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Barbarians at the gate: eBay's seller changes

Following a [wave of changes](/breakingnews/article.php/3766596/eBay+Revamps+Fees+as+Amazon+Muscles+In.htm) aimed at making its marketplace more buyer-friendly, e-commerce giant eBay has slashed the fees it charges sellers to list items on its fixed-price store.

The move continues an overhaul set off by incoming CEO John Donahoe, who took the reins from Meg Whitman in March, declaring that he would work to make eBay a more trusted and reliable engine of online commerce.

Those changes had eBay's Power Sellers up in arms. They had complained about the fee restructuring and the online merchant's decision to shut down their ability to give feedback about buyers.

Now, as it gears up for holiday season in a decidedly unfriendly economic climate, eBay has cut its fixed-price listings by about 70 percent, charging sellers 35 cents for a one-month listing of fixed-price items. Thirty-five cents had previously bought sellers a seven-day listing.

"We aim to be the most competitive marketplace online, and this new, incredibly low pricing helps us achieve that goal," eBay Marketplaces President Lorrie Norrington, said in a statement. "A 35 cent listing fee virtually eliminates the upfront cost for sellers to put more of their great inventory on eBay and creates more opportunity than ever for sellers to build successful businesses."

The move signifies a broader shift in eBay's strategy away from the auction model on which it built its name. As it continues efforts to recast itself as a more conventional e-commerce player, eBay is becoming a more direct rival to Amazon, the Web's leading retailer.

Of course, it remains an open-ended question as to whether the changes will help eBay reverse the trend of Amazon's incursion into its business. While eBay posted moderate numbers in the second quarter, its rival to the north presented a showy balance sheet with a 102 percent surge in profits.

The changes will take effect Sept. 16.

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