We should have seen it coming. For the third time in four years -- just as they're recovering from New Year's hangovers -- eBay
The Feb. 2 fee increases range from 17% for some lower-priced items to as much as 45% for auctions starting at $500 or more. While that means a difference of just $1.50 per auction in the latter case, that certainly adds up for frequent sellers. Meanwhile, it will cost twice as much in some cases to conduct a reserve auction. On the flip side, fees for those listing items in their personal "eBay Store" are being cut by more than half.
As a casual seller on eBay, I'm not exactly looking forward to the increases. As an investor, however, I expect nothing less from management. As the site draws more and more buyers -- there were 37 million active users at the end of the third quarter, a 55% year-over-year increase -- it becomes more valuable to sellers.
Pricing power can be subtle. For example, Anheuser-Busch
eBay's power is more obvious. While there is competition out there -- Amazon
In the words of ShelbyBoy, a more active seller and long-time contributor to the Fool discussion boards: "Based on the increase in overall number of users, and specifically in the number of bids and winning bid amounts I am experiencing, eBay's increase is not even noticeable."
What are your thoughts on the price increase? Share them with us on the eBay discussion board.