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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1884 - September 29, 2008 - ISSN 1539-5065    1 of 4

eBay UK Eliminates Store Inventory Format

By Ina Steiner
September 29, 2008

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eBay introduced a radical change to its Stores program in the UK this month after having introduced a similar program in Italy in April. Some AuctionBytes readers are now wondering if eBay might be planning to introduce similar changes to its Stores program in the US.

In Italy, and now in the UK, eBay eliminated Store inventory format - all sellers list in the Buy It Now (BIN) format for all fixed-priced listings (along with the change came a new 30-day duration option for BIN listings). But sellers are charged varying Insertion fees depending on whether they subscribe to a Stores plan or not.

There are several subscription plans for Stores (called "Negozi eBay" in Italy and "eBay Shops" in the UK). The more expensive the monthly subscription fee, the lower the Insertion fees, which favors high-volume sellers. For example, in the UK, Insertion fees of 1p are charged to Anchor Shop owners, who pay a 349.99-pound monthly subscription fee. On the other end of the scale, insertion fees for non-Shop owners are 40p.

The new Stores structure removes the wall between the main ("core") listings and Store listings, since BIN format listings are integrated in the core search results, rather than appearing at the bottom of the page as Stores inventory format did.

When eBay announced the changes to eBay UK Stores in August, it also announced changes it would make in the US. The dot-com site introduced a new 30-day BIN format, but it retained the Store inventory format. Some readers have asked if eBay has given any indication whether Store inventory format would eventually be eliminated and replaced with fixed-price core format only on the US site. (It has not.)

The reaction among UK Shop owners to the changes can be read in multiple threads on the eBay.co.uk Shops Board. Note that eBay made other changes to fees last week, visit the eBay UK website for more information.

eBay UK announced on Thursday there were some technical issues with the merging of the two fixed-price formats that could result in incorrect charges. The company said it would credit those charges in the next invoice cycle for sellers affected by the problem.

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About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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