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eBay Offering Longer Life Fixed Price Listings

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Some fairly major changes are being unveiled at eBay today…longer fixed price listings but checks and money orders are now taboo.

You won’t need an eBay store to get 30 days of life out of your fixed price listing beginning next month.

Among the changes announced Wednesday is a new pricing plan for sellers who offer fixed-price items in eBay’s "Buy It Now" format. Starting in mid-September, sellers will pay 35 cents to list an item at a fixed price for 30 days. Currently, fixed price listings typically run for seven days.

Sellers also can now list multiple quantities of the same item for a single 35 cent listing fee; previously, multiple quantities resulted in higher listing fees. This pricing change significantly reduces the upfront cost of listing fixed price items on eBay and bases fees primarily on the successful sale of items.

The change takes affect September 16. Final value fees also have been rebalanced on a category-by-category basis. In most cases, the combined listing and final value fees paid by sellers will be lower, and during this holiday season eBay PowerSellers can benefit from an additional discount by offering buyers free shipping.

"We aim to be the most competitive marketplace online, and this new, incredibly low pricing helps us achieve that goal," said Lorrie Norrington, president of eBay Marketplaces. "A 35 cent listing fee virtually eliminates the upfront cost for sellers to put more of their great inventory on eBay and creates more opportunity than ever for sellers to build successful businesses."

Prior to this pricing change, sellers paid between 35 cents and four dollars per item listed per week. Under the new pricing plan, sellers will pay just 35 cents for a 30-day listing, regardless of listing price or quantity of identical items. The lower insertion fees and longer listing duration will create substantial savings for many eBay sellers. For example, using the Buy It Now fixed price format:

— A $25 collectible item that sells after being listed three times for up to 21 days would currently cost a seller $5.19 in total fees ($3.00 in insertion fees plus $2.19 in final value fees), with 58 percent paid upfront for the listing. Under the new pricing, the total cost would be only $3.35 (35 cents in insertion fees plus $3.00 in final value fees), a savings of 35 percent, with only 10 percent paid upfront for the listing.

Over the course of a year, the low listing fee and rebalanced final value fees can result in substantial savings for sellers. For example:

— An average fixed price seller who previously spent $5,000 in fees per year on eBay would now spend only $4,450 – a savings of 11 percent, or over $500. The seller’s upfront fees would drop from 41 percent of total fees paid to only 6 percent.

— An average consumer electronics seller who previously spent $5,000 in fixed price fees per year on eBay would now spend only $4,013 – a savings of nearly 20 percent, or $987. The seller’s upfront fees would drop from 32 percent of total fees paid to only 5 percent.

— An average computer seller who previously spent $5,000 in fixed price fees per year on eBay would now spend only $3,239 – a savings of over 35 percent, or $1,761. The seller’s upfront fees would drop from 34 percent of total fees to only 7 percent.

Auction-style listings will continue to be featured prominently in search, sorted primarily based on "time ending soonest" and appearing towards the top of search results as the listing comes to a close.

"We love auctions. Auction-style listings remain the ideal choice for sellers who are uncertain about the value of their item, have a scarce item in high demand, or are willing to start at a low price and let bidding determine the final value," Norrington said. "With these changes, we’re making sure sellers have competitive opportunities in both formats–auction-style and fixed price."

While the pricing changes take effect in September, other improvements to the buyer experience on eBay will occur in phases through November. Improvements to eBay’s product search will make it easier for buyers to find the best deal on the product that’s right for them. Electronic payments will now be required. No cash or personal checks will be allowed. PayPal will offer protection for the full purchase price and original shipping costs on eligible transactions paid with PayPal at no additional cost to the buyer.

For more on the changes click here.