EBay adjusts rules for avoiding 'listing' fees

March 15, 2011

(AP) -- EBay Inc. has tweaked the requirements for avoiding "listing" fees when auctioning items on its site, letting users list up to 50 items each month at any starting price and allowing them to add the "Buy it Now" option to listings for free.

EBay has tinkered with its fee structure in recent years in hopes of improving the experience people have on its site and reinvigorating its growth. Changes like the ones announced Tuesday are meant to encourage more people to list items for sale.

The latest changes will be effective April 19.

Last year, the San Jose, Calif., company essentially did away with listing fees for people who occasionally auction items on its site, allowing users to auction up to 100 items each month without paying listing fees. The items had to have a starting bid of less than $1, though, and when they sold would take 9 percent of the final price or $50, whichever was less.

EBay said Tuesday that as part of the changes it will charge sellers a fee of 9 percent of an item's selling price plus the amount the seller charges the buyer for shipping. This fee, which is now capped at $100, is meant to encourage sellers to offer free shipping.

Explore further: Some eBay Users Abuse Auction Site's Feedback System, Professor Finds


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not rated yet Mar 16, 2011
Capping shipping fees and forcing free shipping on some categories, and now directly taking a share of the shipping fees, it is all intended to get eBay a slice of that action.

Individuals do not have the sales volumes to have the kind of control of over shipping costs that eBay seem to think they should. People in rural areas may incur additional travel cost just to post items out, they need to be able to reflect their true cost and leave the decision to the buyer if it is acceptable. Sure some people do try to profit from shipping fees, but these are now clearly listed and subject to feedback scoring, if the potential purchaser thinks they are unreasonable, they simply need not bid or buy.

This is all about growth and so all about profit, and while on the face of it, it looks like giving, they will make far more back out of the 'shipping fee', an aspect of the transaction to which they play no part in.

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