RealTime IT News

EBay Hikes Rates

EBay flexed its market muscle again this week when it told its members the price of doing business with the online auctioneer was going up -- in some cases as much as 60 percent.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company will increase basic subscription rates in a number of areas beginning on Feb. 18. It is the fourth consecutive year the company has increased pricing.

The company said it would change its 5 cent flat fee for "Buy It Now" -- where sellers set sale prices for their goods -- to an escalating scale based on the price of the item. Fees will range from 5 cents for any items ranging in price from a penny to $9.99, and up to 25 cents for items more than $50.

Final value fees -- the price the item is eventually sold for -- are also on the rise for big ticket items listed in the business and industrial categories.

Items sold between $25.01 and $1,000 are now 8 percent for the initial $25, and an additional 5 percent on the remaining balance. The previous pricing model for these items, which include heavy construction equipment and industrial vehicles like tractors, had been set at 5.25 percent of the initial $25, and 2.75 percent for the remaining value.

The reserve, insertion and final value fees will all change for select high goods in the capital equipment categories.

The company will also lower the reserve charges to a $5 flat fee for all eBay motor vehicles except Pocket Bikes. The fee will remain refundable if the item sells.

However, the company said it would lower insertion and transaction services fees for these items from $30 to $3 each.

The company also said it would increase the size of its Gallery image on search and listings pages by 56 percent. This will make it easier for buyers to see details of the item before clicking into the listing, eBay said. The gallery fees, said the company, will be raised from $0.25 to $0.35 per listing.

EBay also plans to introduce buyer protection, which will cover up to $20,000 per item in these capital equipment categories. The protection program is being offered at no additional cost.

A message on the company Web site read: "We understand that fees directly impact our members, and 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."