If you've been waiting to unload some of those gifts you just don't want, longtime eBay
All day today, $0.15 will serve as your insertion fee for fixed-price and more conventional auction-style items in most categories. Naturally, any successful transactions will incur the popular site's normal final-value fees. Yet it's still a good deal on the surface, especially since eBay charges as much as $4.80 in insertion fees throughout the year.
However, $0.15 is a new number out of the auctioneer's camp. Until a few years ago, the listings on a day that was typically the second day after Christmas were completely free. That changed when the company erected a tollbooth on the popular promotion to charge $0.10 for each listing on Dec. 27, 2004, instead.
To be fair, I called it a brilliant move because the free listing days proved to be a real hassle. The freebies "brought a lot of noise into the trading network," I lamented at the time, as folks would simply list a ton of unmarketable items at unrealistic prices. The end result was lots of meaningless listings for a few days, much to detriment of serious regulars who found their more legitimate auctions drowned out. I found it to be the best time to show up as a buyer and get some great deals under that kind of bidder's-market environment.
Forcing sellers to part with $0.15, even if it's just a token amount, is a good move on eBay's part. It is, indeed, a price break, yet eBay knows that the real money lies in the completed listing fees anyway.
Is eBay gouging its sellers? Every fee hike from the site seems to add to the list of naysayers, yet I think most would ultimately rather be listing on eBay than on cheaper sites such as Yahoo!
So for those who feel the company has nickeled and dimed them, today is the day when they can put that nickel and dime together to come up with the $0.15 insertion fee on the site.
Have fun cashing in on that sweater you didn't want.
Foolanthropy is celebrating its 10th year! To learn more about our five Foolish charities or to make a donation, visit www.foolanthropy.com.
Yahoo!, eBay, and Amazon.com are Motley Fool Stock Advisornewsletter recommendations.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a satisfied eBay user, with 170 positive feedbacks to show for it. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story and he is a member of the Rule Breakers analytical team, seeking out the next great growth stock early in its defiance.