eBay Sellers Say Latest Fee Change Is A Fee Hike

Written by Eric Athas
August 21st, 2008

When eBay announced Wednesday (Aug. 20) it was changing its pricing structure and boasted a 70 percent fee reduction, many sellers had a very different take on the matter. Some even suggested it was actually a thinly disguised fee hike to discourage the sale of lower priced items.

In various discussion groups, sellers have criticized eBay, saying its new fee policy liberally uses what some sellers not-so-fondly dub "eBay math."

eBay spokesman Usher Lieberman said he doesn’t see it that way. He said discouraging the selling of lower cost items was "not the intention of the pricing change."

Because the new fee policy allows for longer listing periods, Lieberman said, it helps those who would typically take more than seven days to sell an item because they don’t have to pay for multiple listing fees that expire after seven days.

Most products require two to three listing fees to sell the item, he said. "In the old model, you would be paying for each of those listing fees," Lieberman said.

An Associated Press story offers an example of the new pricing. "Under the old rules, for example, selling a purse at auction for $25 would have cost the seller $1.91, including 60 cents for listing the item plus eBay’s commission of $1.31. Under the new structure, the seller would pay $2.74, including 55 cents to list the item plus a higher commission of $2.19."

eBay’s announcement used the headline: "eBay Supports Sellers With Dramatically Lower Listing Fee." The company said it is lowering the cost to list an item in eBay’s Buy It Now fixed-price format by 70 percent. Sellers will have a flat rate of 35 cents for a 30-day listing period, an increase from the current seven days. Another change is that sellers can list multiple amounts of the same item for a single 35 cent listing fee, the eBay statement said.


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