eBay Briefs: PowerSeller, PayPal, Best Offer Updates

High-volume, low price-point sellers join PowerSeller ranks and the Best Offer feature gets an upgrade. Plus, the always entertaining 2007 eBay Re-gifting Survey results.
This week eBay promises PowerSeller Program changes over the next couple of days, the eBay Countdown widget goes into public testing and eBay further enhances its best Offer feature for sellers. Plus, PayPal announces its Holiday 2007 incentives and the always entertaining 2007 ebay Re-gifting Survey results are in. Did you know that women are more likely to re-gift or sell items received from their mother-in-law than men are?

Seasonal, High-Volume Sellers Join PowerSellers
This week eBay announced that planned changes to its PowerSeller program will go into effect Nov.15, 2007. EBay is going to change the program to include high volume "seasonal" sellers and also sellers who move a high volume of product but at a lower average sale price. Other changes to the PowerSeller program include phone support for Bronze PowerSellers who meet the annual sales requirements.

The eBay PowerSeller program is available only to those sellers who sustain a consistent high volume of monthly sales and a high level of total feedback with 98 percent or better positive rating. The minimum monthly sales requirement is $1,000 (100 items) for Bronze, $3,000 (300 items) for Silver, $10,000 (1,000 items) for Gold, $25,000 (2,500 items) for Platinum and $150,000 (15,000 items) to obtain Titanium PowerSeller status.

eBay Countdown Reaches Public Beta
eBay Countdown, a widget that lets you track and bid on auction listings, is out of its limited testing phase and is now available to the public to try, though it is still in development. Countdown lets buyers log into eBay to get instant access and updates on items they are watching or bidding on. It has a visually pleasing interface and provides quick access to bid placement, bid history and auction-end dates. The application also lets shoppers add personal notes that can be referred to as the item is monitored, or, as they enter the bidding process. You can read my recent review of eBay Countdown here.

Is That Your Best Offer?
EBay says it is incorporating a new auto-accept option in its Best Offer feature. Sellers can use the free Best Offer feature to accept offers from buyers on designated items, or to negotiate a mutually acceptable price. With the new auto-accept, sellers can set rules to automatically accept offers above a certain price for each of their items.

PayPal Offers New Holiday Shopping Incentives
Later this month PayPal will begin its holiday incentive promotions. This year the company plans to offer special deals to holiday shoppers that include getting up to 20 percent cash back from participating PayPal merchants and daily shopping sweepstakes. More than 15 vendors, including Barnes & Noble.com, Blue Nile, HP Home and Home Office Store and eToys.com are expected to participate in PayPal's 2007 Holiday Shopping promotion.

Re-gifting 2007 Survey
EBay published the results of its annual re-gifting survey conducted by Harris Interactive, and it appears there is no end to the trend of passing on presents. The survey says that 83 percent of U.S. adults receive unwanted gifts during the holiday season. Almost half of those adults will typically re-gift or sell those unwanted holiday gifts. Here are some of the fun findings from the annual eBay Re-gifting survey:

  • Sixty-nine percent of all adults agree that re-gifting or reselling is a form of recycling.
  • Seventy percent of adults who have re-gifted a gift say they do so because they feel the item is a better match for someone else. Only eight percent have re-gifted because they were too lazy to purchase another present.
  • U.S. adults would be most likely to re-gift items such as food and drink, beauty and bath products and trinkets or collectibles. Top items to resell include electronics and appliances, DVDs, CDs, books and event tickets.
  • Fruitcake accounts for 15 percent of the food-and-drink items that people would re-gift.
  • About one in four married women has re-gifted or resold one or more items received from her mother-in-law compared with only 16 percent of men.

And what do those who sent a gift that gets past on or sold think of re-gifting? According to eBay's survey, upon discovering that someone has re-gifted or resold an item they had originally given, 46 percent of all adults say they would feel indifferent while 26 percent would feel... amused.

Vangie Beal is a seasoned eBay seller, frequent contributor to ECommerce-Guide.com and managing editor of Webopedia.com.

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