|Tue Aug 7 2012 12:36:48|
Should eBay Drop Listing Fees?
By: Ina Steiner
Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru wrote a post on Friday about Amazon's "unstoppable" strength, and said she believes three entities have the potential to displace Amazon: Walmart, eBay, or a "vertically integrated retailer."
Mulpuru wrote in part, "to date, Amazon has created a compelling alternative to eBay in large part because it doesn't charge listing fees. The single biggest change to disrupt that ecosystem would be if eBay eliminated its lucrative listing fees. That's highly unlikely as eBay doesn't even see itself as a competitor to Amazon (rather its focus is on X.commerce which is a B2B play, and PayPal), but this is the radical change that would give Amazon a run for its money."
Putting aside the competitive reasons eBay might drop listing fees, do you think eBay should drop listing fees? Take a survey and let us know what you think: Link to survey on SurveyMonkey.com, and we'll report back.
Since the spring, many eBay sellers have been reporting issues with traffic and sales. One micro-seller sent me his Outright weekly report showing revenue and expenses, and it showed he was actually losing money selling on eBay. Clearly that's an outlier case, but I'd wager there are many sellers whose insertion fees are taking an increasing bite out of their profits on eBay thanks to dropping sell-through rates.
Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman understood the role insertion fees played on the delicate balance of supply and demand on the marketplace. At that time, many sellers felt insertion fees contributed to the integrity of supply. But eBay is a very different marketplace these days.
How would free listings on eBay impact sellers today, and do you think eBay should eliminate insertion fees?