eBay announced a number of changes to its fee structure, which will emphasize fixed-price sales over eBay's traditional auctions. Fixed-price sales have been growing at a faster rate than auctions for eBay, so emphasizing this business model makes a lot of sense for eBay. To do so, the company has reduced the price to list an item for a fixed price by over 70% to 35 cents and sellers can now list multiple quantities of the same item for the same price.Today,
The new price structure will take effect on September 16th and is clearly timed in order to increase business for the upcoming holiday season. eBay will also make similar changes to its sites in England and Germany. Of course, the last time eBay made changes to its pricing structure earlier this year, it drew the ire of its most valuable sellers, who quickly initiated a boycott. Now, eBay is moving to simplify the pricing structure that upset its customers so much earlier this year.
Final Value Fees
While the listing fees have been reduced substantially, the overall fees for a listing still includes what eBay calls a 'final value fee,' which is determined by the sales price of the item to be sold. These fees have been simplified, but also increased. Overall, however, this change in eBay's pricing structure could result in substantially lower cost for a lot of eBay's sellers.
Consumers Don't Want Auctions
As Laurie J. Flynn in the New York Times points out, these changes are also driven by a change in consumer behavior online. There is simply less interest in the auction model these days, which, even though it might be very exciting, just isn't as convenient as just heading over to Amazon and buying a product right away.
And Amazon is exactly the company that eBay should fear the most. For consumers buying anything on Amazon is easier (and often cheaper) than going to eBay - and it isn't loaded with the same potential for fraud. Amazon is also constantly making it easier for sellers to list their items in its database.