The Level Playing Field has a few “Business Retail” Potholes

Posted on May 9, 2008. Filed under: eBay | Tags: , , , , , |

This is a recent post by an eBay PowerSeller.  I am not the author of this post but it is Re-Posted with permission from the original author, Joe Lukawitz.


Ebay likes to proclaim it promotes a “Level Playing Field”, implying all policies and fees are fair and equal for all members. Essentially, ebay wants it’s members to believe the fees you pay are the same fees large retailers pay listing on ebay.

Baloney! Nothing could be farther from the truth.

I sell board-level electronic components (integrated circuits, transistors, etc.), items that, individually, are relatively inexpensive, usually only a couple of dollars each.

The goal for me, of course, is to sell IN VOLUME: hundreds, if not thousands, of components per sale. Indeed, selling to a manufacturing or repair company produces sizable sales.

When I sell to a large company, however, the price is ALWAYS negotiated PER ITEM: If company A wants 1,000 pieces of part Q, I quote the customer the unit price for Part Q, but the FINAL SALE is the extended amount, 1000 pieces times Q. This has been the industry standard since the beginning. Even if the order is for 100,000 pieces, the negotiated price is per piece, BUT THE SALE IS THE TOTAL ORDER FOR THE 100,000 PIECES.

Recently, I received an order on ebay for 1,532 pieces of a part that sells for $.79 each. THE TOTAL SALE WAS $1,210.28 FOR THE COMPONENTS.

I DID NOT sell a $.79 item 1,532 different times; I sold ONE SALE of $1,210.28 in one transaction.

Ebay, however, instead of charging me $49.21, the amount for a $1,210.28 sale, charges me $145.23 (nearly TRIPLE!).

Ebay’s reasoning? My fee is based on $.79 each (the full 12% rate) times 1,532 pieces in the sale.

Yet, if I were to sell a TV set for $1,210.28, my fee would be $49.21 for the same dollar amount sale.

Before you say that the individual item computation is a correct calculation, consider this: EBAY LISTS MY ITEMS UNDER BUSINESS AND INDUSTRIAL. Ebay wants it’s business members to believe Ebay is acting in compliance with long-established normal busines guidelines. The Business and Industrial Standard method of negotiating a sale is per piece, BUT THE VALUE OF THE SALE IS THE TOTAL EXTENDED AMOUNT !!!

In short, I DID NOT make 1,532 sales of $.79 each. I MADE ONE SALE OF $1,210.28 – – – and on my Items Sold Page, that is the number boldly proclaimed, the $1,210.28 amount.


If one company makes a sale of $1,210.28 and gets charged a $49.21 Final Value Fee, then my sale of $1,210.28 should be charged the same $49.21 Final Value Fee.

It’s high time ebay lives up to their press release and truly makes their playing field level. A $1,210.28 sale is a $1,210.28 sale – – – and should be charged an equal Final Value Fee.

Joe Lukawitz

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