EBay drops listing cost of Buy It Now auctions

To remain competitive as user activity levels off, eBay has announced that Buy it Now sales will incur a reduced flat fee for an extended listing period.

Online auction service eBay charges its sellers twice for each transaction: once for listing the item (called the insertion fee) and once after the item has been sold (or the final value fee). Effective September 16, sellers will be able to insert 30-day Buy it Now auctions for 35¢, a 70% reduction in listing cost, according to eBay.

What's more, that single 35¢ fee can be applied to an unlimited number of identical auctions.

This year, eBay has experimented with marketplace reconfiguration to stimulate activity on the site. But many sellers have expressed discontent with eBay, as it appears to be gradually moving away from the auction model it pioneered.

Sales of Buy it Now items on eBay have grown approximately 60% per year, according to reports, and now constitute just under half the total value of all goods sold on the site. But competition for eBay is stiff. This year, some of the most formidable retailers like Wal-Mart, and Amazon unveiled new transaction styles this year that overlap slightly with eBay's model.

While eBay is not exactly suffering, there's an increasing body of evidence indicating that the marketplace's relevance is slowly drawing to a close. After last quarter's earnings were posted, Steven Ju of RBC Capital posited, "What remains to be seen is whether or not the company can drive meaningful growth."

In light of this, eBay mentioned a series of upgrades to its site that will take place through November, in addition to the amended listing fee.

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