Yes, eBay is that elastic. It draws bidders -- and that draws sellers. Just as mall landlords can charge higher rents in high-traffic locations, so can eBay. What's more, given the sorry state of eBay's competition, you're cybermiles from where anyone can hear you yell, "Uncle!"
Dig into the subtle nuances of the fee changes, however, and you see the real brilliance of eBay. By saving its most severe hikes for big-ticket items and listings with high reserves, it will actually be encouraging a greater percentage of successful transactions.
Too many users were taking advantage of eBay's generously wide tiers. Whether you started the bidding on a new item at $200 or $200,000, you paid the same $3.30 fee to list. For those ludicrously priced items unlikely to sell, the new policy taxes folks for their pipe dreams. Next month, it will run you $3.60 to list a $200 item, but $4.80 for an item at $500 or more.
Raising the bar on reserve auction fees is an even simpler ploy to get folks to ditch those mystery obstacles and pair up buyers and sellers more often.
Much to my regret, I have never owned shares of eBay. Maybe that's why I kick myself when I realize the bargain prices I could have paid for a company that I have patronized going on six years now.
So here's to those who bought in when the stock was one of the earliest Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. Like its listing fees, the company's fundamentals (and stock price) continue to inch higher and higher.