eBay selling out?

ebay-logo.jpgIs eBay about to turn its back the small traders that made it?Selling £30bn worth of goods globally and visited by two thirds of UK online shoppers every month, eBay justifies its billing as a heavyweight of the internet age.I’d also argue its fostered UK entrepreneurship more effectively than any other single organisation, with 178,000 Brits earning a second living or running a business via its site.But that could be about to change. A rocky year of legal action and complaints by sellers over its pricing structure has seen eBay announce a major revamp with changes that could signal a cultural shift in its positioning.The key change sees increased prominence given to fixed priced listings, while up-front fees will be reduced and taken instead on sale with discounts for companies selling high volumes. For all the changes, visit: www.ebay.co.uk/buyitnow08Critics suggest eBay is clearing the decks to attract more corporate sellers to compete with the likes of Amazon and Tesco. It insists both big and small seller can sit happily alongside one another.Clare Gilmartin, Director of Marketplaces for eBay in the UK, says: “We now have a more tailored offering to fit every size of seller and business model, from a mum cashing in on some old baby clothes, to an ‘at-home entrepreneur’ building an SME business, to a retailer with a large and varied stock.”eBay’s argument that 43% of all sales are already Buy It Now transactions is compelling, but it remains to be seen if it can keep the small man happy once it’s opened the door to large suppliers.Let us know what you think.

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