eBay Hikes Listing Fees
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The world's most popular Web marketplace is about to get a little more expensive for high-end traders.
Beginning Feb. 2, eBay
will institute a new fee schedule that sharply increases listing fees for items with a starting price of $500. The change impacts the main auction destination and eBay Motors, a specialty site for new and used vehicles.
San Jose, Calif.-based eBay, which dominates the online auction market, said some fees would increase and others decrease under the new fee structure. To soften the blow for users, eBay will roll out a special promotional price of $39.99 for items featured on its home page (a decrease of $60) and fees for items won but not paid for would quality for a re-list credit.
"Currently, a reserve price item that ends without the reserve price being met is not eligible for a Second Chance Offer. Beginning in mid-March, sellers will be able to make a Second Chance Offer to under-bidders on items that do not meet the reserve," eBay explained in a notice to users.
Additionally, eBay said it would refund the reserve fee if the Second Chance Offer is accepted.
The listing fee low-end items (priced between a penny and 99 cents) will remain fixed at 30 cents.
But, the biggest change was instituted for high-end items with a selling price upwards of $500. Under a new category in the fee structure, eBay will now charge $4.80 per listing, a 45 percent ($1.50) increase. For items being sold between $1 and $9.99, eBay has pushed the price up from 30 cents to 35 cents for the listing.
The listing fees hike, the first since 2001, also includes a doubling of Reserve Price fees, an increase is fees for optional 10-day listings, an increase in fees for using its Turbo Lister listing design tool and a subscription fee hike for its Seller's Assistant Pro software.
At the eBay Motors specialty site, fees for listing motorcycles jumps by $5 to $30 and transaction fees for bikes also go up from $25 to $30. The company also a new $5 listing fee for 10-day listings of automobiles, motorcycles and other vehicles.
eBay officials could not be reached at press time for comment on the changes, which also affect some international eBay sites.
"eBay understands that fees directly impact our members, and we take care to ensure that any decisions to change fees are made only after careful consideration of this impact. These changes will help us continue to sustain and develop a thriving global marketplace, while balancing the needs of our buyers and sellers around the world," the company explained in its announcement.
But some eBay users weren't thrilled with the company's sudden move. "It seems that eBay hasn't been reading the sellers feedbacks about the already high listing [and] PayPal fees...I can't understand this since eBay's profits have grown significantly...They are trying to grow too fast and I think that they should begin thinking a little bit differently so they don't get trapped in an implosion," one seller ranted on the company's feedback forum.
"They are relaxing to much on tier status of being the number 1 and forget(ting) about their money maker - the sellers," he seller complained.
"This is a bad time to hike fees. The economy stinks, people are out of work and sales are not that great. An increase in the cost to do business will just raise prices overall. Sigh. So much for trying to keep prices down. A lot of small-time sellers will be hit hard by this." another seller complained.
Others are taking the changes in stride. "eBay has been due for a fee hike and while some sellers might feel the pinch a bit more, eBay has offered us a bit more for our listing fee," one user responded. "Look at it another way. By increasing the fees there will be far less listings to slow down the eBay servers, and with fewer listing the bids will be higher on what is listed. Less competition, higher prices."
Separately, eBay has settled two unrelated patent lawsuits filed by Redwood City, Calif.-based Tumbleweed Communications
against its PayPal subsidiary.
Terms of the settlement were not released but eBay said the deal included a patent cross-licensing pact. "With this lawsuit behind us, we look forward to working with Tumbleweed and others in the industry to develop effective e-mail security solutions, including anti-phishing technology," said Howard Schmidt, eBay's chief information security officer.