eBay abandoning insertion (listing) fees?

The murmurs are that eBay is going to be dramatically lowering listing fees and increasing final value (success) fees accordingly. Bear Stearns was the first to come up with this, and others have said that apparently this will differ by category.

Total rumour, but if true it is about time. The fees eBay charges are a barrier for new sellers, and prevent bigger sellers listing everything they have. This decreases the number of listings on the eBay market, but, in theory, increases the quality of listings.

Trade Me has none of those insertion/listing fees, except for Motors, Property Jobs and other classifieds such as pets.  eBay charges a sliding fee based on the listing value of the item, and as a result the barrier to list something is much higher.

I’m a fan of variable fan by category, as some categories (CD’s, Books) have products of very low value, while others may need a fee to ensure quality and discourage scammers. The latest high tech goodness, such as iPhones, or Wiis attract scammers like rotten sheep to flies, an higher fees will help shut down that traffic. In the past the rule of thumb was that listing fees would halve the number of listings and double the sell through (completion) rate. It seems this my no longer be the case with the stagnant eBay market, and so it’s time to once again emulate Trade Me.

Published by Lance Wiggs