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eBay Stiff’s long Term Sellers and Cuts a Deal with Buy.com

May 27th, 2008 by Skip McGrath

Although it will not give out any details it appears that eBay changed a long-standing policy and cut a special deal with Buy.com to list thousands of items on eBay at reduced fees.

The concept of “the level playing field” has been a long standing policy at eBay. For year, large sellers have lobbied eBay for reduced fees for those who list products in high volumes. Last week, eBay reached a deal with Buy.com. The eBayInk blog broke the story over the weekend and reported that Buy.com had launched 150,000 FP listings, in categories like Books, Music, DVD, and Computers. And, what is really interesting is that although Buy.com’s payment method on eBay is PayPal, but on Buy.com they only use PayPal’s competitor Google Checkout. It makes me wonder if part of the deal will be for Buy.com to start taking PayPal on their website.

Buy.com’s eBay username is Buy.  Their current feedback rating 56,202 at 99%positive. Their DSR scores are 4.8 on communications and shipping and 4.9 on Item as described. When I looked this morning the had 507,462 items listed on eBay in both stores and fixed price auctions.

For some time I have been forecasting huge changes at eBay as the new management takes hold. The new management team has made it pretty clear they are focused on “improving the buyer experience” and making eBay over to look more like the “retail experience” one finds on Amazon and other eCommerce sites.  This begs several questions:

  • Will eBay eventually abandon the auction format altogether?
  • Will eBay eventually abandon the sale of used goods including antiques and collectibles?
  • Will eBay announce tiered listing fees for large sellers or continue to seek out and do private deals with large sellers?

eBay has ended eBay University and other training efforts to teach new sellers how to sell on eBay. Do they even still want new sellers or is the future going to belong to only retail chains and large sellers. eBay Live should be very interesting this year.  I really hope that eBay makes their future plans clear and stops talking in code so sellers of all sizes can plan their futures accordingly.

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