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8/21/2006
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Backlash Feared Over New eBay Seller Fees

Some are calling for sellers to strike in the U.S. and Australia this week. Sellers in the U.K. went on strike last week.

Store sellers are bracing for eBay's price increase Tuesday with many among their 500,000 number complaining about the hike in fees.

Some sellers have expressed their displeasure by calling for strikes. Some U.K. sellers struck last week, while other seller strikes are planned for Australia and the U.S. this week.

"Sellers vote with their pocketbooks," said Ina Steiner, editor of auctionbytes.com, in a commentary on her Web site. "If there's a fee increase, but sellers can still make money and enjoy some of the benefits of online selling, they'll absorb the extra costs and continue to sell on eBay."

While the fee increases can be miniscule -- little more than $1 in many cases -- the fees can still take a bite out of the profits of some online stores. eBay said the average storeowner would experience a 6 percent rate increase. However, Kleiner noted: "When they (sellers) calculated the effect on their monthly listing fees, it totaled much higher than a 6 percent increase."

But some sellers have hailed the move by eBay management. One seller comment on an online message board was representative: "Actually, I think this is good," the unnamed seller stated. "Have you ever gone to eBay to search for cell phone accessories or anything of that nature? There are TONS of (items) that are so cheap there is no point in me selling my own. I'm glad they hiked it up."

The online auction company has said the fee increase for store listings will help "reinvigorate" eBay's auction marketplace.

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