EBay cuts fees by 20% for top sellers

The online auction giant works to jumpstart its Marketplaces program, ratcheting up quality control but easing volume requirements for sellers.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)

Road buddies
Need to plan the best route and dodge speed traps along the way? Try these GPS devices and radar detectors.
Has the recession caused you to change your spending and saving habits?
  • Yes, permanently
  • Yes, but only for a short time
  • No

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) -- EBay Inc will slash fees by 20% for its top-rated sellers and push their listings higher up in the search queue, part of steps to try to rev up its long-stagnant Marketplaces arm.

The online giant is trying to revive growth in its main retail unit, whose auctions and fixed-price sales connect buyers and sellers. Its latest move, announced Monday, is aimed at rewarding the most reputable sellers, who drive shoppers to the site and give top customer service.

San Jose, California-based eBay (EBAY, Fortune 500) also said it would bestow on approximately 150,000 top sellers a "Top-Rated Seller" designation that buyers can search for on the site as they choose to conduct business with the most reputable.

Sellers eligible for that program, which launches in October in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, must conduct 100 transactions a year and post at least $3,000 in annual sales volume.

Those sellers must have a detailed seller rating of at least 4.6 out of a possible 5 -- a measure that encompasses criteria such as whether an item is described accurately, shipping time and cost.

"We've raised the bar on quality but we've lowered the volume requirements," said eBay spokesman Usher Lieberman. "With the lowered volume requirements we're able to welcome in a whole lot more smaller sellers."

Some 57% of the 150,000 to be designated top sellers did not previously qualify due to earlier volume requirements, Lieberman said.

EBay has been trying to improve its feedback system in which buyers bestow a customer service rating on a seller with whom they have just conducted a transaction.

Yet some sellers complain that system is unfairly skewed to buyers, who have the power to bestow a negative rating even if unmerited, which will hurt future sales.

EBay said that in gauging sellers' ratings, it will now place a greater emphasis on a seller's lack of negative ratings rather than the difference between a good or stellar rating such as a 4 or a 5, which eBay concedes can be an arbitrary distinction.

Other changes eBay is making include a more streamlined claims process when winning auction bidders do not pay, an easier system for editing listings of bulk items and a tool that allows sellers to see the factors affecting the placement of their items on eBay's site.

The lingering slump in consumer spending has taken a bite out of eBay's sales. Stalled growth in Marketplaces has concerned investors and kept shares under pressure.

But the company -- which also owns fast-growing online payments unit PayPal -- posted better-than-expected second-quarter results last week, providing some relief to investors anxious for a turnaround.

Shares of eBay were up 2.1% at $21.68 Monday afternoon on the Nasdaq. To top of page

They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
10 of the most luxurious airline amenity kits When it comes to in-flight pampering, the amenity kits offered by these 10 airlines are the ultimate in luxury More
7 startups that want to improve your mental health From a text therapy platform to apps that push you reminders to breathe, these self-care startups offer help on a daily basis or in times of need. More
5 radical technologies that will change how you get to work From Uber's flying cars to the Hyperloop, these are some of the neatest transportation concepts in the works today. More
Worry about the hackers you don't know 
Crime syndicates and government organizations pose a much greater cyber threat than renegade hacker groups like Anonymous. Play
GE CEO: Bringing jobs back to the U.S. 
Jeff Immelt says the U.S. is a cost competitive market for advanced manufacturing and that GE is bringing jobs back from Mexico. Play
Hamster wheel and wedgie-powered transit 
Red Bull Creation challenges hackers and engineers to invent new modes of transportation. Play

Copyright 2009 Reuters All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.