eBay is to slash the cost of listing items on the online auction site by between 25 and 50 percent, while increasing the fees for sold items.
The changes will be rolled out in eBay marketplaces worldwide and designed to improve the buyer experience, eBay said.
eBay hopes the changes in its fee structure will encourage sellers to list more items and use more pictures in their listings - and thereby possibly attract more buyers. The company is offsetting the reduction in listing fees by charging sellers more when they sell items. For example, the fee for selling an item that costs up to £25 will increase from 5.25 percent to 8.75 percent of the final sale price.
"Sellers prefer this structure, as it lowers their risk if an item doesn't sell," said John Donahoe, eBay's president and CEO-to-be, in his keynote address at the company's third annual eCommerce Forum in Washington. "Put simply, we will make more of our money when sellers are successful." Donahoe is succeeding President and CEO Meg Whitman, who recently retired.
In addition to the changes in its fee structure, eBay said it's changing the way it works with sellers. The company said sellers will be subjected to more stringent minimum standards in an effort to do away with behaviour that causes buyer dissatisfaction, such as charging excessive shipping fees or not describing items accurately.
The company said it will begin that effort by lowering the exposure in its search results for sellers who have high rates of customer dissatisfaction. Conversely, Donahoe said eBay will begin increasing the search exposure for the listings of sellers who have the best customer satisfaction ratings.