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NostoNews, May 1, 2007
by Tommy Jasmin

The increasing cost of selling

I hear a lot of sellers these days complaining about how expensive it is to sell online. Of course, you don't hear any of these sellers wishing for the old days of mail order and expensive print ads and catalogs, so how justified is the whining? The answer of course, depends on who you ask.

Think about eBay. If life were fair and they were an altruistic non-profit organization, they'd take a slice. But they are an American business giant, so they reach for the whole loaf. Shrewd marketing preys on the American psyche during the listing process. Nobody wants to settle for average, when for a few cents more you can upgrade to a "Gallery" listing, or a "Bold" listing. But those nickels and dimes add up. Fees, fees, all the fees. Listing fee, final value fee, and then when the buyer pays with PayPal (which they are strongly encouraged to do), surprise, another fee.

How bad can it get? Not singling out any online venue, I can easily come up with a scenario where the seller loses over 35% of the gross sale to fees.

Back to the question of justification. When there is a true, quality service involved, then maybe. For example, when you send a worthy item to Heritage Galleries, you can count on expert imaging, descriptions, lotting, and outstanding marketing. Here there's an argument for a decent commission. But when the company involved is providing only a remote mechanism for brokering, I guess I have to agree with some of the terms I've heard used with these various fees.

And yes, you know where this is going. We're hoping our little secret here at Nosto becomes less of a secret. The sales commission here is always 1%, period. We think that's reasonable.




Prizes

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Thanks, we'll see you all next month.

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