", higher end products that will up the average price per sale on ebay. Per the agreement, ebay must use MS systems. Because of this big agreement with MS, ebay is losing interest in the smaller sellers on ebay. The smaller sellers are just considered "clutter". It actually appears that ebay may be intentionally squeezing the small sellers out. Hey! That's us! So some character named Granny is trying to organize some info and a mass of seller's are leaving ebay, it appears most are going to yahoo. Each seller moving to yahoo is emailing their customers from ebay.

I believe more changes are on the way to ebay, how soon, I don't know but we should all try to pay particular attention to any new features that are rolled out. My fun on ebay may be short lived. I've always known not to put all your eggs into one basket from my advertising days. We had one huge client, RJ Reynolds, then we had our other "little" clients. Reynolds said "Jump!" and the company I worked for said "How high?". Well, changes in the law caused Reynolds to cancel most of their advertising. Hmmmm. In the space of less than an hour, our company had a major prob; How to replace all the RJR sales lost??? So they immediately got the sales staff together for brain storming and worked out a plan. The result was that our company stopped kissing RJR's *ss and started wooing all the local bizs, the very ones we had pretty much ignored because we had the golden goose in RJR. Within a matter of months, we had replaced the lost biz with the little guy, local bizs. Moral is: If plan A fails, have backup plan B ready! AND...there is power in the "little guy". All I'm saying is that we should all be thinking about a back up plan. I think we may need it at some point in time.


Here is a link to her granny's guestbook: I took out the link because it was the wrong one! I'll have to go back and find it again.

See Granny's me page for a list of the auction alternatives.

CarlyHardy
10-30-2001, 12:12 AM
Lee, I've been reading the boards too, about checkout! and changes at ebay. I'm beginning to wonder if ebay auctions is becoming a thing of the past before I even had a future! OH WELL! I can still make art!

I have been emailed about a group of artists who want to go to SellYourItem.com It seems the site is willing to set up a category for artists (Art Colony) for sales there. You may have gotten something about this too. I'm more than willing to go to other sites...but I also know that it will take buyers! to make it work.

What I think is that Art-Agent should become an auction site for art only! Hey Scott....we've got the art...you've got the site...all we need are bidders!
carly

tammy
11-03-2001, 12:10 AM
Originally posted by CHClements

I have been emailed about a group of artists who want to go to SellYourItem.com It seems the site is willing to set up a category for artists (Art Colony) for sales there. You may have gotten something about this too. I'm more than willing to go to other sites...but I also know that it will take buyers! to make it work.

I got that too and am looking at it. On the cko boards I see many buyers and sellers are going to Yahoo. I'm not sure that I wanna do that.