Now eBay Gallery Listings Are Free. Just how bad is eBay struggling with Listing Volume?

What does the gallery fee sale mean to ebay sellers and the future of eBay fees?

eBay announced free gallery listings from today through December 12th. This saves sellers 35-cents on each listing.

eBay’s 50% of of listing fees promotion ended yesterday and today eBay announces free gallery listings from now for the next 5 weeks.  Since gallery (at 35 cents) is the one optional fee that almost every seller uses this is a very significant fee sale.  For example, this time of year we launch over 250 auctions a month.  So this will save us $87.50.

eBay makes most of their money on final value fees. So the question is will the lower fees from the listing sale that just ended and the gallery fee waiver, increase listings, and therefore increase sales.  If this works this would be good for sellers (we sell more) and eBay (they earn more fees).

So what is behind this?  Is eBay struggling with lower listings on the site or just being generous? 

eBay UK recently experimented with lowering listing fees in certain categories, like Media, and now seems to be experimenting with the effect of lowering various fees here in the US. When I met briefly with Bill Cobb (president of eBay North America) at eBay Live I told him that sellers would list more products if listing fees were lowered. I told him that is some categories with low sell-through-rates, that sellers could even tolerate higher final value fees if listing fees were lower.  Bill wouldn’t commit, but he sort of winked at me and told me to stay tuned.  That gave me the impression that eBay was studying the issue and the fee balance problem. 

eBay typically announces fee increases and changes in January and I fully expect some changes this January.  It is no secret that eBay is struggling with growth in some areas so looking to change the fee structure to bring more sellers and more inventory back to the platform makes sense.

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