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eBay Sellers Threaten Strike

by trevor. Average Reading Time: almost 2 minutes.

In reaction to eBay shop price hike, some eBay sellers are going on strike tomorrow to show their feelings to eBay.

The guardian has picked up the story:

“Auction site eBay, that stalwart of the online world, may be about to suffer a classic ailment of traditional business: a strike. It is not its staff that are preparing to down tools, however, it is its sellers.

A small but vocal number of British shop owners who use eBay.co.uk are preparing to strike on August 15 in protest at an increase in fees and a reduction in the visibility of their goods. They have even petitioned Google to launch a rival auction site and inject some competition into a market dominated by eBay.

Last month eBay proposed changing the way listings from shops are shown to potential buyers. Since the start of the year, items being sold by shops have been shown as part of the list of goods that match a buyer’s search request. From the start of this month, however, shop items have been included in the list only if the search request returned just a handful of relevant items up for auction. The online marketplace is also raising the fees it charges shops to sell through the site.

In response, shop owners have flocked to eBay’s discussion boards to complain, calling for a day of action next week.

But Dan Wilson, eBay.co.uk’s community manager, said the company had to “change the economics of shop listings”. He said that when eBay opened up to shops, its listings became flooded with fixed-price items and “when buyers were presented with hundreds, nay thousands, of shop listings that were very similar or not very competitively priced they were getting bewildered.”

Mr Wilson said eBay had consulted its biggest sellers and “the vast majority of people we have communicated with understand what we are trying to do”.

I am not really sure how much of an impact this strike will make to eBay – Some bad PR yes but with approximately 40,000 eBay shops in the UK alone, I doubt that the strike will include more than 1% of shop owner.

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